Thursday, September 13, 2007

Painting the bonnet

I start with a bit of practise on the spare bonnet sides, and soon realise that metal needs a different approach from resin - the paint moves across the surface easily, leaving obvious brushmarks in its wake.

But when I make the paint a bit thinner it flows off the brush and covers the metal almost by itself. The first coat looks uneven but I found that it’s better to leave it like that than to interfere as the paint starts to thicken quickly and soon shows any brushmarks. With three coats applied like this I got a reasonable finish on my test sides.

I also tried using marker pen as an undercoat (I’d seen it recommended as a primer for brass in an old 2mm Association magazine). I found that the first coat of paint didn’t flow and had to be worked on, but both methods produced a similar result in the end.

Eventually I feel ready to have a go for real.

After first coat

Well, some interesting effects. But for a uniform dark blue I expect to give it 3 or 4 thin coats. And doing each side and the top separately, and waiting for each to dry, this could take a while.

After the second coat had dried I found a couple of specks of something on the right-hand panels. Had to remove the paint from the panels and apply a fresh coat.

second coat

I’m not bothered about the colour as those panels will be a dusty brown eventually, but I do need to keep the surface smooth. I find a transparent plastic box (ex-food container) that I can lay over the model to protect it while the paint dries.

That's about 4 or 5 thin coats, and I'm happy enough. It's not dead smooth or totally uniform, but it looks good from 40cms, and certainly much better than I was expecting when I started.

Meanwhile my transfers have arrived and a quick test confirms that they don't look good applied to this matt paint. Think I'll need a gloss varnish.

From this point it would be good to know how I'm going to combine varnish, transfers and any weathering effects, so looks like a lot of research and experimenting before I take the next steps.