Customs: How to paint Shapeways Figures

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by sideswipe29, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    So, I've had my Shapeways Trivia for several months now and am only now going to have some time to start painting him up. I started to read some of the Shapeways forums to get a feel so painting 3D printed material but I just figured I should post here since many of you have experience with painting Shapeways products.

    The main body is in Strong White Flexible Polished and the head is in Frosted Ultra Detail.

    I read on the Shapeways forums that you should wash the parts before painting. This would mean washing the SWF parts with soapy water and a toothbrush and the FUD head in acetone for 3 minutes. Is this step really necessary?

    Next I know you would need to prime the figure so I guess I want recommendations from you guys about what primers you like to use, what type of paints work best, and what type of clear coats you put on top to seal the paint. I read that one person recommends using clear varnish if the figure will be handled a lot, is that what you guys use?

    Any and all help will be greatly appreciated. This is such a fun little figure and I want to bring him to life with colors!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    Yes, washing is necessary if you want the paint to have good adhesion. As for 3 minutes of acetone on the FUD, um... are you sure? Is that straight acetone or a diluted mix? Just seems like that could damage the heck out of the piece but I guess I don't know much about the material FUD is made of so maybe that's correct. I'd double check to be sure.
     
  3. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    Taken straight from the Shapeways forum (Question for priming and painting polished Strong & Flexible plastic miniatures):

    I had my initial fears myself about the acetone and still don't remain totally convinced, I think even for the FUD head I'll just stick with soapy water and a toothbrush.

    Do you have any recommendations on painting?
     
  4. grimlockprime

    grimlockprime Well-Known Member

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    dont use acetone on the fud head.you will end up with plastic soup
     
  5. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    Yeah. That's kinda what I thought. So that answers my questions about prepping the material. Now I want advice about painting. Any suggestions on brands, technique, colors, etc. would be appreciated.
     
  6. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    I know enamels stick extremely well. So far, I've used three brands of paint markers, and they've all worked great.
    Gundam
    Tamiya
    Painters

    I have no idea how well acrylic works, though.
     
  7. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    Huh. I never thought of using paint markers. Do you still apply a primer coat and then use your markers over that? How runny is the paint from the makers. If I'm doing this by hand I want to make sure I'm not making a huge dripping mess. Also do you apply a sealer coat when you're finished?

    Sorry that's a lot of questions but I really like the thought of using paint makers.
     
  8. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    Shapeways strong flexible doesn't really require a primer as far as I know. The plastic is very porous, which causes it to almost work like a sponge. I did apply a coat of floor polish just in case, but it didn't really seem to rub off at all before that.
     
  9. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    Excellent. Thanks for the tips. Where do you buy your paint markers from? I saw a bunch of Testors markers on Amazon.
     
  10. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    Gundam and Tamiya markers I've gotten from both Amazon and HLJ. Painters you can get at Walmart in the craft department.
     
  11. sideswipe29

    sideswipe29 Collect what makes you happy

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    Okay. I think I'm actually going to go with Testors. For the price they have all the colors I need for my Trivia figure.
     

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  12. Snaku

    Snaku Well-Known Member

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    If they're recommending acetone over on the shapeways forums, I wouldn't dismiss that idea out of hand but I would test the heck out of it first. Maybe on a cheap piece or a leftover sprue or something so you can observe firsthand what the results are.
     
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