Painting a Lancaster Bomber - With a Brush!

spanner570

SALAD DODGER
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This will probably only be of interest to any other poor saps like me, who still just use a brush to paint their models.

It won't be a step by step build of this bomber because Andy (Paintguy) is making the same model in 'Aircraft under construction'

What follows is my way of approaching the subject of brush painting the aircraft. Of course there are loads of others, but I'm happy with the results I obtain, and whilst it won't be an 'in depth' exercise, I hope it will (A) help brush users keep the faith and (B) Pass on a few tips and tricks that might be of some use to folks.

I give you all fair warning, some of my writings might lift eyes to the heavens.

Let's make a start......

The brushes.
I buy the cheapest possible that do a good job, usually 6 various sizes on a card for around a fiver. Flat headed for large areas and pointed ones for detailed work.

Here's the three brushes I used for this aircraft. They look a bit ropey, but they work just fine.
P1250642.JPG


PAINTING
The paints I've used throughout are Vallejo Model Colour acrylics, slightly thinned with tap water ( I don't know about ratios, I just adjust the thickness 'till the paint spreads nicely) I don't use 'posh' acrylic thinners, tap water works just fine.

A couple of 'myths' to get cleared up.

First. An airbrush produces a better finish than a paint brush. Wrong. It is possible to get as good, and sometimes better surface finish to a model than can obtained with an air brush. As a bonus, a brush can do things an a.b. can only dream of!
Take a look at a close up of airbrushing on a model. Minute dimples can sometimes be seen. Brush painting doesn't have that problem, and the risk of silvering under the decals is greatly reduced.

Secondly, masking tapes etc. are a must when painting a model. No, they are not. When brush painting, masking tape, cockpit maskings, bits of sponge, play dough, other unmentionables stuffed into every orifice, paint booths, ducting hanging out of open windows are not required....sorry I digress. ;)
....but I'm not getting into any arguments. I know what my eyes show me.


The main stumbling block with brush painting is the initial coverage. There is no doubt it's bl***y awful! It's at this early stage that folks give up. Don't! Here's why....

Here's a test card I've done for this exercise. I have used two extremes of shade....Max. light to Max. Dark, and no primer.

See how the first coat hardly covers?
This is the stage where things can go wrong. Never be tempted to thicken your paints. Keep each coat the same consistency as the first.


The picture shows just four coats. If a grey primer was used I could get the same result with just two coats, but as I've wrote, I have used extreme shade differences.
P1250627.JPG

Make sure each coat is perfectly dry before applying subsequent ones. If you don't, you will streak the paint and ruin the surface.

Right Nurse, bring in the patient!

Cheers.
Ron
 

BarryW

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There is no doubt that skilled brush painters can get a result as good as any airbrush. I look forward to seeing how your achieve your results.

I would just say about the ‘dimples’ to which you refer. That is caused by the pigment drying before it hits the model, sometimes it is a result of vortexes caused by the angles of the model. These dimples can be avoided. With lacquer paints (MRP being particularly good for this) a mist spray of Mr Levelling Thinner (part of the airbrush cleaning regime) can reactivate the paint, eliminate any ‘dimples’ and help achieve a beautifully smooth finish. In so doing reduce risk of slivering as well.....


Now, to sit back and see how it is done your way.....I have never mastered this myself.
 

prichrd1

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Ron,
Back row - with me camera & choccie digestives.
Taking notes, I usually hairy brush all my models, I do posses a hissing brush - but
can only use it when the weather is really good, so like Pete & Barry, going to
watch & see what tips i can nick - glean from you.

Paul.
:flushed:
 

Jim R

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hi Ron
Most interesting to see in detail how the master does this. I brush painted my first ever model 10 years ago but until last years Starter Kit GB had used the airbrush. I followed your advice for the GB and I must admit to being very pleasantly surprised just how good a finish could be obtained. I suppose some paint effects, such as soft edged camo, require extra brush skills.
Looking forward to this.
Jim
 

outrunner

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I am looking forward to this as I am always willing to learn new stuff.

Andy.
 

HAWKERHUNTER

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I need to pay attention on this one. I get hit and miss results with my air brush and would like to know more about brush painting technique.
 

spanner570

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There you go, within 30 minutes of me posting this thread, our good buddy BarryW has shown you air brush wallahs how to cure 'Dimples'! Great stuff. Thanks Barry.

Nice to have you along chaps. Now, hands on your deck tops, where I can see them. Yes, you too Mr. Low. You disgusting creature!

Now keep quiet. I'll be back soon.
 
D

Deleted member 7181

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Ooh, brilliant. I use an airbrush because I'm even worse with the hairy stick, will be great to pick up some tips.

Just as you suggest, I normally give up when the first coat looks abysmal, or thicken up the paint and make it look worse lol.
 

NickT

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Fantastic - as a newbie all information and help is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to this.
Nick T.
 

John Race

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570.
I've washed my hands, found a seat. Is there any chance of a strong tea and biscuits please.
Looking forward to this tutorial.
Yours 453.
 

spanner570

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Welcome boys.
The usher around ette will be along after this presentation!

Let's get some paint on.

But first. Why am I painting all the main bits before any construction? I find it's easier to paint them whilst on the sprues. It keeps fingers from possibly smudging the wet paint. I forgot to take a picture of the two halves of the fuselage on the sprue.

I'll start with the fuselage. Keep in mind that important rule - dark over light. It is far easier to paint a dark colour over a light one, rather than the other way round.
So on with the green first.

There are no photos of the cockpit, simply because I did very little painting of it- Just the internal walls and the simple instrument panel etc. I am one of those 'Waste of Space' modellers, and a fully paid up member of the 'If it ain't seen, it don't get done' Club.

I haven't cleaned or primed the plastic. I find it's not always necessary (Fill in your own rude words here....................)

Taking a pencil, mark a reasonably straight line here and there along the fuse., roughly where the colours meet. The side windows are a good guide. I chose the camo. green as the first top colour, because it looked nice.

Next, get your paint consistency sorted. Try it out on a spare bit of plastic. If it sort of puddles and looks too wishy washy, add more paint. If it won't spread readily, it's too thick. Thin it with a drop of water. Mix more than enough to coat one side of the fuse. Now't worse than running out and having to mix more, because whilst you are doing this, the paint on your model is rapidly becoming unworkable. It is imperative to keep a 'Wet line' going.

Using a good sized flat headed brush (See my brush pictures), load it with paint. Don't just dip in the tip, load it up properly!
For some reason, I can't work from right to left. I don't know why either!

Here I will issue a health and safety warning, and yes, I know I've mentioned it in the past, but I consider it well worth repeating in case there are members who have not read it .......

During the delicate application of the paint and the need to concentrate, DON'T hold your breath. If you do, by the time you reach the end of the fuselage, you will be dead!

With a steady hand, (Oh, and put your tongue back in your mouth! Yes you do) quickly get the paint on the plastic. Don't faff about and don't worry if you go slightly over your demarcation line. Sort it later. Once the coat is applied, check there are no runs around the edges. Finally, lay the paint off in the direction of the airflow over the aircraft. Now, leave the paint alone. Paint is self levelling, so let it sort itself out in peace. All this has to be done in seconds. Keep the paint flowing!

Once the green is dry, apply the black in a similar brisk fashion. Again, don't try and be dead neat where the two colours meet, but try and cover the green just a tad. It will be sorted with subsequent coats. Let speed be your watch word. Mess about and the job is ruined! I can't bang on enough about quickness during applications.

Once the two colours are dry, repeat the process one more time, getting closer to a neat line this time around.

Here are the fuselage halves second coated. Windows left out, so no worries about masking. Sorry about the loose dust specks.
P1250583.JPG


P1250584.JPG


This close up shows a slight dip in the line. Don't worry. Such things can be sorted out later with further coats of paint. At this early stage getting an initial smooth surface is more important.
P1250582.JPG

Right, that's it for now children. Out you go and play.

Peter Low! You can leave that, whatever it is, with me until home time!
 

John Race

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Should have said originally, " draw a straight line as a joiner, you've got to be joking " :smiling2:
Hope your all well , and stay that way 570
 

spanner570

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...... draw a straight line as a joiner.
453. Sometimes I can't even walk one!

Also, I forgot write in the opener, and your timely abuse reminded me. If you do draw a line and follow that neatly, you can get a slight ridge between the two paints. Doing it as described should leave a nice soft edge.

You take care too good buddy.
570
 

Jim R

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Hi Ron
Great stuff.
During the delicate application of the paint and the need to concentrate, DON'T hold your breath. If you do, by the time you reach the end of the fuselage, you will be dead!
By 'eck that's good advice. I wondered why I kept falling off the chair in a faint.
On a serious note - Do you ever add a drop of washing up liquid to the paint as a flow improver?
Jim
 
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