Wash problems

01-10-2013, 07:38 PM
Hi folks,

I seem to be having an ongoing issue with my washes. I always paint color coats with acrylics; typically Tamiya, then apply the wash with artist's oils (Winsor & Newton) thinned with mineral spirits using a fine brush.

My problem is that after I apply the wash, it does not conform properly to the juncture of the surfaces which I'm trying to highlight. Instead, it tends to blob up into tiny particles. Below is an example shot to show what I mean:

http://cdn1.share.slickpic.com/u/IanCampbell/Starter90848/org/Bad Wash/web.jpg

This wash was meant to highlight the juncture between spoiler and fender on Starter's Sebring 908. The desired effect would be a thin black line like that pointed out by the red arrow, but somewhat thicker and running the length of the join. Notice how the black oil paint is not uniformly distributed along the junction, but instead sitting in small blobs?

The wash looks OK when first applied, but as it dries, it seems to coalesce into these clumps and migrates. I've tried experimenting with turpentine instead of mineral spirits, and even adding Liquin to the wash mix, but still get the same behaviour. The wash will not cure into a fine line. The only time when the wash is successful is if there is a (relatively) deep crevice for it to settle into, such as the hood panel line to the left of the headlight decal. It seems to me that the looks of the model could be significantly enhanced if lines such as these on the car's surface could be highlighted.

Any tips on how to do this successfully? Thanks!


01-10-2013, 09:22 PM
You need to have a good scribed line for the ink to follow.

01-11-2013, 01:17 AM
this kind of shades are hardly done on gloss surfaces with wash, as 935k3 said, you need panel on gloss surface for good wash. Effect you are trying to get should be done by AB either as pre shade or post shade, by artistic pastels and brush etc., not with wash.
Try some airplane and military forum to see all other technics that we usually don't use :)
If you can get Revell (or Humbrol) enemel paint and their thinner, you could get close to what you want.

jochen kieslich
01-11-2013, 01:27 AM
Hi ianc,
it seems (always tricky only having "digital impressions") that the surface of your 908 shows a (heavy) coat of gloss / shiny coat / laquer or something?
A surface / constitution like that gives the wash no chance to settle down. The pigments won't find the desired "grip" / rough surface.
(I hope you know what i mean.......). I'm not that bad in english, BUT hard to explain for me nevertheless.

If that's the case, you would have to give the wash a direction in terms of a furrow / trench. Thus the wash is very liquid (often like water), it will flow wherever possible. The nature of fluids.

Like 935k3 wrote, i reccomend you to hold the environment smooth and plain and "help" your wash finding the desired way / direction by carefully engraving the line. Not too deep and not too strong.

Edit: Just read Sasa's comment: Absolutely right, i forgot about other materials such as dusted / grainded pastel chalks!!! By carefully bringing them down with a thin and dry pencil AFTER LETTING THE WASH DRY PAINSTAKINGLY it helps to enhance the effect of your wash / depth.

Hope that helps, all the best


01-11-2013, 11:39 AM
Hi guys and thanks for your suggestions.

Yes, the surface is rather glossy at this point, although it is just a color coat of Tamiya white airbrushed over primer. One needs gloss for the decals. My usual order is: primer -> color coat -> gloss clear ONLY if color coat was flat -> decals then wash -> semigloss clear to seal. Would overcoating the decals with a flat clear prior to the wash help?

I'm a little leary about trying to etch lines in the paintwork for the wash to settle in because the paintwork is so thin that damaging it would be all too easy.

Jochen, I have never used pastels before, not having built aircraft or armor, but I have read about them frequently. Your suggestion of 'bringing them down' with a pencil is bit confusing to me though. Can you suggest a good tutorial somewhere that might help to achieve the effect I'm trying for on a car? Could these be sealed with a semigloss clear after application and still retain the desired effect?

Thanks for the help guys!


01-11-2013, 03:51 PM
Semigloss or flat coat will help but you will have hard time controlling the wash since flat and semigloss will soak wash but you could get sort of good effect (I use this on planes and it works good), the problem is that it will be a bit harder to clean it if you mess up, but it is doable. If you have good 0,2 AB I would do it with it, use very light gray semi gloss or flat paint, make line on the joint and then wash it, use acrylic for AB and enamel for wash, unfortunately everything is trial and error.
I think Jochen will give you some good links and advice on pastels.

01-12-2013, 07:40 AM
all good suggestions, but maybe try it the other way around. I've only done this with acrylics but should still work, maybe better, with oils. Using un-thinned paint, paint the crevice and then use a q-tip with a little thinner on it to "buff" off what you don't want. Like this-->http://www.italianhorses.net/tutorials/Panelines/panels.htm

Add your comment to this topic!