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Posts posted by lesthegringo

  1. I took a look at those Uschi masks, and they looked a good idea. However in the current climate it is difficult to get stuff from outside of Hungary, so I wondered if I could make something similar. 

    I got some clip art pictures of raindrops, and random blotches, rust, tiger stripes, that sort of thing from the internet, then using a combination of an old version of Photoshop and Inkscape, was able to come up with some .svg files I can use on my laser cutter to make some similar ones. I tried thin styrene sheet first, but although it worked, it warped due to the heat plus the plastic tended to melt rather than cut cleanly. They work, but not the best.


    I then tried some thin card, and once I got the cutting speed and power right, it works better than the styrene. The pattern cuts fine, but the edges can be a little less crisp which is OK most of the time for this sort of thing. The problem is when two blotches are close together it could lead to the card between burning away to nothing, plus there is not much physical strength to the card so they would be a couple of use only.


    Then I hit on the idea of coating the card with cheap superglue, on both sides before cutting, and I can happily say that it works a treat, nice sharp edges and a reasonably stiff template, with the added bonus that the superglue stops the paint and thinners from soaking in and weakening it. So now I can in a short time produce my own weathering templates, including actually tailoring them to a particular airplane so that the weathering is different on the various panels, access panes etc.


    But sadly it doesn't address one of the effects I wanted to reproduce, which is chipping of the paint revealing the primer or metal, so I am still eager to hear from anyone that  has found a good way to achieve that effect





  2. I have Humbrol, Revell, Model Master and Tamiya enamels, Gunze solvent based lacquers and Gunze and Tamiya water based acrylics.


    Each has a place on my bench, but my general order pf preference is


    1st place - Gunze Lacquers. Great coverage, fast drying, generally very easy to thin and spray, and tolerant of handling, plus generally sticks well even without primer. One big advantage is that the leveling thinners can be added to the jar without adverse effects to the paint, which has the collateral benefit that assuming it is just the original colour, you can sluice out the airbrush paint cup with the thinners directly back to the jar.


    2nd place - Model master, Tamiya and Revell enamels, a bit more touchy about mix and surface preparation and tend to take a bit more time to dry, but tend to dry quite tough. Like the Humbrol enamels, you have to be careful about the thinners, I never add thinners to the paint tin / jar / bottle as it can cause the paint to cure irrevocably.


    3rd place - Humbrol enamels. I grew up with these and so I know them well, but they have fallen behind the competitors offerings in my opinion as they can be a bit more problematic to spray nicely, and are sensitive to the thinners used. They also (especially gloss and metallics) can take a long time to dry properly and I have had instances where even a week later I have left fingerprints in the paint surface due to it not having hardened completely. However, left long enough, the Humbrol paints end up with undoubtedly the toughest paint, to the point where I had to soak an airbrush I had forgotten to clean in really aggressive thinners in order to soften it.


    Lastly, the acrylics. They can spray fine, they cover reasonably well, don't stink up the house like the others, but frankly I have found them to be very fragile (other than the way they bond the tops of the jars on) and you can't spray anything other than acrylics over them so limit what you can do afterwards. I also found them to be susceptible to decal fixing solutions, and in some cases where I want to wash the surface of the model prior to decal application, even water.  I also find them to be very intolerant of any mistakes in surface preparation, and have had more fails with acrylics than other types. On the plus side, they are safe to use over all the above paints if you need to change  something or add a detail knowing that it can be (relatively) easily removed if you mess up

    My ten-penny worth, hope it helps


  3. Hi all,


    I have successfully used the salt weathering technique  on a few models now, but my experience of it is that in my hands it is only any good for pretty extreme weathering. The reason for this is that it leaves the remaining top coat rough due to little bits and traces of salt getting trapped under the top coat. This means where I want significant leading edge erosion and chipping, but still want good paint on the rest of the wing, I lose a lot of the value of the method as it becomes less random. You essentially have to paint on the water, and then apply the salt specifically, so you get stripes rather than feathered chipped areas. The same goes for panel line chipping.


    So it is clear I need to revisit my technique as other have been able to use if for some great models. I also am keen to hear of any other ways to do this, my focus is 1/48th aircraft so I know different methods suit different scales and subjects. I also want to know how you guys get around the problem I have with the salt weathering technique





  4. Hi all, I am trying to use the HGW wood effect sheet decals for an Eduard 1/48 Nieuport prop. I've used the decals before on a Meng MKV tank interior, and the the effect is pretty good, but in that case it was all flat surfaces.


    Now I am trying to get it to wrap around the prop contours, and am struggling. There are a couple of factors at work here. Firstly, they are super thin, and as a result are very fragile. Secondly, the backing water based adhesive is really poor, to the point where the decal will release from the backing sheet if handled incorrectly. Thirdly, the decals do not seem to respond to any of the MicroSol or Gunze decal softening solutions. Lastly, maybe due to the decal film material, it seems to prevent the adhesive from drying and so once you try to put on a decal, you can't touch it for at least a day


    I have tried transferring pieces of the decal onto scrap blank bits of Cartograf decal sheets in order to try and improve the adhesive, but without being able to get them to conform I am still struggling with them.


    So has anyone out there got some advice or best practices for these sheets? As mentioned, when in place they are very effective, but I do need them to conform otherwise the effect is ruined.





  5. For those tiny tiny resin parts, especially those thin ones like pipes attached to the pour block at multiple locations, the most successful way of separating them without breaking them is to heat a scalpel blade and use that to cut. It glides through without having to use force, and so doesn't bend it


    Hope that helps



  6. Gents / Ladies, this is actually non-modelling for a change, but as the material and technique probably can be read across I thought I'd try and see if you guys can give any hints. Anyone who has had paint lifting after masking will probably have gone through this! 


    I am trying to make switch fascia panels for the flight sim rig that I have built, and want to use clear 2mm polystyrene sheet that is available locally made by a company called Gutta. The intention is to coat the front of the sheet with a black coating, then CNC engrave the switch names and fascia details onto the front, revealing the clear substrate so that I can illuminate it from the back with LED's. I have everything working fine except for the fact that the spray can acrylic lacquer based paint I have used just flakes off during the engraving.


    I have sanded the surface to give it a key, didn't work. I then tried spraying lacquer thinners onto the face after sanding the surface first (it does dissolve the surface, I checked on a test piece) then sprayed the paint onto the still slightly sticky surface, but it still flakes away..


    So what I need is either a paint that aggressively grips or etches onto the surface or some other way of covering the face of the sheet.


    Any suggestions from you good folks?





  7. Nope, wasn't aware  - being non US based means my searches don't necessarily find stuff in certain areas, especially if (and please don't think this is a criticism ) it generally pertains to UK aircraft and their peculiarities. It tends to be a small market!


    Thanks for making us aware!



  8. I thought about this a while back and feel that it is something that companies like HGW could pick up on. If you have used their carrier film free decals (rivets, stencils and the like) you can see how it would be possible for them to come up with a similar decal that (with a bit of fiddling, admittedly, especially in the smaller scales)  you could apply to the inside of the cockpit transparency to replicate the MDC's used in a lot of the British jets. It could also be used for heating wires or other details that are often found on the transparencies but are nigh on impossible to replicate by the average modeller. Traditional decals with their carrier film simply doesn't look right, and are tough to apply anyway, as they are necessarily skinny little decals that you have to tease into position, but the beauty of the HGW stencil type decals is that the decal is held in shape by the backing that you subsequently remove when dry.


    I've tried to use the photo-etch ones that the likes of Eduard produce (actually successfully for a change on my Hasegawa Harrier) but it doesn't look right and I'm pretty certain that over time it will come way as it is just held in place by Future, the only way to do so without fogging the rest of the canopy. 


    Maybe I'm expecting too much of these types of decals but it certainly feels like there should be some way to use them like this





  9. 13 hours ago, Sebastijan said:

    No you don't! Buy a PC and HOTAS, sell Linda and the kids and you're about ready 😉


    DCS is simply amazing and calling it a game is almost an insult to its developers. Tomcat's just around a corner - goodbye modelling for me 😄



    Totally agree, I have the DCS A-10 C 'game' for the PC, and have set up the PC with a Thrustmaster HOTAS and Warthog stick, with a 20cm extension, and Saitek pedals. There is no 'game' about it, it's a stunning program that really makes you feel like you are flying the plane. If I may be so bold as to make a further suggestion, the use of a TrackIR unit enhances the experience, once set up properly 





  10. Yes, I used the 1/48th splinter pattern set for the Eduard MiG 21. I have to confess to having been nervous about it as it is an insanely complicated scheme, and requires the decals to be split into lots and lots of smaller decals. Despite the apparent complexity, the only problems I had were of my own making. If you take your time and use microsol and microset they go down great. If you gloss coat first, there is no silvering to be seen at all.


    I also now would recommend starting with those deacalscwhere they are two that meet at a wing root, so tgat you set the datum in the right place


    Hope this helps



  11. Looks like we are edging closer to this now, take a look at Eduard's latest pre-printed instrument panels.




    I am not going to judge anyone on their choices for how they do their modelling, when something like this comes out I can see the benefit. For me, the bete noir is the bang seats; if someone comes out with pre-painted resin ones, you can definitely count me in.



  12. Guys, if there is anyone out there in Hungary that can help out a struggling expat, I would appreciate your assistance!


    Essentially I want to buy some hot lacquer thinners (cellulose thinners in the UK) that I can use to clean stuff and occasionally use as thinners. There are two stores (Obi and Praktiker) that have an array of different thinners but I have no way of telling which they are. Can you advise?


    I also want some lacquer based paint, as opposed to enamels or acrylics. I need them to be able to set hard and be sandable relatively fast, which enamels and acrylics don't. I only need grey and black, any recommendations of brands would be appreciated.


    Lastly, where can I get polester resin two part filler (Bondo, Holts P38, that type of thing)? Obi, Praktiker, Auchan and Tesco all have 'car' sections but none sell this (very surprising considering the way that they drive!)


    Thanks in advance guys!



  13. Picked up one of the Hobbyboss A-6E kits, very very nice.


    But (there's always a but) why, with a huge range of paints available and US Navy / Grumman aircraft being common do they insist on the cockpit colour being a 1:1 mix of Gunze C117 and white? Surely there is an out of the pot colour that serves that closely enough with all the tones, shades and varieties of greys out there, not least from the Gunze range?


    What can I use from the Humbrol / Gunze / Tamiya  / Revell range, I have a lot of them and don't want to mess around mixing paints





  14. Gents, just purchased a new bottle of Tamiya extra thin, and immediately I noticed that it smelled and acted differently. It is super super quick to soak in and / or evaporate, in fact so quick that you cannot wet a surface then apply a part to it like you use to do with the 'old' version - you have to apply it to the parts when they are in contact. If you do it really bonds fast, but it definitely is different. It would be wrong to say I prefer one over the other, rather to say that they both do good jobs but slightly differently.


    The colour of the cap is slightly lighter too, plus there is a bit of a difference to the label. I'm going to get a few bottles of the old version to keep on the shelf for when that version works better. 


    Interesting to see the difference, and that I hadn't heard anything on these forums about it





  15. I'm tempted by Flory Models new acrylic racks, but the price coupled with the fact that I would have to locally find a suitable acrylic glue is stopping me. There must be alternatives out there but most seem to be flimsy items with not very good reviews. 


    Have any of you guys got any experience based suggestions? 





  16. Pep, are we allowed to ask how come you were in possession of the body paint in the first place......?!:rolleyes:


    As for using elmers glue, for the colouring, you may want to put some watercolour paint rather than food colouring, as the newer food colourings can stain, especially when used with acrylics.  Essentially it is just something to help you see where you put it



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