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General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
use of pastels
buggalugs
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Joined: June 06, 2007
KitMaker: 135 posts
AeroScale: 115 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 08:21 AM UTC
Hi there, so far I have largely avoided using pastels for exterior weathering, but now I've reached a point where I really want to have a go. My problem is that I seem to have read a number of different ways of application, and don't know which is best. In my limited experience with pastels, I've had some good results with Tamiya weathering pastels applied on a gloss finish, and then sealed with Humbrol matt varnish. But can you apply them on a matt finish, after all other exterior work has finished? And which are the best types to use - I've mentioned the Tamiya stuff, but what are Mig pigments like, and plain old ground up artists pastels? Help please! thanks, Brad
CRS
_VISITCOMMUNITY
California, United States
Joined: July 08, 2003
KitMaker: 1,936 posts
AeroScale: 1,168 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 08:43 AM UTC
I've used the "plain old ground artist pastels" over gloss and flat finishes to provided a weathered look. I apply them with a dry paint brush or rub them in the a soft cotton cloth, depending on if it's a spot application or an overall application.

I haven't tried the Mig pigments yet, but will shortly.

P.S. I have used principally Black and Browns, but have some Mig Gun Metal I want to give a try.
Automaton
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United States
Joined: August 12, 2007
KitMaker: 153 posts
AeroScale: 139 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 01:53 PM UTC

Quoted Text

... I've had some good results with Tamiya weathering pastels applied on a gloss finish, and then sealed with Humbrol matt varnish. But can you apply them on a matt finish, after all other exterior work has finished? And which are the best types to use - I've mentioned the Tamiya stuff, but what are Mig pigments like, and plain old ground up artists pastels? Help please! thanks, Brad



Pastels are actually easier to use on a matte surface than on gloss. The upside to using a varnish after the pastels is that it makes them more durable (unsealed pastels can be very fragile and should be handled very sparingly to avoid damage). The downside to sealing is that it frequently makes them almost "disappear".

Regarding Mig pigments, they are extremely fine-grained pastel powder, and are available in several "earthy" and "rusty" tones, black, and I believe some greens, etc. intended to mesh with various armor colors. They are packaged in little plastic bottles with a snap-on lid.

HTH
Automaton
pigsty
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United Kingdom
Joined: January 16, 2007
KitMaker: 1,226 posts
AeroScale: 640 posts
Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - 11:20 PM UTC
Pastels cling much better to matt surfaces because theyíre rough - the slickness that makes gloss good for washes simply sheds the powder. I seal mine with hairspray, which is lighter than varnish and prevents colour changes, while still being enough to hold the powder down. Though I canít vouch for heavy handling afterwards.

For application I've found a brush much easier than a cotton bud or bit of cloth, since it gives you very fine control. It needs to be ABSOLUTELY dry or youíll get clumping. And once you start using it, kiss the poor thing goodbye for any other use and be prepared to replace it frequently. On the up side, any old cheap brush will do. You can get a very fine powder by using a fine file to grind off the end of the pastel stick (though, again, the file will probably be useless for anything else as it will soon clog). And youíd be amazed how far one little pile of powder will go.

Iím still learning but one thing Iíd recommend is to take it easy, as with everything else. Itís much easier to add a bit more than to try to remove too much.

As for colours, it depends what you want. For dirt you canít beat black, dark grey and brown. But as I donít own an airbrush, Iím experimenting with using pastels for panel fading as well. Either a very light application of pale grey, or a lighter version of the base colour (depending how light the base colour is), seems to be the way to go.