Is There a Painter in the House?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by 2-8-2, May 25, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    It seems I'm in the market for a custom painter...again. For anyone interested, you might want to take a look at this thread, which describes my recent woes.

    What I'm looking for:

    An experienced N scale painter, capable of professional results, to paint my GP-7 for me. The design is finished, and I know what colors I want. Having already paid $160 to have this job done, I'm willing to pay that much again. All I ask really is that if you reply to this thread, you have the ability to do a great job.

    I'm a little reluctant to try this again, so you'll have to excuse me if I'm a little gunshy. I'll answer any questions about the job in this thread, or in PM if privacy is desired. Feel free to send me an email also. Even if you can't do the job yourself, but know of someone who can, feel free to post as well.

  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member


    I know someone who can do the job. Take a look in the mirror and you will meet him. :thumb:

    Seriously. That paint scheme looks very straightforward (literally!), and for the amount you want to spend you can get a nice airbrush setup that can do this very easily.

    I strongly encourage you to give it a try-- You might even surprise yourself ("wow, that turned out good!") train97
  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Not only that but you'll be proud of your work, and your (for N scale) Amazing accomplishment! :thumb: just try!b :)
  4. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Ya know, I'm considering it...

    I did some pricing on airbrushes and compressors, and the intro/intermediate level stuff really isn't all that expensive. For what I paid to have my engine painted ($160), I could get a pretty good airbrush combo.

    And really, when I think about one time, I was an award winning artist. I've won many contests, even on the national level. But that was all long ago, and never with paint. Which is what's scaring me away from doing it myself. I can't paint very well. I remember doing one airbrush project, and it didn't turn out so great.

    Maybe I'll just bite the bullet and do it myself after all.
  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    That's the spirit! :thumb:

    I'm sure you will do very well. Practice your paint-laying techniques first on a piece of scrap styrene or a junk shell, until you are confident you can lay down a nice, even, thin coat of paint. That's 90% of the skills needed to airbrush a loco.

    The rest of it is in the masking, and you can practice that on a piece of scrap styrene too. For your particular paint scheme, it looks VERY easy to mask (all straight lines, no curves). You will do fine, and you know where to go to if you got questions. ;)
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I have to agree with the others: try it yourself. One of the exercises mentioned in the booklet that came with my Paasche VL was to paint dots (the smaller and cleaner, the better) on a piece of cardboard, then connect the dots with lines, (the thinner and straighter, the better.) This not only teaches you control and coordination, it also lets you explore the capabilities of your airbrush.
    Keep in mind that different paints spray differently, so your techniques will vary with the paint that you use. When using masking tape, don't use the factory edge. Instead, lay out a length of tape on a sheet of glass (keep it straight), then, using a new blade and a straightedge, remove the edges. Applying the tape to the glass cuts down a bit on the stickiness of the tape, so it's less likely to lift any paint that it's been applied over. To further ensure that you don't lift paint with the tape, pull it back, at a sharp angle, over itself. Also, remove the tape as soon as you can handle the model.
    Get a couple of good quality small brushes for touch-up work, and learn to use them.
    I don't know what you're using for lettering, decals or dry transfers, but learn how to apply them properly.
    Finally, if you want to weather your newly painted model, use a light touch, even if you have to use that light touch two or three times to get the effect that you want. Don't weather your model to hide defects in the paint job.
    You can do it.

  8. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Talk to the guys at The Freight Yard. They do great work.
    They're on Bell Road in Phoenix
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Pick up a bag of junkers and practice practice practice! That way you'll be more confident when you go to tackle the actual shell you want done. And if they turn out well - then you have just increased your roster...! ;) :D

  10. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    Alright, you guys have talked me into it...

    So that leads me to my next question: What airbrush should I use? I know enough about them to know that Paasche is a good brand, as is Badger. But I read things about double and single action, and none of it makes sense to me. As for compressors, I'm completely lost.

    I have a budget of $200 or under for both. Any suggestions?
  11. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    The difference between single action and double action is in the trigger... The single action trigger will cause the airbrush to discharge air and paint all at once, whereas the double action trigger requires you to first depress the trigger to start the airflow, then pull the depressed trigger back to start the paint flow. Double-action is better for fine-detail work and more precise control so you can paint really fine lines and dots with very little overspray and other effects.

    Personally, I think a single-action is good enough for painting locomotives, since 99% of the time we are just looking to lay down a thin, even coat of paint, not to paint dots or fine lines without masking. I have had my Single-action Badger 200 since 1988 and it has served its purpose very well.

    I'm using it with a $70 Sears compressor (nothing fancy), and a braided hose.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    The single action, as LI Tom noted, is probably fine for general painting, but the double action is nice when you get to the weathering stage. As for compressors, I can't comment: mine was built from an airbrake compressor.
    What is the nature of you custom lettering, decals or dry transfers?

  13. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    what kind of Airbrake, for railcars?
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not really sure where the parts came from. My Dad built it when he was working for a heavy equipment manufacturer: it may be from surplus parts, although I recall him saying that it was from a truck. There's only a very small tank on it, and it runs constantly, venting excess pressure as required. However, the price was right and it's quieter than my old one. This one's driven, via belt, by a one hp motor.

  15. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I can second that suggestion... I was in there just today and saw a freshly painted engine and tanker fresh from the paint booth. Beautiful work.
  16. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member

    I for one have never understood the mystique airbrushes and airbrushing seems to have. I have been using the same Paasche H since the early seventies, and I like it for so much that I've had a top of the line Testors Aztek A4709 thats still untouched in the box after 3 years. Kalmbach does a video on airbrushng acrylics using a Paasche H, and it makes all the basics very clear. The hardest part is developing the muscle memory, and that can only be acheived by airbushing. Masking complicated paint schemes is more tedious than difficult, but for your strioing, you can paint them on clear decal material and apply them that way if you choose too. Besides which, if you mess up with acrylics, they are easy to strip and do over.


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