|This page is
where we can pass on hints and tips for painting and basing TimeCast
The acrylic polymer mix we use for casting gives a clean
surface, which is an ideal medium for taking paint. We find that
acrylic paint and inks give us the best results, however we have
successfully used spray car paint/primer, household emulsion and
enamels. Simply use whatever materials you find works best for you.
Please scroll down the page or click on the buttons
and Undercoating the model
Preparation of the model for painting is minimal. The acrylic polymer
models can be painted without any preparation, however we recommend
that any resin parts be rinsed in warm, soapy water and allowed to dry
before undercoating. Some
include parts cast in resin or metal and you will need to follow
certain basic safety precautions when working with these.
knife or scalpel to remove any trapped air bubbles. Any bubbles or gaps
can be filled with Milliput or similar modelling compounds. However,
for small holes or blemishes we also use a commercial filler such as
Polyfiller or similar (I believe it is called Spackle in the USA).
Simply fill the hole, smooth it off with a wetted finger and leave to
dry – easy!
Rough edges on the base can be sanded down with wet and dry paper or a
file - please note that the models set VERY hard and that sanding can
be slow! We use an industrial belt sanding machine which makes life a
find that the acrylic polymer models do not need undercoating. However,
resin or metal models or parts generally do need an undercoat. We
usually use spray cans of black, grey or white paint for undercoating.
These give a smoother finish than applying an undercoat by
you have undercoated the model ensure that you give it sufficient time
to dry before going on to the next stage.
A note for customers who wish to customise or modify their
- the material can be drilled, cut with a hacksaw, or carved with a
scalpel or dental tools. Due to the inherent strength of the casting
material however it may be hard work! Most adhesives will work with the
material - we can recommend Bostick or a similar adhesive, Araldite or
similar two pack epoxy adhesives and good old super glues.
note on paints, inks and brushes
We are often asked how we paint the models and which paints we use. We
prefer to use artists acrylics (the expensive stuff in the tubes)
simply because we feel that a quality product gives a quality result.
However, we will happily mix our mediums and use other types of paint
if necessary – household emulsions, the ones sold in the
tester pots, are great for unusual colours as well as basic
Brushes – we use two types of brush. Good quality
brushes (the expensive ones from the art shops) and cheap
Brushes - There is no way round this, if you buy a good quality brush
it will last and give excellent results. Unfortunately they are not
cheap. If you buy cheap brushes however you will NEVER get good
results - although the budget
brushes from Coat d'arms
ARE very good and we can recommend them! We use a mix of sizes 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for pretty
much everything. The smaller sizes are good for detail work around
doors and windows etc.
- The cheap brushes (size 5 upwards) are used exclusively for dry
brushing and applying the ink washes. Dry brushing will wreck a brush
very quickly so there is no point in using expensive brushes for this
– we get our brushes in a local market. A quick tip
larger brushes are best for dry brushing large surfaces such as
brickwork or roof tiles, you are wasting your time trying to drybrush with anything smaller than a siz 5.
Anyhow, here are some of the products, which we can recommend:
- Coat d’Arms Acrylic Paints:
One of the best of the modeller’s acrylic paints (and much
some of the other "hobby" paints in our opinion) and they come in a
very wide range of colours. Ideal if you don't like having to mix your
Cryla Acrylic Paint. Another quality product, which I have been using
happily on my models since 1987. Useful colours are: Titanium white,
Mars Black, Yellow Ochre, Raw Sienna, Sap Green, Cadmium Yellow and Red
Oxide. A useful green is Opaque Chromium of Oxide – odd name
Artists’ Acrylic Ink. This is simply the best on the market
is great stuff to paint with. The most useful colours we find are
Sepia, Black, Antelope Brown and Red Earth, although we keep a stock of
other colours as well. The Red Earth is brilliant for red tile roofs.
you are sanding, cutting or drilling resin parts then please follow the
recommended safety precautions:
- Always work in
a well ventilated area.
- Avoid breathing
in dust from sanding – wear a mask if necessary.
- Always wash
your hands thoroughly after working with the resin and before eating or
note (and being the nice chaps that we are we don't want anyone to hurt
themselves on our models!), we recommend that you wear a dust mask and
safety glasses when sanding or cleaning up the models. This is to
prevent inhalation of any dust during the process. The acrylic polymer
material is very solid however, and the larger models are heavy, so we
advise against dropping the larger items on your foot.
Painting the models
method of painting the models is a mixture of ink washes and dry
brushing using water based acrylic paints and inks. The models are
undercoated if required and allowed to dry thoroughly before being
painted using the following method.
Base Coats. Paint the model in the desired base colour (or colours).
Leave to dry. We paint all the base colours (walls, roof etc) before
adding the ink wash.
- Ink wash.
The purpose of the ink wash is to add shadow and depth to the finished
model, and to blend the base colours together. Artist's waterproof
acrylic inks are best for this. A sepia or dark brown ink is best for
most surfaces. A black ink can be used but it tends to be a bit harsh
(although grey or slate tiles can be given a thinned black ink wash
without any problems). Most ink has quite a dense pigment, so the ink
should be watered down slightly. It is always best to thin black ink,
as otherwise it will often be dense enough to over paint the base
colour. Experiment with this to find out what suits you. Using a large
brush, apply the ink wash all over the model, allowing it to settle in
the details. Do not apply too much as the excess ink will simply flow
down to the bottom of the model and settle. It is worth a reminder here
- always allow the ink wash to dry thoroughly before going on to the
next step, otherwise the ink may lift as you paint over it. Hand held
hair dryers are very useful to speed up the drying process. We also use
desktop fans - place the models in front of the fan and switch it on,
the air blowing across the model will speed up the drying process
considerably. If you really make a mistake with the ink wash hold the
model under cold running water before the wash dries. Use a large brush
and you should be able to wash most of the ink off the model. Allow to
dry and start again.
brushing. Start with the base colour (the same as you used to
the base coat) and dip the brush in the paint. Then wipe off most of
the paint on a tissue or paper towel. The brush should be almost dry.
Brush lightly over the model with the almost dry brush, allowing the
raised details to pick up the paint. Repeat this step as often as
desired using progressively lighter shades of paint. As you apply
lighter shades of the base coat the detail will start to stand out.
Don't always apply the paint all over the model - leave darker areas in
the corners and under the eaves to suggest shadows or discoloured
patches of plaster or brickwork. Don't use your best brushes for this -
it wears out brushes very quickly - we use cheap brushes bought at a
- Lead and
tile roofs. When painting lead roofs, the base colour should be a very
dark grey, drybrushed with lighter shades of grey, and finished with a
wash of thinned black ink. When drybrushing grey roof tiles, try adding
a touch of ultramarine blue to the grey mix - this will give an
excellent dark slate colour, but don't overdo it. Finish off with a
very thin wash of black ink to fill in the shadows. Click here to see an example...
Tile Roofs. The terracotta types of roof tile are best painted with a
base coat of brick red (a dull red-brown colour). Wash with a dark
brown ink (Sepia or Antelope Brown are ideal). Once the ink is dry,
drybrush the tiles with the base colour to pick out the detail. Add
some yellow and white to the base brick red, to lighten the colour and
dry brush again. Continue lightening the colour and drybrushing until
the tiles are almost a pale pink colour and finish off with a wash of
thinned red-brown ink (FW’s Red Earth ink is brilliant for
this). Click here to see an example...
- Brick walls
can be a variety of different colours (brown, grey, red or yellow) but
they are also drybrushed in a similar manner to the roof tiles. For red
or brown bricks lighten the base colour with yellow and white. If you
find you have gone too far and have made the paint too light, don't
panic - allow it to dry and then apply a tinned down brown or sepia or
brown ink wash (about the consistency of water or milk) and this will
tone down the lighter shades. Click here to see an example...
- Windows. We
have tried various methods of painting windows, with varying degrees of
success. In 6mm scale the easiest and simplest way to do it is to paint
the window glass black, and to add the window frame in white. Most
windows appear dark to the observer in real life and we have yet to
find a real way of representing glass in this scale. One alternative
method however, which can look very effective, is to paint the windows a light
blue, highlighted with white. First paint the window dark blue. Add
some white to the blue and highlight the central part of the window.
Add more white to the blue and highlight again. Repeat this process
several times so that the edges of the window are darker, with the
lighter patch in the centre. Finally, using white or very pale blue,
touch in the centre of the highlighted area. This is an artificial
technique often used in the die cast/tin toys of the 40’s,
50’s and 60’s – however it looks
surprisingly good on
6mm and 10mm buildings and can also add a touch of colour to otherwise
plain walls. Note that window sills are often painted white or grey, or
left in a natural stone/brick colour to contrast with the main wall
colour. Click here to see an example...
The fine detail on the buildings will usually be picked out by the
drybrushing. However it can be enhanced by careful work with a fine
brush. Many older buildings were frequently painted to protect the
underlying brick or plasterwork. The most common colour was white
(whitewash or lime) but, up until WW2, other shades were also used -
mostly ochre, browns or similar "dull" or "earthy" colours. The window
frames doors etc were often painted in contrasting colours, although
woodwork was often simply painted dark brown, red brown or white to protect it. If the
building has a lot of moulding or decorative brickwork etc, then this
can be picked out in white or pale grey. In the smaller scales the
model will often benefit from having the window outlined in white,
representing the wooden frames. In the later periods doors can be
painted a contrasting colour, to add a touch of colour and interest to
the model. Various shades of green, brown, or dark red are effective
however do not make the colours too garish. Plain varnished wooden
doors can be painted white and then given a wash of FW Antelope Brown
or Sepia acrylic ink. Drainpipes and gutters can either be painted a
dark colour (black or brown) but can also be painted to match the
woodwork or doors. Modern drainpipes are frequently made of grey or
roofs, such as those found on public buildings and churches, are best
painted a pale green, given a pale brown ink wash and then drybrushed
in lighter shades of green. This can be tricky but is well worth the
- Colours for
painting buildings. One other useful source for paints are DIY stores.
Many ranges of commercial interior emulsion paints are available in
small sampler pots for a minimal charge. These are often ideal for
painting exterior walls on the models in suitably earthy or pastel
shades. The paints themselves are often fairly translucent and you may
find that you need a white base coat to get the best results. As a
bonus, the emulsion paints are water-soluble so you can clean your
brushes with soap and water as normal.
note that TimeCast models are not toys. They may contain small
pieces, or white
metal parts, which may cause a choking hazard and are therefore not
for children under 12 years.
images and models shown are copyright TimeCast and may not be copied or
reproduced without permission.
GDS Building, Lancaster Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 3NF,