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Dec 17, 2004, 01:02 PM
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How I Paint 3D Foamies

In this thread I want to share some of the techniques I use to paint my foamies, this is intended as a guide there are plenty of ways to skin a cat and this is the way I am doing it after playing with an airbrush for 15 months.

I try and make the process simpler these days by starting with a model that is all ready prepared in one solid colour, this saves an additional step of masking later on to block in the solid. Generally the first colour down will be a light colour. I have put solid blues and reds down first but only if I know my detail colour will go over the top of it without needing 10 coats.

All of the paints I use come from the AutoAir/Creatix paint ranges the paint itself is the same, in the UK I get the paint from Colour Pro in the U.S. there are loads of places to find it, plenty on Ebay as well.

Both brands AutoAir & Creatix are essentialy the same paint one marketed at car painters the other at everyone else but some of the colours are named differently and the ranges have colours the other doesnt. So if you cant find a colour I name try the opposite brand. I will try and remember to label the AA and C.

In the past I have also used tamiya acrilics with great results but the paints only come in 10ml pots which makes them more expensive. The nice thing with the autoair range is its huge with 140+

colours spread over opaque, metallics, iridescents, tridescents and transparent colours. The other bonus is that bottles come in any size you want from 40ml - 1 gallon

The airbrushes I use now are all Iwata, my first brush about 15 months ago was an aztec and I

liked it a lot until I start going through needle assemblies at 10 each. I tried badger but didn't like the trigger response. Checked ebay and there where loads of Iwata brushes at good prices the first one I got was an HP-SB that allowes me to have a small sidecup or bottles.

To that one I have added an Iwata HP-CH Hiline and it is amazing, I can go as small as a .2/.3 line and still wide enough to cover a first pass over a 3dx wing in about a minute.

Onto the step through.

Colours used.
AA Flame Yellow - AA Flame Red - AA Detail White - AA Iridescent Candy Apple Red - AA Iridescent Blue - Candy Apple Red

Masking Film used - Oracol 810
Application Tape - Perfectear Main Tape 75

The Design

All of my designs start out as sketches on paper I create a sketch guide that fits onto a4 paper
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Dec 17, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Step 1. Artwork

Once the sketch is finished I artwork the plane in Adobe Illustrator.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for Starting this Thread. Edited.
Last edited by fly4fun; Dec 17, 2004 at 01:18 PM.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Step 2.

I have recently acquired an A3 flatbed vinyl cutter so now I output straight into cut vinyl.

Before I would output the design tiled onto a4 paper, tape them together then I would lay a piece of vinylmask over the paper trace the design then put the vinylmask back onto its carrier sheet before cutting it all out by hand.

Another alternative that I have used is to output the design using a laser printer then back the paper with 2" masking tape until its all covered, the masking tape adds some strength to the paper it also soaks up the paint better than paper.

Once the paper is backed I would cut the shapes out of the paper and then spray through the paper mask, if it was a large design use pebbles to weight the edges down.

I take the vinyl mask and use application tape which is like a large sheet of masking tape that vinyl shops use. this is layed over the vinyl and used to pic it off the backing sheet see shot 2 below.

Placed face down the wing is then placed face down on top of the vinyl.

Once the right way up a credit card is used to make sure the vinyl has a good grip on the surface before the application tape is removed.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:19 PM
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There are a few little pointers before we start painting, all of the vinyl masks have varing degrees of adhesive strength so if you go hunting for some start with the lowest tack they have.

3mm depron has a surface sheen that does come off and leaves a nasty finish when painted over.

Step 3

Ok first boring bit coming up, the first colour I want to spray is the white edging and stars this is because the white has a semi-matt finish and the iridescent blue is a shiny finish the if i painted the blue first I would have to mask over the blue and paint the white, I have had problems with the metallics and iridescents lifting on the back of the vinyl mask so white first.

When picking the stars out I try and lay them back on their sheet keeping them in a similar order, this will make puting them back later easier.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Step 4

Painting the first coat through any mask, a very gentle first coat or 2 is needed this will allow the paint to kiss up to the mask and dry there.

With depron having a finely pitted surface if you put too much paint in on the first coat or two then it will run under.

It doesn't matter if it takes 4 or 5 coates to build up a solid colour you aren't saving any weight over putting 1 heavy coat on, the only thing your doing is improving the finish by letting the paint build up.

To speed the process up I have removed the center to the red swishes and on each spraying pass I lay the white down first then without cleaning the airbrush (HP-CH) I empty the remaining white into the bottle and put the red straight into the airbrush. Being a gravity fed cup the paint I have just added appears at the nozzle after a quick blow through onto scrap. It saves a cleaning run inbetween colours.

The same process applies to the base red colour, I allow the red to build up over maybe 3 passes.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Step 5

The base red is finished now but I want a change of tone within the swishes, for this I am using AA Iridescent Candy Apple Red, Its become a favourite colour of mine recently.

I know that the mask has had 3 coates of red dry on it now so I am not worried about bleeding anymore so each swish will get one fairly light pass immediately followed by one heavy pass. My definition of a heavy pass is that there is enough paint there to have a reflective shine to it. There is not enough that if I picked the wing up it would run.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:39 PM
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Step 6

Now I needed to reverse the masks so to make the job easier I start by removing the next mask from the centers.

Then each star is placed back into position, I rub the edges with the base of the scalpel handle to make sure they are down nice.

Generally I will paint the each coat as soon as the other is dry to the touch which is about 10 mins for opaque colours and 15 for metallics. If I need to remask I will wait 30 mins after the last coat to make sure the paint has gone off.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Step 7

Now we are working the other way round again the first colour down is the white edging around the red. Nice light coat.

The blue if put straight onto the yellow would gain a green hint to its colour so a dusting of white is laid down first.

This has added a nice bonus in that if the first colour did bleed it would now be white bleeding on white.

The colours are then built up over 2 or 3 coats
Dec 17, 2004, 01:45 PM
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Holy Smokes are you doing this in real time? You post, type, paint, and take pictures real fast. Very impressive.

Dec 17, 2004, 01:51 PM
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Step 8

Logos, I vinyled my logo with an inner and an outer edge, rather than mess around painting the outer then re masking it to paint the inner over the top, I painted the inner first using a nice blue.

Then I removed the masks from the edges and used a transparent candy red to add the blended edge.

Because transparent paint adds to the colours below I get a nice orange at the top where the paint is light and a glimpse of the true colour at the bottom where its laid on thicker. The blue is a heavier colour than the red so it passes through the candy paint un-affected.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:55 PM
That looks AWSOME!!!
Thanx 4 the thread!!
Dec 17, 2004, 01:56 PM
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Step 9

3DX Logo

I used the Candy Transparent Red to blend from red to yellow in the middle.

Again the logo had an outer edge but this time I chose to remove it and use a black permanent fineliner pen to outline the logo.

If using fineliners make sure they are waterbased and not solvent based. Dont want your nice logo to melt a hole in the wing.
Dec 17, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Last Step

The best bit strip all masks off and job done.
Dec 17, 2004, 02:20 PM
That looks BEAUTIFULL!!!!
I wish i was as talented............

How r u gonna paint the rest of this mone' ...sorry piccas ...plane????LOL

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