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Thread: What is the best paint to use when repainting figures?

  1. #1
    Eternian Metal Head Skeletor-81's Avatar
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    What is the best paint to use when repainting figures?

    I recently purchased some vintage 80's figures on ebay and man are they beat up. I'm thinking of touching up the paint but I have no experience with this. Any suggestions?
    "I have great faith in fools, self-confidence my friends call it." -Edgar Allen Poe

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    Heroic Warrior Neophron's Avatar
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    I am not sure what kind of paint do people use to paint toys nowadays, Skeletor-81.
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  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Reviews2D's Avatar
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    I know there are plenty of videos on youtube that cover painting figures but I will have to search for them again if you are interested.
    Princesses of Power enthusiast

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    Heroic Warrior Man-E-Beers's Avatar
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    I think acrylics are probably your best bet. Hobby stores carry a wide range of colors and sheens.
    "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12

  5. #5
    Eternian Metal Head Skeletor-81's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions. Honestly I have never tried repainting figures but figured some folks here have. I have watched a few YouTube videos and model paint acrylics seem to be the go to. Appreciate any other tips and pointers. Thank you!
    Last edited by Skeletor-81; September 27, 2021 at 10:03am.
    "I have great faith in fools, self-confidence my friends call it." -Edgar Allen Poe

  6. #6
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    Yeah, you definitely want acrylic model paints.

    Testors is the brand I use the most, but it can be a little expensive and sometimes depending on where you're at, certain colors can be hard to come by. So in a pinch, I've had good results with even the Apple Barrel brand or whatever else you can get at Wal-Mart for a buck apiece. Again, those brands aren't the ideal and something like Testors is way better overall, but you won't get bad results with the other stuff either.

    The vintage figures that needed the most touching up for me so far were Man-At-Arms, Ram-Man and Gwildor. I used a mix of Testors, Apple Barrel, and a brand called "Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic" that I got at Wal-Mart for a specific color none of the other brands had, and the figures look completely perfect now. The "Simply Acrylic" brand has a light brown that's a perfect match for Man-At-Arms's boots, for example. None of the other brands I picked up had one that matched quite so perfectly, so it pays to kind of pick around. Testors is always my go-to but those others haven't let me down yet, either.

    I only really got heavy into doing touch-ups and repaints over the past year or so, myself. I'm far from an expert but I've picked up a few tricks of my own along the way.

    - If you've never done it before, maybe get some "beater" figures to practice on, stuff you won't care so much if it gets messed up. I live close to a flea market, so when I was just getting into it I got some cheap WWE figures to mess with. I moved on to "real" fix-ups once I was confident with my brush work.

    - Getting the "feel" of the brush takes some practice; sometimes you need more paint on the brush, other times less, sometimes you need to use a heavier hand and sometimes you have to barely graze the surface of what you're painting; after a while, you just sort of know what to do where and when, but practice makes perfect. All the more reason to practice on some beaters first.

    - Buy lots of different "flesh" tones. Skin color is one of the hardest things to match paint on with any action figures, and MOTU is no different, especially since there were so many different shades of "skin color" in that line. My Testors "Warm Tan" matched perfectly for Gwildor, for example, but I wouldn't use it for Man-At-Arms's face because he's much more pale. Whenever I go paint shopping, I pretty much grab anything within the spectrum of "flesh tone" because you never know what's gonna match well. Sometimes you still have to mix. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    - Buy a full set of brushes. Now, lots of people recommend going out and getting a "good" set, and that's fine, but I've honestly had just as good results with the stuff you get at Wal-Mart as the higher-end art supply store stuff. I'm sure the more expensive brushes last longer, but for me the most important thing is that you have a full set with multiple sizes. I've gotten "good enough" to the point where I mostly only use two brushes for everything I do, one fine-point and one that's about "average", but it pays to have lots of options and backups. Most of the paint kits I pick up also come with brushes, so I'm pretty well set on those.

    - Optional, but you might want to get a spray-on matte sealant to go over the paint with once its dry, to help seal it in and prevent it from scratching or chipping.

    There's some good tutorials and such on figurerealm.com and places like that, also. Good luck and have fun; this has been one of my more relaxing and rewarding hobbies for sure. Thankfully, vintage MOTU figures aren't highly-detailed and have huge chunks of solid color to go over, making them especially easy to fix up.
    My matches, toy reviews, promos and more are on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxr...awnHgDz1ceDcfA

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    Heroic Warrior Thrillhouse's Avatar
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    Check out Toy Polloi on YouTube. Also, check out his website for some free stickers and cape stencils for figs and vehicles.

  8. #8
    Eternian Metal Head Skeletor-81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    Yeah, you definitely want acrylic model paints.

    Testors is the brand I use the most, but it can be a little expensive and sometimes depending on where you're at, certain colors can be hard to come by. So in a pinch, I've had good results with even the Apple Barrel brand or whatever else you can get at Wal-Mart for a buck apiece. Again, those brands aren't the ideal and something like Testors is way better overall, but you won't get bad results with the other stuff either.

    The vintage figures that needed the most touching up for me so far were Man-At-Arms, Ram-Man and Gwildor. I used a mix of Testors, Apple Barrel, and a brand called "Daler-Rowney Simply Acrylic" that I got at Wal-Mart for a specific color none of the other brands had, and the figures look completely perfect now. The "Simply Acrylic" brand has a light brown that's a perfect match for Man-At-Arms's boots, for example. None of the other brands I picked up had one that matched quite so perfectly, so it pays to kind of pick around. Testors is always my go-to but those others haven't let me down yet, either.

    I only really got heavy into doing touch-ups and repaints over the past year or so, myself. I'm far from an expert but I've picked up a few tricks of my own along the way.

    - If you've never done it before, maybe get some "beater" figures to practice on, stuff you won't care so much if it gets messed up. I live close to a flea market, so when I was just getting into it I got some cheap WWE figures to mess with. I moved on to "real" fix-ups once I was confident with my brush work.

    - Getting the "feel" of the brush takes some practice; sometimes you need more paint on the brush, other times less, sometimes you need to use a heavier hand and sometimes you have to barely graze the surface of what you're painting; after a while, you just sort of know what to do where and when, but practice makes perfect. All the more reason to practice on some beaters first.

    - Buy lots of different "flesh" tones. Skin color is one of the hardest things to match paint on with any action figures, and MOTU is no different, especially since there were so many different shades of "skin color" in that line. My Testors "Warm Tan" matched perfectly for Gwildor, for example, but I wouldn't use it for Man-At-Arms's face because he's much more pale. Whenever I go paint shopping, I pretty much grab anything within the spectrum of "flesh tone" because you never know what's gonna match well. Sometimes you still have to mix. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    - Buy a full set of brushes. Now, lots of people recommend going out and getting a "good" set, and that's fine, but I've honestly had just as good results with the stuff you get at Wal-Mart as the higher-end art supply store stuff. I'm sure the more expensive brushes last longer, but for me the most important thing is that you have a full set with multiple sizes. I've gotten "good enough" to the point where I mostly only use two brushes for everything I do, one fine-point and one that's about "average", but it pays to have lots of options and backups. Most of the paint kits I pick up also come with brushes, so I'm pretty well set on those.

    - Optional, but you might want to get a spray-on matte sealant to go over the paint with once its dry, to help seal it in and prevent it from scratching or chipping.

    There's some good tutorials and such on figurerealm.com and places like that, also. Good luck and have fun; this has been one of my more relaxing and rewarding hobbies for sure. Thankfully, vintage MOTU figures aren't highly-detailed and have huge chunks of solid color to go over, making them especially easy to fix up.
    Thank you! This is what the type of response I was hoping for and I really appreciate it! I will pick up some of the Testors and the spray on matte. (Good call because I didn't think of that) I have already picked up a brush set and a bunch of the cheaper Apple Barrel and even picked up some other cool Folkart brand metallic and color changing paint to maybe use on some customs. I will share some pictures when I'm done if anyone wants. Again thank you very much!


    Quote Originally Posted by Thrillhouse View Post
    Check out Toy Polloi on YouTube. Also, check out his website for some free stickers and cape stencils for figs and vehicles.
    Awesome! I will definitely check them out. Thank you!
    "I have great faith in fools, self-confidence my friends call it." -Edgar Allen Poe

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    No problem!
    My matches, toy reviews, promos and more are on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxr...awnHgDz1ceDcfA

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