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Hi I'm back again, Back in the late50's and early 60's , all my cars and planes where brush painted out of testors little sq bottles. The results in hindsight were not that good. Than came rattle cans. Now airbrushes. I sometimes find myself in a possion that rather than doing large amount of masking, that brush would be much easier. Any advive on thinning, brushes or ways to put down a nice smooth finish would be much appericated. Thanks much Aardvark
Well you nailed the two points to a good hand brush coat: paint consistency and brushes.
Your paint can originally be too thin or too thick. Too thin and it requires more than one coat that can be translucent and/or streaked. And recoa can obscure detail. Too thick and well, it's just like a mud coat. Use a pallet to get your paint to the proper consistenc, and test that paint on a scrap piece or item first before your actual project to get it right.
Brushes... obviously you get what you pay for. Take care of them and they will give better results, and last longer. In most cases I prefer natural hair bristles over synthetics. Also be sure that the type you choose are compatbike with your preferred paint medium- enamel, Acrylic, or other.
And of course, once you have those two dealt with, you have the brush strokes themselves. That is definitely a matter of practice to get good consistent coverage with your strokes. And faster drying paints like Tamiya don't have much play time for you to adjust the paint before they form a skin that rips at the next brush stroke.
F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!
U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!
N is for NO SURVIVORS...
When I got back into this hobby 2 years ago I was in the same situation as what you are describing. I remember spray cans working great but masking was pretty complex. Air brushing is better but I did not want to mess around with the clean up. I started off hand brushing and realized it was not all that easy and certain situations still required masking. My solution came when I used the Aztek airbrush. This little airbrush is easy to use and clean up is a snap. With hand brushing it was taking too long because the paints today take longer to dry. It is tough to get good coverage in one coat, so that means 2 or 3 coats with dry times greater than 24 hours between coats. Also with handbrushing certain colors are out, such as white and yellow. With my Aztek airbrush I can paint a multi colored model much faster and easier than handbrushing.
What stickpusher said.
If you are serious about brush painting, learn from the figure painters. They know how to brush paint.
Tojo72I would tell you that the Vallejo Color line is one of the best I have used for hand brushing.
I have not found that to be so in my experience. Their bottle leave much to be desired. Getting the paint properly mixed is problematic. Simply shaking the bottle is often not sufficient and then you have translucent or glossy results. Pulling off the dropper tip to get a stir stick in there gives better results, but then that tip can pop out when you're trying to squeeze out drops and make a big mess. Don't ask how I know.
In their favor it does brush on well, and not dry rapidly on the brush or quickly form a skin as your applying and spreading the paint. Almost as good as an enamel. But not quite.
For hand brushing, nothing beats Humbrol enamels in my experience. They have their own quirks due to the tins. But once you learn them, they are the best.
I believe good brush painting of car bodies, or any large surface, is harder than airbrushing! I know a few people who can do it well, but only a few.
Thinning is critical. Really good brush quality is important. But the technique is most of it, and it takes a lot of practice! The guys I know who do it put on several coats, sanding in between each coat with really fine paper, and each coat is a thinner mixture than the previous. It is as hard to brush paint really thin paint as it is to airbrush it.
I can brush paint small parts, but anything over about a square inch is beyond me :-(
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
When I was learning brush painting I found many over seas forums that have a lot of builders who are Hairy Stick users and their builds look great. When you read their techniques it is pretty involved, thinning paint, light multiple coats sometimes taking a few days to a week to allow drying. Even with brush painting they are still masking for a nice even seperation. I do the same masking they do using my Aztek with the pressure lowered so I don't get overspray and don't have to mask everything. Also I found that hand brushing 1/72 scale is much easier than 1/48 scale.
For some hard edge camo patterns such as MERDC on AFVs, sometimes it is easier to hand brush some colors. In the past I airbrush on the base color. Then I will hand brush on the secondary, highlight and black shadow colors. Since there were no straight lines to the schemes, this method works great. And is far quicker than masking to get the same result. And white wash camo on AFVs also looks proper when hand brushed on roughly to replicate the real thing.
There are plenty of times where a handbrush paint scheme works better than an airbrush for certain looks.
Two modeling subjects where hand brushing are easier is WW1 aircraft, and old wooden ships. Those aircraft were usually hand painted, and showed brush marks even at full scale. The wooden ship models often have so much texture on the hull planking that brush marks are not that noticable. And both use flat paints, which show less brush marks than gloss paint.
Here is a pretty interesting technique for brush painting.
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