So I’ve tucked in a couple of pictures of Bettys and Spitfires under construction. As you can see, they are a bit further along.
The Spitfires are in their late 1941 camo, with medium gray and military green both by Vallejo. I paint their cockpits a Ceramcoat Light Gray. The next step is a bit tricky.
The best airplane painter of all time, period, the end is Paul Hannah. Some of you may know him from his work with DBA and breathing fun into a set of rules that on their face are not. Paul was a stickler for a couple of things around painting wee planes. He is the first who raised the issue of scale and brightness of color. The smaller the scale of the plane, the lighter the color should be, lest the detail or the subtlety of the color scheme be lost entirely. (Paul also used to beautifully hand paint all his markings, but ’nuff said about that-because that’s just crazy talk.)
That being the case, I decided not to actually lighten my color, feeling that to reproduced the tinted colors over and over again would be impossible I “scrubbed” both the Betty bombers and the Spits. It’s sort of an intense version of dry brushing with less paint on the brush. I use it with a very ratty Army Painter dry brush. A little bit of white paint on the end and then scrub away. It’s super important that almost all the paint is off the brush, or you end up in repaint mode. It has two effects: it definitely lightens whatever the paint is, and it also offers a bit of a “weathered” effect.
Then it is on to detailing. I always paint charcoal gray or black in the wing panels and the creases caused by control surfaces. It just adds a bit more to the miniature. I also do my best to paint the framing for the canopy or other plexiglas surfaces. Just adds a bit more to the complexity of the miniature. Yes I use a small brush. I have a 5/0 from Dick Blick I use only for this purpose, but I also have an Army Painter “insane detail” brush that is less expensive and will also make due.
I’ll be moving on to the light undersides and the yellow forward edge markings next. I’ll show off again when the planes are completed less their edge markings.
Music to Paint By. Story. My only brush with rock royalty was in 1999 when my son Patrick, age 19, played with his high school band at the Ballard Firehouse. His was one of two bands who opened for rock great Robin Trower. I was able to say hello to Trower, though I don’t think he ever actually acknowledged me. He impressed me as a small, very out of place Englishman who didn’t really fit in with his Ballard surroundings.
I don’t want to say I’m big fan of Robin Trower. I do want to say that some of his music is absolutely unbelievable. The sound he gets out of his guitar, the textures of sound he’s able to create are absolutely incredible–on Bridge of Sighs, his best known and, critically, best received work. I haven’t listened to a lot of his other records. In City Dreams is quite good, and For Earth Below is okay.
When Pat and I were up at Georgetown records the other day, we were thumbing through the magical $3.00 bin and I spied Truce, a 1981 collaboration between Trower and former Cream bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce. I thought it might be an interesting combination of musical talents. Unfortunately, I couldn’t grab it, because, under the rules of the game we were playing it couldn’t be a band I knew or had in my collection and I had some Trower.
But on Friday, I zipped into Tacoma to pick up some record sleeves at High Voltage and dipped in to see if there was anything “I had to have.” We know this term in gaming don’t we? It so happened they had a copy of Truce and I had a 20% off coupon, so we were made for each other.
I took the record home and threw it on the turntable as I was painting Bettys. I can’t call this a brilliant record or give it five stars, but it is really good. It’s pretty stripped down blues based rock. Trower gets to show off his chops as a great guitarist and Bruce fits right in, with some of his best work since Cream. It’s hard rock, not for the faint of heart, but it’s melodic and accessible, and a pleasure to listen. There is no single track that stands out, but likewise, there is nothing trashy either. The perfect record to paint your basic Tiger IE, or Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard.
Trower and Baker have one more collaboration with drummer Bill Lordan called BLT (oh how cute) that has joined by wantlist, so one more record to look out for.