Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lifeboat pin cushion

Lifeboat pin cushion
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker
On Sunday, I showed the lifeboat pin cushion as I acquired it and after a week of sporadic work, here is is in it's shiny glory.

Projects like this are a bit of fun and also a useful chance to try new techniques and materials. In this case it was gloss paint. Not a big stretch I hear you say but this time it was to be brushed on rather than sprayed. I reason that this is how the model was originally painted so for a restoration project, I should do the same.

Colours are all from the Humbrol rage: Red, Dark Blue and Ivory.

I cheated a bit with the red and used a base coat of matt paint before a couple of gloss layers. From many buffer beams I know how hopeless the covering properties of this stuff are !

Rather than use pure white, which I think would look a bit stark, I plumped for ivory. The boat arrived with cream paint but a test coat on the top showed this would look terrible. I doubt that the original paint was cream, it's just turned that way through the years. These boats were around when this model was popped out to the souvenir shop so I can't really see them getting it wrong ! Again, the covering properties let me down and three coats were required to get a decent depth of colour. In retrospect I'd have preferred to spray this as the rope detail has been filled in a bit.

The blue was the final challenge. I masked the bottom edge even though there is a line in the moulding to delineate the colours. The paint went on OK and by using a puddling technique (applying a thin coat and then piling the stuff on on a pool) I managed to fill it in with a single coat. Luckily gloss takes a while to dry and spreads a little to fill the areas between the raised detail. Of course it's vulnerable to dust during this phase so all the model was left under a box to keep particles out.

I'm please with the results. Hand painting gloss isn't something I plan to do in the future - it's back to the airbush for me ! Alternatively I will paint in matt and gloss varnish. Still, I think I've save something from the bin. Collectors will probably tell me it's value has been ruined by my work but that's their problem.

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