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I have seen horrid photos (no offense to the painter) of otherwise masterful vehicles ruined by a disgusting, slimy-looking coating of paint. Perhaps it was the protective coating (matte is available, right?) but more than likely it was a bad paint job. You know, where the paint even LOOKS like it was splashed on thick, and it's all shiny and plastic looking.
Anyways, I was wondering how to get that matte air-brush look. An airbrush is NOT required, right? That thing is expensive and inconvenient, and I'm strapped for cash as it is. Will thinning the paint work to prevent a "thick and shiny" coating? Basically I don't want my miniatures or vehicles to look shiny like the failed ones I did.
Thanks for any help anyone can give. And yeah, I searched and am still searching, but most of the guides don't explain such trivial things in detail and simply gloss over it or tell me to buy an airbrush.
Buy an airbrush =) In the time it will take you to achieve the same result with regular brush you could work enough hours to have bought the airbrush /wink
The thick-shiny-plasticy look is most likely the result of using model car enamels rather than hobby acrylics. It's probably glazed over usually because it's not really a matter of technique as much as practice and experience. Everybody can say 'like skim milk' or 'like cream' or 'like a well poured pint' all day, but unless you have a miniaturized hydrometer it'll be subjective.
If you're covering black undercoat in less than 3 coats for dark colors and 4-5 for bright colors, your paint is probably too thick if your goal is minis that look like in the magazine. When you start getting ring-around-the-pool, you've gone too far!
An alternative to an airbrush for larger vehicles would be to find as close to the base color as you can in a spray paint. Nice even coats will yield you absolutely 0 brush marks.
Otherwise you can achieve a smooth look to the paint even in big areas by keeping the paint thin enough that when you brush it you don't leave the brush strokes behind. Usually it is pretty apparent right away. If you are going for lighter colors it also helps to prime white rather than black.
Another thing with larger vehicles - if you are going to hand brush them (and you will at some point if you plan on shading/highlighting) use a bigger brush.
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