The Art Of Painting Model Cars

Model cars often have intricate, tiny designs which have to be painted on, and this article will aid the reader through better techniques to make these designs much better then before.

An all-time great hobby is to paint model cars after putting them together. To start off you should make sure that you have a well-ventilated work area where you can work undisturbed. Also make sure that the work surface if free from dust and dirt and use waxed paper as a base for your painting. To let the cars dry they have to be undisturbed, so keep them away from small children and out of reach.

Before you start painting, wash the body shell of the model carefully with a mild detergent, let it dry completely in a dust free area, and do not wipe it with a cloth. If you do not have a dust free space use a shoe box over the model to keep the dust off while drying the model. You want a dust free painted model or it will look ugly and unprofessional. The washing will get rid of all the oils that are one the model from your hands since you had to touch it to put the model together.

To begin, give the entire car a coat of automotive primer that can be sprayed on. Spraying the model will give it a more uniform coat then you could archive by hand painting it. A good primer is Dupli-Color's grey primer. This primer will protect the plastic of the model car, since the colour will eventually seep into it and etch and damage your model. The paint will stick to the primer better too. The primer doesn't have to be expensive but it should be applied evenly, either 2 medium or light coats. Make sure you let the model dry completely after each coat or the next coat will not stick correctly. The primer should be flat, not glossy for the best effects.

Before you start painting your model, stir the paint carefully. Shaking the entire can isn't that good for the paint since air bubbles will enter the paint, and it will become thick faster and less manageable. If you find that he paint is too thick, use paint thinner to make it thinner, only a little at a time.

A good thing to add into your paint is an acrylic extender. You will only need to add a drop to the paint on your palette, and it will keep the paint from drying out too quickly so that you can get more painting done. The acrylic extender will also smoothen out the colour more and you can use it to make the colour more transparent while keeping it even. Do not use too much of the extender or the paint will become too diluted, and the model might take too long to dry (and it will become much harder to keep the dust off them). To blend two colours the acrylic extender will play an important part since you can first paint one colour, and then use some extender to let the top colour to be translucent to let the underneath colour show through and to hide the dividing line. After you take the paint out of the can that you need, cover it quickly to prevent it from drying out. You can also use plastic wrap between the cap and the bottle on paints that come in glass jars.

If you are using brushes, buy high quality brushes that are made with real hair of either camel or horse hair. If you are using acrylics, which are water-based paints, you will be able to carefully wash the paintbrushes with warm soapy water. Reform the tip before storing the brushes to help preserve them for longer. If you use oil based paints wash the brush with paint thinner, and again reform the tip before storing.

After painting your model, keep the dust off it by either hanging it upside down while drying, or put a box over it so it can dry without dust falling on it. Make sure that the box is clean and don't put the model in direct sunlight to let it dry. Sunlight will cause the model to become discoloured, and might even cause the paint to chip off faster.

If you want the model to have a gloss at the end of painting, spray a varnish with high gloss over the entire model. Apply two light coats, drying the first coat completely before applying the next coat. Again a box can be used to keep the dust off, or the model can be hung upside down to dry.

Now that you are finished, you can display your model car. Try to paint the models as closely as you can to real cars to make them more realistic. To display the cars a class case is best to keep the dust off, and a shady area should be chosen. The exposure to sunlight will strip the paint and after a while the colour will become uneven as well. Enjoy the painting and start with a cheap model until you get better at painting. Practice makes perfect!

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