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  • WSF Model and Surface Preparation

    How to Prep and paint Shapeways Models.

    By request I have repeated my painting tips here so we can have em all in one place, enjoy

    First step is to seal the fig both to fill in the gaps between plastic particles and to add strength to the model. I use Future floor polish to do the trick. I coat them around 6 times with light coats of polish and let each coat dry well before doing it again. The trick is to try and even out the surface without filling in all the detail.

    After it fully dries I use a flex file (U shaped handle with a thin strip of sandpaper covering the open end) To sand off the grainyness. Main targets are wing surfaces, tail surfaces, and the body of the plane. Pay close attention to the leading and trailing wing edges as that is where you can over sand and take out detail or change the shape of the wing. Prep work is vital before the first drop of paint hits the model.

    After sanding it is prime and base coat with my paints (mostly army painter brand).

    After the paint dries I use a wash of 90% water with roughly 10% future floor polish and black paint for pigment (Known as magic wash on the old Flames of War website) THis pools in the low points making the higher detail stand out.

    After it fully dries I do a second wash with Warpainter Soft Tone (Small bottle- water based) As I like the double wash effect. It covers the whole model with a soft sepia tone giving it that dirty look. Be careful to not glob it or let it pool on the wing edges as it dries though.

    Then I decal the model and use decal setter to properly get them to hug the surface of the model. If you do not have decals Miscmini here on the website can fix you up, he seems to do some requests and his decals work great.

    For the final stage I dust them using Tamiya Dusting compacts (looks like a makeup compact and works the same way) The dusting highlights the raised ares and give the model that gritty / Dusty look.

    Final step is a dull cote flat sealer spray. The flat sealer makes the details pop and the colors look more real.



    This article was originally published in forum thread: WSF Model and Surface Preparation started by ReducedAirFact View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. ReducedAirFact's Avatar
      ReducedAirFact -
      See also Clipper's tack-coat/wet-coat method described in this thread: https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...per-Way-Part-2
    1. Sam Urai's Avatar
      Sam Urai -
      Many thanks to Reduced Air Fact for pointing me to this thread.
    1. Flying Helmut's Avatar
      Flying Helmut -
      Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
      Warping: once in a while you'll get a WSF plane from Shapeways that has gotten deformed from the pressures put on it during shipping. If it's broken (say, struts are snapped), you should just take a picture and send it to Shapeways support. They're very good about sending out replacement models: they've got a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

      If the warping is minor, you can frequently recover from it by letting the model sit for a while immersed in hot water. Hot tap water can do the trick, but hotter water tends to do better --
      After a bath or three in hot water I've found that many planes with minor warping return to their original shape.
      I've had a few which just won't return to shape, but I found a way to "force" them.

      I routinely use the 'Klear' floor polish method, giving each mini 2 - 3 coats, allowing them to dry thoroughly between treatments.
      Rough areas can be subjected to a file, but recent purchases have been "smooth" enough that I haven't needed to use any files.

      If a plane has wing droop, I lay it upside-down on the workbench, with a single matchstick under each wing tip, and enough glued-together matchsticks under the centre of the upper wing to instill the correct dihedral.

      I then coat the upper and lower wings with "Klear", and add coins to the wingtips to hold them down.
      When the model is dry, I repeat the process.
      When it is once more dry, I remove the coins and the matchsticks, and, lo and behold, the model has 'dried' in the correct droop-less configuration!
    1. Swiss_Toni's Avatar
      Swiss_Toni -
      Quote Originally Posted by ReducedAirFact View Post
      See also Clipper's tack-coat/wet-coat method described in this thread: https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/sh...per-Way-Part-2
      Hi Daryl

      Can you say if Clippers method works also with the PA 12 (Grey) models from Shapeways. I have three of yours sitting here, and I am wondering how I should prepare them. I am able to get the Rust-Oleum that is recommended on Clippers' thread. Thanks for any advice.

      Ian
    1. ReducedAirFact's Avatar
      ReducedAirFact -
      Quote Originally Posted by Swiss_Toni View Post
      Hi Daryl

      Can you say if Clippers method works also with the PA 12 (Grey) models from Shapeways. I have three of yours sitting here, and I am wondering how I should prepare them. I am able to get the Rust-Oleum that is recommended on Clippers' thread. Thanks for any advice.

      Ian
      I'm not sure, as almost all my planes are sitting unpainted. (Maybe I can correct that someday, but for now I'd rather design new ones.) I would assume most of the methods for WSF/Versatile Plastic would work for PA12 too, but I haven't experimented with them.

      Others here have more experience with painting them up...maybe they can chime in.
    1. malachi's Avatar
      malachi -
      Ian - this doesn't precisely answer your question since my method is different, but I can say I have prepped PA12 gray and versatile white models then primed them and have been unable to tell the difference. I think despite appearances the gray PA12 is smoother to begin with but both types work fine.

      I buy cheap, clear, glossy spray, usually Rust-Oleum, and do two coats (fairly thick but not runny) on the bottom and three on top, waiting about 10 minutes between coats and allowing at least an hour before I flip it over. I prime with cheap spray can also, usually a Rust-Oleum. For sealer I do a coat of the glossy spray then a couple coats of a matte spray.

      Here's a close-up of a gray PA12 FE2b Reduced Aircraft Factory model in progress if that helps:

      Attachment 303928
    1. Swiss_Toni's Avatar
      Swiss_Toni -
      Thanks for the advice and help.

      I love this forum, everyone is so helpful.