A while back I did what I thought was a pretty decent job airbrushing a Tau Devilfish, but it's been a while since I picked up my airbrush--a long while. In the meantime I purchased a new airbrush set and compressor, which is much better than the 30-40 year old piece of junk I had. Although, to be fair, if it was still running at 30-40 years old, it must have been pretty good. It lacked a regulator though, so I went ahead with the upgrade.
I've learned that there's a lot of trial and error to airbrushing. Getting the paint properly thinned and setting the correct air pressure is key. Time and again I would mix up some paint, thin it with some water, only to have the airbrush jam. Then I would thin the paint more, and the result would be dirty water spraying over the model. Then I would attempt to thin it midway between the two extremes, and I would test spray the airbrush on a paper towel, and what looked like a good spray of paint would come out. Success...not. By the time I would move the airbrush from the paper towel to the model, it would clog again.
In frustration I ordered some airbrush specific paints (up to this point I used mainly standard model paints). Since my first project was to be a Tiger tank for Bolt Action, I ordered the Vallejo AFV Camouflage set for German Camouflage 1943/1944.
Figuring that since these paints were designed for airbrushing, I would be able to paint with them straight out of the bottle, or at least with minimal thinning. No such luck. I had the same problems I did with the other paints.
I did some searching on youtube for airbrush tutorials to get tips on thinning, but without much success. I finally decided to buy some Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and Flow Improver, in the hopes that these would save the day.
So after that very long introduction, I could finally work on the Tiger tank. Conveniently, the Vallejo German Camouflage 1943/1944 set comes with illustrated instructions on the back of the box:
Step 1: Airbrush Dunkelgelb #604 Surface Primer over the entire model.
Step 2: Airbrush #230 Light over the most exposed areas, centers of panels, and the upper surfaces of the model. This step requires a little bit of control to get the centers of the panels, but I didn't worry about it too much if I didn't get it perfect--this is partially to get a gentle highlight on various parts of the model.
In the next post in this series I will add the decals and start the weathering process.