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Creating transparent paint

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Creating transparent paint
Posted by tstage on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:08 PM

Are there any modeling paints that will dry clear vs opaque?  Or, could I mix a clear coat and bottle paint to achieve that? - i.e. being careful to match paint types (e.g. acrylics with acrylics, enamels with enamels, etc)

I want to achieve a slightly yellowish hue to a 3mm bi-color LED to mimic a "warm" or yeloglo" LED.  The red-white bi-color LED emits a frosted and harsher white beam.  I colored the entire LED bulb using a yellow (non-fluorescent) Sharpie pen, which works okay but it's a bit too yellow.  Another idea is to apply the yellow over the round portion of the LED bulb and let the white beam "wash it out".

I appreciate any other suggestions or ideas you might have...

Tom

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:16 PM

Hi Tom.

Tamiya has a line of clear acrylic paints.

You might have to blend yellow and orange to get the exact hue you are looking for. 

https://www.hobbiesandbeyond.com/shop/paints-finishes/acrylic-sets/tamiya-clear-paint-effects-set/

 

https://www.tamiyausa.com/shop/paints/bottles/

 
Cheers, Ed

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Posted by tstage on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:23 PM

Thanks, Ed.  Do you think a drop of clear acrylic yellow watered down with an acrylic clear coat would accomplish what I'm trying to do?  That would make it more consistent than using a yellow Sharpie pen.

That said, I tried the yellow Sharpie on just the rounded dome of the LED and like the results.

Tom

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:33 PM

I've used several techniques including several shades of the Sharpies to try to change the tint of various LEDs. One downside of the Sharpie is that you can not "build up" the color as each swipe of the pen tip wipes away the previous layer Super Angry Sharpie has a multi-color set that has other shades of brown, tan and orange that might work better for you. Perhaps some light burnishing (1000 grit) of the LED would help, too.

https://www.sharpie.com/collections/ultimate-packs/SHUltimatePacks

 

Yes, I believe the Tamiya clear would do the job better and you can add layers as each coat dries if you need to increase density of the color. It might be a bit of a trial and error to pin down the exact blend.

I have some mylar sheet that I have used to change the hue of LEDs and it is kind of a "tea" color. Maybe rusty brown. Perhaps you could mix a little red/orange/yellow to achieve the tint you need. 

Many of the military and car modelers use the Tamiya for tail lights and such.

Hope that helps, Ed

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:44 PM

Hi Tom,

I have had mixed results using Tamiya's clear yellow to tint white LEDs. The light ended up having a rather unpleasant green to it in one case, and in the other, it turned out way too yellow and it still had a slight greenish tine to it.

I think the problem in the first case was that the LEDs were 'ultra white' which is actually blue to the naked eye. Adding yellow produced green. I started with the wrong LEDs. Here is what they look like:

In the second case, I think that if I had used your suggestion of diluting the clear yellow with plain clear it might have worked out better, but there is still a very slight greenish tint to the LEDs so apparently I started out with the wrong colour LEDs there too. I don't have any pictures of that project.

If you like the results with the Sharpie pen, I'd just go for that method.

Dave

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:07 AM

I actually haven't tinted any LEDs in recent years as the choices in warmer color temps are much better today than they have ever been.

Remember some of the early "golden-glo" LEDs used an amber colored plastic capsule. That is the color I'd try to shoot for if you want to "roll-your-own". More orange than yellow.

I've been pretty satisfied with the headlight color of the recent warm-white LEDs from the Asian vendors. As I mentioned, I do like to tone down the color (and brightness) for LEDs used in number boards and cab lighting.

Ed

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:13 AM

Ed,

I'm stuck with these because I need the red-white bi-color LEDs for the classification lights of an FM H16-44 road switcher.  I can control both the front and rears classification lights with F1-F4.

Tom

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:58 AM

I think diluted paints is the answer here, specifically dulited Tamiya clear colors thineed with Tamiya thinner.

.

Straight from the bottle I think Tamiya paints will dim the output of the LED too much.

.

Vallejo has "transparent" paints in their line, but they are way too opaque to work for this.

.

Getting a smooth and even coat on the LED will be the real challenge as I see it. I wonder if dipping the LED would work best?

.

-Kevin

.

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Posted by wvg_ca on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:03 AM

i regularly use Tamiya clear orange to colour LEDs,  sometimes it takes two - three coats to get to the desired shade ..

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:42 AM

 SO what's the yellow Sharpie and so forth doing to the red setting on the LED? 

At least they are useable colors - the ones that use standard red/green bicolor LEDs are next to useless for most modelers as the green extra section indication is not all that common.

 Something that may work - if this is a 2 wire LED, you'd need a plain diode plus a resistor - so that there is a larger resistor in circuit when white is selected. Put the diode and resistor in parallel, and put the combo in series with the LED. If the red dims instead of the white, flip the diode/resistor combo around. 

 If it's a 3 wire LED, just a resistor is needed, in the white lead. Idea being, dim the white part of the LED so it's not so harsh.

Or it may be possible to combine the 'dim' output as used to dim the headlight with the white selection, but have it full brightness for the red indication - is this a Loksound decoder driving it? 

                                --Randy


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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 5:16 PM

Randy,

The 3-pin bi-color LEDs are already wired in and soldered to AUX 1-4 of a TCS A6X decoder.  The yellow Sharpie tints the white LED slightly, if looking head on.  With one LED "tinted" and the other not, I see no difference when the red aspect of the LED is turned on.

Tom

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Posted by stokesda on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:24 PM

Try Future or another clear acrylic gloss tinted with a drop of food coloring.

This website suggests that as a way to tint model airplane canopies (see about halfway down the page):

http://www.swannysmodels.com/TheCompleteFuture.html

Dan Stokes

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, August 22, 2019 10:52 PM

I’ve sprayed the Tamaya clear "Smoke" to creat tinted windows, and it works real well for that, so the orange/yellow mixed in theory should tint LED's a little warmer hue.

The catch is, "in theory", because, "in theory" bublebee's do not have the correct aerodynamics to be able to fly... Good thing bumblebee's don’t understand aerodynamic theory's!

Ricky W.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, September 12, 2019 9:21 AM

Tom what did you end up doing?

I was given a RR station with bright white LED's.  They aren't accessible to swap them out, but I could drill holes in the floor and paint them.  The post above, where they turned green, would not be an improvement.

Henry

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Posted by wvg_ca on Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:29 PM

so, just out of curiosity, which way did you end up going ???

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, September 13, 2019 11:09 AM

There is another potential issue here: the 'art' of determining the correct "tinting color" to get an effect from a pseudocolor LED.

What I recommend is some way to determine the actual visible emission spectrum of the LED device in question, perhaps with a cheap grating, andf then see if we can develop a database of colors that shift or absorb the emitted color balance to give the desired effect.  Some of this has already been done for various types of LED, including discussion of the physics, but so far most of what I've seen is in the "isn't this quaint" realm of experimentation, like playing with polarizers, and not directed toward specific blends or mixtures of products, or how to set about working up a good formula.

It occurs to me that something like a transmission 'swatch' for solutions could be made, on plastic film or glass like a microscope slide, that could simply be held up in front of a target LED to see the practical effect, and this might be done as the equivalent of a Ringelmann chart or a calibrated gradient for comparison.  These could be made up and shared as references, perhaps even 'standardized'.

Forgive me if such a thing is already available in the community.

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Posted by tstage on Friday, September 13, 2019 2:32 PM

The yellow Sharpie didn't work as well as I had hoped.  The LED ended up appearing slighty green-ish once I put the shell back on. Sad

I'm going to try the Tamiya clear acrylics but will have to order that online after I get back from vacation.  Went to Hobbytown but they didn't carry the X-24 clear yellow or any of the other clear paints.

Tom

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, September 13, 2019 6:41 PM

Thanks Tom, I think Star Hobbies, just down the road has Tamiya clear.  Orange is opposite blue on the color wheel so I will get some tomorrow and let you know.

https://i1.wp.com/digital-photography-school.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/colorwheel-1.jpg?w=750&ssl=1

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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