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Thread: Painting help on how to use acrylics efficiently

  1. #1
    Evil Warrior Invicta's Avatar
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    Painting help on how to use acrylics efficiently

    I have been painting successfully about 10 years ago with Citadel miniature quite frequently, but acrylics ("Reeves" acrylics in this case) are new to me. However this weekend I finally decided to go from words to action, and actually use acrylic paints and brush and try to make Alcala Skeletor head more yellow. I felt painting it white first would not be needed, as I was not doing anything radical and I planned to leave the green on the edges. So I went right on with yellow. I watered it down to avoid brush marks showing on the paint (watched Intern Rick's video about it), but it ended up being rather uneven and not too smooth looking. I could see brush strokes at some points, but I do not think I could water it more.

    Good news is that with toothbrush and some Fairy (for hand washing dishes), you can get all the paint off, so no disaster there.

    I presume there is not much more to this than trying to get the paint thickness correct? I am a bit hesitant of doing full primer as getting all off on failure would be a pain, plus I do not want to colour the hood or the edges. Or is the primer required for acrylics to stick with any good results? If the surface isn't smooth, it just steps out too much as a custom paint to me.

    I know there are very experienced figure painters here, so I decided it is wisdom to check!

  2. #2
    Got Filmation? shadowfall1976's Avatar
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    Alcohol is great for thinning Acrylics, plus it helps the paint dry better and stick better....bad thing is, most acrylics are more transparent when trying to paint them, whites, reds, silvers....they're just not as heavy, but alcohol helps, especially when mixing colors.
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  3. #3
    Evil Warrior Invicta's Avatar
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    That could be my problem, I used water to thin it. I have to look some up from an art store. I should have known alcohol helps with anything!

    Does removing the paint in case of mistake become an issue as well with alcohol?

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    Heroic Warrior Smashtoys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
    I have been painting successfully about 10 years ago with Citadel miniature quite frequently, but acrylics ("Reeves" acrylics in this case) are new to me. However this weekend I finally decided to go from words to action, and actually use acrylic paints and brush and try to make Alcala Skeletor head more yellow. I felt painting it white first would not be needed, as I was not doing anything radical and I planned to leave the green on the edges. So I went right on with yellow. I watered it down to avoid brush marks showing on the paint (watched Intern Rick's video about it), but it ended up being rather uneven and not too smooth looking. I could see brush strokes at some points, but I do not think I could water it more.

    Good news is that with toothbrush and some Fairy (for hand washing dishes), you can get all the paint off, so no disaster there.

    I presume there is not much more to this than trying to get the paint thickness correct? I am a bit hesitant of doing full primer as getting all off on failure would be a pain, plus I do not want to colour the hood or the edges. Or is the primer required for acrylics to stick with any good results? If the surface isn't smooth, it just steps out too much as a custom paint to me.

    I know there are very experienced figure painters here, so I decided it is wisdom to check!
    Sometimes the brand of the paint that you're using is a factor.
    I personally prefer the Games Workshop/Citadel paint line since they seem to be more opaque than the usual acrylics out there.

    I tried switching to the non-modeling Acrylic paint available in bookstores, since it's cheaper, but ended up going back to citadel because I didn't like the coverage all that much. The pigments seem to be less opaque than what I was used to, and I found out that once I've applied enough layers to solve the opacity issue, the final paint work would be end up looking too thick.

    As a mid point, I buy/use the basic Citadel colors and use cheaper acrylic brands as tinting color, if I needed to mix off-palette colors.
    "If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then it is a GAR "

  5. #5
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    I can't recommend using Cartoon Colour Vinyl Acrylic Paints enough. They are the most pigmented paints I've used, it goes on so smooth that I've never ended up with any brush marks. It's the kinda expensive ($40 for a set), but each bottle will last you a few years. It dries to a super matte finish and is very durable, I don't even bother with primer for most projects. It's the same paint that the Four Horsemen use on their prototypes.
    Contact BadVermin for all your customs and repaints.

  6. #6
    N7 Horde Operative hadley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadVermin View Post
    I can't recommend using Cartoon Colour Vinyl Acrylic Paints enough. They are the most pigmented paints I've used, it goes on so smooth that I've never ended up with any brush marks. It's the kinda expensive ($40 for a set), but each bottle will last you a few years. It dries to a super matte finish and is very durable, I don't even bother with primer for most projects. It's the same paint that the Four Horsemen use on their prototypes.
    Vermin, what kind of sealer do you use? I'd like to know exactly what successful customizers use...most guides assume knowledge. I have none at all and I don't want to blow it!

  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    I've honestly stopped using sealer with Cartoon Colour paint, it doesn't seem to need it, plus I prefer the super matte finish. I still "play" with my figures every day, and the paint has held up. For example I swapped Stinkors forearms and repainted them, the paint still looks as good as the day I painted it, no bleeding or paint rubs are visible. The only time I use a sealer is if I'm wanting to make the finish glossy.
    Contact BadVermin for all your customs and repaints.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Paul Justice's Avatar
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    This was just the thread I needed. Thanks guys. Is Cartoon Colour Paint the same used for cel painting? There is a website called cartoon colour company that sells cel-vinyl. Is that what you guys are talking about?

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Justice View Post
    This was just the thread I needed. Thanks guys. Is Cartoon Colour Paint the same used for cel painting? There is a website called cartoon colour company that sells cel-vinyl. Is that what you guys are talking about?
    That's the stuff, it makes other paint seem like garbage (IMO).
    Contact BadVermin for all your customs and repaints.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior Paul Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadVermin View Post
    That's the stuff, it makes other paint seem like garbage (IMO).
    Awesome, thank you. I will look into it this weekend.

  11. #11
    Freelance Gynecologist masterenglish's Avatar
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    Badvermin, not to dispute you or anything, but I started using the CC cel vinyl and they didn't seem that durable. They looked amazing, and as far as pigment they are top notch. I also watched the extras on the 200x dvd when the Horsemen said thats what they were using for prototypes, so thats what I ordered immediately, but when I used them they seemed top scratch easily. I'm still searching for a paint that is mega scratch resistant, right now I am using Citadel, and while its good, its definitely not invincible. Do you prime your figures or sand or anything? I'm curious as I would love to start using them again because as I said, the actual colors are so great and bright, and really, second to none.

  12. #12
    Heroic Warrior FakeEyes22's Avatar
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    I've heard about the cel vinyl stuff and wondered about the durability myself. A big reason I rarely do customs is I drive myself crazy trying to make them factory durable, and it's tough!

    Have you tried using Future Finish to water down paints? I've had great results and mixed results due to impatience and not finding the best mix ratio. It works great when it's so thin that it dries before you're even done painting a coat, but you need so many coats that it drives you crazy.

    A specific response to the initial post: Yellow paint, quite simply, is the devil.

    But seriously, I just can't crack the code on that stuff. Even when thinned really well, I still need so many coats that I may as well have globbed it on straight out of the bottle to begin with. I'll be checking back for solutions. May look further into the cel vinyl paints and clear coat the heck out of them.

  13. #13
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterenglish View Post
    Badvermin, not to dispute you or anything, but I started using the CC cel vinyl and they didn't seem that durable. They looked amazing, and as far as pigment they are top notch. I also watched the extras on the 200x dvd when the Horsemen said thats what they were using for prototypes, so thats what I ordered immediately, but when I used them they seemed top scratch easily. I'm still searching for a paint that is mega scratch resistant, right now I am using Citadel, and while its good, its definitely not invincible. Do you prime your figures or sand or anything? I'm curious as I would love to start using them again because as I said, the actual colors are so great and bright, and really, second to none.
    One thing I found is that the paint needs to cure for a day or so before it really bonds. I really haven't had major problems with paint scratching, even with toys I've been rough with. I have a blue/light grey Batman I painted black/dark grey, and a Batgirl who was yellow/black repainted to be grey/black and the only spot any paint has come off is the ankle joint on Batgirl. These toys are thrown into my "toy box" and get rubbed and scraped by other toys when I'm digging around.

    There are a few types of plastic that I haven't been able to get it to adhere to, for example the new TMNT weapons, but even the primer peels off that stuff, that plastic feels waxy. I noticed most of the repainted turtles on ebay mention the paint coming off the weapons easy as well.
    Contact BadVermin for all your customs and repaints.

  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior Smashtoys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterenglish View Post
    ...I'm still searching for a paint that is mega scratch resistant, right now I am using Citadel, and while its good, its definitely not invincible.
    Have you tried the new(-ish) Citadel Foundation paint? They have very few paint colors available at the moment, but that stuff is pretty tough. That's the paint I used for the yellow-beige parts of my Custom MOTUC Bravestarr.
    I hear Citadel is also planning to broaden their paint selection for the foundation line soon, so that's more light in the end of the tunnel.
    "If it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then it is a GAR "

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior FakeEyes22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadVermin View Post

    There are a few types of plastic that I haven't been able to get it to adhere to, for example the new TMNT weapons, but even the primer peels off that stuff, that plastic feels waxy. I noticed most of the repainted turtles on ebay mention the paint coming off the weapons easy as well.
    Definitely! I know it's not MOTU, but that sort of plastic is definitely something to watch out for since it can be really frustrating. I hit Don's bo staff with some actual spray paint, the clear stuff with a matte finish, then painted the wrapped handle, then sprayed it again. It's very durable, but that sort of paint may not wprk very well for figure plastic I think. And when you're dealing with 3 thick layers, you may lessen the sharp details of the sculpt, which could be noticeable on pieces that aren't as simple as a stick wrapped in tape.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior Mimikrakra's Avatar
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    Personnaly I hate paint rubs and love touch or play with my customs.
    I don`t make a custom if the risk of paint rubs are appearing .

    For yellow I have my own technic so I don`t care the brand of paint,
    but for me, the quality of the varnish is more important.
    Currently I use a very good varnish, very hard and resistant.

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior BadVermin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimikrakra View Post
    the quality of the varnish is more important.
    Currently I use a very good varnish, very hard and resistant.
    Which brand do you use?
    Contact BadVermin for all your customs and repaints.

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