Friday, 20 October 2017

Painting 54mm plastics - a duffer's guide part 2

Once the figures have dried off, I glue them to mdf based using PVA.  The easiest and quickest way is to dunk the figure's own base in the tub of PVA, making sure the adhesive covers the base.  Scrape off some of the surplus PVA on the side of the tub and press the figure on to the mdf.  Don't just put a dab of glue on the bottom of the figure base - it won't be secure.  The figures above are the CTS NKPA we met in the previous post.
Once the PVA has dried - I leave mine for 24-48 hours - brush on a coat of artist's gesso.  This is a strange substance which artists use for sealing canvas and is available in both black and white.  Having tried both I prefer the former.  Be warned that despite being acrylic based, gesso is a bit smelly - so keep a window open.
Brush it on generously.  When dry go over the figures again touching up bits you've missed and give a second coat to vulnerable extremities like heads, rifle barrels, bayonets and swords.  These figures are MARS Soviet Motor Rifle Troopers.

When the gesso has dried we can finally crack on with the actual painting!

17 comments:

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Re the bases - are they 2mm or 3mm thick?

All the best,

DC

Tim Gow said...

David Crook
2mm

David Crook said...

Thanks old chap - that is one of the final links in the puzzle!

Stephen Briddon said...

Artists Gesso? That’s a new one to me in this context, but I can see how it would work. I a white vinegar soak followed by diluted PVA glue for my toys. Then varnish the heck out of them with glossy varnish. I will be interested to see the rest of this series.

minismuse said...

I am thinking about acquiring some of the same Mars Soviets to play LCW with. Would you recommend these figures, or is there another manufacturer I should look into?

Tim Gow said...

Stephen Briddon
I've used PVA in the past - I find the gesso easier and quicker.

Tim Gow said...

Minismuse
They are nice figures but did need a bit of cleaning up with a sharp knife. It'll be interesting to see how well they paint up. My other Warpact Infantry units include figures from Airfix , Esci, Crescent and and unknown Chinese maker.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

You have me hooked!

Brian Carrick said...

Artists gesso is a new one to me too, must try it. I usually give a dab of PVA to bendy bits like bayonets etc at this point. From these new acquisitions can we deduce that LCW is going to take a shift to the East?

Tim Gow said...

Geordie
That'll be the fumes from the gesso - very addictive

Tim Gow said...

Brian Carrick
Let's just say I need to start play testing the scenarios I've written for the sequel to/expansion of LCW.

alastair said...

Interesting posts...I used diluted PVA on my 54mm figures before undrcoating them. I haven't come across Gesso before.

Tim Gow said...

Alastair
Everyone has their own approach - this is simply what works for me.

Stephen Briddon said...

On the strength of Mr Gow’s suggestion, I have invested in a pot of gesso.

alastair said...

I'll have to look out for Gesso and give it a try.

Archduke Piccolo said...

I have some light grey acrylic gunk called Deco creme d'acrylique that I have used for various purposes. Its finish is quite chalky, which, I gather, is a FEATURE OF GESSO. I think I might gave that a try for some Army Men dudes awaiting their uniforms...

Tim Gow said...

Archduke Piccolo
Give it a go - it may be another new discovery!