Brothers And Sisters, Let Us Spray


Spray copy

I am not too proud to admit that I am not too proud. I take pride in that admission…

I think it is the effect of this afternoon’s spray painting. I have been on a journey of discovery and adjust now scrubbing the evidence off my hands. But the fumes are still circulating.

First discovery: Like inkjet printers that can clog up if you do not print weekly, airbrushes can also get into difficulty. Apparently I did not wash through the spray channels sufficiently on my new birthday airbrush, and found it plugged solid.

Fortunately I had a cleaning kit that a friend gave me and enough solvent to break the blockage down and sweep it away. I must be extra careful to rinse in the future.

Second discovery: Old paint is not good paint. My Tamiya white acrylic paint could be mixed and coaxed back into life, but it lead to a rather zombie-like first coat. It sort of lurched out of the gun. Sanding and more topcoats improved it in the end. Moral? When it gets to the last two drops, clean out the glass jar and save it for future custom colours.

Third discovery: When you are dealing with 1:12 scale and larger, commercial spray cans from the local hardware warehouse are a good resource. You need to pick and choose, but with proper selection and a not-too-exotic palette, you can get a great deal of painting done cheaper than you can with 10 ml Tamiya jars. Plus the fan is large and you can get more even coverage.

Fourth discovery: Even after making a mistake and deciding to re-do a day’s work. you can still economise in material by taking apart the defective project. I changed horses in mid-stream a day ago and decided to do things differently. Resigned to the loss of a sheet of foam-core board and a metre of expensive strip wood, I was delighted to find that I could snap apart the original parts, sand down the glue fields, and reuse the materials in a new design. Very little waste.

Fifth discovery: No workshop that is busy making things ever has enough space to set things out to let them dry, set, or cool down. You spend half your time juggling things.

All this aside, the project of the miniature theatre flats and furniture is going well. The internet is a wonderful source of information about actual practice and you can adopt their methods in some cases to give the same result on the tabletop as they get on a wooden stage. The next obstacle will be to design coherent sets for a production with some eye-appeal for the miniature audience. I think I need a stage designer’s eye for this, but don’t have it. I will just have to ape what I see others have done in real life and hope for the best.



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