Airbrush and Drybrush Painting Technique

AllieCat Art and Cosplay shared this great tutorial on how to achieve the look of her painted armor for her Lieutenant Allison Jakes from Privateer Press: Warmachine which you can see the build gallery of here.

What I used:

Iwata Studio Series Smart Jet air compressor
Iwata Eclipse Gun
Hot knife
Rust-Oleum Black Primer Spray Paint
Createx Airbrush Paints
P3 Paints
FolkArt Acrylic Paints
LePage Wood glue
scotch tape

*I mixed the Createx and P3 together for the perfect shades of Cygnar Blue/Yellows

1. Before painting your armor piece be sure to clean the surface of any remaining residues. For the damage/scratches use a hot knife to cut into the worbla at random and be careful not to cut too deep. PSA: If you’re not sure if it’s on *DO NOT TOUCH IT* A good way to test is flicking a bit of water on it to see if it sizzles =]

2. To begin priming your piece smooth I used 4 layers of woodglue. *The advantages to wood gluing is that the drying time is much faster but you can’t sand it while Gesso takes longer to dry and requires more coats but can be sanded. It can also be used in combination but whatever your preference is will work fine!

3. After the wood glue has dried smooth out any lumpy surfaces by wetting your fingers and buffing it out or sanded smooth if you used Gesso.

4. First prime the whole piece black with the Rust-Oleum spray paint as a basecoat.

5. Then switch to the airbrush to create the darker blue base coat and careful to not go too far to the edges to create the black-blue gradient.

6. After thats done airbrush on a lighter shade of blue as the middle highlight.

7. And then airbrush the white highlights.

8. After the blue is done mask off the inner areas that you want to keep blue with the scotch tape and paper then airbrush the inside edges white.

9. Airbrush black in the corners and create a white-black gradient on both edges.

10. Remove the tape and make sure everything looks nice, don’t worry too much if some paint seeped through cause you can just take care of it in the dry brushing stages. =]

11. At this point all the airbrushing is complete and you can switch over to your Acrylic paints and dry brushes.You can now paint all the detailing bolts and trim silver.

12. Using black drybrush along all the edges and creat a drop shadow around each bolt/all the trim, cleaning up any white around the edges.

13. I then painted the Cygnar crest black and added all the drop shadows around it then painted in the damage/scartches with more black and subtle while/light blue highlights along the edges of the scratches to help make them pop.

14. I carefully painted the crest in with yellow and it took 8 coats to make it really pop.

15. After the crest was done I outlined it again with black to make the edges super crisp and dry brushed in some brown for low lights.

16. To finish it off I dry brushed on a few white highlights to the crest and voila! Painting complete heart emoticon

Now the only thing you have to consider is if you want a gloss, semi-gloss or matte finish to your armor. I personally use Semi-Gloss but it also depends on what kind of armor/prop you’re painting. ^^

**One thing I would advise though is to paint all your armor first to make sure it’s all matching before putting on the final finishes**

This was my first time using this painting method and as well my first painting tutorial so I hope you enjoyed it!! Big thank you to Vancouver Cosplay for all the awesome progress pics and to NefeniCosplay for giving me ideas of how I wanted to paint my armor