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Advice on painting a Hobbytrain Taurus please

2696 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  pedromorgan
Hello everyone,

I'd like advice on painting a Hobbytrain Taurus (see pictures below). I currently don't have any painting equipment and am seeking advice on whether an airbrush is recommended or not in N scale?

The specifics are that whilst I'm applying full colour stickers to the sides I need to paint the front and rear ends in metallic gold. Fortunately the ends of the model don't have very much detail and so I would hope I could get away with using spray paint. Could anyone recommend a good type/brand to use with a smooth finish or particularly fine spray? I think some exist for model plane makers?

Or would people say that I should invest in an airbrush to get a smooth finish/thin coating? I'm not sure if I plan to do many paint conversions but I imagine an airbrush can be used for layout detailing, weathering and all manner of other useful things once you have one...

Thanks in advance for any advice,


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test the acrylics on another piece of plastic first to see if you like the finish.

I havent had much luck with acrylics.

If you want to go down the airbvrush route then i recommend you go for a detail aribrush rather than a standard type. they tend to have a cup fitted to the top of the airbrush and have a finer needle. they tend to be used for painting fingernails.
Airbrushes are one of those things where you really do get what you pay for. spend £30 and you get something thats not particularly good and wont last long. spend £100 and you can get a good airbrush that will outlive you.

Compressors- some have a resevoir, some dont. if you pick a compressor that dosent then invest in a good 10ft braided hose and hay-presto the hose acts as a resevoir and saves you a few quid.
£60 can get you a perfectly respectable compressor but expect to pay another £15-20 on the hose.

moisture trap. if i were you i wouldnt bother. compressors only start to produce moisture that is a problem to us after about 20 minutes running. how long does it take to spray an N gauge loco? -3 mins tops.

then you have the paint.... i almost always use phoenix. but i am not sure you can get that where you are. i spray all my roofs in humbrol, but thats proving difficult to find at the moment. then there is thinners (3 types-slow for varnish, standard for large areas and quick drying for coaches and especially N gauge stuff) and other odds and ends you are going to need (pipe cleaners, pipettes pots ect...)

how much you spend on the mask depends on how long you are planning on living....

If you are going to be doing alot of painting then an airbrush is really a must. as you say you can use it for so many other things.

I use a badger 155 anthem with a cheap compressor and a decent hose.

If you are in london sometime i would be happy to let you have a go or give a demonstration.

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QUOTE (idd15 @ 17 Mar 2007, 11:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Acrylics have a mixed reputation. I always use Tamiya for spraying (with their thinners), but I find useless for brushing. Water clean up is a BIG plus.
Then theres the question about single action or double action airbrushes.......

Very interesting. what setup did you use for spraying tamya? what paint/thinner ratio?
The water cleanup would be wonderfull but i cant get a good enough finish with them. i think i am going to have another go at this.

Single or double action? its got to be double. its so much more versatile. you just cant get the control with a single.

QUOTE (Ravenser)I fear Phoenix and I don't get on : their nondrying matt varnish drove me up the wall. I much prefer Railmatch or Humbrol. However that's not a lot of use here as Railmatch's colours are matched to British liveries.

The other UK standby is a trip to Halfords for a spray can of car paint in a good matching shade. But again not sure that helps you

Hello ravenser. the varnish is pretty much the same regardless of who makes it. if its not drying properly you are probably doing something wrong. what did you thin it with?
You need a slow thinner for varnish and by necesity it takes a long time to dry. but it should be ok after about 24 hours. when i first started painting with phoenix i did the painting and then put the item in an airtight container to keep the dust off! this was a big mistake as the solvent in the paint needs to evaporate into the air. as a result of this my paint was taking 3 or 4 days to dry.

Varnish is basically just the binder from the paint with no pigment added. if it didnt dry try mixing it better. try getting a little battery mixer from badger (or a nice silver one from a coffee shop for making capachino!) waving a stick in it really isnt enough for phoenix.

Phoenix paint is a very technical paint. there is really only one way of using it and if you dont use it their way then you get a lousey finish. but i have always found that if i follow their instructions TO THE LETTER then i get fantastic finishes.
If you want to be able to get a reasonable finish easily then i too would recommend humbrol. although this has a problem too. i find that the paint starts to seperate while its still in the airbrush colour cup. this means when spraying larger areas you can get huge differences in colour from one area to another. i do all my roofs in Humbrol grey (i think its 37) and if i am not carefull i can end up with one end of the roof grey and the other brown!
Also dont use humbrol matt white-it comes out yellow!

QUOTE (idd15)Hi Peter
I always use Tamiya thinners with their paint and car windscreen washer for clean up. Supposedly you can use the windscreen washer stuff for thinning as well, but I've not been brave enough to try that. Generally I don't find I need that much thinner, maybe 15%ish. I just try to get a milky consistency and if I get spatter on the test card then I thin a little more.
Vallejo paints seem to be gaining a very good reputation amongst military modellers, but again these are on my list to try. Lots of colours though.
My airbrush is a Badger 200 btw. Maybe a little coarser than yours but I'm pretty happy with the results and spares are easy to find.
Hope this helps.

Hello Ian. very interesting thanks. my acrylic trials date back to my boat days when i was trying to spray the top half of a titannic with Tamiya white. i used their thinners but i couldnt get the consistency right and when i finally got it spraying ok i could only do a couple of minutes at a time because i was having paint build up on the needle. i must try this again. mabye 3 years more experience will have made a difference.

Vallejo- i saw them in Ian allen book shop when i went in to get my new hornby mag! ther were tons of military colours. evry shade of green you could ever want! i must give them a try too.

The badger 200 is a good single action brush. the abundance of badger spares in the UK is a real bonus for this company and is the main reason i didnt go for an iwata at the time.
You are right it is a little courser than mine and its restricted because of the single action but for larger areas and particularly scenery and track weathering you cant beat it. i did some track weathering about 18 months ago. i wish i had had a single action brush with me. its one fo those applications where simplicity is king.

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