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Advice sought on avoiding streaking in brushing modern enamels


Merlin
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Hi,

I am currently doing battle with a tin of Revell gloss paint, It goes on (brushed on with a quality brush) streaky and doesnt blend or settle out uniformly. Gloss is always a bit tricky I find anyway but with modern paint standards being awful its even worse. Same goes for modern Humbrol, gloss red was a nightmare a few yrs ago, green not much better, more like coloured treacle. No mellowing and fusing together of adjacent strokes, White Ensign just as bad, its see through and a second coat lifts the first two days later. Users of old humbrol and humbrol authentics will know what paint should be like. (see other thread here)

What is best to do to this paint to get it to brush out like a dream ? One coverage or at least first coat uniformity.

I would like to give a Revell or Humbrol chap a sable brush and say go on, show me how to paint with this stuff !!!

Is it the same remedy for all of them or does e.g. Revell need a different approach ?

So far I have tried thinning it thinking it will blend together to give an even colour, ...no chance !

Tried Old Humbrol thinners, Winsor and Newton Artist White Spirit, Cellulose thinners, Turpentine, Hannants thinners.

Its as if it doesnt take to the plastic, it has no bite and is easily removed on the second stroke. Cellulose was the least effective with a textured surface, evaporating out before blending occured.

Merlin

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There's no hard and fast answer I'm afraid. It's taken me over a year to get to the point where my brush painting doesn't make me want to throw the model away.

You'll get the usual responses, and they are worth remembering, as they are the foundations of good brush painting.:

1. Stir the paint like your life depends on it. Use thinner to break down the lumps.

2. Mutliple thin coats

3. Wide Flat Sable brush

4. Allow paint to cure between coats

Beyond this, I can offer these tips:

1. Don't bother with Gloss paint. It's almost impossible to brush. Find a Matt or Satin version, and use Klear to get a gloss finish.

2. Thinning - I use Humbrol Enamel Thinners in the large round tin. Works perfectly for me. Thin your paint substantially. I find around 60/40 in favour of paint for most Humbrol enamels. This may be more than alot of people advise, but it is key to getting a smooth finish. If the paint is too thick, you will end up overworking it and creating more brush marks. Most colours won't need more than 3 coats, even when thinned this much.

3. Don't overload the brush. If you take too much off the brush, you can always go back for more. If you lay down too much, you end up overworking it.

4. Don't go back!! Try not to brush over the same spot twice. It will only end in tears.

5. Sand and buff between coats (This is important)- If you thin suitably, then the only brush marks you should worry about are streaks in the paint. These will go away as you build up the layers. Inbetween coats, allow it to fully cure (some take longer when it comes to Humbrol i.e I know that Hu65 takes 12 hours, but Hu155 takes up to 36 hrs. It's all down to experience, every paint is different.) Once fully cured, GENTLY sand with wet 1200. Use plenty of water and this will help avoid cutting into the paint. Be very very gentle with it, especially around leading edges and raised detail. Follow this by buffing with a piece of old denim or cotton cloth.

6. Once you've buffed the last coat, it may not look 100% perfect. This is where I rely on Gloss coats, weathering, decals and the all important final Matt Coat. These things can hide a multitude of sins.

7. The final Matt/Satin/Gloss Coat (Very important)- After trying every brushable Matt Coat under the sun, I have given up and use a Humbrol Rattle Can. Trust me, get this right and any final brush marks will vanish. If you can brush a Matt Coat, more power to you, but it's totally beyond me. Same goes for Satin. If you are going for a Gloss finish, then Klear brushes fine for me, but again, a Rattle Can Varnish would be best for the final Coat.

8. Oh, and don't bother brush painting White, Yellow or NMF on large surface areas. These are the only times I use a rattle can for painting, much as I loath it. I try to avoid these as much as possible.

Hope this helps, this is only going by my experience. Here is an example of one of my best finishes, using the above guidelines:

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DSCN0164.jpg

Edited by andyramone
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@andyramone

8. Oh, and don't bother brush painting White, Yellow or NMF on large surface areas. These are the only times I use a rattle can for painting, much as I loath it. I try to avoid these as much as possible.

Do you say this is because more layers of paint are needed for covering the plastic color beneath the paint? I thinned some satin white color for a helicopter (light gray plastic) and discovered that I had to put on 4-5 layers to make it look fully white.

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@andyramone

Do you say this is because more layers of paint are needed for covering the plastic color beneath the paint? I thinned some satin white color for a helicopter (light gray plastic) and discovered that I had to put on 4-5 layers to make it look fully white.

That's part of it. It's very hard to build up the opacity, and they show up the slightest of blemishes in my expereince. For small areas, you can get away with it, but as the main colour scheme, I've never been able to get it to work.

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I have been brush painting for a long time now and I found revell paint to be the worst I ever tried.

I stick to humbrol and xtracolour. Both behave differently. Xtracolour is thinner than humbrol.

I have never had any problems with gloss paint, though matt/satin does finish better. Most of the time I just use the paint out of the tin and dont thin it.

I always polish out my cured paint surface with high grit polishing pads for an ultra smooth surface which then gets kleer prior to decaling.

Like has been mentioned the final coat can make or break a model. Gloss varnish does not look right for most finishes. I have used humbrol matt and satin but to be honest this is where the acrylics have it. Both xtracylix and valehjo brush well.

To be honest even though I still like to brush paint I got an airbrush and as well as for white/yellow which dont brush well at all I mainly use it for putting on final varnish coats.

Julien

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Cheers Andyramone,

Good practice there for anyone brushing paint as opposed to airbrushing.

4. Don't go back!! Try not to brush over the same spot twice. It will only end in tears.

That certainly is true, but its so tempting when this new stuff cant cover well.

5. Sand and buff between coats (This is important)- If you thin suitably, then the only brush marks you should worry about are streaks in the paint. These will go away as you build up the layers. ..snip…Once fully cured, GENTLY sand with wet 1200. Use plenty of water and this will help avoid cutting into the paint. Be very very gentle with it, especially around leading edges and raised detail. Follow this by buffing with a piece of old denim or cotton cloth.

The thought of sanding raised detail…. :o

There again I would be airbrushing such areas.

My need, which I should have explained better, was for when one is painting small parts not worthy of all the messing around using an airbrush involves. Exterior finishes on aircraft would see me with an airbrush.

Small parts I want to paint once, and be working with a while later. This I could do when I first got into modelling in the mid 70’s . Humbrol was the paint and it was idiot proof. I just cant work out what has happened in the evolution of paint that what we have now is just dreadful by comparison to how Humrol just took to the unprimed surface and blended together, no streaking.

I needed a specific colour and unfortunately Revell had that colour, a primary colour, not one that can be made from mixing, and it was gloss, though as the item needed to be gloss it saved me from glossing it. Such a small item I wanted to paint it and be gluing it in place a while later, as such, its needed thinning as it drags easily when overlapped, that has meant two coats, 2 days to be sure its cured, another coat and another 2 days before working with it, 4 days when I wanted it after 4 hrs if not less. I get very limited time for modelling so having taken leave, to do said modelling, 4 days is leave over, well and truly stuffed before I start.

I need paint that acts as old humbrol, one coat coverage and good to go in an hour or so, sometimes less. This new stuff has killed any chance of seeing started and finished a part of a model in a day. Even the second thinned coat was showing signs that a third was needed but not being able to face that scenario of more stirring , mixing painting and brush cleaning I had to go back over it, risking the golden rule, scary stuff.

Modelling with these paints is a hair raising business. I bet we have lost some modellers who cant get on with them. I have spoken to modellers who find the modern paints a nightmare, there are modellers though who don’t know what paints used to be like, if only they knew !!! I was painting wire parts so acrylics are no good, they don’t grip what they get painted onto I find, and I am not spending time using primer on everything, that would add still to the timespan.

Why I ask, can we not have the old style enamel paints ?

Are there acrylics that dont dry quickly on brush tip, I find enamels keep going longer, thinned with turpentine then longer still, though drying time is longer. ...are there acrylics that do bite and hold onto metal like ebrass or wire, that do blend and give one coat coverage ?

Merlin

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I used to hate painting until I tried acrylics. I use a rattle can of Halfords primer, which if you shoot lightly will be dry enough to buff and paint in about 20 minutes. The acrylic is then a one coat job, and the acrylic varnishes are excellent. From cutting the part from the sprue to being able to handle it and glue in place is no more than a couple of hours, with easy clean up and very few failures.

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Forget the enamels. I am looking at perhaps 200 tins of the stuff. I am going to keep the odd shade fot nav lights etc but not large areas. Like you I brush paint and now use acrylic paints only. As has been said I use Klear and Humbrol Spray Varnishs, I use Grey primer from Halfords and large areas I use rattle cans. I always use sheets of plasticard for testing first never something that has been prepainted. Working on the premise that the model is new and unpainted and I don't want to confuse the issue as how the finish would look.Last tip never hurry it and don't paint when you are tired. Good Luck and Happy Modelling!

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If you're prepared to try acrylics and want to paint small parts, the Games Workshop foundation paints brush very well and have a very high pigment content so they (mostly) cover in one coat. Not a huge range of colours and they tend to be somewhat desaturated (I suspect some of the opacity comes from neutral-coloured filler) but I haven't found that to be an issue. They're on the cusp of changing their range, I think the same thing in the new range is called "basecoat". Their normal colour paints aren't bad either but most will need more than one coat to cover.

The brown, green, red here are one coat of the foundations each (the green is a mix, the red is as-supplied, and the brown has been drybrushed with another brown). I painted this in a hurry straight from the pot and it still levelled well.

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If you find your acrylics drying out, a wet palette is supposed to be good although I haven't tried it.

Oddly, I remember having good luck brushing Tamiya acrylics a few years ago but I can't reproduce the results now and always botch it. Possibly the GW paints have made my technique lazy?

Will

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The thought of sanding raised detail…. :o

Its not so much sanding but buffing with a high grit gloss. If you have raised detail/panel lines etc then this has the benefit of bringing them out.

Julien

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