Beginning to paint our set - and some questions


  • 2018 2017

    I’ve started to paint our G40 pieces.  It’s my first time painting miniatures or models. I began with some surface ships, the UK combat ships specifically.  I learned right away that a good coat of primer is paramount. I finished my UK and ANZAC fleets.  Nothing fancy, no camo schemes or anything.

    I then moved on to one Zero, one Val, a Panther and a B29. I’m happy with how the tank turned out. I feel the Japanese aircraft probably should have another coat or two of white before I added the secondary colors. And as for the Superfortress, well, silver was the only color that wasn’t a flat that I had.

    • My questions to the experienced/better painters: what specific brand of primer do you use? I’m using the Vallejo grey acrylic primer and it doesn’t go on all that well (in my limited experience).
    • Do any of you use an airbrush? I’ve been painting by had so far, but have already begun to wonder if a quality airbrush might be better.
    • Does applying decals get any better?  I swear that is the worst part of the entire process.  They absolutely add to the sculpts, but cutting to size and getting them on just right is a huge PITA.
    • Is there a better brand of paint than Vallejo?  I’m ok with using them so far, but before I really invest into this I’d like to know if there is something better out there.

    Cheers!
    UK Cruiser.jpg
    Zero, Val, Panther and B29.jpg



  • Very nice job! You never know until you try!! Keep posting!


  • 2019 2018 2017

    I love what you’ve done with your paint jobs. I especially like the flag in the middle of your cruiser.

    I do have one, very tiny, nit pick. I mean well. You said

    @Navymule:


    I then moved on to one Zero, one Val, a Panther and a B29.

    That bomber is not supposed to represent a B-29. It’s supposed to represent a B-17. Says so on the last page of the rule books, either Europe or Pacific…

    Sorry.

    -Midnight_Reaper


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    Navymule, I prime everything with Krylon primers first, then I paint with either Vallejo, Americana, Folkart or Model Master Acrylic Paints. The last is to clear coat with either a matte or glossy finish.

    Yes, decals are a pain, and takes practice.

    Cutting decals takes practice, but a good, box cutting knife, can be very handy. Also invest in a little wood cutting board.

    I also bought a lamp with a magnifying lens. This helps a lot, as well.

    I use Micro Sol solution, pour little hot water in a small dish, then I use tweezers and sewing needles to place the decals on the painted piece.

    I hope this helps you. 🙂

    Cheers!

    John

    P. S. I’ve never used oil paints or an airbrush, but others can help you with that information.


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Navymule:

    • My questions to the experienced/better painters: what specific brand of primer do you use? I’m using the Vallejo grey acrylic primer and it doesn’t go on all that well (in my limited experience).

    First thing, I highly advise against a paint-on primer. Use an aerosol can or airbrush for priming miniatures the size of A&A pieces. Paint-on primer can pool up in crevices, even if you dilute it, which will ruin details. Paint-on can also dry with brush strokes in the paint that affect how other layers of paint cure and dry. Spray on is also much, much faster and gives a seamless look.

    Beyond that, the brand itself is usually a personal preference. Make sure you are coordinating paint types (acrylic, enamel, etc.) and brands. Using acrylics and enamels on the same piece is generally inadvisable, but there are rules of thumb you may want to google. When possible, stick to the same brand of paint (primer included) on each piece. Acrylics from two different brands, like Vallejo and Tamiya, are slightly different and may or may not play well together. Same for enamels.

    @Navymule:

    • Do any of you use an airbrush? I’ve been painting by had so far, but have already begun to wonder if a quality airbrush might be better.

    Yes. I recommend buying and using one if you intend to paint large numbers of pieces. An airbrush will allow you to paint more pieces in a shorter amount of time. But more importantly, using an airbrush will give you a smooth and even base coat. As with the primer, painting on the base coat with a brush can be uneven, cause pooling and visible brush marks; all of which you want to avoid.

    I use an aerosol spray-on primer and then base coat with the airbrush. The airbrush is a great tool, but it needs to be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned after each paint color used, so reducing the number of times you need to switch colors is helpful. There are nozzles you can buy to get finer detail, but I only use the airbrush for base coats and any other detail work like stripes, camouflage marks, lines, weathering, etc. I do with brushes.

    @Navymule:

    • Does applying decals get any better?  I swear that is the worst part of the entire process.  They absolutely add to the sculpts, but cutting to size and getting them on just right is a huge PITA.

    Depending on how detailed you want to get, it would be safe to say they only get worse. Worst ones I have ever dealt with are cutting and attaching individual numbers for the side markings on aircraft. Oh and simultaneously shaping and applying early war rudder stripes to USN planes.

    @Navymule:

    • Is there a better brand of paint than Vallejo?  I’m ok with using them so far, but before I really invest into this I’d like to know if there is something better out there.

    This is entirely personal preference. I pretty much exclusively use Model Masters (Testors brand) enamels, for a number of reasons. Some of the best painted A&A pieces I have seen on these forums were done using Vallejo acrylics. Even though I have never used them, I think their quality is unimpeachable. I just wouldn’t prefer them myself.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing.


  • 2018 2017

    Thanks for the great tips.  I suppose I will just continue to live and learn with decals.  I bought an entire box of Exacto blades specifically for this task.  It’s just so….not fun.  But the results are.

    Based upon recommendations here, I will move to spray on primer.  Thanks again!


  • 2018 2017 2016 2015 Customizer

    @Navymule:

    Thanks for the great tips.  I suppose I will just continue to live and learn with decals.  I bought an entire box of Exacto blades specifically for this task.  It’s just so….not fun.  But the results are.

    Based upon recommendations here, I will move to spray on primer.  Thanks again!

    Your very welcome. 🙂


  • 2019 2018 Customizer

    Agreed on the decals, but SO worth it.  I have a Stuka with 18 decals on it and it’s one of my favorite pieces. Took longer to decal than it did to paint. Our Spitfires & Mosquitoes have 14 decals each. Microsol is great for setting your decals and giving them a painted on look.  Sometimes several applications are needed depending on the decal.  After decals, a few thin cotes of dullcote (https://www.amazon.com/Lusterless-Flat-Lacquer-Clear-Testors/dp/B004QPCLQG/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1518375285&sr=8-4-fkmr1&keywords=model+master+dullcote) are good for protecting everything.  Don’t put the dullcote on too thick or it clouds and you have to repaint (something I found to my horror when spraying in bad light and killed about 30 hours’ work between me and a friend).

    I prefer Testor’s and Model Master enamel because the paint is a little tougher when it dries.  But the most important thing (IMHO) is to get some of the smallest brushes you can get for detail.  Also helps get sharp lines on your pieces.


  • 2019 2018

    @John:

    Navymule, I prime everything with Krylon primers first, then I paint with either Vallejo, Americana, Folkart or Model Master Acrylic Paints. The last is to clear coat with either a matte or glossy finish.

    I’m new to painting, so I have a few rookie questions:

    1. I just bought some Caesar Miniatures and simply want to paint them in OOB colors. Should I still follow the primer–>paint–>clear coat path, or is there a less labor-intensive way?

    2. Any recommendations for particular paints to match Germany, Italy, USSR & UK OOB colors would be greatly appreciated.

    3. Also, I went to both Hobby Lobby and Michael’s over the weekend and saw lots of lacquer paints for models, which I haven’t seen mentioned here. Should I avoid them?

    Thanks in advance,
    P.M.


  • 2018 2017 2016

    Rather than typing it all out again, check this thread out PM;
    https://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=39272.0


  • 2019 2018

    Spaceba, GHG! Not sure how I missed that thread previously.


  • 2017 Customizer

    Just a few suggestions:

    • I use Model Masters Super Fine Grey primer (gets expensive - about $7 or $8 a can and waste a lot)
    • I usually wash the sculps first with dish soap (I think I saw in Dtroy’s vid).  Not sure if it helps but makes sense and I will try anything if it helps keep the paint on the Japanese infantry
    • I now mark my spray paint cans clearly with P for Primer, etc.  I once intended to spray some newly painted German inf with clear coat but picked up the wrong can and sprayed them with primer…ugh.
    • Don’t use airbrush but would like to learn
    • If you can spray paints planes, sure speeds up the process
    • As mentioned above a lit magnifying glass greatly helps
    • Good brushes help too (less stray hairs, more control, etc.)
    • Buy good scuplts - hard plastic
    • Decals are not too bad, just takes practice.  Sometimes I dab them with clear coat of a jar when dry before spray clear coat.  Sometimes the spay clear folds them or destroys the decal.  Combat Miniatures has a nice selection of decals.  GHQ has a few too.  Always eBay as well.
    • As Sireblood says in his videos, choose a theme and try to stick to it.  One basic color/theme for each faction.
    • Vallejo paints good, model masters also good.  Sometimes I use enamel.  I use Model Masters Blue Angels Enamel for corsairs.
    • You might try Tap Plastics for bases.  They sell 1/2" clear discs.  I think one could cut off the cheap/small/square bases off the non-HBG and non_A&A scupls (Revel, Airfix, Hat, etc.) and super glue them to the Tap Plastic discs.  Or just glue them with their own base.

    Cheers…SJ



  • i just started painting mine.  Use spray paint.  Use Krylon grey or white primer.  After it primed spray it with the color you want as the base gray, green, earth, etc.  Then add the finishing touches the cockpit, nose, tail colors, etc.  The spray paint gives you a nice even coat.  Go light and fast over the piece about 6 inches away .  if you go slow you’ll put on to much paint.  no good you lose detail.  If you really want a sharp looking piece add decals.

    look at some of my pieces on combat miniatures face book site.

    Jeff Cam.


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