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How to do accent rivets and panel lines?


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On aircraft, in painted finishes ( not bare aluminum) I am looking for some recommendations on how to darken the rivets and panel lines a bit.

I am not looking to make it too dark. Not a "wash this airplane please!" look..

Similar to this:
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Or this:
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You're not gonna like it, but wash is your best friend here.

But don't slather it everywhere. Gloss coat first, then do a pin wash over rivets and panel lines. This makes cleanup a breeze.

Never use a wash over matt surface, unless you want it to look stained.

Washing is a great technique that has various uses and gives various effects.

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1 hour ago, franky boy said:

Try Flory Models dark dirt wash. 

+1 for this. There is an online video tutorial that you should follow to start with. It's very easy and more reversible than many other types of wash. I was a sceptic but now really like Flory washes.

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23 hours ago, Maurice William Hilarius said:

Not a "wash this airplane please!" look..

Hi @Maurice William Hilarius, I assume by this you mean you don't want the airplane to be too dirty to the level it needs a wash, rather than you don't want to use a wash to accent the panel lines - the "wash" in this case being a common procedure to accent panel lines and rivets.

 

I suggest you go to YouTube and type in "panel line wash" to see this in action, but the easiest way to accent rivets and panel lines is to apply a gloss coat to your model, and then run what's called a wash (or if more targeted, a "pinwash") made up of a non-reactive (to your gloss coat) highly thinned paint, waiting for that to dry for a little bit, and then wipe off with a a paper towel/cottom bud with appropriate thinners if needed.

 

So for example

1. apply a gloss coat of acrylic (Tamiya X-22, Alclad Aqua Gloss, to name a couple popular ones) or lacquer (Mr. Hobby GX100) clear coat/varnish, let that dry (not just touch dry after a couple hours, but decently cured after a couple days).

2. apply an enamel panel line wash (Tamiya Panel Liner, Ammo by Mig washes for already made ones) or thinned down oil paint into the rivets panel lines.

3. After letting that dry for about half an hour, start removing the wash that's on the flat surfaces surrounding the recesses by wiping it away with a paper towel, cloth, cotton ball, q-tip for hard to reach areas - you should be left with only the enamel/oil wash in the rivets and panel lines, and clean areas around them. You may need to use a SMALL amount of enamel thinner/mineral spirits to fully clean the flat areas. Small amount as in dip your q-tip in thinner then blot out most of it on a paper towel. 

4. If you want to, after they above is dry you can give your whole model a "flat" coat to turn down the glossiness from step 1, to the desired sheen of your finish. 

 

That should get you to where you want to go. The suggested Flory Model washes above can be used in place of the enamel/oil products (I believe the Flory ones are clay based and washed off with water). 

 

Keep in mind the above examples are just one combination of chemicals/process to use washes, there are others out there you can explore. 

 

Good luck! The YouTube videos should easily and visually explain the process. 

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6 hours ago, Shin said:

Hi @Maurice William Hilarius, I assume by this you mean you don't want the airplane to be too dirty to the level it needs a wash, rather than you don't want to use a wash to accent the panel lines - the "wash" in this case being a common procedure to accent panel lines and rivets.

Exactly.

So for example


1. apply a gloss coat of acrylic (Tamiya X-22
Good, i have ordered the X22 (81522)


2. apply an enamel panel line wash (Tamiya Panel Liner,

I ordered the Tamiya Panel Line Accent, black (87131)
Is the
" Ammo by Mig" a better product?

You did lead me to finding this page, which looks really helpful:
   https://www.migjimenez.com/en/8-weathering-products
Is it OK to use an enamel wash over an acrylic Tamiya paint?

Thinking bout using this item: AMIG1010 Neutral Wash
https://www.migjimenez.com/en/weathering-products/1503-neutral-wash.html


4. If you want to, after they above is dry you can give your whole model a "flat" coat to turn down the glossiness from step 1, to the desired sheen of your finish. 

I was thinking a semi gloss look for final..

Acrylic Mini X-35 Semi gloss clear  - Item No: 81535
 

Nice comments, Shin!
You have mostly mirrored what I had found or thought so far.

While I have a fair bit of previous experience, a lot of it is very dated.
Was not sure what the "cool kids" were currently doing.
Thanks for taking the time with me to clarify like this..

 

 

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15 hours ago, dragonlanceHR said:

You're not gonna like it, but wash is your best friend here.

But don't slather it everywhere. Gloss coat first, then do a pin wash over rivets and panel lines. This makes cleanup a breeze.

Never use a wash over matt surface, unless you want it to look stained.

Washing is a great technique that has various uses and gives various effects.

Thanks Dragonlance
I appreciate your advice

15 hours ago, franky boy said:

Try Flory Models dark dirt wash. 

Thanks Franky.
I will look them up.

 

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3 hours ago, Maurice William Hilarius said:

Is the " Ammo by Mig" a better product?

Is it OK to use an enamel wash over an acrylic Tamiya paint?

 

No problems @Maurice William Hilarius, glad I could help. Regarding the questions above,

 

1. I have the Tamiya brown and a small handful of the Ammo and they perform the same to me. The benefits of the Tamiya is that it has a built in brush (though some people don't like said brush), while the benefits of the Mig is that there are quite a few colors to choose from (Tamiya only has four I think). With both, be sure to shake often, as the pigments settle to the bottom of the bottom quickly. I use Mona Lisa Odorless thinners (a mineral spirit) to do my wipe away/cleanup. It works the same as the branded enamel thinners, but it's an artist grade mineral spirit you can buy in a large jug - MUCH more cost effective.

Also I mentioned I mostly switched to oil paints for my washes. The prepackaged washes are convenient, but if you want a large amount of colors it may end up costing you. Oil paints can be thinned with mineral spirits to do the same as the enamel washes, and you can mix colors to your preferred shade. You can then also use oil paints for weathering. I mostly use my Tamiya/Mig washes now for quick small hits where I don't want to mix an oil paint wash - like cockpits or wheel wells or something. 

 

2. Technically yes you can use an enamel wash over the Tamiya acrylic paint, but I suggest you only do this with the glossy paints. Even then I would still suggest you cover it with X-22. The less glossy/smooth a surface is, the more chance the enamel wash will get caught in the bumps/ridges of the paint, and will be much harder to remove. Either way I suggest waiting for your acrylic coats to dry at least a day before trying an enamel wash.

 

As with anything, practice on a scrap piece or test mule before on an actual project. 

 

I'm still experimenting with finishing coats. I've settled on generally using XF-86 flat for something with a very light sheen (F-16 most recently), and AK Interactive Ultra Matte for something that's dead flat (tanks). I tried to get a semi-gloss finish recently with Mission Models Semi-Gloss and it did not work well at all, I want to try the X-35 you mention. You'll have to let me know how that works for you. 

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  • 1 month later...

I am having problems with my clear coats and washes having bad reactions with the base paint colors and/or the wash clean up stripping the clear. I started reading this thread for some hints and it’s very informative. 

My question is: Do the mineral spirits used to clean up the wash have an effect on the acrylic gloss clear?  I just about ruined my current model when I went to wipe down the wash (Humbrol enamel based) applied over Pledge/Future gloss. The mineral spirits stripped the Pledge and also some of the paint down to the primer. 

I am looking for a clear gloss that I can lay over enamel or lacquer paint and then put a wash over that. Then a top coat of flat or semigloss depending on the subject. 

Thanks. 

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I use Vallejo Model Wash over a well cured Vallejo gloss coat.  They come in a variety of colors and are thinned with normal H2O that allow for a range of effects to be achieved, not just a panel line wash but as a filter as well.  Their quick drying time is a blessing and a curse, but really once you get the hang of them, its fun to play around with them to achieve various effects.

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On 10/10/2020 at 12:10 PM, Mark V said:

I am having problems with my clear coats and washes having bad reactions with the base paint colors and/or the wash clean up stripping the clear. I started reading this thread for some hints and it’s very informative. 

My question is: Do the mineral spirits used to clean up the wash have an effect on the acrylic gloss clear?  I just about ruined my current model when I went to wipe down the wash (Humbrol enamel based) applied over Pledge/Future gloss. The mineral spirits stripped the Pledge and also some of the paint down to the primer. 

I am looking for a clear gloss that I can lay over enamel or lacquer paint and then put a wash over that. Then a top coat of flat or semigloss depending on the subject. 

Thanks. 

@Mark V hey neighbor, there are different levels of mineral spirits. Some hardware store caliber brands may be too strong for model paint clears, and possibly Pledge. I know lots of people have success with Future, but I've too many horror stories about it that I stick with modelling products - even if it costs more. In theory any cured acrylic gloss coat should be able to handle an enamel wash. 

 

Possible reasons for your reactions:

1. the aforementioned too strong mineral spirits. Are you using one from a hobby company or art company? I personally use Mona Lisa Odorless thinners available from art stores. Giant bottle for about $10.

2. You don't have adequate coverage of your Future coat. If you went too light with the gloss coat, your mineral spirits may be interacting directly with the enamel paint underneath which would be disastrous. 

3. Curing time - either for the underlying paints or the gloss coat. Are you allowing adequate time for your paint to cure before applying the Future? Enamels may take many days as I understand they are slow to dry. And are you allowing your gloss coat enough time to dry before applying your enamel washes and then mineral spirits?

4. Too much pressure or mineral spirits? When I go to wipe a wash off I dab a q-tip or small piece of paper towel in mineral spirits, then blot most of it off before wiping the model. I'm not flooding the model with mineral spirits nor am I pressing hard on the model to wipe the wash off. 

 

I have personally used Tamiya X-22 (my current go to), Alclad Aqua Gloss, and Mission Models glosses (all acrylics) and have never had an enamel wash (Tamiya Panel Liner or Ammo by Mig ) or oil paint washes affect the paint (to be fair I paint almost exclusively acrylics with a handful of Mr. Colors). Hopefully something of what I wrote helps. 

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Thanks for the ideas. I think my main problem(s) are using hardware store mineral spirits and too much of it. I had let the Pledge cure for a several days so that wasn’t a worry. But I would dip the q-tip into the thinner and go to wiping. I’m just going to toss the Humbrol wash. It hasn’t worked that well anytime I’ve tried it. I’ve had better luck with thinned Testors Model Master acrylic with some flow enhancer. It is easy to be fairly precise with a pin wash and then wipe it almost immediately as I do each line. I generally don’t go over every panel line and rivet. I’m going shopping for new gloss/flat next week. 

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