by: Andras [ ]
I thought I would write a short review/guide about these paints as I have been using them for a while now, and they are great for metal surfaces.
Unlike most paints I know of they are wax-based, so they behave more like or similarly to oil paints than model paints that come from a jar, and they handle very well. They do look metallic, their coverage is great, any mistakes can be removed with a bush wetted with turpentine, and they can be mixed easily. For large surfaces I found that they should be diluted with turpentine somewhat, and applied in two coats. Interestingly basecoat does not seem to matter – which is awesome news as basecoats are very important for most metallics. When I use them I slightly wet the brush with turpentine -it helps with the even spread.
According to AK you can polish them to a shine, but I found that any gentle polishing will rub some of the paint off; it does not work for me as well as it is shown in their video. If you rub it, some of it does come off.
So back to my colors. I used gold, old bronze, copper, iron, steel and gun metal on my old Panzer IV hull. I did rub a fine cloth on the lower part to show how it polishes up half an hour after applying the paint – the results are not as good – some of the base coat shows off as the paint rubbed off.
I also repeated the exercise a day later – the paint was more resilient (obviously), but there was no dramatic change in shine.
(I took some photos using flash as well, as it does bring out the metallic effect better.) Once completely dry, some gloss varnish for metallics does bring the shine out, though.
There is a relatively big range of metallic colors, but I do have some issues with some of the shades. The gun metal should be much darker in my opinion, and the iron is much shinier than the steel color. Plus bright chrome paint is missing from the palette. More about shades later.
So what is the paint range good for?
(I use these paints for almost all my metallic requirements: engine parts, worn parts like return rollers, figures -literally anywhere where a metal surface is needed. The ease of application and cleanup makes these paints very attractive for me.)
It is great for dry brushing -it gives off a great metallic effect on tracks and whatnot. The can be used to simulate the worn metal surface on road wheels, idlers and drive wheels.
As mentioned, worn metal surfaces, such as return rollers, road wheels, idlers and drive wheels are perfect for these paints: it is easy to paint on, you don't have to worry about special base coat to bring out the metallic shine, and if it gets to places where it should not be, you can just use a brush wetted with turpentine to remove it. When you have a lot of wheels to paint, these things are very important.
They are also great for painting shell.
I found that it is perfect for painting thin metal lines, tiny metallic details: any mistakes are easily cleaned up with a wet brush (wet with turpentine, that is), so the end results are nice and straight. This is how I could paint the lines on the fender and the Ford sign with relative ease.
With Nautilus I used several types of paints, but the golden shine was added on a dark metallic base (different manufacturer) dry brushed with gold. Drybrushing works by both adding the paint and polishing it to a shine at the same time. (You can see this on the figures, too, below.)
I also use these paints for figure painting – as I said it goes on very well, and any mistakes can be easily corrected. (I am a better model builder than figure painter; mind, even though this does not say a lot.)
The different shades (gold and old bronze) can be mixed in different quantities resulting in nice blends.
If you want to cover large areas (for example an airplane) use it diluted with turpentine with an airbrush; this I have never tried.
All in all they are very, very good paints.
Now to something interesting. Do you recall I mentioned the gun metal being too bright for my taste? Well, there is something neat you can do with these paints: you can mix them with regular artists’ oil paints… making it possible to either “metalize” any color with an iron/steel, darken the metal color with black or burned umber, or to create different hues of whatever metal color you wish to use. This really expands the usability of these paints – which makes me pretty proud to have thought of this. (Not a big discovery, but still.)
I took a photo in diffused light and using flash. The paint mixes with oil very well; it is a quite promising way of creating metallic shades. Gold mixed with black yields different shades of bronze; iron mixed with black creates dark, gun metal shades; the red was just a random color I wanted to try.
So there it is. Overall I am quite happy with these paints; especially with the option of making my own hues and colors using oils.