I will list some of the more frequently asked questions on this page. Questions and answers may have been addressed by email or on the ZoidFans eGroup.
Q- How do you apply ink washes to your Zoids?
A- There's several different techniques, but I usually do this:
- Mix some thinner into an oil based paint until it's very watery.
- Apply it liberally onto the surface by brush.
- Let it dry for 15-30 seconds.
- Use a paper towel very lightly dampened with thinner to wipe the paint off the surface (which in turn leaves the paint in the low spots and crevices).
This technique is not what you see on Gundams, it leaves the surface looking a bit dirty and weathered rather than leaving crisp perfect panel lines like you see on Gundams. The Gundam work is done with very fine tipped Gundam pens and applied directly into the panel line.
Q- How do you hold parts while painting them?
A- I remove all the parts from the sprues, then attach alligator clips to the back of the part, then put a surgical glove on my right hand and hold the clip while I'm airbrushing the part with my left hand. This way I can rotate the part to any angle while I'm airbrushing it. I have a box with a zillion holes drilled in it. After I finish painting the part, I plug the alligator clip into one of the holes to hold the part while it's drying, then I move on to the next part.
I use the same technique for hand painting, but I don't need the glove on my right hand as there's no overspray.
The surgical gloves are cheap and I just toss them out after I finish painting. The alligator clips are also cheap, I keep about 30 on hand so I can clip a whole bunch of parts at once.
Many years ago I tried several different techniques for placing the parts on cardboard, tape, craft paper, etc. for painting but there were several problems: the air pressure would move the parts around, the parts would have to be turned over to paint both sides which meant waiting a while for them to dry before flipping them, dust and dit would blow off the surrounding surface onto the parts being painted, the subsurface would have to be replaced between colors, etc. etc. I really love the alligator clip technique though.02-23-01
Q- What airbrush do you favor?
A- I have a very cheap airbrush setup. The airbrush is an external mix Testor's unit, less than 15 bucks at craft shops. I run it off of cans of propellent. The airbrush is a snap to use, if you can use a spray paint can, you can use this airbrush! It's also easy to clean as the paint doesn't go inside the airbrush body. It's great for general coverage, but not for detail work like T-shirt art.
Q- How do you apply metalizers?
A- Wash the model parts in detergent and water to remove the oily form release agents. Make sure they're dry, I usually hang them to dry overnight.
Testor's Metalizers are really great to work with. The bottles they come in screw right onto my airbrush, so I don't even need to pour them into another container. They're also ready to use right out of the bottle, no thinning required. Spray them on in 2 thin coats. Don't build it up, it'll be hard to buff out if it's piled on too thick. After the parts dry for around 10 minutes, buff with a clean, soft cloth (I use an old cotton diaper- no it's not used!!). Don't apply pressure while buffing or it will scratch the paint. Buff until the desired sheen is achieved. Testors makes a metalizer clear coat, I do use it as it doesn't affect the sheen. After applying 2 thin coats of clear and allowing to dry for around 30 minutes, the parts are ready to assemble!
As a sidebar, I also use Gunze Mr. Metal paints. They are much more expensive and harder to find, but they give amazing results. When buffed they leave a darker finish in the recesses which gives the appearance of weathered metal.
Q- Can you dye orange Zoid caps?
(Courtesy of Darth Karrion) O.k. guys, good news. Brightly colored rubber caps can be easily colored with 'RIT' clothing dyes. I haven't tried any other brands. I just dyed the bright orange caps on my Battlesaurus black. I put them in a strong dye mixture in a jar and let the jar sit in boiling water for half an hour. They don't quite match the stock black caps, but as long as you don't use them together it won't be noticable.
Q- Tres, remind me again what the whole waxing deal is about?
A- I use a micro wax called "The Treatment", it also says "Model Wax" and "The Final Detail" on the jar. It is a wax made specifically for models and is a fine grained carnauba wax. Basically what I do (to clean up older Zoids) is disassemble the Zoid, vacuum the parts with a brush attachment if they're particularly dirty/dusty, clean off any remaining dirt with a cotton swab with a bit of Windex on it, then wax the parts as I'm reassembling. I use just a tiny bit of wax rubbed into a cotton cloth so that it doesn't build up in crevises. It's like waxing a car- apply it, let it dry, then buff it off with a clean, dry cloth. I also use Armor All (on a cotton swab) on the plugs to clean/shine them as I'm reassembling, but take care not to get it INSIDE the plug or the plug will slide right off when the Zoid is stomping across the floor (don't ask me to explain how I know ;^)
Q- What is "drybrushing"?
A- Drybrushing is a technique where you get a stiff bristled brush, dab some paint on it, wipe almost all the paint off of it on a paper towel, then brush it on the surface over and over again. Since there's very little paint on the brush, it transfers a tiny amount at a time and only on the high surfaces. Normally you paint on a dark color and then drybrush lighter colors over the top which gives the surface some depth. It works really well on surfaces with texture like car upholstery, clothing etc.
Q- Do you have Deal's Wheels/ Zingers/ etc. for sale?
A- I'm sorry to report that even though I do own nearly everything you see on this site, I have few (if any) duplicates on most items. I am a collector, not a dealer. I wish I had enough for everyone as I would love to encourage everyone to BUILD these models!
Q- Are you interested in trading "X" for "Y"?
A- I do sometimes trade items, usually just with people I know, but feel free to contact me about a possible trade. Please note I am only interested in and collect the items you see on my site.