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Tips and tricks

Post all your customized Transformers here. Whether it's a small mod or a true kitbash, we'd love to see it!

Re: Tips and tricks

Postby MutantDinosaur » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:58 pm

Quick (maybe easy) question:

What's so great about gunmetal?

Many of the repaint/custom masters use gunmetal (enamel or acrylic), especially as a layer in metal-effect drybrushing. But it doesn't seem like it would fit in with a gradient scheme, as other colors used don't have that BLUE that gunmetal does (eg, silver, flat black, dark and light grays, etc). So what does it bring to the table?

Thanks!

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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Heckfire » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:14 pm

Motto: "Nothing is impossible, just improbable."
Weapon: "Claw" Flame-Throwers
First off, an update on my previous question: it turns out I was using the wrong type of sealant, so once I switched to the proper type, I've had no more problems with melting Autobrands.

On a related note, however, I apparently got too strong of a paint remover and accidentally melted poor Cybertron Smokescreen's roof off, so, just in general, are there any simpler ways of removing unwanted paint, as well as a way of keeping paint from getting smeared and finger-printed in the first place?

Also, does anyone have any advice or tips on how to keep the original colors from showing through the paint? Case in point, I'm attempting to repaint TFA Activators Soundwave into Rumble, but all multiple coats do is make him look like he's got make-up caked on. It admittedly might just be a problem with the red paint I'm using, since the same thing happened with TFA Oil Slick's "tattoo," but any tips for a novice will be appreciated.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby IceWilly » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:50 pm

Can anyone point me in the direction of some good tutorials for repainting? there is a lot of warhammer stuff online which is probably pretty relevant, but since transformers move around a bit there may be some specifics.

I have a simple airbrush I plan to use for larger sections and such, and I will be looking into decent smaller brushes for detailing.

The hobby shop guys I talked to recommended acrylic water based paintss and a Top loaded dual action air brush. Maybe the air brush is overkill, but I got it as a gift so I want to learn to use it.

My first project will be repainting ROTF superion into G1 colors and painting the Fans Project kit a bit as well.

Notable questions:
- How to prep the figures (with or without existing paint) Strip it all down? remove the paint apps with alcohol? Base coat over everything? no base coat, just paint?
- How to mask off ears I don't want touched, or for hard line edges? Painters tape? rubber cement?
- Should I be dis-assembling the transformers and painting the individual pieces on their own? Should I bother putting paint on ball joints?
- Clear coat everything?

Obviously I am totally in the dark, and need some good information to point me in the right direction.

thanks
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:25 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
IceWilly wrote:Can anyone point me in the direction of some good tutorials for repainting? there is a lot of warhammer stuff online which is probably pretty relevant, but since transformers move around a bit there may be some specifics.

I have a simple airbrush I plan to use for larger sections and such, and I will be looking into decent smaller brushes for detailing.

The hobby shop guys I talked to recommended acrylic water based paintss and a Top loaded dual action air brush. Maybe the air brush is overkill, but I got it as a gift so I want to learn to use it.

My first project will be repainting ROTF superion into G1 colors and painting the Fans Project kit a bit as well.

Notable questions:
- How to prep the figures (with or without existing paint) Strip it all down? remove the paint apps with alcohol? Base coat over everything? no base coat, just paint?
- How to mask off ears I don't want touched, or for hard line edges? Painters tape? rubber cement?
- Should I be dis-assembling the transformers and painting the individual pieces on their own? Should I bother putting paint on ball joints?
- Clear coat everything?

Obviously I am totally in the dark, and need some good information to point me in the right direction.

thanks


Here's how I do it:
Gather up some small empty bottles (paint, pills, whatever). Take the torso apart (GO SLOW if there are any gimmicks containing springs, as they may launch themselves across the room), note which screw came from which hole, and put the parts you're not gonna paint into a bottle, then label it. Pins can be removed by tapping them out with a hammer and nail. You may want to use multiple bottles if there's a lot of screws. Alternately get a roll of double-sided tape and mark each screw individually. Either way make sure you remember what goes where. Trust me: mixing up or losing screws and other hardware is a major pain in the ass. Set the limbs aside for later.
You can strip the factory paint off the plastic parts with rubbing alcohol or paint thinner, then wash the parts in warm water and dish detergent, and let them air dry.
Okay, here's where things get tricky. Remember most parts on a TF are moving parts, and you will have issues if you put paint on too thick. Be very careful when painting, or, if you feel comfortable enough: Note any areas where parts will rotate or slide past each other while posing or transforming, and with a nail file or fine grit sandpaper very gently sand them down. You want to remove only about the thickness of two pieces of paper. This way once you paint and seal the parts, you should be back to the original dimensions, and you shouldn't have to worry about binding or paint-wear.
From here you can paint, detail and wash as you see fit. Go slow, and give the paint time to dry between colors; I can get away with as little as a half hour, depending on whether it's acrylic or enamel paint. Don't bother painting the balls or inside of the socket, the paint will just rub off, and worst case you may change the shape, causing the joint to become stiff. Once you're done painting, give it a day or two to dry completely, then seal the parts. I prefer Testors Dullcote in the rattle-can for robot part and non-car alt-modes (Carformers get Glosscote, natch), but use whatever you like. Set the torso aside and start on the limbs. Once you finish painting one limb, reassemble it, then move on to the next). Once everything is done, reassemble the figure, and transform and/or move all the limbs just to make sure everything works.

For your specific questions:

I've found that enamel or acrylic, most hobby paints cover well enough you don't need primer unless A) you're painting white something that was originally dark or B) the part is PVC (2007 Screamer's "fingers", Barricade's head, etc.).

You can use anything from post-it notes to tape (Scotch Pop-up Tape is a godsend!) to pin-stripe tape to silly putty to funtak to mask off parts, depending on what you're doing, or what effect you want.

Osprey publishing has a great book on airbrushing, as does Kalmbach.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby El Duque » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:36 pm

Motto: "I ain't got time to bleed!"
Weapon: Gattling Gun
I'm working on my first repaint. Coverting a Universe Sunstreaker to Wheeljack using the Master Collectables upgrade set. I'm basically done painting and I'm pretty happy with my results. I still have all the parts unassembled and curing. My concern is the paint rubbing and chipping off especially at the interlocking tabs for the body panels. What do you guys do to prevent this?
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Sodan-1 » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:32 pm

Motto: "Motive is a universal weakness."
I'm just after some tips from whoever would be kind enough to help.

What's the best way to paint details or small areas for a guy who doesn't have the steadiest of hands with a brush? Would those special Gundam marker pens do the trick or is there anything else?

Thanks for your time.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby SentinelPrime878 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:23 am

Motto: ""Until That Day...Until All Are One!""
Weapon: Corrosive Acid Bolt Gun
How is the best way to tint the windshield and wings from the g1 Wheeljack figure? I am wanting to custom repaint a junker one into a custom Marlboro Diaclone Wheeljack. It's been suggested I use Tamyica Mica Blue Spray paint for the close match of the original. Also how do I alter the head to match Marlboro Wheeljack? ANy help greatly appreciated!
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Chupacabra Convoy » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:58 pm

Motto: "Wait, we're supposed to save all humans? Are you sure?"
Weapon: Energo-Sword
What do you guys recommend for paint, Enamel or Acrylics? Is it possible to use both on the same figure? Also, will any of these paints have any harmful effects on the plastic itself? Like maybe not in a year but in like 10 maybe?
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:07 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
I usually use enamel, I think it covers better and the colors are nicer. I'll use acrylic if I'm feeling lazy (water clean-up is way easier than using thinner), or if I need to prime PVC parts. You can use both at the same time, though acrylic sometimes won't adhere well over enamel paint. As long as you use paint for models (either enamel or acrylic) you shouldn't have any problems with damage to the plastic. I've got models (same plastic as most toys) I did in the 90s that are still fine.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Aladar » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:21 pm

Motto: "時には最小のものは、すべての最大の変更を行うことができます."
Weapon: Cyber Tail Claw
Has anyone ran into a problem where you like the paintjob you gave them but something's not according to the design in mind? If so how do you fix it? On a small note it's good to know I'm not the only one who's ever repainted a transformer. The figure I need to know this for is 2007 Night Watch Optimus Prime Leader Class. I painted him like a C.F.I. truck and the letters are in the wrong place. On the sides above the fuel tanks is where they are supposed to be, but instead I stupidly put them on the hood and roof. A giant "C" where the hjead comes up is too funny and demeaning to Prime. :BANG_HEAD:
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Rodimus the Prime » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:29 pm

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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby LordOfAnnihilation » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:36 pm

Motto: "Anyone who doesn't flee at the sight of Optimus Prime can beat Megatron in a battle."
Will someone please tell me what I need and how I should paint a transformer. I just can't find the right stuff :BOOM: ! In the name of Megatron, tell me :CON: !
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:24 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
LordOfAnnihilation wrote:Will someone please tell me what I need and how I should paint a transformer. I just can't find the right stuff :BOOM: ! In the name of Megatron, tell me :CON: !


Check out my post about halfway up this page. Image
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Megapope » Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:26 pm

I've been admiring the detail on the optimus prime wedding topper repaint. I've got some painting experience so I could work out whether to ink or paint up from a dark layer, whatever. But what do you guys think is the best way to achieve that cool detailed effect with the dark lines?
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Exileman » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:22 pm

I've been reading alot on painting before I actually start, but I have a question I haven't seen answered. I don't want to have to take apart my figures to paint them, as for most I just want to add details. Several tutorials have said I should be fine on that. My question pertains to sealant. If I wish to use sealant while the figure is assembled and in vehicle mode, will it harden so as to prevent transformation? I've read that rubbery stuff like tires and some heads are not to be hit with sealant, but my concern is the rest and being able for it to actually MOVE after it drys.

Thank you for your time.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:24 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Exileman wrote:I've been reading alot on painting before I actually start, but I have a question I haven't seen answered. I don't want to have to take apart my figures to paint them, as for most I just want to add details. Several tutorials have said I should be fine on that. My question pertains to sealant. If I wish to use sealant while the figure is assembled and in vehicle mode, will it harden so as to prevent transformation? I've read that rubbery stuff like tires and some heads are not to be hit with sealant, but my concern is the rest and being able for it to actually MOVE after it drys.

Thank you for your time.


Best bet would be to mask off the parts of the figure you don't want to spray. As long as you don't go crazy with the sealant, you shouldn't have a problem with moving parts afterwards.
You could also try brushing the sealant instead (Testors makes brushable gloss and dull coat, as well as thinner), but I've had mixed success with them (lacquers can lift enamel, even when cured). Future, or any other floor polish, makes a good alternative, though you're locked into a glossy finish.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Starscream's Girl » Sat Jul 02, 2011 6:12 pm

Weapon: Null-Ray Rifle
I got a quick Q. I know about painting and all as I use to paint Warhammer figs. What I would like to know 1st is if the paint for the Warhammer figs will work on TF figs?

What I'm trying to do is I just got my BK Ironhide today and I want to be able to give him a custom paint job. Just wasn't sure what type of paint would stick to the plastic of this toy. Not sure if I want to just spray paint him to get a primer going or just paint the areas I want to paint. Any thoughts??

P.S.

I need to fix my LC Ironhide too as he came with a few nicks in his paint.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 8:59 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Should work. Unless I'm trying to paint a lighter shade over a darker one, I don't bother with primer.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Starscream's Girl » Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:10 pm

Weapon: Null-Ray Rifle
Skyfire77 wrote:Should work. Unless I'm trying to paint a lighter shade over a darker one, I don't bother with primer.


Ok. Then I'll just do that. Also, has anyone here brought a fig with them to a hobby shop to be able to match the paint of something that is on said fig? I'm thinking of doing this so I can buy the right color and what not.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:51 am

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
If I'm looking for a particular color, I usually match it to a paint line's online color chart. Then again, I'm usually ordering the paint online too, so YMMV.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby BeastProwl » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:34 pm

Motto: "Planet Exploder"
Weapon: Razor Tipped Wing Swords
I don't think any of you guys will read this, but if you do PLEASE PM ME so I can save it in my mailbox for future use!

OK. My question is, I want to make minor paint aps, nothing major. Blue Mullet on Topspin, some silver aps on Bumblebee's body, like his torso and toes, And darken the light greys on Crankcase, That sort of thing. Exactly how would I go about doing this? Furthermore, any place OFFLINE that I Can buy paints from? I'll be back home in a few months and theres a hobby shop up the street, but until than, no hobby shops

There are a few figures I want to Fully repaint, Like a "Certain Custom" I'll share with you all when it's done. I just want to know... Good paint, were to buy, how to apply, and also, a good glue! My "Secret" Figure's chest peice won't stay on. He's done using mostely animated prowls parts. An answer to any of this would be nice.

also, whats a good, like redneck cheap way to simulate "Battle Damage" outside of power tools?

Also, my most important question. Is there any type of paint you can use that WILL NOT COME OFF if its rubbed against to much? I Need it if it exists. that, or a tutorial on how to make my paint "Scratch Proof"

can I pick up paints that can be used at local crafts stores? There are no hobby shops were I'm at right now, as previously stated. All Ive got is a paint brush, a few figures I want to customize, a dollar store up the street, and a crapload of questions, as you all can see. I want to paint and mod my "Secret" Figure to perfection before showing it off, and I need serious help.....

wow, in retrospect, that was rather long winded to say the least...... sorry bout' that, I just really want to get into customizing, and Transformers is the coolest thing to customize! Iv'e modded stuff, but not like this guy i'm making right now! He's my own personal transformer, one of a kind, and I don't wanna f'ck it up! I Don't have any duplicates of the parts I'm using for him either......

Please help
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:27 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Cyberion » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:54 pm

Motto: ""If you don't live for something, one day you'll die for nothing...""
Weapon: Plasma Blaster
Skyfire77 wrote:
Gutter Bunny wrote:
JHand wrote:Hi. Sorry that I haven't been logged on here for over a year. Anyway, silly question: Does anybody use Reeves Acrylic Paints? I purchased a set of 12 some time ago and am in the middle of a second repaint. Furthermore, what brand of paints do some of you use for ya repaints?

Just looking for some feedback :???:


I personally have been messing around with Tamiya acrylics. I havn't had any issue with them, and they clean up unbelievably easy.

I've heard great things about the Mr Color line from Gunze Sangyo. Unfortunately, my local hobby shops do not keep stock of them. When i inquired with one of the owners, they said that they are hard to keep in stock because Gunze only ships to the United States "once or twice". I'm not sure if he meant once or twice a year, once or twice a month, once or twice ever six months etc.

I'd be interested in trying some enamels but i haven't a clue how to go about cleaning them up. If anybody would like to shed some light on that for me it would be much appreciated. :???:



Gunze stopped shipping to the US early last year, saying it wasn't profitable anymore. Supposedly they restarted recently, but they're still hard to find in brick-and-mortar stores. There's a few online stores that carry it.
Personally, I've only ever used Testors on my models and 'Formers. Testors has their own thinner/brush cleaner for enamel. Enamels are a little trickier to use, you need to have plenty of ventilation when you're using them (otherwise... 8-} =P~ ), but I like the coverage better. Metallic colors especially look more realistic.


I like Testor's enamel too. And ventilation is DEFINITELY needed. Do you use any sort of Primer? Anyone? I may not have gone far enough in the thread to see this answered already, so if it was, I apologize in advance.
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Skyfire77 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:45 pm

Motto: "Science can't move forward without heaps!"
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Unless I'm painting light over dark, florescents, or if I need to seal PVC parts (they do not react well to enamel paint), I skip priming. Between washing the parts and my usual light sanding, I don't have problems with "tooth".
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Re: Tips and tricks

Postby Cyberion » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:51 pm

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Weapon: Plasma Blaster
Got it. Soap and water. Light sand. Paint. Thanks. :BOT:
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