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Project: Desert Astra Militarum #1

It's been a case of all-hobby, no-bloggy for the last few months. The new edition of 40k has reinvigorated my motivation to build a...

Friday, 2 January 2015

Rant: I Hate Painting Red

Progress is slow on my Eldar Jetbike Autarch conversion—and I have discovered a profound dislike of painting red. I know from past experience that red is a colour that really needs multiple thin coats to get even coverage, but trying to get a clean finish on a predominantly red model is extremely painful! I spent this morning stripping the paint off the Jetbike and will make a new attempt at painting it this afternoon.

So where did it all go wrong?

I started with a black spray primer for natural shading and so I could mask-in the black chevron on the Jetbike canopy that is characteristic of the Saim Hann colour scheme. I then used AP Pure Red spray primer to apply the base red colour. It took several coats to get good coverage over the black primer, leaving the base coat thicker than I would like. When I peeled off the masking tape to reveal the black chevron there was a noticeable ridge along the colour edge.

Next time I will be starting with a light coat of Tamiya Fine Surface Primer, either white or light grey, so I should need fewer coats of AP Pure Red. I will then mask the outsides of the chevron and paint the black on by brush. This should eliminate the problems with paint thickness.

I had a lot of trouble correcting mistakes with AP Pure Red since its coverage is so bad. I tried using GW Mephiston Red first but it still took several coats of AP Pure Red even to cover the darker red base paint. I have since learned that GW Jokaero Orange is apparently a much better base paint for AP Pure Red coverage so I will try that next time.

Ultimately, the biggest fail in my first attempt at painting a red Jetbike was the Quickshade—I love the stuff, it can really produce great results, but it can also ruin models if you screw up the application. In this case, it just dirtied up the flat panels too much, especially on the Jetbike canopy. I thought about using a heavily thinned Quickshade next time, but I think I will avoid it altogether and just use the AP Strong Tone ink as a wash instead. For the Jetbike canopy, I might even just paint the ink directly into the recesses in order to leave the flat panels as clean as possible.

So enough ranting for now; I should make another attempt at painting this Jetbike red, and hopefully I will have some success and WIP pictures to post later.


  1. Washes can be the bane of your existence if you miss a location and it pools up. If you are playing orks it's fine (that is how i cheat)...but otherwise I feel your pain!

    It's even worse if you try to quickly pick it up, then find part of it dried, and now you've got that ugly splotch to try and hide!


  2. I find Quickshade to be an extreme version of an ink wash—done well it's awesome but screw it up and it's a model ruined. In this case I tried to correct using a cotton tip with mineral turpentine but I ended up taking too much shade off, leaving one side flat red and the other nicely shaded!

    To make things worse, I've run out of Pure Red spray and my local hobby supplier has none in stock... things are really not going to plan on this project!!

  3. So how did your Autarch painting go, if I may ask? :) Did you manage to complete and if so, do you have pics somewhere?

  4. He sadly remains partially basecoated only :( I am a slow painter and my attention flits between my Eldar and Astra Militarum, with the latter taking up all my hobby time recently. But the Autarch will get finished, and pics will get posted, I promise you that!