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How to paint dials - No joy here.......How??


Homerlovesbeer
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Getting pretty frustrated about how to paint these dials. Tried so many things now and they still look rubbish.

 

Tried painting with a very small brush - no joy.

Tried dry brushing (as seen here) - no joy.

Tried using a white 0.7mm paint pen - no joy.

Tried using a cocktail stick and dabbing paint on that way - no joy.

 

Losing my mojo over this as I cannot find a solution to how to paint it.

 

Sigh....

 

NiEGQs.jpg

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I came across this idea dating back to 2008 by "Semi Trailer Mechanic" on another forum which may also work.

 

Here's how I was taught. Take some matte aluminum Bare Metal Foil and apply it to the entire face of the dash and trim it. Next take a piece of tissue and rub it really well. Use a wash to fill in the gauges and allow to dry or use a Sharpe Marker. Take some fine sand paper and "LIGHTLY" rub over the surface of the gauges until the raised surfaces are clean and clear. Then w/ a fine paint brush start painting around the trim rings of the gauages and then go back and finish painting the face of the dash. Because BMF covered the entire face of the dash if there's any trim left around the dash that too can be sanded down as well giving it sharp look. Here's an advantage if ya screw up all ya do is peel off the Metal Foil and try again speaking from LOTS of experience. 

Edited by Homerlovesbeer
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1 hour ago, Schwarz-Brot said:

Paint in white (or whatever) and fill the recesses with black ink? Like a shortcut on the BMF idea. Painting the recesses with a very fine tipped marker might be possible as well instead of ink.

 

Yes I have thought about that. It's just so damn small that and deep down that cowling that anything I try is very hard to do.

 

🤔

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What colour is the base kit? If it’s light grey like most models then I’d just paint it black as you have done then lightly sand the raised detail. The paint on the raised areas will be removed, et voila you have a perfectly finished dial with almost white details. That’s what i do anyway.

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14 hours ago, Homerlovesbeer said:

Yes agreed but the decals will cost more than the kit unfortunately.

Ok, so print some out using a printer onto white paper and use the same method. Will cost virtually nothing to do..

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Another idea, building upon @goggsy - a strong white primer, than weak black paint and ever so slightly scrubbing with a glassfibre rubber pen - don't know the english word, sorry. This should allow you to go back to the white in a very controlled way.

 

This is what I think of.

 

800px-Glasfaserradierer.jpg

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You don't need to go back to the white. Paint the dials white and then slowly "build up" the dark background white a black wash. After each coat is dried grab a cotton q-tip and remove the excess from the bezel and lettering and just add a new coat. Keep in mind that the dials will be mostly invisible after the model is assembled (unless it's a convertible).

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1 hour ago, Schwarz-Brot said:

Another idea, building upon @goggsy - a strong white primer, than weak black paint and ever so slightly scrubbing with a glassfibre rubber pen - don't know the english word, sorry. This should allow you to go back to the white in a very controlled way.

I've never heard of these before. I guess they could be used to create paint chipping effects also? 

 

These are listed on e-bay as "fibre glass eraser pen"

Edited by Tentacles
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Ok guys,

 

Thanks for all the suggestions. I had a crack at the foil method tonight. The dials are quite complex so the notion of cutting out every single element to reveal the black below is unthinkable.

 

I did add a Tamiya wash over the foil however the wash really clings to the curves at the side and not so much consistent over the whole surface. 

I tried flooding it so I couldn't see any dial at all and letting it dry but the curve of the dial at the edges had massive build up and the middle not much at all.

 

I cleaned it up and applied another small wash which doesn't look too bad. It's very hard to photograph so I do apologise.

 

1veBcf.jpg

 

Mu2dGw.jpg

 

What do you all think? Dry something else again?

 

Cheers,
Homer

Edited by Homerlovesbeer
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3 hours ago, Schwarz-Brot said:

Another idea, building upon @goggsy - a strong white primer, than weak black paint and ever so slightly scrubbing with a glassfibre rubber pen - don't know the english word, sorry. This should allow you to go back to the white in a very controlled way.

 

This is what I think of.

 

 

 

Good idea but there is no way on earth you could fit it down the dial and reach the face.

 

2 hours ago, bmwh548 said:

You don't need to go back to the white. Paint the dials white and then slowly "build up" the dark background white a black wash. After each coat is dried grab a cotton q-tip and remove the excess from the bezel and lettering and just add a new coat. Keep in mind that the dials will be mostly invisible after the model is assembled (unless it's a convertible).

 

Tried that. The wash gathers in the edges of the dial, not even over the face. The dial to the right was dry brushed and then Tamiya panel liner used.

 

9 hours ago, goggsy said:

What colour is the base kit? If it’s light grey like most models then I’d just paint it black as you have done then lightly sand the raised detail. The paint on the raised areas will be removed, et voila you have a perfectly finished dial with almost white details. That’s what i do anyway.

 

I can't remember....Dark I think. I already painted the whole dash black so too late now anyway.

 

Cheers all 

 

Edit: Here's an appreciation on scale. This is a cotton bud.

 

bOvi8T.jpg

Edited by Homerlovesbeer
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8 minutes ago, Steve Noble said:

Still think either decals or printing your own would look much crisper than trying to paint them? Sheet of dial decals that would last many projects is a couple of pounds only. Just my opinion..

 

Well not that cheap for me. If I get desperate I might. I suppose I really want to learn a technique to do this without resorting to decals.

 

There is a lot of chat about methods but surprsingly it's one of the details in modelling that is scarce as hens teeth on YouTube.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Homerlovesbeer said:

 

Well not that cheap for me. If I get desperate I might. I suppose I really want to learn a technique to do this without resorting to decals.

 

There is a lot of chat about methods but surprsingly it's one of the details in modelling that is scarce as hens teeth on YouTube.

 

 

I understand what you're saying and agree that it's all about learning new skills. But when the techniques aren't giving the results you desire then a different approach can sometimes be the way forward. I always keep any spare instrument decals etc in case I need them for projects just like this. They come in very handy. Learning to paint them is of course very admirable. But it's hard to replicate the detail that a decal offers. However I commend you for your tenacity 👍

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If you're determined to avoid the expense of decals, I would try this technique. Paint the dial white, then overpaint with black. If you've got washable black even better, as you can remove it with moisture.

 

Punch out a piece of fine wet and dry to the same size and superglue it to the end of a cocktail stick, making sure it'll fit in the hole. Then lightly twist your new tool until the white appears, being careful not to wear through the white. If you're using washable black, you could try a disc of moist paper instead of sandpaper.

 

Another option might be to use a sharp white pencil. It might work if you've got steady hands.

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18 minutes ago, Mike said:

If you're determined to avoid the expense of decals, I would try this technique. Paint the dial white, then overpaint with black. If you've got washable black even better, as you can remove it with moisture.

 

Punch out a piece of fine wet and dry to the same size and superglue it to the end of a cocktail stick, making sure it'll fit in the hole. Then lightly twist your new tool until the white appears, being careful not to wear through the white. If you're using washable black, you could try a disc of moist paper instead of sandpaper.

 

Another option might be to use a sharp white pencil. It might work if you've got steady hands.

 

Thanks Mike,

 

Yes I am one of those people who hate to be defeated when it comes to something :huh:

 

I like your idea of gluing onto a small cocktail stick to sand paper. I'll try it on the right dial and see how my results go. I also may try it on the left to see what aluminium dials and black markings would look like :)

 

Thanks

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54 minutes ago, Homerlovesbeer said:

I like your idea of gluing onto a small cocktail stick to sand paper. I'll try it on the right dial and see how my results go. I also may try it on the left to see what aluminium dials and black markings would look like

it's surprising how often we don't think about some solutions that seem obvious when they're mentioned.  It has happened to me countless times. :dull:  I hope it works, and don't forget to share your results even if it doesn't.  It might help stop others from making similar mistakes, which has got to be a good thing :)

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I tend to use two different kinds of paint: Vallejo Foundation white acrylic with Humbrol enamel semi-gloss black over it, or white enamel with Tamiya acrylic black over it. Once both have dried, a cotton bud dipped in the right thinner for the black layer (white spirit or Tamiya's own thinner) and blotted so it's not dripping wet twirled in the dial removes the black leaving the white showing through on the raised detail. I've got some smaller cotton bud like "modelling swabs" in case a full size human cotton bud doesn't fit into the dial...

 

best,

M.

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9 hours ago, Homerlovesbeer said:

Good idea but there is no way on earth you could fit it down the dial and reach the face.

 

Yes you can! The tip is not bigger than a cotton bud, but quite flat. The fibre bundle is usually retracted into the pen. It can be turned out as far as needed. Just need to be careful because the fibres are fragile and thin. You don't see them, but you feel them, when they get into your skin.

 

 

 

Another idea I've seen used here and there, but you only have one shot, so better practice with some plasticard or spare parts.

 

- Print the dial in the right size on paper.

- drill out the dashboard carefully. If you feel adventurous thin it carefully as far as you dare.

- back up the hole with the paper from behind, so you see the printed dial through the hole in the dashboard.

- fill the hole with micro-cristal-klear or similar - even PVA might work. This should help hiding the too deep hole and additionally gives a nice glass effect.

 

 

Edited by Schwarz-Brot
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11 hours ago, Tentacles said:

I've never heard of these before. I guess they could be used to create paint chipping effects also? 

 

These are listed on e-bay as "fibre glass eraser pen"

Thanks for the translation. Yeah, they work for a surprising lot of tasks. They are widely used by artists as eraser for all kinds of medium. I got to know them for electronics rework and also put them to good use in the restauration of classic HiFi gear. In modelling I use them to distress paintwork, for all kind of effects work like described in this topic, they can be used for chipping, for controlled erasing of paint on glueing surfaces, for roughing up of surfaces to allow better grip when working with filler. I'm sure there's more ways to use them.

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There's dedicated glass fibre pens from GSW and I believe AK and Trumpeter. But I'm going to hazard a guess that a no-name Chinese pen will do the same thing for a fraction of the price.

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