Airbrushing Painting Techniques
Presented by Geoff Illsey
This chapter of the Compendium Expert Model Craft Series has World Renowned Airbrush Expert Geoff Illsey presenting techniques and tricks he has learned and developed over the years. Geoff is considered an expert in the use of the airbrush in the painting of models and military miniatures and here provides us with an insight into his favorite techniques. The main program is divided into six chapters, they are: Priming and Underpainting; Fleshtones; Metallics and Gunmetal; Painting on Feathers; Aircraft Camouflage and Wood and Surfaces.
Mr Richard Windrow, author and avid modeler, introduces this video as always. Richard gives a short background of what you will be seeing from Geoff Illsey.
He begins with the all-important subject of Priming and Underpainting. He particularly favors Gunze Sangyo primers in his work. His first effort is in priming a white metal figure. He first sprays a metal primer on the figure to improve the adhesion of the undercoat he will use. After the metal primer has dried he sprays a white undercoat onto the figure, reminding the viewer that they should strive to get paint into the recesses of the figure first then spraying the more accessible areas.
His next chapter deals with the mixing and application of fleshtones. The figure he is using is a near nude Metal Models dancer. Geoff explains the theory of first creating a “middle” fleshtone, using White, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna oil paints. He uses artist oils because they stay uncured for a longer time allowing the blending of the shades without heavy applications. He then takes a small portion of his “middle” tone and adds more of the darker color to create a shaded tone, equaling he adds white to another portion to create his highlight tone. He then explains in detail how to apply the various tones to the figure to provide an overall finished piece.
In the next chapter Geoff tackles the complicated subject of the metallics of a firearm. He shows how to obtain a “blued” finish on the barrel and the use of inks to simulate the variegated coloring of a case hardened cylinder and mechanism. He then goes on to demonstrate the application of paint to feathers, which he uses in his models of North American Indian figures.
In chapter five, Geoff tackles the sometimes-complicated subject of aircraft camouflage. He uses an old model of a DeHavilland Mosquito to show how to apply D-day stripes to the model, patterned camouflage and the Roundels on the wings. He shows the viewer how the scale drawings showing the patterns he is using and demonstrates the uses of masking films to produce perfect roundels on his machine. The D-Day stripes are applied using regular masking tape cut to specifications gotten from the plan he is using. This produces a great paintjob on his “ugly duckling” test bed model.
His last chapter in the Main Program is a course in how to produce realistic looking wooden planking on a styrene sheet. He has pre-scribed the planks onto the wood and shows you how to give definition to the plank separations. He further shows two methods of creating a wood grain effect on the scribed plastic using a masking technique and a bristle brush method to produce grain lines in the paint.
As in other Compendium presentations there is an index by which you can jump to whatever topic is relevant to what you are working on at present. There are also a number of DVD Extras.
The topics explored in the DVD Extras are first the Choosing and Maintenance of Airbrushes. Geoff introduces you to the airbrush starting with the single-actions brush and takes you through to the Iwata brush he uses. He then presents the methods he uses to clean various makes of airbrush and some hints into how to make it safer for the equipment. Next topic is choosing the paint to use in the process of painting your models. He then goes into detail as to how to mix your paints for the proper use in your airbrushing equipment. Next is the correcting of common mistakes encountered in the process of producing models, such as overspray into areas where another color is supposed to be.
The DVD continues with a profile of Mr. Illsey, in which he outlines his some 50 years in the modeling hobby, from childhood to the present. He further states that he continues to experiment with new techniques and products in his quest to achieve more realistic results. The panorama of his models, presented next, shows his passion for airplanes, also included are some of his American Indian figures and the dancer he used for the fleshtone segment.
The last two segments are a look at his modeling library and some of the source materials he uses in his creation of figures and other models. Lastly is a seven-page compilation of the recommended products used in the production of this video. While I am far from an accomplished air brusher, the likes of Mr. Illsey, I can say that I learned a considerable amount from watching this DVD and recommend it anyone who wants to learn something about the art of the airbrush and the probability of increasing his techniques by watching a master at work.