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Mixing a perfect highlighting solution.

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  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Mixing a perfect highlighting solution.
Posted by Mapster on Friday, March 31, 2017 5:29 PM

Hi all. My name is Michael. I have been searching for the perfect ratio/solution to apply to my model aircraft in order to bring out rivets and panel lines. I see photos online and in print media showing exquisite detail accented by some measure of paint/detergent/thinner. I attend model contests and gatherings and marvel at how effectively details are displayed! Rivets and seams, panel lines, recesses and surface details are eccentuated to my ultimate envy! I have found a couple ratios and tried them with varying results. Obviously nothing to my complete satisfaction. I KNOW there has to be a simple, tried-and-true mix used but have been unable to find it. If I could discover this my aircraft would ascend to the next level of talent.

Does anyone have some tips?

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Friday, March 31, 2017 5:59 PM

Can't really give you a firm ratio. I just use artist oils and oderless thinner to weather and accent panel lines over tamiya acrylics. I just put a blob of paint down and mix in thinner and keep testing until it reaches the desired darkness and flow.  The higher the quality of the paint the better the results will be due to finer pigments.  There are also many premixed panel accents on the market that may provide more consistant results. 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Friday, March 31, 2017 10:00 PM

Thank you for the response.  I have gone the route of mixing parts paint, liquid detergent, and water with a little succes but it leaves a "stripe on either side of the panel line if one is not careful. It seems to work really well on rivets and the like too.  It's just timing it correctly so it dries but not completely.  I guess what I am saying is there are too many variables.  I need to find the most popular method I always see the results of. Thanks again.  Maybe I will try the oils...I never have.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:36 AM

Not sure if your using acrylic or enamel paints or your skill level so I will give you a detailed description of my technique. Oil washes over acrylic are very easy to use, I have tried pastels, acrylic and tamiya panel line accent in bottles with mostly unstatisfactory results. I make a very thin solution, so thin that simply touching the brush to the panel line causes the paint to wick up the seam. There should be no need to brush the paint at all. I tap the seam in several spots until it is filled. Sometimes I go over the seam again after it dries to get a better coverage. Then when totally dry I use a cotton bud or cloth moistened in artist oil thinner to gently remove any undesired spots. The thinner does not damage the acrylics or flatcoat at all. I will admit that getting the right thickness and color coverage has a lot of variables, the paint used, thinner, color your trying to accent with etc. I have found windsor and newton artist oils to be the best.  I have never done this over enamel paints but if its sealed with a clearcoat of some kind it should work the same. Maybe someone who regularily uses enamels can chime in.

Im suprised there have been so few responses but I suspect every modeller has their own way of doing this. I'll admit im a novice but I hope at least something here will help you.

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Newington CT
Posted by tempestjohnny on Saturday, April 01, 2017 9:49 AM
Welcome to FSM

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Northern New Jersey
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 10:06 AM
Hello and welcome to b the forums

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 10:56 AM

ecotec83, thank you for responding. I do use enamels as my main paint of choice. Then I clear coat as a means (media?) for the application of decals. So that would be a perfect setup. I will try this on an old model as a test bed to see how it works and to fiddle with the variables.

I agree with your assumption about every modeller having their tried-and-true method. I hope this approach becomes mine. Thank you again!

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:42 AM

I use nothing but enamel paints (model master)....and I use lacquer clear gloss. For a panel line/rivet wash...you want to do this after the gloss, decals, and gloss again to seal in the decals.

I mix my own washes using cheap acrylic craft paint from a craft store. Maybe a 1/10 paint/water ratio and a couple drops of dish soap. It takes a bit of trial-n-error to get a good mix. you can always add a little more paint or water for your desired result.

When I'm ready to "wash", I'll brush a a brush load of wash across a wing(for example), then rub it all around with my finger and keep rubbing it around until it's almost dry. lwt dry...it'll look like a real mess! Then I wipe away all the excess with a damp cloth (piece of an old t-shirt). Really easy stuff!

I'm about to hit the bench and I just happen to be at the wash stage. I'll take some pics of the process and post em here for ya, in a little while.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: AandF in the Badger State
Posted by checkmateking02 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:44 AM

Welcome to the Forums!

I don't do much weathering, but to accent engraved panel lines, I use diluted acrylic craft paint (from Michaels), with some dish detergent added to make a pin-wash.  I start with about 1/10 paint and 9/10 water, with serveral drops of detergent.  Seems that the more detergent you use (within reason!), the easier the wash cleans up after it's dried.

I use enamel paints, and apply the pin-wash over a clear lacquer gloss coat.  It's almost always necessary to clean up the edges, but usually a water-moistened q-tip works.  If not, I substitute Windex for the water.  

It helps if you don't leave the pin-wash on too long--maybe only ten minutes or so--before cleaning it up.  It seems that the longer the wash sits there, the harder it is to remove.  Even after half an hour, it's almost impossible to get rid of that "edge of the tide" look.

Practice, practice!  And good luck with your project.

Nulla Rosa Sine Spina

 

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:23 PM

Fermis, thank you for the info.  It is very similar to the one method I found that worked. It was a little "untoward" in the difficulty with consistantly achieve the same mix.  I look forward to phots.  Luckily, I have two months with which to fiddle about until my model show.

 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:27 PM

checkmateking02, thnk you for responding. When you say you substitutes, at times, Windex for water, is that with the Q Tip or with the 1/10 - 9/10 mixture?  As I stated in a previous reply, the only success I have attained has been from the diluted acrylic-over-enamel-clear-coat method.  Consistant ratios have been my hobgoblin.  Thanks again!

 

BTW, I am building a 1:48 scale PBY-5A so you can imagine the surface detail, panel lines, rivets, etc. to highlight! And with that much surface area it will be really visable.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:43 PM

Alright, here we go...

You can see the acrylic craft paint. I mix a batch in an old paint jar. This will last for a bunch of builds!

Brush on some wash...

Rub it in...(you will need to brush some, next to high spots, that your finger just can't get into)

As it starts drying, wipe in the direction of airflow (sometimes, some streaks will remain after wiping away the excess...further enhancing the weathering)

Once dry...just takes a few minutes. Wipe away excess with damp cloth...

Before/after

With small models, such as a 1/72 P-51...you can wash the whole thing at once. For bigger stuff, I work in sections (as with this example)

Once wiped away, sometimes you'll get some inconsistancies. I use a smaller brush to add a little more wash and let it dry, wipe away...

left side washed...

Hope that helps ya some!Toast

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:57 PM

Mapster

 

BTW, I am building a 1:48 scale PBY-5A so you can imagine the surface detail, panel lines, rivets, etc. to highlight! And with that much surface area it will be really visable.

 

Just caught this.

Man, that's a big model!!! I did it years ago...back before I discovered "washes".

I did this with just black pastel chalk...

 

I think a wash would have looked a LOT better!

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 12:58 PM

fermis, this is using the approximate ratio of 1/10 - 9/10?  That looks insanely easy and with great results!  I do love me some A-E TRAM aircraft.  It is funny because that is one of the few models I'd had success in weathering.  Also, how were you asble to post photos.  I feel challenged (although I'm not) in that the insert function asks for source, image description, and dimensions.  I had thought the "source" would be the path but that wasn't right

Anyway, off to the bench to give it a whirl.  Thank you again!

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 1:10 PM

fermis, I have also gone that route, actually on the Catalina.  This is my second go around with the big girl.  I enjoyed moderate success with pastels but it is VERY easy to get heavy handed, especially when it starts to look like it is really working out well!  I find I used a combination of the methods.  I do like  the looks from pastels and there are such an abundance of colors to choose from.  On my latest build I am foregoing the Yagi antennas and perhaps the depth charges.  I am trying to represent the aircraft that discovered "the whole damn Japanese Navy" prior to the Battle of Midway, one of the themes for the model show.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 01, 2017 1:12 PM

You're very welcome!

I'm really guessing at the ratio of paint/water...I do know there is far more water than paint!

For posting pics...(I use photobucket as the hosting site)..."copy" the direct link for the pic...come back here, click the icon..."paste" in "source"...hit "OK" (don't mess with the other stuff).

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 01, 2017 1:18 PM

Mapster

 I enjoyed moderate success with pastels but it is VERY easy to get heavy handed, especially when it starts to look like it is really working out well!  I find I used a combination of the methods.  I do like  the looks from pastels and there are such an abundance of colors to choose from. 

 

Did we just become best friends?!!!Toast

Nowadays, after the wash and final dull coat, I'll go back with pastels (as the final step) and add some exhaust, streaks and general dirtiness to high traffic areas (tops of wings and what not). Definitely a required item in the weathering arsenal! 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 1:27 PM

You have been very helpful and I thank you for it.

 AND...it worked. My A-6E with a bit of the slurry mix.  Thank you for your help with the mix and (after creating an account) the photo upload.  Windows 10 wishes to control its' whole environment and makes it very difficult to simply move photos.  No longer a simple drag and drop.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: AandF in the Badger State
Posted by checkmateking02 on Saturday, April 01, 2017 1:45 PM

Mapster:

that is quite a project.  I've built four-engine bombers in 1/72, and they already have plenty of surface area.

What I meant aoubt the Windex is that I dip the q-tip in it and rub out the offending area.

And:  nice tutorial, fermis!  Very helpful.

Nulla Rosa Sine Spina

 

 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Bella Vista, AR
Posted by Mapster on Saturday, April 01, 2017 1:56 PM

I have a thing about "nothing but 1:48 scale" builds.  Tends to make it difficult at times, spacially and obtaining an aircraft I want.  Like a B-1B or a Lancaster, Sunderland to name a few.  With the follow-ups and advice I will definitely post my results, good or ... not so good.  I just need to remind myself I have time and more paint! ;-)

 

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