12 May 2016

I paint... I fucked up something! - Brigade Model 6mm vehicles - Proxy Dropzone Commander UCM

The events chronicled in this post actually happened last winter... It took me that long to be able to face it and blog about it!

I don't enjoy the painting part of the hobby (did that sounds GWish, or should I say the Hobby™?) and don't have any ambition to become an expert painter... I just like playing with painted (not to mention based and taken out of their package) minis and don't have the disposable income to have them painted.

It looks even worse in real...
So after a lot of research (cough procrastination cough) I went with Army Painter and their "basecoat your mini directly in its primary colour without an airbrush", "paint everything that's not that primary colour in bright uniform patches" and "dip the mini in Magic Goo™ that shade and highlight all the right parts of the mini without any work or talent" system...

Following up on my using 6mm vehicles and 1/3000 spaceships as proxy for a Drop Zone Commander UCM army, I bought a bunch of Brigade Models vehicles at Crisis 2015 (actually I wasn't able to attend due to Real Life™ - yes, I know - I seem unable not to use the "" character those days - getting in the way, but a friend picked up my order)...

The goal was to proxy a "Core UCM Starter Army", so:
  • 3 "Sabre" MBT: DE "Thor" MBT hulls & FR "Catroux" MGS (6mm SF);
  • 3 "Rapier" SPAA: DE "Thor" MBT hulls & DE "Lynx" APC twin AA gatlings (6mm SF);
  • 3 "Bear" APC: FR "Catroux" APC hulls & FR "Javelot Dune Buggy" twin MG (6mm SF);
  • 3 "Condor" medium dropships: Modular Container Ship (Spaceships).
For the record, the official Dropzone Commander (10mm) minis I was trying to proxy...
Picture from the manufacture website.
And I added a couple of units I liked/wanted:
  • 2 "Longbow" howitzers: DE "Fixed AA Mount" bases with CN "Mao Zhedong" howitzer (6mm SF);
  • 2 "Archangel" interceptors: DE "Hornisse" interceptor (Squadron Commander);
  • 1 "Seraphim" strike fighters: DE "Galland" attack fighter (Squadron Commander).
I just love how extensive Brigade Models range is and manages to provide a dozen factions that are stylistically distinct yet still look like they belong to the same universe. Because of that you can extend the range even further by simply mixing and matching hulls and turrets and creating entirely new variants (think export variants of a platform fitted with third party systems by the client)...

So the painting:
  • I sprayed everything "Army Green": good coverage, nice military olive-drabish colour, check... 
  • I painted the wheels black and a couple of details (gun, vents) "Gun Metal", check...
  • The fighters got a "Uniform Grey" basecoat with "Turquoise Blue" cockpits, "Pure Red" engine exhausts (I didn't have any "Lava Orange") and some black details...
  • I splashed Magic Goo on (according to the instruction manual, you can actually dip the mini in the tin then shake the excess goo away, but it seems wasteful, messy and risky (stand by for miniature launch...); so I went with Army Painter secondary method which is to simply paint the goo on the mini with a brush...), so far so good...  
  • But then I sprayed everything (yeah, I know, what happened to testing on just one mini?) with matte varnish (the goo should protect the minis quite well by itself, but is very shiny)... That promptly frost, covered every edge and detail with a white coat and flaking on all flat surfaces! I spray in the garage, it was winter, maybe too cold, probably too humid and I might have sprayed too heavily... Update: I didn't use AP varnish but a can of "Mr Hobby - Mr Super Clear" my brother (the talented painter in the familly) recommended; but he wouldn't be seen dead with anything as crass as AP Quickshade so he wouldn't know about any interaction between both products...
Nothing wrong with Army Painter stuffs as far as I can tell, but still nothing to show for all my hard (yeah...) work!

It took me 6 months to manage to take a picture of it...


  1. Good thing you're making early winter themed scenery, right? RIGHT?
    Kidding aside, that's a bummer. I've only had the frosting effect occur once, and I was lucky it was only on 3 vehicles. Took steel wool amd simplegreen to them (lightly!) and it all came off ok. Still, a lot more work than I had intended. Good luck!

    1. Thanks for the sympathy... I actually tough about winter themed scenery as a perfectly serious solution :-S

      Not sure I can bear the idea of putting more work into those yet! They might well end up in a drawer forever...

      I've only had it occur once too, but given that this is my second painting project ever, I've got the sensation that one in every two minis I paint ends up like that... Discouraging, noooooo!

  2. This happens with Army Painter Varnish on large flat-ish surfaces or if you try spraying too much on too quickly. I find a very short burst, dry, another burst seems to do the trick. On the subject of the gunk - its a bit of a pain. I use Johnson Wax floor cleaner (will be called different things in different countries) with Ink added (any old ink any colour you like that you would put in a fountain pen). It's cheap - does exactly the same thing but is not an oil based gunk so dries really quick and doesn't destroy everything. I also recommend the dip method - but with this all you need do is gently let the excess drain back in coffee jar or chosen container and then I use a brush to draw out excess build up. Water washable so no need for expensive cleaner fluids. Works like a dream.

    1. I've read a lot about home cooked alternatives to AP Goo... Not sure I'm there yet.... Call me chicken!

      I think very short bursts of varnish are indeed one of the key to avoiding the frosting fuck up!

  3. Hey if it helps share the pain, I once varnished my carefully-painted napoleonic 15mm Old Guard battalions with the wrong spray can - of white primer...