So I promised some WIPs for my Chaos Marines and I was able to spend some time on them this week. Just as I show here, I have been working with using my airbrush for mass base coats. I am still tinkering with the process, but I am fairly pleased with what I have here. This is pic below is the finished product and what the rank and file of the army will look like.
After the jump I have a walk through on how I did the base color.
I want to start off by apologizing for the crappy photos. I am not real sure they are that essential to the process and I was in a hurry so I shot them all by hand with no tripod or care for lighting. Also I am not giving any colors in this one because the colors are pretty irrelevant. You should be able to make this work for almost any color. Just be sure to choose a light enough highlight color so the shading shows after the wash.
To start all this off I took my assembled models and attached them to paint sticks. The paint stick is simply a paint stick from a hardware store with some double sided carpet tape stuck on it. This holds the model on pretty well and with the exception of some heavy pewter minis you can manipulate the stick so it makes it easier to spay underneath.
Start off with a black spray base coat. I do this out of a can because it is simply easier and I am more confident in the coverage out of a can. If you are unable to spray outside you could always do this with the airbrush but I have never tried it so I can not attest for the results. After the spray paint dried I took some black in my airbrush and hit any areas that the can missed as well as give the entire minis a light once over.
Once the black was dry I took some light grey and gave a heavy directional spray from the top down. My hope here is that the more layers I have on the higher edges that are lighter than the shadows the better the transition will be.
After the gray dried I took my base shadow color and sprayed in on the entire miniature. There is a slight transition where I sprayed the gray earlier.
To try and strengthen the transition I sprayed another top down coat with a bright pink color. At this point you have to consider the color you are going to wash with. It will shade this top down coat in the same fashion as the base coat so be sure to keep that in mind. Since I am washing with purple I will use a pink highlight.
The next step is to wash the entire mini with your wash. I choose purple here but you can use what will blend your base color the best. I have sprayed this wash out of my airbrush or you can easily do it with a regular brush. The difference will only be time vs paint used. Hand brush takes more time but the airbrush uses more paint. With a brush every bit of paint you use ends up on the model, but with the airbrush quite a bit ends up as overspray. You can see here some of the shadows have developed and the pink I used to highlight looks like a light purple.
Finally an additional wash of the purple. This reinforces the shadows and enriches the color.
I have used purple here, but this technique could easily be adapted to almost any color. Also, you could experiment with different combinations of washes to perhaps give a different look. You could use different colors for the washes or even mix your own color washes. Another thing to try would be to spray on the highlight color in between the washes. Just take this and run with it and see what you get.