White acrylic brush painting suggestions

Discussion in 'Modeling' started by Ralph Haus, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. Ralph Haus

    Ralph Haus New Member

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    Like many on this board I am back to modeling again. In my case after a 60 year hiatus. I decided to use acrylic paints as opposed to enamels for multiple reasons, for the most part I am happy with this decision. I also have decided to stay with the old fashioned brush for applying the finish. Again, a personal choice and the models that I have already built have come out as good as or better than my expectations. My only problem is with white acrylic! It seems no mater the brand or the number of coats I can never get a finish that has even a passable appearance. Eventually, with enough coats, the base material colors are hidden but the piece looks like an over painted, detail hidden, mess. Anyone have any suggestions on technique or brands that I can use. I usually only use white for armaments and details such as carrier hooks, but still! I may have to resort to using enamel on this color after all!!
     
  2. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I hear you brother. For years I wielded the hairy stick and struggled with White, Yellow, Orange and Red. I've used all brands of model paint and craft paint and like you, nothing is satisfactory. For this reason, I have just swapped over to an airbrush. I have had slight success using a white primer spray bomb on the plastic first but this is expensive.
     
  3. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Generally all acrylic colours aren't for the brushing but for airbrushing. So no wonder you can have the trouble with the white because even though you use the airbrush the applying of the white can be without the nice effect. You may give a try to that ...

    Use a primer and then the white paint. The primer may be a light grey or white enamel. Sometimes the gloss clear coat as a primer can help too.
    Use a retarder with the white paint. It will cause the paint getting dry longer what can be helpful for better and more accurate applying.

    As far as other paints are concerned you may use either the white of the Vallejo Model Color series or the Tamiya .Also the white of the Gunze Mr.Color series can be.
     
  4. WolfRacer

    WolfRacer Member

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    What brand are you using? Not all acrylics are created equal.

    If it's Vallejo or similar, adding a bit of their flow improver will help, but it's not a magic bullet, it still just requires lots of thin coats.

    Another trick is to paint it off-white first, light beiges and light greys often have better coverage and can be laid down smoother before building up the white itself.

    Also make sure there's not much paint on the brush itself, it's not enough just to thin the paint, you also have to be applying thin coats, trying to avoid building it up in crevices and also avoid a rough finish on the flat or raised areas.

    Or my personal recommendation is just use a white spray can early on then avoid getting paint on those areas later if you don't want to airbrush, lol.
     
  5. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Also what kind of the brush do youi use? Any pic please?

    The brush should be of quite long and soft bristle. One of the best I know is are brushes of natural (the sable, squirell or marten ) bristle for fine artists used with watercolor paints.

    sobol.jpg
    wiewiorka.jpg
    kuna.jpg
    akwarele.JPG
     
  6. Ralph Haus

    Ralph Haus New Member

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    First, thank you to all that have responded. To answer the brush question; the third image from the top probably represents many of my brushes.. Although. I'm sure like many, I have some that should be tossed. None were large investment brushes. Hey, this is a hobby!

    For the LOL response. I do have a odd can or two of Krylon in my barn that just may be taken out of storage. It's not that I have an aversion to enamel, I just don't want to start spraying inside. During this season, here in Texas, 100+ and high humidity I prefer to spend as much time indoors as I can. That, and the joy of creating again, is one of the reasons I have taken up an indoor hobby.
     
  7. WolfRacer

    WolfRacer Member

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    What acrylics are you using?

    I used to paint wargaming figures where acrylics are common place, in contrast to what Wurger said I actually prefer airbrushing enamels and hairy brushing acrylics :D
     
  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Right .. I'm curious about that too.

    THX for your answer. :wave:
    I would say there isn't the perfect brush. But using a such tool for applying of a paint we have to know of what kind of the bristle there is. You may ask why.... because these of the synthetic bristles have a bad feature of getting harder while soaked with paint thnners. This may result in a rugged surface of coats with smudges seen, etc. And this might cause the trouble with the white paint. Because it is cheapper to buy a new brush than purchasing a new air compressor+airbrush, it is worth to consider that isn't it?
     
  9. WolfRacer

    WolfRacer Member

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    Yeah brushes are important, I use Kolinsky sable brushes for detail painting acrylics, like cockpits and small details (brush size 1 or 2). Some are really expensive (Windsor and Newton or Rosemary Co) but you can also get some cheaper Kolinsky brushes, I paid about $10 for my current Kolinsky brush and it works great. If you take care of them, Kolinsky brushes should last you hundreds of models.

    For larger flat brushes painting larger areas Kolinsky is too expensive so I just find whatever soft brushes are cheap from the local art store.

    Hobby shop brushes are usually synthetic which isn't great when painting acrylics.

    But the reason I asked which acrylics you are using is because in the realm of hobby acrylics you have Tamiya and Gunze (alcohol based) vs Vallejo, P3, Citadel, Humbrol and Reaper which are water based and they behave quite differently. For hairy-brush painting I prefer the latter group rather than Tamiya and Gunze, but Tamiya and Gunze are great for airbrushing.
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Oh.. sorry , have you asked me or Ralph Haus about the acrylic paints?
     
  11. WolfRacer

    WolfRacer Member

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    Sorry for the confusion I was also asking Ralph and just giving my suggestion on brushes :) I actually don't use my Kolinsky brushes with Tamiya and Gunze acrylics because I worry about what the harsher thinners will do to them.

    Sable brushes, being animal hair, don't like being stripped of their oils, so they aren't appropriate to use with enamels or paints that require harsh thinners.
     
  12. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #12 Wurger, Sep 6, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
    I see.
    But I can't agree with you on the sable brushes used with enamels. I have been using the Humbrol , ModelMaster or Revell enamels with the brushes for years and no problem with their hair. The trick is to keep them in a good condition after using. I clean them in the clear thinner called "Nitro" here in Poland. It is very aggressive thinner. There is no colour that can stand it even when a paint is dried fully. Also it melts the plastic. But back to the brushes... when cleaned I wash them with a warm water and soap and then use a paper towel to dry. If it is done I soak them with lanoline ( wool fat ) that can be bought in many shops with detergents , etc... The lanoline is a component of many fabric softeners. Having them soaked with the liquid I shape the brush bristle and put a piece of silicon or vinyl pipe on the bristle. The protection keeps them soft and ready to use for long time.

    As far as acrylic paints are concerned.. although I use and prefer enamels to those acrilic ones.. I use them too for painting details. But I use the Polish paints named Pactra. The firm offers a good selection of colours. These paints can be applied with brushes and airbrushes.

    farby-pactra.jpg
     
  13. WolfRacer

    WolfRacer Member

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    Interesting to know! What sable specifically? My last Kolinsky sable brush died as soon as I washed it with white spirits after using it with enamels so I've avoided using enamels with it ever since (it wasn't new at the time, but it had been going strong for a while with acrylics and when I washed it out with white spirit it immediately split, the hairs went all dry and it didn't paint as good after that).

    I always wash my brush out with hand soap and water when using acrylics, but that doesn't work with enamels.

    I haven't used Pactra. As I mentioned I used to paint wargame models, so I've used Vallejo, P3, Citadel, Reaper, Army Painter, Humbrol, Tamiya and Gunze. I'd say my current Kolinsky brush has lasted painting about 150 to 200-ish 28mm scale infantry figures, so they can last a long time.
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    There is no brand of my brushes. Just I bought them in a shop for fine artists. Also I have a couple of the Vallejo firm.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree with Wojtek re the sable brushes.
    I've been using enamels, mainly Humbrol, for over fifty years, both with synthetic and sable brushes. I recently 'laid to rest' one of my best sables, a No3, which I think was Windsor & Newton (name had rubbed off) after more than ten years of use, on models, and with oils for pictures.
    I have noticed though, that the quality of sable, and other 'natural' brushes, is not as good as it was, say, twenty years ago. Also, some of the 'once good' synthetic and 'natural' brushes from Humbrol are nowhere near as good as they used to be.
     
  16. Ralph Haus

    Ralph Haus New Member

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    #16 Ralph Haus, Sep 10, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
    I expect a 'cringe' factor to happen when answering the 'what acrylics do I use' questions!

    As I first mentioned I have just gotten back to plastic modeling after many years, and as such had no stock of supplies. My original impetus was to get not only myself busy doing something inside during the hot Texas summers, but to get a couple of grandsons (8 an 13) to appreciate the hobby and to teach them patience and something else to do with their fingers other than flying across a mobile devices keyboard.

    I used on-line for most of my purchases, local hobby outlets being to great of a drive. So I purchased the Testors sets for both military aircraft an tank applications. Seeing the investment I would have had to make to stock a reasonable color library, I looked at other options. Those other options turned out to be the acrylics that are sold by hobby/craft types of outlets. Cringe if you may, but for the models that I have already completed I have had better results with the crafty acrylics than with the Testors. Except for the white, but that goes for Testors as well. Krylon, for the small jobs, beats them both! Besides, comparing the cost and the volume of paint received it was worth the test.

    Again, for me it is a hobby. One that I am thoroughly enjoying again. I do attempt to emulate the superior modeling and finishing that I see on this site, not as successfully, but that is probably 80% due to my skill level and not the materials I am using.

    My appreciation, again, to all who have responded. What an honor to have had my post appear on the weekly popular topics email.
     
  17. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    I use some Apple Barrel brand craft paint as well especially for detail painting The "Barn Red" is great match for RAF insignia red
     
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