Starting to paint stuff

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John Bateson
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Starting to paint stuff

Postby John Bateson » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:23 am

I have a number of things that need painting and am psyching myself up to start using a recently acquired quality paint mask and a couple of airbrushes acquired a couple of years ago which are as yet untested apart from a couple of experiments with a good compressor.
I also have a small stock of Tamiya Masking Tape of different widths, as I suspect it will be needed.
So apart from the paints I have which appear to be as old as I am I am ready to start.

Most parts ready to be painted have Halfords etch primer as a base coat, which also helped to iron out spurious lumps and bumps.
The models are to painted as ex-works.

Question?
Starting with the black stuff on chassis - these seem to be gloss black.
Do I use Halfords Gloss Black or Halfords Satin Black or Precision paints or something else.
Are acrylics the way to go - and if so which ones.
I guess I will need varnish on top of any lining - so which one.

It is a long time since I did any painting and it was never very successful, so I am prepared to dump all previous experience and techniques into the bucket of antiquity and start afresh with advice from this group.

John

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JackBlack
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby JackBlack » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:28 am

Hi John,

Personally I prefer enamels for airbrushing these days, not only do you have all the correct colours available from Precision (assuming they're still available), but acrylics tend to dry really fast and clog the nozzle of the airbrush (in my aircraft modelling days I ended up using Golden Airbrush Medium as a thinner/retarder, which helped a bit). I use Precision, Humbrol and Revell paints and thin with Revell Color Mix to the consistency of skimmed milk, and you can spray for 30 minutes or more with no problems. Obviously it's more of a pain cleaning the brush after (and smellier), but I have one of those sealed glass pots that you spray thinners into through the brush to clean, which I do after every colour, and then wash all the parts in water (being careful not to drop the nozzle down the plughole again...).

I too use Halfords primer, great stuff. And for before and after decals Johnson's Klear (there's an equivalent product these days) brushed on, weather with oils and then Alclad Klear Kote. I have yet to try weathering powders, but I have some sat in front of me now.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos from aircraft and military modelers as I really like their techniques - Plasmo is particularly good (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC53hZg ... FRFSpxbSxw).

Hope that helps! Cheers, Nick

Philip Hall
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:30 am

I would be careful with acrylics in these current temperatures, although for brushing the Humbrol ones are my usual brew. I did a little bit of painting last night using Tamiya acrylic, and I found the paint curdling a few moments after mixing as I was putting it on! My garden workshop is not too hot, but still warmer than comfortable. It might be Tamiya, I haven’t used them in a while. Some Humbrol enamel gloss varnish went off pretty quickly though and was hard this morning.

When I last used an airbrush (about fifteen years ago) I used it to spray acrylics and they did indeed seem to clog the airbrush, although that was a DeVillbiss Sprite which had a very fine nozzle. In trying to clean it out I ended up with a breathing problem which has kept me away from such devices ever since.

For painting a chassis I would use a satin or matt black aerosol, Halfords is usually a good choice. I would also use aerosols for the final coat on a simple engine, like green, blue or red, but again, not now because of the temperatures. For black wheels and carriage roofs I use a combination of Tamiya and Humbrol spray cans - Humbrol 53 gunmetal, Tamiya Rubber Black and Linoleum Deck Brown. Wafting them on and off gives a nice varied finish. Rubber Black, by the way, is a wonderful soft black with a hint of grey which is very good for a black engine. The Tamiya cans give a very good finish indeed. I use all these cans outside the workshop door for the breathing problems mentioned before.

Philip

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David Thorpe
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby David Thorpe » Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:50 am

I've spray painted most of my locos with Halfords satin black and they end up pretty shiny. A quick spray with Testors Dullcote tones that down a bit. A word of warning, however - the satin black is quite a heavy spray so one shouldn't linger over it, ditto with the Testors. If I could be bothered I'd do all my post-primer paining with my airbrush as that certainly gives more control and a lighter weight coating. Most of my coaches and wagons I've airbrushed using Precision enamels precisely as suggested by Nick except that I've finished them off with Humbrol satincote (airbrushed) or Dullcote rather than Klear (which I haven't tried - might pick some up when I go to Tesco today).

I've still got to pluck up the courage to try any weathering....

DT

Philip Hall
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:25 am

I will try Klear again some day but I am still anxious about its long term viability. I sold it many years ago when I worked in a hardware store, and we sold a lot of it regularly. The reason was that it was a floor polish, and people gave a coat on their floor tiles every year. The reason they did it every year is that the edges used to peel slightly, admittedly with different use than you would have on a model. So I have always felt using it was a risk; the last thing I wanted was a paint finish that began to peel after a while. I also had no luck at all in getting a gloss finish, all I eneded up with was a satin-ish uneven effect. Humbrol or Ronseal gloss varnish gave me a better effect, so I have stuck with it.

As there is a new formulation I will have to try it again sometime, but only as a base for decals, with a top coating of varnish to seal it in.

Philip

allanferguson
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby allanferguson » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:58 pm

[quote="JackBlack"]Hi John,

"I use Precision, Humbrol and Revell paints and thin with Revell Color Mix to the consistency of skimmed milk, and you can spray for 30 minutes or more with no problems. "

I have watched several friends spraying and admired the results. But I get stuck on this phrase "the consistency of skimmed milk". I would be glad if someone could tell me how, reliably, to judge the consistency of paint (or skimmed milk, come to that). So many very expert workers use this phrase, and it obviously works for them, that I feel there must be some secret formula, known to the select few. I have in my fridge a carton a carton of skimmed milk, one of semi skimmed, and one of unskimmed, and I'm blowed if I can tell the difference, until I put them in my coffee. Help!

Allan F

shipbadger
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby shipbadger » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:14 pm

Allan,

Find yourself an old tin and try spraying that. Other options include something from the trays second hand dealers have at shows, often under their stall or a no longer wanted model. I used the tin that Boots used to sell meths in for over twenty years but any tin or old model will do. Stop worrying about how to recognise the consistency of skimmed milk and just practice getting a mix that will spray without 'orange peel' (the paint leaves a finish which looks like orange peel) or is so thin it runs down the tin. Like so many things with practice you will get a feel for what you are trying to achieve. After a few false starts (and clogged airbrush!) you will start to get the hang of it. We all get it wrong at times and it can be infuriating but there is very little that cannot be undone if it goes wrong :-) With enamels a 50/50 mix of enamel to thinner is a reasonable starting point. One small tip, for years I used white spirit or turpentine substitute for spraying but some years ago they seemed to change the formulation and I just keep it for cleaning now and use Humbrol enamel thinners for paint dilution.

Tony Comber

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Will L
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Will L » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:27 pm

allanferguson wrote:... I get stuck on this phrase "the consistency of skimmed milk". I would be glad if someone could tell me how, reliably, to judge the consistency of paint (or skimmed milk, come to that). So many very expert workers use this phrase, and it obviously works for them, that I feel there must be some secret formula, known to the select few. I have in my fridge a carton a carton of skimmed milk, one of semi skimmed, and one of unskimmed, and I'm blowed if I can tell the difference, until I put them in my coffee. Help!


I'm glad somebody else has had that thought too.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:50 am

I use Tamiya paints for preference in my airbrush. All recently-bought jars have been fine, provided that I don't over-thin them. They are more sensitive than enamels to the mixture. I haven't tried spraying the current heat, not since the dog ate my compressor, but things were working well at the start of the heatwave.

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John Bateson
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby John Bateson » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:04 am

We have had a decorator in to do the lounge and dining room over the past 2 weeks.
It was very noticeable that when painting the quick dry gloss on the doors, it was impossible to get a good finish, the paint seemed to be drying on the brush, and when she had done all the gloss was matt.
I note a warning in the Phoenix Paints web about temperature - over 20 degrees seems not to be recommended, so is this an excuse to postpone the start until December?

John

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Le Corbusier » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:29 am

John Bateson wrote: so is this an excuse to postpone the start until December?

John

You mean you don't have an air conditioned temperature controlled spray booth .... :shock: :D :D
Tim Lee

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David Thorpe
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby David Thorpe » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:37 am

allanferguson wrote: But I get stuck on this phrase "the consistency of skimmed milk". I would be glad if someone could tell me how, reliably, to judge the consistency of paint (or skimmed milk, come to that).


George Dent, in his useful book "Airbrushing for Railway Modellers", is one of those who suggests that the paint should be the consistency of "semi-skimmed milk". Fortunately, he goes on to give some guidelines as to how that can be achieved. Basically, add thinners with a pipette, checking as you go (he suggests that the paint shoiuld be in a mixing jar rather than the airbrush paint cup). He decides when it is ready by watching how the paint drips from the end of a spatula - "If it struggles to drip and runs off slowly in long thick droplets than further thinning is needed....if it falls freely in small self-contained blobs and clings to the spatula in a light film, then it's ready for spraying......if it pours off the spatula in an uncontrollable torrent then it's too thin....." He makes things a bit easier by illustrating the process. Certainly this works for me.

And John, there are umpteen excuses for postponing painting, many of which i have used - in December, for example, it will be much too cold!

DT

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Mark Tatlow » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:27 am

allanferguson wrote: I get stuck on this phrase "the consistency of skimmed milk".


The other way to approach this question is to remember what it is you are seeking to achieve.

When air-brushing you are seeking (normally, sometimes a more textured finish is what is being looked for) that the paint droplets be wet enough when they land to merge with each other and thus form a smooth paint surface but to be viscus enough not to run unless put on in excess quantity.

Enamel/acrylic paints are a little easier in some respects because their thinners hang around for long enough for the paint to remain fluid once it has hit the surface so the droplets do join up. The flipside is that it is thus easier to get runs and holding the air-brush 12-18 inches away is required to reduce the risk of flooding an area!

Conversely, cellulose thinners evaporate very fast indeed in hot weather - so fast that in addition to using more of them in the mix, it is necessary to hold the air-brush closer to the work. I prefer cellulose paints because of this characteristic; in warm weather the thinners have evaporated in little more than seconds so it is quite realistic to put on a very thin coat, wait 60 seconds and do another coat (repeat as necessary) to build up an opaque finish without any real fear of runs.

Ian Rathbone's book "A Modeller's Handbook of Painting and Lining" is good in this area and well worth a read but not as good as practice!!
Mark Tatlow

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JackBlack
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby JackBlack » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:20 pm

With regard to thinning paint, and "consistency of skimmed milk", it's worth reading this:

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/practice

"The most common advice is to thin to the consistency of 2% milk. I think the truth is that there is a wide range of thinning that will work depending on your technique. Fine nozzles, like .35mm and under, are going to require more thinning and produce thinner coats than the larger sizes. In general, thicker paint requires more air pressure to spray well."

It's not an exact science, you just need to experiment and spend some time practicing and see what works right for you. I thin my paint a lot, I spray low pressure from close up with a very fine nozzle, but that's what works for me.

Watch how this guys paints a tank, a base coat, then different shading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiPLfJrDogI

Thanks, Nick

Philip Hall
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Philip Hall » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:34 pm

Very interesting how he puts a light brushful of paint and then quickly distributes it with a bigger brush. I assume from the speed he’s using acrylics as they seem to go off quite quickly. Also intrigued by the cutters he uses to cut things from their sprues and never files off moulding nibs as the cut is clean.

Philip

allanferguson
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby allanferguson » Sat Jul 28, 2018 10:57 pm

Mark Tatlow wrote:
allanferguson wrote: I get stuck on this phrase "the consistency of skimmed milk".

Ian Rathbone's book "A Modeller's Handbook of Painting and Lining" is good in this area and well worth a read but not as good as practice!!

I am grateful for all the helpful advice on this topic. But I suspect the most sensible advice is Mark Tatlow's above. I need to get the compressor and airbrush rigged up and start wasting some paint!

Allan F

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Guy Rixon » Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:45 pm

JackBlack wrote:With regard to thinning paint, and "consistency of skimmed milk", it's worth reading this:

Watch how this guys paints a tank, a base coat, then different shading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiPLfJrDogI

Thanks, Nick


If you look at his later video, where he builds a Sherman tank, he's using two different airbrushes. He's got a cheap, Chinese one with a wide nozzle for the primer and a posh one with a 0.15mm nozzle for the main coat.

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John Bateson
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby John Bateson » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:32 am

Can I spray enamel over a cellulose etch primer base (Upol Acid #8.
I suspect the answer is yes, but if it all goes bubbly this stuff is a real pain to remove from an engine down to the brass base even after a long soak in cellulose thinners.

A couple of months ago Halfords did not have this in stock but offered their own version. This leaves a rather thick layer of base paint which is a concern and which can be removed with a thumbnail, appearing not to have etched at all. Is it just me - I later found the Upol Acid #8 on-line and this does the job nicely as it has in the past.

John

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Starting to paint stuff

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:04 pm

John,

I've airbrushed cellulose over U-Pol, PPP and Comet (sadly no longer available) etch primers without a problem.

Jol


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