PAINTING: Colors and textures play a very important role in finishing a convincing model. An airbrush is not absolutely essential as our models can be finished with a spray can or brush. However, for the greatest variety in colors and textures an airbrush is the ideal tool. This will produce a thinner coat of paint for a closer to scale look for your models. When you consider the life span of this tool the cost is very inexpensive. As long as we are talking about cheap, don't be fooled into thinking you are saving any money by buying inexpensive paint brushes that are to be used for applying paint (the exception to this rule would be for brushes used to apply liquid cement we have found in this situation, the cheaper the better). If your local hobby shop does not stock a quality line of paint brushes check an art supply or craft store. You will be looking for water color brushes however, don't overlook other kinds for special effects work such as dry brushing etc. A good quality brush, properly taken care of, will yield excellent results for many years. Many of you have asked for our painting techniques. We are happy to share them with you!
RUSTED METAL: The best method for producing rust is the RUSTALL system by Kuras Design Group. in lieu of this a good rust color may be mixed with FLOQUIL paint in the ratio of 75 to 85% RUST and 25 to 15% ROOF BROWN.

PEALING PAINT: Airbrush model with base color. This may be rust, bare metal, bare wood, etc. when thoroughly dry, daub on rubber cement in a splotchy fashion where the pealing paint is to be. Next, airbrush with your final color(s) mixed with about 20% white. This will give you a "faded" final color. Experiment with this mix to achieve the best color to your eye. As soon as the final color is dry remove the rubber cement by "rolling off " with your finger, a rubber cement pick up or pencil eraser. We recommend FLOQUIL products as they have worked well for us. We have also used water based paints with these techniques yielding fair to good results. When using FLOQUIL products a nice touch can be added by applying a wash of 20% rust and 80% Dio-Sol. This should be applied right after the rubber cement has been removed and should be "blown dry" with air from your compressor. Be sure to let the base coat fully cure about a week before using the wash.

PAINTING CONCRETE: The use of an air brush is strongly recommended to achieve the subtle effects of aging and weather on the surface of pavement. Suggested paint formulas are below. This is a good starting point as these colors may be too dark or light to suit your tastes. All of the colors are made by Floquil and the mixture is for airbrushing. If you are using a brush eliminate the Dio-Sol, Glaze, and Retarder from the stock color. These are base colors and may be weathered with an airbrush and other methods after these sections have been secured to the base. Experiment with the colors until you come up with a combination that pleases you.
STOCK CONCRETE COLOR - 70% Concrete/20% Dio-Sol/5% Glaze/5% Retarder
NEW CONCRETE - Stock Color
AGED CONCRETE - Add 10% Foundation to stock color
SIDEWALK & CURB - Add 10% Foundation & 20% White to stock color
STREET - Add 10 % Foundatiinal thought on color. Asphalt is only very black when it is new. Even then It is not truly black but very dark gray. The perceived color of asphalt will be considerably lighter after exposure to the elements and the friction of traffic. As always observation of the prototype is the best guide.
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PAINTING WOOD GRAIN: There are many methods for simulating wood grain with paint. If you have a favorite, use it, if not here is one that we have used with great success. Start with water based paint in a medium brown, black, and dark yellow (sometimes called Africa or Desert Yellow) all flat finish. Using a piece of glass as a pallet and a flat brush about 1/4" wide, mix a quantity of paint approx. 1 part brown to 2 parts yellow. This can be accomplished by dipping the brush into the brown, putting it on the pallet, the doing the same to the yellow. There is no need to clean the brush before dipping it into the yellow as it will be a quick immersion and the yellow will not be contaminated. Use your brush to mix the paint. Mix enough of this color for all of your parts. To keep the paint wet while one side of the part is drying, "float" a few drops of water on top of the paint and cover with a styrofoam cup. Paint all parts with this base color and let dry. Mix a dark brown with 1 or 2 parts brown and 1 part black. This will be semi-dry brushed for the grain using different sized brushes for different parts. This should be done with a very light hand and very carefully. Pay close attention as to the way the grain would run in a real piece of wood. A quick dry brushing of brown straight from the bottle and a quicker application of the base color should finish the grain. A few quick strokes of the yellow will add a variation. We never spend too much time on painting an area of a model that can't be seen. This should be painted but the base color will do nicely. When everything has had a few days to set up properly, give everything a quick coat of MODEL MASTER semi-gloss.
BARE WOOD WITH REAL WOOD: OK, we know you are thinking "Well, if I am using real wood isn't it the right color?" It is, kinda, but a more real "to scale" color may be obtained by using FLOQUIL FLO-STAIN. For new wood wash the pieces with a 50/50 mix of Dio-Sol and Maple. For slightly older wood follow this with a 50/50 wash of Natural Pine/Dio-Sol. For wood that is really grungy, follow this with a 50/50 wash of Driftwood/Dio-Sol. While we are on the subject of using real wood for our models, we never use balsa wood unless it is in an unexposed, bracing application. The grain is way out of scale and the wood is too soft. It is better to find bass wood. This wood comes in a wider variety usable sizes that balsa and looks much better. It is still a "soft" wood so it cuts easily.