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In need of some advice for painting stuffs.

Started by Mordicai, July 02, 2015, 05:17:02 PM

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Hello all, it's been a while (one year and a month, actually) since my first (and last) post here on these forums. Much like last year, I intend to get into a lot of crafting / customizing of all things. Nerf guns, goggles, alchemy bottles, staves etc. Not all Steampunk but quite a bit of it will be! I dunno what it is about summer but by the gods, the sun makes me want to hide away in a dark room and make things. Come winter though, it goes out the window and into the cold! It's really odd, but I want to get around to actually making a lot of stuff before the creative juices freeze over for another year.

So, enough about me and onto the main point of this post. Do you guys have any suggestions of what paints I should use (currently using the Citadel paints from Games Workshop acquired for some models I never got around to painting and we all know how expensive that paint is for such a small pot) and what sealants are best to protect paint jobs (more importantly, where the frick to purchase them?!) and maybe what glue is best for certain materials? I have a glue gun which is coming in quite handy for wand making (I know, wands... don't judge me) but I find that that sort of glue doesn't hold up very well unless there's a lot of it in place which isn't helpful for small stuff. And super glue tends to get this weird white residue expanding outward from the glue.

Thanks in advance and I hope to be posting here more with my creations! I might actually go make a thread in the tactile forum for my things.
Taste my gauntlet, it's the flavour of defeat.


With paint it's often a case that you get what you pay for, better quality paints tend to have a greater density of pigment and a better range of colours.

Premium brands like citadel will certainly be superior for jobs where you want more sophisticated paint effects and very strong colours and some top of the line artists paint are even more expensive again, especially for more difficult colours like yellows. Also scale models often need stronger colours that full size props

In practice it's often a case of selecting the right paint system for the job in hand. Probably your best bet is to look at an art/craft shop, even just in acrylic paint there are dozens of different brands at different prices ranges as well as things like metallics and other special effects.

For larger pieces automotive spray paints can be useful or alternatively maybe look at an airbrush.

Good preparation can also help to get the most out of your paint for example thorough cleaning and priming (where necessary) as well as a base coat in an appropriate colour.

In terms of sealing the safest option is to use a spray varnish/topcoat from the same system as the rest of the paint, that way you can be sure that they are compatible, although no amount of varnish will compesate for poor surface preparation before you start.

Be aware also that many plastics will have a surface residue of the release agent used to remove them from the mould and need quite a lot of surface prep to make paint stick well.

For glue epoxy (eg araldite) and PU (eg gorilla glue) are good general purpose adhesives and will effectively bond most things. Some plastics may require specific adhesives. Also good joint preparation is vital. Most glues won't fill large gaps well and the joints need to be as clean as possible, this usually means rubbing down the surface with wire wool or fine sandpaper and cleaning with a suitable solvent (eg alcohol). Glued joints should also ideally be clamped firmly until the adhesive is fully cured. Contrary to popular belief most adhesives work best when the glue layer is as thin as possible, generally more glue does not make for a stringer joint and firm clamping helps to achieve this.

This also means that you might have to sand or file joints to get the best possible fit. If you do need to fill gaps then consider using something like epoxy putty or a reinforced adhesive like JB Weld.

A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron


Good advice from Narsil.

Very important is what is it that you are painting and gluing.  The materials you are using will have a great deal to do with what you use with them.

Please throw away the hot glue gun.  Many better ways to work.

Looking forward to seeing some of your creations.

river rat

Great advice so far. Hard to pinpoint without knowing what materials your using. The only thing I can think of to add would be this.
If your painting something red remember to use either a light or dark brown primer. Never paint red on a white or light color surface. The molecules that make up the color red are large enough for use to see around. So anything under any red paint will show up.

If your using a wood stain to give something a woody appearance use a color primer or paint first. Peach to tan, light to dark depending on the wood look your going for. This will give the piece a natural look.

Now about that glue gun.........

The glue gun. The ultimate tool of disappointment. The mystery of how something that can start as a smooth plastic stick. Magically becomes sticky. Then turns back into smooth plastic. i've seen way to many things fall apart. Best used on items not meant to last.
I'm not all bad. I rob graves. I don't add to their numbers.


Thanks for the replies guys! Will have to run into the town soon to see if there's any decent glue about (I used UHU last year for some stuff, seemed to do the trick). Really hope I can get some form of decent varnish, otherwise the only gloss / matte sealants I can find to post over here (N. Ireland) are on Ebay and cost quite a bit. As for paints, will have to hunt about but may end up just purchasing some more citadel paints. Anywho! Best get to work! I grabbed a couple of water pistols last night at the local poundstretcher. Might see what I can do with what I currently have to hand!
Taste my gauntlet, it's the flavour of defeat.

Wilhelm Smydle

For glues can help it covers a few of the more common glues.
Anything marked cyanoacrylate will expand slightly activated with moisture in the atmosphere.

I tend to use a lot of E6000 for small projects.
The big mistake people often make with glues is either surface prep or using to much.

It helps to have a space away from your living quarters for paint and glue.
Fumes are general best avoided, and stuff from the environment can run the finish.
I tend to use a lot of Disposable gloves, chop sticks, and toothpicks with glues.

Crescat Scientia

Citadel paints are reasonably good quality but are terribly expensive for the small amount you get and come in those horrible little pots which seem designed to waste as much as possible and dry out fast.

If you *must* use hobby paints with pre-mixed colors, I suggest a brand with better packaging, such as Vallejo or Reaper.

But frankly I recommend using proper artists acrylic paints.  The quality is as good or better and you get three to twenty times the amount of paint for your money (depending on how large a container of paint you buy).  Golden is an excellent brand, as is Holbein. 

There is some peculiar advice in this thread which seems to be based on misunderstandings.  We do not see around red paint molecules.  Rather, modern red paints are mostly made from transparent synthetic organic pigments.  There are certainly opaque reds, such as the toxic cadmium reds and the classic old vermilion reds.

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