Another blog post continuing where I left off several days ago. Along with the weathering tips and tricks, there is also the consideration on brushes to use, other handy items to have on hand, plus decal tips if you’re also doing decal work.
What I didn’t mention in the previous post was first things first. When starting out on a model out of the box, I always disassemble the car, then wash everything in warm soapy water, and let dry thoroughly. This is to remove any residue from the molding/manufacturing process. I always use latex gloves as well when handling all phases of the weathering, washing, sealing, and decal work. Get the powder free gloves however! An older car that already has paint and/or weathering on it is a different story. I simply with those just handle with the latex gloves, then airbrush any debris, loose paint, and/or dust off the model.
Brushes are another matter. I have obtained most of mine from a craft/art store. In fact, I believe all of mine came from Michael’s, as they seem to have a larger selection of different size brushes. Get the camel hair brushes for oils and powders, as they are more stiff and I believe work better for this type work. You also want to grab a “fan” type brush for blending in everything. Otherwise I use different size sable brushes for painting and detail work. Don’t buy and use cheap brushes that will disintegrate with bristles coming off! Pay a little more and you won’t have problems. I always buy different shape and size brushes as well, as you’ll see in the photo below. Thin, tiny brushes for detail work, wider shorter brushes for other areas. Another item which I use occasionally are sponges, get the triangular shaped sponges. These work well with powders and pan pastels.
One more comment about brushes. I also keep on hand a full supply of micro brushes, from their superfine size up to regular size. These I use of course for extra close or fine detail, but also when applying gloss acrylic and decal solvents for decal work. As these are disposable, they work better for this type work.
Other pieces of equipment I use, or can use for all model work, is of course a self-healing cutting pad by X-acto. It’s indispensable for cutting decals out. A metal scale ruler also comes in handy for this work, as well as some type of magnifying glass or Optivisor for close work. Another piece of equipment that’s handy to use is a model holder, used when spray painting/airbrushing. All of this equipment is available at a well stocked hobby shop, Walther’s, and/or MicroMark. An X-acto knife is also necessary. Keep those blades sharp!
I also use for cleaning my airbrush a set of pointed cotton swabs, which come in a multi-pack from Tamiya. These really come in handy when cleaning. Striping tape and scotch tape are other items I use for painting, when masking off areas. All of these I have found at my local Hobby Lobby.
For decal work, I use two types of tweezers, one longer type with thin pointed tips, and another short pair with rounded ends. Both work well in different places on the model, different size decals, and different situations. Use warm water for those decals. I always cut out my decals with a sharp hobby knife and metal ruler, then test fit the decal onto the model. I do this to see how much of an area I need to cover with gloss acrylic. I use the clear gloss acrylic from Model Master. Use gloss, as decals will work the best on a glossy surface.
Coat the surface needed for each decal, then let dry. I always let the acrylic dry 24 hours. I then use warn water on the decal to soften, then apply a tiny bit of Model Master setting solution to the area, slide the decal onto the spot, then any excess water, I roll off with a q-tip. The q-tip will normally work out any bubbles in the decal. Let this dry thoroughly as well. I then go over the decal with Model Master decal solvent. This snuggles the decal down tightly onto the surface. I let this dry 24 hours, then come back and seal everything with the flat or matte varnish. Your goal is to have the decal film completely hidden, so the decals look like they’re painted on. If by chance there is a bubble, or decal film showing, I’ll go back before sealing, poke the area carefully with the tip of my hobby knife, reapply the decal solvent, let dry thoroughly again, then seal.
That about covers it! Hopefully I’ve provided some information and tips that will help in your weathering and modeling efforts. Again, below you’ll see most of the variety of brushes that I use, at least for powders, paints, and oils….