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helmet painting questions.

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1canparaman ()

Joined: 25 Oct 2015
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Location: Alabama
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:04 am    Post subject: helmet painting questions. Reply with quote

So I've been considering buying a helmet kit. It's not the putting together of the helmet that seems daunting to me but the entire painting process from start to finish. I was curious if some of you would let me in on your secrets to painting, especially the weathering. What kinds of paint do you use? Primer? Spray paint? And yet again, how do you weather? I have no problem in diving into a project but I'm a bit of a profectionist. Gotta make sure its right or it will bother me Confused So if anyone has some tips, maybe a video or what ever that would be great. Everyone in this forum is extremely helpful and I hope to soon be as good at making helmets as many of you are! Thanks!
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Strongbow ()
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1). Make sure you clean the helmet well before painting.

2). Make sure the paints you use are compatible... I typically try to use paints from the same company and same paint line when working on a project. Sometimes that's not possible, but if it is, I do it. Smile

3). If you are going to paint details make use of high quality masking tapes. Vinyl 'striping' tape is especially useful for curved surfaces and lines.

4). An airbrush is handy for painting the details, but not necessary. I use water-based acrylics in my airbrush, and they play well with other paints, so long as the paints are well cured.

5). If you're weathering, don't sweat the perfect paint job. Small mistakes (and even some big ones) are easily disguised with weathering. If you want to distress the paint, now is the time to do it. Use medium grit sand paper "burn through" the detail paint on edges, to create paint scuffs, etc. I like to crease the sand paper to simulate scrapes... Some folks prefer using an exacto knife. You can also cut and chip decals, etc.

6). Clear coat the finished paint job before you weather. That way, it is fairly easy to fix any weathering mistakes. Some people prefer a matte clear coat. I prefer a satin clear myself.

7). When weathering, use water based acrylics. If you make a mistake, or just don't like the look, just wet it down and scrub it off. If you did 6 above, the base paint job will be protected.

Cool. I use 2-4 colors, depending on the object. For helmets, I usually use a raw umber (or black) and a dark brown. The colors should reflect the "grim environment" you are trying to represent. I use Liquitex artist arcylics. For both, i get a cheap squirt bottle from the dollar store, and put a bit of the paint in the bottle and then thin it. I also use some of the paint in the "paste" form.

9). Start with the darkest color. I spray the entire object with the paint (covering anything I don't want weathere, like the visor). i let it set for 30 second, then wipe off the excess. If it still too much, wet the rag and wipe off some more. If it's too little, repeat. Then I use a sponge and dap on the paste paint in areas I want heavily weathered. Again. Let it set a bit and wipe off. I then do a "cleaning." I rub high areas and edges, etc, to represent the helemt being given a cursory "wipe down" and just the kind of thing that comes from daily handling.

10.) repeat for lighter colors. I usually weather less for each successive layer. By doing the "cleaning" step between each color, you get a convincing layered effect.

11.). When done, you can clear coat again to protect the weathering look, or just allow it to wear naturally, reapplying when necessary to acheive an even more realistic "layered" look.

Hope that helps.
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DroidWelder ()
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

with an ABS helmet kit (Darth Hair's kits are ABS) the ABS is more chemical resistant so paint may not stick as well. However, if you sand ABS (use 400 grit or finer) to remove the glossy surface the paint sticks to it much better.

If you have a HIPs Styrene helmet (it looks dull, not glossy) I definitely recommend sanding and spraying a light coat of primer before paint.
(Self Etching primer would be the best to use.)

I normally clean my stuff by wiping down with 90% rubbing alcohol and allow to air dry for at least 20 minutes before I spray any paint or primer.
Don't use any solvents to clean plastic! (especially on HIPs)

David L.
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