I freely admit that my videos are not really good.
But this video shows me brushing and when I posted it I truly didn’t think I needed to comment on it– but now I’m not so sure. I really believe, now, that I need to add some “instructions” to the video so that it might make more sense.
Here’s the video. Pay particular attention to the stuff at the very beginning, before my hand gets in the way. Around ten seconds into it, you can clearly see what I’m doing.
You can clearly see that I use a full, small brush. A number “2” brush is usually about the right size. I prefer to use a “4” but that’s not always practical. I use thin paint. I barely touch the brush to the plastic and the paint flows from the brush to the surface of the model. This is very different from using the brush like a trowel to smooth the paint onto the surface. Thin paint runs onto the model’s surface without brushmarks and dries that way, if you have a paint that’s appropriate for this kind of brushing.
Watching the mini painters on Youtube, I can see that what I’m doing here is just different enough to require an explanation. I didn’t invent this method, but I did learn it from an article in Air Space Model magazine from 1969 and I figure that most of y’all ain’t seen it.
I look for a certain kind of paint– I call it “ammonia paint” although that is a term I invented to apply to all paints of a certain type. Hell, I don’t know if it has ammonia in it or not– it just smells like ammonia to me. Right now, a few paints “resemble” my old favorites, and can be adapted to work like the old Testors paints. But it really requires a certain kind of paint.
The paint has be thin. It has to retain all the good coverage and other characteristics (adhesion, not beading-up, self-leveling, not reactivated, doesn’t dissolve plastic, doesn’t emit toxic fumes) when thinned to that level. Most paints fail when thinned this way. They bead up. They fail to adhere. They don’t smooth out as they dry. They reactivate previous levels. They dissolve the plastic. They emit poison into the air.
A paint that goes on opaque, smooth, adheres to the surface and doesn’t dissolve prior coats is the whole secret to my method. An airbrush can cover up a multitude of bad paint qualities– the only source of complaint is usually “it won’t spray.” But when you’re brushing, you need a paint that does ALL THESE THINGS WELL.
Right now, I’m experimenting with Golden So Flat paints. So far, I have not encountered any “deal breaking” problems. I’ve been particularly happy with a mixture of 50% paint and 50% Windex window cleaner. Despite a truly epic amount of bullshit posted here and and there about Windex, I’ve tried and tried to find a problem and I don’t see it. No problems so far. The paint works really well (so far).
I’m building the old Revell Charles W. Morgan. I’m using (mostly) Tamiya paints on it, although Tamiya paints do not have all the good qualities I look for, they have other qualities that make them perfect for this particular job.
In the end, that’s the most important thing.