While I was pretty pleased with myself for getting the Retribution army almost painted in time for SmogCon – I could field a fully painted 35 point list, just not quite the one I’d originally set out to do – I was never really happy with it. A few pieces – Garryth and the Arcanist – were obviously rushed and visibly flawed, while others – Ossyran and the Invictors – were victims of my poor choices, and at least one – the Phoenix – hadn’t quite come out how I’d imagined it and I wasn’t sure why.
I was also tempted to flog on a few bits – casters I’d added just to make up the numbers and who didn’t synergise too well with the collection – to make more space for the mountain of Cryx I’ve recently snaffled second-hand, and which needed paint-stripping anyway, as did some of the metal models from my old Vampire Counts army (which I’ve decided to downsize for storage’s sake as much as anything else; I’m keeping the plastics, which I actually like, and hocking off the out-of-production metals if I can).
All this stuff needed a quick dunk in the stripper and I wasn’t too keen on handling more NitroMors – and then I remembered about Fairy Power Spray and Dettol fluid, and how they was supposed to make acrylic paints peel off miniatures like greasy flan (thank you, Mr. Webb, for that charming turn of phrase). Took me long enough to find any – none of the guidance online actually tells you useful stuff like what colour the bottle is, leaving me standing bewildered in several supermarkets trying to work out which Dettol product I was actually looking for. Eventually I snapped, went to Wilkinson’s and just asked someone, and I walked away with two bottles of Fairy Power Spray.
Tell you what, though; they’re not wrong, it DOES work. I must have run about six batches of models through the stuff in the last couple of weeks, and almost all of ’em have come out paintably clean. A few – the Thralls which had been primed with some super-thick paint-rejecting goop which was assuredly not a proper primer, the awkward models with lots of recesses, and the gloss-varnished ‘Grave Guard’ – needed a couple of goes around, but it’s done a damn good job and, as a plus, has dissolved the various things on the models’ bases as well. Stings a bit if you get it on your hands, and I’ve gone through a couple of pairs of gloves with all the vigorous scrubbing, but you can’t have everything.
The process is basically “put models in box with airtight lid, liberally squirt with Power Spray, leave for a day or two, then scrub with damp toothbrush, rinse and scrub until relatively clean”.
Anyway, while I’m still faffing about deciding exactly how I’m going to paint the Cryx (a process complicated by the impending release of the Cephalyx, and I’ve cracked; I do want some!), I’ve decided that it’s about time I actually painted up my Banshee and repainted those Retribution casters and solos who weren’t too well served by my earliest efforts, and maybe had a go at tidying up the weird tones on the Phoenix.
Here are the inspiration images; I hope to have some actual paintjobs to show y’all this time next week.
Not sure what I’ll do about the Battle Mages yet. They might end up as Sunreaver Guardians, in exactly the same outfit as Rahn, with him presented as a first-among-equals type; the other option is a version of the Tirisfal Mage Regalia which brightens the red and replaces the purples with deep greys, tying them to Rahn rather than Ossyran. That’d be much less effort. I’ll probably do that.