Tips for Painting Diecast Aircraft? - DA.C
 

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Old 03-08-2020, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tips for Painting Diecast Aircraft?

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum. I come from a heavy background in the model train hobby, and have become pretty advanced in creating custom painted models as it pertains to plastic (i.e. model trains). However, I'm not sure my painting techniques would translate over to diecast metal aircraft. A few questions:

1. When "touching up" a scratch on an factory-produced jet (i.e. Gemini, JC Wings, InFlight) - what paint would you recommend? I assume it would be an enamel-based gloss in order to mirror the polished finish of the model, but I'm concerned about paint adehesion to the metal body - particularly one that's already been painted. Is there a particular brand of paint you prefer? Also, would you always recommend applying with an airbrush over a paintbrush when doing basic touch-up work?

2. How is the adhesion/durability of waterslide decals to aircraft? For instance, if a manufacturer made a mistake or left a marking off their model - I am a graphic designer who creates my own decals and can easily make modifcations to the model for corrections or enhancements. I assume I would need to spray some sort of gloss overcoat onto the model in order to protect the decal - will a rattle can spray work, or is it recommended I airbrush? Again, is there a particular brand of gloss overspray you use, and how do you apply? Is it also possible to "spot spray" certain areas of the model I have worked on without spraying the entire model? Or will there be a visible difference in the finish between the treated/untreated sections if I were to "spot spray"?

In the model train hobby, the recommended practice is to coat the model with a gloss coat (to prep for the decals), let it dry, add the waterslide decal with decal setting solution, and then give the model an overspray of DULL coat (real-world trains aren't shiny and polished like aircraft). Since diecast aircraft are already shiny and smooth, I would assume I woulnd't need to prep the model with gloss before applying the decal?

3. Do you "bathe" the model in soapy water before painting in order to remove any oily residue from fingerprints prior to painting? Or will running a factory-painted jet underneath soapy and warm water create more problems than it's worth? Would I have to worry about eventual rust build-up if I were to subject a diecast metal aircraft to a quick bath in water?

Any other tips or recommendations you have? Thanks in advance for your help; seeing your work is very inspiring.

Matt

Last edited by Mtrpls; 03-08-2020 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 03-09-2020, 11:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips for Painting Diecast Aircraft?

I typically use enamel paints on my models, I've done many customs over the past few years and they work the best. The paint will adhere to painted surfaces on the model so you don't need to worry about that. I typically only pull out the airbrush if I need to paint a large portion of the plane (i.e. the underbelly of the plane) or I want really straight clean lines. If you're painting something small like the tail or the engines I typically just use a really tiny paint brush. If you need to make the lines cleaner or the paint drips a bit you can always clean it up with acetone. I buy these micro sponges online, dip them in acetone, and then you just drag the sponge along the edge and the sponge will soak up any unwanted paint. Just be careful though as acetone will remove any paint that it touches.

With regards to decals I typically use waterslide decals from Draw Decal or V1 Decals. I've never cleaned any of my models to prep them, I simply soak the decals in hot water, apply a healthy coat of micro set to the model (this will allow you to move the decal around on the model), slide the decal on and get it in the right position. Its important to keep adding micro set to keep the decal moist, once it starts to dry it'll stick to the model and you'll be stuck with it where it is. Let the model dry for at least 30 minutes and then apply a coat of micro set. Make sure the decals are completely dry and attached to the model, otherwise the micro set will warp them. The micro set gives the decals a nice painted on and crisp look. It'll also protect them from scratches. Hope this helps, happy to answer any other questions you might have!
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tips for Painting Diecast Aircraft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaflyer View Post
I typically use enamel paints on my models, I've done many customs over the past few years and they work the best. The paint will adhere to painted surfaces on the model so you don't need to worry about that. I typically only pull out the airbrush if I need to paint a large portion of the plane (i.e. the underbelly of the plane) or I want really straight clean lines. If you're painting something small like the tail or the engines I typically just use a really tiny paint brush. If you need to make the lines cleaner or the paint drips a bit you can always clean it up with acetone. I buy these micro sponges online, dip them in acetone, and then you just drag the sponge along the edge and the sponge will soak up any unwanted paint. Just be careful though as acetone will remove any paint that it touches.

With regards to decals I typically use waterslide decals from Draw Decal or V1 Decals. I've never cleaned any of my models to prep them, I simply soak the decals in hot water, apply a healthy coat of micro set to the model (this will allow you to move the decal around on the model), slide the decal on and get it in the right position. Its important to keep adding micro set to keep the decal moist, once it starts to dry it'll stick to the model and you'll be stuck with it where it is. Let the model dry for at least 30 minutes and then apply a coat of micro set. Make sure the decals are completely dry and attached to the model, otherwise the micro set will warp them. The micro set gives the decals a nice painted on and crisp look. It'll also protect them from scratches. Hope this helps, happy to answer any other questions you might have!
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