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fine detail painting with brush

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  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
fine detail painting with brush
Posted by John3M on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 11:38 AM

A long time ago when I was much younger my brother and I would get a kit we broke off the necessary parts slapped on some glue and paint, and we were done. however a lot has changed. now days It feels like a lot is going on with all sorts of detail changes. With that said I'm learning those things on my test car but what i need help with is how others deal with the really fine detail painting in those tight areas or fine boundaries that have borders with differing colors. Because I have been painting on othe hobbies I have a large assortment of fine paintbrushes. But even with my best fine brush when adding a little paint, it tends to glop on the end of the brush. I then will thin the paint to make it easier, but I would like to hear what others do.

Thanks

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 2:48 PM

John3M

A long time ago when I was much younger my brother and I would get a kit we broke off the necessary parts slapped on some glue and paint, and we were done. however a lot has changed. now days It feels like a lot is going on with all sorts of detail changes. With that said I'm learning those things on my test car but what i need help with is how others deal with the really fine detail painting in those tight areas or fine boundaries that have borders with differing colors. Because I have been painting on othe hobbies I have a large assortment of fine paintbrushes. But even with my best fine brush when adding a little paint, it tends to glop on the end of the brush. I then will thin the paint to make it easier, but I would like to hear what others do.

Thanks

 
What type of paints are you using? That has an impact on the technique.
 
For example, are you using enamels? Water-based acrylics? Alcohol-based acrylics? Some other type?
 
If you're using enamels, you can get by with a brush with a small head and a fine point, because the paint won't dry too fast. You can pick up a small amount of paint and deliver it to the piece, before it dries out.
 
If you're using an acrylic, though, you actually want a larger brush with a fine point.  It's counter-intuitive, but because acrylics have such a short drying time, you need a larger brush. 
 
For example, I paint 54mm, 1/32 and 1/48 scale figures with water-based acrylics, like Vallejo Model Color, Andrea, Lifecolor.  They thin with water, and they dry relatively quickly.  I use 0 and 01 rounds for most of my work. The brush works like a fountain pen does. The head of the brush holds the thinned paint, and the fine point is the nib.  The amount of paint in the brush head is sufficient to keep it from drying out from the time I pick up the color from my palette to the time I apply it to the piece.  If I used a small brush, the small amount of paint would dry before I ever got it close to the piece.
 
I use Tamiya acrylics, too, the X/XF series, but the principle is the same.  I just use Tamiya's proprietary thinner, instead of water.
 
You can use a retarder with the paint, which slows the drying time a little.  Many of the brands have their own retarder, and I recommend using a brand's retarder with its own paint.  But it's still best to get a brush with a full head and that can hold a fine point.
 
Also, depending on the subject, you might do better masking and airbrushing.  If it's a pinstripe on a car, for example.
 
Also, with my water-based acrylics, I use a wet palette.  I don't know if you're familiar with a wet palette, but it's basically a water- and airtight container, a sponge, and a piece of permeable paper as the actual palette.  You wet the sponge and paper, and then put dabs of your colors on it.  The palette ensures a consistent thinness to your colors, and you can save a batch of colors from one session to the next.  There are some very good commerical products; Masterson is one brand, that has been around for a long time. Redgrass Games is another, that is relatively newer, but their product is excellent. I have their smaller model.  You can make your own, too-I made my own, when I first wanted to get used to using one.  A take-out container, a kitchen sponge, and brown packaging paper for the membrane.  It worked well, though the container eventually wore out and cracked, the sponge got musty, even though I cleaned it and microwaved it, and the packaging paper tended to shed fibers with use.  But I developed my process using that one, then bought the Redgrass Games palette.
 
But all directed to getting paint from the palette to the figure.  A 0 or 01 brush, good-sized head that holds a reservoir of thinned paint, and keeps a fine point for painting fine details.
 
That's my experience, in any case.  Hope that helps!

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: On my kitchen counter top somewhere in North Carolina.
Posted by disastermaster on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 3:41 PM

And, for intricate features here's a really fine and pointy type brush.

Checkout the nail art brushes.

Example;

Nail Art Brush With Think Line Design

Sherman-Jumbo-1945

504 Gateway Time-out

 

 
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 6:24 PM

I have the full range of sizes of the Tamiya Pointed Brush Pro II brushes.  They're all red sable, VERY pricey, but they changed everything for me with brush painting details.  Another thing that brought about major changes for me with brush painting details was switching over to lacquer paints for most, if not all, of my base color airbrushing.  When I do my detail brush painting over the top of those, I try to use oil-based enamels (Testors Model Master and square bottles) as much as possible.  When I do that, if I have a slip with the brush, that slip can easily be cleaned up with mineral spirits without doing a thing to damage the lacquer underneath.  You can make things look like they were perfectly painted, even though it was far from perfect before the cleanup.  If I'm forced to use other types of paints for brush painting due to a specific color not being available as an old-based enamel, Vallejo Model Color and MRP Aqua and Figure paints both brush like a dream.  They're not as easy for removing mistakes though, so I use them as little as possible.

I agree with what Baron said about maybe being better off masking and airbrushing in some situations.  I'm to the point now where I do very little brush painting, and even mask and airbrush individual instruments, instrument clusters, and avionics, on aircraft panels.  No matter how good you get with brush painting, an airbrushed piece is going to look better if its possible for you to do it.  The thickness of the paint is a night and day difference between the two.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: Roanoke Virginia
Posted by Strongeagle on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 11:36 PM

Ahoy John3M,

I tried almost every type of brush there is while looking for the magic one-hair brush to paint fine details and have been mostly disappointed.  However, of late, after searching many fine art painter's sites I discovered a brush called a "liner," used for making fine lines.  The brush has long hairs to hold lots of paint and comes to a fine point.  In fact, they are very similar to the nail art brushs pictured by "disastermaster."  I looked up 'nail art' brushes and found the brushes pictured are called "liners" too.

Good luck in your search.   

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 5:35 AM

A lot of it ain't the brush,it's the person handling the brush and their abilities and talents, kinda like expensive golf clubs,they only can help so much with your game.

Gotta find a balance,with me I know I can only go so far with some techniques  no matter what tool I purchase,but its good to try to push those limits if you can.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 6:09 AM

Text removed

  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
Posted by John3M on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 8:38 AM

Link? For these

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 4:11 PM

John3M

Link? For these

 

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
Posted by John3M on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 6:24 PM

? Not sure you meaning im looking for the formentioned brushes not a search engine 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, August 31, 2023 5:24 AM

Text removed

  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
Posted by John3M on Thursday, August 31, 2023 6:49 AM

Strongeagle

Ahoy John3M,

I tried almost every type of brush there is while looking for the magic one-hair brush to paint fine details and have been mostly disappointed.  However, of late, after searching many fine art painter's sites I discovered a brush called a "liner," used for making fine lines.  The brush has long hairs to hold lots of paint and comes to a fine point.  In fact, they are very similar to the nail art brushs pictured by "disastermaster."  I looked up 'nail art' brushes and found the brushes pictured are called "liners" too.

Good luck in your search.   

 

ok i really think everyone went aboveboard in helping answer some of my question. firstly is there a brand of liner brush i should consider and for that matter brushes in general. Since childhood i have been painting landscapes but those brushes are unique to canvas so re modeling that presents a whole new challenge. and second airbrushing super fine detail now that's something i would enjoy seeing. 
cheers

John

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, August 31, 2023 8:51 AM

For really small detail I use end of double-ended toothpicks.  I shake the paint jar thoroughly, take the jar cap off, and lay it upside down on my pench.  Then I dip the end if the toothpick in the residual paint in the top.  This places the optimum amount of paint on the pick.  I make a sequence of barely overlapping dots.  Do not move pick sideways like a brush.

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, August 31, 2023 1:07 PM

John3M

? Not sure you meaning im looking for the formentioned brushes not a search engine 

 
Sorry, I couldn't resist smarting off.  I meant that you could try running a search for them.
 
Seriously, though, I'll reiterate-the type of paint you use will have an impact on the decision to the type of brush to use.  I have a 3/0 brush, Floquil, sable.  It has a very fine point.  With a water-based acrylic, the paint dries before I can ever apply it.  It works fine with an enamel, or even oil, though, because the paint stays wet long enough to apply it.
 
Same goes with using a toothpick or a straight pin to apply a dot of paint.  If the paint dries too fast, then the fine point won't help.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2023
  • From: New mexico
Posted by John3M on Thursday, August 31, 2023 4:22 PM

Ok well I understand. I have allergies to some chemicals like paint. Not so with water based so ill paint with brushes adapted to these paints. Im trying to stick to Tamaya acrylic with a few enamels when needed like primers

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