Hub Hobby Shop

Painting Tips

Painting Tips



Acrylics vs Oils by John Cheeseman “I have, for a long time, considered myself a ‘diehard’ oil painter but I bought some of the Vallejo paints a year or two ago and had a go at using them. I must say that I struggled BIG TIME!! At first.”

by Mario Fuentes “About how many you should have, it really boils down to your color knowledge and how much time you want to spend mixing a specific shade of color.”

by Phil Kessling “Medium is not as important as technique and practice. I think it is important to start in one medium and learn to paint well with that medium before moving on to another.”



Airbrushes and Compressors and Paints: OH MY! Part 1 – the Air Source by Phil Novak: “In general, the compressor allows you to have a steady pressure that is always available. No need to go fill it up somewhere, no wonky pressures, and can be space efficient.” – – Phil Novak



Skin Tones by Phil Kessling:

Black Skin Tones: “It’s important to consider the region the subject is from and then attempt to locate photos as references. Nubian skin tones are a very dark, bluish black whereas Zulu skin tones are a much warmer yellow brown.”

Japanese Skin Tones: “To get a Japanese skin tone, I mix a little more Mars Yellow into my normal skin colors. To get some ideas a good reference to pull out is National Geographic magazines with photos of Japanese. This is always a good idea when painting ethnic faces.”

Native American Skin Tones: “There is no right or wrong color. Part of the fun of painting with oils is mixing colors. You never know what you are going to end up with!”



Brush Types by Jane Sutherland “When buying brushes, keep in mind that a brush is probably an artist’s most important tool, and it is worthwhile to invest in the highest-quality brushes and take good care of them”Painting Tips


Cleaning Airbrushes by Chuck Theidel: “I have found that the best way to keep your airbrush in top operating condition is to make sure you clean it during and after you have finished using it.”


Cleaning Brushes by American Artist: “A well-made brush, if properly cared for, will last an extremely long time. However, if it is not cared for properly, even the most expensive, high-quality brush will quickly become completely useless.”


Crock Pot Drying by Phil Kessling “One of the ways to get a figure painted in oil colors to dry faster is to use a crock pot.”


Face Painting by Phil Kessling: “The face is the first thing that I paint on a figure. I begin by priming it with a very thin coat of Floquil Reefer White.”


Flesh Tones I by Pete Herrera “I use a permutation of the “traditional” mix as introduced in Shep Paine’s book: burnt sienna + gold ochre + white. To this I add a bit of raw umber, and an extremely small amount of prussian blue. By “extremely small” I mean just a toothpick-tip’s worth.”

Flesh Tones II by Paul Kelly “My flesh tone technique is a little on the odd side. I undercoat all my flesh tones in Liquitex Deep Portrait Pink for starters. Next, and this is where is gets a little strange, I mix up a shadow color of Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, and a touch of Alizarin Brown Madder.”

Flesh Tones III by David Hoffman “In mixing a basic flesh tone, I’m often guilty of violating the rule of “keeping it simple”. I really enjoy adding various pigments until I feel I’ve achieved a good basic mix, and I may use such colors as Rembrandt’s Naples Yellow Reddish Ext., Naples Yellow, Titanium White, Flesh Tint, Cadmium Red, Mars Brown, a tad of Burnt Sienna, Jaune Brilliant, and the like until I achieve the color I want.”



How to Take Care of Your Paint by Alliance Game: “The amount of paint you throw away from washing off a palette or scrubbing out a cap is insignificant compared to losing from half to two thirds of a jar because it dried out due to faulty seals.”


Is White Just White by Carmi Weingrod: “No one knows better than oil painters about the peculiarities of different white pigments. Throughout history, they have used a variety of white pigments, reflecting both cultural changes and advances in color technology.”


Lightening and Darkening Colors by Chuck Theidel: “Over the years I have had numerous conversations with other figure painters concerning shading and highlighting on the uniforms. The majority of us feel that the three hardest colors to shade and highlight are Red, Blue and Black.”


Painting a Spiraled Spinner by Scott Sclafani “During the later stages of WWII German ground crews usually hand painted spirals in the field with varying degrees of artistic success, I believe my method is cleaner than the real thing.”


Painting Ears and Hair by Phil Kessling “I believe the secret to painting hair is to paint it just like the rest of the figure, i.e. shade and highlight planes and shapes without worrying about trying to depict individual hairs. I think it is actually easier to paint hair where the sculptor has only given you basic shapes rather than “spaghetti”.”


Painting Eyes by Chuck Theidel: “The most difficult areas of the face to paint are the eyes. I suggest using the “cross-method” technique, it is the best way to ensure proper positioning of the eyes onto the face.”


Painting Glossary: Definitions of Terms Used by Artists: “Clear Liquid Painting TipsSeparation (CLR): often referred to as syneresis, is the spontaneous appearance of a transparent liquid over an opaque liquid paint during storage.”


Painting Goggles by Chuck Theidel: “Never use gloss paint: it is too thick, and often the color will be wrong.”


Painting Skin by John Alberts: ” In reality, skin is made up of so many different colors and hues. Just look at the back of your hand – – there is pink, blue (veins), white (knuckles) and many shades in between.”


Painting Soft Plastic Figures by Chuck Theidel: “The main reason for using a water-based paint is (and this is the trick) because you can mix Woodland Scenic cement into it.”


Painting Real Small Parts by Bill Wolfe ” I came up with an idea for those kits that have no after-market details available. I say I came up with it, but it’s really an idea stolen from the aircraft guys and their cockpit woes. ”


Painting with Testor’s Acryl by the Testor Corporation: ” Acryl flats also are technically advanced thanks to superior emulsion resins, pigments and formulations. Acryl’s high degree of self-leveling means it flows more smoothly and dries more evenly for a “flatter” flat finish. No rough spots – – – no shiny edges.”


Quantum Leap by John Clark: “In the last 100 years, more technology has been applied to making better paints than during any similar span since a caveman first painted – because there’s simply more technology, industrial resources, and consumer demand.”


Removing Paint by Phil Kessling “Learn from your mistakes and improve on the next figure. If you continually strip and repaint you will never finish anything”


Selecting Sable Brushes by Claudia Myers: “For centuries, the primary options for artists’ brushes were natural hair or bristle. But as natural hair becomes more scarce and expensive, manufacturers continue to develop synthetic substitutes to fill the need. The cost of finer quality synthetic filament may actually be more than its natural counterpart. Today, it is not an issue of one versus the other. It is an issue of availability, results and often the artist’s budget.”


Stop your Airbrush from “Spitting” by Wayne Morris: Airbrushes “spitting” while you’re painting can be very frustrating, particularly if it defaces the paint already on the model”.


Taking the Temperature by David Hardy “In nature, color temperature is all around; artists just need to look for it. By identifying color temperature, they can describe their world more effectively. The Venetians recognized this during the Renaissance, an awareness their art demonstrates.”

Painting Tips

Testor Product Information and Suggestions by Testors Corp: “A word to the wise: remain positive, patient and persistent so that you achieve and enjoy the satisfaction of assembling and completing models to be proud to display.”


Using Mig Pigments by Phil Novak: “Over the past couple of years, a weathering style has developed that gives the appearance of “ultra realism”.


Using Printers Ink for a Metallic Look by Phil Kessling: “If you apply a wash afterwards, be careful. Using solvent-based washes over the Printer’s Ink may cause the ink to lift. If the inks are not properly dry you will reactivate the ink with the next coat.”


Using Testors Model Master Paint: “Model Master enamels are identical to FS colors – as seen on new equipment. We duplicate them precisely. Only arbitrarily, however, can one duplicate colors that have been exposed to the sun.”