I’ve wanted a Firespray for a while but until they were reprinted and finally reached the stockists it wasn’t really viable as I didn’t want one anywhere near enough to pay double for it. As I’ve mentioned before I am a Rebel player exclusively and while I’ve toyed with the idea of picking up some Imperials I’ve yet to take the plunge but the Firespray changed that, sort of.
I mostly got a Firespray because I’ll certainly be picking up Most Wanted for my Rebels (2 more Z95 and another Y-Wing plus Y-Wing bomb load-outs? Yes please!!!) and it has Scum and Villainy dials and Pilot cards for a Scum Firespray and HWK. This means that, right out of the gate, I’ll be able to field a number of different Scum lists, if I want, and this meant that picking up a Firespray was justifiable.
The standard Firespray is painted to be Slave-1, which is all fine because Boba Fett is awesome and his Scum Pilot card is awesome but I wanted something a little bit different. I also don’t really like the engines which are painted and think that they could be made to look much better. All of this added up to my first X-Wing repaint being my new Firespray. The way I looked at it, it’s a Scum ship and so if I make a mess of it then it doesn’t really matter all that much.
Before we start, a little disclaimer- I don’t profess to being a great painter and so anyone with a reasonable amount of skill could likely produce a much better finish but I thought I’d be interesting to talk about how I went about painting the ship.
Colour-wise I wanted the skirt to be a deep green, akin to the basic Bounty Hunter Pilot Card art. The Engines I wanted to paint to be a light blue glow, which is colour I’ve seen painted on ships a number of times online and I like it a lot.
The first thing I did was to mask up the ship using some very low tack masking tape. I made sure the canopy and the area adjacent to the skirt were all covered as I only want to paint certain sections of the ship. A word of warning here, low tack masking tape is very hard to use in small pieces as they don’t have enough tack, individually, to hold to the ship. I had to interlace several pieces to ensure proper coverage.
I decided to begin painting with the engines as they were small and would allow me to test how the paint would apply and how much undercoat would be needed to cover the existing paint. Ideally I didn’t want to have to strip the model but I also didn’t want to obscure detail. Fortunately the engines have very little detail and so if it went wrong I’d be able to fix it pretty easily.
As I’ve said I wanted to go with a blue glow for the engines. This would mean several layers of paint to gradually bring the colour from blue to almost white. The best blue I could find to fit the image in my head was an old GW paint, Enchanted Blue. It’s a rich middle of the ground blue that isn’t quite as dark as a more Regal blue or as plain as an Ultramarine blue.
As the engines were already a darkish muddy pink I decided that they would need an undercoat and as I wanted a nice clean blue glow, I went with white and used the standard GW Skull White (I have no idea what they call it now). I should point out at this point, to save repeating myself, that I always water my paints down. It varies how much depending on what I want them to do but in general I go to about a 50/50 water/paint mix. The white went on nice, smooth and even, giving good coverage without needing multiple coats. It didn’t obscure the pink entirely but it did enough so that it wouldn’t be noticed through the blue.
The first layer of blue was the straight blue, with no white mixed in to provide a base background colour for the engines. I then applied successive coats of blue mixed with increasing amounts of white to gradually bring the colour up from blue to just off white. On the round engines the lighter colours were applied in ever decreasing circles and on the strip engine I just applied thinner and thinner lines down the middle, decreasing the length of the line on the last couple of coats so as to imply that the very middle is glowing almost white.
After applying the last coat I used GW’s Eshin Grey to touch up the engine housings and provide some contrast from the light blue of the engine cores. I then applied a blue wash (Ahriman Blue) to the engines just to soften the lines between shades and bring the whole thing together.
For the skirt of the ship I wanted it to be a deep and strong green but I also wanted it to look worn and patchy, similar to the red on the stock model. As the ship itself would likely have been undercoated grey that’s what I went with, using a 50/50 mix of Eshin Grey and Dawnstone Grey from the GW range. I applied this liberally around the skirt and made sure that it looked nice and even.
I then used a heavily watered down GW Knarloc green for the green coat. This was watered down as far as it would go and still hold as it’s a base paint and very pigment heavy. Despite this watering the green coat looked both heavy and dull once it was dry.
I wasn’t particularly pleased with how the green came out initially and so I wanted to add some extra depth as well as make it look worn. I considered a number of techniques but, in the end, I just applied a little GW Devlin Mud wash to the area’s between panels on the skirt to give some depth and contrast. I then took a sanding block to the skirt, roughly removing the applied paint all the way down to the red on the stock model and a little beyond. This method gave a satisfying worn look to the model, as if it had seen battle and traversed asteroid fields.
I then mixed a little of the Knarloc green with some white to lighten it a couple of shades and watered it down heavily before applying it sparingly to the panels to give them a little bit of depth. I was very careful in doing this as the stock model isn’t highlighted and I didn’t want to end up repainting the whole thing as it might look out of place against the rest of the ships and snowball into having to repaint everything.
Once this final highlight was done I removed the masking tape and checked the model for unpainted spots or over paint but was pleased to see that the masking tape had done its job and the paint job looked clean and neat.
That’s it. All in all it took me about 2 hours to paint the model with about another hour of fiddling with the masking tape before I started. It was a nice little project and I’m pleased with the overall result.