I think, most of the paints in tiny tins or glasses sold in model shops are much too expensive.
I get good results with acrylic paints in tubes from the next artist´s supply.
They seem to last forever and you only need a few basic colours which you can mix and blend. Shadowing and highlighting seems to be easier than with the more liquid paints.
When restoring or touching up commercially painted figures, you should not apply your choice of paints directly on the old paint. Either use a suitable neutral primer or at least some clear matte varnish, so you paint has something to grip on.
When using your figures a lot outside, apply some anti UV-light varnish. The colours will still fade, but a few years later, than the figures directly from the pack.
I use Patio Paint, Apple Barrel Colors, DecoArt, etc. water-based paints available at craft stores such as Michaels. These come in a wide variety of colors, are water-based for easy clean-up, weather-proof, UV-resistant, and last for years outside in the elements. On sale they are usually about $1 for a 2 oz bottle. This stuff is thick, so for a thin layer, use "dry brush" techniques. Alternatively, you can dab it in as a "filler" to hide cracks and glue lines.
The other day I tried something new with great success. I took some white semi-shiny string (nylon???) and rubbed the DecoArt metallic silver into it making a very convincining cable for a new crane I'm working on. I figure that this will also help "weather-proof" the string in the long run. "
To give you an idea, these have all been redone with Patio Paints/Apple Barrel Colors.
I've had good luck with the cheap acrylic paints from the hobby section of Walmart. Figures I painted with the acrylics have held up better than the paint on some Bachmann figures that have been out the same 3 years.
Posted By Fritz on 08/21/2008 2:53 PM
I am a bit amazed of the very little feedback regarding faded out colours. What do other people do? Throw the figures away and by new ones?
Fritz / Juergen
Too expensive to throw away, especially Priesers! We repaint them every few years. (Isn't that the jist of this thread?) We have ~300 to do.
i totally agree with fritz re tubes and esepcially shading-(get a nice shading brush)
all of the above brand paints work well and i agree about tube paints-but you gotta know how to mix em-if you do super-you can also more easily duplicate a subtle preiser feature-they ofen paint an item one color-like blue pants- and then using the same blue-but with added white-apply very fine shading or highlights to creases and folds -one draw back of mixing your own is later matching a color exactly-i paint frequently and i cant do it perfectly
for simple ease
i like humbrol (if you can find em-colors are military but subtle)
and if you cant, floquil, tamaya-boy is this great paint once you get the hang of it-but its thin), etc
altho $$$ because you have to buy several-dont over look paints sold for figurines, military or other -such as the dungeons and dragons/fantasy figurines type-the color selection is phenomenol (dont rely on the names -like 'snot green', or mummy grey, vampire blood red for example) but youll find a perfect shade-and the paints are superb-the range is unequalled
'snot green', or mummy grey, vampire blood red for example
Now that´s something I ´d love to see. Preiser figures painted with snot green and vampire blood red. Preiser make Vampires, don´t they.
But what I can recommend, book a figure painting workshop or class with these fantasy figures people. They seem to have incredible artists. I never did yet, but will sooner or later. Had to paint my Hermann (7/8th scale) in my own way.
After taking the figure class Chris Walas had for us a while back, I used his recommended "Delta Creamcoat" acrylic paints, and am quite happy with the results. My figures have been outside for over a year and I've seen little to no change. Of course I also added two coats of clear satin for protection when finished, as he advised. They are available at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and other art stores, and on sale for a little over a dollar from time to time. I tried some of the other brands, but found I liked he "Delta Creamcoat better for the consistant color and good coverage, as Chris had mentioned in his "classes".
If you take your figures in to restore faded or chipped paints, you might as well scratch away the parting lines which are there most of the time.
Many commercially avaliable figures simply are moulded in skincolour and a few blobs of paint are applied. Most look cheap when you buy them. So take the chance to get better figures for your layout, while you restore some old ones.
Found a ruin like this the other day in my garden:
Brittle resin, chipped of paint. The head had disappereared. Called her Marie-Antoinette.
Found a spare head in a pack of unpainted Preiser Seated Passengers ( #45183)
Half an hour later, after some strokes with a fine brush, she looked alive again. I was tempted to mount some Ozark bolts and washer castings at her neck to make her Frankenstein´s bride.
Looked in Chris Walas figure making class elsewhere in this forum. Some very good hint about painting and washes can be found there.
Fritz / Juergen
I use Model Masters flat white for a primer and then use either Delta's Ceramcoat, Apple Barrel, or Americana acrylics because they are really inexpensive and hold up very well. Every once in awhile you'll run into an acrylic color that doesn't cover that well over the primed figure. Then I give it a first coast with Humbrol and then use the acrylic.
The neat thing is that all those acrylic brands and Humbrol paints come in over a hundred colors.
I buy all my acrylics at either Michaels or a local (San Diego) craft store named Beverly's. Michaels often has it on sale. Check ads in Sunday's paper. I got my Humbrols at a hobby store in Garden Grove, CA named Brookhurst Hobbies.
Good point Ray. I'm glad you reactivated this subject, as I just brought all of my people in the other day. I'll be touching them up this winter, for next season.
Off the top of my head, I would suspect that thinning a water based paint just alittle would tend to flatten the end result. However, maybe one of our paint rocket scientists can elaborate on the subject.