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"1/300 painting techniques" Topic

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02 Feb 2012 3:48 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "1/300 paiting techniques" to "1/300 painting techniques"

1,752 hits since 2 Feb 2012
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Acctingman69 Inactive Member02 Feb 2012 1:13 p.m. PST


Can you pros share your painting techniques? From start to finish, please?


Toaster02 Feb 2012 1:20 p.m. PST

Don't know that I count as a pro but I find that a very light white drybrush after painting really helps to blend the colours which otherwise look very harsh on such a small model.


Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2012 1:36 p.m. PST

Clean, and prime as usual, and then paint desired colors, using paint that has been lightened a bit with white (not too much lightening, but a bit). This is done, due to scale effect, since smaller models don't reflect as much light.

Some choose to instead apply the base color as is, and then drybrush a lighter shade of the same color on top. Both work well.

For panel lines, you can either use pencil, pen, or an ink wash. I prefer pencil, or a gray pen to black, since the latter is a bit too stark on most planes – depends upon the final color of the aircraft.

For canopies, choose your color, e.g. light blue, or a dark gray. I usually prefer the latter, but both can look good – consider matching to your final overall camo. scheme.

For natural metal planes, I just polish the metal minis with fine steel wool, and then seal with either a gloss, or a satin finish to protect it, after applying the decals, and paint to canopies, etc. The sealer will protect the finish to keep it from tarnishing over time.

MacSparty02 Feb 2012 1:50 p.m. PST

Like any mini painting, there are pretty much countless ways to do it. Here's my method ( I usually drill a hole in the bottom and glue a toothpick in for handling):
1. Prime gray
2. Scribe panel lines with detail pen as "preshade" – I use black. This step is especially effective on light-color aircraft, I think.
3. Here's where I differ somewhat. I actually airbrush my planes. I start with the bottom, then use Tamiya tape to mask, then do the top. I'm still experimenting how to do multi-color upper surfaces. Honestly, for now, I've brushed on a second color.
4. Go over detail areas – e.g., cowlings, wheels, etc. For black, eg Zero cowlings, I use Grimy Black. It's just light enough it looks good in scale.
5. Canopies: Dark sky blue, dry brush light sky blue, highlight each pane with a dot of white.
6. Brush an acrylic gloss clear over areas where decals will be placed.
7. Decal. I use Micro Sol and Micro Set as well.
8. Spray the while darn thing with Testors Dullcote.
9. Add magnet.
10. Get shot down. :)

MacSparty02 Feb 2012 1:54 p.m. PST

One of my Zeroes:


And Dauntlesses:

Pajaro Muerto02 Feb 2012 9:19 p.m. PST

And here's a bit about my methods:

I paint by brush. (Been seeing into getting an airbrush also.) For the overall colors, I paint in 2, sometimes 3 watered-down coats. One thick coat shows the brush strokes and covers 3D detail.

Canopies go in a blue-gray, with sky blue higlights. That is unless it's a gray (early IJN), blue-gray (early USN), etc. plane, when the contrast would be poor, in which case I use a lighter sky blue or darker blue-gray.

My recent planes also have a very glossy clear just on the window panels or bubble canopies, after the matte finish spray. It really adds to the realism with hard lighting:


I highlight the thickest most raised part of the wings and the top centerline or the fuselage with the base color mixed with a bit of white or light gray. I apply it a wet brush (I mean, not drybrush) with slight thin lines, a bit randomized. The color shouldn't be that much lighter than the base color, or it looks stupid and obvious. The idea is to imitate a dull shine.

For panel lines I use the base color with a bit of black, or a suitable darker version if I have it. Very thinned with water, and using a 3/0 brush. I go off the lines a A LOT, so I keep a brush with water handy to erase and start again :)

I lately line the elevators, ailerons, and rudder with black, 'cause the gaps really look kinda black in photos.

Here's a Soviet Kobra; this canopy is in my normal blue-gray:


With camouflaged planes, it's more of a hassle. I go OCD and highlight and paint the panel lines in light and dark shades of all colors. Italians are scary. Here are 4 D.520s (3 colors!):


Lately, I've been experimenting with painting a few "panels" on the wings and fuselage in slightly off shades of the basic color. The idea is for the planes to look beat up and weathered. Usually I just mix in varying degrees with gray (or tan for Olive Drab).

Here are 4 A-36A's with that technique; you may just notice it in a few places, athough the pic is small (which kinda begs the question: why do it then?!):


BTW, nice canopy lines on that Reisen, MacSparty! Very exact :)

Good gaming and painting!

MacSparty03 Feb 2012 5:43 a.m. PST

Holy cow, Rolando, I'd have guessed 1/144 if not 1/72!

I really like your canopy color especially on that P-39. I've felt mine are a little "bright", but as you said there is concern with contrast on a blue-grey USN scheme.

Pajaro Muerto03 Feb 2012 7:26 a.m. PST

Thanks Mac!

Now that I remember, the French D.520's canopies were also painted in a lighter mix, as the normal blue-gray I use was very similar to the Blue-Gris FoncÚ camo color.

I was once concerned about being uniform with my canopy color on all my planes, but practicality took over as soon as I painted my first F4F's. The USN early Blue-Gray turned out to be EXACTLY the shade I was already using for canopy glass, so I had to mix in some black and gray. The results I think were nice:


If you wanna know, I use cheap craft paints, and the color is Colonial Blue Light from the Decoart Crafter's Acrylics line. One dolla :)


NihonKaigun Inactive Member03 Feb 2013 2:34 p.m. PST


Beautiful minis! I'm curious, who makes the minis in your pictures (especially the B-25)? I'm finally getting back into 1/285-1/300 and I'm having trouble finding minis of consistent quality (tends to vary a lot by sculptor, age of mold, etc.). Most of mine are Raiden or MSD (Luftwaffe 1946). I too am somewhat OCD and I like to try to find minis with recessed panel lines and the like.

I used to stick consistently with gunmetal gray cockpits, but after seeing yours, I want to give blue a shot!

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