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Painting seamless bodies (updated September 2020)

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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Update on painting silicone seamless bodies (Phicen/TBLeague) with Paint Markers

We already have viable options for painting a silicone body (or sizable parts of it) -- my preference being to use oil pastel. But when it comes to smaller and finer designs on the body, that seems almost impossible to use -- you are unlikely to get the pastel sharp enough, and if you do it will break off immediately, and even if you got past that hurdle, you would end up smudging your design when you try to rub it into the surface. That is why, for painting hair and tattoos, I turned to alternatives. The Uni Pin Fine Line fineliner drawing pen works very well but only when applied directly to the silicone surface (one that is not colored with oil pastel already) -- see Post 192 above. Oil-based ink Pilot drawing pens worked quite well onto the oil-pastel-colored silicone surface, but required multiple and vigorous massages with clean dry paper towels to get the ink to stop transferring -- see Post 205 above. So I was still looking for a better option, as I embarked upon a second custom seamless Darth Maul project.

I experimented with a variety of Paint Markers, both oil-based and acrylic, but they had a tendency to smudge or rub off or crack and flake off -- see Post 1 above for acrylic. I finally turned to industrial markers, harder to find and often more costly. Repeated testing demonstrated that the Markal Pro-Line XT paint marker (now Xylene free) was the best solution. It does have some drawbacks -- Xylene free or not, you should use it in a well-ventilated area; it dries fairly shiny -- although that is largely offset by the eventual application of protective powder; when you stretch a painted area, the paint from the marker can crack like acrylic does, but generally not as much and it does not flake off or rub off (it did in just a couple of perhaps lightly painted spots, for example where the top of the harder plastic foot kept rubbing onto the bottom of the silicone lower leg -- it is very easy to fix with another spot application); worst of all, the marker's tip is quite wide (and there are no other sizes available in that line), so I had to flood tiny pools of marker paint and dip a toothpick into them to painstakingly paint smaller details. You can see the result below.

Painting seamless bodies (updated September 2020) - Page 7 Swdmt220

Some words of caution: beyond using this in a well-ventillated space, I would say reserve it for smaller areas and details, not for a whole base color (because of the potential for cracking); also, when applying it to the silicone body, make sure the areas you are covering are in a non-stretched position at the time of application -- stupidly thinking that it would preempt cracking, I tried applying the marker to a stretched area of a test subject body, and it caused a bunch of little holes to appear (presumably melting the thinnest silicone areas and releasing air bubbles?) on the surface.

For Maul 2.0 (pictured above with the marker), I used oil pastels for the base color of the body (there is such a thing as going too far/rough with the make-up sponge, so don't get carried away), Markal Pro-Line XT paint marker (or its ink) for the body markings, underlayers of red and black Markal Pro-Line XT paint marker and overlayers of Vallejo acrylics mixed with Liquitex ultra matte medium (thanks for the suggestion) for the harder plastic hands and feet. More photos HERE (Post 39).

I hope this is useful.


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Stryker2011

Stryker2011
Founding Father
That looks pretty good, Guv. How did you manage to get the ink out of the marker to use with a toothpick?


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Painting seamless bodies (updated September 2020) - Page 7 Bnp4ba10
Credit to greygoose for the signature card

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Stryker2011 wrote:That looks pretty good, Guv. How did you manage to get the ink out of the marker to use with a toothpick?

Thank you very much, glad you like it. Like acrylic paint markers and some others, before you can use the Markal Pro-Line XT paint marker, you need to shake it up, open it, then press the tip against some surface, pumping it up and down a few times until you see the paint imbuing it and making a mark. Then you're good to go, and need to repeat this once in a while when you find your marker running dry. But if you overdo the pumping, you end up with so much paint coming out, that it makes a little pool of ink on the surface (strangely, it dries faster on a plastic baggie than on paper). Anyway, that is how I got the ink out to use with the toothpicks.


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Ephiane

Ephiane
Absolutely fantastic work and results here ! My Compliments ! Sorry, I don't see all the great stuff in all the other threads, because I only watch the "General Talk". I will look here now often. Please show more.

Edit : Where's Aayla Secura? Is she finished and I just missed the thread like so much other fantastic threads I missed here ?

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Ephiane wrote:Absolutely fantastic work and results here ! My Compliments ! Sorry, I don't see all the great stuff in all the other threads, because I only watch the "General Talk". I will look here now often. Please show more.

Edit : Where's Aayla Secura? Is she finished and I just missed the thread like so much other fantastic threads I missed here ?

Thank you very much, Ephiane. The other photos are HERE (post 39), I think you saw them. And if the question was meant for me, I haven't done Aayla Secura, although I recognize her as the lightsaber-wielding Twilek you showed me as inspiration long ago. I'm considering it, now that I know that Kneadatite cures somewhat flexible (lekkus and all -- was that what they were called?). Or maybe you can make Secura, and then we can get her together with Maul for a play date? Or both Mauls? LOL


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skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Ephiane — I’m indeed in process of making Aayla Secura, but still not finished yet. Need to finish the lekku and paint the head. I have been sidetracked by several other projects as well as life being stressful. I’ll definitely post her in her own thread once she is done. Smile

Ephiane

Ephiane
Great News, no one will understand that better than me with my 1000 unfinished Projects Very Happy

ReverendSpooky

ReverendSpooky
Been reading through this thread a bit again, as I was trying to remember what GubernatorFan had used for the tattoos on his epic Darth Maul repaint. I was more interested in the Uni Pin Fine Line fineliner drawing pens you mentioned as you said they worked better on the unpainted silicon. Looking at them on Amazon, the thing that caught my eye was this from the description:

"Uni's high quality "Super Ink" is not only water and light resistant, but also "Tamper-Resistant", meaning that the ink can not be washed of using chemicals and solutions used by people to fraudulently modify documents."

I feel like that might be key to why these work so well on the silicone bodies. I was getting ready to order, but unfortunately, these only seem to come in black, grey and sepia, with no color options that I see. And any color fineliner drawing pens seem to brag about how they are washable, which I think is probably the opposite of what I want here. I even have a few color fineliner drawing pens already, and they suck on seemless bodies. Has anyone found any color ones since the above that they've had better luck with?


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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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ReverendSpooky wrote:I feel like that might be key to why these work so well on the silicone bodies.  I was getting ready to order, but unfortunately, these only seem to come in black, grey and sepia, with no color options that I see.  And any color fineliner drawing pens seem to brag about how they are washable, which I think is probably the opposite of what I want here.  I even have a few color fineliner drawing pens already, and they suck on seemless bodies.  Has anyone found any color ones since the above that they've had better luck with?

You could try Markal's Pro-Line XT, which is what I used on the oil-pastel-colored body. It does come in multiple colors, though it does not have a really fine point and for small details you would have to do what I did, which is pump some ink out and dip a toothpick (or something thin) into it to apply.

https://markal.com/products/pro-lineandreg-xt


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ReverendSpooky

ReverendSpooky
GubernatorFan wrote:
ReverendSpooky wrote:I feel like that might be key to why these work so well on the silicone bodies.  I was getting ready to order, but unfortunately, these only seem to come in black, grey and sepia, with no color options that I see.  And any color fineliner drawing pens seem to brag about how they are washable, which I think is probably the opposite of what I want here.  I even have a few color fineliner drawing pens already, and they suck on seemless bodies.  Has anyone found any color ones since the above that they've had better luck with?

You could try Markal's Pro-Line XT, which is what I used on the oil-pastel-colored body. It does come in multiple colors, though it does not have a really fine point and for small details you would have to do what I did, which is pump some ink out and dip a toothpick (or something thin) into it to apply.

https://markal.com/products/pro-lineandreg-xt

You did mention above though that it was prone to cracking a bit, which does worry me. A marker or pen type of application just seems like it would be a better bet than anything paint like. But then again, Maul looks like he's held up well. I'll be thinking on this one...


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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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ReverendSpooky wrote:You did mention above though that it was prone to cracking a bit, which does worry me.  A marker or pen type of application just seems like it would be a better bet than anything paint like.  But then again, Maul looks like he's held up well.  I'll be thinking on this one...

If you have a damaged body, or one that you would be keeping permanently covered up forever and ever (like one of my "Death Star Troopers"), you can experiment on that with different options. Cracking is more of a problem/more apparent when you are trying to cover up a more substantial area of the body (for example, if I wanted to paint Maul's red skin with the Markal Pro-Line XT marker instead of with oil pastel) than if you are doing smaller areas or lines. Anyway, if you do stumble upon a better option, do let us know.


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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
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I was late to the game collecting a Gamora, but as my ranks of Guardians filled in over time, I went for a head and body being sold loose (didn't want to pay the aftermarket prices for the whole set, or wait for the even pricier second version by HT -- which uses the same sculpt, but repainted). The body was slightly damaged and, more to the point, jointed, so I immediately considered changing it to a TBLeague seamless body. Eventually I did, though painting it was a bit of a challenge -- I had already applied a fairly strong combination of greens before I discovered I had olive green and olive brown oil pastels, and it seems like the silicone's absorption of oil pastel gradually declines/becomes more difficult after a few layers. Anyway, I think I achieved a reasonably close match to the head sculpt in the end (the original body wasn't quite perfect in that respect). And then with the acrylic-painted hands and feet. I hope Ephiane is proud of me... I have finally painted a seamless body green. Smile

Painting seamless bodies (updated September 2020) - Page 7 Httblg10


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Stryker2011

Stryker2011
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Not bad. I wonder if a Rit Dye treatment of green with a bit of yellow would bring it to more of that olive green color of the head sculpt.


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He who dies with the most toys wins!

Painting seamless bodies (updated September 2020) - Page 7 Bnp4ba10
Credit to greygoose for the signature card

GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
Stryker2011 wrote:Not bad. I wonder if a Rit Dye treatment of green with a bit of yellow would bring it to more of that olive green color of the head sculpt.

Thank you. I'm not comfortable enough with Rit Dye to try, but I suspect getting the right color with that would be considerably harder. It is not 100% now, but I think if I had started with the olive green and olive brown pastels it might have been even more of a match.


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skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
Nice job! I like her, even if I do think she'd look even better as a Twi'lek. ;'D


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GubernatorFan

GubernatorFan
Founding Father
skywalkersaga wrote:Nice job! I like her, even if I do think she'd look even better as a Twi'lek. ;'D

Thank you very much! Actually I was originally toying with the idea of a Twi'lek, but I will have to sculpt lekkus (or whatever they're called) and I'm not there yet. Perhaps one day I will, and this body can be used for either figure. Smile


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skywalkersaga

skywalkersaga
GubernatorFan wrote:
skywalkersaga wrote:Nice job! I like her, even if I do think she'd look even better as a Twi'lek. ;'D

Thank you very much! Actually I was originally toying with the idea of a Twi'lek, but I will have to sculpt lekkus (or whatever they're called) and I'm not there yet. Perhaps one day I will, and this body can be used for either figure. Smile

It's totally fine, I feel you! I'm not 'there' yet either, tbh! :'D


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Focusing on the Prequels, Clone Wars, and Original Trilogy eras (NO 'sequels', thanks!)

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