Minor/Repaint: Painting Help, Please!

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by inturnmike, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. inturnmike

    inturnmike Well-Known Member

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    Hello All!

    I believe this is my first post to this board, so...be gentle! :)  A few weeks ago, I saw the MP Menasor that was on ebay that went for over $3,000 and loved it. I'd never tried repainting before, but I though that it would be a cool thing to try (especially w/ the $7.77 sale at Wal-Mart). I also wanted to get myself a Thundercracker, since I didn't want to pay absurd amounts of money for the Henkei one. Lastly, I have also started on a Sunstorm.

    Here is what I have done so far:

    I went out and bought a bunch of different colors of Krylon Fusion spray paint, and a roll of blue painter's masking tape. I started off with Breakaway. I took anything that had screws apart and sanded each piece with 220 grade paper. I then masked off anything that wasn't supposed to be painted white, and sprayed away. After a few coats, I noticed that many areas had bled under the taped areas, and the paint was uneven. I tried spraying the windows with black and the same thing happened. After that, I bought a bunch of Testors model paint from Michael's. That paint seems to not bleed as much, though it seems that the brush strokes really show, and sometimes a brush hair gets stuck in the paint.

    I finished Wildrider 1st, and proceeded to spray him with the clear gloss to seal it. However, I think I was spraying too closely, or too much, because it seemed to eat away at some of the gray modeling paint, showing the original yellow plastic underneath. So, I applied more gray paint in areas and sprayed it again from much further away. It now has a very rough texture to it, and looks pretty grainy. (The paint bleeding looks pretty good on this one though).

    Thundercracker has the blue flakey paint from Testors. I think he lookes kind of cool right now. Definitely better than Wildrider. He still isn't finished, as I am waiting on reprolabels for him, and I need to touch him up in a few little spots. One really bad thing that happend...Paint dried up in the area around the nosecone that houses his head. When I was working it so that the cone folds down and exposes the head, the plastic "beam" that holds it together snapped cleanly apart! WHAT CAN I USE THAT WILL CLEANLY AND SECURELY FASTEN THAT PIECE BACK TOGETHER?

    Breakaway is getting there. I need to go back and give him some touchups, and then use the glossy coat on him (sparingly), I think. One question I have about his head (and Wildrider's): WHAT CAN I USE TO FILL IN THE GAPS LEFT BY SUNSTREAKER'S SPRINGY EARS??? ALSO, WHAT CAN I USE TO COVER UP THE BIG HOLE (WHERE THE PEG WAS FOR THE POLICE LIGHTS) IN THE ROOF OF PROWL/DEAD END?

    Sunstorm is a mess right now. I have sanded each area I was going to paint. I have used almost a full (little) bottle of Testors regular Yellow paint on him so far, and cannot get many of the green areas of Acid Storm to be covered smoothly or at all. Acid Storm worked pretty well for thundercracker, so I am wondering why this isn't working. One thing I DID do for Thundercracker that I didn't for this was: Before I bought the testors paints, I tried spraying him with the Krylon Fusion paint. He looked okay, but I wanted the blue flake painty instead, so I sanded him back down and THEN re-painted with the Testors. Maybe that acted like a primer and the blue attached better than the yellow is? I do not know, becuase I sprayed a maroon on a Prowl as well (to make a Dead End), then tried to paint over it w/ Testors Dark Red, and it is doing the same thing. WHAT CAN YOU SUGGEST HERE?

    One last thing...for Dead End's clear plastic headlights and windows, I sprayed them w/ black Krylon Fusion, but then tried to paint over it with Testors black. It also looks like areas that got missed with the spray paint are not gelling with the Testors. I tried sanding the window and re-painting, but it didn't seem to be working.

    I appreciate all feedback, as (again) this is my very 1st attempt at repainting!

    P.S.- I read somewhere that people use soapy water to "wash" their TF pieces before painting. i would have thought that would wreck the plastic. Is this a good idea? I still have a Red Alert and a Dragstrip to do, so maybe I should do that with them?

    Thank you!!!!!!!
     

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  2. Xhairs

    Xhairs Well-Known Member

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    white paint sucks and from the looks of the pics your clear coat might be bad. that or you did spary to close but im really think your stuff is bad. i would go and buy a new one. other then that i cant help out more as i just got in to doing TF customs my self.
    you have some good stuff coming.
    oh and welcome to the fun.
     
  3. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    You should get a lot of great help on this board, from far more experienced people, but here are my thoughts.

    I wouldn't sand anything. Unless it it a friction point, and I think the superglue trick works better. Basically coat the friction point with a tiny bit of superglue to make a hard clear surface.

    Also you said "spray away" it seems that you are over painting your guys. The key for me is 3-4 very very very thin coats of paint. For example:

    [​IMG]

    This is about 4 coats of Krylon fusion flat black and it still is very thin, not obscuring any details. I masked the head/face until the end to keep it from building up on his features. Another example, this guy was primered black, then drybrushed gray. The black primer was so thin that it didn't even fill the small detail lines.

    [​IMG]

    Also, using almost a full bottle of yellow is excessive. Yellow often needs a white coat of primer in order to get the color out. The yellow on this guy took about two coats, barely a capful of paint (testors acrylic), but I primed him white first.

    [​IMG]

    Spraypaint can react differently to different plastic. The softer plastics it can actually eat away and remain tacky forever. The testors acrylics don't seem to react as much.

    As for washing the figures, I think it is very important. I soak them in warm soapy water and use a dishbrush to scrub away tight spots. Finally a quick spray of windex seems to really clean it off. But windex can eat away at some stuff too, so be careful.

    You're on the right track though, you will need to experiment and find your methods. I would buy a cheap lot of junkers on ebay and practice a bit. I've ruined more transformers than I've finished.
     
  4. inturnmike

    inturnmike Well-Known Member

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    Great! So, what should I do to fix Sunstorm? Should I sand him back to the green original plastic and then try the white under-coat, followed by a yellow? Should I use the testors white/yellow, or go back to the Krylon Fusion White/Yellow spray paints? Also,do you have any ideas about what to use to fill in the holes for Sunstreaker's head and Dead End's roof?

    Thank you for your help!
     
  5. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think sanding is going to only aggravate the problem. You'll have a hard time sanding it smooth...I'd chalk it up to a learning opportunity and buy a new one. Maybe try one last THIN coat of a light flat finish color, like white or beige and see what you can salvage.

    Filling gaps is something a lot of guys do around here, I don't, but I'm sure you'll get some advice. Also check the tutorial section, they have a lot of great content.
     
  6. inturnmike

    inturnmike Well-Known Member

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    So...maybe paint over it with white and then yellow from here? Should I be using the testors or the Krylon Fusion spray paint? I may end up just getting a new one and starting over before all is said and done. Luckily the sale is still going on, and many Acid Storms are at my closest Wal-Mart!
     
  7. deliciouspeter

    deliciouspeter Back in Black TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'd practice getting your spray paint nice and thin on the ruined (sorry!) one and pick up a couple more. Also it depends on your style. I only use spray paint for priming, so I use flat black for dark customs and flat khaki or white for lighter colors. Then I brush paint the colors. If you want to use the spray paint as your end color, the principle is the same, multiple thin coats, but you might need someone else's advice for that. Good luck.
     
  8. Paul Prime

    Paul Prime Well-Known Member

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    As deliciouspeter said, you have to spray several thin coats and not so close to the figure. I have good results spraying at 30 cm. from the figure. To cover previous colors try to spray a coat or two of light grey, and then the color you want. I think this is the only way to paint in white and yellow.
    You can try to water sand the figure, I did it with good results. If it doesn't work, you are going to buy another figure anyway, so you don't lose anything and maybe save some money.
     
  9. inturnmike

    inturnmike Well-Known Member

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    What do you mean by "water sanding" it? Thanks!
     
  10. Sabrina_Ng

    Sabrina_Ng La Femme Fatale

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    As to your qns

    P.S.- I read somewhere that people use soapy water to "wash" their TF pieces before painting. i would have thought that would wreck the plastic. Is this a good idea? I still have a Red Alert and a Dragstrip to do, so maybe I should do that with them?

    I always soak them overnight with any kind of showergel before I give them a good scrub with an old extra large toothbrush with extra hard bristles. Heheh..It helps me paint better when my toys smell of baby smooth skin. It also gets rid of all the icky sticky factory chemicals and what not. It helps with the paint adhesion as well.

    edit: oops..I just saw that someone answered that already :) 
     
  11. Paul Prime

    Paul Prime Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, I mean wet sanding. Get a sandpaper of 2000 grit, add some water and sand. Doing so the sanding becomes less agressive because the piece is lubricated with the water.
     
  12. underwear-ninja

    underwear-ninja Eats Gobots for breakfast

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    All of the above info is really helpful, and it seems alot of people covered the main issues. Getting an airbrush might be helpful, if you find spray painting isn't working too well. You can get a cheap kit that comes with the canned air kind for $20 at most stores with a model/hobby section- it even comes with paints and primer. That should start you off until you get better, and then maybe invest in an actual pump kit. Also get some thinner for whichever paint you use. Acryllic paints can be thinned with water if you're feeling cheap, or you can get some acryllic thinner/dried paint solvent. Enamels you'll definately have to get paint thinner. The thinner helps even the paint out to prevent it from blobbing up and giving you streaks when you paint, plus it'll also go into cracks and smaller details easier.

    A few people have mentioned sandpaper- and it can be very useful. If you have a hard time finding the much finer grit, try looking at a hobby/craft store or even an auto supply store. These places typically sell the finer grit stuff and its reasonably priced (I pay a li'l under a dollar for an 8x11" sheet of the finer stuff from a local shop)

    And of course- practice, practice, practice! :]
     
  13. project9

    project9 White n' Nerdy

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    I'd have to concur with the underwear-ninja about the airbrush. Not many of us are as skilled with a brush like frenzy_rumble or many other folks around here. I couldn't get a nice clean coat without brush strokes with Testors acrylics but switching to an airbrush made all the difference for me. You'll probably still need brushes to touch up or detail small areas but an airbrush did the job for me.
     
  14. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    To be honest, it's not hard to avoid brush strokes if you thin your paints enough. I haven't used Testors at all, but the only times I've ever had trouble leaving brush marks is when my paint's too thick.

    A little tip regarding undercoating for yellow. See if you can find a nice off-white/cream colour to undercoat. White is good, but can leave your yellow looking too bright - yellow really doesn't cover easily, so an undercoat as close to the final colour as possible is a real boon; a cream colour is ideal.
     
  15. Methos

    Methos ...Hail Megatron

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    The biggest plus I see here is that your Sunstreeker is transformed back to car mode,I've bought six of these guys and they all warp in the arms when transforming them.One side fits,the other is raised.



    As for the painting,unless you using a darker paint of the same color as the plastic,use a primer.
    I use Russle's DoitBest Primer White,and Ultra Flat Black Camo
    Dupli-color car paint from just about any car parts store(Autozone,O'Riely's,Advanced western auto).Just don't get a paint made for engine use
    and Coloplace from Wal-mart.


    On the yellows,try using darker to lighter shades of yellow.
    My Dead-End took three shades of red to get the right color.


    Sometimes when spraying/brushing you may have a spot that paint will run from like a invisible barrier the paint can't pass thru.
    Leave it be untill the rest of the paint is dry,then get some paint on your finger and rub it on that spot and paint over it after it drys.

    Always give the parts atleast two days untouched so they can dry/cure.

    If the paint work looks good then give it a light coat a top coat (Dull coat,Clear coat,Crystal coat)that you like,then another light coat a few days later.


    For filling the gaps I use Magic Sculpt which can be used for filling gaps,building up pieces,and sculpting new pieces.
    But if you have a Micheal's in your area look for Dry-Hard air drying clay. Not as good as magic sculpt but can certainly be used for filling gaps.

    For you Thundercracker you might look for some Locktite epoxy at a Target store.It's a type of glue that will set fast is mixed right(practice this first) then score/cut small marks in the piece you want to bond and add the epoxy.
     
  16. iconscons

    iconscons Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, brush painting is quite hard. Try becoming good with a spray, and brush details. Then you can learn more advanced brushing techniques.

    I got some masking tape at my hobby shot mean specifically for modeling. It's a little more expensive but totally worth it. Also when it comes to sprays...people are correct when they say "many think coats." When you first start this hobby, you're eager to get it done...lord knows I've made that mistake. I paint alts mostly, and I do, literally, probably 20 coats...or you should probably call them mists. A single coat should, in no way, cover your piece. It should look like you barely did anything. But do this many times, and you'll see the results. Patience is key. Thin mists also decreases any possibility of bleeding under your tape.
     
  17. Ramrider

    Ramrider TF Art Lad

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    If it's anything like the air-drying clay I've got I wouldn't even recommend it for gap-filling, as I invariably have to deal with shrinkage. I only use that stuff for building up bulk on terrain-building projects.
    Milliput (epoxy putty) is good for gap-filling, as it can be watered down to some extent and pushed well into the gaps. While it's nice and damp it can also be smoothed out really easily.
    For certain kinds of gap-filling, I also like to make use of my hot glue gun, as the glue can be squeezed into tight gaps, overfill the hole and then you can simply trim it down and smooth it with a needle file.

    For the kind of gaps you're talking about here, though, I'd go with the Milliput.
     
  18. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow, way to much text for me to read. LOL

    From the looks of the pictures all your paint is going on too thick and too fast. Gotta be patient with these customs. I suggest soaking these guys in rubbing alcohol and taking an old toothbrush to them to get all the paint off. Primer each figure with very light thin coats of spray paint at about 12" away making sure to go nice and evenly while avoiding staying in one place to long and getting gunk up. Let the coats dry inbetween each run through and recoat maybe once or twice again to get uniform coverage. The secret to hand painting is definitely thin coats. If your using Acrylics put some on a pallete of some sort and add a tiny bit of water to it, a drop of water to every couple of drops of paint is good(everyone has their own preference so it is hard to say, experiment on junk first). A thin layer of paint will look pretty shitty at first but if you let it completely dry and put on a few more layers allowing dry time it should start to look uniform in appearance.

    This guy took about 5 thin layers of purple before I got it to look like this same goes for the greys.

    This guy was completely dry brushed a couple times to get full coverage.

    My main point is go at it slowly and don't try and do everything in one step and thinning your paints is the first step to success.
     
  19. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm OriginalRotorstorm Fanboy

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    thin coats, sanding smooth in between does the trick. We all have to start and learn from somewhere
     
  20. catch22

    catch22 Well-Known Member

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    I think I wouldn't even bother with paint removal on a $7.77 figure. I read through most of your post (it's a long one!) and here are some things to keep in mind (some of which has already been said):

    - Don't sand your parts prior to painting. It's unnecessary, and 220 grit is really course anyway. You SHOULD wash the parts with dishwashing detergent to get mold release off of the plastic prior to painting though.

    - The paint is going under the masking tape because you're spraying it on much too thick and it's running under. You don't need to cover it all in one shot. Multiple thin coats!

    - You're getting brush-marks because you aren't thinning your paint enough (or at all). You are also probably using cheap brushes if brush strands are coming off.

    - Lay off the glossy paint. You can get a satin finish if you mix the flat and glossy paints together (SAME BRAND, SAME TYPE!)

    Don't be dismayed, it's a learning process. If you can at some point, pick up an airbrush, it's a handy tool to have.
     

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