AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

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Le Corbusier
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:12 am

I am still very much a beginner to all of this, but I have to admit, to date I have taken the view that the loco tends to be clean originally and then gets dirty over time. So I start with a base fresh out of the paint shop and build from there. Admitedly, for my period (1902 Midland) the locos tended to be in much better repair than later on. I also use paint for wet/semi wet dirt and weathering powders for dry dirt/dust/rust as I find for me this mimics things better. The effect of washes which are then removed to mimic the cleaning of a well maintained loco seems to work ok maintaining a polished feel whilst leaving grime where it would accumulate.

I shall watch this discussion develop with interest. :thumb
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JackBlack
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby JackBlack » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:05 am

Le Corbusier wrote:So I start with a base fresh out of the paint shop and build from there.


Me too! But I'm looking for new methods. The problem is loco kits are expensive and take a long time to build (compared to WWII aircraft I used to build), so by the time I get to painting stage there's a lot at stake. I'm inclined to buy some old RTR bodies from eBay that I can experiment with a bit...

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Noel
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Noel » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:32 am

Le Corbusier wrote:So I start with a base fresh out of the paint shop and build from there.


This addresses the arrival of dirt, but doesn't deal with possible changes to the colour of the base paints and varnishes [the latter darkened and yellowed over time], due to chemical changes from heat, light and pollution, and the addition of paraffin from cleaning. If a loco has been repainted some time ago, what is under the external accretions may not look as it did on leaving the works, and not all areas would necessarily change in the same way, particularly boilers.
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Le Corbusier
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:00 am

Noel wrote:
Le Corbusier wrote:So I start with a base fresh out of the paint shop and build from there.


This addresses the arrival of dirt, but doesn't deal with possible changes to the colour of the base paints and varnishes [the latter darkened and yellowed over time], due to chemical changes from heat, light and pollution, and the addition of paraffin from cleaning. If a loco has been repainted some time ago, what is under the external accretions may not look as it did on leaving the works, and not all areas would necessarily change in the same way, particularly boilers.


But presumably it still holds true ... even if the starting point is starting clean if somewhat faded ... then the overlayers are added?

It would be interesting to have a view on the degree to which such changes in paint would have effected my period ... crimson lake livery only came in 1883 but that is still 19 years to 1902 ... and some of the Tank engines started life in the green period. I have assumed to date that the engines would have been reasonably well turned out and fresh given the period ... but perhaps there would have been greater variation between the top link 4-4-0s and the older 'Johnsonised' Kirtley stock and the tank engines?
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Daddyman » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:16 am

JackBlack wrote: I'm very interested in what you've done here because the finished result is really effective. I've been using contrasting base colours, darker areas black and more exposed areas in white.

I then apply very thinned coats of the top colours (in this case GWR loco green). The result is nice, but also quite subtle. Once I apply the decals, they look very bright against the faded effect of the top colour, so then I have to start knocking them back, which I do with very thinned greys and sands shot from below. Again it ends up looking okay, but while it tones down the decals it also tones down the original effect of using the contrasting base colours. Then to counter this I'm tempted to start applying powders, oil washes etc, and to be frank I'm not a fan of piling more and more gunk on top of what started as a decent looking faded effect.

I'm going a little bit off topic here (sorry Paul!) but I'd be really interested to see a photo step through how you paint a loco, start to finish.


Thanks for your comments. Your method seems very interesting, and it's that thinking outside the box, and not drinking too much of the weatherers' Kool Aid that is important. However, it's hard to judge your method without seeing the end results.

I don't think I can give you much more with a step-by-step guide for a number of reasons: firstly, I don't have a loco ready! Secondly, my compressor has just gone pop; and thirdy I couldn't really show the all-important final stage of the muck mix as it's a dynamic process of wafting, removing, re-wafting, etc. It's inevitable that, say, the effect of smokebox rust seeping through (rather than being plonked on top of) the muck mix might get lost if I'm too heavy handed with the muck mix, but the mix can be wiped off and re-wafted. But for what it's worth, and in case it can be of any help, my process of painting a loco is:

1. Precision etching primer thinned as per Ian Rathbone's instructions.
2. Top coat - always gloss for transfer adherence.
3. Transfers.
4. Ronseal varnish knocked back to semi-gloss as per Ian's instructions.
5. Humbrol flesh, matt orange and Railmatch dark rust (or Humbrol matt 100) in the appropriate places - see the photos on the last page.
6. Muck mix.
7. Surface treatments when (7) is dry (next day), including soft fibre-glass brushing in places (springs, coal rails), and 2-inch brush side-to-side swiped across boiler top (this leaves traces resembling streaking in the dried paint).

I'm experimenting with ways of representing the patch effect so often seen on side tanks and tender sides. So far I've tried pieces torn from make-up sponges randomly glued to a piece of forty thou about 2" by 1", impregnated with thinners, most of which is blotted off; the plasticard is then pressed against the tender side face down, so that the sponge shreds come into contact with the still-wet paint and remove random points. This wasn't entirely successful as it left a tide mark (again we get this problem of representing dryness with wetness), but it might be worth persevering with. Random masking with Maskol/Copydex was more successful, provided that the resultant pristine spots are then partially covered in muck mix and not left pristine.

Here's more before and after on the D20:

20170312_142716.jpg


20170324_155229small b.jpg

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Le Corbusier
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:28 am

The end result looks fantastic to my eye :thumb
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JackBlack
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby JackBlack » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:28 pm

Daddyman wrote:Thanks for your comments. Your method seems very interesting, and it's that thinking outside the box, and not drinking too much of the weatherers' Kool Aid that is important. However, it's hard to judge your method without seeing the end results.

I don't think I can give you much more with a step-by-step guide for a number of reasons:


It is very helpful, thank you. I'm just trying understand what stage in the process is represented here, because this is what looks most interesting to me:

Loco.jpg


So I'm assuming that at this point you've primed, painted and applied decals as normal? So like Le Corbusier says you start with a "fresh out of the paint shop" loco. Then you are applying the white and the flesh colours in the relevant areas (using flesh by the way is a great idea, I would never have thought of that!).

After that you are going back with the top coat colour, in this case black? Or is this where you are applying the muck mix?

And presumably this answers my question about knocking back the decals.

Daddyman wrote:However, it's hard to judge your method without seeing the end results.


This is that pannier tank after the green has been applied, then decals, and then very thinned grey, sand, dark earth and dark brown have been wafted on from below, however I also then applied a light coat of Klear to seal it all in, which I wish I hadn't as it now has a slight sheen to it (I should have done the Klear prior to the grey/sand/brown waftings):

IMG_20200328_173637395.jpg


Like I said before it's nice but very subtle, whereas your approach has resulted in something a lot bolder, which is more what I'm after.

Regarding the patchy effect on side tanks, tenders and such, there are some really interesting techniques used by car and armour modelers to create patches and chipping. Chipping using salt and patches using hairspray - similar to your random masking experiments. Hairspray (or Klear actually) allows your to easily rub off a top coat in places to reveal the coat underneath - with hairspray it all comes of really easily, Klear you have to rub a bit harder but it's easier to control.

Lots to think about! Cheers, Nick

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Daddyman » Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:21 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:The end result looks fantastic to my eye :thumb

Thank you!

JackBlack wrote: It is very helpful, thank you. I'm just trying understand what stage in the process is represented here, because this is what looks most interesting to me. I'm assuming that at this point you've primed, painted and applied decals as normal? So like Le Corbusier says you start with a "fresh out of the paint shop" loco. Then you are applying the white and the flesh colours in the relevant areas (using flesh by the way is a great idea, I would never have thought of that!). After that you are going back with the top coat colour, in this case black? Or is this where you are applying the muck mix?


This is stage 5. So, yes, primer, paint, decals and varnish done. I didn't quite start with a fresh-out-of-the-shops loco as the chassis never received a black top coat - it just went straight from primer to flesh. And I tend to do this on locos or stock where I'm depicting something knackered. With the motley collection of banjaxed second-hand junk that made up the North Sunderland's collection of stock, for example, everything below the footplate/solebar is straight to flesh.

Regarding your effects, the truth is I don't know. I'm a North British person (North Eastern under duress), so my life is spent doing everything in my power not to look at photos of GW locos, so I don't really know how panniers weather (each class is different). Those characteristic pannier tanks are sure to create a unique weathering pattern on the loco, and the question you have to answer is can just the tanks get dirty as on your model? Can that happen and there still be so many clean areas as on your loco? Honestly, I don't know. What I would say is that I can see how you've done it (wafting with an airbrush), and I think the golden rule of modelling - and especially weathering - is that we should not be able to see how it was done.

Again, it comes down to looking at photos, and that act of looking is not as easy as it sounds: first we have to learn to un-see, like Impressionists learning to paint snow blue. If you have it, British Steam Memories in Colour (a Colour-Rail bookazine), or any colour book on GW locos, even one showing them in BR days, might answer the question of how panniers weather. I got ideas for my D20 from there. Regarding Klear, I'd count it as Kool Aid, I'm afraid; I hear it's very good on floors. Ronseal is a so much more pleasant varnishing experience.

Below is an example of getting it wrong. No freight loco, I suggest, could ever get into this condition (rusty/dusty below the footplate but not above); a passenger loco could, as a result of cleaning the "public" parts above the footplate, but no freight loco on the LNER in the 1930s would, I suggest, be cleaned from one works visit to another. The errors in the weathering are the result of looking at photos (in LNER Steam in Colour) of passenger locos. So it's important not just to look at photos but to look at the right photos. I hope you can forgive me for not looking at photos of real panniers - my nerves are fragile enough in this lockdown situation - but hopefully these thoughts on the art of looking (not weathering) help.

P1060395 crop.jpg
Last edited by Daddyman on Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby JackBlack » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:39 pm

Daddyman wrote:This is stage 5. So, yes, primer, paint, decals and varnish done.


Okay thank you, this gives me something to go on. I do kind of know what I'm trying to achieve, although the colour photos of Panniers in Wales that I have are from BR days and I think in much worse state than I'm aiming for, but it gives me an idea (I won't inflict any on you - mainly because I don't have access to a scanner at the moment, I'm sure to your disappointment :D ).

I guess what I'm struggling with, and I'm trying to understand that here, is how to fade the decals. But I think I need to just experiment more...

Cheers, Nick

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Daddyman » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:48 pm

JackBlack wrote: I won't inflict any on you


Mark of a true gent.

JackBlack wrote: I guess what I'm struggling with, and I'm trying to understand that here, is how to fade the decals. But I think I need to just experiment more...


Very fine brush (0 or smaller) with a lightish mix? I've done it that way with the EWS lettering on diesels. Or spray your fading colour over the letters as precisely as you can, then clean up with thinners on a cocktail stick or similar?

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Daddyman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:34 am

I found this picture of two wagons on the Oban line, one clean, one filthy, and in both cases muck is resolutely refusing to stick in the nooks and crannies of the framing, the way we represent it! Note also how someone has airbrushed Humbrol flesh in a most unconvincing way around the door lock on the leading wagon; they've done a better job using it above the buffer and on the springs though...

20200403_102247(0)_resized.jpg

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JackBlack
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby JackBlack » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:26 am

Look at how the hinges are outlined in black though, and the rivets on the hinges are pronounced in a dark colour, which may be shadow I guess. But a carefully applied dark wash will achieve that effect.

If you look at the nearer wagon, its the variation of the colour that is interesting me at the moment, and how to achieve that. It's also opposite to what I would expect, IE darker in the middle of the panel and then lighter as it gets closer to the stanchions.

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby shipbadger » Fri Apr 03, 2020 12:21 pm

After some years now of working with full size wagons can I suggest that if metal parts are becoming darker it usually means that rust is spreading beneath the paint layer. A tap with a hammer usually results in the paint on the head of a bolt falling off. Round rivet heads seem to last longer before this happens. The weak point for bolt heads/nuts is where there are sharp edges at the joint between the head and the sides of the hexagon. Hinges are darker because if lucky they will have had some oil, either at repaint or when they refuse to open! The colour is a mixture of oil, rust and dirt. Any angle iron will have rust starting on the inside of the angle, unless of course it has been chipped.

There's much more to this if you are looking at wagons which have been standing around for twenty or thirty years awaiting their place in the restoration queue :-)

Tony Comber

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Flymo748
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:05 pm

shipbadger wrote:There's much more to this if you are looking at wagons which have been standing around for twenty or thirty years awaiting their place in the restoration queue :-)


I was over at the GCR a couple of years ago, and took a series of photos of one of their wagons for construction/weathering reference purposes...

IMG_0020.JPG


Better break out the LNER Apple Green for that right hand axlebox!

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Noel
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Noel » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:08 pm

JackBlack wrote:Look at how the hinges are outlined in black though, and the rivets on the hinges are pronounced in a dark colour, which may be shadow I guess. But a carefully applied dark wash will achieve that effect.


In this case I think it is oil; the darker colour is also present on the door catches and the axleboxes, but very little elsewhere.
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Neil Smith
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Neil Smith » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:25 pm

JackBlack wrote:Look at how the hinges are outlined in black though, and the rivets on the hinges are pronounced in a dark colour, which may be shadow I guess. But a carefully applied dark wash will achieve that effect.l.


Another observation of the nearer wagon is that the joints between each plank of the body are definitely darker than the colour of the planks themselves. How much of this is dirt and how much shadow is perhaps academic, the net result is a dark border to the plank. Compare this to the very first image in this thread, where the grey was uniform across the bodyside before any wash was applied.

I also wonder how much of the challenges here are down to the fact that outdoor sunlight is coming from a single source (OK apart from some refraction from the atmosphere but on a sunny day the vast majority is straight from the sun) whereas a model has to look right in very different, usually diffuse lighting. In order to achieve the look of a van in sunlight where even slight areas in shadow will be dark, tricks have to be employed...?

So maybe the dark wash does have its place, but I note too as per Daddyman's recent post that there is not dark accumulations along the upper border of the metalwork, so does it need to be selective?

All the best

Neil

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby shipbadger » Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:41 pm

The green on the axlebox and buffer body will be algal growth. The atmosphere is now so much cleaner that this is now seen much more often than years ago. When we start work on a new wagon the first job is always to give it a good pressure wash to remove all the moss and algae. On one occasion we also had to remove three trees which were rooted in the floor planks.

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Stephan.wintner » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:16 pm

Daddyman wrote:
1. Precision etching primer thinned as per Ian Rathbone's instructions.


Gents this is all fantastic, thank you. If I may ask a newbie question, where may I find Mr. Rathbone's instructions? And, can you tell me what brands of primer?

I'm in the USA, so finding a similar brand may be a challenge - I need a starting point though.

Cheers
Stephan

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:36 pm

Neil Smith wrote:So maybe the dark wash does have its place, but I note too as per Daddyman's recent post that there is not dark accumulations along the upper border of the metalwork, so does it need to be selective?

It's usually feasible to brush on the wash, then swab it off the areas that should not be darkened using a cotton bud. This gets a lot harder on outside-framed vehicles. If the wash is made over a varnished surface, then over-dark areas can be lifted out with a brush dipped in thinners.

I deeply appreciate the movement to "scale" weathering, but I also appreciate what my father, a scenic designer, called "a great theatrical fake": i.e. an effect that convinces the audience can have more value than an accurate representation that does not convince.

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Daddyman » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:20 pm

JackBlack wrote: If you look at the nearer wagon, its the variation of the colour that is interesting me at the moment, and how to achieve that. It's also opposite to what I would expect, IE darker in the middle of the panel and then lighter as it gets closer to the stanchions.


Yes, that was my point. The muck is clearly flying up or down in such an angle that the stanchions are acting as masks.
Neil Smith wrote:
JackBlack wrote: Another observation of the nearer wagon is that the joints between each plank of the body are definitely darker than the colour of the planks themselves. How much of this is dirt and how much shadow is perhaps academic, the net result is a dark border to the plank.


Yes, but I would say it's not as dark as Flymo's wash. It's more like a brown (Railmatch frame dirt?). However, brown would look odd on a pale grey vehicle, so - in the spirit of Guy Rixon's father - I would use a mucky palish grey to tromper l'oeil.

Stephan.wintner wrote:
Daddyman wrote: where may I find Mr. Rathbone's instructions?


Ian's recipe is in his book A Modeller's Handbook of Painting and Lining (a must-buy), page 19: 1 part Precision Paints etching primer, 2 parts of their etching thinners, and 1 part cellulose thinners (anyone's). Do NOT follow Precision's instructions for diluting.

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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby jon price » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:41 pm

I agree with Mr.Rixon. These photographs are taken from close up. We rarely (if ever) view our rolling stock from this close on a regular basis. We have to accept that as a result our rolling stock is an artistic impression designed to have an impact at a distane, not a detailed replica of a close up view.
Connah's Quay Workshop threads: viewforum.php?f=125

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Flymo748
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Apr 03, 2020 8:44 pm

Stephan.wintner wrote:
Daddyman wrote:
1. Precision etching primer thinned as per Ian Rathbone's instructions.


Gents this is all fantastic, thank you. If I may ask a newbie question, where may I find Mr. Rathbone's instructions? And, can you tell me what brands of primer?

I'm in the USA, so finding a similar brand may be a challenge - I need a starting point though.

Cheers
Stephan


Stephan,

The Precision Paints etching primer referred to is probably this: https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/other-paints-solvents/primersandvarnish/etch/50pq1

I'm afraid that I can't be certain if it is the one-part or two-part primer Ian refers to, as that book is one of the very few Wild Swan modelling publications I don't have a copy of.

An alternative, which I haven't tried but I have heard very good things about is this: https://www.amazon.com/U-POL-ACID-PRIMER-M-I-R-COMPLIANT/dp/B003ZWDZ9I

Available perhaps at your local motor factor, or online if you need to obtain it that way. It's definitely one that I'll be trying out in the near future, when my existing stock of Precision primer is used up.

Cheers
Flymo
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Daddyman » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:28 am

Flymo748 wrote: The Precision Paints etching primer referred to is probably this: https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/other-paints-solvents/primersandvarnish/etch/50pq1

An alternative, which I haven't tried but I have heard very good things about is this: https://www.amazon.com/U-POL-ACID-PRIMER-M-I-R-COMPLIANT/dp/B003ZWDZ9I


That seems to be only half the primer: you need PQ2 (the thinners) as well.

I wouldn't recommend U-Pol. I faffed around with it for years and never got anything decent out of it. For a start, as I've now found, it's nowhere near as tough as Precision. But the other thing about it is that it is a very high pressure aerosol, even by aerosol standards, so one ends up spraying very timidly, or too far away, which produces grittiness. The alternative is to "thug spray", and that does produce a good surface, but you run the risk of flooding, and you still have the problem of poor chip-resistance. Precision, being applied from an airbrush, is much more controllable. And if you do get slight grittiness, you can, as Ian says, simply smooth it out by brushing over it (when set) with a dry decorator's brush (1 inch or so). Remember that it needs 24 hours to activate too, and the coat does not need to be opaque - if you need more colour density you can spray over it with a Humbrol matt of the appropriate colour (after the requisite 24 hours of course), which acts as a sort of secondary primer before the top coat.

I've ignored Ian's advice twice in my life - once on this, and once on Ronseal. Both times it ended in tears, and has just resulted in a long, roundabout journey back to the light.

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Flymo748
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Flymo748 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 2:45 pm

Daddyman wrote:
Flymo748 wrote: The Precision Paints etching primer referred to is probably this: https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/products/other-paints-solvents/primersandvarnish/etch/50pq1

An alternative, which I haven't tried but I have heard very good things about is this: https://www.amazon.com/U-POL-ACID-PRIMER-M-I-R-COMPLIANT/dp/B003ZWDZ9I


That seems to be only half the primer: you need PQ2 (the thinners) as well.

I wouldn't recommend U-Pol. I faffed around with it for years and never got anything decent out of it. For a start, as I've now found, it's nowhere near as tough as Precision. But the other thing about it is that it is a very high pressure aerosol, even by aerosol standards, so one ends up spraying very timidly, or too far away, which produces grittiness.


Thanks for the advice on U-Pol. I'll give it a miss myself.

The main reason for mentioning it was that Stephan is in the States. Even leaving aside the current coronavirus situation, I don't know if Precision would/could ship overseas.

Looking at their website, I fear that they don't, in which case it's an empty recommendation unless someone is flying back or forth across the Atlantic. I and friends used to have a regular traffic back and forth with motorbike parts in hand luggage...

https://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/delivery#intern

Cheers
Flymo
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Re: AK Weathering Wash for Panzer Grey...

Postby Stephan.wintner » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:59 pm

Cheers gents. I need to pick up that book.

I may not be able to order Precision's primer but now I know where to dig, and can compare with stateside offerings.

Stephan


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