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Oil paints and weathering


Muchmirth
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Hello all,

I've a couple questions on weathering I was wondering someone may help us out with? I've seen lots of videos and blogs and guides on how to apply oil washes and the recommended brands of oil paints to use but my question is why? Not meaning to found flippant but what advantage does this have over acrylic or any other medium? Also with pigments does anyone else just make their own, seems mad to buy something like brick dust/ rubble dust which could be made with a lump hammer and old bit of masonary? Does the bought stuff offer some advantage I'm not thinking of? Thanks in advance. 

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I think the key issue is controlling the weathering effect. Assuming you're applying to an acrylic base coat, then it is possible to moderate the oil application (e.g wipe off excess) using white spirit or similar without affecting the acyclic base coat. Off course if you use enamel paints, this doesn't work. This is my situation so I use watercolours. The point is to avoid the weathering to affect the colour coats.

 

Well model supplies do make money out of packaging up tiny amounts of "weathering materials" and selling high prices. But I doubt home made brick dust would work - it would contain hard, sharp particles which will simply abrade the underlying paint work. That said may weathering materials could be replicate with your own blend of charcoals or pastels available much more cheaply.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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3 minutes ago, Muchmirth said:

Hello all,

I've a couple questions on weathering I was wondering someone may help us out with? I've seen lots of videos and blogs and guides on how to apply oil washes and the recommended brands of oil paints to use but my question is why? Not meaning to found flippant but what advantage does this have over acrylic or any other medium? Also with pigments does any else just make their own, seems made to buy something like brick dust/ rubble dust which could be made with a lump hammer and old bit of masonary? Does the bought stuff offer so e advantage I'm not thinking of? Thanks in advance. 

I've never tried this type of weathering with acrylics but, I think that one of the reasons that oil based pains are used is that they are more workable. As it dries, if you're not happy with the result, you can always remove it with some white spirit.

As for making your own pigments. Yes, I've done that in the past. I've used the mud/clay that's holding up most of the buildings in my village. But some of the commercially produced pigments will have an advantage over making your own in that they have been ground down to a very fine dust. Also some pigments such as the ones which I use made by Carrs, have a slightly oily texture which enables them to adhere better.

HTH's

 

John.

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21 minutes ago, Muchmirth said:

Also with pigments does anyone else just make their own, seems mad to buy something like brick dust/ rubble dust which could be made with a lump hammer and old bit of masonary?

that is not a pigment, but rubble.

Pigments are something else,  there is load of info in this, which may answer some questions, including my cheapskate options.

 

22 minutes ago, Muchmirth said:

I've seen lots of videos and blogs and guides on how to apply oil washes and the recommended brands of oil paints to use but my question is why? Not meaning to found flippant but what advantage does this have over acrylic or any other medium?

 

There are a variety of reasons.   An oil wash won't react over a hard  acrylic varnish.

 

water is reasonably 'thick' due to it's chemical structure structure,  'surface tension' being the main point,  so won't flow in the same way. 

 

I'm a big fan of using zippo type lighter fuel,  as it's really thin,  and  flashes off in seconds,  I just use some old artist oils for this. 

 

White spirit is horribly sticky gunk in comparison.  Use it to clean brushes,  or clean up, not to thin paint or washes. Again, see the link.

 

 

 

29 minutes ago, Muchmirth said:

recommended brands of oil paints

eg adverts.

 

HTH

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Oil paints remain ‘open’ or workable for a long time (sometimes days) allowing a lot of adjustment of thickness and general effect. They can be almost completely wiped off if need be, or slathered on if you wish. In oil paints the pigments are very fine and can be used to subtly alter base colours without adding any visible thickness to the paint job. 
I find I get better weathering effects with oils than I could with acrylics or enamels. Other people may have other views but that’s my take on it. 

 

 

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You can use white spirit. It dulls oil colours somewhat and works just fine. Nothing against naphta/lighter fuel though.

Buy only a few good quality paints. They will probably outlast you if you only make washes and hues.

In oil painting acrylic over oil is a big no no, so give them a good amount of time to "dry".

 

Forget about the hammer ;)

 

 

 

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I paint with acrylics, so I use oils for my washes for the reasons others have stated.

 

Recommended brands of paints: There's no 'right' answer to this. Each brand has its advocates but ultimately you need to purchase good quality oil paints, be they from well-known model paint brands or from the traditional fine art manufacturers - same with pigments, pastels and weathering pencils.

 

The better quality oils have finer pigments and better 'working' characteristics so whatever brand you buy, don't go cheap. Like any other product, get the best you can afford.

 

When it comes to pigments, weathering powders, washes and filters, there are many commercially pre-packaged solutions out there, but ultimately nothing you can't create yourself using thinned oil paints, ground pastels and other commonly available household materials. What the commercial guys have done is create products that are convenient and 'instant' (don't need preparation). There is an attraction to that route for many modellers but it's often cheaper to purchase a smaller range of good raw materials and use them in different ways to create multiple solutions (but you need to prepare those potions yourself, so more time is sometimes required) - that choice is very much down to the individual modeller.

 

My fairly small collection of oil paints, pastels and pencils are exclusively from fine art manufacturers because that's what I started with many years ago. I've never felt the need to explore the more recent hobby-based products. That's a personal choice and I'm not suggesting my choices are any better or worse than any other route.

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We'll big thanks to all!!! That about answers it. Something I pondered for a while but hadn't actually gone about and asked. All seem to share similar opinions across a range of modellers, so it's a good start point for me. Oils seem very malleable and give more flex in working time and the ability to cleanse away or reduce as seen fit. So will be definitely tracking down some of these to use (think I'll try Windsor and newton as a nice middle ground not the budgy ones (cheap cheap) and not abeitilung (expensive end of the scale). 

  Pigments (I have nothing against by the way, it's a preference) I already use pastels to the same effect (just hadn't considered them to be the same) just wondered if things like Vallejo's rust and corrosion pigment was worth it over something I could knock up myself. Sound like they are a time savers, convinient and extremely fine in grade but for now I think I'll stick to the home made for a while (but leaving the hammer in the shed!!!).

Thanks all again.

Paul

 

 

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I tend to rely on pre-mixed enamel washes these days as they are so much more convenient.  I use oils for other effects such as streaking, staining, rust etc.  But you need to remember that if you use an oil or an enamel wash or filter and then apply oils for effects you risk the whole lot blending into one because the first coat will remain solvent-soluble for a long time - especially if you are blending the effects with thinners.

 

Acrylics just dry too quickly to use for most effects and become solvent-insoluble once dry, but you can add retarders to slow the drying.  There are also "Transparators" which might be a better bet for thinning them.  Never use water for thinning acrylics: use appropriate acrylic thinners.  Although I notice that more pre-mixed acrylic washes are beginning to appear: Citadel have had a wide range for some years now and these can be useful.  Their painting system uses washes for rapid shading, as do other gaming brands like Army Painter.

 

I have a whole range of oil paints from different brands, but mostly "artists" brands rather than "modelling" brands like Abteilung.  I would only say to avoid the sort of oil paints you find in sets in supermarkets etc.  People like Windsor & Newton have been going a very long time.

 

As for thinners, I would say NEVER to use white spirit.  As noted above, good for cleanup but less so for thinning.  Tends to break the paint down too much.  Turpentine Substitute is better and is much cheaper in DIY stores than from modelling brands.  That being said, the Abteilung Matt Effect and Quick Drying Thinners are really good and I can recommend them.  Another good thinner is Schminke's "Diluent N", another artists' product.

 

On the subject of brush cleaning I discovered something called Clean Spirit in B&Q which works really well and is a whole lot less smelly.  The packaging makes clear thst it is unsuitable for thinning.

 

I see no reason at all to use the recent Oilbrushers and Streakingbrushers from MiG, but they are convenient.

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Trust me, you don't need to worry about unwanted blending between layers if you use the right techniques. Watch how Mike Rinaldi works (see link above) and you will see that a big part of why we use oils is because we can (and should) build layer upon layer, making use of opacity to create a depth which (hopefully) is one part of saying something about the story of a vehicle over time.

 

Regarding pigments, the fineness becomes very important indeed when mixing them with oils or other products.

 

A quick assessment of the quality/value of each oil which I use, in order of preference:

Sennelier -- superb quality for the price; very dense and fine pigment; very buttery; huge colour range; the only one to use safflower in all colours; my choice for figures/busts.

Talens Rembrandt -- just as smooth; maybe a little less dense; good range of non-tarnishing metallics; only whites have a safflower option.

Winsor & Newton -- smooth; not usually quite as dense and fine as the above; good range of metallics; no safflower option IIRC.

Abteilung 502 -- cheaper per tube, but not per volume; variable quality; quite fine pigment, but many colours have poor density.

Oilbrushers -- very poor quality; coarse pigment; too thin; messy container; poor value.

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