On a serious note, I thought that I would finally answer the paint
- I begin with a stripped, clean and dry objet that will be painted.
- If using Floquil or solvent based paint on a plastic surface, I begin
with a coat of Floquil Barrier to prevent damage to the plastic. I will use
zinc chromate as a primer to ensure an even colour base. Let dry thoroughly
for 24 hours before the next coat of paint.
- If using an acrylic or water based paint, I usually don't use a primer
coat. I will use successive light coats of paint in one session since the
acrylic paint will dry quite fast. I get excellent results with acrylics
like Poly S by Floquil.
The exception to this practice, and there are always exceptions, is when I
am painting a plastic model that has various coloured parts to it such as a
kitbash or scratch built model. It is essential to have a uniform colour
base upon which to apply the final paint colours. I have used a neutral
light grey. Hint: if you will be painting several of the same model (such
as a 6 car UP passenger train) make a note of the colour that you used as a
primer coat and use the same for all of your cars. Different shades of
primer colour will definitely influence the shade of the final colour (like
yellow, white, light blue etc.).
Paint (finish coat):
- After masking, I will apply a finish colour with an airbrush and touch
up small details with a fine brush. I use an optivisor for the fine brush
- Floquil Diosol as specified by the manufacturer;
- Poly S thinner as specified by the manufacturer but usually I find that
I don't need to thin the acrylics for my airbrush use. The spray is even
and uniform. The new generations of acrylic paints are far superior to the
solvents that I used to use since the pigments are much finer and offer
excellent air brush qualities. One word of advice. Keep the air brush
nozzle meticulously clean otherwise you may experience spitting. This is
one of the reasons that I use a paper back drop to test the spray patterns.
Acrylic clean up is easy with water.
How much thinner:
- I tend to follow the manufacturer's recommended practices. I don't
thin the Poly S paints that I use.
- Whatever my little oil less compressor produces...it doesn't say
anywhere on it but I believe that it produces about 20 - 25 pounds per
square inch pressure. You don't want to blow the model off the table when
you turn on the air brush!
Internal/External Mix Air Brush:
- Internal mix of course but only single action. I am not doing graphic
art work so I don't need to change spray patterns while painting a model.
If I need to adjust the spray thickness I stop and adjust the needle, test
the pattern on the spray box wall and continue.
Method of Gloss coat (for decals):
- For decals, I always make sure that the paint surface is glossy in
order to be able to hide the decal edges and to assure a firm permanent bond
to the surface. I add Floquil Gloss Coat to Floquil railroad colours,
especially the engine black, to give a glossy finish. It is also possible
to spray gloss coat onto the painted surface. I prefer using a gloss paint
since I don't like to add several coats of paint, gloss etc. as the
accumulation of paint will hide details such as rivets and molding.
Method of Dull coat (for finished product):
- I use an aerosol can of Testers Dullcoat sprayed in a steady fashion
beginning 6" before the model and ending 6" after the model.
I like to achieve a wet surface on the model to avoid splotching. The
dullcoat dries quickly and very thinly.
Where you get your decals:
- I buy from local hobby shops and rummage through decal bins of stores
that I come by on my travels. I tend to have far more decals than I will
ever use but it's better to be safe than sorry. I have never ordered decals
through the mail.
Methods of "fixing" and "sealing" decals:
- Microscale solvaset works great. I use the optivisor when positioning
Applying decals is a rather technical process with a large measure of
If there is any interest, I would be happy to give you my dissertation on
applying numbers to Z scale number boards, individual letters to spell
"Union Pacific" on tenders and for making sure that the letters are in a
straight line and parallel to the edges of the piece...but not tonight!
- Building a finished unique model from scratch or from kitbashing
including painting, decals and ageing (weathering) is a very satisfying part
of the hobby for me and for many other members of the group I suspect.
- Practice makes perfect (along with good materials).
- Starting over is not failure. I have restripped a car on several
occasions (I won't say how many!). You can't know what to avoid if you
haven't already done what you will want to avoid, Right?
- Three keys to success in model making and painting:
Patience, Patience, Patience...
Talk to you soon,
Val Ease Central
Paint Shop Foreman
Gopher and Cleaner-upper