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Author Topic: painting advice  (Read 527 times)

Offline Panther_Gunn

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painting advice
« on: April 20, 2017, 01:12:05 AM »
While this could be considered tangentially related to threads in the Showing Off forum, I thought it fit better here. (I could be wrong)

In the past I've bemoaned the painting that's been done on some of the figures we've gotten for the minion (many of them not having any at all on the backs, so Cap's back is solid blue), and have thought about fixing it, but have had some procedural hesitations.  Now that we've found an Imaginext playset at Goodwill (can't beat the price) that has lots of detail all in the basic plastic color, my desire has been re-awakened (and tentatively okay-ed by Mrs. Gunn).  My two main concerns are:

1:  What type of paint to use.  While I find the water-based paints typically used for minis to be easier to work with and generally non-toxic, it does have issues with durability and coverage (painting anything that hasn't been primed either white or yellow is always fun, sometimes even if it's been primed).  The minion is still pretty hard on his playthings, so I don't want it all wearing off too quickly.  Oil-based model paint will conceal more, and should be more durable, but I feel I have less control with it, and it's a little more of a production to use.

2:  Masking.  Way back in the day when I was painting models (mostly cars) I would use tape to cover areas that I wanted to not paint (either already painted or I wanted to keep the plastic color), but I would routinely have issues with bleeding under the edges, and it's not much fun for anything that's not a straight line.  My brush skills aren't the best, and when I paint minis I tend to go with the "overlap & touch-up" method, since the whole thing was getting painted.  I don't have an airbrush, and am likely to never make that move.  I don't feel like painting the entire surface of these relatively large items.

For those that re-paint figures, I would love some input and suggestions, especially, since this relates almost directly.  If I ever get around to actually doing the project, I'll post before & after pics ......... unless the after turns out to be completely horrible, in which case you'll never hear about it again.
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Offline daglob

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Re: painting advice
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 02:47:38 AM »
Liquid frisket (I don't remember the brand name) was like painting with buttermilk (thicker than milk, thinner than paint), and the kind I used turned semi-transparent pink when it dried. It rubbed off like rubber cement would, and the "edge" could be refined with an x-acto if you were careful. While really intended for watercolor, I painted regular oils over it, and it seemed to work pretty well. For what kind of paint, I got nothin'...

Bear in mind all my artistic knowledge is probably out of date. I miss Zip-A-Tone...

Offline Tomato

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Re: painting advice
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 01:22:32 AM »
So speaking as someone who's played around with some of this stuff with actual figures, a few notes:

-Using oil based paints is a very tricky business with action figures. The problem you run into with them is, yeah, if the figure has the right type of plastic, they'll last... but with most action figures, oil based paints will not set well, and will leave that portion of the figure feeling sticky and gross: Not want you want with a little one. I've also heard horror stories of some softer plastics outright melting when painted with oil based paints. Between that and the fact that oil based anything is probably not healthy if accidentally ingested, I'd leave the matter alone.

-That being said, if you want to increase the durability, you might try getting some clearcoat to put over top of it. There are tons of varieties of it, from ones that make the paint shiny, to more matte, to arious things in the middle, and come in both regular model paint sizes and in spray bottles (I know you're not a spray person, but for those larger figures, it might be easier). The downside is that using too much can leave a yellowish cast on stuff, but I doubt you care all that much if it'll protect the paint.

-The most common thing people use to mask is blue painters tape, but I did a bit of google-fu while I was typing this post and found this gem.

Q11: What is "masking" and how do I do it?

A11: Masking is the process of covering up parts of your figure that you do not wish to be painted. Masking is most commonly done with masking tape. However, some people have been known to use other materials such as Scotch tape and paper and report receiving satisfactory results. Testors also makes a product called "Parafilm M" that is often used for masking scale models.

Masking can be used to help in creating straight lines and edges on figures as well. To mask an area on a figure, first select a quality brand of tape. The reason this is important is that cheaper tapes use cheaper glues on the sticky side of the tape. This can result in an incomplete seal allowing paint to leak through the edges. In addition, residue from the tape glue can often be left after the tape is removed. Never use tape on a freshly painted or tacky surface. Good masking tape will pull the paint right off. Masking tape is best used on the original plastic and/or paint. Use some planning to build layers of masking that need to be applied, avoiding having to mask an area after it has been painted if possible. If it is not possible, make sure your paint has completely dried before applying the masking tape.

Make sure the the edges of your tape are securely fastened to the surface of the figure. Run your fingernail down the edges to insure the seal. The is some disagreement regarding when masking tape should be removed. Some advocate leaving the tape on until the paint has dried completely. My personal preference is to remove the tape while the paint is still very fresh. I have found that letting the paint dry runs the risk of pulling the paint off when the tape is removed due to paint that has dried across the masking tape seal and the figure itself.

Liberal and careful use of masking can add to the intricacies of your customization work. It can also really add to the overall presentation of the finished product.

I can't speak for any of it directly (I tend to just wing it and paint the edges by hand) but I use Parafilm for work and I'd be interested to see how testor's variant works. I also found a tidbit from someone who used silly putty for masking.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 01:26:10 AM by Tomato »

Offline SickAlice

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Re: painting advice
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 02:49:09 AM »
It's been a long time for me but my start began with an old Toyfare article and some righteous bro has it online. You'll be skipping ahead to the third scan, step #7. Noting from memory priming is a must and will save your butt and your figures paint job in the long run.