Working on Micros

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I posted this to the customizing forum but then thought it might be a good blog post here. This is about prepping and painting micros but most of this information is just as useful for working on larger resins or plastics.

Bent legs are easy with pewter -just bend them back! Ideally warming the piece under your hot water tap will make it easier and put less fatigue into the metal but don't do it if it's cold as the metal will be more brittle. This micro CoverGirl had really messed up legs bent back like U's but she fixed right up and I had no issues with her legs rebending while I was working on her.

Prep can be done with micro files in fine textures. They are cheap to buy in small sets. Exacto knife is helpful for trimming flashing or use a carbide scraper. All pewter micros should be buffed with 0000 steel wool to remove finger oils, mold release, and oxidation before painting. Pewter oxidizes fairly rapidly when exposed to air and will add to paint and primer adhesion woes. Super fine steel wool also adds micro scratches into the surface that helps primer or paint stay stuck once applied but also polishes out surface imperfections. Steel wool is also handy to smooth any areas you filed or sanded that are left a little too rough.


This micro Sallie was a second. She had a lot of seams to remove from the pewter and places I needed to fill with epoxy. It's really important that you rough up the surfaces if you are adding epoxy or super glue or it tends not to stay stuck long term. I've been working on pewter and other white metal miniatures since at least the 1980's so you learn a lot of tips and tricks if you want to do internet searches. A lot of the products though are really pricy. Vallejo paints though are pretty nice and my son really loves them, as well as Citadel's line. I myself use regular acrylic craft paints for basecoats and nice Golden acrylics for final airbrushed layer. Over that I may use pastels, colored pencils, mica powders, even oil paints very thinly - sealed with spray or varnish.

Here's a pro tip for those of you who like to use Testor's Dull Cote but can't find it anymore! Use Rust-Oleum Dead Flat Clear instead. I'm told that Rust-Oleum owns Testors and it's the exact /same/ product at a tiny fraction of the price. Right now it can still be a little hard to find but at around $8 for a full sized can it can save you a lot of money. I order it by the 6 pack case and get it for $7 a can through my local Home Depot so there's no shipping charge. Just be /SURE/ it's Dead Flat and not gloss if you order it online. Easy thing to screw up.

I have a Castanea as well I am working on but I sculpted long ears onto mine to make her into a spotted mule. I haven't finished her yet but she should be cute! As for primers I happen not to use them. The steel wool works well enough for me that I go right to the airbrush and use thin layers of white acrylic that I slowly build up into a basecoat. Once it has several thin layers it adheres pretty well and a hair dryer helps to heat set it. If you use a primer at all, use it very thinly. That's all you need to help get you going to start your regular basecoat. I use an airbrush so I get a lot more fine control than I do with a spray can. Micro Uilleam for example has SUPER fine details compared to other micros and it's easy to loose his eyes and wrinkles if you aren't really careful with whatever you base coat with.


In the resin forum I posted a step by step painting of this micro Uilleam showing how I airbrushed the base coats, used latex masking fluid for the white markings to save on having to paint many layers of white, etc that you might find useful. It's here: [URL="http://www.modelhorseblab.com/forums/showthread.php?190888-Painting-Micro-Uilleam-Steps"]http://www.modelhorseblab.com/forums/showthread.php?190888-Painting-Micro-Uilleam-Steps[/URL] I hope some of this helps and have FUN! ;)[/QUOTE]
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