EDUCATION & REFERENCE => Painting, Decals & Weathering Models Q&A => Topic started by: The_Mechanic on Tue Jan, 12, 2016, 01:42:AM

Title: Where to start with paint?
Post by: The_Mechanic on Tue Jan, 12, 2016, 01:42:AM
I am returning to the hobby after being away for 20 years and there is so much new stuff that it makes my head spin just thinking about it. I've been looking at the price on paints and it does that seem too bad but I'm sure it gets really expensive buying one bottle at a time, so my question is where do I begin buying paints? Is there a good starter set that some of you could recommend? Type of paint? Acrylic or enamel? Basically I am asking for any and all advice regarding paint. And I just want to say thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: Elm City Hobbies on Tue Jan, 12, 2016, 02:05:PM
I deal with the Vallejo paint system both in my shop and on my personal kits. Nothing better IMHO.

With lines of brush paint, airbrush paint, paints for gaming miniatures in both brush and airbrush, pigment, washes, metal paints, a primer line, and coming soon a weathering is pretty much one stop shopping.

Biggest issue with Vallejo (and any acrylic paint for that matter) is that they don't have the chemicals in them that will etch the paint into the plastic, so you need lay down a primer (which Vallejo has an extensive primer line of many colors), in order for the paint to stick well. That being said, it is sort of a 2 fold issue, no chemicals means you have to lay down a primer to get the paint to stick, but also means just that, no chemicals in the paint, so no harsh smells.
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: The_Mechanic on Wed Jan, 13, 2016, 11:09:PM
Is there a basic starter set of paints or a list of basic colors that  I should purchase first?
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: Elm City Hobbies on Thu Jan, 14, 2016, 02:12:AM
There is, 8 packs, 16packs, and the big suitcase 72 pack, 72 colors, case, usually paint brushes.

However, I encourage people just to buy what colors they think they will need. 72 pack is nice, but if you only use 1/2 to 2/3 of the colors in it, it's not really worth it, just buy the colors you need or think you will use.
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: wpvmddds on Mon Aug, 07, 2017, 03:32:PM
Another noob here.  Returning to the hobby after 40+ years. :o.  "Back in my day" (when we rode our dinosaurs to the hobby shop......). Enamel was pretty much it I got nice results on military models airbrushing thinned Floquil or Testors enamel followed by weathering with pastels +/- water, followed by enamel flat coat.  Fast forward 4 + decades and I read the details of some of the builds on the IPMS sites and it seems like MULTIPLE layers of DIFFERENT paints is  de rigueur. eg, primer, acyrlic, lacquer wash, gloss coat, decals, then flat coat.   SHEESH!!! When did it become rocket science??

Is there a  "best way", a "right way" or a "wrong way" or, dare I ask.. a "best way"????????

Enamel? Acrylic? Lacquer? Crushed berries and mud??

Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: Elm City Hobbies on Thu Aug, 10, 2017, 12:12:AM
Not really a right way or wrong way, it is what you are comfortable with.

As far as enamels go, there aren't many left around. Testors is doing away with their enamel paints in the bottles (not sure about spray cans), which leaves just Humbrol, which has also been slowing switching to acrylics.

Honestly, I do primer then color coat, and using Vallejo primers, I can usually cut that down to one step if I have a primer color that is a good starting point, for example, if I am doing something that is NATO 3 tone, I would just use Vallejo's NATO green primer, then the Nato Black and Browns paints, and voila done. Depending on how many decals there are, I will either do an overall gloss coat (still acrylic), or just the spots where the decals are going, if there are just a few of them. Put the decals on, then flat coat, and then start the weathering process.

Where you get into the multiple layers is if you are using a chipping medium. Which would be primer, chipping color (if not the same as the primer color), chipping fluid, then the top color, which when dry to the touch then gets water added with a brush to dissolve the chipping fluid and then chip away at the top color to reveal the chipping color under neath.

Depending on the scheme you are going for, you can then hit it with a flat coat to protect what you have down already, chipping layer #2, another color (if doing camo) and then chip again. Another layer of varnish to seal/protect it, and then keep going to whatever is next.
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: wpvmddds on Thu Aug, 10, 2017, 03:35:PM
A chipping medium?!?!?! I assume you use that when the end result is a weathered/aged look with paint "chipped off".  I notice that  you then finish with lacquer?????????  ::)
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: wpvmddds on Thu Aug, 10, 2017, 03:42:PM
My mistake, I meant to say you finish with varnish.  Yet another addition....... Well, seeing as how enamels are going the way of the slide rule and bell bottom pants I guess I had better get "comfortable" with investing a small fortune in Vallejo.  Should have bought stock.  Thank you for the fantastic web site! Tons of useful information and tips and tricks.  Hopefully I will be off training wheels and back into the hobby/addiction full speed.
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: wpvmddds on Thu Aug, 10, 2017, 04:09:PM
Yet more stooooopid questions:   So I am perusing Vallejo's plethora of products and I see that in addition to the base acrylics they also sell acrylic washes and pigments.  It appears that washes are for accentuating details/panels etc while according the the website, pigments are used for aging/weathering???? Pigments require using a fixer? How do you use the different media?

Soooo confused... Is it ok to use an acrylic wash on an object painted in acrylics or do you need to alternate chemical/composition by layer???
Title: Re: Where to start with paint?
Post by: Elm City Hobbies on Fri Aug, 11, 2017, 02:13:PM
Perfectly fine using an acrylic wash over acrylic paint. There are no harsh chemicals in the wash (or the paint) that will effect the lower level of paint.

Now saying that if you soaked the part in their Airbrush Thinner or Cleaner, it will likely break down the paint, but you would have to use a lot of it or soak the part in it for a period of time.

The washes can be used as a pin wash for accenting panel lines and such, it can also be used a an over all filter to tonally change the look of the paint. For example if you were doing a NATO 3 tone camo, you could use a light brown, or beige wash as a filter over the whole model, and it will dull down the start difference between the 3 colors.

As far as pigments go, you can use the Vallejo fixer, or most times I just use their airbrush thinner. The fixer does make it more permanent then the thinner, but either is better then just using water.

Check out Vallejo's You Tube page, lots of great articles by some of the best modelers out there. (