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Underhood paint detailing colors


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I see a lot of good work out there, both in print and on the 'net, where modelers use custom mixes for things like rusty/heat-stained headers, carbs, cad-plated items, etc... but they never seem to give the readers the mix! Or they'll say "I used various shades or Alclad" - well what shades exactly?!?!?

I remember a Car Modeler annual from a few years back that had a great article on detailing Ford FE engines that had a chart with mixes for things like rubber hoses and iron headers and the right way to paint alternators and all that, exactly what I need, but I can't find my copy.

I'm not asking for a post of that article, but for y'all to post some of your favorite underhood and chassis colors(or a link to another thread if this has been done before)

Thanks!

Brett

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I see a lot of good work out there, both in print and on the 'net, where modelers use custom mixes for things like rusty/heat-stained headers, carbs, cad-plated items, etc... but they never seem to give the readers the mix! Or they'll say "I used various shades or Alclad" - well what shades exactly?!?!?

I remember a Car Modeler annual from a few years back that had a great article on detailing Ford FE engines that had a chart with mixes for things like rubber hoses and iron headers and the right way to paint alternators and all that, exactly what I need, but I can't find my copy.

I'm not asking for a post of that article, but for y'all to post some of your favorite underhood and chassis colors(or a link to another thread if this has been done before)Thanks!

Brett

I am... that would be a great help!!!!! :unsure::unsure:

Edited by MikeMc
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I am... that would be a great help!!!!! ;):unsure:

Well, I didn't want to come right out and ask for that on a competing publication's forum! But I think Tim Boyd may have written that article, it was certainly in the same vein as his articles, in fact it was the pic of the headers of his Mustang in the current SAE that made me think of the old one. If he's the author, maybe it'd be OK to post here? I would just order a copy but Kalmbach/SAE don't list the contents of all the Car Modeler annuals on their site, so I'm not sure which one it was in (think it was 99) or even if I'm mistaken and it was a regular SAE article.

I thought this thread would get a little more action, maybe it's because I'm a noob! Or maybe I need to be more specific about what I'm looking for, I really just want a good mix for cast-iron headers! I thought I'd be fun to expand the topic and create a thread with all kinds of engine compartment and chassis detailing colors, rather than just asking about one specific thing.

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Two tips I use for replica stockers-

1. Tamiya semi-gloss black spray bomb is marvelous for things like radiator supports, A-arms, frames, starter motors, etc.

2. When painting the engine block, I airbrush Testors Model Master enamels thinned with lacquer thinner, and I always decant a little dullcoat into the mix before spraying. Factory stock engines were never high-gloss, more like semi-gloss, and this method works better than painting and then dullcoating on top of the paint.

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Two tips I use for replica stockers-

1. Tamiya semi-gloss black spray bomb is marvelous for things like radiator supports, A-arms, frames, starter motors, etc.

2. When painting the engine block, I airbrush Testors Model Master enamels thinned with lacquer thinner, and I always decant a little dullcoat into the mix before spraying. Factory stock engines were never high-gloss, more like semi-gloss, and this method works better than painting and then dullcoating on top of the paint.

1: I use Testors "Black Chrome" for this, it can be thinned with lacquer thinner, dry sprayed and so on to change the sheen and texture. This paint is one of my all-time favorites, I would be severely handicapped without it. You can also try and add some white, straight black can be a bit "too black" sometimes. This works well for rubber parts like hoses and belts.

2: I have been experimenting with this for a while, and I agree: A dull or semi-gloss engine looks far mor realistic than a glossy one. Experimenting with different sheens on different parts can add a lot of realism too. If you look at reference pictures of real cars, you'll get a good idea of what to use where. I usually add some wash to the finish, so I give it a thin mist of dullcoat when I'm done, to seal and protect the finish.

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Thanks for replying, Bluesman, I really appreciate it!

I'm a little more of a "scientific" modeler, where some are more "artistic". I like to know something has worked for someone else, and that if I reproduce it in my workshop it will work for me also. That's why that article has stuck in my head for these years, it was very precise, you know, like "8 parts Testor's #1234 + 1 part #5678 thinned with DuPont thinner 70%" I love that kind of info. I go through enough trials and make enough errors as it is! But I learn a lot from the 'net and magazine articles that I would have never thought to try myself. I was hoping to start a thread that the other "scientific" guys out there would get some use out of, too, you know, to turn this into a sort of depository of little paint-detailing tricks that other members use when painting and weathering their engine bays and chassis, and to come away with some fresh new techniques that I could try when I get back home(I'm away on vacation this week) and get back to the workbench.

As for the Andrea Colors, I use the very similar Vallejo, as the hobby shop I work in carries them (employee discount - woohoo!), and I love them, they are the best hand-brushing acrylic paint I've ever used by a long shot. I have almost every color they make - I even have a really cool paint carrying case and an actual paint chip fan book my boss brought me back from a trade show, some of the perks of working in the hobby world! However, I dont like Vallejo's metallics, I prefer Citadel(Games Workshop) or enamels when hand-brushing. I hear good things about craft store brands like Ceramcoat, Folk Art, and Apple Barrel, but as I'm already at the hobby shop everyday, I tend to use what we carry. For folks that don't have a well-stocked LHS they seem like a great(and cheaper) alternative.

And to Olle F and ubermodel -

I love Testor's Black Chrome, too, I used it a lot back when I used enamels. It's a unique color, both in shade and sheen, it's not a true black. I wish they made it in the Acryl line. I use their Aircraft Interior Black a lot now, but it's a tick more grey and flatter. TS-29 and also TS-6 matt black I use a lot, too, I'll spray bomb most of the chassis stuff still on the sprue and pick out the details later in the build. I think the key to realistic paint detailing is to use as many different shades of black and silver as you can find, each one has a little different color and sheen and helps to show that on the real car the parts are separate, not one piece as they might be on the model, or that a hose is really made out of rubber and a radiator support is really painted metal.

And I never thought about painting blocks flat or semi-gloss, that's a great tip. Those red and blue blocks really jump out when the paint is super glossy, they always get a "dirty thinner" wash to try to tone them down some, but painting them semi-gloss will help even more, as the wash will also stain the flatter surface rather than just collect in the recesses.

And I'll also throw out a technique of my own, rather than just mooch off of others:

- for cad-plated parts like brake boosters and master cylinder lids, first paint in a pale gold shade, like Tamiya X-31 or Alclad Pale Gold, then, using Testor's square-bottle metal flake red and green, unstirred, make a very thin wash/glaze out of the carrier liquid and thinner and apply random blotches of both colors over the pale gold, leaving some areas untouched, but never mixing the red and green with each other. I've been known to paint brake boosters and master cylinders this way, even if the real car had them painted black!

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I think the key to realistic paint detailing is to use as many different shades of black and silver as you can find, each one has a little different color and sheen and helps to show that on the real car the parts are separate, not one piece as they might be on the model, or that a hose is really made out of rubber and a radiator support is really painted metal.

Yep. At a glance, you might think that there are only 3-4 colors in an engine compartment, but there's way more than that if you really want to simulate all the different materials and finishes. The same goes for interiors: You would think that you could use the same color for everything in a color matched interior but if you look at the real car, you'll find that the color match is often so-so and that there are small but very noticeable differences in color and sheen between parts that are made of different materials. It becomes pretty obvious if you think about all the materials you'll find in an interior, like vinyl, carpet, rubber, cloth, paint, plastic etc. and trying to replicate this can be challenging, but it pays off. The funny thing about it is that it's not immediately noticeable when you look at the finished model, it just makes you think: "Why does this look so real?" I'm far from a master, but I'm sure trying. As always, knowing about it is the first step. B)

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This has been excellent reading on a very rainy day in northeast Kansas. (Our prayers are for the Texans!) The cat pic--great and being forwarded to friends. But now to the serious part, another question.

I too am using acrylics for interiors and engine compartments. Some seem to dry at the overlap when doing larger area. This doesn't contribute to a smooth finished look. I noted that you can thin these with water. But it seems that I read somewhere that you can also use some type of solvent, thinner, alcohol, whatever to thin acrylics as well. Does anyone have experience or thoughts about that? Thanks for all of the information.

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This has been excellent reading on a very rainy day in northeast Kansas. (Our prayers are for the Texans!) The cat pic--great and being forwarded to friends. But now to the serious part, another question.

I too am using acrylics for interiors and engine compartments. Some seem to dry at the overlap when doing larger area. This doesn't contribute to a smooth finished look. I noted that you can thin these with water. But it seems that I read somewhere that you can also use some type of solvent, thinner, alcohol, whatever to thin acrylics as well. Does anyone have experience or thoughts about that? Thanks for all of the information.

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