Singapore Gunpla Society

Please remember to introduce yourself to everyone before heading off into the other sections.
This is just pure courtesy.

From your ~Admins~
Singapore Gunpla Society

Gundam modelling society located in Singapore for everyone around the world

Dear all, this forum will be shut down in June 2017 due to low activity.

    Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Share
    avatar
    Landel
    SGGS Senior Member
    SGGS Senior Member

    Posts : 462
    Join date : 2013-01-02
    Age : 35
    Location : Singapore

    Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by Landel on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 6:10 pm

    Hi Guys, just wanted to share my own method of doing panel lines. I realised that a lot of beginning modellers do not know what panel lining is nor how to do it, and this forum doesn't have its own tutorial on panel lining.

    The method I'm using is frequently known as a "panel wash technique" on the web. There are many tutorials and videos online on how to do it, so I'm just consolidating what info I have gathered from various sources as well as my own trial and error. This is by no means the only way to do panel lines, but is what I do to get the effect I want. Feel free to experiment and try what works for you.

    The other common method is to use Gundam panel line marker and draw it in. However, panel washing gives a nicer, thinner line with better results, and is usually preferred by those who know the technique.


    OBJECTIVE

    The idea of doing a panel wash is to make the details stand out more on your model kit. The idea is to paint the panel lines in a slightly darker shade than the base coat. The effect we want to achieve is to increase the contrast of the panel lines so that they look like shadows. It gives the illusion of separate components, by mimicking the 3D effect of the shadows cast by separate components. Hence, the subtler the panel wash, the more realistic it looks. Painting pure black lines on a white component more often than not makes the effect too "harsh", and can make your model look like a cartoon version. This can be useful if it is the effect you want to achieve, for example, it can be suitable for SD (BB) kits. However, for the most part, I try to use a slightly darker shade of the base coat for more realistic results. Colour of the panel lines are a personal preference, so feel free to experiment to see what works to your liking.




    Here is some preparatory information that would be good to know before doing a panel wash:

    ABOUT PAINT TYPES

    Lacquer Paint
    Lacquers paints contain the strongest solvent, and are usually the first layer of paint type that is painted onto the surface of the model (after primer). [Due to the strong solvents, painting lacquers over acrylic or enamel may cause the acrylic or enamel coat to dissolve and ruin your work.] Lacquers also chemically bond to the plastic and do not scratch off as easily. These are great for the base coat, but should not be used for panel washes. The typical Mr Hobby paints are lacquers (except for Aqueous series which are acrylics.)


    Acrylic Paint
    Acrylic paints are dissolved in water or alcohol, which is not as strong as lacquer thinners. Hence, acrylics can be painted over lacquer paints without harming the lacquer coat. Acrylics also have an unusual property, and after it dries, it will slowly cure into a plastic-like coat over a period of one day to a week. However, acrylics tend to "stain" the surface of bare plastic and as such I do not recommend them for panel washes.


    Enamel Paint
    Enamel paints are oil based paints, and sometimes called oils. They can be dissolved with enamel thinner or white spirits (artists' spirits), or even lighter fluid. These paints dry into a hard "shell", hence the name enamel. They have an interesting property in that they do not cure, and can be readily dissolved again with enamel thinner. Because of this, they can be cleaned up nicely after painting if mistakes are made, and because they do not react or dissolve lacquer paints or acrylic paints, they are ideal for panel washes.




    SURFACE PREPARATION PRIOR TO PANEL WASH

    The panel wash technique works best on a smooth, glossy surface. Bare plastic is great, but if it is sanded roughly, it may be better to remove all visible scratches and buff it slightly using a nail buffer so the paint does not spread into the scratches on the surface.

    If you have painted your model, I recommend applying a lacquer or acrylic gloss coat over your model to protect the paint coat during the panel wash. If you painted using matte paint, you need to apply the gloss coat, because the panel wash will smear and smudge all over if you apply it on a matte surface, and it cannot be cleaned nicely. You can always apply another matte coat after doing the panel wash (and decals) to get the finish you want.

    Note: You cannot use this technique if your model has been painted with enamel paints!



    ENAMEL THINNER MAKES PLASTIC BRITTLE

    If you apply too much enamel thinner or paint onto your model, it will cause the plastic to become brittle. This becomes a problem if you have already snap fitted your kit - the induced stress caused by the snap fit can cause your plastic to crack!

    There is an easy work around though. The plastic becomes less brittle when the thinner has dried. Where possible, try to apply the enamel paint/thinner onto an unassembled kit. Give it about a day for the paint to dry before assembling your kit. This reduces the chance of the plastic cracking.





    THE PANEL WASH TECHNIQUE

    In my case, I am doing the wash on bare plastic, which can be more forgiving. If you do it on a painted kit, you may need to take more care not to scratch or mar your paint.

    The easy way is to use Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color. It is premixed for you to the right consistency, so the paint will flow easily into gaps.




    I found the gray a bit too dark for my taste, so I mixed Tamiya enamel paints. Other enamel paints work as well, such as Humbrol. When in doubt, try it on the plastic sprue first. There are usually letters and words on the sprue which are good for practicing. You need to add Tamiya enamel thinner until the paint mixture seeps and flows into the panel lines easily. You can experiment yourself to get the consistency you like. The thinner the paint, the easier it flows. However, the paint may be too thin and a few coats may be required to get the desired colour. A good guide is to follow the consistency of the Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color shown above.





    Load up a fine brush (000 is a good start) with some paint, then tap it on the side of the bottle a few times to remove excess paint. You need just enough paint so that the panel line flows smoothly with as thin a line as possible. Too much paint will cause pooling, meaning you will have more to clean up later. Once again, you need to experiment to find what works for you.

    With the brush loaded with some paint, attempt to just touch very gently on the panel line. Corners are usually good places to start because the paint will flow along both sides of the corner.




    Once you touch the panel line, you will notice that the paint seeps along the line via capillary action. If it doesn't seep, chances are your paint is too thick, and you may need to thin it down slightly. Notice how the gray paint flows downwards along the panel line. Optional: You may leave the brush tip on the panel line for 1 or 2 seconds so the paint seeps in further.




    Continue adding paint to the panel lines. Do not worry if the paint seeps out of the panel line. We can clean that up later with enamel thinner.



    After adding paint, you need to wait for the paint to dry. Trying to wipe off the excess when the paint is wet will cause paint inside the panel line to be wiped off as well. Waiting for it to dry gives you more control for the next step. Probably takes about 10 to 15 minutes. I will normally paint some other parts while waiting for the first part to dry.




    Now we need to clean up the excess paint using enamel thinner. The normal method is to use Tamiya enamel thinner with a cotton bud.




    Only a very very small amount of thinner is required to wipe the surface clean. This is my method of getting the amount of thinner that works well for me. You can experiment to see what works for yourself. First, I will tip the bottle so the thinner flows onto the inner lip of the bottle.




    Next, I will tip the bottle back to the normal position so the thinner flows back into the reservoir.




    A very small amount of thinner remains on the lip of the bottle that is unnoticeable. I quickly take a cotton bud and swirl it across the wetted inner lip where the thinner was. This amount of thinner is sufficient for me. Note: I am not dipping the cotton bud into the thinner!




    Using the cotton bud that has been prepared with thinner, gently wipe it a few times across the excess paint. The strength you use depends on how much thinner you added. But generally, adding less thinner and wiping gently gives you more control.




    Keep wiping gently until the excess paint is cleanly removed. It takes 4 to 6 wipes before the enamel paint comes off. Be careful not to remove any paint inside the panel lines or from parts that you wish to be panel lined. Don't worry, practice makes perfect and you can always add more enamel paint if you removed too much. I generally repeat the process 2 to 3 times on the same part before I get the effect I want. I also paint the panel lines with a few coats so they are all consistently the same colour.




    There! Basic technique done! Hope this helps.  Embarassed  





    TRICKY AREAS

    Some parts require panel lines where there aren't panel lines. Sounds weird? The picture below illustrates this. Sometimes parts meet at an angle of 90 degrees or even more, but will still look good with a panel line.



    These are considered tricky parts because:
    1. The paint does not flow readily along the line
    2. You have to manually paint in the line yourself, which makes a huge mess
    3. Using a cotton bud to clean up often wipes away the whole panel line
    4. Sometimes the areas are too small for the cotton bud to be effective

    For myself, I often use a toothpick to scratch away the excess paint since I'm doing it on bare plastic. This will give me the exact thickness of panel line I want. However, scratching a painted kit risks damaging your paint work. The following is another method I use as well.


    I take a piece of 2 ply facial tissue paper, fold it in half so I get 4 ply. Using this 4 ply tissue, I wrap it around a toothpick, making sure to get a sharp corner:




    I dip this in enamel thinner. In this case I use a lot more than the above previous method.




    Using this sharp point, I gently wipe along the edges of the panel line to clean it up and trim it down to the right thickness. Note: Between the toothpick and the part, there are 4 plys of tissue.




    There! Nicely panel lined parts:




    Assembled cockpit (toothpick shown for scale):




    Hope this helps! Remember, practice makes perfect!  Very Happy
    avatar
    sliver
    Admin
    Admin

    Posts : 4674
    Join date : 2011-06-23
    Age : 38
    Location : Singapore

    Fun Facts
    Nickname: Mighty Banhammer
    Friendliness Level:
    90/100  (90/100)
    Tolerance Level to BS:
    0/100  (0/100)

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by sliver on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 7:23 pm

    Excellent tutorial
    Sticky-ed it!



    _____________________________
    Member of no airbrush club
    'The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude towards the problem. Do you understand?' - captain jack sparrow
    avatar
    plar10
    SGGS Supreme Member
    SGGS Supreme Member

    Posts : 654
    Join date : 2012-12-25
    Location : Singapore

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by plar10 on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 8:27 pm

    Excellent tutorial. If I may add.. lighter fluid can be used as cheaper alternative to tamiya enamel thinner.
    avatar
    Landel
    SGGS Senior Member
    SGGS Senior Member

    Posts : 462
    Join date : 2013-01-02
    Age : 35
    Location : Singapore

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by Landel on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 8:35 pm

    plar10 wrote:Excellent tutorial. If I may add.. lighter fluid can be used as cheaper alternative to tamiya enamel thinner.

    Thanks bro! Do you know which brand to use? The one I tried didn't dissolve the paint properly. However, it could be used for wiping off excess paint.
    avatar
    plar10
    SGGS Supreme Member
    SGGS Supreme Member

    Posts : 654
    Join date : 2012-12-25
    Location : Singapore

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by plar10 on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 11:13 pm

    I have used Zippo and Ronson to thin paints and clean up excess paints.

    rally
    SGGS Members
    SGGS Members

    Posts : 108
    Join date : 2012-08-26

    Fun Facts
    Nickname: Earthlings
    Friendliness Level:
    100/100  (100/100)
    Tolerance Level to BS:
    100/100  (100/100)

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by rally on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 9:38 am

    solid tutorial bro
    avatar
    kiD
    SGGS Newbie
    SGGS Newbie

    Posts : 88
    Join date : 2013-03-19

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by kiD on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 11:56 pm

    Awesome guide!  good Idea 
    avatar
    Vickon
    SGGS Supreme Member
    SGGS Supreme Member

    Posts : 736
    Join date : 2012-06-21
    Age : 32

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by Vickon on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 10:11 am

    Very good detail tutorial you have here bro.  Very Happy 
    avatar
    celeron787
    SGGS Senior Member
    SGGS Senior Member

    Posts : 478
    Join date : 2011-06-30

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by celeron787 on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 10:29 am

    Great tutorial!!! I too use lighter fluid (Ronsonol) to clean up the panel lines.
    If you want more colors, u can try getting oil paints from any art stores or even daiso, can thin and clean with lighter fluid too.
    Burnt umber is quite nice, especially for weathering
    avatar
    HondaSan72
    SGGS Lurker
    SGGS Lurker

    Posts : 4
    Join date : 2014-02-25

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by HondaSan72 on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 7:55 am

    Fantastic tutorial!! Picture perfect. Very well explained. Even I can follow this... Now I'm off to practice. Very Happy

    southernoise
    SGGS Lurker
    SGGS Lurker

    Posts : 6
    Join date : 2014-07-21

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by southernoise on Mon 21 Jul 2014, 10:40 am

    Thanks for the detailed tutorial. Very useful for beginners like me. Especially the tissue toothpick method.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Tutorial: Panel Lining Technique (Panel Wash)

    Post by Sponsored content


      Current date/time is Fri 26 May 2017, 2:21 am