We hope to have this list grow as time goes along, but for now, a couple of simple ideas will have to do.
When finished sanding, I usually brush on some Testors non-buffing
metalizer paint. The metalic colour shows up any glitches that still
need work really well, and because it dries in a couple of minutes
I can putty and/or sand the problem almost immediately, without
having to wait ages while normal primer paint dries.
-- Brian MacNamara
Check in arts supply stores for something called a `Pigma brush.'
This is a device like a disposable pen, but with a sharply pointed,
flexible, brush like tip. It's ideal for touching up or other fine
work. There's no need to worry if you've got enough or too much
paint on your brush, and because the tip isn't made of seperate
hairs or fibers, it keeps a sharp point and doesn't bush out.
-- Brian MacNamara
3M makes a tape called ``Post-it Correction & Cover-up Tape'' which is designed to temporarily cover places on a page while photocopying. This is essentially a tape form of their Post-it notes The adhesive covers the entire undersurface as with any tape, unlike standard Post-it notes, so you can cut a piece whatever size you want, and it even comes in many different widths from thin enough to follow curves, to wide enough to cover large areas and be cut to shape.
The gentle adhesive works well for things like masking over natural metal
finishes, and can likely be used to provide a soft edge, just bu adding
a gentle curl to the edge of the tape mask.
-- Brian MacNamara
When glueing photoetched parts to a model, especially things like instrument bezels, I find using clear gloss varnish (I use Xtracolour, though even the ubiquitous Future/Klear would likely work) works really well.
It gives you time to move the part into place, unlike superglue
which often locks the part instantly to where it first touched, and it
is much thinner than epoxy, so it doesn't obscure details.
Note: It doesn't necessary work well for parts that are butt-joined
or attached at a very small point such as an antenna, but for most flat
photoetch parts varnish is much easier to work with.
-- Brian MacNamara
You can get artist watercolour paints (not acrylics) in tubes at most art and craft stores that work well for doing washes and weathering.
A set of three colours (Black, White, and Brown) will let you make just about any colour you might need (grey or brown washes usually look more realistic than straight black).
Mix then with just enough water, and a tiny drop of liquid soap to cut the surface tension, then flow them into recessed panel lines, or along raised panel lines.
The best thing about using watercolours, is that any mistakes are easy to
wipe off, and start again. A dampened Q-tip, or cloth will let you clean
away overflows, or entirely remove areas to be redone.
-- Dave Askett
Scratch Knive nib -- handle is not shown.
A calligraphy scratch knife makes for an excellent scriber. It produces amazingly fine lines (actually removing a fine hair of plastic, rather than plowing a furrow), and due to it's shape, and unlike even most expensive and purpose designed scribers, allows you to produce scribed lines for things such as ailerons with one edge vertical and the other bevelled (e.g. |/ ).
It also has the added advantages of lasting longer than other scribers, and being very inexpensive to replace the tip should you ever wear it out. For that matter, the entire cost of the handle and tip is very inexpensive.
Calligraphy ``scratch knives'' are simply a sharp triangular tip designed
to fit into a `standard' calligraphy pen handle. The actual ``scratch
knife'' tip is intended for use as an `eraser' to scratch away the inked
part of the paper to remove the mistake.
You can get a Calligraphy pen ``handle'' and ``scratch knife'' for about
$2.50 and $0.50 respectively at most arts stores which carry calligraphy
supplies. Buy yourself a few ``scratch knife'' tips and you'll have a
lifetime supply for far less than the cost of a more expensive scriber.
-- Dave Askett
Wing root joins, especially when there is a smooth fillet at the wing root are often a source of problems. By the time you have put the top and bottom of the wing together, and attach it to the fuselage, you often find you're faced with a step either above or below the wing.
While cases where the wing is thicker than the fuselage attachment, can't be helped by other than thinning down the wing before you join the halves together, if it's the other way areound, you can try this:
You can often make your life simpler by attaching the top of the wing to the fuselage before puting the wing top and bottom together.
This let's you carefully align the join to get the best possible fit in the area that is hardest to fix.
Once that join is dry, you can attach the bottom wing, again taking care to align it with the fuselage at the wing root, rather than the top wing. Small gaps between the top and bottom wing are much easier to fix (and to have look good) than wing root problems. Just fill using your favorite putty, or if it's large enough, add a piece of plastic stock, and then putty and sand as you would normally.
-- John Sproatt
Not all of us are as proficient with the air brush, that we can free-hand a cam pattern without the over-spray between the colours, looking 'scale' and hand-brushing just doesn't give the same 'soft' appearence to the colours. I'm not talking about those complicated WW2 Luftwaffe or Italian cam jobs, but the 'simpler' ones, like that of... say, the RAF, etc.
While it's been mentioned on the net for awhile, as one who's been 'converted'. I can highly recommend 'Blue Tack'. In my experiance it has left no residue or 'oil' on the existing paint and, if stored in a 'zip-lock' bag, can be re-used, for a time. If it has appeared to have dried out, just put a BIT of water in the bag, reseal & knead it for a short time. However, the more it's reused, the less likely it is to adhere to the model.
The idea is to roll the 'Blue Tack' into a 'string'. The thinner the string, the less 'overspray' between the colours. Gently press it onto the model, outlining the cam pattern of that colour and fill in everything you don't wish to spray, with masking tape, or something similar. Spray the desired colour, keeping the air brush as close to 90 degrees to the 'Blue Tack' as possible. When the paint is dry an it's safe to remove the masking, simply 'roll-up' the 'Blue Tack' string. This method of removing the Blue Tack', has proven much more effective than simply lifting it up.
The masking process may take longer than usual, but the painting process will be shorter and with better results, from eliminating those overspray touch-ups. In North America, some of the more enlightened Hobby Shops may carry it, but I find it with the office supplies.
-- Scott Hemsley
Click on the image to view full size.
Dave Askett strikes again. The diagram above shows a very simple and inexpensive vacformer that you can make to any size you need courtesy of Dave's design. Because the size can vary, wood quantities have been left out of the materials list below:
-- Design by Dave Askett, interpretation and bad drawing by Brian MacNamara
I stumbled upon this while doing a 1/32 F-16A, for a commission, but it should be applicable in other scales
For the side consoles, spray the overall cockpit with the base colour in enamels. If any knobs or switches are to be a colour other than the console or base colour, paint them with enamels, at this time
Mask off the perimeter of the face plating of the entire side console & paint it using acrylic (ie. black). Assuming the entire side console is not one solid instument face plate, but rather a collection of smaller face plates, use a dental tool or scriber to remove the black between the individual face plates of the side console, exposing the base colour. Using a pencil eraser, rub the acrylic paint off the raised portions of the instrumentation, exposing the base colour or any other colour used for switches, etc. The acrylic, being softer in nature, will rub off much easier exposing the harder enamel undercoat.
For the main instrument panels, spray the base colour as above. Using enamels of any required colour, put the paint on the tip of a toothpick & pick out any switches.
If the instrument dial has raised detail, using enamels, paint the backing plate colour of the dial. Using the black acrylic, paint the faceplate of the instrument dial, being careful to drybrush over the raised detail of the backing colour. Any 'slip' of the brush on the perimeter of the faceplate can be straightened with a toothpick, using the side of the raised instrumentation as a guide.
If the instrumentation is raised, but no detail exists on the dial itself, use enamel to paint the dial faceplate. Any 'slip' can be straightened as above if it's done in a reasonably short time following the 'slip'. Use an acrylic to paint the dial backing colour, then lightly scribe the detail, removing the acrylic paint & exposing the undercoat.
In a related vein, Brian MacNamara reports one could also use this method: "I'd suggest this for removing stubborn acrylic to show the underlying enamel. You can use a Q-tip that's been ever so slightly moistened with rubbing alcohol -- that will dissolve acrylic but not touch enamel. It should only be very barely dampish -- blot it off on a kleenex first, or it will wash off all the acrylic." (Brian likens it to dry-brushing)
-- Scott Hemsley