A section to document my experiences in building and painting various ships.

Shaltari Frigates (3/12/17)

I recently received my Dropfleet Commander ships and they just screamed out "magnetize me". I decided to start with the Shaltari Frigates as they seem to be the simplest to magnetize. After reviewing the instructions, magnetization is simple: a magnet on the frigate body, another on the front weapon (I used 2mm x 1mm disc magnets). Painting, on the other hand, looked very complex. As far as I can tell, there are no painting guides on how to paint Shaltari ships. Looking at videos on how to paint Dropship Commander Shaltari (such as this one), I decided to go for the traditional orangish color. This was a nice fleet to paint as I had never really used washes extensively and the Shaltari paint scheme really highlights the use of washes. I generally use craft paints so this would be a good test on both how well the paints work out and in making my own washes for these ships.

1) Prep mini followed by (Model Master) white primer and yellow base coat (Craftsmart Yellow).
2) Wash with red (Craftsmart Red) x2.

Left: After priming and yellow base coat, Right: after 1 red wash
After one wash with red, I thought the orange tone was a little light. After a second red wash, the shade was appropriately dark, maybe a little too red.

Left: yellow base coat, Right: after 2 washes of red.
Close up after 2 washes. 
3) Wash with dark brown (Craftsmart Chocolate Brown)

After wash with dark brown
4) Paint details
Mostly complete Shaltari frigate body
To lighten up the model a little bit, I used a light dry brush (Craftsmart light yellow). The drives were painted with Tamyia Chrome Silver. For larger areas of silver, a black wash was added to bring out the details. The "gem" bumps were painted dark blue (Ceramcoat Ocean Reef Blue) and highlighted with light blue (Apple Barrel Light Blue). The "bridge" was painted with dark green (Craftsmart Grass Green) and light green was blended in for highlights (Ceramcoat Oasis Green). A yellow dry brush (Craftsmart yellow) was used to highlight the bumps on the "bridge section. After completion, everything was protected with Krylon Matte Finish.

5) Final results

Completed frigates with interchangeable parts.
As you can see, the frigates came out better than I expected. The magnets allow for quick interchange and they hold very well. You just have to remember to pick up the model by either the stem or the body. As far as painting, it was easier than I thought it would be. I learned a considerable amount about making your own washes and using them with this project. I am very happy with the results. I think I'll try the PHR next.

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