Trains.com

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Brush Painting A Model

3277 views
38 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    September 2020
  • From: Cloquet, MN
  • 7 posts
Posted by Bing Mattson on Thursday, September 10, 2020 12:42 PM

I have been a sign painter since a junior in HS. I have of course gain quite a ot os skil in brush painting and can do it without brush marks. That said of course I also got into spray painting on a motor vehicle assembly line. Combining the two skills also led me to airbrush painting.

Have done all these I seem to go towards brush painting my models. I can get the effects I want and can even skip weathering afterwords. Every one should try both methods and you will discover which you are best at. Of course there is one other option....have someone else do it.My 2 Cents

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,250 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 28, 2020 4:12 PM

Overmod
...There have certainly been people who have successfully painted with a brush, and even more certainly people who weather with one. But I have yet to see something smaller than about O gauge that doesn't show thick, irregular, or brush-mark artifacts when seen or imaged up close...

Your comment prompted me to take a look at those TH&B geeps, which I posted earlier.  Viewed through my Optivisor, under very good lighting, there are no visible brush marks or surface irregularities apparent.  They must have looked good enough to the buyers, too, as I did 66 of them, finally saved from doing more when factory-painted ones became available.
 
Those from Atlas and Proto are both better than mine, and were I modelling the diesel era, I'd use them.

I also looked at mine through a loupe, and there are brush marks...not surprising, I suppose, as there were multiple coats needed to not only achieve an evenly-opaque colour, but also because the lettering required each body shell to first be painted in the opposite colour of the final version.

That meant that the upper portion got two or three coats of the cream colour, and likewise for the lower portion, using the darker colour.  The lettering was then applied, using dry transfer alphabet sets from C-D-S.
The shell was then painted again, two or three coats, but in the opposite colours used for the first applications. 

As soon as the paint was dry-to-the-touch, I used small bits of masking tape to daub at the unburnished lettering, lifting-off the dry transfers and revealing the contrasting coloured lettering that was hidden below.  In most cases, there was little or no touch-up needed.

However, there was no dry transfer lettering, at that time, for the TH&B herald, so they were done by hand, using a fine brush.

I'm still rather proud of being able to create a reasonably accurate model of the real ones, and would like to think that  the process, outlined in MR's Paintshop, may have encouraged the production of the better versions that followed.

Wayne

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 17,973 posts
Posted by Overmod on Friday, August 28, 2020 3:15 PM

SeeYou190
Overmod
But I have yet to see something smaller than about O gauge that doesn't show thick, irregular, or brush-mark artifacts when seen or imaged up close...
Point out the brush marks.

I even thought as I was typing "you know, in this community you're likely to get shown..." and so I have been.Laugh

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 3,426 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, August 28, 2020 3:06 PM

MisterBeasley

 

 
Lastspikemike

".. the click link is not working. WHY CAN'T I GET LINKS TO WORK?"

It seems to be a random software fault at  the forum end. It doesn't seem to matter whether you use the direct copy and paste method or the "tool" allowing inserting of a URL into your post.

I have noted that posting internal links to other pages in these forums frequently does not work.

I hope you can appreciate the humour of your post where the link you thought did not work actually did while the same link refused to work correctly the second time you tried in the very same post.

It is baffling and mildly irritating.

Many of my failed attempts have been corrected by other users, thanks to them for that help.

Nobody has yet explained this inexplicable random error.

 

 

 

I found that after inserting in the link from the button and then pasting in the URL, then pressing the OK button, I need to next enter a carriage return.  If course, that means I can't embed a link in the middle of a line, and I need that CR even at the very end of a post, but it always works for me.

 

I'll give that a try.

I make a habit of isolating clickable links (URL or email) on their own line (return key above and below) to make it easier to click the link.

Alyth Yard

Canada

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,250 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 28, 2020 2:31 PM

Kevin, your original link works just fine for me...did you go back and fix it?

I checked your thread on assmbling an Athearn car, and do use a few of the same methods, although most of mine are otherwise modified externally, usually  to match a specific prototype.

I use cast lead weights, but locate them at the car's ends to put the weight more-or-less directly over the trucks, which also prevents the floor from sagging...

Here's the modified Blue Box car (one of eight), with new ends & doors (Tichy), new Viking roof (Des Plaines Hobbies), new underbody (Central Valley), and new trucks  (Walthers/Proto).  The car's eaves have been lowered by about 6"(HO)

There's a thread HERE showing a lot of freight car "improvements", although the car shown above starts on page four of that post.

I've converted all of my Accurail cars to have screw-mounted trucks (no big-deal modifications, simply remove the push-in pegs, and replace them with 2-56 screws).
I also use screws to hold the coupler boxes and/or lids in place, using 2-56 flathead screws.  I use a hand-held #19 drill bit to create a partial countersink, followed up by a few twists using a #41 bit.  In most cases, the screwhead is either flush or very close to being so, almost unnoticeable on the layout...

On Train Miniature cars, I usually remove the cast-on draught gear boxes, and replace them with Kadee...

Wayne

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Friday, August 28, 2020 12:10 PM

Thanks kevin. I'm lucky enough to still have a LHS across the street from me  (Literally, I can see if theyre open or closed by looking out my livingroom window!)

I will run in there today on my lunch and see what they have!

 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,547 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, August 28, 2020 12:01 PM

Ringo58
Acrylic, oil or enamel? 

I prefer to use the terms "water soluable" or "solvent soluable" when describing paints. It leads to much less confusion for my purposes.

Citadel, Vallejo, Turbo-Dork, and Reaper paints are all water soluable.

Note: Vallejo does make a small selection of metallic glazes that they call "alcohol based", and these are not water soluable. I use disposable brushes when working with these.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Friday, August 28, 2020 11:56 AM

Acrylic, oil or enamel? 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,115 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, August 28, 2020 11:16 AM

Lastspikemike

".. the click link is not working. WHY CAN'T I GET LINKS TO WORK?"

It seems to be a random software fault at  the forum end. It doesn't seem to matter whether you use the direct copy and paste method or the "tool" allowing inserting of a URL into your post.

I have noted that posting internal links to other pages in these forums frequently does not work.

I hope you can appreciate the humour of your post where the link you thought did not work actually did while the same link refused to work correctly the second time you tried in the very same post.

It is baffling and mildly irritating.

Many of my failed attempts have been corrected by other users, thanks to them for that help.

Nobody has yet explained this inexplicable random error.

 

I found that after inserting in the link from the button and then pasting in the URL, then pressing the OK button, I need to next enter a carriage return.  If course, that means I can't embed a link in the middle of a line, and I need that CR even at the very end of a post, but it always works for me.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 3,426 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, August 28, 2020 9:28 AM

".. the click link is not working. WHY CAN'T I GET LINKS TO WORK?"

It seems to be a random software fault at  the forum end. It doesn't seem to matter whether you use the direct copy and paste method or the "tool" allowing inserting of a URL into your post.

I have noted that posting internal links to other pages in these forums frequently does not work.

I hope you can appreciate the humour of your post where the link you thought did not work actually did while the same link refused to work correctly the second time you tried in the very same post.

It is baffling and mildly irritating.

Many of my failed attempts have been corrected by other users, thanks to them for that help.

Nobody has yet explained this inexplicable random error.

Alyth Yard

Canada

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Friday, August 28, 2020 9:18 AM

SeeYou190

 

 

 
Ringo58
Heres a 40' boxcar I practiced some more weathering on.

 

That looks very good. Nice work. I hope you share some of that in Weekend Photo Fun.

-Kevin

 

I forgot it was friday!

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Friday, August 28, 2020 9:17 AM

Ill have to check the one hobby shop a few minutes down the road. He has a big slection of games stuff along with tons of NOS HO stuff from the early 2000s 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,547 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, August 28, 2020 9:12 AM

Ringo58
Is there a one stop shop for all this stuff?

Not really.

I have been getting my Vallejo Paints online from Mega Hobby. They carry everything. Their prices are not the best, but I have never had a problem with stock levels or service from them.

Tamiya I used to buy at local hobby shops, but that is no longer an option.

Citadel Paints are available at any game store that sells Games-Workshop products.

Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes can be purchased at Dick Blick Art Supply online, as long as they are not banned from import, which happens from time to time.

Ringo58
Heres a 40' boxcar I practiced some more weathering on.

That looks very good. Nice work. I hope you share some of that in Weekend Photo Fun.

Ringo58
Was my project for last night. Added 33" steel wheels and removed the old coupler box and replaced it with kadee #5s.

In case you have not seen it, I posted a thread with my Athearn Blue Box assembly techniques here:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/271360/3082289.aspx

Hmmm... the click link is not working. WHY CAN'T I GET LINKS TO WORK?

This might work:

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/p/271360/3082289.aspx

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Friday, August 28, 2020 9:01 AM

As always thanks for all the great information guys. Is there a one stop shop for all this stuff?

Heres a 40' boxcar I practiced some more weathering on. Was my project for last night. Added 33" steel wheels and removed the old coupler box and replaced it with kadee #5s. Still need to work out the coupler height on the SW7

I went a little heavy in some parts that I need to go back and touch up, over all I am pleased with how this BB athearned turned out. Now I need to order paint and while I am waiting I need to get the layout to 80% completion.

  • Member since
    June 2020
  • 3,426 posts
Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, August 28, 2020 6:55 AM

Ringo58

 

 
Lastspikemike

Spray bomb is the way to go.  

 

 

Is that a brand or a term for spray paint?

 

Spray bomb = Rattle can. We mostly call them bombs because they are. See warning on the can about exposing to heat!!!

I second the Tamiya primer recommendation. That stuff is magic. If you're after a flat grey final colour the Tamiya primer is good enough as a finish coat. I used it as a final coat to mimic anodizing on some camo painted aluminum arrow shafts I used as model sailing yacht masts and spars. 

Tamiya primer is  nice and thin, doesn't run very easily and creates a very good bond between the unpainted surface and the final finish coat.

Before painting it is well worth giving the unpainted surface a thorough clean. I have good success using isopropyl alcohol (either pure 99% or 70% rubbing version seem to work equally well) followed by ordinary hand dishwashing soap  and water and a clear water rinse. Even after careful hand drying it's worth letting the model also dry in the air for an hour or more before applying primer.

I also second the recommendation to let that primer coat dry completely before applying a finish coat. I generally leave the primer for 24 hours minimum to dry.

Tamiya primer highlights any imperfections you may not have noticed on the plain shell which  allows you to see and correct them before the final finish highlights them permanently.

I use gloss colours if I intend to apply decals then I dull kote the final product, including of course the fitted decals which I first spray with a light coat of decal fixer,  to give that final flat look which  seems to look best for these models. Any weathering can be done either before or after applying the dull kote. I generally apply a light coat of more dull kote over any weathering. 

For precision masking Tamiya makes excellent model sized masking tape in several model sized widths, including a pretty nifty flexible plastic tape useful for curves. It's pricey but well worth it. I use it to mark the line and then apply ordinary painters tape on top of the Tamiya to mask any larger background areas.

One technique I did not think of  to use but have seen or read about somewhere is used for precise colour separation lines.  When painting the second colour making up the colour change  line you first spray the masked line with the first colour on top of the masking tape before spraying the second colour. The theory is that this seals the edge of the masking tape with the first colour. If any of that first colour seeps or bleeds under the tape it won't matter because it matches the hidden colour. I have not yet used this technique but it seems logical that it would  work to leave a very sharp colour line.

Alyth Yard

Canada

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 12,250 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 27, 2020 11:11 PM

About 40 years ago, I brush-painted these two modified Athearn Blue Box geeps, to match their prototypes, using Polly S paints (not the later and much improved PollyScale)....

 

Except for the number boards and the black pinstripes on the pilots, all of the lettering is painted. 
Not too long after that, I did another two or three dozen in the same manner, before switching over to an airbrush for the last three dozen-or-so.

I used a good-quality brush and a decent paint that self-levelled before drying, so there are no brush marks.  Many paints nowadays dry more rapidly, sometimes resulting in visible brush marks, while others self-level quickly, before beginning to dry.
While it didn't take too long to become accustomed to using an airbrush, I still struggle with spray cans, and try to avoid using them.  The only exception that has worked well for me was Tamiya's Grey Primer in a spray can, which yielded results close to those achieved with an airbrush.  I can't say if Tamiya colours as sprays are comparable, as I've not used them, but I did get good results applying some Tamiya colours with a brush.

Regardless of whether you choose to brush-paint or spray-paint the final colours, I strongly suggest that you prime those locomotives with the Tamiya spray primer.  Make sure that it's fully-cured (no odour) before applying the final colours.

Wayne

 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,547 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 9:38 PM

Ringo58
Those are great videos. I actully watched the steam locomotive video earlier today!

The On30 locomotive video was great, especially since the modeller uses the same desk mat I do!

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 20,115 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, August 27, 2020 9:29 PM

Scalecoat makes Milwaukee Road orange, by the way.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Franconia, NH
  • 3,069 posts
Posted by dstarr on Thursday, August 27, 2020 7:49 PM

Spray paint your model from a rattle can.  Here is one of my rattle can painted locomotives.  Dark gray auto primer, both Krylon and Rustoleum work well.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,547 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:36 PM

DSchmitt
Brush Painting an On30 Steam Locomotive

That is a good video. That Liquitex Black Gesso is like magic. I was pleased he gave the wargamers props for the methods. He had brush marks in the gesso, but if he would have used the same sable brushes he used for the painting that would not have happened.

He warmed his dark gray "black" with orange, I use red, but either way it was nice to see someone stating the importance of a warm dark gray.

He also thinned his paint. I am sure if he would have used Vallejo paints and thinner it would have been even better.

His use of Future Floor Wax was spot-on for pre-decal prepping.

All-in-all, a lot of good stuff was presented in that video.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:26 PM

Thats a real nice bf109, Kevin. I alway wanted to model a kamikaze attack with one of these and a B17. Wild stories of these things with reinforced wings cutting b17s in half. Cool story of a B17 landing with a BF109 stuck in its fuselage. Sky tanks those B17s were. I guess they call them flyingfortresses for a reason! 

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,547 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:14 PM

Ringo58
Only 11th?! Thats seriously awesome work

You need to be best of the best to win a Games Workshop Golden Daemon. I have entered five times and never reached the top tiers.

This is not the best picture, but the Slovakian BF-109 has a green and yellow hood section that is completely brush painted. No brush marks at all. The propeller spinner is also hand painted.

On this model, I also brush painted the canopy frame to try it. I will never do that again!

It can be done, and it is a good tool to have in your skill-set, but be prepared for a lot of frustration as you go.

It is like drywall taping, I have gotten pretty good at it, but there were a few frustrating days this week as I made lots of mistakes.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:11 PM

SeeYou190

That model came in 11th at the 2004 Games-Workshop Golden Daemon painting contest Large Model category in Atlanta, Georgia.

-Kevin

 

 
Only 11th?! Thats seriously awesome work
  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 14,547 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:05 PM

Ringo58
Thanks for the help Kevin! Thats a great looking...thing! Is it a ghost train? At first glance I thought it was a ship but it has wheels! Super cool whatever it is

I added a lot to my earlier post.

The model is a Vampire Black Coach made from an Imperial Steam Tank. On the rear deck there is a vertical boiler walking beam steam engine that I built from scratch. I also built a tender for it.

That model came in 11th at the 2004 Games-Workshop Golden Daemon painting contest Large Model category in Atlanta, Georgia.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:05 PM

Lastspikemike

Easy test spray is primer in a can. You need to prime the whole shell anyway. To start out avoid trying to paint in one coat. Numerous very thin coats work best. Spray paint is very thin and the slightest excess amounts will run a short distance and then set up, you don't want that because you have to then remove the bump and start again.

Don't try to "save paint". Spray from a distance and spray past both ends of your pass. Begin spraying into empty space at the start of the pass and continue spraying after the end of the shell, that way the density of the spray actually landing on your model is consistent and not affected by the start and stop caused by pressing the button and then releasing it.

 

Ive used that technique for years building model cars. I went to paint a bachmann sd40 shell last year and it did not turn out well. I guess I forgot the techniqe and will practice more on that shell. Thanks for the tips!

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:02 PM

Lastspikemike

Spray bomb is the way to go.  

Is that a brand or a term for spray paint?

  • Member since
    April 2020
  • 526 posts
Posted by Ringo58 on Thursday, August 27, 2020 5:00 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
 

1) The correct paint. Vallejo, Citadel, Turbo-Dork, Reaper-Pro, or similar paints are a must. These are water-soluable, but thinning them with water is not the best idea.

 

 
 

Thanks for the help Kevin! Thats a great looking...thing! Is it a ghost train? At first glance I thought it was a ship but it has wheels! Super cool whatever it is

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!