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Messages - nathaniel

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Tools / Tools and Supplies questions
« on: September 19, 2005, 05:50:35 PM »
The Paasche VL is a nice hearty airbrush.  It can take a bit of abuse.

Also, don't overclean your airbrush either.  I never soak mine ever.  I also don't scrub out the inside.  I generally just shoot cleaner through it, back flush, take the needle out and clean it and put a drop of glycerin as a lubricant.  Completely disasembling the airbrush after every use isn't going to help much-- and every time you do it, you risk damaging a fine part.  I'd say if you airbrushed daily, do it once a week tops.  If you don't airbrush daily once a month of just a few times a year is more than enough for a complete clean.

Unless ofcourse, you allow paint to dry inside it or some other disaster occurs.


Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 17, 2005, 11:26:26 AM »
Quote from: "Rex"
Shoppers? Really? I need to re-visit that place again.

I don't know if it will be the same in Toronto, but here in Vancouver I had to ask the pharmacist-- he told me they keep it behind the counter because some people don't get that you shouldn't drink the stuff.


Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 16, 2005, 06:16:05 PM »
I finally found a source in Canada.  Shoppers Drugmart (a national pharmacy chain) carries 91 and 99% Isopropyl.  So far I've only found 70% every where else.

Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 14, 2005, 09:29:45 PM »
Quote from: "GunDom"
Quote from: "nathaniel"
I think denatured alcohol is very hard to find in Canada.

I don't know if there's a Wal Mart in Canada.  If there is, then you're in luck!

Wal Mart in Canada sells different stuff than Wal Mart in the US.


Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 14, 2005, 04:52:07 PM »
I think denatured alcohol is very hard to find in Canada.  Just like finding anything higher than 70%.  I think you might be able to get it at a paint store as it's a Shellac thinner first and foremost.

Sorry about the confusion regarding the idea of thinning.

As for my experiments, they were simply a matter of combining all the various mediums, paints, thinners, etc., that I have to find what works with what.  It turns out that they weren't very sucessful as FichtenFoo has been able to mix the tamiya with future where as I have not.  It might be the 91% alcohol that allowed it to work for him, or some other unknown factor.  I don't think I have much wisdom to share on matter regarding tamiya paint-- I've switched over to lifecolor paints which have their pros and cons compared to tamiya.  Also, I think I'm in the minority around here in my choice of airbrush-- I use the Paasche VLS.  They require more pressure than Iwatas for a similar level of atomization (which is to say, a similar Iwata (or Badger) airbrush  often does detail better than it's Paasche equivilant).  So if I do tests and talk about what PSI I'm using, it might be the opposite of helpful.  For me to get the same fine detail that one can get with little effort out of an Iwata HPC, I need to thin my paints differently, turn my pressure down and get reallly close.

So back on topic-- the original email was in error as Tamiya is supposed to be thinned with alcholol.  It's been a while since I watched the flash program, but does it make it sound like all acrylics should be thinned with alcohol?  A little retarder or something ammonia based (windex)  is often all that's needed to prevent tip clogging and dry particles of paint spattering on the model..


Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 14, 2005, 09:51:50 AM »
The only time I ever thin (EDIT - mix)  with future is when I want it more transparent or if the paint is pure crap and I want to practice airbrush techniques on paper-- and since then I've switched to diluted black ink thinned with windshield wiper fluid.  Also, I do occasionally add a little bit of future in with my lifecolour paints when I want a slightly less matte finish.  This is only because I'm too lazy to go pick up some proper gloss medium.   EDIT - I've also found that with a high pigment paint, you can mix future in without losing too much opacity.  But at that point, we're far away from the discussion of Tamiya paint.

With my failed experiments with tamiya, I was trying to get a glossy medium transparency effect.  Something reacted in the paint though, because I got those lumps.

My only point was that you can do it-- not that it's a good thinner for all uses. (EDIT - Or even technically a thinner at all)

Painting/Priming / Airbrush need help and panel lines need help
« on: September 14, 2005, 09:44:51 AM »
If you got it for that price, you didn't pay too much.  Those things have quality regulators and filters worth up to $50 if you bought them seperately.  You paid for quality.  I bet it's pretty quiete too.

Painting/Priming / Airbrush need help and panel lines need help
« on: September 13, 2005, 10:58:16 PM »
Some people love a simple hobby compressor with no tank.  Others go for big oil lubricated shop compressors that have several gallon tanks.  I went for one in the middle-- an oilless compressor with a 2 gallon tank designed for indoor use.  I'm glad I did too-- it might just be that my airbrush takes more pressure than others (i have a Paasche VLS) but I it seems to produce a good amount of airflow for airbrushing.

It's a good idea to get a filter-- especially if it's a compressor that uses oil.  On my old compressor (a shop compressor) I found that some paint wouldn't cure properly because I was getting compressor oil in the line.  This was fixed by a filter and is also now a non-issue because I'm going with an oilless.

How much are you looking to spend?  I spent $70 for mine on sale:


Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 13, 2005, 10:46:40 PM »
Quote from: "philgoodwin"
Quote from: "nathaniel"
When I thinned Tamiya with future, I didn't add anything else.  Perhaps it needs a bit of alcohol to thin properly.

How is Future considered a thinner?  It is clear acrylic, so you're essentially just mixing two paints.

Most airbrush extenders are simply paint with no pigment.  They usually have a few additives to increase flow and are often slightly thinner than the actual paint.

You can spray future without thinning it.  If you mix your paint with future, you'll eventually hit a mixture that you can spray.  Some airbrushes might have trouble with this.  Sometimes I add an amount of windshield wiper fluid so that it sprays better at lower pressures or when I want the paint to be more opaque.

But yes, you are essentially mixing two paints.  One just happens to be thin enough to spray and when the consistency gets close enough, the mixture sprays.

Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 11, 2005, 08:29:36 PM »
When I thinned (EDIT - mixed, not thinned) Tamiya with future, I didn't add anything else.  Perhaps it needs a bit of alcohol to thin properly.

Painting/Priming / Thinning Tamiya
« on: September 11, 2005, 03:41:33 PM »
The main problem with using alcohol (which mostly works great) is that it is possible (especially at higher pressures) for the alcohol to dry the paint before it leaves the airbrush.  These little micro particles of dried paint can build up on the tip and eventually clog the brush.  There are several ways around this.

1) Use a paint that is supposed to be mixed with alcohol and doesn't dry like that when airbrushed.  Tamiya is a great example.

2) Thin with a dedicated airbrush extender.  Createx, Golden, Liquitex, even Delta make them.

3) Add a small amount of retarder to the mixture.  This will prevent any drying in the tip.

Lots of people successfully use lots of different stuff to thin with including alcohol, windex, future (yes it's a thinner as well EDIT- It's not technically a thinner, but you can extend paint with it but it'll get transparent unless the paint has high amouts of pigment)), windshield washer fluid, distilled water and probably a few things they've come up with on their own.  Some people also add tiny, tiny amounts of dish soap to their mixture to increase ease of flow.  Also, the type of paint you use dictates the thinner.  Try thinning tamiya with future-- you'll get curdles/lumps.

I don't think it has much to do with what you are spraying (plastic or paper) but it's more about what goes on inside of the airbrush.  Tamiya paints have been designed to work with the alcohol through an airbrush.

I'm still in the stage of experimenting with different paints and thinners and developing my skills for models (I spray abbrasives to etch glass for a living-- somethings are similar, some are different).  I think I've settled with the following:

Lifecolor Paints ( or in Canada)
Windshield Wiper Fluid from the local service station
Future Acrylic Floor Finish
Golden Fluid Matte Medium

With different proportions of the above I can get anything from a thick, opaque, dead matte colour to a tinted tranparent gloss.  Different amounts of the windshield wiper fluid lets me get a thinner fluid for different psi on my compressor for basecoats vs. detail work.

I'm still developing the skills like shading and the like.  Now what I need is practice, practice, practice!

Model Gallery / Chaos Gundam
« on: September 11, 2005, 12:08:21 AM »
Top job!

My favorite part is the highlighting/shading of the green on the propulsion system.  Excellent colour and great job giving it depth.  I'm new at this, but that's exactly the kind of shading and finish I'm aiming for.  Any tips?

Model Gallery / SD God Gundam
« on: September 06, 2005, 08:05:42 AM »
That looks so much better than the gold plating!

Good hand painting job.

Model In-Progress / Branching out to anime Figures...
« on: September 05, 2005, 07:51:42 PM »
I have an idea-- it might be blasphemous as it involves going back and drilling into the kit and some putty work.

What about small rare earth magnets imbedded in the resin?  you could then put tiny bits of metal on the inside of the shirt, armour etc.,.  When you brough them near, they'd click into place.  Rare earth magnets are definitely strong enough to hold even through putty and paint.  I do this kind of thing all the time for historical vehicle kits where I want sand bags, track segments, reactive armour and other such things to be removable.  I've even done it on turrets so I can swap out different gun sizes (versatility helps when the model is used for historical wargaming).  

The challenge on an anime figure would be to imbed the magnets without destroying or damaging any of the detail.  I'm thinking the process would be similar though-- drill a hole, put the magnet in just below the surface, putty over it and sand/reshape it as needed.

Thoughts on my crazy idea?  It might also be useful for different armour plates/configurations on mech kits.

Model Gallery / My Humble Works
« on: September 05, 2005, 06:41:35 PM »
Best Buy Canada has it for $299 CAD which is $251 USD.  Perhaps I'll be able to find something like it elsewhere for cheaper.

From the people I've talked to who are into photographing  wargaming miniatures (another hobby of mine-- wargaming with miniatures, not the photographing of them), I had gotten the impression that you need a $500 beast to take good macro shots of models and miniatures.  Glad to see some good results from a more reasonable camera.  I'll look into it further and see if it's in the cards.

Model Gallery / My Humble Works
« on: September 05, 2005, 02:42:11 PM »
Quote from: "mekangkong"
Except for the SD Dendrobium, the rest are just spray canned mechs while the dendrobium was my first attempt to use an airbrush.

If that was your first attempt at using an airbrush, I believe there's a movie quote that might be applicable here:

"But I think it is clear that we can expect great things from you, Mr. Potter."

I've noticed that in my own work, airbrushing is 100 times better than anything I could achieve with brush work.  Be it wet-blending, wash shading, feathered acrylic highlights, etc.,.  And airbrushing is a 100 times faster too.

Now if only I can justify getting a digital camera when I know the only thing I'll use it for is to take pictures of hobby stuff.  Especially after the money i sunk into my airbrush and compressor set up.  Sigh.

Model Talk / Appeal of the Super Deformed Kits?
« on: September 05, 2005, 02:28:29 PM »
Quote from: "orange"
Damn! They make good SDs!!

They certainly do.  Thanks for the link!  As I'm new to Mecha kits, I've been going for the really dead simple and cheap 1/144 kits.  So far I have a Dual Gundam which majorly disappointed me in that the legs were all one piece.  I also have 2 Bandai Heavy Metal L-GAIM kits (16 & 1) which I find a lot more appealing than the Gundam.  None of these kits appear to have anything like the articulation of the decent Gundam kits-- I bought them because I thought the box art looked cool and that their price made them attractive entries into the hobby.  There were some SDs at the local shop, but I decided to pass on them, not exactly sure what to think (being unfamiliar with all of this).

Quote from: "mekangkong"
Would you belive that my I have more SDs than those of the MGs and 1/100s? Well I do, I also love SDs because of 1. Cuteness 2. Cheap 3. Easy to build.

I'd believe it.  I think I'd be more likely to have a completed SD sitting on top of my computer case than a more serious kit.  They seem more suited to non serious displays.  I may have to pick one up just to get a sense of the difficulty of the kits and painting them.

Quote from: "orange"
I find them damn difficult to airbrush, and a lot of masking required also. Very troublesome.

Really?  The only close up of the contents of an SD kit I've seen are here:

Is that an atypical kit?  What makes them difficult, because the pictures there make them look no different than any other model kit.  Anything I should be watching for and wary of for my first SD kit?  Any particular SD kit you'd recommend?  Being in Vancouver, there's tons of Asian stores and Japanese hobby stuff abounds (perhaps not objectively but compared to futher east where I used to live).

@Rex:  Thanks for the heads up on the games.  I'll have to check them out some time-- especially the Gameboy ones.

Model Gallery / EX-S Gundam Reborn
« on: September 03, 2005, 09:46:52 PM »
I love the colour choices you came up with.  The orange works perfectly.

Assembly/Scratchbuilding / Sanding Gundam Figure Problem
« on: September 03, 2005, 04:56:58 PM »
The figure sounds like it's made of polyethelene.  It's the same stuff that lots of 1/72 historical figures are made about.  A few steps need to be taken to make things work right with this material.

Wash it.  With soap and warm water.  Like you would wash an infant's hands.

Slice away the mould lines or find an alternative method.  I use a very fine burr tip in a rotary tool that I can reduce to a few rpms-- most dremels go too quickly.  I used to use a metal staple in a cork heated over a candle flame.  I generally slice off the big parts and clean it up with either the rotary burr or the staple.

Prime with an actual primer.  For these type of figures, I use Krylon primer.  Most automotive primers should work fine.

Paint with flexible paints.  Acrylics are best.  The plastic will always be slightly bendy, so it's good if the paint flexes with it.

Seal it with a flexible sealer.  Krylon's matte is latex based and stays semi-flexible.  So does most polyurethane based spray sealers.

You can get great results on figures made of this material.  An example (not mine):

Model Talk / Appeal of the Super Deformed Kits?
« on: September 03, 2005, 10:53:25 AM »
Cool, thanks for the history lesson.  I do find the SD models strangely appealing, but they just seem a bit off to me.  I guess they're doing their job as paradies.  I'll see if I can find any of the old eps and see what I think.   I think SD Gundam video games would be very cool.  I've noticed that with a lot of video games, the ones that don't take themselves as seriously are usually better than a lot that do.

Anyone know specific titles/platforms for the games?

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