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Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
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 Post subject: Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
PostPosted: January 28th, 2012, 11:21 pm 
Basic Brush Painting

I prefer enamel paints. Because they are not solvent-based, acrylics do not adhere to the plastic as well as enamels. In addition, the quick-drying time of acrylics means that I'm more prone to creating streaks.

01 - For starters, your model should have any gaps filled and any stray splotches of glue removed. It should then be washed in a mild detergent, so as to remove all grease applied through your fingers. Let it dry out thoroughly.

02 - You need good brushes and these are things that, it appears, you get what you pay for. You need a brush that will not shed hairs, above all other qualities. You will also need a brush that will hold enough paint for the job in hand. For large areas, I use a flat edged brush, about a centimetre across. Other brushes are the more traditional pointed brushes. A sign of quality for these is that even the biggest will form a tiny point, when wet, small enough to paint your 1/72 figures.
Obviously, once purchased, you need to look after your brushes properly, so that you'll get your monies worth and that they won't start shedding hairs into your otherwise immaculate glossy finish.

03 - Paint needs to be well mixed and totally devoid of lumps or bits of any kind. Again, bits that appear in your paint will ruin the look.

04 - When you do your painting, try and do it an an area that doesn't have lots of bits floating about. Cat hairs are my biggest problem, in this respect.

05 - So, assuming you have a clean, dry model, you might need to apply a coat of a primer. Usually, any pale matt paint will do. Primer gives other paint something to 'grip' onto. I tend to use primer to show up any blemishes, gaps or bits.

06 - Every time you've painted your model, place your model under a Tupperware box, or similar, so that no bits arrive whilst the paint is still damp. (Curse those little flying insects!)

07 - Once the primer has dried properly, or 'cured', you can give it a polish with a piece of denim. You'll see that this smooths it down a tad and removes any bits that might have arrived.

08 - Whenever possible, start with the lightest colour and work towards the darkest colour.

09 - You need your paint to be the right thickness. Too thick and you will have brushstrokes like mountain ranges. Too thin and you'll have thin, translucent paint on some areas and nothing elsewhere. It'll also pool in corners and on edges.
Be prepared to thin your paint. Exactly how much thinner to paint is a trial and error thing, learned from experience. Some paints are thinner than others and some come all ready for use. For example, I rarely need to thin Humbrol enamels, but nearly always have to thin Revell enamels.

*If the paint has been thinned correctly and/or is of the right consistency, then when you apply a brush stroke, the paint will settle down and the individual stroke will become invisible. One common description is that the paint should have the consistency of milk. This would be more full-fat, that fully skimmed.

10 - Do not overload the brush. Too much paint will result in drips and runs, some of which you won't notice until it's far too late to do anything about it with a brush.

11 - Brush in the same direction, and brush from dry to wet. I try to brush in the direction of airflow. To a point, you can brush over wet paint and maybe even damp paint, but as paint dries, it will pull off the surface of the model if you brush over it.

12 - Keep an eye on what happens to the paint at the end of your stroke. You don't want to be leaving large drips on the trailing edge of your wing. They might not be visible on the upper surface, but a quick peek below can reveal a nightmare of painty lumps,running all over the shop.

13 - In spite what it might say on the tin, leave at least 12 hours between coats of matt paint, and at least 24 hours between semigloss or gloss paint.

14 - Broad, continuous strokes give a better finish than little dibby-dabby, in and out and around corners strokes. For example, when painting upper camoflaged surfaces, paint the whole thing in the paler colour and add the darker colour, in patches, on top of that. Even then, if you can mask for the darker patches, you'll then be able to do broader strokes, as opposed to trying to 'draw' an outline and 'colour it in'.

15 - Two or even three thin coats will be required, to properly cover the surface. With thin coats,you keep the surface detail. Thick coats bury it.
Some colours require many more coats than this. Don't be tempted to slap on a thick'll look awful.

16 - Don't rush. If you do, your chances of spoiling what you are hoping to achieve and then having to start all over again are most excellent.
BUT...if you do make an error, it is nearly always easy to fix once the paint has dried.

17 - For painting mistakes on transparencies, whatever you do, make sure that the paint has fully dried before you try and fix the error. Otherwise, you'll simply smear paint over your piece. Don't be tempted to use thinner, as this will most likely fog your transparency. Once dry, a cocktail stick will shift that surplus paint.


Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
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 Post subject: Re: Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
PostPosted: January 29th, 2012, 9:48 am 
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Joined: May 1st, 2011, 8:09 am
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Location: Bridgwater, Somerset
A most useful and comprehensive 'how to' Bruce. As a fellow devotee of the Hairy Stick (excusing the one or two spray cans for those 'problem' colours) I'm always looking for hints and tips on how to improve the finish :grin: .

I don't know if you've experienced this but I find that the latest Humbrol enamels are considerably thicker than they use to be and definitely require thinning before use, would this be because of a change in permitted constituents do you think? It is only the new cream coloured tinlets that have the consistency of PVA, 'super' enamels and older always seem to be right straight out of the tin.



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Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
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 Post subject: Re: Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
PostPosted: January 29th, 2012, 12:27 pm 
Oooooh....dunno, Tom. Haven't seen the cream coloured tinlets yet. Certainly, the paint has changed over the years and there's a strong argument that suggests the older paints were much more brush-friendly and generally behaved better than more modern concoctions.
The Humbrol Metalcote range, when it first appeared, was brilliant stuff. It then became totally nasty and shaking a tin caused the lid to pop off. The stuff now seems to be back to how it was.

There's also a huge variation in enamels amongst different makers. Revell has always been consistently thicker, to allow for a whole range of thinning down.
Xtracolor enamels, on the other hand, are clearly designed for application by airbrush, as they require many thin coats to achieve a good coverage. Applied by brush, they seem to take ages to dry as the thinnest brush application is by no way as thin as an airbrushed application.


Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
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 Post subject: Re: Painting with the Hairy Stick, le baton hirsute, etc..
PostPosted: July 8th, 2012, 9:47 am 
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Joined: July 4th, 2012, 1:38 am
Posts: 8
18 Mix that paint - tamiya paint stirrers, a thin coffee stirrer in wood fom Starbucks or McDonalds are the dogs b for this. Any blobs on the stirrer show the condition or otherwise of the paint. Wipe your stirrer on tissue and bin it. For years, being tight, I've used my hairy stick to economise by wiping paint of t'stirrer back into t'pot. Just realised how much rubbish is getting into my paint brush.
19 Plastic BB pellets for BB guns are great for popping in a tin/jar, to stir and agitate t'contents.
20 Tightly replace that lid, especially when adding BB pellets. Clean the crud from the lid for tins and wipe out jar lids, this keeps paint lasting longer.
21 Clean and keep Tamiya acrylic jars or anything similar that comes your way for any custom mixes required.

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