There are many techniques in our hobby that help us to give the more realistic appearance as possible in our models. And if you do a research on the web you will find that more and more non Modelling materials are used in order to achieve better results and why not at lesser cost. In the 2nd and 3rd issues we saw the use of such materials like the floor polish and the gesso primer. In this issue we will see the use of a purely … female product, the hairspray
Hair Spray … for a perfect chipping!
The Hair Spray technique is very helpful when you want to reproduce damage to a model and represent from peeling paint up to a rusty chassis. We can use the most economical hairspray we can find in a super market. Besides that, we are not interested in strong grip… It is a relatively easy process. After we have prepared the surface on which we will work (primer coat etc.), we proceed by applying the color we want to reveal beneath the topcoat. I should mention that this technique can be applied either in a specific area of our model, or over the entire surface. This will depend mainly on the extent of damage that we want to represent. In case we want to represent small chipping or scratches on a surface, we can paint the initial color, which will appear as wear and tear on only these parts. If we want to represent very extensive damage, as in the case of a completely rusted car, we can paint all surfaces with the initial color.
Enamels or acrylics?… Both!
It is preferable that the first color is enamel. Once painted, allow the model to dry very well. At least 24 hours to be sure. As a next step, we spray 2 – 3 coats of hair spray. One
coat from the other may be applied in just 10-15 minutes apart. Hair Spray has a very short drying time. At this point I have to mention that although in all the videos that circulate on the internet, the application of hair spray is done by using an airbrush; I sprayed it directly from the container. The reason was primarily the size of the model and the extent to which the hair spray technique had to be applied. In essence, it should be applied on the entire model. So the accuracy given by spraying with an airbrush was not necessary. If we have a small surface to apply the technique, we spray a quantity of hair spray in a cup or a small container, pour it in the airbrush cup and apply it at the surface we need to. After the final coat of hairspray has dried, we can apply the final color. It should definitely be acrylic.
After about an hour, the acrylic coat of paint will have dried out. It has to be mentioned here that contrary to the first color lying below the hairspray, the latter color, the acrylic, does not need too many hours to dry before we can continue with the technique, because the longer it dries, the more difficult it will to replicate the damage we want. The next step is start “scratching” the color. We use a brush according to size and extent of the damage we want to replicate. The damage you see in the pictures was made with an old paint brush to which I cut off enough hair to make it stiffer; however, this is a very
much rusted vehicle. With a little water next to us, we begin the procedure. At
first, wet the brush and spread some water to the point where we will start the damage. Allow a little time for the water to act and then start scrubbing with a damp brush, gradually increasing pressure in the places we want to wear out so that the final color will appear from underneath. It takes a lot of patience but the result is perfectly controllable. Using our hobby knife, a needle or a toothpick we can even create scratches, which by rubbing them again in some parts will look even more realistic. It is understood that the damages can also be accomplished using a dry brush. Before we move on to the wash that we might want to do in order to make our model look even more dirty or worn, we do the usual, i.e. we cote with a gloss varnish and let it dry thoroughly. After that, we proceed with the completion of works.
It has to be mentioned that you will see in several videos about the hair spray technique, that before applying it with an airbrush, some modelers apply a coat of varnish. This is necessary when the base color is acrylic because hair sprays are water-based. So, if the base color is acrylic, we protect it with a coat of enamel varnish. The final coating however must always be acrylic because only then the hair spray will react with the color I order to
get the right the result.
I hope that I gave you an insight into this technique. It has a greater application on vehicles and tanks, as airplanes, being made out of aluminum, do not rust … nevertheless they do Peel.
they do Peel.
You may also watch the video with all photos of the process on our youtube channel.
By Antonis Galenianos
Translated by George Roumbos
Note: The Photos of “Uncle” in the nature were take by my friend Nikos Efpatridis.