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View Full Version : Painting With Sharpies (Problems, successes, etc.)



Phantom-like Menace
06-05-2005, 02:05 AM
If no one objects, I'd like to start a thread about this specific method of customizing.

To begin, I've got a wee little problem. I have been practicing on a spare clone trooper shoulder pad, and I can't get good coverage with the Sharpie. There are always lighter and darker areas that are dramatically different from each other. What should I do to get consistent coverage?

Sith Lord 0498
06-05-2005, 05:56 AM
Try going over the exact same spots with a fixed number of passes (e.g. - three "coats" of Sharpie).

Phantom-like Menace
06-05-2005, 06:52 AM
I'm wondering if Florida's near-liquid atmosphere is striking again. I tried letting it dry for two days, and applied a second coat, but it seemed to look more or less exactly the same. I'll just continue trying. Longer drying time, more coats.

Edit: deleted a stray letter t.

mastermatt24
06-05-2005, 02:53 PM
1) Go to "any craft store"
2) Buy some nice cheap paint (any brand like folk art or apple barrel, high priced model paints are worth the $$ unless you are pianting a model) and any kind of blades that you can use to add detail/clean up with
3) PAINT your clone(s), clean it up and add detail!!!!!
Now you can go home and paint- and if you mess it up you can clean up your edges or what not with your "blades". You can also buy paint remover if you want to strip the paint off a fig. Piant also comes in a kazillon colors, AND you can mix them. :crazed: You cant do that with a sharpie. :Pirate:

Bacta Beast
06-05-2005, 04:20 PM
1) Go to Micheals
2) Buy some nice cheap paint and a little box set o' exacto knives ($9.99)
3) PAINT your clone(s)!!!!!
Now you can go home and paint- and if you mess it up you can clean up your edges or what not with you exactos. You can also buy paint remover if you want to strip the paint off a fig. Piant also comes in a kazillon colors, AND you can mix them. :crazed: You cant do that with a sharpie. :Pirate:


1) And if he doesn't have a Michaels in his area?
2) What brand? What type? Acrylic, enamel? Have you had success with a certain type? Problems?
3) Sounds like he already did. :ermm:

One of the biggest problems I've had with buying the normal model paints has been the paint not drying. Especially black gloss. Personally, I like my customized figure to retain some articulation and playability. I like to be able to still touch them and pose them.

mastermatt24
06-06-2005, 12:38 AM
I have edited my previous post for vewing pleasure, and so no one will get confused with the absence of a Micheals in their area. Thank you. :)


One of the biggest problems I've had with buying the normal model paints has been the paint not drying. Especially black gloss.
None of my cheap-o piants have never not dried.
Solution: Switch paint.... Use a fan (???)?

Personally, I like my customized figure to retain some articulation and playability. I like to be able to still touch them and pose them.
Ive also never had a figure not retain its articulation after customizng. Ive only had a problem with some of the weathering coming off when "touching" them because I have yet to find a good clear coat (I have clear dull coat but its not dull- its still semi shiny) to protect it with.
Solution: Dont put globs of paint of joints and/or glue joints together. Besides- why would there be a problem with articulation if you are using sharpies????? :confused:

mastermatt24
06-06-2005, 12:40 AM
3) Sounds like he already did. :ermm:

You cant paint with sharpies. :neutral:

Bacta Beast
06-06-2005, 12:54 AM
You cant paint with sharpies. :neutral:

Yes, you can. It doesn't work as well for larger areas, but for smaller detailing, it can work.

In reference to the question about loss of articulation; I was referring to the fact that some customizers, when "cannibalizing" parts, will then glue pieces together to form the figure they want. Myself, I have actually cut off one figure's hands and fastened them to a different pair of arms by using safety pins that I had cut down, and drilling very small holes with a micro thin dremel bit into the plastic to hold the pin. Resulting in a custom figure with articulated wrist. It was a rodian Jedi by the way. Greedo's head and hands, Mace Windu's chest, cloak, & lower tunic, and "Sebastian Shaw" Anakin's arms, and legs. With some darker green to the head, & hands and some flat black paint on the boots and under tunic.

Bacta Beast
06-06-2005, 01:09 AM
None of my cheap-o piants have never not dried.
Solution: Switch paint....

Dude . . to many double negatives, does not compute.... :confused:

I'm sure your saying that you've never had a problem with the paint dryingso let me make sure we're talking about the same thing.

I've gone into a Wal-mart, went to the models and paints and bought whatever brand it is they sell (I think it's Testor), black gloss, took it home, applied it to my figure, and after apx. two days of not touching it it was still tacky and retained figureprints. So, was it something I did wrong, should I have used a thinner maybe, or prepared the surface with a primer? Or, should I just be looking for a different product, like an acrylic base or something else? Or did it just need more air movement, like your fan suggestion, does that really make that much of a difference? I haven't tried that approach, so I really don't know. What about heat, is there a way to try to bake the paint on?

mastermatt24
06-06-2005, 01:30 AM
Usally those glossy paints only work best on metals. If your looking for a shiny/glossy look then paint it regular black and spray it with testors spray clear gloss. You get the same effect without the hassle.

mastermatt24
06-06-2005, 01:31 AM
Yes, you can. It doesn't work as well for larger areas, but for smaller detailing, it can work.

Its still not paint though. :dead:

plasticfetish
06-06-2005, 03:23 AM
Just to mess with you... have you seen these Sharpie paint pens? :D

Phantom-like Menace
06-06-2005, 06:11 PM
Dude . . to many double negatives, does not compute.... :confused:

Recomiendo que no estudies ningunas lenguas extranjeras nunca. Literally: I recommend that you don't study no foreign languages never. They love their double negatives, triple negatives, quadruple, whatever it takes, and not just Spanish.

Plastic Fetish, thanks for getting us back on topic. Where does one find Sharpie Paint markers? Just any craft store?

Edit: Whoops. I put no in a better place for my meaning.

Mace Windex
06-06-2005, 06:12 PM
NOrmal model paint is not good for the type of plastic used to make SW figures. It will not dry. Same goes for paint sharpies. Try out some arcylic model paints. I've tested some but haven't done much custom work.They seems to dry normally.

Mace

mastermatt24
06-06-2005, 06:22 PM
No recomiendo que estudies ningunas lenguas extranjeras nunca. Literally: I don't recommend that you study no foreign languages never. They love their double negatives, triple negatives, quadruple, whatever it takes, and not just Spanish.
EXACTLY!

NOrmal model paint is not good for the type of plastic used to make SW figures. It will not dry.
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(I guess thats what ive been trying to say...)
Theres a double positive for you.

plasticfetish
06-06-2005, 11:17 PM
Where does one find Sharpie Paint markers? Just any craft store?I picked mine up at a local art supply store... but honestly, I've never used them on toy plastic, I use them for other art projects. (They come in a variety of widths.)

I'm not sure why they wouldn't dry though. They're an oil based paint, and that should bond with the plastic pretty well. Not sure why "model paint" wouldn't work either -- just asking out of ignorance really -- isn't it pretty much made for painting on plastics?

I'd try experimenting with everything from model paint, to nail polish, to sign painter/pin-striping paint (urethane enamel) just to see what works.

Hellboy
06-06-2005, 11:30 PM
If your figures aren't drying properly its most likely due to using enamel based model paints on your figures instead of acrylic. I've painted many figures using acrylic paints and the only thing you need to make sure you do is apply multiple coats to help prevent the paint from chipping. Acrylic paints adhere to plastic figures just fine.

I've never tried using Sharpies. :neutral:

VaderhitsJarjar
06-10-2005, 11:03 PM
the sharpie paint markers dont work well with the figures
- stays tacky no matter what you try.

plasticfetish
06-11-2005, 12:48 AM
Ahh... could be something to do with the thinning agent in the Sharpie reacting with the plastic. Could be because the plastic is nonporous and it just takes the Sharpie ink forever to dry. :confused:

Bacta Beast
06-13-2005, 01:14 AM
Recomiendo que no estudies ningunas lenguas extranjeras nunca. Literally: I recommend that you don't study no foreign languages never. They love their double negatives, triple negatives, quadruple, whatever it takes, and not just Spanish.

Uhhh. . . . :speech: :ermm:

I know, but you see, that's one of the things that I do like about English. I just hate it when we brake our own rules.

Anyway, I hope you all know I meant it in fun. :D

Oh, and thanks for the suggestion about the clear coat Matt, I'll try it and report back.

mastermatt24
06-13-2005, 02:31 AM
Sure, no prob.

ronhudy
06-13-2005, 12:51 PM
I've tried Model paints, Paint pens, sharpies, and water-based acrylics. The best ones I've found for customizing are these:

http://www.michaels.com/art/online/displayProductPage?productNum=cp0028&channelid=

Wal-Mart also has a similar paint in their craft section - might be the same brand, I don't remember. They dry within a few hours, and don't smear. I also live in Las Vegas, where it's very HOT and DRY, so that probably helps. I use these for larger areas and fine point Sharpies if I'm doing thin lines or very small areas. There are lots of colors, so matching is not a problem.

Phantom-like Menace
06-13-2005, 04:18 PM
Anyway, I hope you all know I meant it in fun. :D

Absolutely! No offense taken. For the record, when I am legitimately offended, you'll know, because you can't cut through the sarcasm with a chain saw.