Author Topic: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?  (Read 818 times)

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Kisatchie

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Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« on: August 19, 2016, 09:55:26 PM »
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I just bought a pack of 120 Preiser N scale figures, and I need to paint them. How suitable are 5/0 and 10/0 brushes for the job? I've never seen brushes that small, but I figure they should be suitable.

Any opinions?


Hmm... must. keep.
mouth. shut...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Rasputen

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2016, 08:50:43 AM »
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I usually use the 5/0 and 10/0 brushes, but I would add that the brand and bristle type are just as important as the size.
Mass production is the key here - try to work on 8-10 at a time.  For seated figures, I recommend checking how they will look when placed.  A lot of them need to have material removed from their back side or legs so that they will appear to sink a little into a chair, for example.  For standing figures, consider how they will be mounted before painting them.  Where practical, I add a small diameter piece of music wire to one foot, which serves as a mounting pin.

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 09:20:58 AM »
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A good art supply will carry 5/0 and 10/0 brushes, and I would think many hobby shops (closest is 120 miles away, so mine come from the art store).  I imagine the big box art stores as well, although I haven't checked.  One caution is that I've noted that different brands sizing seems to vary a lot for very small sizes, so would recommend you buy them in person if you can, so you know what you are getting. And also lets you examine bristles for length, shape, stiffness, etc. I have at least one that is marked 10/0 that is bigger in diameter than another brand's 5/0.  And like any tool, a good one is usually worth the extra expense, but sometimes expensive will not equal quality, so best to look closely.  Also, note that different brushes may be recommended for acrylics v enamels, or water v solvent.

Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

bman

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 10:50:47 AM »
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The big box stores around here are Dick Blick's, Michael's, and Hobby Lobby.  They all carry those sizes.  I primarily patronize Blick's as they have a larger selection in terms of quality of brushes.  5/0 and 10/0 should work as I use these sizes in painting small details on minitures for table top gaming.  My layout is at the stage were the buildings are being built, roads going in, and the scenery is going up.  But the plastic people have yet to move in.

Kisatchie

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 12:58:17 PM »
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I just ordered some 5/0 and 10/0 brushes. I'll report back when I receive them and try them out.


Hmm... Kiz also ordered
an Optivisor with a very
strong lens...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

Kisatchie

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2016, 12:41:33 PM »
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I got my 10/0 and 5/0 paintbrushes today, along with an Optivisor with a 3.5x lens, the strongest I could find.

I must say, the 10/0 brushes are the finest I've ever seen. The 5/0's not so much.

I managed to paint the flesh on a couple of N scale people with the 10/0 brush, and they came out very well. I'm using Tamiya Flat Flesh acrylic paint, and when thinned, it goes on very easily. Straight out of the bottle, it's kind of thick for doing fine details. Only 118 more people/animals left to do. Then I can start painting the clothes on the people....


Hmm... is that why Kiz
ordered Tamiya orange
and purple paint...?


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

robert3985

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2016, 01:52:37 PM »
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I've got a bunch of Preiser unpainted people, along with some cast metal ones (made by a manufacturer that is long-gone).  One of the main problems with painting your own is the thickness of the paint, particularly when using a brush and painting the faces and other exposed body parts.  Not so much a problem when painting clothes, but it's very easy to make faces and hand look like blobs, with the paint covering up all of the fine details.

Adding the to the problem is that the human eye and brain recognizes facial features easier than anything else, so a face that's a blob on a miniature person is especially easy to see.

What I do, to minimize the thickness of the paint, and to maximize coverage, is to airbrush the figures with flesh-colored paint first.  This acts as a primer for the rest of the clothed portions of the figure, but obscures the exposed skin portions of the figures very little.

Also, don't trust "flesh" colors too much...they're generally way too light.  I have several batches of custom mixed "flesh" colors that I've done first by matching tanned portions of my own skin, then the untanned portions...then by matching printed photos of people. "Flesh" is mostly orange, with some red, some white, some yellow and some different browns...but the dominant color is orange.  Everybody has different colored skin, and parts of us are different colored than other parts too.  I printed out photos of people, and luckily, the inks on my old Epson Artisan 800 printer are waterproof, and I daub bits of mixed flesh color directly on to the print until I got a close match.   

On people who will be particularly evident, such as train crews in engines and cabooses, I give the faces and hands a very thin wash of railroad tie brown, which settles in the teeny cracks and lines, emphasizing their facial features and parts that would be "shady".  This thin wash doesn't work so well with faces I've painted using a brush, as brushed-on paint fills most of the fine cracks and lines.

I find painting N-scale (and HO-gauge) people to be a relaxing and artistic thing to do while still making progress on my model projects and my layout as I'll never have too many people populating my urban areas and manning my trains.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Kisatchie

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2016, 02:19:39 PM »
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...Adding the to the problem is that the human eye and brain recognizes facial features easier than anything else, so a face that's a blob on a miniature person is especially easy to see....

The faces on my N scale figures are about a millimeter wide, so I'm not worried that anyone would notice whether the head is a blob or not, LOL.


Hmm... see if Kiz would
like it if his face was
a blob...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

tom mann

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 09:08:44 PM »
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Kiz, weren't you talking about being overwhelmed recently?  And now you have 120 figures to paint?   :scared:

Don't you do just one or two of anything? :tommann: :D

Kisatchie

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Re: Need to Paint N Scale People... Brush Sizes?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 10:41:53 PM »
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Kiz, weren't you talking about being overwhelmed recently?  And now you have 120 figures to paint?   :scared:

Don't you do just one or two of anything? :tommann: :D

I haven't been too interested in railroads lately... more interested in playing the baseball game I recently bought. Painting the people will give me something to do (over a number of weeks) between games as I play the whole 1969 baseball season... should take about a year to play the American league games.


Hmm... then on to the
National league games...



Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"