Down and Dirty in Neu Celle

Last time I airbrushed my collection of 15mm desert buildings with a base coat of Tamiya Deck Tan, leaving them looking rather pristine for a beaten up, backwater colony on Mars. The next stage of painting my Martian desert township of Neu Celle was to give all of the buildings a dark wash to dirty them down a bit. Using my newly rediscovered airbrush (only a cheap and nasty Humbrol model, but good for work like this) I planned to give each building a coat of the new Agrax Earthshade wash (I used to use Devlan Mud for this, Agrax Earthshade is the closest match in the new Citadel paint range). Applying a wash using an airbrush seemed a bit odd, but I read about it in a White Dwarf article once, so it must therefore be a Good Idea™.

So I watered down a pot of Agrax (not much, since it’s thin enough already), put it in an airbrush bottle and off I went.

It didn’t really work. It spattered, ran, pooled … all the things that could go wrong when airbrushing. I’m not sure why, it might have been because I thinned the wash, it might have been my cheap airbrush (but that worked fine last week Tamiya paint). After one building I gave up, reached for a large brush and reverted to old-fashioned methods !

I slopped the wash on quite generously, making sure that I concentrated on getting the walls darker at the bottom (gravity helps a lot here !) and that there was a nice dark line in the deeper crevices and joins. The photos below show the results while still wet.

Once dried, the end result is … well … OK. It’s patchy (this is fine, the last thing I want is a regular finish anyway), has tide marks (not so good, but hopefully won’t be obvious after drybrushing) and most annoyingly, in some of the crevices it’s dried to an odd, pale dusty colour – not the dark shading effect I wanted at all !

Now at this point, the fashionable thing to do would be to blame all of the ills of the world on Games Workshop – after all, the old Devlan Mud wash worked brilliantly on my previous buildings, the new equivalent doesn’t, therefore it must be their fault for changing the paint range. I’m not going to do that (yet), since I mucked around with the wash by diluting it which could well have changed its properties. I’m going to give the buildings a selective second coat with undiluted wash, and I’ll make a more informed decision at that point.

While washing the Villa model, I discovered that the wall around the roof had become warped – I don’t recall it being like this when I base-coated the models, so I can only assume that I’ve inadvertently put another model on top of it and it’s warped a little bit (it does get hot in the shed during the summer). No problem, a little hot water and some gentle pressure and it’s back into line again.

UNIT Recon

I have a favourite ink called (liquatex I think) Antelope Brown, which is a good sh*t colour I use for everything. Thin 50% put on with big brush, job done.