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Hi

 

I am fairly new to model making.  I have purchased some faller n gauge plastic kits and wondered if there was a simple technique to make them look less plastic

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Paint is definitely the best option. Many of us prefer acrylics on scenic items.

 

If you don't fancy full painting, a bit of weathering plus matt varnish may be enough to give what you are looking for.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Acornwood said:

I am fairly new to model making.  I have purchased some faller n gauge plastic kits and wondered if there was a simple technique to make them look less plastic

 

You will be able to get rid of the plastic finish by painting, as already suggested. There are plenty of websites out there with all the information you'll need to get started. Here is one to get you started:

http://www.scalemodelguide.com/category/painting-weathering/painting-guide/

Although it has to do with military modelling, a lot of information is also common to 'our ' kind of modelling.

 

HTH,

David

Edited by Kylestrome
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If you're not sure about painting, which means you have to do the lettering and numbers from transfers as well (something I find uncomfortably close to my limits in 4mm and you are working in half that), spray matt acrylic varnish will 'flatten' the plasticky shine.  Basic weathering will take things a stage further; it needs be no more complex than a wash of very dilute acrylic in a mucky colour, worked into corners and grooves, and wiped off before it dries, the diligence of the wiping off being the means of adjusting how 'heavy' the weathering is.  Wipe downwards from the roof of the building or vehicle and the resultant streaks will look like rain or leaky gutter staining. 

 

If you want to have a go at repainting and you are a novice, acrylics are a good place to start; no unpleasant odours and your mistakes can be easily washed off, as can the brushes, with water.  Hair brushes are fine, you don't need to shell out for sable, but avoid nylon or mmf.  Practice on a cheap second hand model to develop technique.  It's not the Sistine Chapel, don't pressure yourself.  Build up layers of fairly dilute paint and let them dry before the next coat until you are happy with the finish.

 

Main piece of advice though; enjoy it and have fun!

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A simple  coat of matt varnish can make a huge difference to the look.

 

BUT, make sure you mask any windows or other clear parts you want to stay clear before spraying with varnish, otherwise they will all go opaque.

 

Andy

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Painting is the point at which a kit of parts starts to look less like just various bits joined together and starts to look like something whole.

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Paint small parts while they are still on the sprue and overpainting is not a problem.  When you take them off the sprue, a small part where the connections were made will have to be trimmed with a knife, exposing bare plastic, so touch up at this point but leave the part that actually attaches to the rest of the kit bare if you can.  If you can't, scrape a bit of paint off to leave a key for the cement.

 

When you finish, there will inevitably be touching up to be done to hide the odd exposed plastic area; you should do this before applying varnish or transfers.

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Is the problem that the Faller plastic structures look wrong compared to adjacent card structures?    That is pretty much a fact of life as plastic has much more relief, as in lines of mortar between bricks than pre printed card ever can.   I find using card structures as background and plastic ones as foreground works well,  Plastic roofs on card buildings also helps to soften the transition.  When numbering buildings use some common sense, though the Village of Shipton Olliffe used to have a row of three houses numbered 2/1/3 in sequence.  Rural houses are generally numbered 1,2,3,4 etc in order and Urban ones 1,3,5,7 one side and 2.4.6.8 the other in England, though you are getting into microscope territory modelling 6" or 1mm high numbers on front doors.

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