Problem with greys

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by Prassel, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Prassel

    Prassel New Member

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    I have now tried various light grey colors from Humbrol.... 129, 166, 195, 147.... and none of them give satisfactory results. NONE of them get that cold, grey shade that the color charts indicate. What I do get is warm, creamy shades... shifting slightly in light brown and/or green. I tried another shade of grey, 127, which DOES look cold... but it also looks much too green.

    I've bought several of all these colors, and each tin gave the same result... I have stirred properly; indeed, the 129 looked exactly right for a little while when the pigment started blending... but when I had finished stirring it was... almost khaki.

    I guess I could try blending colors, but I don't know which ones. If it helps, look at this box where you write your post; The grey I want is along those lines.

    But what is it that is wrong? And why does this ONLY happen to grey (medium and light shades) colors for me?

    Any help would be appreciated. <.<
     
  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    I know it may be a little daunting but you might try mixing your own. Start with black and white and depending on the hue you are looking for ad a drop of say medium blue to make it look colder. Start by mixing small amounts just as a test. Once you get the effect you are looking for you can up your mix scale. I have been using Model Masters paint. I just started back into model building here several months ago and wanted to use Humbrol paints but the folks here told me that Humbrol was not the quality it once was. So far I have had no trouble but I have not been at it to long either. Hope this helps. Some one else will be along and may have a better answer. Good luck Prassel and hope to see you around here more. We have a lot of helpful folks here.:thumbright:
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree with Aaron, both regarding mixing your own, and the recent quality of Humbrol paints. However, various shades of grey, especially at the lighter end of the shade scale, can give a perception of being 'different' in shade/hue, depending on the surroundings, lighting and actual shade.
    For a light grey as required, it's often much easier to mix your own. Knowing the actual colour you wish to achieve would help, for instance 'Neutral Gray', 'Medium Sea Grey', etc etc.?
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Judging by your words these Humbrols are either old or you purchased ones of defected series. Also, the storage temperature of these enamels has a great influence on them. It loos like the oil base separates itself from a colour pigment. And I can bet it is the reason for that. Your IP indicates Sweden ( althought the USA is seen in your profile). It means that these paints could be frozen or kept at the shop too long with wrong temperature. Of course , too high temperature can cause the same effect. Anyway you should think about buying paints of other manufacturers. These you have , you can throw through the window. Nothing can be done I'm afraid.
     
  5. Prassel

    Prassel New Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    I do not think it's the paint itself that is flawed now... I've recently been building models with white plastic (from AMT). Today I tried the paints on an Airfix model plane with dark grey plastic... and the colors looked the way they were supposed to! I'm not sure what to make of it. >.<
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Sounds like the base is 'showing through' a possibly thin coat. Also, the lighting you work in will effect the appearance, especially if it's fluorescent. This light source has a green bias in colour temperature, not apparent to the human eye, which can give a 'cast' to neutral colours such as grey, particularly a shade that is less than 50%, that is, from medium to light grey. This cast will be in the yellow, green, blue area of the spectrum, making the grey appear 'cool' to 'warm'.
    But, regardless of the lighting, when painting on a white surface, it will probably require two or three thin coats to obtain the desired result, due to the white base beneath an already light-coloured, less dense paint than, say, green or dark blue.
     
  7. Prassel

    Prassel New Member

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    It's not the base showing through, made sure of that today.
    The colors turn much darker and warmer on the white plastic than on the grey. 196 for example looks almost white on the grey model, until it dries, then you can clearly see the cold, grey tint... It looks just like I want it. But on the white plastic it becomes warm, and far darker. Color 165 looks great on the grey plastic too, really cold and "irony" for lack of a better word. On the white model it almost looks khaki. >.<

    Clearly there is SOMETHING about the material, the question is what to do about it... Mixing paints would probably work, but I'm not great with that, so I'd rather avoid it. Is there any way to "treat" the surface of the plastic?
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #8 Wurger, Mar 5, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
    You can use a grey primer Humbrol 001.
     

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  9. Prassel

    Prassel New Member

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    ...wow. That made me understand something... I'm an idiot. The instructions for the model said "paint overall exterior light gray"... I didn't understand what it meant, and the color scheme didn't have any light grey on it. I was confused as to why the light gray was even included when there were no indications of where to paint it... It's supposed to be used as a primer!

    So my problem was simply failing to understand the instructions. Thanks for helping me realise it!
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    To be honest painting with a light grey colour overall exterior isn't mentioned in kit instructions very often. In fact manufacturers' instructions are limited in pointing which colours should be used for each part only. Also offered camo schemes aren't correct often.
    The painting techinique with a primer isn't mentioned at all. So you are a lucky man having that mentioned. Who is the modelmaker of the kit?
    However, you have to know that a primer can be used or not. The main reason we apply the one is that the model surface has to be prepared for painting. The solid light grey painted background is just neutral and better than colourful styrene ( for instance Matchbox used a such plastic for different details of one kit). This caused different tonalities of paints when applied with a thin coat. Also a primer is useful for filling up of all scratches. As a result a surface is smooth. The most enamels can cope with filling of thin gaps or cracks easily. But all metalic colours highlight these scuffs , especially the silver one.
    And finally, acrylate paints like peeling off ,even though a surface is cleaned with warm water and soap. Using a primer as a background causes better adhesion of these water paints.
     
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