Customs: How to get the most EVEN layers of paint

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Jaekwong, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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    Alright,

    So i did a repaint of my Brawl.

    I was slightly dissapointed with the end. When i took pictures, the flash REALLY picked up the paint texture and certain brush strokes.

    I used Tamiya Flat paints for this project.

    Any suggestions on how to get a VERY even look especialy on panels and armor. Details i can get away with. I use brushes, and not air brushing.

    Also should i be coating it with somethign at the end to help with the look?

    Thanks so much for your suggestions.
     
  2. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    very think coats. that's pretty much it.
    have you read jin's tutorial on this? it's quite accurate.

    occasionally, it might help to lightly sand between coats, wait until it is completely dry, almost cured. you want to get the paint to the point that when you are sanding lightly, the plastic or original color don't show through.
     
  3. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Its really just practice, I agree with Frenzy check out Jin Saotome's site(there is a link in my site under tutorials) other than that a clear coat may help it but not much.
     
  4. Viagra Prime

    Viagra Prime Well-Known Member

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    use very thin layers. You may even need to add water to thin the paint before painting. I recommend using at MINIMUM 3 layers before the surface is completely covered. The first layer should barely even cover the surface. Coating is recommended to help protect the paint from scraping. Depending on what type of coat you use, it can also give the paint more shine.
     
  5. StarFire_MK2

    StarFire_MK2 'Till All are One! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yup, what they said. However, I'd wait until the paint was fully cured before sanding, and use 1000 grit as a minimum to start. I've gone to even higher grits (3000+), and while it is time consuming, you get a glass-like finish. Also, if you're brushing, you'll get fewer brush marks with oil-based paints, as they are self-leveling.
     
  6. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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    good tips!

    also, do you guys completely take APART your transformers?
     
  7. StarFire_MK2

    StarFire_MK2 'Till All are One! TFW2005 Supporter

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    As much as I can, yes.
     
  8. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    the SQ7 Method ("if there is such a thing") Tutorial

    I'm among the few that brush paint customs and this is how I go about things:

    1. Disassembly. This is always my first step. I don't fool with taking many pins out, but everything that I can unscrew or pop out normally comes out. This to me just makes sense because it distributes the work out well (one can keep bouncing back and forth between many different pieces allowing some to dry while another can be painted; it makes seeing how the parts interact from multiple angles showing you where you will need to paint (if the piece if left together, there are areas that cannot be gotten to that may need painting); and it divides out a big job (your total project) into smaller sections.
    2. Organization. Once all of the pieces are disassembled, I place the pieces that won't be touched by paint and/or other alterations back in a plastic ziplock bag. I typically keep each project in it's own container (normally I use the covered trays that my Chinese food comes in :) ). After cleaning (see step 4), I then place some pieces on toothpicks, and larger pieces just get nicely arranged. After I paint a piece, I'll end up sticking that piece in a plastic or paper cup that allows them to be held upwards to dry [I also have a desk lamp that helps speed up drying].
    3. Sanding parts that rub. There may be parts that (unless sanded down some) will just have the paint rub right off (like the pivot piece on Alt Skids' roof). This will also make the paint adhere to pieces later.
    4. Cleaning of pieces. There are a bit of oils on the dye of plastics oftentimes, so I'll soak the pieces in soapy dishwater in the project tray. I'll also use GoJo to clean the pieces after they've soaked in the dishwater to give the pieces a very slight rough surface (think VERY fine grit liquid sand paper here) to make the paint adhere better. After all of this, I'll simply rinse all of the pieces and let them dry.
    5. Primer coat. This is relative to the particular project often times. The easiest to do is painting a custom black, as I'll use a flat black primer coat (the top coats tend to be smaller in number since black is well black). A white custom I'll use a flat white primer coat. For colors, it depends on the darkness. A red, I'll tend to just start the "primer" coat with that same color. With darker colors, I may do the same or use a flat tan. Most times with colors, I'll just start out with that same color.
    6. Wet sanding. If I've started with the color of the custom, once I get a coat on, I'll then use a process called "wet sanding." This is taking a piece of fine grit sandpaper, dipping it in some water, then sanding the pieces. This gives that coat a "tooth" for the next coat to adhere to. Also, this is the main key to eliminating/minimizing brush strokes.
    7. Top Coats. When I paint a top coat, I typically like to keep my brushes wet. Instead of watering down my paint (which may need to be thicker later), I have more control of the viscosity of the paint to suit that specific coat. Also, with the paint remaining the viscosity that it was in the beginning, I can always vary that same color like I need to. I can make paint as thin as I want with this method (top coat or even a wash). It's hard to make a thin paint thick again well.
    8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 as necessary. This depends on the paint, how well the coat looks, and the presence of brush strokes. Some pieces require less or more repetition depending on just how it looks after a few coats.
    9. Finish! . . . and that's the end of the painting! W00t!

    I hope that's helpful! :thumb 
     
  9. Hiro Prime

    Hiro Prime Cybertronian Guru Veteran

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    I use an Airbrush for all work but the details. It took a lot of practice to get it to work but I'm loving the results vs brushes. What ever method you use tho, find a small piece of the plastic you're painting to test your paints, technique, and sanding on so you know what to expect when you paint the toy. (If no extra piece is handy, the underside of a part that won't be seen can be used.)
     
  10. RyakinX

    RyakinX Well-Known Member

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    For practice purposes if you have no junkers, you can also buy sheets of styrene to practice on before you hit the real thing. Also go to a Dollar store and buy real cheap junk toys, and use those to practice drybrushing techniques, and highlighting. This keeps you from ruining more expensive Transformers, so you don't have to be fearful of destroying them, and this breeds confidence, the more confidence you have in your abilities, the better your paint comes out.
     
  11. SonRay

    SonRay Banned

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    Yeah just what they all said. I dont apply my paint by brush anymore, i use an airbrush, i find it easier and the results are 10x better.

    But yeah use very thin coats, take your time and be methodical. Always take your toys apart as well, and wait until the paint has fully dried before you even think of using sand paper.
     
  12. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    excellent reply superquad.
     
  13. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

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    I agree....and the man does great work....so he must know what he's talking about...:thumb 
     
  14. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    QFT, however I don't think I'd even think I'd recommend the expense of styrene (unless you're wanting to try scratchbuilding) though. I'd think your advice of getting a few $1 toys to practice painting on is great advise though! :thumb 

    Along those same lines, I'd also recommend starting on a smaller project for several reasons:

    1. Expense. 'Nuff said.
    2. Time. A smaller project can get you rolling quicker than investing a huge chunk of time in a huge project the first time around. Remember: time is the most valuable resource that anyone has at their disposal. :wink: 
    3. Quality of the outcome. It may not be your masterpiece the first time around (though it very well may, but the odds are stacked against you!)
    4. Practice makes perfect. :) 

    Airbrushes and sprays are easier, but that's not the reason why I use brushes nearly exclusively:

    1. I don't have the space for sprays inside.
    2. I don't want to work outside; working inside is what I prefer (see first point)
    3. I enjoy using brushes.
    4. I've got a method and a system that works well for me.
    5. Sometimes it's fun being the token kitbasher (let the jokes ensue).

    Some of my reasons might work better for other artists as well. :) 

    Hey man, I really appreciate your kind words there. :)  It is my method and I've found it works and many things I do are time-tested as well. :) 

    Thanks, bro. :)  I at least try to read up on things and try things out well enough to share my results (good or bad) with others; it's not enough just to make something for one's self, but to share that with others :)  I'd think some of the best gifts we can give as artists to other artist is teaching them how to make better artwork rather than making a custom to hand to someone (ala "teaching a man to fish" :popcorn ).

    . . . and that's not to say that making customs to share with others isn't cool :lol 
     
  15. ^o^CORVUS^o^

    ^o^CORVUS^o^ You call on me to solve a crooked rhyme

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    Great guide and advice! One thing though, and pardon my ignorance. What GoJo product are you using, and where can I obtain it? *lol*
     
  16. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    gojo is in most hardware stores/departments. just normal gojo is all you need. (soap that has pumice grit in it, in a tub)
     
  17. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    I think supermarkets sell it, if not, try walmart, they sell everything ;) 
     
  18. ^o^CORVUS^o^

    ^o^CORVUS^o^ You call on me to solve a crooked rhyme

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    That's what I thought. I'll be sure to give it a shot :D 
     
  19. SonRay

    SonRay Banned

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    Could save some money and just use some washing up liquid and put some table salt or sugar in it..has the same effect. :p 
     

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