Customs: ready to start but very overwhelmed!

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by deathonacracker, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. deathonacracker

    deathonacracker Decepticrumb

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    Hey Radicons, another newbie here. life long artist but I've never worked with customizing Transformers ever. I've never even seriously painted a model car! Maybe a couple as a child but i didn't know anything about clear coats and base coats (and still really don't!)
    i have painted plenty of Horizon superhero models and that's what gave me the bug to start trying my hand a modding and painting TFs. I mean they are really models that you can literally transform into another model! They are also really bad ass... oh, and addicting!

    I've been lurking on these threads for the past 6 months looking into the different paints, tools and techniques i can use to start creating my own customs for my ever growing TF collection. I just look at them and see all the little details that are lost do to the lack of paint apps.It really tends to bother me knowing i could change all that with my own personal touches. I've got pages and pages of suggestions on where to get these different materials and and now I'm confident enough to order what i need to begin customizing, yet I'm very overwhelmed!

    and here is question #1.

    I was wondering if there is a certain place online to get all of the materials at once, or at least all of the different paints instead of, 1 type of paint here, 3 types on another site and clear coat at yet another? is there a nice little list of items or paint names/codes, for lets say, Bumblebee that someone may use that i could get to order from? I'm sure it really depends on what colors you want to use etc. so here is my short list of bots I'm planning on repainting/modding to start learning. all ROTF figures so far but i plan on repainting my G1 Devastator eventually and my MP prime.

    Ravage: (seems the easiest to take apart and mod).
    HA BB: (also seems a bit easier to take apart and i love this mold very very much!).
    Voyager Megs: (a little more detailed and probably save until i get the feel of everything).
    Leader Prime: (I'm sure this one would be the hardest to detail the way i want him so ill save him until I'm completely comfortable).

    question #2

    I'm also using an airbrush for a lot of the bigger pieces, so what size tip should i use? I currently own size 3 & 5 tips and needles.

    question #3

    how DO you actually know how far you need to go when disassembling a bot? I've read where people have just totally masked a bot instead of taking him apart! this seems a bit crazy, especially with the detailing needed on some of the inner joint pieces. i just don't see how you could get to them comfortably.

    question #3a

    when painting these inner joint areas where the screws attach the separate pieces, am i right in saying i will need to shave down some or all of these so when painted, the friction of the joint movement wont peel the paint off?

    question #3b

    thinking about all of the detailing you Radicons give your customs, are you waiting sometimes 3 to 10 days per coat of EVERY individual color before painting the next? for example: complete base coat then wait 3 to 10 days; darker grays in the grooves, wait allotted amount of time, etc. It seems like that would take months for some of the ones I've looked at on this site.

    question #3c

    Does a hair dryer help or hurt?

    question #4

    how the hell do you know when to use acrylics, when to use enamels or lacquers?!sometimes i feel like reading so many different suggestions and techniques can do a bit more harm than good since everyone seems to have their own way of doing things. I'm not looking to completely copy other styles I've seen here, i just want to make sure I'm not triple ordering things because i wasn't aware of something i should have ordered the first time.

    Alright. I'm sure i could go on and on and I'm sure no one is willing to pass out from reading a longer wall-o-text than it already is.

    I just want to thank everyone that makes it through this and has time to send or post me a reply. i love the comradery here and hope to one day be able to give sound advice for others just beginning this challenge.



    :thumb 
     
  2. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I just came across this towards the end of my night (day?), but one thing I'd like to say first is just take small steps. It seems like the thing that you're struggling with the most is just doing something. You've mentioned you have some experience, and frankly that's more than some of the artists who post here had before they first started out. Many of us will always recommend just taking an inexpensive toy and changing something to it to create your first custom. Use the completed project as a stepping stone to your next piece.

    I'd love to give you more advice, but quite simply I'm out of time right now. I hope that either some others can chime in and help you out more and/or I'll be able to get back to you here soon :wink: 
     
  3. altezen

    altezen Well-Known Member

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    Maybe understanding some of the terminology may help. Primers/Base coats/Surfacer all refer to a type of paint which helps other paints to adhere to the plastic surface.

    After the base coat, you can then paint the colours on and finally seal and protect the paint coat with a layer of clear coat/ Topcoat.

    There are many type of paints like acrylic (Water base), enamel and lacquer paints (Solvent base). Maybe you should learn about the nature and availability in your area of each type of paint before deciding what to use. Shipping of paint, thinner and top coat are all considered as Hazmat and may sometimes be a problem.

    You can try online hobby store like HobbyLink Japan Home Page for you paints, but other radicons may be able to point you to a online hobby shop closer to where you are.

    You can use the .3 airbrush for finer details or small area and the .5 is good for larger surfaces, metallic paints and top coats.

    I think you can do a bit of both. Sometimes disaseembling may not be possible without damaging the mold (it subjective though, based on your experience). You can always look up the tutorial on removing pins.

    As you said, shave to reduce the size, so that when the coat of paint is added, the joints will not be to tight and friction causing you paint to fall off.

    Every type of paint has it's own drying and curing time. Lacquer drys the fasters in maybe 15 min, enamel and arcylic paints may take longer. Can't give you a definite timing for curing. I usually let it cure overnight.

    Get a dry booth to prevent dust while your piece is drying, especially if you sprayed a thick layer of clear. Hair dryer isn't a great option to use, you won't know if the paint will crack as the outer layer dries faster than the inside.

    Your choice of paint may depend on several factors:
    1. availability in your area
    2. Health consideration (Arcylic will probably your choice of paint)
    3. Hand Painting (Enamel is slow drying and will be better for Handpainting and dry brushing)
    4. You have to decide a choice of paint before anyone else may be able to provide you with any further advise.
     
  4. deathonacracker

    deathonacracker Decepticrumb

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    thanks guys. i know my posts is a bit long and i understand it's time consuming. i wasn't sure if one type of paint was preferred over another. I'm accustomed to using acrylics but i know they are much more delicate to wear so i figures it wasn't a great idea to use with transforming toys.

    We have a Hobby town in my area along with a couple Michaels craft stores so finding paint isn't a problem. i just figured some online stores would have them a bit cheaper. i guess it would do me good to just try those places first so i wont have to worry about shipping and ordering the wrong thing. HLJ was the main online store I've been looking at. i already ordered ball joints from there and I'm just waiting for them to arrive. There are just so many choices (which would happen anywhere) that i didn't know what to get. i've written down some suggestions from other posts so I'll go for those first.
     

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