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Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

I have some white armour I'm needing to do and my general experience with white through an airbrush is less than satisfactory. In other words, every time I attempt zenithal highlights with a white acrylic paint, all I get is a very grainy, speckled or misted finish. I've tried all sorts of combinations of thinning and psi, brush formulations and airbrush forumlated paints and for the life of me I just can't get them to airbrush smoothly. It's my nemesis. I should note that I do use a dark grey, light grey, white gradient which helps, but doesn't completely eradicate the problem.

Anyway, I'd heard that white ink, in contrast, is much better for gaining a smooth transition. So, time for some tips if you please:

1. Do I need to buy a range of grey inks too, and build it up via those - or will a blast of white suffice for a smooth gradient (With the middle tones provided by the black undercoat darkening the thinner whites)?
2. I've heard Daler Rowney white is awful - are there any specific brands people prefer and reasons why?
3. I assume inks are thinned enough already - should I be thinning them?
4. What psi should I be aiming for - I usually spray around 15 to 20 psi, do inks require lower or higher psi?

Any help would be much appreciated

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Made in gb
[DCM]
Procrastinator extraordinaire





Edinburgh, UK

So I've been using white ink for a good while now for everything from zenithal priming to fine detail work with both a brush and airbrush and it's a million times better than most white acrylics (Kimera's "The White" is the only one I enjoy using), although I've recently picked up Tamiya XF-2 flat white, which is meant to be even better than white ink.

1. No need to buy any grey tones, you can thin white ink to reduce the opacity of the ink and with slow layering, you can build up a nice sketch of your values from black to grey. If you use it for anything other than a zenithal prime, I'd recommend a mid-tone to help even out the transition, but that's a middle-man you could skip if you wanted.

2. I use Daler Rowney FW white ink and have never had an issue or complaint with it. It's been a main colour for my excoriators space marines. I've spoilered some examples:
Spoiler:






3. You can use inks right out of the bottle although if you're worried about opacity, they can be thinned with thinner and flow improver to stop dry tip.

4. 15-20psi is fine for most things, although you may want to increase it if you're after speedy zenithal shading. I can't give you an exact number, but high enough so you don't get speckling which can ruin a pre-shade.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/05/06 12:03:39


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Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

Those marines speak volumes in themselves - superb!

I'm keen to hear other peoples experiences, but your advice lays my mind at rest T.H. I'll perhaps buy a mid grey for some flexibility/insurance, but it's good to know that Daler Rowney's offerings aren't as poor as some users have made out. I'll also grab a pot of XF-2 - I've had good results with Tamiya so far, and they're rather inexpensive too.

Cheers for the info T.H!

Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

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Numine Et Arcu
 
   
Made in gb
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Seconding the notion thar DR's white ink is great. It's a little thicker than the Vallejo inks I use for other colours, but easily thinned with water or medium (side note, Vallejo's glaze medium works nicely for taking down the opacity of inks without,them getting too runny). I do use it via brush rather than airbrush, so I can't say whether you'd need to thin it for that, but in terms of opacity, coverage and mixing it's great.

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Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

Excellent - thanks Para. I have some glaze medium, so I'll bear that in mind for evening out the transitions

Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

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Made in us
Stealthy Grot Snipa





Atlanta, GA

I use the Liquitex white artist's ink without thinning at about 20psi and haven't experienced any issues.
   
Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

I've gone with the Daler Rowney in the end, but thanks for the input Mr. Grey. I'll bear Liquitex in mind if DR doesn't work out

Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

Now with 100% more blog: 'Beyond the Wall'

Numine Et Arcu
 
   
Made in us
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San Jose, CA

I'll recommend Tamiya XF-2 for this, best white I've used.
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Can I ask why your using inks to zenithal highlight?

It been a whil but in the past I primed the mode with a black primer (green stuff world) and then did the Zenithal Vallejo white primer.

The Vallejo one is very then and no good with a brush, compared to the GSW primers that work well out the bottle with brush or airbrush.
   
Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

Simply put; because white acrylic paints are notorious for speckling, and I'm out of paitience trying to find a happy medium to get acrylic paint to work. Inks are a well regarded alternative, so that's what I'm aiming for.

If your question referred more to 'why inks and not primer', it's a common misconception that Zenithal is a technique which is only done with primer. It can be done with any medium.

But thanks for the heads up for GSW primer - that may be a handy piece of knowledge

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





 Warpig1815 wrote:
Simply put; because white acrylic paints are notorious for speckling, and I'm out of paitience trying to find a happy medium to get acrylic paint to work. Inks are a well regarded alternative, so that's what I'm aiming for.

If your question referred more to 'why inks and not primer', it's a common misconception that Zenithal is a technique which is only done with primer. It can be done with any medium.

But thanks for the heads up for GSW primer - that may be a handy piece of knowledge


Yeah in my experience they are really good.

Yeah zenithal and sketching can be done at any point, sure. I haven’t had the best experience spraying ink but I’ve been thinking about it and I think my compressor was too high pressure.
   
Made in gb
Esteemed Veteran Space Marine






Northumberland, England

In hindsight, I didn't answer that question all that well mrFickle. The reason I'm going for inks specifically, is because they have a smoother transition (apparently). I have no idea why I made the assumption that you were proposing zenithal was for primer only, so apologies if my answer appeared arrogant .

Basically, I want to paint white, can't be bother with the hassle of white paint, so I'm trying ink as the alternative

Into the Fires of Battle! Unto the Anvil of War!

Now with 100% more blog: 'Beyond the Wall'

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Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Sure it makes sense, whit paint is pig to work with. The Vallejo primer is the only white I’ve airbrushed and it’s thin, toooooooo thin for brushing, so the transitions were pretty good I thought but im a rookie in airbrushing.

But I’m not trying to get you to switch to the white primer as obviously they are two very different things
   
 
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