A Fett Painter's Toolbox

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Hi all you fine fellow Fett fanatics!
I frequently get questions from members regarding the tools and techniques that I've been using over the years to do my paint commissions.
I thought I'd start a thread to share some of the supplies that I use. This is not intended to be definitive or comprehensive, or to endorse any specific brand names. Just a (hopefully) helpful guide.
If anyone has a favorite type of tool, please add to the thread! Shoot, you might give me some new ideas. :p

PAINT
You can't paint a Fett helmet without paint! I think that's in the Declaration of Independence or something.
I'm an acrylic guy. Just my personal preference. I find them to be easy to use, easy to clean up, and they don't have a strong odor like many enamels or lacquers. They're versatile as well. Just as easy to paint with a brush as they are to shoot thru an airbrush.
Some of the brands that I've found to be good quality include Tamiya, Testors Model Master, and Vallejo. With acrylics, you can thin them using the brand-specific thinner, a universal acrylic thinner, or plain water.

20200425_042544.jpg

BRUSHES
How do you get that darn acrylic paint onto your helmet or armor? For large areas, an airbrush or spray can will help you cover a lot of real estate quickly. But for finer work, good detail brushes are a must.
There are so many different brands of quality brushes out there. Don't limit yourself to the big brands. You can generally find good brushes at places like Hobby Lobby or Michael's.
When it comes to brushes, size matters. The smaller the brush number, the finer it is. A size 2 is slightly larger than a size 1, etc.
For a lot of the work I do, I use sizes below 0 (zero). For those sizes, they're expressed as 5/0, 10/0, and so on. The more zeroes, the finer the brush. Here are a few of my brushes. The close up shows an 18/0, which I use for a lot of super fine detail.

20200425_042623.jpg 20200425_042603.jpg

MIXING AND MASKING
I use a number of custom mixes in my work, and having a supply of mixing jars can be very helpful. These are pretty cheap and can allow you to store a custom color for a reasonable length of time.
Some pipettes also are handy for drawing measured amounts of paint out of a jar for consistent mixes. Also seen in this pic is a box of "Microbrushes." They're like tiny Q-tips. These are useful for a number of tasks: applying paint or liquid masking fluid, mixing 2 part epoxy, or cleaning your hamster's ears. ;)

20200425_042532.jpg

For masking, tape is essential. You can get tape designed for hobby stuff, or even regular painter's tape. I've had equally great results with both.

20200425_042646.jpg

WEATHERING
One aspect of Fett painting that I think is really fun is weathering. Taking your "basic" paint job and getting it all dirty!
There are a lot of products that can be used, but the ones I use most frequently are washes and pigment powders.
You can buy premixed washes or mix your own. I've used both depending on the application. They're basically very thin acrylics, and the idea is to add a "filter" over your paint work.
Pigment powders are just that- paint pigments that are ground extremely fine so that you get a material about the texture of talcum powder. These are useful for spot weathering. You apply them with a brush, and apply them topically to your project.
It takes a little practice to get the effect you want, and a little bit goes a loooooong way.
NOTE: pigment powders should be sealed with a flat clear coat after application, otherwise they can eventually rub off.

20200425_042519.jpg

PUTTY
It's possible that any cast item, no matter what it is, could have small air bubbles in the surface. If you come across a small void like that, some putty will help you fix it easily.
Most hobby putties work equally well. Just follow the instructions on the label.

20200425_042634.jpg

GENERAL/MISC
There are some general supplies that can be useful for any project. Good scissors, a metal ruler or straightedge, hobby knife with good sharp blades, even some Post-it notes for jotting down info on paint mixes, or making marks for repeated measurements (killstripes anyone?). For doing the really fine scratches on the back of the ESB helmet, I use a metal scribing tool.
There are other items of course. These are just a handful.

20200425_042506.jpg

I hope this is helpful for some of you! As I said at the beginning, this is by no means comprehensive. I just wanted to share some items that I have used in doing close to 50 helmet commissions.
If you have stuff to add, please do! Or post any questions you might have. Maybe some other experienced painters will add their own tips, too.
Thanks for reading, and have fun painting!
Eric
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Good deal, guys. Glad it's helpful. :cry:

WhiteShadow I have prescription glasses, so those let me see fine for small stuff. Although a head mounted light isn't a bad idea in general.

Any more tools and supplies you guys like to use?
 

droidbait

Active Hunter
Good deal, guys. Glad it's helpful. :cry:

WhiteShadow I have prescription glasses, so those let me see fine for small stuff. Although a head mounted light isn't a bad idea in general.

Any more tools and supplies you guys like to use?
What type of airbrush? Do you use? I've been practicing with a masterpro from ebay. $30

Here is a picture of my first airbrush attempt.
 

Attachments

  • 20200210_205110.jpg
    20200210_205110.jpg
    963.4 KB · Views: 72
  • 20200210_205036.jpg
    20200210_205036.jpg
    928.3 KB · Views: 74
  • 20200210_205054.jpg
    20200210_205054.jpg
    1,004.7 KB · Views: 71
  • 20200126_171459.jpg
    20200126_171459.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 69
Last edited:

superjedi

Sr Hunter
droidbait, nice work! Sure looks like you've got the hang of it. I use a Grex Genesis XGi. It's a nice double action brush. I've used others before like the Badger Patriot.

mandomigs It's been a long time since I've painted any armor, but the helmet forum is full of my commissions. Just search my user name and you'll come up with several of my progress threads.

boba87fett Thanks, glad it's good info for everyone. (y)
 

droidbait

Active Hunter
droidbait - You're 1st attempt?! Looks like you've been doing this for years! Sweet Deadpool airbrushing!
(y)

-Iron
Thanks Iron for the compliment! Yeah it's my first time using a airbrush. Cheap Ebay one, been itching to paint another bust that I have. I really want to get better at it.

Also another bump for this thread.
 

Irongladiator

Active Hunter
droidbait - Cool! Yeah I’m looking at getting the iWata HP-CS Airbrush and iWata Ninja Compressor. Should be around a $300 investment. It I’ll be doing more than just my Boba Fett Build with it too!

-Iron
 

superjedi

Sr Hunter
Hi again! I wanted to add another item to the thread. This may seem really simple, but it helps me out pretty frequently: a spiral notebook. :cry:

I use this a lot actually. I can use it as a paper "palette" for putty, wiping my brushes for drybrushing, and even use it as a brush holder.
I also jot down notes for paint mixes, etc.
Once one sheet is used up, just flip to the next page and you have another fresh clean surface.

20200525_063748.jpg
 
Top