5) Gearing up to acquire an Airbrush and compressor. I'm looking at the Iwata Medea Eclipse HP CS and their Ninja jet Pro Compressor.
Start with a cheap airbrush, its all you will need for base coating and spraying most mechs, you can do basic blending, stencils, etc. You'll spend more time cleaning the darn thing than spraying, and its best to work out the kinks on a cheap one first (You can get them for less than $20 AUD). This will also give you time to work out how to thin your paints for airbrush usage.
6) I also now have the ambition to start moving away from Citadel GW paint range. Now that they're going up in price again, coupled with the fact that they offer less paint, worse bottles that they come in compared to the competition, it just doesn't make sense to remain with it. I'm actually looking at the Vallejo Game and Game Air Range, perhaps coupled with some of their Mecha range paints. Anyone have any advice on how to best utilize these Vallejo paints?
The are used in the same way as Citadel paints. You get more paint true, but you tend to waste more with the dropper bottles unless you are batch painting with a wet palette, so it kind of evens out.
I've used them primarily for base coating as GW changed the Ultramarine blue on me, where as Vallejo keeps their range consistent.
There is a certain other forum that has a conversion chart, it is reasonably good, but missing a lot of the newer edges.
Air range is OK, but since they are the same price as a normal bottle, mixing your own goes further, so I don't really air brush with them any more. That said, I've found the white is fantastic for painting fine lines, I can't seem to get the ratio right for the GW whites. So can also work as a sort heavy shade, so it can pool into or around areas and still be used to evenly tiny flat areas, black metal is great for this.
I've stuck with GW as I'm lazy, having the colours on the box or their painting app, but the other issue is Vallejo can be a right pain in the backside in Aus, the distributors are not great here, so sometimes you have to mail order a specific colour. It took more than four months to get Ultramine blue back in stock in Aus a while back, so I have a stock pile now lol.
GW is about to do a price hike on their paints as well, it was about a 10% increase in the UK, if keep that percent across the board, then it will be almost $8 a pot here, when I can get a bottle of Vallejo at $4.50-$5, then I'll be migrating to Vallejo.