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Model Paint Finishing Techniques?

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Hello, gents,


I've been watching some Youtube vids on aircraft modelling, not that this wouldn't pertain to any other model genre that's plastic, but...  I'm soliciting your methods of finishing your painting as it pertains to your initial priming, clear coatings, etc., etc. The whole process & paints that you prefer. I know this might vary widely, but the fundamentals I'm sure remain the same. As evidence these modelers in the vids I've not been using some the means they use. Like Gunze leveling thinner or the Mr. Surfacer primers or base coats. Laquer, enamel or acrylic clear coats? Preferred clear coats especially important to me at this time.  Brands that you prefer for a particular reason? Mr. Surfacer "grits" that you like? I'm curious about metal finishers & standard FS camo schemes. Well, I can't think of any further at this time. Please let me know how to learn to paint all over again. Thanks. 




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Its all personal taste; some paints are easier to clean up and considerably less toxic. Some Vallejo paints have lead; Mr Color and the Mr. Hobby line paints just absolutely stink of high hell, but are rather accurate and spray perfectly. Alclad paints are wonderful metalizers and holy crap do they make it look amazing..but not sure how they compare to Mig paints, and I just recently found that Model Master line went ta-tas up. Tamiya paints spray wonderful and are stupid easy to clean up...but inaccurate is an understatement unless they redid their color formulas.


Im just getting back into the hobby after a 6 year hiatus so Im behind the curve myself and going to follow this thread too; starting my 1/48 B-1B soon and Ive been dying to finally get it started for the last 15 years now.

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I use Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 and Mr Surfacer 1200 for a final primer coat. I like using lacquers so they bite the plastic. Yes, Mr Color stinks, but they are FS matched and spray beautifully. I use Alclad and love the finishes. I am branching out into other paint lines.



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I just got some Mr Hobby aqueous paint in RAF/Royal Navy WW2 hues for an Airfix 1/72 Grumman Widgeon/Gosling.

Haven't used it before, which makes this look like a thread to watch.


EDIT: Well, check that, wandering around their website reveals that I have used their products some years ago around the turn of the century, Gunze Sangyo,


What is Mr. Hobby?

"Mr. Hobby"stands for high quality hobby colors and accessories.


As a part of our company, "GSI Creos" (former "Gunze Sangyo) "Mr. Hobby" is market leader in Japan and one of the preferred brands chosen by professional model-makers around the world. Assure yourself of our quality and check out our products!


Edited by southwestforests
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  • 4 weeks later...

I use water-based acrylics only, and I've long-used Model Master Acryl paints.  However, that line has been discontinued, so I'll eventually switch to either LifeColour or Mission Models paints.  I've used both in some applications, and am getting used to them.  I do have about 4 to 6 bottles of nearly every color of Model Master Acryl, so I'll probably be good for a while.


I have found Mission Models easier to airbrush than Lifecolour, but you *MUST* use their primer as well as their instructions to mix the paint with their thinner and poly mix additive.  So they're a little more of a pain to use.


For metal finishes, ranging from unpainted aircraft (like US planes late in WWII) to exhaust and jet engines, I really like Vallejo's line of "MetalColor".  Very easy to use over their black primer.  The primer and paint can be sprayed without any thinner or additives.



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  • 2 months later...

I also just returned to hobby after 20+ yrs away.  For me Tamiya paint thinned with Mr Leveling thinner is easy to use. I also like the Mr. Color line of paint. For metal I love I mean love Alclad!  I use their primers on all my models also. Iv only completed three models and found I improve each time I finish one. I also watch video after video Nightshift, Plasmo! and this gentleman from Japan. He is very skilled and paints in a different manner. I just completed a Panzer III and came kinda close to his. Good luck with your modeling!




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