Brush Painting A New Model
I haven't done this since 1976, when my 'old-fleet' Estes A20 Demon was brush painted with butyrate dope.
Currently on the workbench is a newly-built clone EAC Viper. It's been sitting around in primer for quite some time awaiting a painting day when the weather isn't so crappy.
With the onset of being stuck at home indoors now, I made the decision that I would try my hand at brush painting the bird.
So far, I have completed the booster rocket white base color and the purple nose.
This week, I have moved on to masking and applying the fin paint patterns.
Surprisingly, the brushed-on finish is turning out much better than anticipated.
In the near future, I will be writing up blog posts (linked below) describing whatever insights and pitfalls I have encountered with brush painting a model rocket.
Thatís really neat, I brush painted an Estes V2, a Screamer and a Goblin in the 70s that turned out Ok, then I discovered a can of Floresent yellow spray paint and painted my Nike -X and the basement floor with it. My dad was not happy!! He banished me to paint in the garage after that.
Nice looking paint on the nose cone.
What brand / type paint are you using? Any particular type of paint brush (and kind of bristles)? Are you thinning the paint? With what?
I have brush-painted several fins, cones, and transitions with thinned dope.
The key is using thin MANY coats with a wide (at least 3/8") flat brush.
Never tried to do tubes.
The paints I am using are gloss enamel and acrylic craft paints from Hobby Lobby and Walmart.
These are water based.
I thin them down with water at least 50/50.
I use quality sable artist brushes. Totally steer clear of any brushes from the craft or dollar stores where you get ten in a pack. These shed hairs like crazy and are of inferior quality in terms of paint application.
Here are a few brushing tips:
1. Light coats, just like spray painting. This Viper model typically took six such coats on each color.
2. Don't load up the brush with paint. Just get enough on the tip to apply to the area being worked on. This is where a small paint tray or shallow cup is useful, so that paint amounts can be easily controlled.
3. Use very light strokes. This technique helps to minimize brush lines.
4. Use even lighter 'feather' strokes to blend new paint with previously painted areas.
5. If, by chance, a hair comes off the brush, or a dust mote ends up in the painted area, work it to the edge of the surface to remove it. Wipe the brush off to remove the offending intruder, pick up more paint and smooth out the surface area again. Do not leave any such material in the paint job. Once things dry, dust and hairs are nearly impossible to remove without damaging the painted surface.
6. Allow the paint to dry completely between coats. These water based paints dry to the touch fairly quickly. If you attempt to apply another coat before the previous one is completely dry, you stand a chance of removing areas of the earlier coat.
7. Don't rush the process! Allow plenty of time to complete each coat. Clean your brush under running water between each coat.
Brush painting is not for everyone - it requires a substantially longer amount of time than spraying. Patience is key. A rushed brush job will not end well.
It also takes a bit of practice to get a good feel for smooth application techniques. It's a good idea to practice on a scrap body tube before attempting an actual model.
Hope this helps!
Another quick note:
To get close to the proper light orange color of the EAC Viper fins , I mixed equal parts of the orange and yellow paints shown in the photo in the previous post.
One more thing - that painting cradle made out of LEGO is an excellent tool!
Good information. Thanks!
You can get some excellent result brush painting.
Mostly small to medium size rockets.
I am an avid model builder.
I like Tamiya Paints. They give me excellent results with quality brushes.
Expensive, but well worth the money.
I've been doing a little brushwork lately and have had next to no luck trying to avoid brushstrokes. Then again, I haven't tried thinning down as far as 1:1; none of the on-line guides ever suggested that. Guess I should practice more.
I appreciate that the craft paints are nearly odorless. I tried a bottle of Tamiya and while it worked really well it stinks worse than anything I've ever smelled. That bottle will never be opened inside the house again. :)
WATER based paints ??????
A nice dope-thinner blend of Toluene, MIBK, Acetone, and MEK wafting thru the shop is olde-tyme hobby nasal harmony.
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