SWF shiny finish and painting

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by HaVoC373, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. HaVoC373
    HaVoC373 New Member
    I'm currently modeling a rather large space ship maquette which I will have to print and assemble in segments beause of its size.
    Its certainly bigger than the space ship models I have seen in the shops here.
    The final model size is not yet set but its between 80 cm and 1.20m long.

    Now I intend to print this in WSF because it needs to be strong and I dont want to go ridiculously over budget.

    That said, the design calls for a smooth and shiny or almost reflective surface on some of the parts. but it also has to be painted.

    Can someone here please recomend me a work method and/or types of paint and lacquer i should use.

    I was thinking of using several layers of black primer to sort of smooth out the models rough texture.
    Then painting on top of that and then using a clear lacquer or varnish to get the shiny or reflective surface.

    Thank you for any assistance you can give me.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  2. Datto
    Datto New Member
    Look for a high-build primer, like this Plastikote product Plastikote - Flexible Spot Filler & Primer (467). There are others out there too.

    You will probably be applying several, if not many coats, sanding in between with 220 or thereabouts grit sandpaper. This will eventually flatten out the surface, and you should be able to sand with a finer paper (400-600) to get a substrate for a nice finish. For color coat, you can use hobby acrylics and an airbrush, or spray cans of hobby or auto retouching paint from the auto-parts store. You can then mask of areas and clear coat with varying levels of sheen to get the effect of different materials. Or you can clear coat with one type coating, and when thouroghly dry, knock the sheen down with very fine steel wool, and bring it up with a polishing compound.

    If you spaceship surface is covered with nernies, like the deathstar, you'll be working a looong time :laughing:

    Do you have access to compessor/spray gun, or will this be painted with rattle cans?
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  3. HaVoC373
    HaVoC373 New Member
    thanks for the advice. sadly i do not have acces to a spray gun. so it will probably be done using rattle spray cans. and i was also thinking of auto retouching paint because of its shiny finish.
    and yea its does have alot of small details and indentations. but those are mostly on the engines. the rest of the ship will for the majority be smooth with some wide hull panel seperation spaces. but thats where i intend to cut the model up for easyer printing and assemly so those will be easyer to paint :)
  4. Datto
    Datto New Member
    Spray cans will do the job admirably. Sounds like a cool project.
  5. HaVoC373
    HaVoC373 New Member
    i noticed that alumide is also availible. can someone tell me if this is any good for painting and how smooth is the material really. cause from what i can tell from low rez youtube video's and some pictures i've found it looks rather rough. i know it says its smooth on the other page but it doesnt look like it from my point of view. can someone show me some high rez photographs or tell me if its good to paint on?

  6. euphy
    euphy New Member
    Alumide is a little rougher than WSF. It's more expensive too and more brittle - if you're going to paint/coat it, then there's not much to recommend alumide I think.

    Sandy Noble
  7. HaVoC373
    HaVoC373 New Member
    i've been experimenting on WSF with some paints to get it super smooth with some mixed results. i dont have a camera at the moment to show you but i wanted to know if anyone here has managed to make a WSF model so smooth to the point where it almost seemed like it was polished metal?
    i'm not looking for shiny i just want the super smooth finish.

    right now its kind of grainy. i'm thinking about trying some sand paper and some latex based paint to get a good cover. is that a good idea using sand paper on wsf?

    has anyone any succes getting this kind of finish? and if so can you post some images?

    any help is much apriciated
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  8. I haven't tried it yet, but what about some kind of viscous varnish (probably acrylic)? If you thin it down to a creamy consistency so it's not obscuring your printed detail, you should be able to use it to fill in the pores in a few coats.

  9. dadrummond
    dadrummond Member
    Check out this post on a lacquer spray applied to BSF.
  10. HaVoC373
    HaVoC373 New Member
    nice, thats pretty much the finish i am looking for :) thanks
  11. woody64
    woody64 Well-Known Member
    I'm also experimenting on this side for months.
    My result is to switch to the detailed material.

    Here's a reference picture of the same item done in W&F and in Transparent Detailed.
    Both items were sprayed with a Tamiya can.


    Also I would be very interested in techniques which can be used for mass delivery. Even if it's done by an external company.