Any tips for a beginner?

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The Jug Rules!

Airman 1st Class
Dec 1, 2004
I've just gotten into modelling, and am having trouble with the paint scemes.

How do you get the paint on without looking so heavy and thick. and I can never get the paint to go where I want it, so I end up with sloppy lines.
Only one way - use an airbrush. I have a Badger 150, which is a good, middle-of-the-road brush which it's easy to get spare parts for - very important in the long term - and a decent compressor yoiu can pick up for about $100 or so in a good hardware/DIY shop. There is no other way to get it right.

If you use enamel paint and a brush, the paint will deposit in the panel line engraving, and you'll lose all the detail. (Don't ever try acrylic paint with a brush! Certain disaster!) Older kits with raised lining can take it - two or more very thin coats of decent paint and a couple of days between coats, whatever it says on the tin - but recent, engraved kits, you'll waste their detail.

It may seem expensive, but it really is worth it, I promise. It'll revolutionize the way you work, and the effects you can create.
That seems like the most important ones that ndicki. I remember looking at the models I made without an airbrush back when I was a kid and then the ones that I made with an airbrush and it truely is amazing the difference.

I am know where near an expert when it comes to model building but I get better and better with each model.

The more your make them the better you get, it is the best practice.
The next piece of advice is post a decent shot of your next model, and somebody will be able to tell you what technique you need to perfect! Weathering, highlighting and shading make all the difference, but without an airbrush, they are not really possible. One trick you can use before getting that airbrush - go on, don't hesitate! - is dry brushing. You may already be familiar, but just in case:

Use a No. 1 or 2 paintbrush for small detail, getting bigger for surfaces, and mix a bit of your base colour with whichever colour you feel will lighten it credibly. This is not always/often white - play about until you get the habit. BTW, never use the paint direct from the pot - transfer a small amount using the pointed handle of your brush, onto a non-absorbent palette, and work with that - easier to dilute, mix, etc.)

Then take a very small amount of paint on the brush, and wipe it off onto a rag, kleenex, etc, until it will not deposit on anything other than raised detail. Run the brush gently over the area you want to highligh, and you'll see corners, edges, etc, come to life. Especially useful for AFVs, but also for aircraft control surfaces, fabric-covered fuselages, etc.

Sorry if it sounds as though I think you know nothing, but I don't know what you do know! Someone might find that useful, anyway!

Also, buying a good modelling magazine is a major help, because you can learn from what you see other people doing.

and Adler is right - the more you do - take the time, though - the better they get. My only virtue is that I've been doing them off and on for thirty-five-plus years!
I wouldn't even DREAM of using them. A good airbrush allows you to control, simultaneously, the flow of air and the flow of paint (double-action). A single action airbrush - not recommended - allows control of the air flow only. Spray guns, you can't do either. Those are the cheap efforts they sell to kids.

Spray cans, on the other hand, are a recipe for problems. Start with the complete absence of control, including directional - it's very difficult to hit the right spot, so all the nice feathered effects you can do with a real airbrush - think German fighters - you can't do. You spend all your time masking things!

The other problem is paint build-up and spitting. The paint accumulates in the spray head, and when there is enough, it will start to spit droplets which are too large and which will spoil the finish.

And you cannot do any of the surface detailling which takes a seemingly 2-D model and gives it depth and dimensions.

If you are really taken with the paint that comes in cans - usually available as airbrush sprayable pots - you can spray from the can into a recipient, and reuse after dilution if necessary, with your airbrush. I've done this to hide scratches on the car, but I don't recommend it. The paint in question usually requires diluting with acetone or other solvents, and the result is OK on a car after polishing, but I'm really not so sure about models!

There is no really easy solution to the bare metal problem.

As I keep saying, get a Badger 150 and a compressor!
I too dont use spray cans but I have used them on this model that I am doing right now. The reason being is because I wanted the aircraft to be as close to the authentic thing as possible so I am using the actual touch up paint that we used on our real aircraft to give it the same color.

This touch up paint only comes in a spray can. I first used the actual primer and then the actual paint. It has turned out good for this model but as ndicki said I would not recommend using spray cans either.

I tried a spray can on a SBD Dauntless model a few years ago and it did not turn out so well.
Best use of spray cans.

When you have totaly stuffed a model.

Place it on concrete away from anything.

Hold cigarette lighter about 1 inch from the spray can.

Torch it and get rid off your stress.
You may be able to find it cheaper, but in my opinion, this is the brush to get:

The following is also important - you need a medium head/needle, and a fine head/needle. Other spares can be useful over time. Badger has a solid spares availability, unlike most airbrush makers, who just want to sell you another complete brush.

S q u a d r o n . c o m - Search Results

You'll need a variable-pressure compressor with a filter to remove water droplets, too - that, I think, you should look for in a hardware shop, rather than at a specialised hobby shop. Cans of compressed air are no good - they'll probably not even do for one serious model. I think I paid about $150 or so for mine, and it's perfectly adequate.

Just to prove the point:(this is not a suggestion, as I do not know the product, but it does give you an idea of the price difference!) Rockworth PT2003 Powertask Compressor : Tools Automotive

Smile - Christmas is coming!

I remember that picture from when I was a child. And this one.


Naw, I'm not that old! It was a memorabilia Christmas Book of the Saturday Evening Post.

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