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TOPIC: small-scale coloring

small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82800

  • TOPACES
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I started to think about the coloring some of the greeblies on my saber and how to approach this task.
I have mostly settled for a color scheme, and now I am wondering about what kind of paint will work.








There's only so little paint that I require for this, so I'd like to avoid getting unnecessary amounts.

That's why I'm thinking either model paint or nail polish. The latter would be easier to get a small selection of colors at a reasonable price, but I'm wondering if it would stick to the brushed aluminum finish properly. But I have no experience with model colors either.

Any advice on what works better, or what other options there would be?
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small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82817

  • wamphyri13
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Testors model paint for the red bars. I did mine in green, yellow and red. Apply with a toothpick and add drops little by little. For the red knob, check ebay or TCSS and just buy a red knurled knob. 8-32 is the thread size. Instead of painting your original greeblie yellow, get a brass lamp knob part in 8-32. It's easier, still cheap, and is smoother in the hand than the bumpy greeblie.
Ryan
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small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82818

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You can also add #84 O-rings to the pommel for comfort.
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small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82825

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Thanks for the tip with the O-Rings. Didn't think about that yet.
Your saber was actually the one that inspired my design.

My problem is that I live in Germany and only visit the US occasionally when I'm on business trips about once or twice a year.
So I'm having a hard time finding parts with the right thread size here without paying a fortune for shipping and will try to stick with coloring the parts that I do have.

My concern is mostly for the outisde parts (the fake LED and the knob) as they will be in contact with my hands. So I'm looking for a kind of paint that can be applied thin enough to not look coated, but will still stick and not rub off quickly.

Enamel sounds like a good idea, but I couldn't find a similar small size collection of colors from german vendors. That's why I was thinking about nail polish as that is widely available.
That being said, as I don't use nail polish myself I have no idea if it fits the purpose or not.

Any other ideas?
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small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82826

  • Dauntless 7
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Hi. There must be some craft, hobby or role-playing games stores in Germany. Any brand of model paint will do just as long as it is an enamel versus an acrylic paint. You should be able to purchase individual small pots or jars. You will need to choose between a flat or metallic/shiny paint.

Shake well prior and using a fine tip brush usually provides a more even coating than something more solid such as a toothpick which is great for dots... but remove most of the paint from the pick end first for any tiny areas. Cheap natural hair art brushes are better than the stiffer acrylic ones but even those have improved greatly. Another option is getting a pack of the thin disposable eyeliner makeup brushes. They can be cleansed and reused multiple times.

Your other alternative which you may want to try first is using enamel/acrylic quick drying, no chip nail polish. If it has a built in top coat like a 3 in 1... even better as should stay on indefinitely. Can be removed with an acetone based nail polish remover. You shouldn't need an expensive polish. Go for more well known brands such as Sally Hansen, Maybelline or Revlon.

The most important step is priming and cleaning the surface first from dirt and natural hand oils due to general handling. Slightly rough up the areas just enough so that the paint or polish has something to grab. Meaning just remove the surface smoothness/shine. Since the greeblies do not light up then it may not matter... but you could get more of a transparent look with just a hint of color nail polish. I would then avoid the heavy flat cream enamels but you may like that look... will take much longer to thoroughly dry to hard... up to an hour or so.

For areas that small you likely would not need a top coat protection/sealer but that again can be purchased in a small bottle or spray some on to a brush and quickly apply. Try to get clear or satin versus the gloss. Eventually there may be areas of chipping off but can easily be covered over again.

The colored areas are small but important features that will give character to your saber. This little bit of embellishment is what is going to provide the pop and add a visual dimension. 0 rings in the pommel would work but over time and use they will eventually dry out and crack. Usual replacement can be every 2 - 3 years. Hope this helps. :)
Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by Dauntless 7.
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small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82831

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Hi Dauntless,

thanks for the explanations.
I was also thinking to start with something that can be removed if I mess up or if it turns out different that I imagined. So the nail polish approach still sounds like a good idea. .

One question though:

Dauntless 7 wrote:
For areas that small you likely would not need a top coat protection/sealer but that again can be purchased in a small bottle or spray some on to a brush and quickly apply. Try to get clear or satin versus the gloss. Eventually there may be areas of chipping off but can easily be covered over again.

So I understand that the 3 in 1 polish would alraedy include this coating, right?
But why would the size of the areas be relevant? is it because the smaller paint spots could shrink and chip/loosen when drying, or what's the idea here?
Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by TOPACES.
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small-scale coloring 1 month 2 weeks ago #82835

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Hi. The 3 in 1 nail polish has a primer/base coat then color and top sealer. Personally I would coat to seal off and protect any size of area. You could purchase a clear top coat if the polish does not have it included. It's handy to place over sharper spots such as on emitter sheath blades or this saber's activation box corners. I'd go for the light sanding and possibly buffing direction first.

There should not be any shrinkage when drying. A smaller area is less likely for wear and possible impact with another object... such as another saber or belt clip that could cause a chip. Also try to use as few layers of paint as possible as thicker layering does not necessarily mean a stronger bond. Best is a few thin layers with adequate drying time in between... such as an hour or so and even overnight to 48 hours for much larger areas.

Keep in mind that nail polish was not designed to be used on plastic or metals so the preparation surface should be a little rough instead of smoother. Model paint and especially enamel should adhere to those surfaces and many others. :)
Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by Dauntless 7.
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