In my experience; I have always considered Humbrol paints
to be the best paints for applying by brush.
But, I have seen more than a few 1/72nd scale armor pieces
hand-painted in oils; and the results were excellent.
I guess the key is it avoid using "brushstrokes" to begin with.
My preferred method is to "dab" the paint on, as opposed to
long brushstrokes. And make sure the paint is still very wet
when you apply it.
Assunming you are talking of gloss paints, yes, and the trick is the
same as with airbrushing, making sure the paint is of the right
consistency. I can't do it, but I have seen it done. Good brushes help,
but paint consistency is the key - thick enough to cover well, but wet
enough that the brushmarks flow together and disappear. You have to make
sure to get an even coat, as you must *never* go back over the paint
layer until it is dry. Enamels are more forgiving than acrylics, as
enamels stay at the same consistency for longer. But then I can't get
on with acrylics anyway...
Ah hell, I can barely avoid brush strokes even using an airbrush.
I usually use hand brushes for interiors, where the stroke marks aren't
so obvious, and there I apply it wet, usually going three
coats--horizontal for the first, vertical for the second, diagonal for
the third. That seem to work okay, but it's not really doable for an
exterior. That said, I did a Bloch 152 in that multi-color Frtench
hard-edge mottle with an air-brushed base coat and hand brushed added
colors--it came out fine, probably becuase the pain went on in dribs and
dabs instead of strokes.
I dip the brush in thinner after I dip it in the paint. Allows me to
control the thickness, but seing as I've only just finished the first
model after my return to the "scene", I haven't mastered the technique
Of course this can sometimes require a layer more than usual because
of the thinner paint, but it was certainly a big improvement over my
first test without using the dip in thinner.
Havent really done any major sanding yet, but if wet sanding in
between layers can do wonders for automotive paintjobs, I guess the
same can be said even for brush applied model stuff?
Another way to lessen the brush strokes is to clear coat when your
model's finished. I prefer Testors Clear lacquer, generally gloss,
I generally don't use much Clear Flat because it fogs the clear pieces.
The final overcoats seem to level out any brushstrokes that might have
been laid down. It helps secure any decals as well.
in article email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org at email@example.com wrote on 3/28/05 2:44 PM:
I just did a combination brush/airbrush camouflage on the Italeri 1/72
AH-1W. I airbrushed the base color (36375). Then, using Polly Scale 34079
and Testors Acryl Interior Black, both thinned about as much as if I were
airbrushing them, I brush-painted the edges of the green and black
camouflage areas. I then used the airbrush to fill in the middles of the
color areas and to create just the suggestion of overspray around the edges.
The brush marks don't show at all -- I think this is partly due to the
choice of paint -- and the results are much closer to the real thing than I
could have achieved by freehand airbrushing.
(Hi Rob! And say hi to Elena.)
I used to feel cheap 'cause I had no signature.
I don't know if such a blanket statement as "enamels being better"
can really apply. I have always sensed that paints that are known
for the excellent "airbrush-ability", were poorly suited for hand-painting.
And vice-versa. So, in my experience, paints like Tamiya, Gunze, and
Polly-Scale; while excellent for airbrushing, were always less than
adequate for brush-painting. But paints such as Humbrol, the old
Polly S (as opposed to Polly Scale), Vallejo, and my favorite Jo Sonja;
are excellent for brush-painting, and not-so-excellent through the
But, for *any* paint being applied by brush: You *must* keep it very
wet; constantly stirring it and adding more water/thinner; and apply
it in very thin coats, almost like building up a series of glazes.
In fact, when blocking in the base colors on a figure, I often need
six or more very thin "glaze" coats to get an opaque coverage.
And you really can not adequately apply it over bare plastic/resin/metal.
You need a good matte primer coat, to provide "tooth".
Spraying on a clear coat doesn't so much level out the brush strokes;
but it *does* even out the sheen. When brush-painting; you almost always
get some patches that are oh-so-slightly glossier, or flatter, than others.
A clear over-spray tends to "level" out these inconsistencies very nicely.
I've noticed the discussion has so far centered only on paint.
An award-winning member of our IPMS chapter insists that red sable
brushes are the key to a smooth brush paint job. He swears by them and
I've noticed that they do give a smoother brush stroke. High-quality
red sable brushes can be found in art supply stores and are not cheap.
But if you do a lot of hand brushing, they can be worth it.
Hand's up here. I don't have an airbrush so unless the model
encompasses a large area for which there is a needed colour available in
a spray can they're 'all' hand-painted. Natural metal types are the
largest group of models with sprayed finishes.
I nominate Humbrol enamel paints as my all-time favourites.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
Trust me! One lesson I have learned over 50 years of model building is
that your tools matter. Good paint brushes and good care for your paint
brushes pay off.
This brings me to a thought that cropped up late last night. I was
filing on some resin pieces (cockpit set for an Airfix Hawker Hurricane)
and it occurred to me that it was time to visit my local hardware store
again. Files were obviously getting dull.
You know, we buy a file and it looks all nice and clean and sharp and
we figure here is a tool I can pass on to my grand kids. Unh Unh!
They get dull with use like everything else. Plastic is plastic, but
most plastics have fillers in them and some are quite abrasive. You
would be surprised at how dull a file can get after a while. You need to
go replace them every now and then.
And how often do you put a new blade in the Exacto??
At an earlier time I made my own sponge pad by tie-ing a ball of
ordinary rubber sponge to a cocktail stick. The paint can then be
daubed onto the model with the sponge Unique paint effects can be
obtained by dipping the pad wet with the main color into a "weather"
color such as brown or tan or even counterintuitive colors like red,
yellow, blue, etc. Then apply to the model. There are no brush
Do not reuse the sponge. Dump it after one use. Once the paint dries
the sponge becomes crumbly and will leave rubber crumbs on your model.
For a nice clear coat after you have painted the model and applied the
decals paint it over with acrylic extender available from art supply
I sure will. She was student of the month in January and just finished
her first marking period here with a straight A report card. She was
enrolled into the gifted and talented program at Ft. Knox.