Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Red paint - Part 1

While the kit hasn't gone together perfectly, I'm not too fussed about this. After all, it cost very little and is primarily a painting challenge for me. I've no idea what to do with the finished model, if it gets that far, but for the moment I press on.

First up, a coat of white primer sprayed on and left to dry. This shows up a few niggles but the model actually looks better than I thought it might. The paint handle - a clip gripping the pilots necks - seems to work well as long as I hold it with a gloved hand.
My plan is to spray the 'plane with red Humbrol acrylic. I've recently completed a magazine project using the companies rail colours and was very pleased with the results and ease of use. They dried incredibly matt but with a nice finish. Having never used gloss acrylic before, I reckon it's worth a punt. At the very least, the fast drying times should reduce the amount of muck that will find its way in to the surface.

My first attempt with acrylic saw me thin the paint with normal water. There it worked fine but with gloss - hopeless. Either the paint won't sit on the surface or the stuff is too thick to come out of the airbrush for more than few seconds. Building up any sort of depth of colour isn't going to happen so it's time for a re-think.  
Luckily, I have the proper thinners so I clean everything up and try again. The results are a tiny amount better but still absolutely rubbish. The paint bobbles on the surface or runs around like water. When I stop, it sets in the airbrush meaning I spend as long cleaning the thing out as I do spraying.
By the time I give up, my spraybooth looks like an abattoir. The airbrush is solid with paint (all the bits now resting in a bath of cellulose thinners) and the model looks hopeless. Where the red has a bit of depth, it's IS shiny but I'm pretty certain no matter how much paint I put on, it isn't going to get any better.
I'm sure this is a lack of skill on my part, but I wonder how I can spray matt colours perfectly and gloss so badly. More pressingly, I now have to work out how to get the paint off the model and have another go with some proper enamel paint. Or just chuck it in the bin and do something else.


James Finister said...

Don't Humbrol do a spray can gloss red acrylic?

Mark said...

I have the same problem with Humbrol's acrylic spray cans. The matt colours go on nice and easy with a great surface finish, while the gloss ones tend not to cover well and often end up with little dots or clumps.

Phil Parker said...

Probably. If I wanted to spray acrylic, this would be a better option in the future.

Odds said...

Acrylic anything is crap., except Perspex.
Use enamel if you have no cellulose.
I will occasionally use Vallejo when I need to detail a driver or suchlike, but never touch acrylic for anything else. If they can't make a paint that dries in a reasonable time, why the Hell should I support their 'orrible product? I only use Vallejo because I can get it locally...cheap!

Anonymous said...

I'd get a close match for Porsche Guards Red. The actual aircraft is darker than Guards Red, I worked on bits of it at Hatfield. The Halfords acrylic range of car paints are excellent for this type of job, over their plastic red oxide or grey undercoat. Try one of them the finish will be transformed. Just do it in reasonable temperature and mist it on. It works, ask me how I know ..

Phil Parker said...

I've had great success with Halfords paint in the past and would certainly use it again. This time I thought I ought to push myself a bit though and try something different. They say you learn most from your mistakes - I'm learning!

Nick Quinn said...

I've used Tamiya acrylics thinned with isopropyl alcohol successfully for years, thinning with tap or distilled water never seemed to work for me.