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Hey Brothers and Sisters,

I'm seeking knowledge from those of you that are experienced at painting head sculpts. What are the basics, in terms of required tools, types and brands of paints, etc, that one would need in order to successfully attempt these projects? I'm really interested in the details here.

1. What kind of paints are required to paint a blank head sculpt? What are the recommended brands you suggest? I've been using acrylic paint, but I don't like how the paint dries and leaves texture on the sculpt. I've used nice spray paints for most of my modifications with equipment and water based paint pens for touch up, but I have no idea what kind of paint to use for head sculpts.

2. Is there a paint sealant that anyone recommends to lay down after painting is completed?

2. What kinds of brushes, what size of brush, and what brands of brushes do you suggest?

3. Are bifocal glasses needed?

4. Is there a specific clamp or stand that you prefer to use to hold your head sculpt in place while painting? I've been using my hands.

5. How are eyes painted or are stickers used? Stickers seem like a much easier way to achieve a realistic eye decal without being very gifted at painting. How are stickers generally applied to eyes? Tweezers?

Obviously, these are the general inquiries of someone very new to this type of artwork. Any and all feedback, suggestions, and examples are welcome. Hopefully this thread can turn into a helpful resource for the community.

Thanks! :)
 

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I'm BACK!!
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This is worth a look:

Painting a 1/6 Star Trek Captain Kirk head - parts 1 to 9 - YouTube

as is this:

Gary's PDF Page.

Scroll to the bottom and look for Headsculpt Repainting Tutorial by Boot 25

In the videos Darren uses Miniature Paints paint, but he has since switched to Vallejo, they are widely available and are really good. He recommended Eboot brushes and I really like them, you can find sets on eBay. Flesh tones for Vallejo can be done by mixing Iraqui Sand, Beige Red and Ivory. Mixes can be found here:

CoolMiniOrNot Forums -

Have fun!

CHEERS!
 

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Hey Brothers and Sisters,

I'm seeking knowledge from those of you that are experienced at painting head sculpts. What are the basics, in terms of required tools, types and brands of paints, etc, that one would need in order to successfully attempt these projects? I'm really interested in the details here.

1. What kind of paints are required to paint a blank head sculpt? What are the recommended brands you suggest? I've been using acrylic paint, but I don't like how the paint dries and leaves texture on the sculpt. I've used nice spray paints for most of my modifications with equipment and water based paint pens for touch up, but I have no idea what kind of paint to use for head sculpts.

2. Is there a paint sealant that anyone recommends to lay down after painting is completed?

2. What kinds of brushes, what size of brush, and what brands of brushes do you suggest?

3. Are bifocal glasses needed?

4. Is there a specific clamp or stand that you prefer to use to hold your head sculpt in place while painting? I've been using my hands.

5. How are eyes painted or are stickers used? Stickers seem like a much easier way to achieve a realistic eye decal without being very gifted at painting. How are stickers generally applied to eyes? Tweezers?

Obviously, these are the general inquiries of someone very new to this type of artwork. Any and all feedback, suggestions, and examples are welcome. Hopefully this thread can turn into a helpful resource for the community.

Thanks! :)
One thing about acrylic paint and texture- Are you using a medium of any kind to slow the dry time down and make for a smoother application? In painting my head sculpts, I've found that that along with a good matte spray sealer (I use Testors) seems to smooth out any small amount of texture left.

When it come to details the smaller the brush the better. I tend to use nail art detailing brushes for the details. However, there are similar brushes made for model kits and fine art.

I wear contacts so glasses don't work for me. But they might be helpful.

When I do detail work (eyes, mouth) I hold the sculpt. For anything else, I just use a bottle of Tacky glue or fabric glue with blue tac on the tip to hold the head securely.

Eye decals can work, but they can also be tricky to apply, the smaller the harder. Archer's eye decals are very nice but you have to treat them like you are applying decals to a model car so it's not as simple as just putting them on the eye and sealing it. Here's Archer's instructions. I have used them, but only as a guide for painting. The colors have been too light/not the right color for my purposes.
 

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Captain Eyestrain
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Understand that the materials used are not the secret, but the application of them. It takes practice, which leads to greater skill, and so on. There is no "quick fix" in any artistic endeavour.
I cannot recommend too strongly that you take some unloved vinyl heads and use them to practice on, and the more the better.

You can use acrylics very successfully ; or enamels ;or oils if you use a drier to speed them up ; or some use powder pigment. Whatever you like working with.
I always work on a resin head which has been cleaned with alcohol, with acrylics ( some tube artist's acrylics, but mostly Vallejo) using Windsor & Newton's Matt Medium to dilute the paint without making it runny. For flesh tones across the face, use a large ( 4 or 5)soft brush to cover quickly and blend. A really fine 0 or 00 for fine details and eyes.
Work the paint before application to exactly the right thickness or thinness, and make sure you have plenty on the pallette : an old large glazed tile is perfect.Keep a piece of large tissue by the pallette to dab excess from the brush. Expect to lay down the flesh tone in several very thin layers,brushed out evenly to avoid streaks, allowing each to dry before adding the next.
Advance cautiously, since going back might meaning cleaning everything off and starting again.

Eye decals may be an answer for you, but if you have a steady hand , and the right brush , to paint them by hand is more satisfying. Remember that the pupil always just touches the upper eyelid, unless you are trying to create a startled look.

I varnish the head with W&N Matt Varnish. The eyes with gloss.
Practice...
 

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One thing about acrylic paint and texture- Are you using a medium of any kind to slow the dry time down and make for a smoother application? In painting my head sculpts, I've found that that along with a good matte spray sealer (I use Testors) seems to smooth out any small amount of texture left.

When it come to details the smaller the brush the better. I tend to use nail art detailing brushes for the details. However, there are similar brushes made for model kits and fine art.

I wear contacts so glasses don't work for me. But they might be helpful.

When I do detail work (eyes, mouth) I hold the sculpt. For anything else, I just use a bottle of Tacky glue or fabric glue with blue tac on the tip to hold the head securely.

Eye decals can work, but they can also be tricky to apply, the smaller the harder. Archer's eye decals are very nice but you have to treat them like you are applying decals to a model car so it's not as simple as just putting them on the eye and sealing it. Here's Archer's instructions. I have used them, but only as a guide for painting. The colors have been too light/not the right color for my purposes.
In those videos, Darren used Daler Rowney Flow Enhancer to thin his paints. It does also slow the drying time a bit. I tried it, but, it makes the paint go glossy and even Dullcote (Testors Dullcote, comes in spray cans, really good finish.) can't quite deaden the sheen. I then tried Lifecolor Thinner and that was much better and preserved the matt fiinish. Vallejo do make a drying retarder, but I haven't tried it.

If you paint a lot the Lifecolor Thinner is sold in 250ml bottles. I put mine into eyedropper bottles like the Vallejo ones so I can control the amount.

Lifecolor do also have a very nice range of acrylic paints and have a set of flesh tones, I like them but want to try those Vallejo mixes I posted.

CHEERS!
 

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WWII Guy
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I have to second Tony's post, honestly this takes PRACTICE and be prepared to be really frustrated but if you keep at it.with time and a number a large number of repaints this will get you the results your looking for.

Cya,
Hankster
 

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While on this topic, I wanted an advice on how to dye a head sculpt's wig. I want to buy a HS for the Vampirella figure but the one I reeeeally enjoyed has dark-brown hair and I want to paint it black. Does hair dye works on wigs or there's a better way? I'm afraid it gets off with time and stains the figure.
 

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Hair dye will not work with synthetic "hair", your best bet is to either get a doll wig (size 4), or reroot the hair piece (assuming you can get it off).
 

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Hair dye will not work with synthetic "hair", your best bet is to either get a doll wig (size 4), or reroot the hair piece (assuming you can get it off).
I agree. Dying synthetic hair will be more trouble than it's worth and you'll most likely end up having to discard the original hair anyway or stain the sculpt if the hair isn't removable. Even if you went the synthetic dye route you would have to know exactly what the hair is made out of in order for that to work. Boiling water/heat will melt pr break down certain types of hair while other types will be fine just super straight. Re-roots (if you do them yourself) are time consuming, but totally worth it, once you master the how-to. But a wig is the best way to go, if you want to save time.
 

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1:6 collector
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Not to get really off topic, but there is something that has been bothering me about Vallejo (besides the limited selection of their paints offered by my local Hobby Lobby). That is how to pronounce their name. I want to pronounce it in Spanish (like the name of the northern California town), Val-eh-ho (or should it even be Vay-eh-ho?). But in his Darth Vader custom videos on Youtube, Jazz Inc keeps pronouncing it Val-eh-zho (as if it were in French or Portuguese). Does anyone know which is correct?
 

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I say Vallayho and they know what I'm on about. I have to remember to use the US spelling when I look up Lifecolor.

CHEERS!
 
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