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Old 2009-01-23, 04:03 AM   #1
another tf fan
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Smile [CUSTOM] Useful customising tips and tricks!

So I was just posting to Spinger007 about doing a paint wash for quick and easy panel lining and I wanted to start a thread on modeling tricks.

(Maybe one exists already, I didn't look. Sue me.)

I'm not exactly an expert but in my early teens I was very involved in the car modeling hobby and still maintain a large kit collection. I also keep some supplies around but let me tell you opened enamel paints don't keep long.

So here are a few tricks I know:

- Buy a few issues of Scale Auto Enthusiast. Seriously. There is real information on paint prepping, filling, sanding, modding and the science behing stryrene. You need to understand the medium of which you are working in. There can even be helpful hints on die cast.

- If you are doing a long term project label your screws and draw diagrams. You will find screws and metal dowels are not all alike. Putting too long a screw in can deform the plastic on the other side. This can cause plastic stress marks or worse crack in a well laid paint job.

- Keep It Clean. This is so important. Clean your dusty workplace and clean your parts in warm soapy water. Clean them well. Sanding dust in the crease of a wheel well or door handle groove (panel lines too) will ruin the detail of your work.

- Model Car Cement only adhears to unpainted plastic. Strip or sand paint off of glue joints. Same goes for chromed plastic. Scrape it off with a hobby knife.
(Model car magazines always say "use a new number 11 blade..." I think model car magazines are in cahoots with the X-acto Corporation.)

- On the subject of blades I have found the back side of the blade is a useful panel scribe. Got a panel line you don't want to lose to a new paint job? Scribe it a few times before primer. Trust me it brings the detail through.

- Plastic molds are two halves, right? So where the mold comes together you have a line. that line is called flash. Use a knife and sand paper to eliminate the line. Your parts will look a little less like toys and more like a scale model of a classic figure.

- Hobby shops sell Sheet Styrene. Also Stryrene square tube, rails, dowels and other shapes. They are by Evergreen Scale Models (And maybe I'm in cahoots with EVERGREEN SCALE MODELS... at a hobby shop near you.)

- Dry brushing has been covered before, but for you newbies out there : Dry brush technique. Best done with with silver over dark and black over light. Get a brush and a piece of non waxy cardboard. Get the lid off your paint and dip the brish in the lid.
This paint has been drying out already. Get a fair amount on the brush, then go bat the brush on the cardboard. get the brush rather dry and paint the highest molded detail (go nuts. don't be afraid, the paint will run out before you really get into trouble.)
Repeat until satisfied.

- Paint Wash. Pretty simple, get your black enamel, thin it out with a lot thinner and using a wide brush cover your panel lines. Get a lint free cloth and wipe over your washed area. clean any excess a little later with clean thinner.
This tip only works on UNPAINTED plastic. If you apply what amounts to colored paint thinner to an enamel paint job you have sprayed it will melt off. Tampograph and long cured enamels and acryllics will take a modicum od paint thinner abuse but I wouldn't be hasty about it. Let your paint cure for a long time before applying a paint wash.
I will be fair here too, Paint Wash is, pardon the pun, Down And Dirty. It is a quick way to get detailed panel lines. There is a risk to it, though and hand striping a panel line is less likely to go horribly wrong.

- Decals. I'm not a huge fan of water slide decals but I have done them right and with a clear coat over them you have essentially permanent racing stripes, labels, details and symbols.
Water slides are actally quite easy to manipulate on introduction. they slide and squirm well. Problems come from not getting all the bubbles from under them.

-Which brings us to Labels. Repro or otherwise. They are a classic way to add faction symbols, Robo-Gizmo-Generica and stripes. Bear in mind they are a few mils thicker than decals and won't look too good under a clear coat.




There is tons more I could say but I'll let this be an installment for now. Trust me, the tricks of model car building totaly cross over to Transformers. Begin building skills in one, you will do better at both.
 

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Last edited by another tf fan; 2009-01-23 at 04:10 AM.
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Old 2009-01-23, 11:56 AM   #2
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nice little tutorial
 
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Old 2009-01-23, 12:22 PM   #3
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Finally, some good, detailed info on paint washing. Finally!

I can see the point in tip two. Screws, pins, etc. should be marked out. My custom Motormaster (CYB Prime repaint) was ruined due to me losing 90% of the screws.

I always found any sanding will get rid of flash. Smooth sanding bits from a dremel, done.

Evergreen's decent, but I wouldn't rule out other Brands. Buy what is right. I know it sounds obvious, but i found careful measurements and whatnot work better than anyone brand by itself.

If you don't mind, i'd like to add a few tips:

Get Yourself A Dremel/Other Rotary Tool. Simple. Opens a whole new world of possibilities, mould wise.

This is a controversial one, but i found that if pegs aren't necessary, cut them off. But only if there are pieces immediately surrounding the pegged piece. E.G. Legends Jazz can have the peg on his arm piece removed due to his bonnet/chest and his legs surrounding his arm panel in car mode.

Again, tip 2's probably controversial.
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 12:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treadshot A1 View Post
Evergreen's decent, but I wouldn't rule out other Brands. Buy what is right. I know it sounds obvious, but i found careful measurements and whatnot work better than anyone brand by itself.


If you don't mind, i'd like to add a few tips...
Of course I don't mind your or any one's tips and tricks.

Keep badmouthing EVERGREEN SCALE MODELS (at hobby shop near you) and I will have you banned.
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 01:30 AM   #5
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A good idea if there ever was one.

Though of course you've opened the floor for n00bs like me to bombard you with questions.


1) You mention enamels in your first post. What advantages does enamel have over acrylic, or lacquer for that matter?

2) I take it labels are substantially different from decals. Do you still recommend sealing (unless this is the same as a clear coat?) them after they are applied?
 

Last edited by Transformer Kamen; 2009-01-24 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 2009-01-24, 02:02 AM   #6
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1: Enamels generally are more durable, and supposedly hold there colour longer than acrylics. Some swear by them, but i still use acrylics.

Enamels do have a problem in that if you get any onto yourself, you'll have a real hard time getting it off. Someone once said that olive oil helps remove it?

2: Whether or not to seal a label is generally at your own discretion. I've found no problem just sticking them on and forgetting bout it.

Decals, you must seal, or they come off easily. Labels, you decide. Use common sense.

Extra tip:

Buy as many legends figs as possible, if you don't have spare junk/ko's lying around. Best way to learn is from experience, so try on cheap or worthless stuff, before wasting cash on big figs.
 


Last edited by Treadshot A1; 2009-01-24 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 2009-01-24, 03:01 AM   #7
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I mainly use enamels for three reasons:

Color Availability
Color Consistancy
I am a child of the 80's and Enamels are what I have worked with for 20 plus years.

Acrylics do offer advantages:

Water Based (Slightly less toxic)
No harsh chemicals to clean (Paint thinner is a carcinogen, don't drink it.)
Color availability is getting larger.

Enamels take to waxing well too. Any car wax will polish up an enamel paint job. Really rubs the shine in and the color out 24 hours after painting.

- Here is another tip. Testors flat black in a rattle can is your friend. quickly and easily paint all incedental parts with this handy cover-all. Remember, an unpainted leg interior or chest cavity is an unprofessional one.

- As for rattle cans (Spray Paint for the pwnd noobs): Get some 100 F water in a deep bowl and set the can in it. Use something heavy to submerge the can. Let the paint warm and you will have a better flowing spray. Do shake the can vigorously to stir paint and get the water out of the can ribs, spraying a model only to drip water on it is defeating.
Also, do turn the can upside down and spray until the paint turns just to aerosol. This keeps the nozzle clean. Don't go nuts, as you can run a can out of pressure and waste half a can of paint.

- As for ENAMEL PAINT: It does have a shelf life. Don't go buy every color under the rainbow. Stock up only on what you may use in a year. Flat Black, Gloss Black, Flat and Gloss White, Silver, Copper and Gold are exceptions because you will use a lot of them. The multi pack testors seem like a good idea until you throw out the orange, yellow, green and maize.

- Not all Spray paint is the same. Don't just go to Home Depot and stock up on whats cheap. Some may be ok, but most will give you uninspiring results.

- Hell, Buy an airbrush. and not that cheap one from Testors with the propellent. Your roomate will just huff the propellant and the damn things don't work more than once. Get a good airbrush and a small air compressor if you are serious about customizing. (ala frenzy-rumble, sonray and the radicons guys)

- Orange peel. Know what that is? no? then you have no buisiness spray painting anything. Orange peel is a texture to your paint work that resembles, you guessed it, AN ORANGE PEEL. The surface has thousands of small divots cause you used the wrong paint, too cold of paint, wrong primer or sprayed too fast. Light even coats are the best, but even I get in a rush. If you are "getten her done" in a rush go for the gloss in one or two heavy coats. You may get a run in the paint ( a run is a bunch of paint in one area that drips of your work) but the orange peel can almost never be painted over.

- If doing a drastic color change use a primer. I have been guilty of using a flat white for light colors that I want to pop and flat black as a base for darker colors. Do use some sort of rough surface paint to give your final color something to stick to.



Ok thats all i'm doing for now. Did you go buy Scale Auto Enthusiast yet? no? then get one NOW NOW NOW. - and if your town ever has a model car show, go. look at what those who know can do with paint, plastic, putty and time. You will be humbled. Thanks Guys, I appreciate the feedback and want to help you become better builders. I'm not harsh, I just have developed an eye for real paint work and real BAD paint work. Don't be afraid to fail, you're gonna, just learn from your mistakes and keep going. I have painted model cars, Transformers, and for that matter Real cars. You wanna know something, Real Cars are much harder.
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 04:14 AM   #8
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Don't Use a Lacquer, No matter what you do.It will rub off even if you put ten coat o' varnish over it. Just use something else.

Oh, and Evergreen sucks.

Say, what are the chances of sticky-ing this thread? May prove useful.
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 01:13 PM   #9
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I dont suppose anyone would be interested in tips and tricks on Lego kitbashes?
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 01:25 PM   #10
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Well, for one, you don't generally paint them, two, they're digital, and three, ah... [/joke]

One thing i can think of on Lego: Don't use those black/grey/blue Technik cylinder things for joints. They are sofa king loose.
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 01:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treadshot A1 View Post
One thing i can think of on Lego: Don't use those black/grey/blue Technik cylinder things for joints. They are sofa king loose.
I've generally found them to be ok in reallity.
 

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Old 2009-01-24, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electro girl View Post
I dont suppose anyone would be interested in tips and tricks on Lego kitbashes?
Do you digibashes as well? Even if no, I wouldn't mind hearing about what you use to do your Lego-bashes.
 
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Old 2009-01-24, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transformer Kamen View Post
Do you digibashes as well? Even if no, I wouldn't mind hearing about what you use to do your Lego-bashes.
Just click the link uder my sig to see my work. I use lego digital designer because my real lego has been put in the attic.
Heres a link to the official lego site were you can download it. http://ldd.lego.com/default.aspx
 

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Old 2009-01-25, 01:38 AM   #14
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thanks for the tips, I got my dremel last week and am debating an airbrush, I just can't seem to put down an even coat of white paint.
 

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Old 2009-01-25, 04:08 AM   #15
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White can be forgiving. If you are painting over any color but white I recommend using a white or grey primer. Remember you really want to spray primer in one coat. too many coats of primer and panel lines and molded detail will disappear.

Trouble getting an even finish? Spray light even complete coats. Dont worry about how glossy it is on tyhe first and second coats, then go nuts on the third. You should achieve a smooth glossy white.
 

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Old 2009-01-25, 01:55 PM   #16
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found this site, it's tutorials seem very good

http://www.scaleautomag.com/sca/default.aspx?c=ss&id=75

I'm painting the white by hand over grey Primer, but am thinking of getting an airbrush, I'd like to have it before I paint my next figure
 

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Old 2009-01-25, 09:23 PM   #17
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great information. I too, religiously use enamels, though many people swear by their acylics.

Very good info, straight to the point.
 
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Old 2009-01-26, 01:23 AM   #18
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Thanks Frenzy-Rumble! Praise from Ceaser.

Anone here ever had a vacuum molder. I never have, but a friend of mine did and you could make all kinds of glass. Really a cool piece of modeling equipment.
 

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Old 2009-01-26, 03:37 AM   #19
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We used big ones in uni and they are very useful, limited only by the fact that they have to mould downward at an outward angle, as the shape it's copying has to be removed afterwards, so no inward details.

though I imagine it'd make really nice nice windshields and body paneling.

easy to use too as I remember, heat the plastic, swoosh and as soon as its cool you have a new piece ready to use.

do they get used in the hobby? I'm only new to this hobby.
 

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Old 2009-01-26, 06:17 PM   #20
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I just remember using them to make replica auto glass.

Maybe usefull in Transformers for modified windows or certain shell parts.
 

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