|Where I prep, airbrush, and hand detail models. Cat for scale, ha ha.|
|I spread newspaper or butcher paper under the models so as not to get |
primer all over my tub.
The second step is prepping. This means removing all seams, the company logo, filling divots and pinholes, as well as restoring any details compromised by the prepping process, like wrinkles crossed by a seam. When I need to remove company logos and heinous seams, I prefer to us a Dremel. You can buy a practically endless array of sanding, cutting, and drilling bits for Dremels which make them incredibly useful tools.
Dremeling is a messy business---fine plastic or resin dust will coat your clothes, so wear something you don't care about. (Speaking from experience, you may also accidentally catch your Dremel in your shirt and tear a hole in it, so again, wear something expendable.) Dremels will also fire larger chunks of hot plastic or resin right into your face (it stings!), so a respirator and safety goggles are a must. I use these (pictured below) which can be found at any home improvement store, but as I wear glasses, I find that bits of plastic and resin can still nail me pretty close to the eye. I recently saw Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) using this face shield with glasses, so I plan to acquire one soon. It looks perfect for what I do.
|I'm not picky about sandpaper. I'll buy anything that looks useful.|
For primer, I use Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer in white. Because I use acrylics, I build up color from light to dark (otherwise, the colors end up looking muddy and dull), and a white base layer is the best option for me. I know some artists use red or grey primer with acrylics, but I feel white makes my paint jobs more luminous and clear.
As I mentioned above, I primer models in my bathtub. Happily, my bathroom has a window that opens to the outside, so I can just open the window wide, spray the models, and turn on a fan for air circulation. I keep the door closed so the smell won't permeate my apartment. And, of course, I always wear a respirator when spraying primer.
I spray models one side at a time and let each side dry for at least 24 hours before spraying the other side. (In humid or hot weather, I usually let models dry for 48-72 hours before adding more primer.) I then spray the top of the model and then the bottom, sometimes in one go depending on the size of the model. If I'm holding the model while spraying primer, I wear gloves to keep it off my skin. (Potential toxicity aside, it's very hard to scrub off, and going to work with primer on my hands would not be acceptable.) After the first rounds of spraying have dried completely, I sand the model lightly to remove any drips or gunk that may have stuck to the primer in the drying process. Very often, I'll have to give the model a couple of extra quick passes with primer just to make sure everything is adequately covered.
|"Two by two. Hands of blue."|
And the obligatory earworm: