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Looking for a Teach-in on Painting?

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As the title says, I'm looking for a tutorial on Painting.


I'm a complete beginner, never built a wooden model before, so have no idea about preparation, paint choice, application, techniques and tips, etc etc.


You could say I'm looking for a Painting Primer!



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Ahoy Frank :D


I am not pro painter but will share with you what I, as another newbie have learned. After much experimentation and the advice of many others; I now use Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Oil Colors 




They can be purchased at a very reasonable price at Hobby Lobby or Micheals Crafts with their 40% off coupon

They have colors that are perfect for ship modeling

They clean up with water and you can mix them with many things to achieve different looks. 

They love wood and dry in a fairly short time. Drying times can be slowed with additional products. 



You can paint them thinned with water (Use distilled water) directly on wood to allow for the subtle tones of the wood to effect the finished appearance or treat the wood and painted as a second coat to get a solid color. 


Here is a link to my log. I used Yellow Ochre on the gunwale, and Mars Black on the wales, First I painted the Yellow directly on the wood.  I did multiple thin coats until I got the depth of color I liked. Then I used a soft cotton cloth and rubbed it to get a burnished look.  Then I used a wipe on poly (WOP) also doing the wales. A light sanding followed. Next I taped the line for the wales and using the WOP went over the tape lines to seal them. This prevents the black paint from 'bleeding" or weeping into the yellow. another light sanding of this WOP followed.  Always work from light to dark; the darker color can effect or show through the lighter color if it is under it but will always cover it. Then I painted the wales Black over the WOP to get a solid color. Then I sealed the whole deal with another coat of WOP. After this dried I used a kitchen sponge with a scrubber (Blue) to knock down the shine and get a dull slightly weathered look. 




Painting is easy. Get good brushes too and learn to treat them with respect. Sealing tape lines is very important. I always tape with painters tape or Tamiya. Use a very thin piece of tape to get the line and then another thicker one to protect the other color. I always seal it with either future floor wax and more recently the WOP. Always let things dry, never rush and most importantly 


NEVER experiment on your ship. Use scrap and test until you can repeat the look you want at least twice. Three times is better. Once is never a guarantee.


Good luck, I hope this helps, and have fun :)


PS: Don't rush it either. Let each coat dry before starting the next and give it some extra time before sanding, applying WOP or tape for lines. I usually give it a few days before the WOP to prevent any smearing and start with a super light coat which I do not work back and forth over the two colors. . 

Edited by JPett
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Thanks Jpett. I am really surprised that watercolours would be used in model painting. I always thought they would be too weak and washy-washy! Just shows what I know! I read through your log and your ship looks great.



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Thanks for the Posts.


My apologies, but I'm looking for "How to paint" rather than what paints people use or where to buy them from. Sorry for not making that clear.


I need instruction on the basics - model preparation, when to use a sealer, when to use a primer, the methodology involved in getting a good finish, how to weather a ship so it looks more natural etc etc


I've had a look on Amazon to see if there are any books on the subject, but can't see anything. I'm going to check out YouTube tonight.


I've never completed a wooden model before, and therefore have never painted one, so I really need instruction on the basics of Painting.


Thanks Guys 

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Ahoy Frank :D 


Plastic modelers are also another great resource and they have a ton of online tutorials. The Warhammer crowd is one of the best for small detail and creating color depth and highlights. 


You would need to treat your wood with something like the WOP I mentioned to apply these but truth be told the best way to learn to paint is to "just do it". Get some supplies and some scrap wood and have a party. It is actually more important that you start with the right paints which can actually be one of the hardest parts if your new. Once you start you will be able to ask questions that pertain to the problem that you are seeing and the community will be able to respond. 

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Thanks JPett and Mark - that was a good tip.


I found what I was looking for and have cobbled together an excellent guide to painting, primers and which paints to use. It is aimed primarily at plastic models, but gives a good basic intro.




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