Re: Paint matching and Touch-up tips
- From: Cliffy <crinear@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 13:36:18 -0700
You crack me up , man :) Adding the swirls back in? Priceless :)
I'll add a tip about brush painting that I've shared with others before but bears repeating. Push the puddle! Yeah, don't brush, per se, but rather push a puddle of paint around. This avoids brush marks altogether and helps the paint to level itself out. People tend to brush very thinly. That's a no-no. Load your brush up really heavy and keep it wet all the time and keep the puddle big and wet too. You can push the paint right up to the black lines and you would be surprised how much better control you have.
Now, I also like to wear reading glasses for doing detail work (take a look at my Pinbot resto page if ya wanna see detail) and, ok, I guess I *need* to wear the darn things now but even if I didn't it really helps with detail work :)
For straight lines I mask with good ol' Scotch tape. You just won't get a cleaner line with any other tapes, believe me. The nice thing about Scotch tape is that its clear so you know exactly when you are on the line and it has a low adhesiveness that won't pull the old paint up.
Brush types. Al is dead on the money here (rare, I know :) I use red sable brushes in various shapes and sizes. Any natural hair thats soft is good. Stiff brushes = bad.
Paints. Well, I've used acrylics and enamels and I prefer enamels. They flow better, have a better viscosity and richer pigments and are a lot more durable. However, acrylics are easier to mix and definitely cheaper. The trick with acrylics is keeping them wet. The problem with acrylics is sanding. They can only be sanded dry, otherwise you'll be looking at a real sloppy mess if wet sanded. Enamels don't do this. The other problem I have with acrylics is color phasing, or changing. They tend to dry darker than when applied so you'll have to experiment. They also tend to darken a wee bit under clears so again, experiment first.
Airbrushing is a whole 'nother beast. There are lots of good brands of prethinned and filtered airbrush acrylics. Airbrushing is great for large solid color areas. I have 3 games waiting for the airbrush and I will have to Frisket off the playfields before tackling individual areas. Airbrushing takes LOTS of practice so get lots of cardboard and start shootin'. Mixing for matches is a little harder with airbrush paints too but not impossible. Just a little more wasteful until you get the hang of it.
Mixing colors is an art in itself and requires a good eye for light. Always mix dark into light and always use good bright lighting in your work area. Try to only mix opaques with opaques and translucents with translucents otherwise you'll end up with colors that just don't seem to have the right depth or brightness. Al was right too when he says to use a light base coat. I almost always use flat white as this gives the best brightness and depth to translucents and is a good primer as well.
These are just my experiences. Your mileage may vary but don't be afraid to try! :)
Recently, I've seen a couple of comments on how difficult paint
matching can be. I thought I'd share a couple of insights that have
worked for me throughout the years. Perhaps everyone is doing this. If
so, forgive my "preaching to the choir".
I think in the previous series, it was agreed that acrylic paints were
about the best way to do playfield touch-ups (followed, of course by
some clear protective coating).
I have a pretty extensive selection of colors, but in reality, there
isn't much that can't be hit with good primaries (Red, Yellow, Blue)
and Black and White. Acryllics come in three viscosities (Thin, Thick
and Thickerer) or airbrush inks, standard and ceramic paints. If the
paint loss area is deep, I will generally fill the gap with a wood
filler prior to painting. If not so deep, I may select a thicker paint
and do one or more coats to fill the void.
Red paint is the most difficult to play with. I think it's an economic
thing, but red paint has the least pigment in it. This means that it
does not cover worth a d@mn. Generally, I have to put on some kind of
base coat prior to the red. White or Pale Yellow work well, depending
on how "warm" I want the finished color. Any color that relies on red
as its primary (orange, violets) will share this translucent property
Brushes ~ They make or break a job. If you're still using that brush
that you bought at the counter of the toy store, for a dime, when you
were seven years old, your touch-ups will show it. IMHO, it's worth
investing in good brushes of various shapes, sizes and stiffnesses (Is
that a word?) and experiment. A piece of "A" grade plywood makes a
great "test track" to experiment on. That's what playfields are made
I have a stack of clean overhead transparencies (aka plastic sheets)
when mixing paint, I lay one of these down over the affected area and
mix the color right there. Those plastic blister packs that d@mn near
everything comes in these days works well for this too. (On the off
chance that you're not married to a junior high school teacher with
unlimited access to overhead projector supplies.)
On older playfields with ball swirls (this was before I discovered
Magic Erasers) I could mix just a SMALL touch of black in to
compensate. I once matched an area of ball swirls by using a very sharp
6H pencil and drawing my own swirls after the paint had completely
I would enjoy hearing from others on their tips as well
Cliffy - CARGPB2
A passion for pinball!
- Paint matching and Touch-up tips
- From: AL
- Paint matching and Touch-up tips
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