Paint Problems

Paint Problems, we have all had them.  I get them often enough that I thought I might do a post about them.  In this case my problems came up while painting the Bolt Action transports.



The common problems that everybody faces, and possibly the biggest cause of internet rage about painting is the paint flaking off models, this happens more with resin, but can also happen with some plastic’s.  In resin the main problem is residue of either mold release or a by-product of the curing process.  The fix is easy wash your model well in warm soapy water if needed repeat.  With some plastic it is not so simple, basically the plastic polymer chains lay in such a way with in the plastic that glues, and paints wont adhere. This happens on all sorts of plastics, the fix is simple, get a trusty lighter for starting your BBQ or what have you and run the flame over the surface of the plastic this helps break up some of the polymer chains so the paints and glues can stick.  Be careful as you don’t want to melt the plastic just get it a little warm.  The problem with this is that the paint will stick but at some point the plastic reverts back to its initial state and it will flake off again.  This sort of plastic also has problems with glues sticking to them, so you should know very quickly if there is a problem.  A good primer also helps, a primer is different to an undercoat, primers tend to have additives to so they stick to things better, don’t crack and peal.  I use an enamel Flat Back from Testors. Then I use an undercoat.  This works very well for me.

Frosting your miniature.  I am sure we have all had it or seen in, where we have not paid attention to the relative humidity, and sprayed a Matt varnish on a model and then wham your model looks like it is covered in snow.  I use an isolation coat, which is a high gloss coat first, this helps stop this problem, I also use an airbrush, to put matt varnish on when the humidity gets too high or two low. This works to prevent the problem to solve the problem add more spray, but wait on the conditions to be better first.

Other problems I get because of the way I paint, Primer/undercoat/Chipping Fluid/ paint  Sometimes I get crackling this is because I added too much paint too thick and activated some of the chipping fluid.

So what happened to me this time, is a case of the paint coming out of the airbrush way to hard and not mixed enough.  This problem is correctable as I will show.


Some might think it is caused from the chipping fluid, but I don’t put any of that underneath the model. The problem is in three parts, the first being that the paint was not mixed nearly enough, my kingdom for one of these.

Robart hobby paint shaker electric 100-240v


Or I can add an adjudicator, most people use ball bearing balls, shotgun pallets or glass beads, I have none of that at hand, but I do some small nails, the adjudicator needs to be heavy enough that it gets down in the paint and pigments and mixes all everything though. so I added two nails.

I use my airbrush in my garage, it was quite cool here today so I added some heat, mainly I drove my car around for a bit and parked it in the garage. adding a little heat so the paint dries quicker. I could have also kept applying compressed air to the model this also helps dry out the paint so it sticks.

The third part was how much paint and air pressure I was using.  I would normally use a 0.15 needle in my airbrush, but I bent that so I am using the 0.4 this means that I need to work a little harder to control the paint flow, normally not a problem.   To spray the chipping fluid I also increase the pressure of the air coming out of the compressor, well guess what  I didn’t re-adjust it, so I made some simple mistakes, all easy to fix if you are paying attention.

To fix these I simply add more paint under a controlled and consistent pressure, do this slowly, and it will fix the problem, you can’t just add more alot more paint it will make it worse, it has to be a controlled amount. I also applied more air to help dry the paint as I went.


I have left the images very large because I wanted to show the difference, the paint has matted down now, as all the parts of the paint have been mixed in, and the problems from the first set of images have now gone away.  It is now on with the painting, these are the last 3 transports for my Adepticon Bolt Action army. I still haven’t started painting my Epic army, (am still looking for some stuff, ebay is not being my friend)

There we have it, what are some of your paint fails and how did you fix them?, comment below lets see if we can come up with some great and easy ways to fix problems.


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Floppy has been playing wargames poorly for over 20 years. A founding member of the Monday Knights.

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The Monday Knights are a gaming group based in Melbourne Australia.  We are happy to play just about any game at any time.

We meet every Monday night at the Auburn Bowls club in Hawthorn East, Victoria, from 6pm onwards.

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