Toy Model Painting





Introduction: Toy Model Painting

well I'll show you how to make you star wars models to look its best or your best. :)

Step 1: Preping

well I'm not going to show you how to build the model because there are instructions in the box for that (duh) but I'll show you how to paint it to look pretty realistic. I started off with gray primer, for two reasons one its base coat to build on and 2 it makes the other paint stick better. So the first step is to paint it with gray primer. and move on to next step.

Step 2: Outside Project

While my primer was drying I started a stand where the model will set/ stand. All I did was cut a scrap piece of mdf wood, big enough to fit the model. Then on a stationary sander I sanded the edges smooth. Then went over the wood once more with a pad sander. then painted it with primer and let it dry. Later on I painted it black as soon as the primer dried.

Step 3: Now Pack to Main Project

As soon as the primer is dry grab your black paint spray can. Now as shown in the picture hold the paint as far back as possible. You just want a "over spray" type spray. The closer you bring it, the darker it will be. Now set it aside and wait for it to dry

Step 4: Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is a very effective weathering technique that has been used by armor modelers forever. It can be used lightly to bring out the details of something, or heavily to make something look grungy and dirty.
Dry brushing is done by loading up the paintbrush with the paint you want to use and then getting rid of most of it. Just wipe the brush on a paper towel until pretty much nothing is coming off of the brush anymore.
Then, swipe the brush over the area you want to detail. It should pick out the raised details with the little remaining paint and help them stand out. This can be done with control panels and even raised panel lines.
It's a really nice way to make the detail in a kit show itself. If you want to use it to make a kit look dirty, don't wipe as much paint off of the brush as before. When you wipe the brush over the kit large streaks will appear. This is great for areas that see heavy wear like tank treads, or the bottom of walker feet.
Like everything else this takes some practice to get used to. I just used the spray paint already used and spray them into PAPER (not plastic learned this the hard way!!) cups then dripped some of the paint on a disposable surface. (as shown)

Step 5: Techniques

There is another great weathering technique that I use all of the time called washing. Washing refers to diluting paint to an almost water consistency. You basically want it to look and run like dirty water or thinner. With this, you can run it into the panel lines or detail areas of a piece to help bring them out or make weather spots.
This is done through several different methods. If you want an overall dirty look, liberally apply the wash all over the model. It will pool in some areas and flow into others. This should give you an overall grungy dirty look.
If you want it just in the detail areas, first coat your model with a Gloss spray. The apply the wash only to the detail areas like panel lines. It will automatically flow into them because of the gloss finish.
Once it has dried the details will stand out and you can dull coat the model if you want. You can also use wash to specifically detail certain areas. Say there is an oil leak or some kind of other outlet that gives off nasty stuff. You can place a good drop of the wash in the area where it exits and let it run in the natural direction or you can taper it with your brush. later on I'll update this tutorial and show you this technique.

Step 6: For Go Geters

If you end up really into doing models you really should look into getting an airbrush. Airbrushing can be used for everything from wide painting of entire hulls to small detailing of blast marks.
I like to use it to do details only because airbrushing is a lot of work and for covering large areas you can just as easily use an aerosol can of paint as long as they make the color you want. Airbrushing is far superior to hand painting and even aerosol cans. It makes a nice even coat that really can not be matched.
If you use an internal mix airbrush as opposed to an external mix airbrush it will make an even finer coat. I did not have an airbrush for the longest time so most of my old models are hand painted. I now use a Badger 175 airbrush that came with 3 separate needles and tips, Large, Medium and Small.
Large is good for thick paints and wide coverage. Whereas the Small is better for thin paints and fine detail work. Thinning down paints to be used in an airbrush. All paints are different so you must experiment to find what works bets. Finer quality paints take less thinning whereas lower quality will often take more.
This is because the pigment in the cheaper paints is not as finely ground and needs to be broken down. For thinner based paints you can use specially made airbrush thinner. This makes for a nice clean breakdown. I usually use very little thinner because I like a nice thick coating. I'll probably use anywhere from 1 to 2 parts thinner to every 4 parts paints. For water based acrylics you can use water to thin it down but that doesn't always work very well. You can actually use windshield washer fluid to thin it out. Don't worry about the color, that won't make a difference.
I usually use the same ratio for thinning acrylics. Like I said, all paints are different and depending upon what tip you are using, different amounts of thinner are needed. I suggest just experimenting. If the paint won't come out at all, use more thinner. If the paint flies out and runs everywhere or is transparent, use less or add more paint. To make an airbrush work, you need a source of pressurized air.
You have a couple of choices when it comes to this. You can use small tanks of compressed air, but those are expensive, run out fast and lose pressure when you are using them. You can also use CO2 tanks like what they use for paintball. This is very similar to the idea of the air tanks but you can refill them pretty cheap. The other choice, and the one that I use, is to get an air compressor.
The advantage to an air compressor is that it is a constant source of air that can automatically refill itself. Make sure you get a compressor with an attached air tank. If you don't, the airflow will fluctuate and not work as well. The other good thing about getting a tank is that you can fill it and then airbrush in silence until it runs out. The only disadvantage to compressors is that when they have to refill themselves they are kind of loud. Other than that they are the best choice.
If you live in a warmer/moist environment make sure that you get an in-line moisture trap. This filters moisture and other particles from the airflow before it gets to the airbrush and ruins your paint/tool. Cleaning your airbrush is the most important thing to do when you are done using it. If you don't it will die very fast.
Make sure you expel all remaining paint when you are done and run lots of appropriate thinner through it. After that, disassemble it if possible and clean all parts by hand. Your specific airbrush should have care instructions in the manual. you can buy a very nice but cheap airbrush here:

again maybe later on I will add more to this tutorial.

Step 7: Back to Outside Project

After your model "stand" primer is dry paint it gloss black. later on you can just glue the model to the stand by dipping it's feet into epoxy or any other glue and placing it back on the "stand". Here is my final result**** I also added another example of this warn look.



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    25 Discussions

    Your "very nice but cheap airbrush" link sent me to HF's drip irrigation kit :/
    Based on the picture you used, I assume this is the link you intended to post:

    A quick paint and build job, good for those who aren't sticklers for authenticity. I didn't bother fillinging in the seams on mine either but I took a few liberties and also added a base.


    The overspray technique is useful in some situations, but most of the time, an airbrush can give you a much more refined look. With the overspray from a spray can, you get a roughly even distribution of the spots, which usually would have a hard edge (color contrast) to them, instead of blending in to the base coat. Also, you need to be careful because you can sometimes get a "shadow" where an area doesn't get the overspray because something (another part of the model) was between it and the spray can. Having said all of this, it does have its applications. I use it when I need to simulate stone. A grey primer base coat, followed by a dusting of dark grey, black, and white to give it a grainy texture, then I follow-up with washes and drybrushing to keep it from all being the same texture throughout. Consider if the model were the real thing, where would be some likely locations of wear and/or dirt or grime? You mentioned drybrushing the tank treads, and that's a good example. On the AT-ST walker, the feet would likely be dirtier than the rest of it, maybe some dark burn marks around the laser cannon, some runny oil streaks coming from the joints in the legs, etc, while on flying vehicles, any leading edges are likely to have chipped paint.

    2 replies

    ik, if you read in one step i made mention of airbrushing, but didn't want people to run out to get an airbrush

    Forgot to add, one of my favorite techniques to simulate wear on "metal" surfaces is to paint and weather as usual, then take a silver artist pencil and run it along any hard edges or points (rivets, etc) that would be exposed to wear. This will look like the paint is wearing off along those edges. You may need to seal it in with a clear dullcoat.

    Yeah - my thoughts exactly. You can see a little flash in the 4th picture of Step 1, on the seam running diagonally through the "head" of the model. Plastic flash is pretty easy to shave off with an xacto knife - just be careful not to scratch the model and make things worse than before. Metal flash and mold lines are much harder to deal with.

    Careful when trimming flash and such. Make sure to trim away from you and that there are no fingers/ other body parts on the other end of the piece to be trimmed. My thumb learned this lesson the hard way. Also, a nifty tip I picked up for small cuts (such as from xacto knives) is to apply a small amount of super glue to the area. This will seal the hair-line cut, and stop bleeding. NOTE: only use on small cuts.

    thanks for informing me about what I needed to do and What flash is etc, thanks again

    amen!! put red 10mm leds for the eyes and put gears on the hinge of the jaws, so the top part of the skull moves so it looks as though its laughing!! *instructables idea

    Ok. You probably know that your models are made using a technique known as injection molding. With injection molding, hot liquid plastic is injected into a mold. After the plastic has cooled for a few seconds, the mold splits apart and pushes the plastic pieces out. Flash is the term used for the extra plastic around the edges of the model, where hot plastic got into the seam between the two halves of the mold.

    This might explain in a little better:

    the blast marks on pict five are good but if you hold it at a angle with the tip pointing at the back you can aceeve a better look

    1 reply

    awhh yes, thanks i did this along time ago, but yeah i might re-paint them, so i will thanks