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  • erwinphillippe posted an update in the group Group logo of What are you building?What are you building? 7 years, 11 months ago

    I never expected hand painting would be THIS hard. I prefer spray painting from now on but since this is an SD scale, i still opt to finish it via hand painting.

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    • What’s giving you trouble?

      • First is the thinner:enamel paint ratio; I don’t know how much is good enough.
        Second is the drying and curing time.
        Third is whether application of a second color and thinner on the same piece would damage the previous color (planning to paint the sword a silver but afraid it might mess up the red details there.

        Thank you for the concern! πŸ˜€

        • Enamel paint goes through a chemical reaction as it hardens that makes it unresponsive to thinner – so layering and such are fine, if you give the paint enough time to fully cure.
          This also can make enamels a bit tricky to work with, because if you’re not careful there are ways to disrupt the chemical reaction, preventing the paint from hardening – the paint will always just be kind of gummy and there won’t be much to do with it except strip it off and start over.
          What I have heard (and honestly, I don’t know how reliable this information is) is that there are certain windows of opportunity for layering enamels: you can do it after the first coat dries (from maybe 1 hour to 1 day after application) or you can wait until the first coat is totally cured (which takes days, or even weeks) – any other time, and you risk destroying both coats.
          Enamels are kind of slow. This will work for you and against you: it works for you because slower drying means more time for the paint to level out, producing a nicer finish, and the curing process makes the paint fairly durable in the end. This makes them great for hand-painting. It works against you, obviously, because it means you have to be patient and allow the painting process to take time.

          Thinner-to-paint ratio always varies by paint brand, the color you’re using, and how you’re applying it. Usually it’s somewhere between 2:1 and 4:1, but mostly (with any kind of paint) I focus on how the paint feels after it’s been thinned. It needs to be wet and fluid, thinned down enough to flow freely but not so much that it’s ineffective.
          That leads to another aspect of thinners you have to bear in mind: the thinner doesn’t just thin the paint, it also catalyzes the curing reaction. So always use a secondary container for thinning enamels. Thinning them in the bottle could render useless any of the paint that you don’t apply in the short term after thinning. (There are other good reasons to use a secondary container for thinning as well: reducing the potential for the brush to deposit contaminants in the paint, among other things.)

          Hand painting can work out quite nicely once you’re good at it. You can get a smooth finish on large areas by painting in multiple thin layers, and when detail painting you have a level of control that you can’t easily achieve with an airbrush. Even if you prefer to spray (and most modelers do) it’s very useful to cultivate hand-painting skill.

          • Thank you for the detailed explanation, I will always keep these in mind. πŸ™‚

            And yes, I use a separate container for thinning my paints to keep the maintain the paint’s original condition. I think one aspect that I cannot fully grasp yet is the application of several coats (I’d like to see mine as is upon the first coat) but now that I am painting over a colored piece, I can see why several coats are necessary. I am just wondering if it’s a good or bad implication if there are brush marks once I paint, and I am hoping that these could be fixed when I apply an additional layer once it dries up. I am currently removing excess dried up paint via a toothpick and I think it’s very effective, though I deem this as a double-edged sword in case the paint is that easily scratchable (planning to fix it with a topcoat).

            • Basically, in hand-painting large areas, it’s usually expected that there will be some unevenness in the color of a single coat. If you can see brush strokes in your coat that’s OK (and it should even out after another coat or two) – the thing you want to avoid is brush marks that you can feel – if the brush leaves physical unevenness in the surface of the paint, your paint needs thinning. And in most cases, if you’ve messed up and the surface of the paint is no longer physically smooth (regardless of how you’re applying the paint and what’s causing the unevenness) the thing to do is leave it alone, let it cure, then smooth it out with fine-grit sandpaper.
              Don’t know if you’ve ever watched Plamo Tsukurou – but the show is awesome, everybody should see it. πŸ™‚ But whenever they build military models on that show, I’m impressed with how they tackle painting. Military kits tend not to be modular in the way we expect of Gundam kits, so a lot of the time they’re assembling the whole model and painting a lot of it in-place. It leads to some pretty impressive (and to me, a bit mind-blowing) demonstrations of both airbrushing and hand-painting. Like I look at what they’re doing and I think, about all the masking work I’d do for some of those details, meanwhile they just go in with a paintbrush, boom, done. It really impressed me, honestly.

              • Thank you for the explanations; these are very enlightening and relieving at the same time as I now have a guide whenever I hand-paint. πŸ˜€ I’ll definitely have to use sandpaper on some parts once it cures to see how things react.
                Wow, the show sounds very informative; I’m gonna watch it. πŸ˜‰

                • Yeah, Plamo Tsukurou’s practically legendary. All kinds of really amazing builds on that show, including several episodes on Gundam and other anime subjects. I don’t think they still make that show unfortunately.