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Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

Painting technique experimentation - Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A Corsair paint mule

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I'm in an experimentation / development sort of mood at the moment rather than an "out-perform-myself" sort of mood. So, following on from my recent F-86D Sabre Dog completion which was to try to figure out a way to get a natural metal finish I liked (I'm not done with that yet, btw) I thought I would try something that relates directly to our own paint and what can be done with it (and what cannot). I have read about "hairspray chipping" numerous times but had never tried it nor understood how to do it. A casual attempt without knowing anything else was a total failure. I kept reading that it could only be done with acrylic paints but this included everything from water based vinyl types to acrylic lacquers, so I knew that this apparent requirement had to be based on nothing more than the popular position of acrylic=good, enamel=bad despite acrylic meaning anything under the sun really.

 

Thus, I decided that this old piece of Corsair which featured on the F-86D thread could lend its services again:

resized_ea9f5cd1-c40d-4994-9f89-90a39cad

 

You find with stuff like hairspray chipping that "everyone" just knows how to do it, but nobody has written down how to do it. Eventually I learned that what is required is water for the scratching-off phase at the end. Armed with this little nugget, I sprayed some hairspray straight from the aerosol can (that part is to be refined in the forthcoming) onto the piece shown above - 4 coats, actually, and whilst that dried I thinned down some Colourcoats enamel - which happened to be a matt dark olive shade I had on the bench next to the airbrush - but it could have been hot pink for all I cared here.

 

Anyway, it works.

Hairspray chipping works with a Colourcoats topcoat (the chipping coat) at least over an Alclad base. In the forthcoming I shall establish how (not if) to chip between layers of enamel.

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Also, there's the more subtle task of actually getting good at it! The test there is, admittedly, a mess, however it served a valuable purpose. Under water, I was able to remove Colourcoats enamel with a cut-down paint brush (but it had some paint dried in it - that's where the scratches came from), and I also tried a kitchen scouring pad which was responsible for most of the exposed silver there.

 

Using a kit from the stash that doesn't need much effort, is quite cheap and as common as dirt (so I don't care if I mess this up), I now aim to incorporate this into a model and, specifically, use the hairspray chipping method exposing bare metal and yellow zinc chromate primer in different areas. If anyone wishes to follow, comment, criticise, suggest better ways, educate, point, laugh, whatever, please join in :)

 

The victim - a nice enough kit. I have always struggled to get the wing join such that I'm happy with it but overall if it goes well I will enjoy having it and if it's a disaster then no real harm done!

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I'm not investing much in this, but probably will stretch to seatbelts just incase it ends up looking ok in the end. I'm not spending money on them though - instead I'll use these ones from an Eduard SBD Dauntless fret. I don't like the pre-painted ones Eduard make now - the paint self-strips when the belts are bent to suit, and I don't like the superfabric ones either. I need to find a new source of belts or at least belt buckles - but that's another matter

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I started by spraying most of the parts with Alclad Duralumin whilst still on the runners. After assembly the wing leading edges etc will probably need another blow over

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Definitely following this one! I have an Airfix B5N2 that will be sprayed in Colourcoats that I will likely need to apply this technique to, and I haven't summoned up the courage to try it yet!

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It was a similar holding me back from a few aspirational projects!

 

Since my last post, I have been able to confirm that the hairspray can be decanted from its aerosol can into my airbrush (a Badger Renegade Krome with 0.2mm needle/nozzle) and airbrushed neat with far better control than by aerosol. That is now drying.

 

This is the hairspray I am using:

resized_b0cf58d5-37f0-4e04-beb1-55069824

 

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Well this opens up a whole new world Jamie, thanks for posting this one, looking forward to the Corsair.

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Well it worked again - perhaps a little bit too well! Mistakes and non-ideal outcomes are ok though - that's what this build is all about.

 

I shall experiment with different film thicknesses of hairspray applied. I'm not sure if it's too much hairspray or letting it soak too ling in water that caused this. I think less hairspray will be what I try next though.

 

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It takes a bit of rubbing to get the enamel surface to break then it comes away easily.

 

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These are the scratching tools I used - the brush is one of those double ended things which come in Airfix starter kits - they're useless for brush painting but the stiff bristles work well for this.

 

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I began scratching off the paint as soon as I had cleaned the airbrush, and it was done under cold running water (but I gather any water is fine). The principle is that the paint sits just fine on dry hairspray, but exposure of the hairspray to water dissolves it and it lifts away taking paint above with it.

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Ive done the hairspray technique 5 times. I have done this with both acrylics and enamels. I just did it on my current build in the “Brits abroad” group build. So im looking forward to seeing how your build goes. I never soak the model in the water though ? I use cotten buds, Tamiya paint sticks( for panel lines and rivets), and an old toothbrush dipped in water to scrub the paint off. 

 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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10 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Ive done the hairspray technique 5 times. I have done this with both acrylics and enamels. I just did it on my current build in the “Brits abroad” group build. So im looking forward to seeing how your build goes. I never soak the model in the water though ? I use cotten buds, Tamiya paint sticks( for panel lines and rivets), and an old toothbrush dipped in water to scrub the paint off. 

 

Dennis

Hi Dennis,

 

Thank you very much! That sounds good. I shall try that next - it sounds more controllable :D

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Certain Acrylics don't chip well, Tamiya being one of them. If your colourcoats are enamel and are over a acrylic paint you could try enamel thinners on the brush instead of water to chip, but not too much or it will be a all or nothing sort of chipping

Edit; also that way you could probabley get away without using hairspary

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Hello @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies  I wrote a basic tutorial for @John D.C. Masters in the build. Heres a link incase anyone or yourself are interested.   

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235042857-white-hurricane-red-stars/

Its about 2/3rds down on page 3. Hello @colin I used Tamiya with no issues at all on this ⬆️Build. 

 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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Interesting and you have a willing follower as my next project will be a Hasegawa 1:48 B6N2. With regards to exposed primer, I have read and author/modeller Tom Cleaver confirmed while working on a restoration that that gawd awful "salmon" red primer was still in use on some parts up to, if I recall, the -5 or -7

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Hello Jamie so sorry to bug you again. I have a question pertaining to colourcoats paints. Im currently building an AZ Mk.XIV Spitfire and am converting it to an Mk.XVIII. Also working on a Heller Mk.V Tempest converting it into a Mk. VI. Both will be done in post war desert colors of DE/LSG over Medium sea grey. My question is do colourcoats have a Light Slate Grey ? I cannot for the life of me find anyone that has it, not even a mix for making the color ? If your paint has a match, i will be looking to buy some in November. 

 

Dennis

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35 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Hello Jamie so sorry to bug you again. I have a question pertaining to colourcoats paints. Im currently building an AZ Mk.XIV Spitfire and am converting it to an Mk.XVIII. Also working on a Heller Mk.V Tempest converting it into a Mk. VI. Both will be done in post war desert colors of DE/LSG over Medium sea grey. My question is do colourcoats have a Light Slate Grey ? I cannot for the life of me find anyone that has it, not even a mix for making the color ? If your paint has a match, i will be looking to buy some in November. 

 

Dennis

Hi Dennis,

 

We do. It's ACRN05 good Sir. Only last week @Julien asked about paint charts and I realised ours was due an update which I did on Saturday night :)

 

https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/pages/colour-list

 

Here's the RAF / FAA one in particular:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0730/0927/files/British_RAF_FAA_Colours_Chart.pdf?205554285801963019

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19 minutes ago, fubar57 said:

That one I can do:

 

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Tamiya XF-65 is rather yellowish for Light Slate Grey, but as with everything it depends a lot on the juxtaposition of what you apply it next to.

 

In general though, whilst IPMS Stockholm's efforts are commendable, there is nothing to qualify how close a match anything really is, nor the methodology behind how they arrived at said matches. As stated several times around this forum, the main demographic of modellers (middle-aged to elderly males) is also the that which statistically suffers the worst from colour perception degredation, so with the best will in the world eyeballed matches will be subjective at best and may not look like matches for everyone. Measured colour values compared numerically and a "closeness value" using the Delta E method would be trustworthy, but most don't have access to the measuring equipment.

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I sure wish you had acrylic paint as you have one of the greatest selections for all WW2 airforces

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20 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

We do. It's ACRN05 good Sir. Only last week @Julien asked about paint charts and I realised ours was due an update which I did on Saturday night :)

Do you allow for Int’l. Shipping of paint ? If not Do you recomnend the U.S.Distributor or Hannants ? If Hannants can ship paint ? 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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Ah but what kind of acrylic? Whenever I ask I get one of 3 different answers! Not all acrylics are equal and they have drastically different behaviours and characteristics. Some behave more like enamels than some would care to admit!

 

(Very) sadly the word "acrylic" has become a bit of a buzzword over the past 2 decades yet the term is so broad now it can really mean almost anything and most sub-types of acrylic paints are not compatible with each other and need entirely different thinners and techniques to apply. Those which brush well tend not to spray well. Those which spray well tend not to brush well. Those which don't smell usually only stick with the help of gravity whilst those which do stick smell far stronger than enamels and prefer thinners with MEK in them which is powerful stuff and not very domestically orientated.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Do you allow for Int’l. Shipping of paint ? If not Do you recomnend the U.S.Distributor or Hannants ? If Hannants can ship paint ? 

Hi Dennis,

 

We don't for retail customers. I mean, we could, but you wouldn't like the price the airlines charge for a consignment - but if you bought 1000 tins it would work out fairly managable!

 

It looks like Bob at H&B Hobbies has LSG in stock though?

https://www.hbhobbies.com/collections/royal-air-force-fleet-air-arm-british/products/acrn05-light-slate-grey-bs639

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Very interesting thread, I’m a complete novice at these painting techniques so it’s much easier to watch someone else experiment :)

 

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44 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

- but if you bought 1000 tins it would work out

Im not painting the real deal here ? 😉 just a 1/72nd kit.

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17 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

You find with stuff like hairspray chipping that "everyone" just knows how to do it, but nobody has written down how to do it.

True. I tried it twice - once from the can and once decanted and both times it melted the acrylic base. Couldn't find the answer to what I was doing wrong anywhere. Hopefully this thread will do so! Following 🙂

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2 hours ago, Avgas said:

True. I tried it twice - once from the can and once decanted and both times it melted the acrylic base. Couldn't find the answer to what I was doing wrong anywhere. Hopefully this thread will do so! Following 🙂

If you're going to Telford you're in luck. Jamie Haggo is doing a demo on chipping and wear on the Scale Modelling Now stand I believe at 11.00 Saturday morning and there's no better to watch than Jamie for this kind of thing.

Also why bother with hairspray? Use one of the freely available products made for the job, AK and Ammo both do them. If you do want to go the hairspray route don't use firm hold for the obvious reason! I find Tamiya and Gunze by far the best paints to use. I 've found Mr Paint, my go to paint does not respond well maybe as it's quite hot so maybe eats into the layer of chipping fluid so reducing it's effectiveness. (When I'm using Tamiya and Gunze I switch from using Mr Levelling Thinners and thin them with a IPA/distilled water mix)I'd imagine that is one of the main reasons Enamels don't work as well? Looking at the pics I would say that is the case. Another reason those results look like they do is that either there was to much hairspray applied,  to thicker layer of paint or a mixture of both.You only require a couple of coats of whateved you use followed by a thin coat of paint or your paint will lift in chunks rather than wearing away.

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16 hours ago, colin said:

Certain Acrylics don't chip well, Tamiya being one of them.

Strange that, i've never heard of anyone having trouble with Tamiya, me being one of them. What are you thinning it with? 

I used Tamiya on this over AK Chipping fluid to represent an almost washed off winter white on this 1/48 AFV Sd.Kfz 251 Ausf.C.

20181010_090747

 

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