Saturday, July 5, 2014

WIP: Tau Crisis Commander Finished

Shit! Forgot to put the post up today because of the holiday! Here's a belated Friday post showing the latest work on my crisis commander.

I put the final touches on the model, thanks to the start of a four day weekend. I painted the head using vallejo gory red, with a downward spray of blood red, to create a natural highlight. I then painted some of the details white, and painted the lens white so that the greens I would paint on it later would be clear and bright.

With the base colors complete, I dry brushed the metal areas using vallejo gunmetal. It's a little bright, but will be knocked back when I apply an oil wash later on. I then dry brushed the base using the two colors, and a mix of white. I also weathered the model by dabbing cold grey along the edges and corners to mimic paint chipping. Lastly, I lightly airbrushed vallejo beasty brown on the feet.

I applied decals on the model by first using GW 'ardcoat to create a gloss finish where the decal would be placed. This creates a smooth, even surface for the decal to adhere to, and prevents "silvering" or bubbling of the decal. It looks strange to see a gloss area on the model, but once the satin varnish is applied over the entire model, the decal blends perfectly.

Once I covered the entire model using vallejo airbrush satin varnish, I prepared an oil wash. I do this by combining a small amount of oil paint with mineral spirits or turpenoid thinner. The wash should have a thin, milky consistency.

Here you can see what a difference the wash makes. It fills smoothly and easily into the panel lines and details of the model thanks to the satin varnish. A little smudging is fine, as it can be easily wiped away an hour later, leaving the details in the crevices.

And here's the finished model! Our battle worn and experienced commander strides confidently onto the battlefield. Quite a difference from the package ready, 'flinching away in fear" pose the model started with. I've only to finish the included weapons options, and he'll be ready to field.



  1. Do you seal again after the oil wash? How long do you let the oil wash dry for?

    Very curious because I've been told I should make my own oil washes for terrain pieces!

    Model looks fantastic. Love the battle damage and asymmetrical color use.

  2. Yes, you seal again. You're not getting too thick with the paint on a wash- it's mostly thinner which evaporates pretty quickly. It'll be dry enough for you to touch with careful handling after it dries overnight, but for best results you should probably wait a couple of days for it to completely dry before sealing and gaming.

  3. Just a quick question could I batch make the wash in a jar or would something go wrong?

    1. Interesting thought. Not sure, to be honest. I suppose if you kept it air tight you should be fine with just shaking it up each time, but I've never tried it. Give it a go and let us know if it still works after a month!
      I mix mine separately each time because sometimes you want thicker/darker wash on some areas, and more diluted in others. Then sometimes you want pure spirits to "pre-lube" panel lines, etc. You wouldn't have that much control if it was premixed, but there would certainly be applications where it would be useful.

    2. Yeah I will definitely let you know how it goes I don't mind about different shades because I am not as fancy/patient as you.

    3. Technically, it SHOULD work. As Deet said, you'd have to shake it up each time, or mix it up with a junk brush, but it should work.

      Generally, though, I mix in small batches because getting the ratio can be tricky. if it's off, it's one thing to add a little more paint or thinner, but on a larger scale, you could possibly end up wasting a lot of either, trying to balance it properly.