Thursday, September 20, 2012

My First Painted Kit - Throne Eins

I did spray painting way back for almost 1 or 2 years ago, I can't really remember, but my first painted kit was a 1/144 HG Throne Eins.

I bought this kit second hand - Yup. And it's really a waste before - there are way too many nub marks and the panel line was a total blowout - the former owner of this kit used a very thick permanent marker and used it to panel line and paint the whole kit so I needed to thin down every piece, prime and paint all over again - yeah, I know what most of you were thinking - I should've just bought a brand new kit - but seeing how I saved this kit is quite an experience and it looks really brand new now with the flat finish - so it's worth it.

(I just don't have before and after pictures of the kits but believe me - you wouldn't want to see this model kit just before I bought it - just imagine a child's coloring book - and this is way worse before.)

I'm "Bosny-biased" on this kit. I used Bosny primer, paints and topcoat down to every color. I'm also pretty impressed with the result. During this time I'm still not very familiar on how to panel line but I think I've panelled most parts from this kit like the V-fin, shield, GN compressor and etc. Bottomline is I like the result of my own custom color - Yes. This isn't the Throne Eins original color, I haven't found an industrial paint which shows the exact color from the Eins which is more like a dark chocolate or whatever so I resorted to using black which I believe is better than the original.

For those who wanted a review of this kit I'm going to give you a link I found on youtube, he reviewed the kit well, so for those who are thinking of getting this kit or not, here's the link to help you decide:

One of the things I like on the throne kits are its cockpits, I think its very slim and sturdy looking and also the CRAB LEGS - yeah!!! you might be wondering how the this model kit stands but believe me - those huge crab legs helps a lot for balance. Another thing I like is its crossbow-like gun and GN Launcher which can be attached to one another. I also modded some parts like those white parts on the crab feet ,crossbow gun, shield and etc - I made them bulky so as to stand out (it doesn't show much on the pics but it's really good to see in person).

Overall, for a "disastered" second hand kit - I think I made it looked cool enough. It's really not that easy painting a 1/144 because the masking and those little parts would kill you. That's why most modelers always opt for 1/100 scale and above for kits. But I like the price of this kit when I bought it and I love the result.

Okay, so I think this ends my discussion for a first painted kit.
Till my next post!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Acrylic vs Enamel

Okay, so there are people who are just skeptical to every type of paint especially to newbies like me who wanted to start off perfectly and wants to just have the perfect finish for a first painted kit or dio.

There are many types of paint but I'm going to review 2 Types of Spray Paint which are mostly used by experienced modelers and I will be also be using 2 factors for judging the paints such as Paint Adhesion and Curing Time.

Paint Adhesion - The paint's adhesion strength or simply it's ability to stick to whatever you are painting, be it plastic, metal, wood, etc.

Curing Time - The curing process is when the paint chemically settles and bonds to the surface simply said, curing time is the time it takes for the paint to dry completely.

So, which will be it?

Acrylic vs. Enamel

We'll go over with Acrylic first.

Acrylic paints are by far the fastest drying paint which are very suitable for spray painting purposes. Acrylics are also the least health hazardous compared to enamel spray paints and though they aren't as fine as what enamels could bring out, they have the advantage of being easily thinned out (I see this as an advantage as mistakes which are made through painting is very easy to remove, which I believe can be a very decisive factor in choosing the type of spray paint to use). Depending on the type of finish of a particular paint, Acrylics give the best flat finishes in terms of using generic paints such as primers and flat paints (flat white, flat black etc). A downside to this is that they take quite a lot of time for curing - from 1 - 3 days (Industrial paints such as Rj, Pylox, and Bosny dry within minutes but what we are talking about in my blog is the total curing process - that is, the paint's adhesion AFTER THE INITIAL DRYING for the paint to be completely sealed at the surface)

Acrylics aren't the strongest paint in the market but having the proper knowledge and acquiring the skill of using different primer colors and flat paints can be very advantageous to every modeler.

Now we go on to Enamel Paints

Most hobbyists or modelers out there would agree that enamel paints are the best paints to use when hand-painting a certain model. Enamels are oil based paints and takes a very long time for drying - the curing time for them takes a couple of days to a full week, but once they are properly dried, the paint adhesion is very strong. You can even paint them over acrylic or lacquer painted models. This type of paint have the advantage for hand-painting but they are too thick for spray painting and because they dry slowly they have the advantage for blending techniques - that is, blending enamel washes for panel lining or for weathering. 

Enamel paints also have the greatest gloss finish to boast. Just spray a couple of rounds using an enamel paint and you won't even have the need to use a gloss topcoat.

Paint finishes can be altered using top coats but if you are a person who doesn't want to spend any more money for clear coats then here's the deal: 

Use Acrylic Flat Paints for Flat finishes and;
Use Enamel Paints for Gloss finishes

Or, you can also use a combination of both:
Use Acrylic Paints for spray-painted details and;
Use Enamel Paints for hand-brushed details, panel lining and weathering.

It all depends to your choice of paint and when and where to use them. I personally think acrylics and enamels have their particular workbenches and they have different properties which can be ideal to different situations. You just need to plan first on how will you utilize their purpose.

Well, I think this sums up the paint review.
Till my next post!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Science of Coating

Saw another guy again at facebook who posted that he needs help on what top coat to use. I still haven't had my share of top coating so here goes:

I am going to use sinanju pictures for references cuz I think it's a really good way to show off the the top coats but mostly because it's a good kit.

I believe there are 3 Types of Top Coat you may use:

Flat Top coat

The one on the right. The price of this top coat at Ace Hardware costs P159.75 but I bought my own at my local hardware which costed me P100. Big difference. So for this, I personally recommend using Bosny Flat Clear as it has made wonders for me so far. I like flat finishes and this one has worked out well for me so far with no problems. 

Flat finishes will give you a much more realistic sense of the model kit and takes away its toy-ness and will give you a much more finer look at the kit.

I also came upon a blog who used Bosny flat clear on a mastergrade wing gundam. You can look for yourselves the finish it has achieved. Here is the site:

Also, here's a reference picture of what a flat finish is like.

Credits to chubbybots for the pink panther. Here's more of his works:

Gloss Top Coat

Nothing beats a gloss coated sinanju and for those modelers out there who like their model kits like it just came out of a factory then gloss is the one for you. Here's a reference picture of a glossed kit.

Semi-Gloss Top Coat

If you want your finish to have a just a little hint of gloss but not gloss all the way then semi-gloss top coat would be best for you. I haven't heard of any semi-gloss industrial top coats so if you can suggest something other than using an expensive Mr. Hobby then please leave a comment below at this blog.

Here's a reference pic of a semi-glossed sinanju.

How to spray top coat?

Read my spray painting guide. It will tell you most of what you need to know about model kit painting and how to use and preserve spray cans.

When to spray top coat?

A hot dry day is very ideal for topcoating. NEVER! NEVER SPRAY TOP COATS DURING A RAINY DAY. The cold temperature affects top coats and it will form foams on the piece you are painting. Others argue though, that gloss coats aren't affected by weather. I personally haven't tried top coating on a rainy day so if you have tried spraying gloss coat during a rainy day and worked. Please leave a comment below and tell me your story, I'd love to hear it.

Which Top coat would be best to use?

It all depends on two things: Sense and Style. If you're a person who'd like to have a more realistic and mature look at the kit then I will suggest using a Flat Top Coat, but if you're a person who'd love to show-off and take photos of your kits then I will suggest using gloss coats (Flat and semi-gloss finishes are also good for photography it's just that gloss coated kits has more advantage in terms of photography obviously due to its glossy-ness ) But if you're a person who wants little of both and has the money to support it then use semi-gloss, it will work well for you.

Okay, so I guess this is all for top coats. If you have any recommendations, questions or if you want to share your story of top coating experiences please post that at the comments below, I'd love to hear and answer them.

Till my Next Post!!!

The Physics of Panel Lining

Okay, I made this post because I saw someone at facebook who needs help with panel lining and I just want to make my own share of things when it comes to panel lining. I've also added some answers to some possible questions so you may want to check that out.

First up, what should you use?

There are a lot of different kinds of markers that you can use to for panel lining your kits - whether it be gundam, zoids, an rc helicopter and even dios. Most would say that gundam markers or calligraphy pens from art shops has the finest tip and sticks solidly to the piece.
But since those markers are FREAKINGLY EXPENSIVE and my blog is for those people who doesn't want to spend P150 or more FOR JUST A SINGLE PEN!!! or cannot afford to buy these expensive markers. I may just have the thing for you. 

Yes. Faber-Castell Multimark 1523 Permanent S.

I bought this marker at National Bookstore for P50 or lesser (If you're foreign or currently not residing in the Philippines I don't know how much this marker costs in your place, just check out some Malls or wherever you can get a hold of this). It also comes with a marker eraser on top which is really handy.

Now, this marker has just the finest tip you can use through most of panel lining. Though another alternative to this is the Copic Marker - they're extremely rare here in the Philippines, I don't even have them but if you have a copic marker which has a fine tip, then that's good to go.

How to panel line?

Panel-lining is actually the easiest procedure to do if you're all-out on model kit painting and stuff. The trick is relatively easy. Just mark or line the panels or parts that you want to stand-out then let dry for a couple of seconds then using a marker eraser or any rubber eraser - rub on those lines that you made until the panel line is thin enough for you.

Don't worry if you're starting out or feeling that the line you made is too thick like the one on the right (Don't freak out! you didn't do anything wrong, don't get angry and break or burn the piece because it's normal) and once you've used the eraser to remove the excess ink it would look absolutely fine (the one on the left).

Why should you panel line pieces?

Simply because it makes the kit look a little more alive and realistic. Besides, if you have already painted the pieces then take the extra time and effort to panel line it's more worth it.

When to panel line??

Panel lining is done after the whole kit is painted with base coats and before top coating.
Topcoat seals in the paint so you may not want to put topcoat ahead of panel lining.

What if I use Flat Topcoat, Panel line then use Flat/Gloss top coat?

This may be possible - IF and Only IF you will be using gloss coat as the last top coat! because using another dose of flat coat would totally dull the paint color. 

How can I remove panel line inks?

Well, if you made a mistake and has already panel-lined a piece and topcoated it or not, then the solution for your problem is alcohol - yes. Most ink markers especially industrial ones reacts either with water or alcohol, just put some alcohol on a cotton bud then wipe out the part that is wrong.

I have dried the ink too long and alcohol doesn't work, How to fix this?

If alcohol doesn't work then resolve to using thinner - the consequence is that you may have to paint the whole part all over again and panel line once more. Just soak the piece or part for a few minutes then brush out the paint until the paint is no more, let dry, sand, paint the piece and panel line once more.

Okay, so I think that sums up panel lining. If you have anymore questions or suggestions on how to panel line more effectively just post your comments below, I'd love to read them.

Till my next post!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spray Painting Tutorial and Preventing Clogging Concerns

Since constructing dios (short term for diorama) mostly requires painting, I have decided to share the basics (and where I learn the whole spray painting techniques) and how to preserve the life of your spray cans!!!

Yup. Because I've read countless complaints and inquiries from blogsites about their spray cans getting clogged or doesn't spray anymore but are sure as hell that it still isn't empty (which can happen by the way, to either Tamiya, Bosny, Rj or whatever spray can brand you are using). Now, a single Bosny Spray can contains 400cc which is equivalent to more or less 400ml, and whether it's diorama painting or gunpla painting - WE NEED TO CONSERVE PAINT! and to prevent you from buying new ones every now and then from the hardware or at malls which costs too much and is such a hassle going in and out of the house buying spray cans after every few days -  I have come to make my share of how I preserve my cans.

First up, I'm going to share how I have come to learn to paint using spray cans.

There was this guy from a forum at gundamph (I do not know his name and whereabouts) who made a compilation of a set of videos from youtube about spray painting which I personally recommend to all newbies to watch as there are different techniques of how to use spray cans.

For a quick summary, he invented spray painting terms and called it Spray Can Jutsu (which by the way, he claims has Naruto influence in it; "Jutsu" means "Technique" so translated it means "Spray Can Technique"). 

He compiled 3 types of Spray Can Jutsu:

1. TAEJUTSU - which basically means Trial and Error Jutsu and will be the first stepping stone of all newbies to spray painting. What is important at this point is to learn and control 3 main things: Distance, Pressure and Time. Distance of the spray can from the object which I believe is 9-12cm, Pressure - You need to control how you're going to push the spray paint nozzle, do you need short bursts or few long touches - it will all depend on what you are painting and lastly Time - how long is your drying time, is it good to spray at 10am, 12 noon or 5pm? and let me add one last thing, Weather - it is very important to keep track of the weather (Do not paint on a rainy or cold day especially with topcoats as they tend to form foams on whatever you are spraying), a hot dry weather is very ideal for painting.

2. Veknique - Jutsu named from Vektar. The idea is to arrange the pieces in rows then spray on them, let dry then do the other side.

3. Gayflick or PisikJutsu - this where you skewer a piece using a barbecue stick then mildly spray on the piece until you get the desired result.

I recommend all to visit this site as it is very informative and funny, the language is in Filipino but if you are foreign then read my summary and ask me questions about the jutsus I'd be happy to answer your queries.

This is the site:

Assuming that you now know the techniques, we move on to:

Preserving the Life of a Spray Can

Please be aware that I will use industrial paints throughout this blog as I've intended this blog to be consumer-friendly, or for those who like spray painting but doesn't have much means to support it. 

Okay, so assuming you just finished painting some pieces or parts of crap that needed your godly attention and will not temporarily use your paint for a couple of hours.

Just turn the spray can upside down and spray for a few seconds just to let go of the paint left at the stem, clean the nozzle (while the can is upside down), put the cap back on and store for the meantime. 

I just saw this hilarious picture at the net, the person isn't even using a spray can but oh well, this is more or less how you'd do it and this picture is way better than mine. It's just that you have also the option of spraying paint at your beer. (I'm curious - is that insecticide he's spraying at the beer?)

So, just this type of treatment to my cans have ensured them of preservation. But others have other means which you might want to consider such as turning the can upside down, spraying for a few seconds, cleaning the nozzle, REMOVING THE NOZZLE, putting the cap back on and store.

As for myself, I'm all ok with the first 3 steps I've shown above, they've all worked for me, but if you'd want some more assurance of can preservation then you may also want to remove the nozzle then store.

Now, for Spray Can UNCLOGGING:

Many among us, I'm sure that we have all experienced spray can clogging and it's extremely frustrating especially if you have just bought a new can, sprayed it for a few minutes, left it somewhere and surprised that it doesn't work or is spraying too little paint.

A temporary solution for this if you are still painting and you can't leave it as is because some parts are already painted, just rotate the nozzle and spray for a few seconds, rotate and spray until you've found the spot where it turns back to normal.

Now if you have a harder problem than the one above then:
For this, just remove the nozzle and put some thinner on the back side of the nozzle for a few minutes, then brush the nozzle using an old toothbrush or your own - there might just be some dried paint inside the nozzle that needs to be removed.

If this still doesn't work or you know that there are dried paint at the spray stem just remove the nozzle and put some thinner inside the stem, leave for a few minutes then shake the can or if you have a stick which is thin enough to go far down the can then poke it. 

Spray Can Myths:

I've read quite a lot about others poking a hole at the bottom of the can - I haven't tried it yet but I may not recommend it as it might destroy the pressure inside the can. Besides, spray cans are made fully sealed with the nozzle being the only hole and if you poke a hole at the bottom that might destroy the function of the nozzle.

Putting the spray can on hot or boiling water - I don't know if I'd consider this a myth. There are people who puts their spray cans on hot water before spraying - especially with topcoats. The reason is that the paint molecules inside the can will disperse in a much more finer burst when sprayed - which might be critical when topcoating. I haven't tried this process yet, but many will come and make their own testimonies out of it. I'm not an all-out expert (I actually believe I am a newbie) on this but if this you have tried this process then please comment and share your story, I'd be happy to read it.

If you have other myths to share, suggestions or questions, just post a comment below and I'd be happy to read and answer all your shares.

Well, this concludes another part of my blog.
So, Until My NEXT POST!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Diorama Experience


Okay. So, I believe most of us has happened to create our own dioramas be it a simple school-project, an architecture's layout structure or simply a modeler's custom-made action bases.

and for those who did not encounter creating their first dioramas it's either:
1. You're not an architect
2. You're too lazy to create and submit a crazy school diorama project.
3. You did not have the guts or the "artistic-ness" to create your own.
4. You simply did not have the resources and money even after hammering the piggy bank to pieces.

Okay, so for the sake of those that doesn't have the knowledge for this sort of so-called hobby or project but want to make it their hobbies or to create their own projects

just read the freaking description below!!!

The word diorama [ˌdaɪəˈrɑːmə] can either refer to a nineteenth-century mobile theatre device, or, in modern usage, a three-dimensional full-size or miniature model, sometimes enclosed in a glass showcase for a museum. Dioramas are often built by hobbyists as part of related hobbies such as military vehicle modeling, miniature figure modeling, or aircraft modeling.

The word "diorama" originated in 1823 as a type of picture-viewing device, from the French in 1822. The word literally means "through that which is seen", from the Greek di- "through" + orama "that which is seen, a sight." The diorama was invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and Charles Marie Bouton, first exhibited in London September 29, 1823. The meaning "small-scale replica of a scene, etc" is from 1902.

The current, popular understanding of the term "diorama" denotes a partially three-dimensional, full-size replica or scale model of a landscape typically showing historical events, nature scenes or cityscapes, for purposes of education or entertainment.

First use of dioramas in a museum is in Romania by professor Grigore Antipa in 1907.

(I'm giving out credits to Wikipedia - where everyone copies their school assignments. Haha! Peace out Wiki!!!)

Well, That's so much for history, who-discovered-what, and everything you must know about how dioramas came to life.

Now, for those people who did not read and just wanted to see some photos to get a little bit of a push to get started. Here's what a diorama looks like:

I bet after seeing the pics I've shown above, an average person would have a thought like - "I wish I could create something like this!", or "I wish I could blow and rip the whole thing apart!!!"

If so then, Dioramas are your way to go;

But assuming you just:

1. Wanted to finish your school project.

2. Thinks it's cool to replicate a scenery of your own town and city

3. Wanted to replicate a scenery of your own town and city and WANTED TO SEE IT DESTROYED LIKE IT WENT THROUGH A MAJOR HOLOCAUST, WORLD WAR, DISASTER, PLAGUE, ALIENATED, AND ANY BADASS THING THAT YOU CAN THINK OF but doesn't have the weapons, ammunitions, bombs or GUTS to scare people of getting them out of their own homes. 

Then, I believe it is still dioramas that you will crave to make.

I give full credits to those people who made the dioramas. I do not own your photos, newbie diorama-makers like me respects you (except maybe to those who made the a diorama with the octopus and the one with the yacht which I wanted to ask if he used a lego for the human surfer and if the sun there is a halved orange fruit. Just Kidding! Credits and respects to all of you.)

Now, as for my experience, before I've started out to create my own dioramas, I've checked quite a lot of websites, blogsites and youtube videos learning some tips and tricks, do's and don'ts and what materials to use for this hobby. 

Maybe advanced modelers and hobbyists use premium materials you can buy at art shops and hobby shops like high impact polysterene sheets, premium paints like Mr. Hobby, Tamiya Spray paints, Vallejo Paint, weathering stuffs, and whatever. 

There are also people who simply just buys a whole diorama kit.

Sounds easier. But it also costs a hell lot and you can't customize the whole kit. 
(Well, you can customize some parts of a built-in kit like add trees and etc., but I'm sure that it's going to take a whole lot of effort and it's a painstaking task to fully customize landscaping rather than build one)

So for those who wanted to start out with diorama making. Here's more or less a list of what you may need and alternatives:

Styrofoam - As base or for custom pieces or parts. Or for constructing sofas and beds.

An alternative can be a piece of plywood, box or any scrap material that can be used as surface base for the diorama.

Tissue Paper - This is what we will use to cover the base pieces. Can also be used for detailing, covering and customizing some pieces or parts. Best to use the thinnest/softest tissue paper you can have. 

Alternatives: Newspaper clippings or scrap papers you don't use at home.

Cutter - Hack and slash. Used to cut out some parts. Can also be used to cut off your own wrists and drain your own blood or simply cut off your neighbor's tongue when they're yelling at you for something.

Alternatives: A simple knife would do. A hobby knife if you have one.


Glue - Any type of glue will do. As for myself, I use HBW glue, it's a local brand, cheap and works for me. But if there's nothing like that on your place then you can still use Elmer's glue or any other cheaper brands as long as it sticks.

BBQ Sticks and Toothpicks - To keep some parts in place before covering or painting.

You can also use this to skewer your own eyeball or your bestfriend's eyeball, grill them and serve them hot on a platter.

I use Superior Ruby Toothpicks, it costs less (don't worry about the "superior" part it's just for marketing and they're not that superior at all) and a whole box contains twice the amount of a your regular toothpick brand.

Sand - For terrain and landscape. Other modelers use plaster of paris  or white cement. You can also use those stuff depending on the type of finish you'd want your diorama to have. If you want a rocky land terrain or mountains then use sand. But if you're constructing a miniature castle or road then use plaster of paris or white cement for a smoother finish.

Paint - Yes. We will have to paint the dio. Personally, I'd recommend what I use all this time. Spray paint cans. Just use any industrial paint that you can afford. I wouldn't really recommend gunpla paints or tamiya spray paint cans as they contain lesser paint content compared to industrial paints such as Bosny or Rj. I think gunpla paints, mr. hobby or tamiya have half the content of Bosny and twice the price. Since this site is for people who wanted to spend less for such an expensive hobby. I will use industrial paint throughout the course of my blog. Now, if you can afford the extremes, then go for it. I hope this guide will help you as well.

Brush - For painting little details. Also used to paint at somebody else's face when they're drunk.

I personally use 3 types of paint brush - the round, flat and rigger. (That's 1,2 and last starting from the left). But if you do not have any of those I'd recommend the finest paintbrush tip that you have. I've never tried trimming the hairs of a brush before to make it finer but if you can tell me that's possible then keep me noted.

Okay, so I guess we have just summed up what are the common materials and alternatives that can be used. For extra materials I will post everything that I use and the possible alternatives for that.

Till my next post!!!