Thursday, December 19, 2019

Painting a Mini - In the pink

What did I buy on my first visit to Tornado Books and Hobbies?

Pink paint. Tamiya pink paint.

Well, it's not a colour I tend to keep in stock. I don't think I've ever painted something properly pink. Flesh colour, but not proper pink.

Anyway, I wasn't entirely sure of the paint codes, but reasoned that the firm wouldn't make different shades with spray and brushable versions.

That they produce it at all in impressive - I wonder what Japanese modellers use it for?

Anyway, the body received a coat of white primer and then despite it not being the ideal temperature to spray things, I heated the up the metal with a hairdryer and shot some pink in all the shuts.

It seemed to be covering well. Better still, the paint dried quickly. I'd allowed for coats to harden overnight but the stuff was handlable within minutes.

Covering the basic body worked well, but I was worried about the plastic bits. Out of curiosity, I hand-painted them without stripping the purple paint away. It was buffed with a fibreglass pencil to reduce the colour a bit and provide a surface to key to, but after this, a couple of coats did the job. I was impressed and relieved! OK, you can see a slight shade different on the wind mirrors compared to the doors, but it's a not enough of an issue to have me digging out the Superstrip.

Around the top edge of the body, there is a chrome strip. My bow-pen did a reasonable job here. Not perfect, but good enough for what is a toy. The silver paint might be going off and didn't flow quite as well as I might like, but it stayed where I wanted it and that's good enough. I'm sure the new owner won't be too worried.

After that, reassembly was (to quote Haynes), the reverse of the above. As I couldn't heat-seal plastic parts in place, there is a lot of epoxy glue holding them in instead. This is a toy to be played with and if possible I don't want bits falling off.

I'll admit to being quite pleased with this. The colour is great. The paints, a brand I've not used for many years, worked really well. I hope its new owner likes it as much.

1 comment:

Huw Griffiths said...

Looks like a decent paint job. I certainly wouldn't worry too much about the wing mirror cowls being a slightly different shade - I'm sure that will also happen on real cars.

I'm not completely sure about the Japanese market for pink paint - but it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out to be for people doing something very similar to what you did with car models.

Whilst I think of it, I could certainly imagine some market for colours like this amongst people building models of American custom cars (a number of which seem to be offered as 1:24 and 1:25 plastic kits).

With these kits, even the box artwork often seems to show models in pastel colours.

As for the "white primer", was this car paint - and, if so, which one?

By the way, the "chroming" reminds me of one method that often appears in US model car magazines (and forum sites) - metal foil, sold specifically for modelmaking.

Well, that's one option. Another option involves a trip to your local Screwfix or Toolstation - and a roll of aluminium foil tape (I think some people might use it when fitting insulation).

The drill goes something like this:

* Cut a piece of tape, slightly larger than the area you want to treat.
* Using a Q-Tip or a tissue, gently smooth the foil tape into place, being careful to avoid adding wrinkles.
*Now, give the foil tape another pass with the Q-Tip - this time with more pressure - you don't want it to lift during the next step.
* Using an X-Acto, with a sharp (preferably new) #11 blade, trim the foil tape to fit.

In case anyone hadn't already guessed, the point about the new blade is because foil tape tends to be very thin - and you don't want to tear it. I suspect that this issue might also affect the foil sold for modelmaking.

(Some people might even be tempted to try using scraps of cooking foil and double sided carpet tape. I'm not sure I would, because it might be difficult to keep the foil smooth during the extra step of putting tape on the back.)

Almost certainly not relevant here, but some car modellers have been known to really go to town with detailing - stuff like picking out panels on seats, using different colour paint (or even Tipp-ex) - adding contrast areas on bodywork (seems to be popular with custom car fans) - and even "wiring" engine blocks (please don't expect any demos from me) - in some cases, even adding paper seatbelts and LED lights.

Ultimately, it's up to modelmakers to decide how far they go - but I think you've probably got the balance about right here.