Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Quick Tip: Dealing with the Fuzz


I recently got it in my mind after OST told me of his talk with Dave Taylor that I should try a little harder on my painting competition models. So with that for this years crystal brush I wanted to dedicate effort to a unit for crystal brush specifically and not just find my best painted model out of my bag when I got there.


This lead me to pick up a space wolf terminator box set and some fancy yet dangerous primer: Army Painter.




After spending hours carefully building the models I took them outside on a low humidity day and managed to spray fuzz all over them. I had to walk away.

After returning to the project a few hours later I knew I didn't want to strip them so I needed to figure out what to do. In my contemplation and anger/frustration I was rubbing the shoulder pad when I realized I had rubbed it smooth.

I grabbed the roughest brush I had and went to town rubbing the fuzz spots off. I picked up a stencil brush a while back to do weathering and armor chips and this thing is a rough hard bristled brush. I held it by the middle of the bristles and furiously brushed the models and I'll be damned if the fuzz didn't rub off!

I feel like this worked because I had sprayed them outside mid afternoon on a warm day and when I walked away I left them in direct sunlight....for hours. I think this caused the primer to get bone dry. It also supports my theory that a lot of fuzz is in fact 'overspray'.
 For those familiar with auto paint, over spray is when you spray one part of the car and the particles of paint settle on to other areas of the car that are already painted and create a similar rough surface instead of the desired smooth area. In this case they use an overspray clay to take off the particles and get the smooth coat back.

(Right: I didn't have any pictures of the before and after scrub but this is the model with some of its base coat done.  This was the worst with the fuzz; the entire front was decently fuzzed up)


Whatever the cause of the fuzz or if my theory on it is true or not, next time you fuzz a model give the scrub a try over automatically stripping it or tossing it aside: sometimes the right answer is the simplest. I might even add running water or rubbing alcohol just to see in a little chemical elbow grease is needed.

13 comments:

  1. I find using a good stiff tooth brush works well in the same way and has a convenient handle.

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  2. I've had this happen to me all the time. I just did rubbing alcohol and completely removed the spray, but it might be easier just doing it this way. Glad to hear of your success.

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  3. I know exactly how you feel with the army painter primer. You need to test it out on an old model with a smooth surface then see how it turns out. If its fuzzy then wait a little bit longer to use on your intended models.

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  4. I have had this happen several times to me, and I also use a stiff toothbrush, but also some water. A wet toothbrush hasn't done me wrong yet! I'm not entirely sure on brand issues for me, but instead it's certain colors for me. Mostly brown primers and other non-traditional colors.

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  5. This was the darker what used to be codec grey one.

    Hogan- my wife wanted to prime one of my models and I foolishly sad "sure honey!". She drowned it in rustolleum2x coat black. Rubbing alcohol was a blessing that day. As long as you get to fresh paint (maybe 30 min or so) EToH will take it right off tithe plastic. Pro tip there hogan! Has saved me plenty of time soaking in simple green!

    Dan and Steven- tooth brush would definitely work in place of the stencile brush. I was just reporting as accurately as possible to what I did. I bet for added elbow grease a nylon dremel brush (on ultra low) would clear it up fast too! Good looking out on bringing up alternates. Maybe people can use this as an excuse to go get a new toothbrush and recycle their old one! :)

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  6. Argh! The fuzz! Still not as bad as "the frost" when you are sealing all your hard work - that stuff is soul destroying. Safer to not seal your display pieces. Glad it all worked out - great tip, thanks.

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  7. Fuzz and frost can both usually be dealt with..

    In my experience, fuzz is cause by paint drying on the way to the model, in very warm conditions.. or in the humid, paint bonding with moisture on the way to the model and "beading"

    either one can in effect be abraded away because in each case there adhesion is less due to either evaporation or dilution of the solvent holding the paint..

    frosting is different.

    I'd always suggest with a frosted mini, to brush on some gloss varnish, - I use klear. often this sorts it out. worth a try tho eh? :)

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  8. Not to try and nerd argument on comments, but I've stopped clear coating for the most part. I've had more models ruined by clear coat (even testers dull coat) than by them just not being clear coated and having paint come off. Especially now that I find myself painting hardly any metal models; those were the worst! Its all about the primer- a good, thorough primer coat and you won't need to clear coat. Just my opinion though, if you can clear coat without problems more power too you! :)

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    1. Agreed. I have found that since I have moved away from metal and found a primer I really like, I don't really find the case to need clear coat. The only thing that might move around a little is my powder work in some cases, but the good thing about powder is that you can edit it anyway. I would say that's the truth on both my gaming models and my display stuff

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  9. I've had that happen with Army Painter primer far too often to continue working with that anymore. I've enjoyed using Tamiya primer and recently got some Vallejo spray on primer which makes life a lot easier with priming models with an airbrush.

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  10. I have switched to using Vallejo Air grey primer through my airbrush. It's not smelly at all, goes on super smooth, and I can prime indoors in my jury-rigged spray area. The alternative is that you could also brush on this primer. Vallejo produces this same primer in black and white. Two thumbs up though. I used to live in humid/horrible Pensacola, Florida and priming anything was a bit like Russian roulette.

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    1. Awesome! I was wondering about this as I'll need to do some priming indoors this winter and wanted to try Vallejo acrylic primers with my airbrush. Thanks.

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