Modelling Tips TimeCast
Historic Buildings in Miniature

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This page is where we can pass on hints and tips for painting and basing TimeCast models.

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.

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Preparation 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 models  may include parts cast in resin or metal and you will need to follow certain basic safety precautions when working with these.

Use a sharp 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 lot easier.

Personally we 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 brush. 

Once 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 models - 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.

A 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 small tester pots,  are great for unusual colours as well as basic shades!

Brushes – we use two types of brush. Good quality artist’s brushes (the expensive ones from the art shops) and cheap modelling brushes.

Anyhow, here are some of the products, which we can recommend:

Safety Precautions

If you are sanding, cutting or drilling resin parts then please follow the recommended safety precautions:

On a safety 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

Our preferred 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.


Please 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 suitable for children under 12 years.

All images and models shown are copyright TimeCast and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.

Historic Buildings in Miniature
TimeCast, Unit 11N, Centurion Park, Kendal Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 4EH, England 

Tel: 01743 465676      Email: