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Author Topic: Painting black plastic to look like brass  (Read 12338 times)
Felix Sara
Swab

United Kingdom United Kingdom


« on: November 13, 2012, 10:43:30 am »

Hello
New to all this and am trying to Steam-punkify an old film camera.
Some bits will be covered with old wood, and various brass bits and bobs will be attached, but I will need to paint some bits so that they look like brass.
Can anyone suggest any convincing looking Brass paint other than the Plastikote spray stuff, as it will need to be brushed on in places.
Thanks in anticipation
Felix
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George Salt
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 11:06:45 am »

I'm not sure if they're all still available, but I have somewhere a variety of brass, copper and other metal finish enamels in the small pots sold for plastic kit modellers.  The trick to getting a good finish is to flood the area with thinners so that the paint flakes settle out into a smooth coat with polished appearance.  Looking online, Humbrol #54 is brass metallic.


Or just get a MF-folder, they tend to look steampunk as they are and are quite easy to operate.
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Kieranfoy
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 04:38:59 pm »

I actually have seen some very nice hammered copper or brass spray paints. Mother did up a lamp shade with it.

As for brush paints, can't help you, but intend to follow this with interest.
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 05:45:16 pm »

You can use modellers acrylics (e.g. Citadel colour etc) using dry brushing techniques etc to get some first class effects.  Or indeed modellers enamels to similar effect.

Liquid metal paint may work for you
  "http://www.goldleafsupplies.co.uk/acatalog/Liquid_Metal_Acrylics_-_Brass.html"

You can even use leaf itself if you are feeling adventurous and want a polished metal finish.

Rub n buff is a rub on wax that gives some great results.
[urlhttp://www.artifolk.co.uk/catalog/products/craft_materials/rub_n_buff_wax_metallic_finish.htm[/url]  (Search around you may find it cheaper)

It is easy to use and highly recommended for beginners.

The hammered metal finish paint is "Hammerite" in the UK.  Good on flat surfaces, not so good on complex shapes as it is by its nature pretty thick.  It is available in both spray cans and brush form.  Pick it up in DIY stores.

Hope that helps.
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c4rdninj4
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c4rdninj4
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 08:16:12 pm »

model paints from hobby shops can work great, be sure to give the bits you're planning on painting a dark base coat (usually black), and then a heavily thinned wash of the black (or black + metallic color) once the main coat has dried.  The wash will help give the illusion of deeper cracks and seams, and provide a bit of grunge to look like the camera has been used a lot.
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Athanor
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 09:23:54 pm »

When painting plastics I use Humbrol enamel paints almost exclusively, perhaps for no better reason than that I'm used to them. They do, however, seem to have some advantages. They seem to be specifically formulated for brush application, and are mostly truly opaque, so that a single coat generally suffices where some other brands require multiple coats. The pigments tend to settle out though, so make sure you give each tin a thorough stirring before application.

#12 copper, #16 gold, #54 brass and #55 bronze are good starting points; they can be mixed in any proportions, together with other colours such as matt black or dark grey to get exactly the effect you're looking for. Practise on some scrap plastic, preferably of the same composition as the camera itself (if possible) before attacking the actual camera. As the previous poster suggested, a matt black base coat is a good idea.

Humbrol paints ara also quick drying, especially the matt varieties, but it's perhaps best to wait 2-3 hours before recoating. Ideally, use good quality sable brushes, as big as you can manage - a bigger brush holds more paint and generally gives a smoother and more even finish. Smaller brushes for small details, of course. And don't bother with Humbrol thinner; ordinary hardware-store paint thinner ("white spirit" in the U.K.) works just as well and is much cheaper.

Wash your brushes out thoroughly afterwards; at least two good washes in thinner, until brushing them out on a bit of scrap card or plastic shows no trace of colour.

Good luck with your endeavours. I hope this helps.

Athanor.
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Felix Sara
Swab

United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 03:54:10 pm »

Thank you very much for all the tips above, gents, they are very much appreciated.
I am just awaiting the arrival of a couple of items from the bay of E and the will start the project.
It will certainly be very different from other steampunk cameras, whether it will be convincing/effective is another matter Grin
Ta muchly
Felix
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George Salt
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 04:42:42 pm »

But will it be functional?

I'm intriqued what the base camera may be if it's plastic bodied.
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oldskoolpunk
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 07:40:16 pm »

Don't use real brass and faux brass in the same project. The fake stuff looks awful next to the real stuff. The specularity of brass paint is completely different from the real thing.

Painted plastic in gloss colors and brass trim go together well.
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Wilhelm Smydle
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 11:58:04 pm »

Some of the games workshop model paints work well.
Rub-n-buff is another good option. Take your time and fallow the dirctions.
Some plastics need to be roughed a littl with 0000 steel wool or the like for good adhesion.
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Felix Sara Esq
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 12:13:35 pm »

But will it be functional?

I'm intriqued what the base camera may be if it's plastic bodied.

Hi
Issues with my other email address meant that I have had to rejoin, but I am the original poster just a little posher Wink

Will it be functional?  Yes, indeedy in all aspects apart from being no longer able to detach the flash unit.

The base camera is an Olympus XA2 - an old film camera that produces more than half decent results.
It is going to be painted in a range of metallic colours but there are two major changes being made;
a) the camera is going to be used in a portrait not landscape orientation as...
b) it is being clad in a partial hinged mahogany case.

I have started on a prototype (a sadly no-longer-functioning XA2) on which I have practised the techniques mentioned above (thank you kindly for the tips) and have kind of finalised the colour scheme.  The case is just about finished, varnished darkly with distressed brass dolls house hinges and some faux brass adornments (this is a POSH camera!).

It is still very much a work in progress, but hopefully over the christmas holidays I will be able to put some more time in on it and post some pictures.  Having seen Herr Doktor's amazing creations in the flesh at Worcester, I am afraid that my little camera will seem extremely crude in comparison, so I want to do the best I can before going public.

When I start the Mark 1 functioning version, I will take some  photos as the work progresses.

Thanks again for you usefull suggestions, I am using a combination of Humbrol paints and Games Workshops washes/glazes.

Will repost again in the New Year,

Humbly yours,

Felix
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53Bash
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 07:36:32 am »

http://www.plastidip.com/blog/2013/01/plasti-dip-presents-the-weathered-bronze-look/
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Drew P
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United States United States


« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2013, 03:12:41 am »

Holy brass crap! Thanks for that link!
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2013, 06:53:26 pm »

Hope its not too late but testors do a buffable brass paint thats designed for straight over plastic, with no priming. I've got some of the titanium in front of me but haven't tried it yet.  You apparently paint it on let dry then buff it up either with a dremel buff wheel or by hand .

creative models
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Lokis_Tyro
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2013, 08:20:48 am »

You can get sheets of brass foil if you want to go all out. Done up just like the gold sheets or leafs people use. It's expensive, but it's worth it if you want the real thing. It shouldn't be hard to find online.
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IGetPwnedOften
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« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2013, 11:22:44 pm »

model paints from hobby shops can work great, be sure to give the bits you're planning on painting a dark base coat (usually black), and then a heavily thinned wash of the black (or black + metallic color) once the main coat has dried.  The wash will help give the illusion of deeper cracks and seams, and provide a bit of grunge to look like the camera has been used a lot.


This method works well. You could also consider applying a heavy drybrush of antique bronze over the black basecoat, followed by antique gold and then a light flick over with brass to pick out the "worn" areas that would be shinier than the rest of the finish on real brass. Depending on how old you want it to look, apply more or less gold before the brass.

A lot of it depends on the texture and shape of the piece to be painted. Here's a Nerf gun I did with the method described above to give you an idea of what I mean.

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simon shadowshow
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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2014, 01:14:48 pm »

model paints from hobby shops can work great, be sure to give the bits you're planning on painting a dark base coat (usually black), and then a heavily thinned wash of the black (or black + metallic color) once the main coat has dried.  The wash will help give the illusion of deeper cracks and seams, and provide a bit of grunge to look like the camera has been used a lot.


This method works well. You could also consider applying a heavy drybrush of antique bronze over the black basecoat, followed by antique gold and then a light flick over with brass to pick out the "worn" areas that would be shinier than the rest of the finish on real brass. Depending on how old you want it to look, apply more or less gold before the brass.

A lot of it depends on the texture and shape of the piece to be painted. Here's a Nerf gun I did with the method described above to give you an idea of what I mean.





may I ask a rather foolish question ....   what is "drybrushing" ?

many thanks
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SeVeNeVeS
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2014, 01:23:22 pm »


may I ask a rather foolish question ....   what is "drybrushing" ?
many thanks

 
This may help explain......
How To Dry Brush Tutorial


~SeVeN~
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Narsil
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2014, 03:39:06 pm »

The critical thing with dry brushing is to have the right amount of paint on the brush. The 'right amount' is very little, the idea is that you transfer a thin layer of paint onto the high points of the surface only where the brush directly touches it. If the brush is too wet you will get scratchy looking drag marks (this can be useful for creating an effect of scratched paintwork but that's something different).

This builds up colour relatively slowly but you need to be patient, as with many painting techniques it's much better to build up the effect you want in lots of thin layers than trying to do it in one hit.

It often helps to apply the pain from a palette rather than directly from the pot as you have better control over how much paint is transferred to the brush. It's also useful to have a bit of scrap material to test each new brush-load before you apply it to your model.

Choice of brush is important to, you want something with stiff but reasonably fine bristles, oil painting brushes are good, often a worn (but not completely knackered) brush works best as a bit or wear will soften the very ends of the bristles slightly. I also tends to damage brushes fairly quickly as you are inevitably allowing paint to dry on the bristles, something you should normally avoid so there's no point using anything too expensive and in any case a really high quality brush is not necessary. Natural bristle brushes are usually best.

It's not a hugely difficult technique to master but paying attention to the direction and pressure of your strokes will help achieve better results.
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