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Author Topic: Painting- a black art?  (Read 2262 times)

ianb

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Painting- a black art?
« on: November 28, 2006, 10:16:44 AM »

First, I freely admit that my ship modelling abilities are quite limited (but slowly improving as time goes by). I can spray paint passably well using the automotive paints in the "rattle cans".But, my hand painting is really not very good, in fact it's rather bad.. I see photos of models which appear to be completed, including the railing but not including the fittings, and COMPLETELY UNPAINTED! My mind just boggles at just how much skill and experience is required to do the beautiful paint jobs seen in the magazines.Spray painting everything appears impossible.Or rather, the masking appears impossible.I bought a book on painting model ships, but really it was rather a waste of money in my opinion. Very short on hard advice.
So, to get to my question. Can anybody reccomend any printed or internet information which might help me to improve my learning curve? One thing I should point out is that I live in Japan and am separated from other marine modellers here both by distance and language. I can readily obtain Tamiya car paints as well as Holts brand auto spray paints. They seem to be quite suitable for marine applications.
Thank you in advance.
Ian
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2006, 10:31:48 AM »

The expert on this site is Stavros who is contemplating writing an article on the subject for the Modelling press. However, just the thing you are looking for would seem to be Tom Gorman's book advertised in December Model Boats:

Finishing Scale Ship Models - Detailing and Painting Techniques
by Tom Gorman. hardback, 120 pages, 180 colour and mono photos.
ISBN 1-86176-240-0
Published by Chatham Publishing, Park House, 1 Russell Gardens. London NW11 9NN
Price 19.99.

Web Page: http://www.chathampublishing.com/booksheets/finishing_scale_ship.html

I've not seen it myself yet but it got a very good review.

Also in the December issue is the final part of Paul Freshney's M15 Monitor project series. This also goes into considerable detail about finishing techniques of which Paul is an acknowledged master.
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ianb

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2006, 10:17:21 PM »

Thank you for the informaion. I haven't received the December issue of Model Boats as yet, but it should arrive any day. I will peruse it with great interest.
This book may be just what I need to get me on the right track. I really want to learn from the expert(s).

Ian
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2006, 10:22:45 PM »

Best of luck Ian. If you have any further queries I''m sure people on the Forum will be only too pleased to help.

Colin
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flag-d

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2006, 04:13:14 PM »

Ian, I know just how you feel.  I can utterly ruin a perfectly acceptable model with one of my appalling paint jobs!  I cheat somewhat though.  I choose a model which even I can paint.  I recently finished, well, nearly, a Fairmile MTB.  I hand painted it as I guessed the original would have been hand painted.  If the original was hand painted, then some of the lines would not have been perfect, there would be the odd run or two etc: perfect for my 'skill', as it were.  The result, I think, was quite good.  Last summer, a chap (ex RN) chatting to me mentioned that a weekend 'jankers' was to paint the bridge...with a 1" brush!  I doubt anyone doing that would have taken an awful lot of time to get everything perfect!  So, if you're doing a working boat, the paint job won't necessarily be perfect.  If it's a rather posh boat, then...get someone else to do it!

Mike
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Doc

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2006, 05:50:00 PM »

Ian,
The whole idea is to get the paint in that bottle on to the boat in the right places, and to spread it out so that is isn't just a glob of paint 'dots'.  The 'secret' in painting is how you go about that transfer of paint from bottle to boat.  The 'best' way is whatever way that you are most familiar with, and are fairly good at.  (Some 'secret', huh?)  Doesn't really make much difference is you use a brush, airbrush, cotton swabs, or your fingers as long as it comes out sort of 'close' to 'right'.  Practice is the key.  Paint any/every-thing you can find.  (Dogs aren't impossible, cats are.  Irish Setter 'hair' makes great brushes!  Using the dog as the brush just depends on the size of the boat.)
Probably nothing in this post that you don't already know, but a reminder now and then is nice...
 - 'Doc

The only part of the above that needs repeating is 'practice'.
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ianb

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2006, 08:55:58 AM »

I thank you for your replies.

I will practise as hard as I can, but I fear that I will never be able to think that I have mastered the art, and I do believe that it is an art.

Ian
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justboatonic

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2006, 03:45:33 PM »

I think we all attempt to get that perfect finish on our models but, when you think about it full size ships \ boats are rarely perfect themselves. Nearly every model boat I see has a near perfect silk like paint finish but its not realistic (I'm not different!).

Rattle cans are great for large areas like hulls but if using paint in a pot, I think you need to thin the stuff down quite a bit as its just too thick straight from 'the can.' You could also stand the can in a dish of warm water as this makes the paint flow from the brush a bit better.

Depending on the area to be covered you need a good quality large or small brush. Dont over load the brush with paint as this will just lead to runs and always brush back and forth in the same directions ie never go side to side then up and down over the same area. If any runs are seen, try and brush these out before the paint starts to go 'off' or else you'll make it look worse. If you do spot a run too late, its best to leave to thoroughly dry then lightly rub down and re paint, if possible, to surrounding panel lines. Although it'll rarely blend in, this way it will make it look more realistic rather than just a re paint job!

Since the paint has been thinned, you'll also need 2 or 3 coats to get an even finish. Lastly, never ever use a 10 pence kiddies paint brush. Go to a proper art shop and get a square ended bristle brush like you use around the home only in a smaller size! Yes, it may cost more but you'll get better results with a good paint brush.

We spend hundreds of quid on our models so why spoil them over a brush costing a couple of quid?
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wombat

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 09:03:24 AM »

Learning this black art while building Aziz, I have learnt a valuable lesson.

The difference between an "excellent" paint job and a "good" one is six inches.
The difference between a "good" one and an "average" one is six inches
The difference between an "average" one and a "poor" one is 2 feet.

Cut your coat according to your cloth and whether you want a sailing boat or a concours exhibition craft. Above all don't sweat the small stuff

Tim the Wombat
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chromedome

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Re: Painting- a black art?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2006, 09:56:08 AM »

Go to a good art shop for your brushes.The ones on sale in model shops ...I have found them to be of poor quality and just not up to the job.


chromedome
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