Author Topic: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits  (Read 1204 times)

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robwill84

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Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« on: February 17, 2014, 08:03:23 PM »
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Hi everyone, just thought I would snap a few pics and share a method I use for painting DPM downtown buildings. This is a topic that seems to come up fairly often on forums, so here is one method. I'm going to demonstrate on a DPM Wilhelmi's Merchantile kit. It is one of the most difficult to paint neatly, due to the amount of windows it has.

I start by painting the building the basic color that I want the brickwork to be. In this case I used Krylon Ivory. Next tear off a strip of 2" wide blue painters masking tape, about six inches long, and stick it to a flat surface. I use a cutting board from a craft store. AS a side note, stick with Scotch (3M) brand. I tried Duck brand and it is tougher and rubberier and wears down X-acto blades in a hurry.



Now square up one edge of the tape so its not torn. Start applying them as shown above, start at the bottom and trim them to height at the top by finding the edge of the decorative trim with your fingernail, and then cutting on that line. It is important when applying these strips to press them in place tightly. Keep cutting and applying strips until you have the building covered like this:



Now trace the edge of each window frame with your thumbnail. This leaves a sharp line in the tape. Compare the first row of windows to the second one in the pic above and you can see the line. Once you have outlined all the windows in this way, start cutting. You will find that you can push the X-acto knife into the line and use the molded edge of the window as a guide. Just use a light touch, and let the window frame guide the blade. Eventually it will look like this:



Use strips to mask off anywhere you want to keep the background color. On the vertical brick parts, I used a similar technique to the window frames, pressing strips over the brickwork, and then trimming them to width. Once all the masking is on, do a thorough check of the masking, pressing everything firmly in place. Then its time to paint!



This is where all the prep work pays off. It is best to use a flat or semi gloss for this. They dry to the touch faster than gloss, and you will want to remove the masking fairly soon after painting. This allows you to catch anywhere where the paint has run under the masking, and "erase" it with a small brush dipped in paint thinner and wiped almost dry. In the above pic I've also painted the window cornices with a light gray just for a little extra contrast.

So basically, that's it. Lots of prep but it is the best method I know for making clean window separations on these buildings!







Mark.S+10

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2014, 08:26:54 PM »
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Great technique, thanks.

Scottl

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2014, 08:44:32 PM »
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That is excellent- really stands out and looks sharp.  With all the time invested in masking, I would give it a quick blast of the masked color first to minimize the risk of bleeding under the tape.  I do this on simpler loco masks and it works very well.

basementcalling

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 08:45:05 PM »
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Nice.

 I kinda liked the blue color scheme though.  :facepalm:
Peter Pfotenhauer

robwill84

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2014, 08:51:44 PM »
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That is excellent- really stands out and looks sharp.  With all the time invested in masking, I would give it a quick blast of the masked color first to minimize the risk of bleeding under the tape.  I do this on simpler loco masks and it works very well.

That's a great tip, it has been years since I last painted a multi-part color scheme on a loco, but I did it then and it worked well. I totally forgot about it, thanks!

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 08:54:49 PM »
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That's great!

I friggin hate DPM buildings for just this very task.

peteski

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2014, 09:09:33 PM »
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A lot ow work masking, but the result looks great!  Funny, to me the window cornices look like they are painted different color (lighter) then the brick.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

robwill84

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 09:15:32 PM »
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A lot ow work masking, but the result looks great!  Funny, to me the window cornices look like they are painted different color (lighter) then the brick.

Yeah, I painted the cornice and sashes before I remembered to take a picture. I was really "in the zone"!

peteski

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 09:19:33 PM »
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Yeah, I painted the cornice and sashes before I remembered to take a picture. I was really "in the zone"!

Ah!  So my eyes did not deceive me.   Hand painted or masked?
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

robwill84

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 09:25:36 PM »
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Handpainted with craft store acrylic Ceramcoat drizzle grey. It's pretty thick, so I load up a 0 size brush with a good amount, and smooth it on in a good thick coat so it all levels out as it dries. Goes on with just one coat this way, and no brush strokes. The sashes same brush the same way, just one line.

robwill84

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 09:05:47 PM »
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Another tricky aspect of these kits is the molded in decorative elements. This building has a row of recessed trim below the windows:



For small areas like this, masking would be overkill. However, hand painting within the lines can be very tricky. Here is what I do.



My favorite paint for this is acrylic paint from craft stores. Apple Barrel Colors, Folk Art, Ceramcoat etc. They all work well. The secret to this technique is to thin the paint down with water, generally about 50/50. Now load the brush up with a generous amount of paint, about the amount shown in the picture.

What you want to do, and it does take some practice, is flow the paint. That is, don't try to paint along the line, instead, push the paint up right to the edge of the line, and let it flow right into the recess. It will pool inside the detail, and leave razor sharp edges. The best part of working with the acrylic is, if you make a mistake, just wet a corner of a paper towel, clean it up and start over.



Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast.



Finally, if you really get out of the lines and the paint is dried, you can scrape excess off with an x-acto knife. The acrylic easily comes off without damaging the paint underneat, especially if you used enamel for the base coat.




GaryHinshaw

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2014, 12:45:14 AM »
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Very nice work!  Your colour selection looks very authentic for a mid century building.

Chris333

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2014, 12:58:16 AM »
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Sweet. I must have missed the address to send mine to you for paint  :P

wm3798

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Re: Technique for painting DPM downtown kits
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2014, 11:36:17 AM »
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I use the same technique, but I use clear packing tape to make the mask.  It's much easier to trim around the details and windows when you can see them!  You just have to make sure your base color is good and cured, because the extra stickum on the tape can lift it off.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net