Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Two top tips

There are two little tricks I use that, although documented elsewhere, have been really invaluable for me so far, and I think that if you are not using them, you should.

Firstly, Backscraping. This is something you do when you are cleaning mold lines from plastic models, and it refers to scraping a modelling knife backwards along the mold line, as if you were carving, but had filmed it and were watching it in reverse. It's very weird at first, and doesn't make any sense, but it's actually magic. You need to properly support the piece you are holding, so it doesn't bend. The great thing about Backscraping is, you can vary the pressure and/or do it repeatedly, until you get the result you want. Just try it on a spare model - once you get the hang of it, you will never go back to the old ways. And it's quick.

My second tip is to do with basing. When you are putting PVA glue on a base, and dipping it in sand, let it dry and clean it up so there's no unsightly clumps of sand where you don't want it. Then take some PVA glue and put it on a plate, add water to it, and using an old large brush, mix it up and apply it over the top of the already glued sand, to seal it. When you're doing this, the mix should look like watery milk. Cover the sand with this and let it dry. The resulting base will be a lot sturdier when you paint it and especially when you drybrush it.

Both of these techniques are well-known (especially Backscraping), but in my view they are absolutely essential. And since they are quick and easy, they are perfect for the Lazy Painter's arsenal.

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