Re: British Colors

Matt Bittner (
Fri, 7 Jul 1995 07:43:08 CDT

On 6 Jul 95 at 20:28, Don Rinker wrote:

> > Im trying to paint a Smer Camel. I downloaded the info on British
> >WWI Colors. Seeing as sig dope would probably eat through the plastic.
> >What paint/mixtures do you guys use for the drk brown and lighter
> >undersurface colors. I have Testor and Testor Model Master paints available
> >in my area.
> For plastic models, my personal preference has always been Poly-S paints.
> They can be found at hobby shops, artists supply and craft stores on occasion.
> Nice thing is that they are water based, flow out nicely, and dry very
> quickly. Nothing is easier than mixing up some custom colors using poly-s.
> Just like water colors. Water clean up on your tools. :-)
> With a foam brush you can paint a wing or fuse and it will flow out and dry
> with no discernable brush streaks. Sprays well too.
> I still use enamels for metal items, and certain detailing.
> Generally I like to get the colors right, affix the decals ( if any) and worry
> about surface sheen with a flat,satin, or semi gloss topcoat.
> If no one can help you locally, check out the mail order adds in some of the
> scale model magazines.
> Dont get to do plastic stuff often as I'd like to...........

I would second the opinion of Polly-S. I _only_ use acrylics, and
find painting with enamels very difficult - although there are some
that do flow better (the new Aeromaster paint comes to mind)...

Anyway, when "cutting" (thinning) acrylics for airbrushing, I always
use windshield washer fluid. There's a chemical in there that helps
ease the "surface tension", and causes the paint to lay better on the
plastic. However, before proceeding, be sure to wash all parts
_extremely well_ using either dish detergent, or Polly-S' "plastic
parts wash". I prefer the Polly-S, just because it does a more
thorough job.

There are two _major_ brands of acrylics: Polly-S and Testor's has
an acrylic Model Master series. Which is better? There both about
the same, but I find that Polly-S "lays" easier. There are a couple
of smaller brands - the only one that comes to mind (and is highly
recommended) is Niche. Niche's only problem is that they deal
primarly with WW2 colors. However, if you're into acrylics, you
DEFINITELY want to use their white. I've used Polly-S and Testor
white, and the Niche white blows the both out of the sky!:-) I used
the white on my DML Dr.I, and I was able to cover it in 1.5 coats.
It also has a semi-gloss to gloss schene (sp?), so you won't need to
overcoat with gloss.

As far as the colors question, I use only Polly-S' Clear Doped Linen
for just that. Sometimes I'll add a little white, sometimes a litte
tan to lighten/darken. Remember that the Linen tended to "sunbleach"
quite easily, which is why you'll usually see Linen listed as a
Methuen range, instead of an "exact" match. For PC-10, I find that
Polly-S' "Troll Brown/Green" is a very close match for a
somewhat-faded look. "Troll Brown/Green" is in Polly-S' fantasy
range, and can usually be found at hobby shops that specialize in
fantasy games and such.

When overcoating with a gloss coat, I use Future Floor Wax out of the
bottle. There's no need to cut it. It surface-dries relatively
quick, and once completely dry - in about 24 hours - is quite hard.
However, be aware: if you use guosh ("gwosh", whatever spelling),
you'll run into problems since the guosh is water based. You could
(as I have done) pull off the gloss, and possibly the underlying

For the final overcoat, after the decals are on, I prefer the
Testor's Semi-Gloss and Flat. It flows better than Polly-S', and has
less of a "milky-ness" to it. Although some folks might argue that
adding a touch of white to tone down the colors to scale, I feel that
Polly-S has too much of a "milk white" added.

If wanting good color chips to go off of, I recommend Replicraft's.
They produce two sheets - one for British and one for French. They
are great references, especially if you don't have access to
Methuen. The address I have - which might be out of date - is:
Replicraft, 1400 Gomes Rd., Fremont, CA, 94538, USA. However, I
believe I got my sheets from WW1 Aero.