Hobby Progress: Dark Angel Infiltrators

Despite my recent lack of activity I can assure that I am still quite alive and active. I have several articles in the pipeline ready to go as I plan to close out 2020 strong. That being said I have a lot of things to say about these infiltrators, both good and bad. This project with the eliminators was one of many ups and downs due to a combination of new techniques and ideas as well as silly mistakes caused by impatience and frustrations.

If anyone has good and bad news for me I always start with the bad news just to get it out of the way first, so let’s start with all the problems I had with these infiltrators. One of the things I was a bit unhappy with was the color of the armor itself. Looking back at the eliminators I did before these guys, I thought that I went too bright with the top highlights on the armor. So when I airbrushed the infiltrators I mixed a bit of the midtone into my highlight color in order to tone down that brightness. However, once I got closer to the end of the project I realized that I also reduced the contrast on the model because I didn’t adjust the midtone or shadows and thus made the armor look a little flatter/uniform than I wanted. It still looks good, probably better than what a tabletop job should be, but next time I’ll be more cognizant of not just the highlights but the shadows as well. So if I do tone down the highlights I will also need to bring down the midtone and shadows as well to keep that level of contrast.

Another issue I had with the project and arguably the thing I am most unhappy with was the decal or transfers I put on the model. In particular the problem I had was with the red arrow squad marking decal I used on the right shoulder of the infiltrator. I can chalk this up to inexperience but as I was applying the transfer I discovered that the curvature of the shoulder area was too extreme for the decal to handle. This resulted in the decal not being able to adhere properly as it couldn’t conform to the shape of the shoulder armor. Imagine taking a piece of copy paper and trying to place it over a small ball, you’ll see that the paper will form creases and bunch up as it attempts to cover which is what happened here. The end result was the appearance of white sections where the decal didn’t properly adhere.

The last two things I was unhappy with were due to user error and impatience which just makes it more frustrating. The first was the application of the Tamiya Panel liner on the left shoulder pad and legs. As I neared the end of the project I wasn’t as careful as I should have been and thus stained areas of the armor I shouldn’t have in fairly obvious areas. The second thing was that I was heavy handed and uneven with the application of the matte varnish and dulled all the metallics on the model but left some areas a bit glossy. I was just rushing at this point and wasn’t really present in the process with why I was so heavy handed with it.

It wasn’t all bad though because there were aspects of the project I did enjoy. One thing I particularly liked were the bases which I was able to knock out fairly quickly using some makeup brushes I got off amazon. This was the first time I actually used the makeup brushes for painting and I was very happy with how quick it was to get such a nice looking finish on all of them. The other thing I really liked were the leather elements; leather was something I struggled with but now I am starting to get the hang of painting a worn leather effect for tabletop miniatures fairly consistently and quickly. One last thing I was proud of is the glass section of the helmet on the back of the sergeant model with the nameplate. I was able to pretty quickly glaze that the gradient in a third of the time it took me to do the same thing on the original scouts I did and served as a pleasant reminder that I did improve or more accurately just suck less now.

All in all it was quite a project and learned a lesson in patience that will probably not sink in until next year. I still need to work on my brush control because my edge highlighting is still kind of sloppy and I think working on that will be the next breakthrough in my minipainting. That being said I have plans to do a couple of display level minis in order to work on just that so look forward to that. At the time of writing this I recently finished a squad of outriders and that was another roller coaster adventure so that will be on here next.

Till next time my wayward compadres.

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