Monday, November 7, 2011

What I know so far about Toy Customizing and Repairs (Part 1)

Okay, this post is the result of me making a write-up about the general things you need to know about custom toys and toy repairs. Originally I wrote this in the vernacular (Taglish) for the toy group it was for but I realized it might also be useful as a resource for people who read my blog. This is just a collection of general info I accumulated over the years and some specific entries link to other articles that will tackle the subject better.

Part 1-Paint:

What to buy:

*Primer- usually a spray paint that’s used to supplement your paint and helps it grip the surface it’s applied to. Don’t abuse the spray primer because it can gum up joints or ruin the surface to paint and erase some fine details on the figure. (suggested brand: BOSNY.)

* Acrylic Paints- ideal  for hand brushers , very durable when used right and it’s very easy to clean up, you can thin it right up with water, rubbing alcohol, or pledge wipe & shine floor polish—since it’s liquid acrylic—and you can easily mix the colors. It has to be used carefully though and with several thin coats to achieve a solid color, which can make the wait a pain, but when done well, your patience will be rewarded with a nice, even paintjob. If you rush it, it will definitely show, from uneven applications to brush marks.(Brands: Tamiya, P3, Vallejo, GSi Creos/Mr. Color, Citadel)

*Enamel Paints- dries quicker than acrylic but eats plastic when applied raw (no primer) or thickly. In my experience, the paint as well as the thinner also eats through brush bristles, and the paint itself refuses to dry on soft plastics like PVC or Vinyl. It’s much better if used with an airbrush, and fewer coats will be necessary for achieving the solid color you want. Mineral spirits or industrial enamel thinner—readily available in any hardware store, is usually used to thin the paint. Oh yeah, since it eats a bit of plastic as it dries, it actually bonds with the surface and becomes resistant to most wear and tear. Ideal for metallic models.
 (Brands: Tamiya, Academy paints)

*Lacquer Paints (usually Airbrush)- I swear the fumes will get you high sometimes, but it dries very quickly and it’s very resistant to chipping, and like enamels is best utilized with an airbrush. The thinner I usually use is Mr. Lacquer thinner brand or the industrial kind sold in hardware stores.
 (Brands: Tamiya, GSi Creos/Mr. Color)

* Spray Acrylics/Enamels- Usually a person’s cheapest and quickest alternative,but it eats up a lot of paint when used due to alack of control in the spray itself, and can usually be found in hardware stores. If you’re in a rush to finish a paintjob this is definitely up your alley, but make sure you keep an arms length between the spray can and the thing you’re painting.
 (Brands: Pylox, Bosny, RJ London)

*Handbrushes- cheap and easily replaceable (well unless these are Sable brushes) they’re easy to learn at a basic level and when you begin experimenting with techniques you will become attuned to using it, the drawback is that it takes a looooot of time to finish a project. Make sure you get soft hair brushes that don’t easily lose bristles or can leave strong brush marks on the surface you’re painting. Usually soft bristled brushes are brown in hair color and are very soft and cuddly  to the touch. The ones that are sold on retail are usually  called artist’s brushes, and for beginners it’s best to get a cheap pack with assorted brush types.

*Airbrush- imagine the convenience of spray painting with the control of a hand brush, with little wasted paint but you’ll need the power of an air compressor to make it work. Stuff like this is very expensive, with the most basic set being around 3k php ($70) and that’s Tamiya Sprayworks Basic, with the higher-end components bought separately averaging around 1k php ($23) for the airbrush alone, and 5k+ php ($116+) is the usual price range for the air compressor.
 (Brands: Badger, Iwata, Tamiya, Hasegawa)

*Topcoat-  this isn’t usually needed, but if you’re paranoid about paint chipping off or you want to reduce the retouching you have to do later on,  you need this. Topcoat is usually applied to give the finished project a specific finish: Flat/Dull/Matte, which gives your paintjob a “realistic” , toned down look, and Glossy which is way shiny and much more durable, giving a sports car-like finish to something. It can be applied through spray cans or airbrush like tamiya clear coats or Mr. Topcoat, or it can be brushed on like Vallejo or Pledge Wipe & Shine/ Future Finish Acrylic Floor Polish. I am totally serious about that last one; it’s tough and glossy and can level paint when it dries, and it smells good too!
 (Brands: Tamiya, GSi Creos/ Mr. Topcoat, Pledge Wipe n' Shine Acrylic Floor Polish)

Where to buy (in the Philippines):
*Ace Hardware (Spray Acrylics, primer, thinner, topcoat)

*Lil's hobby shop (hobby enamel, acrylic and lacquer, hand brushes, airbrushes, thinner)

*Special Toy Center (hobby enamel, acrylic, and lacquer, hand brushes, airbrushes, thinner)

*Deovir (Artist's acrylic and enamel paints, hand brushes, airbrushes, thinner)

*Neutral grounds( Citadel Paint, hand brushes).

*Fortress games Greenhills (P3 Acrylic)

Tips on painting:

·          When you lack primer, sandpaper will do, usually 600 grit to make the surface rougher so the paint will grip better.
·          Make  sure you wash your figure with soap and water to remove the mold release agent found on the toy’s plastics that might inhibit the grip of the paint to the plastic.
·          In any event that you need to strip paint off a figure use rubbing alcohol or windex, or any corresponding thinner of the paint used and a rag or Q-tip to wipe off any paint mistakes.

Games Workshop How To Paint Citadel Miniatures (.pdf)-   

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