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turningman

Beginning weathering

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Good afternoon,

 

I'm interested in taking "the next step" in my modelling journey and having a go at weathering to achieve a bit more realism. However, having watched numerous Youtube videos and read all sorts of helpful posts from people on the subject, there are still a few things I find confusing about all this. Now, I understand about the hierarchy of solvents (i.e. you can use acrylics over enamels but not vice versa). It seems that, in order to protect an enamel finish I might want to coat it with an acrylic varnish (e.g. Humbrol Gloss Clear) - but then I see enamel washes being applied over the top of the acrylic Gloss Clear - I saw that in one of the videos on the Humbrol Youtube channel. How is it that the enamel wash doesn't attack the acrylic varnish? Also, why can't I just put an enamel wash straight over the top of enamel paint - or over a barrier layer of enamel varnish like Gloss Cote? After all, on the initial paint job when we build up layers to try and achieve an opaque covering we're putting one layer of enamel on another and, surprise, surprise, no problem whatsoever.

 

Also, my practice at the end of making a model has always been to seal everything in with a coat or two of varnish/clear coat. How does it work after weathering? - should I still do that? - and should I use acrylic varnish (because it's over an enamel wash) or should I use something like Model Cote - which, if the hierarchy of solvents is correct,  will probably damage the Humbrol Clear which I used previously as a protective barrier.

 

Finally, do I really need to spend money on proprietary enamel washes when presumably I could make my own using either Humbrol enamels or acrylics and the appropriate thinner. I'm not sure I understand why I wouldn't be able to do that. Sorry about the frequent references to Humbrol but I just happen to use their products most of the time. Please help to un-confuse me; this acrylics v enamels thing all seems to be a bit of a minefield at the moment!! I don't want to get it wrong and ruin a model through ignorance.

 

Kind regards

 

Ron

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Posted (edited)

I can only really comment on what I am doing and what I have found - I should caution this with that I have only been modelling again for a couple of months...

 

Everytime I change from one paint type to another I put a clear coat on - even if it is only 1 coat. The only exception is the primer. So normally I go something like this...

 

Mr Surfacer 

Preshade in Tamiya 

Tamiya or Vallejo base colours

Aqua Clear Gloss from Alclad

Decals

Aqua Clear Gloss from Alclad

Oil wash / Enamel washes by Tamiya / other weathering as I feel like

Then gloss/satin or matt gloss depending on the finish I want 

 

I always kind of play opposites with the varnishes and paint so if I want to clean it up I can. So if I want to remove all the weathering with Winsor Newton it would take it all off back to the gloss after I applied the decals. I am thinking of playing around with the real colors range and I will ensure the same thing. 

 

I have to say that I have found oil washes that I have made myself to be far more effective and friendly then the ones brought off the web, all I am using is winsor Newton Sansdor and some reasonably cheap oil paints from amazon. Mix to however deep or thin I want and then liberally plough it on, leave it a few hours and then wipe off and clean up with more sansdor if needed. If I was painting in lacquer or enamels then I would make sure that I put a clear aqua coat down first otherwise you will never be able to remove the wash from the enamel base coat without removing the base coat in the process. 

 

You are kind of playing a "lock in" or "quick save" game with the paint, if you are happy with that stage, lock it in with a clear coat of the opposite type to whatever you are going to do next...

I've not had any issues with the compatibility so far and if I have needed to I have been able to clean back as needed quite effectively. 

 

hope that helps

 

Edited by Peter Collins

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Hi Peter,

 

Thanks for this, that's interesting. All these different paint types seem to be a bit complicated don't they? - I love simple! I guess the only way to be 100% sure that it'll turn out okay for me is to try out the various options on a cheap model which I can use for experimentation purposes. You do hear the occasional horror story when something goes wrong. Thanks for taking the time to reply - it's appreciated.

 

Ron

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Hi Ron, 

 

Yeah it can be a little confusing. I guess it depends if you are picking a brand of paint to work with. Because I have Tamiya and Vallejo for most of my paints its easy enough to work up a routine, but I do have a "mule" in a 1/72 spitfire that had an accident during painting and is now acting as a test bed. 

What paint brands / varnish brands are you using?

 

Pete

 

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Posted (edited)

Ron, I think the point of it all is that your wash, if it's an enamel one, is basically thinners with a tiny amount of colour so if you applied it straight onto an enamel finish would be like spilling thinners on the model and scrubbing it in. Not good for underlying enamel finish, hence the acrylic coat to form a barrier , as Pete puts it - lock it in.

If you're used a water based clay wash like Flory's then you wouldn't have to worry about the acrylic barrier over enamel but I would put the barrier coat over acrylic (or water soluble) paint for the same reasons as above.

Washes are applied as a blunt instrument (unless it's what's known as a pin wash) then refined by removal so the underlying paint finish has to be protected from the initial onslaught.

It sounds complicated when described but once done a couple of times becomes a habit.

Hope that helps.

 

Dave

Edited by Coors54

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14 hours ago, Peter Collins said:

 

 

You are kind of playing a "lock in" or "quick save" game with the paint, if you are happy with that stage, lock it in with a clear coat of the opposite type to whatever you are going to do next...

 

I'll say!  stated very simply and clearly Peter!

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Thanks for the replies. In response to Peter: I'm using Humbrol enamel paints, followed by Gloss Cote (to "lock in" and protect the paint) then enamel wash and then Satin Cote to finish. In other words, sticking to enamels right the way through. People seem to put acrylic on enamel and then do their weathering on the acrylic. No problem with that. What I'm really trying to get my head around is what you do after you've done your weathering. Do you top everything off with Satin Clear (acrylic) or Satin Cote (enamel) - now, as I understand it I shouldn't put enamel over the acrylic coat I "locked" the original paint in with because bad things might happen. What say you?

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18 hours ago, turningman said:

Thanks for the replies. In response to Peter: I'm using Humbrol enamel paints, followed by Gloss Cote (to "lock in" and protect the paint) then enamel wash and then Satin Cote to finish. In other words, sticking to enamels right the way through. People seem to put acrylic on enamel and then do their weathering on the acrylic. No problem with that. What I'm really trying to get my head around is what you do after you've done your weathering. Do you top everything off with Satin Clear (acrylic) or Satin Cote (enamel) - now, as I understand it I shouldn't put enamel over the acrylic coat I "locked" the original paint in with because bad things might happen. What say you?

Uh - kind of. 

 

If you let whatever coat cure and dry properly then you can varnish with either or version. So if you have done weathering and are happy with it then whatever varnish for whatever effect you want the final to be. So if I am doing a beaten up warbird then I will do a matt varnish, at this point because nothing is going to go on the top of it then it doesn't matter if it is lacquer or water based. As long as the weathering has dried totally then its fine to just cover it in whatever. 

 

If you're painting in enamels, I would prime, do the base colours then coat in gloss (doesnt matter the type lacquer or aqua) do your decals then coat in  aqua / acrylic varnish (Alclad Aqua Gloss is the one I use) then do your enamel / oil washes (make sure to use a not so hot thinner or it will still go through the varnish! - I use winsor newton Sansador) then seal with whatever top coat you want, so in short: 

 

Primer

Enamel base coats / shading

whatever gloss coat you have - doesnt matter type generally as long as the base coats have properly dried

Decals

Aqua gloss coat - something like Alclad Aqua Gloss

Weather with enamels and oil washes (note the because you used a water varnish you can not use acrylic washes here!) 

Then top coat with whatever effect you want. 

 

Pete

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20 hours ago, turningman said:

Thanks for the replies. In response to Peter: I'm using Humbrol enamel paints, followed by Gloss Cote (to "lock in" and protect the paint) then enamel wash and then Satin Cote to finish. In other words, sticking to enamels right the way through. People seem to put acrylic on enamel and then do their weathering on the acrylic. No problem with that. What I'm really trying to get my head around is what you do after you've done your weathering. Do you top everything off with Satin Clear (acrylic) or Satin Cote (enamel) - now, as I understand it I shouldn't put enamel over the acrylic coat I "locked" the original paint in with because bad things might happen. What say you?

...Halfords Grey primer (acrylic), Humbrol/Xtracolour/Colourcoats enamels over the top, Klear coat for decals, oil wash, acrylic dry brush, acrylic varnish (Galeria).. 

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That's all pretty clear now. Thanks for the advice gents. I'll give it a go when I get round to it - and I'll see if I can find a spare model in the stash which I can use as a "Paint Mule" and then I won't mess up a model that I actually care about.

 

Ron

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The only advice I can offer is less is more. Its easier to add than subtract when it comes to weathering so go lightly at first. 

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On 20/05/2020 at 21:24, turningman said:

What I'm really trying to get my head around is what you do after you've done your weathering. Do you top everything off with Satin Clear (acrylic) or Satin Cote (enamel) - now, as I understand it I shouldn't put enamel over the acrylic coat I "locked" the original paint in with because bad things might happen. What say you?

Common practice says yes, 

I'd suggest no, unless the model is going to be handled a lot. It won't come off.

This came up in another thread. a final over coat will give a monotone finish. I'm not talking about washes and filters, but the final gunk.  I'd say a airframe fiinish coat, and gunk on top.

Why? 

Say on a plane, stuff stuck onto the real thing does not have a monotone finish. Oil has a sheen, exhaust staining is a matt finish deposit (both of which do get cleaned off)

A tank may have mud on tracks, but a dry upper deck, withe some oil spillage,  these are 3 different finishes.

 

Sort of thing that may not show up in photos, but will 'in the flesh'

 

I'm also cynical of modelling trends and flashy videos (as my sig suggest)   which have a cyclic nature where models get made to look like models...

 

have a play on your paint mule.

 

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