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View Full Version : How and where to order paints for gunpla



r4ytrace
November 11, 2012, 5:46 PM
Sorry if this is a ridiculous question, but I've just got my first model kits: RG Gundam MK II, HG Gundam vs Zaku, G Generations SD 5 x Char Red Suits pack and 30th Anniversary Macross 'Storm Attacker Construction' kit.

I'm just wondering what would be the best paints to get for these kits, in particular the Mk II, as I watched a video of it unpainted and I don't like the look, too shiny, I kinda would like to try a satin type finish to match the way I see it in the anime.

I had a look at this wonderful guide here:

http://www.mech9.com/blog/2012/05/rg-gundam-mk-ii-titans-color-guide-manual/

but when it says 'white' and 'yellow' are they a standard white and yellow, how would I order those colours.

any help is VERY much appreciated...

ratfacedudeguy
November 11, 2012, 6:30 PM
The color guides on mech9 and in gunpla manuals in general are based on the line of Mr. Color lacquers, which work best through an airbrush. I'm fortunate enough to live close to a store that carries them, but from my research I've found that robot4less.com does carry them and their prices seem to be very competitive, shipping and all. When it comes to ordering, the best thing you can do is pull up the full color chart on mech9 and write down the name of the color and the number. For example, white is C1, black is C2, and so on. So to search for white, you'd type "mr color 1 white" and so on. Hope this helps!

r4ytrace
November 12, 2012, 4:26 AM
thanks a lot man, ah I see I didn't realise they were airbrush paints - to be honest I don't really have the room at the moment to start airbrushing stuff :( - how would I apply the colour guides to brush type paint (if even possible) - and is it possible to get a clean/flat finish with brushing? I'm not brilliant at painting but I did build and paint a lot of 1/72 model aircraft when I was younger, so I'm OK at it I suppose. And one last question (sorry) do you usually have to varnish after painting?

Sorry for all the questions, I've honestly looked around the internets, but I find it all pretty confusing. And although it's my first model, I really want to as much as possible try to make the Gundam MKII 'right' as I love that mobile suit.

Are any of these Tamiya paints usable? (it's one of the few shops I could walk into and buy paints in Dublin) -

http://www.marksmodels.com/?cid=319

or do you have to buy from paint makers that specialise in Gunpla?

Deathscythe!
November 12, 2012, 8:57 AM
Is there any hobby store located nearby your house?

ratfacedudeguy
November 12, 2012, 10:04 AM
Tamiya paints are very usable, and I've heard that they are much better for hand painting than the Mr Color ones. The only thing is that you won't be able to follow those color guides 100% accurately, but even so you should be able to come up with some comparable mixtures fairly easily. That's about all the advice I can give you in this area because frankly, I suck at hand painting lol.

r4ytrace
November 12, 2012, 2:47 PM
Is there any hobby store located nearby your house?

there's this place in town which has Tamiya - so I suppose I could try and workout the comparable Titan colours and then go in there :)

http://www.marksmodels.com/?cid=228

r4ytrace
November 12, 2012, 2:49 PM
Tamiya paints are very usable, and I've heard that they are much better for hand painting than the Mr Color ones. The only thing is that you won't be able to follow those color guides 100% accurately, but even so you should be able to come up with some comparable mixtures fairly easily. That's about all the advice I can give you in this area because frankly, I suck at hand painting lol.

cool well Tamiya it is I shall try then - I think I will try to find a satin paint in the colours I want - I suppose the Titan colour is kinda similar to the colours of say a Corsair F 4-U so it should be possible to get a close colour from aircraft paints maybe...

Jfl0
November 13, 2012, 5:06 PM
I would recommend doing some research into a hobby store in your area. I have not tried ordering model paints online, and I am unable to help you in that respect. I took a glance at the thread and noticed you do not have the proper facilities to airbrush. In that case I would recommend spray cans. When I did spray cans I really liked Tamiya and Model Master (Testors). Spray 7-8 inches away from the part and never start or stop on the part. Spray cans are quick and dirty, but the costs killed my bank enough that I eventually upgraded to airbrushing. I always had my badger 200 around, but I hadn't gotten around to figuring out how it worked. I am glad I figured it out.

Hand brushing large surface areas is a lost art, and I wouldn't recommend it- but this is your call.

r4ytrace
November 13, 2012, 5:39 PM
thanks for the advice, don't worry I'm under no illusions that my brushing will be flush :( - I should definitely try spraycans then, for some reason I never thought of them, I never realised they were sold for modelling (are they? (i.e. are there Tamiya spray cans?)).

Seriously guys thanks for all your help, I love the Mk II - the amount of animGIFs I've made of it in the last day shows this ;) :

http://r4ytrace.tumblr.com/tagged/gundammkii

I want to make sure I give it my best shot from the outset.

ratfacedudeguy
November 13, 2012, 8:57 PM
Yes, there are Tamiya spray cans that work very well. There are three main drawbacks though. One: they're highly inefficient. You'll notice that the paint that actually makes it into the model is only a small percentage of what is actually sprayed. This leads to two: they're expensive. Even though an airbrush is a high initial investment, it saves you money in the long run because you have a much more efficient means of getting the paint from the container to the part. If well maintained, a decent airbrush will stay with you for years to come. And three: you can't mix spray paints, so you'll have to hope that you can find a color that matches what you're going for. With an airbrush, you have the ability to mix paints to more accurately replicate the original color scheme. Just something to consider.

r4ytrace
November 13, 2012, 9:59 PM
ah yes I never thought of that - and yet another question - how much on average does a good quality airbrush cost, sorry if that's a vague one.

THanks again,

Raytrace

Dlinker
November 13, 2012, 10:20 PM
Anywhere between $70 and $180 from my experiences. Granted, I've only looked at two airbrushes (the Iwata HP-CS and the Master G44) so others here will probably give you a range.

ratfacedudeguy
November 13, 2012, 10:20 PM
As with any other hobby equipment, you get what you pay for. But that doesn't mean that you have to shell out tons of money for something of good quality. Most of the ones that I've seen that you won't likely outgrow within a matter of weeks are around $100. Some of the most popular brands are Iwata, Paasche, and Badger. You'll most certainly want a dual action airbrush so you can control the airflow and paint flow with a single motion, and the popular consensus is that gravity feed (or top feed) models are the way to go for optimal paint flow, but I've been using a siphon feed (or bottom feed) brush with pretty good results.

The other thing you'll have to consider is air supply. You can go two different routes: air compressor or CO2 tank. If you decide to go for a compressor, you'll need to buy a moisture trap to avoid water buildup in your paint flow which can cause sputtering. If you go with the CO2 tank, you'll just need to buy a regulator to hook up to the tank to control your airflow pressure. CO2 is a non-aqueous gas, so a moisture trap is not necessary. I like the tanks because they offer silent operation, whereas inexpensive compressors can tend to be noisy. The downside is you'll have to refill it periodically for a nominal fee. For me, the tradeoff for silent operation is well worth it. In either case, you can count on putting out another $100-$200 for the air supply. There are other accessories that are recommended for use with airbrushes, but those are probably best discussed if/when you decide that an airbrush is something you really want to invest on.

r4ytrace
November 14, 2012, 5:50 AM
As with any other hobby equipment, you get what you pay for. But that doesn't mean that you have to shell out tons of money for something of good quality. Most of the ones that I've seen that you won't likely outgrow within a matter of weeks are around $100. Some of the most popular brands are Iwata, Paasche, and Badger. You'll most certainly want a dual action airbrush so you can control the airflow and paint flow with a single motion, and the popular consensus is that gravity feed (or top feed) models are the way to go for optimal paint flow, but I've been using a siphon feed (or bottom feed) brush with pretty good results.

The other thing you'll have to consider is air supply. You can go two different routes: air compressor or CO2 tank. If you decide to go for a compressor, you'll need to buy a moisture trap to avoid water buildup in your paint flow which can cause sputtering. If you go with the CO2 tank, you'll just need to buy a regulator to hook up to the tank to control your airflow pressure. CO2 is a non-aqueous gas, so a moisture trap is not necessary. I like the tanks because they offer silent operation, whereas inexpensive compressors can tend to be noisy. The downside is you'll have to refill it periodically for a nominal fee. For me, the tradeoff for silent operation is well worth it. In either case, you can count on putting out another $100-$200 for the air supply. There are other accessories that are recommended for use with airbrushes, but those are probably best discussed if/when you decide that an airbrush is something you really want to invest on.

Thanks for all the info, man I knew airbrushing was going to be intense, I didn't realise that much! o_O - for some reason I thought you just stuck something like a spraycan (with no paint in it) on the end of another tube and it pushed the air through. I really don't know if I can get all that stuff, also as I have 4 kids (5, 3 and 2 x 6 months) I dunno if I could keep that amount of stuff 'safe' in my house hahah

Jfl0
November 14, 2012, 11:45 AM
Explanation of the year from ratfacedudeguy. I could not have said it better. Look into an airbrush in the near future if you can. I have a diaphragm (spelling?) mini-air compressor I picked up for around $140, and the badger 200 for around $60. I love that brush, but want a dual action someday.

For simplicity's sake, I would stick to single-action for now. Single action means you depress the trigger and stuff comes out. Dual action means you can depress the trigger like before, AND lean it back to control the air flow for thinner lines/other neat and dandy effects. The model master mini-compressor I bought came with a moisture trap. Look into a universal air hose as well- ask if it fits your brush at the store- they let me take it out of the package to check.

Information regarding the Badger 200 series (mine is the 200 bottom feed)
http://www.badgerairbrush.com/badger_200.asp

Fifty dollars well spent, in my opinion- to learn about airbrushes. I love my 200 <3
http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-200-1-Siphon-Airbrush/dp/B000BPWT76/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352908177&sr=8-1&keywords=badger+200

There are many of us here that would be more than willing to help you with stuff such as cleaning, paint mixing, etc- paint thinning, etc isn't an exact science, but you get used to it after doing it for so long.

r4ytrace
November 14, 2012, 3:43 PM
wow more great information, I think I'll have to abort the purchase of airbrush stuff till maybe after Christmas (hopefully I can force myself to resist making the MKII for that long haha). I'll come straight back to this thread when I'm going to buy/order the stuff.

Jfl0 - is this the same airbrush you have?

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-200-1-Siphon-Airbrush/dp/B000BPWT76

Thanks

ratfacedudeguy
November 14, 2012, 5:22 PM
Not to discredit anything that Jfl0 said, but if you can work out just a few more dollars into your airbrush budget, I've been working with the Badger Anthem 155, which is similar in that it's a siphon feed brush, but it's a dual action so you have added control of the paint flow. Either one would surely fit your needs -- it just boils down to how much you value the trade off of $20-$30 for the dual action configuration. Just let us know if/when you're ready to pull the trigger and we'll get you hooked up.

Oh, and you're right. There are propellant cans that you can use in lieu of the other air sources mentioned, but I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that would recommend then because they offer very little control over airflow, and using them for long periods of time will weaken the delivery pressure and potentially cause more problematic sputtering. Do yourself a favor and avoid them at all costs.

Dlinker
November 14, 2012, 6:39 PM
Here's another thing I stumbled across in Amazon that may be a better value for you:

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Airbrush-Performance-Multi-purpose-Compressor-The/dp/B001TO578Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1352932520&sr=1-1&keywords=airbrush+starter+kit

Comes with a compressor and a basic dual-action gravity-fed airbrush with the hose. Yes, it may not provide the brand name or maybe even the reliability (the AB is a reproduction of an Iwata, I think), but it is a pretty good deal and should go a long way towards your initial learning phase.

r4ytrace
November 14, 2012, 6:44 PM
Cool I will definitely try to balance out and consider all these elements when I do get started properly(i.e. when I buy my paints and airbrush stuff) , I think I'll start by making the SD Gundam G Generations Char pack for my son, probably the Z'Gok as that seemes to literally have like only 10 pieces eheh. I'm not going to paint the SD ones, then I might make the Zaku II in the '2 in 1' HG pack.

Seriously this is one of the most helpful forums I've ever been on, and trust me I've been on a lot over the years :). Airbrushing is something I always wanted to try even when I was making my aircraft as a kid, but never fully got round to it, would have made my YF-23 and especially SR-71 a lot better looking.

Jfl0
November 14, 2012, 10:58 PM
I was in your situation about a year and a half ago- until I began playing around with my airbrush. What could it hurt? I asked myself. The 200NH is the brush I use. To answer your question r4ytrace, yes. That is the airbrush I use. Let's see if I can find the mini-compressor...

The moisture trap (http://www.amazon.com/Airbrush-Compressor-Regulator-Water-Trap-Filter/dp/B004KNAHE2/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1352947768&sr=8-12&keywords=airbrush+mini+air+compressor) is necessary for getting moisture out of your airline, which can cause problems getting air to the brush and can affect the quality of the paint. At the end where the hose should go, you screw this thing on (use teflon tape to act as a seal) snug, then connect your airbrush hose, which connects to your airbrush. My diaphragm compressor is rated for around 50psi I think, but the Badger 200NH will only allow 20psi or so into the brush itself [edit- you know what? it may just be the dial on the air trap meter that measures pressure. I bet the compressor only goes to 20 psi (the one I have]. I've never had to use more than 15psi at most for my work. More psi = more distance between the brush and the part, generally. There is a cutoff point where low psi won't send paint out the brush, but I don't know what that number is. You get a feel for what your psi needs to be by the sound of the air coming out, texture quality, etc. My moisture trap has a glass enclosure which unscrews and can be wiped with a paper towel to clean it. It takes about 30 seconds. If an o-ring comes loose with it, make sure to put it back in there the way it came out. Real simple.

The 200NH comes in a kit that includes a compressed air can and a few doo-dads, but nothing for a mini-air compressor hookup. A hose will run you about $20 US, give or take. Remember something- NEVER mix paint thinner with the plastic jar the kit comes with. That plastic jar is to store paint. The actual jar you will be using for painting is made out of glass and can withstand the chemicals the airbrush is meant for. The compressed can will last you a little bit, but economically they will kill your wallet over time. You could probably get used to the brush with that can (don't spray excessively! the airbrush comes with a small hose to hook up to a can, but that same hose won't hook up to a compressor) as you save up money to invest in a mini-air compressor.

There are two types of compressors I know of- Diaphragm and tank. A diaphragm compressor runs continuously and gives you a constant stream of good air. The downside is that it will heat up after about 45-60 minutes of spraying. A tank compressor, when turned on will compress air to the desired psi into a tank, and then feed it to your airbrush. The downside to a tank model is that it will suck in air on and off to fill the tank, which may not give you the compressed air quality you need. I was confused with my initial diaphragm purchase because I was wondering where the air was stored- but it was actually the motor housing. :D

If you see something in the future called an "air regulator", that is essentially the knob that controls how much air the compressor compresses. The moisture trap is almost always included with it, so buying the air regulator (if the package for the mini-air compressor doesn't already include it) will buy you an [almost mandatory] moisture trap. All it needs is installation, and it does the work for you.

As a modeler and someone who needs reputable service in order for me to risk money on the internet, I have had good business dealings with TCP Global (http://www.tcpglobal.com/airbrushdepot/compress.aspx) when I needed parts or accessories. Mini air compressors are designed to be quiet- so they are costly. I got mine at $130 on sale, but they will cost you around $200+ US. You can use a normal compressor- but it is going to be loud as hell, and depending on the surface it sits on- shake the floor :)

There are a couple of reputable dealers- I go with Badger because they are an American company, and more importantly, they are located in the US. They have a lifetime warranty policy that, if you break the airbrush or break a part, you can send the brush into Badger and they will fix and clean it- no questions asked. They charge you for the parts and the labor is free. I like that in a company. Other reputable dealers include Paasche (spelling?) and Iwata. My compressor is not Badger, but my airbrush is. I would like to buy a badger compressor in the future so that I have their techies and maintenance crews to fall back on in case I need repairs. As for Iwata- I wouldn't have a clue if they have US based maintenance centers. I believe Paasche does.

I should write up a guide to 101 airbrushing, but there are many out there. I would probably leave it an open guide, because I would make a safe bet that a good portion of people on these forums know a few more things than I do about airbrushes. When I switched from spray cans to airbrush, the quality of my work jumped by a factor of 10. Now I look at my projects and they get better the longer I look at them! If you want that feeling, airbrushing is in your future. It may seem complicated, but the fundamentals to airbrushing are easy to moderately picky. 99% of the time a problem is due to a dirty brush.

I do believe I may put in an application at Badger. I live not too far away from their HQ <3 I'm happy to help fellow modelers and those who strive not for perfection, but pride in their work.

http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/DD445/fletcherneedsrepair.jpg
My very first model ever :D It's a piece of crap! But I still love it.

http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/Yamato/1350yamatoconstructionrear_007.jpg
This isn't a pretty photo- but Yamato was done in 2008 with spray cans.

http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/BLOG/heavyarms_project.jpg
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/BLOG/wing_gundam.jpg
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/BLOG/panther.jpg

All done with an airbrush. Panther tank in 2011, the MGs in 2012.

And for funsies: A very easy concept in Statics and Strength of Materials.
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/BLOG/100_2261.jpg

Ok. One more. A semi-appropriate photo.
http://www.majhost.com/gallery/Jadefalcon0/Katana/masahiro1045_bare.jpg

Like my firearms, I take care of that sword.

r4ytrace
November 15, 2012, 9:06 AM
a lot of cool info :)

wow thanks for another great read - so when you say normal compressors are loud, we're talkin as loud as those car tyre reinflator things arent we? that is indeed unbearably loud eheh.

V nice ship, is that one of those experimental camouflages?

I love Space Battleship Yamato and do intend to make one someday, I would like to try and get the one Hideaki Anno helped with, which has the bow based on what we percieve to be in the cartoon (rather than 'correct'). Bet it costs a fortune though :(.

Nice Gunpla too, though I'm not really sure what it is as overall I'm mainly Universal Century - is that from AGE?

Cool katana too, I couldn't really have one of those lying around the house with all the kids though haha.

Jfl0
November 15, 2012, 8:50 PM
Yeah- full size compressors fill up tires and what not. Mini-compressors for hobby purposes are made to be quiet. Heavyarms and Wing from Gundam Wing, Zaku Sniper from Unicorn.

r4ytrace
November 16, 2012, 4:34 AM
well I'm starting my first 'build' tonight definitely haha - I promised my son so I have too - the SD Char Z'Gok ;p

r4ytrace
November 17, 2012, 2:52 AM
I proper totally enjoyed making the SD Z'Gok, I need to get a finer sanding 'tool' though (I was using a nail file)

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdlq4joeNE1qia1hqo4_500.jpg

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdlq4joeNE1qia1hqo3_250.jpg

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mdlq4joeNE1qia1hqo1_500.jpg

God it really made me want to paint as soon as I can though, even this little guy would look SO much better IMO, well my kids really liked it and helped me a bit so I suppose that's what matters.

They watched Gunpla Builders Beginning G before I started making it ;)

I think I'll build the 'Red Gundam' or the SD Rick Dom next, as the Rick Dom actually looks like it's colours out the box are pretty good...

r4ytrace
November 18, 2012, 9:07 AM
Hi guys - I've just realised Marks Models here in Dublin has Badger compressors - so are these two ok:

http://www.marksmodels.com/?cid=407

they have airbrushes too :) -

http://www.marksmodels.com/?cid=404

Jfl0
November 18, 2012, 9:35 AM
Good morning R4y :)

I had no clue you were over in Dublin! I have family roots tracing back to Ireland (40% Gaelic, 40% Scandinavian/Norman, 19% German, 1% other). I am also impressed you can acquire kits there. No matter- I can still help out.

The badger BA1100 looks to be a mini-compressor of the tank type. It has a moisture trap already installed, along with a gauge to tell you your psi, in addition to a regulator. It's ready to go out of the box, imo. The "tiny pulses" the page refers to also occur in my diaphragm compressor. It has no effect on the quality of my paint job once the air mixes with paint.

I do like the auto-shutoff though... I might look into one of those in the future. A 3 litre tank of air should work out just fine for the task at hand. Since the piston is oil free, I don't see any maintenance required on this thing. In short - you won't need to crack open the compressor to do anything. Not that others require it- though. When the tank is low, or the pressure is off slightly, the machine will kick in and begin sucking in air. This guy shouldn't be too loud. You are paying about 149.99 euro, which comes out to about 190.99 here in America. For that kind of setup, it's a good deal plus the badger backing.

The BA1000 looks to be a diaphragm type compressor, like mine. I think the suction cups on the bottom are cute. It also is ready to go out of the box. A diaphragm type will constantly be on when you switch it on though, but it appears it has an auto-off switch. I am guessing that's for when it overheats too much. This one is 109.99 Euro, which comes out to 139.99 US dollars. For a Badger diaphragm air compressor, that is a nice pickup.

Essentially, you have two very good options here. Do you want to pay 30 Euro more, plus taxes for a tank? It really will depend on how long you intend to airbrush. Some prefer diaphragms- others tanks. Before making a call I'd see if anyone else wants to chime in on compressor selection- both in my opinion are worth the price and come with your moisture trap and regulator.

You will need a Badger braided hose, 6 ft, or comparable universal one that fits the compressor and airbrush. $20 seems a little pricey for a hose, but it will last you for life so long as you don't puncture it. The "propel regulator" seems to be for air cans only; those cans of air you can hook an airbrush up to that I said were expensive :)

The Badger velocity feed gravity airbrush appears to be gravity fed and double action. It is expensive at almost 300 US dollars. In my opinion, I would start with a single action to get used to airbrushing, then upgrade from there.

The Badger 200 airbrush kit looks exactly like my brush with different packaging. The 200NH is a syphon feed airbrush (the difference between syphon and gravity feed is just the way the paint enters the mixture, both work). That kit should come with a plastic jar to store paint and your glass jar with the syphon cap that will fit snug into your airbrush. It's 90 Euros, which is about 115 US dollars. I will say that I have gotten it for cheaper in the US, so I would search around a bit and see if you can find it cheaper (I am thrifty, I have to be- just got out of university). I have gotten my 200NH for approximately 45-50 Euros, but again that is the economy of the USA.

Please consider the investment in the future. I will NEVER go back to spray cans because of airbrushing :) Badger offers good customer service, and if it's the only local brand (I hear shipping into Europe can be a pain in the wallet) it's a good one. Those are my 3 cents on the compressors/airbrush. Like my firearms and other expensive goodies, it's always good to have the manufacturer to fall back on in case something goes wrong. That kind of backing for their product makes me want to purchase their goods.

As for that Z'gok, it looks good without paint too! I would have trimmed some seam lines/seam flash, but that is a minor thing. I love super deformed gundams- they can be cute :p

r4ytrace
November 18, 2012, 10:58 AM
HI man

Thats cool man - I got some relations in Boston myself :).

You can't acquire kits here hehe - I got them at a convention, which only comes around once a year :D.

Cool yeah I think I will go for the tank one (eventually). Yeah I've decided without a doubt that although it will take me quite a while to get the money, I am not going to build the Titan MK II until painted :). I just think models look 'plastic' unpainted, whereas painted they can actually look 'metal'.

Yeah I was very impressed they had Badger stuff there at Marks, it was always the goto place for hardcore aircraft and train modellers though, so they know their stuff :).

Yeah the Z'Gok does look nice, and has lasted FAR longer so far with my children than the Robot Damashi RX 78-2 I got at great expense once. Yeah I will definitely do more detailed sanding work next time, when you say trim them do you mean using a very fine sand when it's together to kinda hide the joins a bit?

Jfl0
November 19, 2012, 12:16 PM
oh I was referring to the seam lines running down the leg- I would sand them down with something like 400-600 grit sandpaper. Again, your Z'gok looks nice :)

r4ytrace
November 19, 2012, 1:14 PM
oh I was referring to the seam lines running down the leg- I would sand them down with something like 400-600 grit sandpaper. Again, your Z'gok looks nice :)

oh thanks :) - I c so do you mean you kinda 'bevel' the corners to make the lines less jagged to the eye?