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22 comments

  1. Kris, thank you for the painting/weathering sequence on your site. You mention that it would be different for the glossy surface of automotive models. I would LOVE to try weathering a pickup truck model I want to build but I’ve never done this before. Could you share some knowledge on how to get started, such as a paint sequence for glossy models?

    • Hi Ken,

      If you are beginner than probably best to stick with acrylic paints. For glossy models I would do following:
      1) Prime the model with acrylic primer or with acrylic matt paint – say TAMIYA matt german gray;
      2) Once dry you will notice that the primer matt coat is very rough. ‘Polish’ the roughness by dabbing the wide paintbrush in water and stroke the model until the surface finish is less rough. This will give you a nice smooth undercoat for the acrylic glossy paint.
      3) Airbrush glossy acrylic paint. Do it in 2-3 layers to avoid oversaturation and paint dripping.
      4) Apply decals. Glossy surface should be OK to receive decals. Once decals are dry (1-2 days latter) apply acrylic clear to seal.

      Have fun and let us know how you went.

  2. I am building a very complex sailing ship. Painting with Humbrol enamels. Do you have any opinions about finishing each section with Humbrol Matte Coat? My thinking is that a final clear matt coat will protect the whole model against the effects of air borne dust. All the enamels I am using are matt – not semi or full gloss enamels.

    thanks
    David

    • Hi David, Matt surface (clear or paint) is very rough and will attract dust like nothing else. I would suggest to get a protective case. Without the protective case it will get fluffy very quickly.
      How come you are using enamels? Have you tried acrylics? How do you do washes on enamel paints?
      Thanks, Kris

  3. Hi: I’ve just gotten back into model building after about 20 years, starting back up with a 1/35 M4 Sherman in honor of my father-in-law. In reading your information on weathering and using washes, I came across the use of Future floor wax. Now, 20 years ago, Future may have been widely available, but today, in central New York, at least, it is not to be found. Not the local chain stores, not the dollar stores, not even Wal Mart. The only thing similar that is on the shelf is Mop & Glo. So my question is, can Mop & Glo – or some other more-readily available product – work with the same results? Thanks very much, and I appreciate what you’ve provided on your site.

    • Hi Bret,
      I actually get asked this question a lot.
      To get nice result, future floor wax is not the only solution. You will get very nice result with any other clear gloss. The one I am using is Gunze clear gloss and Gunze Matt clear. These should be available from any hobby shop. Thin them with acrylic thinners – say Tamiya acrylic thinner.

      After airbrusing you model, first apply clear gloss, then apply decals, seal decal with clear gloss again. Next apply dark washes and once dry apply Matt clear to take shine away.

      Good luck with Sherman.

      Kris

  4. I am currently building a scale model of Reviles Red bus kit.But have hit a nag on fitting and gluing in windows. Especially using the glue,as once it gets on to the plastic glaze the show is over. i have been modelling for years, and i am surprised that I have com across this problem. I would appreciate any tips in this regard..
    regards Vic

    • Hi Vic,

      First question is which glue are you using?

      If you are using a superglue – it has a habbit of whitening clear parts – do not use it.

      You should be using polystyrene glue. The key would be to use one with the nozzle tube so that you can control how much you are dispensing. Do not use to much. Apply it to the non clear part. Let it set for about 2 minutes to allow plastic to soften and them press window in.

      I have seen the bus model in one of the mags. It looks like an interesting buid. Send us few pics when ready.

      Ta , Kris

  5. Some model aircraft require you to color the surface of canopies with a clear blue or clear green. I once tried to do so with the windscreen of an A6 Intruder with no success. There wasn’t any adhesive property to the paint and it would simply drip off like water. So, what is required to apply it and with what?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Eric,

      Which colors are you using? Acrylic colors suck when it comes to adhesion to plastic without primer. Can you get the same color tones from lacquer colors – eg. TAMIYA. Lacquer colors grip better. Even then it is not smooth sailing. Gloss colors and certain colors (eg. yellow) will still be hard to airbrush without the primer. When airbrushing, have you mixture to be more thicker than usual (more paint than thinner) and air brush in MANY LIGHT coats to avoid saturation. Let each light coat to dry before applying the next.

      Good luck!

      Kris

  6. Hi there. I’m mainly doing 1:72 helicopter models. I’m using Daler & Rowney set. As they are a little thick out of the tube, i’ve bought empty 40cc bottles and filled them with the colors + 1cc water and 1cc thinner, they are more smooth now. But their adhesion is still not as good as enamels, so i’ve come up with using an gray auto primer, which helped a bit. Is there anything to increase the density of acyrilic, so that it spreads equally and wont show up what’s beneath ?

    Also, is there a HUGE difference between model acrylic colors and standart artist colors ?

    • Hi Baran,

      This question has been asked few times before in this blog. I personally have not tried using artistic acrylics for airbrushing. My preference is not to experiment with paints which are not designed for airbrushing. I prefer to stick with proven TAMIYA or GUNZE paints. This way the ‘quality’ of my airbrushing can remain consistent.

      It is true that acrylic paints (even the model ones e.g. LIFECOLOR) do not stick easily – that is why you always have to prime your model before applying acrylics.

      My suggestion is to go for model acrylics paints. Or even better -use TAMIYA acrylic paints. Although they are advertised as acrylics, they are actually lacquers and stick on much better than ‘pure’ acrylics. You can thin them with acrylic thinners.

      Good luck

      Kris

      • Thanks for the answers. I’m painting with brush, by the way 😉

        • Hi Baran, If you are using a brush then I would recommend using CITADEL or Vallejo acrylic paints. You wuill find that they ‘spread’ and grip much better!

          Still – you need to prime the surface before appying the acrylic paints.

          Kris

  7. Hi Kris just started this hobby I suppose air brushing is a must,but in South Africa everything to do with modeling cost alot if you can get it.I just gave up on model railway as it is a mission to get DCC kit.Oh I didn’t get or lost the first video. Great stuff regards Nick

    • Hi Nick,

      Good luck with getting the modelling gear (paints, airbrush, etc…). Scale Modelling is definitively the best hobby. Hope you get ‘equipped’ soon and start enjoying the hobby.

      Thanks for the nice feedback.

      Kris

  8. hey Kris i can’s get the video started i thought you were senting me a DVD thank you for getting in contact with me .thank you Gerard Quigley

  9. thanks kris i got video working it is excellent it has give me a lot of idea’s

  10. Hey there Kris. I am fairly new to serious scale modelling after years of ‘modelling in the dark’ in terms of skills and techniques to improve the finish of my models, since finding new skills and techniques for myself I find the quality of my finished models snowballing as has my passion for the hobby. Also I have only come across your website today and have already read and leant a lot so there’s a well earned compliment for you haha. Anyway, sorry for the life story, I have used a few resin and PE parts before and used some resin ejector seats for a tornado gr1 model I have completed and could not fault there detail at all and was very pleased with overall look it gave my model. For this reason I have brought a full resin cockpit for my next build, a Eurofighter typhoon, however with this cockpit I need to remove a fair bit of plastic from the original kit which I have no experience of at all and quite honestly gets me a little worried I’m going to destroy my model. Any pointers or article in this field of modelling would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Ed

    • Hi Ed,

      I have done plastic ‘surgery’ few times before. I used dremel tool to remove majority of the plastic. I would then stop 1-2 mm short from the line/panel/edge. Last 1-2 mm I cut with a sharp hobby knife. If you take your time and do not rush you should be OK.

      One think to take care of is to wear protective glasses when using dremel tool. I had bits flying off.

      Good luck

      Kris

  11. who makes the best plastic tank models

    • Hi Mike,

      In my opinion, DRAGON is the No 1. They have fantastic kits, great details and you always get some extras (photoetching, scale chains,etc..)

      Next in line is TAMIYA. They are generally bit simpler to put together but still have good detail.

      Cheers,
      Kris

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