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JMorgan

Brush painting tips for a large area

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OK, not sure if this needs to be in paint. Been a year or so out from my last one, work got in the way, but the last one I sprayed with a tin paint and was quite pleased. Now it is on to the brush.

Now I am onto a few planes and I do not have an air brush. The finish on the 1/72 Italeri Rafale is a bit industrial, single colour finish. The ME262 I am waiting to see what that comes out like but that has a few variations, back to the single colour finish.

So what I think is a good quality wide brush, enamel paint (Model Master ghost grey). I think I missed a trick by not priming. Does thinning this paint gain anything? Tried to flatten the finish by rubbing 1200 grit together first then on the paint but it is awkward and swirly. Still get a poor finish.

Any pointers most welcome to hand brushing where a large coverage of a single colour is concerned.

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Can people avoid saying "get an airbrush" please? I know that's the temptation, but resist! :rolleyes:

Can't help much as I've only brush-painted one kit for a retro GB, and I used thinned paint with a flat brush, and rubbed it down with micromesh between coats :)

finished1.jpg

Came out ok (from a distance) :nerd:

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Hers what i do (if in doubt at what i say ask shar2 hes seen my brushed models)

Store the paint tin upside down turning right way up for a while before turning upside down do this with all my paints stir for a LONG time till smooth mix

Best brush you can afford wide tip I use Tamyias paint brushes

i dont prime my models

Start at the back and work forward

leave for 24 to 48 hrs for the paint to harden

Paint from the front to the back

Never paint in the same direction you painted in first time

I painted a 1/72 scale u boat this way with no problems and no brush marks

I never rub my models down tween coats never had to

Edited by Panzer Vor!!!

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Hi there,

Not sure this will help, but I have hand painted a few trek kits in the past, with the being the best of course.

I always prime in white, then two or three thin base coats painting in the direction, which hopefully ends up with a nice solid colour.

Cheers

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I just remembered something! :hmmm: I added a dot of white to my red paint for the Hawk above, and it improved the coverage immensely... weird, but true :)

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Panzer Vor!!! covered it very well (sorry, no pun intended). A couple of extra things that I would add are:

Get hold of a good-quality watercolour flat brush - I've found them capable of producing a very smooth finish.

Experiment with the angle the brush meets the surface to be painted - each brush has its own best angle, and you'll know it when you find it :).

Good luck!

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Panzer Vor!!! covered it very well (sorry, no pun intended). A couple of extra things that I would add are:

Get hold of a good-quality watercolour flat brush - I've found them capable of producing a very smooth finish.

Experiment with the angle the brush meets the surface to be painted - each brush has its own best angle, and you'll know it when you find it :).

Good luck!

Thats the second time i ve heard someone mention watercolour brushes for large flat areas but the ones ive seen allways have too much bristle stiffner on and when ive finally cleaned it off the brush aint up to much

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Thats the second time i ve heard someone mention watercolour brushes for large flat areas but the ones ive seen allways have too much bristle stiffner on and when ive finally cleaned it off the brush aint up to much

I was sceptical as well, but the guy in the art department at the local hobby shop insisted I try, so I did, and he was right :). Can't remember the brand off-hand, but it took about 30 seconds to clean out the stiffener.

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Cheers.

Water colour brush eh? OK. On my roundtoit list. Not thought about brushing the next coat a different angle to the prior one. I always shake then stir my paints a lot until there is no residue in the bottom, slightly off topic here but thought of rigging up a small motor (maplins jobby and a AA battery) and setting that up on a cam and a table to agitate whilst I get on with something else. Work in progress (still in me head at the moment).

Just checking the 262 underneath and quite happy with that, xtracolour RLM range. But that is a gloss whereas the Rafale is not. Me thinking I may have the wrong paint? Either way the Rafale is looking like it lost a fight in a Dulux matt paint tin. Thinking this is becoming a test bed.

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Im a brush painter and the way i do it:

1. Give the whole model a rub with 1200 wet dry under a tap.

2. Shake the paint for 2minutes (i use humbrol acrylics) then stir for another 2minutes.

3. Thin the paint with water so it runs easily off the stirrer.

4. Using a good quality soft brush paint in straight lines in 1 direction not going over the same area.

5. Do 3 or 4 thin coats and you should end up with a smooth finish.

If the paint is thin enough then it should self level before it drys.

Also i soak my brushes in vanish washing powder overnight. I find it gets all the crap out the bristles and even if the brush is hard and looks past it, i have had them soften up and used them again with great results

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1200? seems a bit coarse though (old trick of rubbing 1200 together maybe?) ? OK, try that, though is this going to be an issue with enamel? I could try the inside of a wing first?

I am using enamels as I have a large stock from many moons ago so sort of stuck with them so decided to carry on. However. Maybe I should give acrylic a more serious go, certainly will not harm but that will not be on this one.

John Laidlaw, thanks for the link. Will investigate, the link is to the US site and loses it marbles when I click the UK site. Bit more time later when I have a mo should sort it. And try my existing in vanish as per above.

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Another tip for brush painting acrylics, I've found to be useful, is to thin the last couple of coats with Klear or Quickshine. This way you do get a self levelling paint layer, and it dries gloss and decal ready, and the paint stays workable for longer.

I use Tamiya flat brushes for brushing acrylic, and they are very soft and leave virtually no bristle marks. these ones:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Modeling-Brush-Basic-Set-Brushes/dp/B000J44ZY4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360743345&sr=8-1

The larger brush - though called "basic" is one of the nicest brushes for acrylics I've ever found

HTH

Jonners

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John Laidlaw, thanks for the link. Will investigate, the link is to the US site and loses it marbles when I click the UK site. Bit more time later when I have a mo should sort it. And try my existing in vanish as per above.

Oops, sorry about that! I adore it when websites are "helpy" like that...

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I've written couple of times here about my Brush painting. You'll get as many responses as there are brush painters, but hopefully these will help:

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.

And here's another post with similar stuff, but most importantly, stuff about brushes:

1. Use a decent, wide flat brush. Sable is the preffered choice. I have a 1/2" Sable that is my best friend, and does most of my main painting jobs in 1/48 and 1/32. It cost £18 which is pricey, but when you spend that much on a brush, you're more likely to take care of it.
2. Take care of your brush. Keep it clean. I use White Spirit to clean it imediately after use, and make sure you then rinse off the White Spirit with warm soapy water. I also use Hair conditioner on it every few months to keep it supple.
3. Use enamels and thin the crap out ofthem. This is my main tip. I think the main problem people have is they don't thin the paint anywhere near enough. Each brand and color will be different, but generally, I start about 60/40 ratio of paint to thinner, and go from there. The thinner you can get it whilst still getting good coverage, the better. Test it on some scrap plastic first to see if you've got the right flow.
4. Multiple thin coats. Don't overload your brush. Once you've dipped it in the paint, tap off the excess on some tissue paper, you can always add more, but if you slop on too much to start with, you're losing a fighting battle.
5. Make your brush strokes as long as possible. And don't go back over an already painted area unless you absolutely have to.
6.Get a pack of Micro Mesh pads from E-bay. Leave each coat to fully cure for at least 24 hours, and GENTLY sand down the paint and go up the
grades of micro mesh. I ususally go 1800, 4000, 8000, and the final coat gets 12000.
7. Streaks and brush marks are impossible to completely eliminate until you put on your final Matt Coat. And for this, you should use a rattle can. It will make any streaks completely dissapear, and you will be amazed that you ever used a brush once that Matt Coat is cured. My Raiden pics above show that at the moment, there are streaks in the paint, but trust me, I have every faith they will dissapear by the time I'm finished. I've tried every brand of Matt Varnish to brush on, but it never works. Spray it on and it'll do wonders for the final finish.

Edited by andyramone

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Oops, sorry about that! I adore it when websites are "helpy" like that...

No problem, I selected the UK site and followed my nose in. They are still there. Once I set it as a UK site the cookies keep it that way even from your link.

Edit. Andyramone, thanks. I have searched but probably used the wrong search and term. Thinning I was not sure on. The wide brush I have was I think carrying too much paint, I am also going to thin out a brush o try that. Just tried a matt coat on the wing and it makes a hell of a difference. Needs re doing but I need to get a finer paper as you say.

Edited by JMorgan

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I'd recommend Pro Arte Prolene One Stroke Series 106 Brushes - these are the ones with the flat ops - for all flat surfaces. Smaller curved parts I would use their Round Series.

I'd echo most of the tips and advice. I would add:

Be patient - if it doesn't cover as you would expect, don't force it. You can always add another layer later.

After cleaning the brushes (I use Acrylics 90% of the time) - air dry them - there's no need to wipe them and add the risk of getting tissue / cloth fibres embedded between the bristles.

Practice - not all paints behave the same way - so use the inside unseen areas of kits to see how you need to apply that particular brand - or even pot!

Hood and Shar2 have seen the results in the flesh (as may others when seeing my models on display with West Middlesex Scale Model Club), though you can find photos of my brush work here on BM). It's not brilliant, but it's much better now I've switched to the flat top brushes.

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I nearly always brush paint as spraying is almost never practical where i live. I don't prime but do thin slightly and use a tamiya basic flat brush. Works very nicely on 72nd and smaller 48th aircraft especially if they are multi coloured like wwii subjects.

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I am reading, thanks for the help. Finer grades of paper and cloth arrived this week, brushes as well yet still not got around to the water colour flat brush but will punch the button on the order shortly.

The Rafale refuses to play still yet the 262 and JU87 are showing good results. Only problem is I put the wrong colours on the 262, one wrong colour and flipped the colours, say X and Y required, put Y where it should be X.....at least it went on well. That is all done in xtracolour RLM paints. The JU87 is in Humbrol (airfix so using their guide),

But the problem remains, the Rafale in model master. Tried thinning it as well. Problem is now I have a bit of a coating on it. The matt cote (?) made a difference but only after sanding down.

Adding ChocksAway suggestion to my shopping list.

I have realised a few errors as well such as adding parts before painting that get in the way later.

Edit 23/2/13. Water colour Brushes ordered, as they have been described here. Other points to be tried over the next few days, Cheers all.

Edited by JMorgan

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Not wanting to bump for the hell of it, but I have been following advice here.

Well, brushes have been put to good use in between the slight problem of working for the loot to live. The Art brushes and brushes with synthetic bristles but a wide one, they work a treat. I think the way the bristles are clamped are the key as someone mentioned (?). I did prime with halfords on a 1/72 mosquito, Mosquito is a bit wrong so using it to test the paining. Might be salvageable. They worked on the JU87 and 262 though I still have technique issues but the coverage seems sorted.

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I've come to this very useful thread a bit late and can only agree - as a painter as well as a modeller - that buying the best quality brushes you can is worth it...and take the time to care for them. I use my watercolour sables on my models which would probably have raised the eyebrows of some of my art teachers! I clean them really carefully and store them flat. If you store them standing up in a jar they'll gradually spread and lose their shape. Paint mixing has been nicely covered here. I'd add that, when it comes to multiple coats I find that enamels are easier...which is to say I've never had much luck with second coats on acrylics. Used to find that in school too, painting with acrylics, glazing was often a problem if the underpainting wasn't really, really dried well.

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I did buy some very fine papers and pads as suggested to me, one of them is 12000 grit and using that between coats on the mossie got a superb finish with a humbrol gloss coat. Just trying to finish that off now but slipped up and need to tidy it up. Then I started a submarine but using a spray can for that. The Tempest V will be my next proper go. I messed up the 262 and need to work at it a tad, the lines were wrong but the paint went on quite well.

I always wash and use a bit if kitchen roll to dry the brushes. Then lie flat on the radiator to dry. Only problem now is how I remove the paint off the Rafale. That looks like it has many coats, it is so obvious. The Mosquito, one coat of primer spray can, two coats of humbrol enamel and sanding then hopefully a coat of gloss. Looks OK on the wing tip when I tested it. Might stick a picky up later.

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