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8 tips for painting model railway figures | Model Railway Hints, Tips, How To Articles and Reviews at Model Trains Online

Tips For Painting Model Figures For Your Model Railway Layout *

Painting model figures for your Model Railway Layout such as those by Preiser, Dapol, Noch, Hornby and Faller etc can be a massive and complicated subject, but with these quick and simple tips we can help you get great results every time with the minimum of effort. These tips apply to railway modellers working in all scales too include Z gauge, N gauge, OO scale, HO, O and G Scale! But anyway, that’s enough waffle from me… let’s get stuck in to the good stuff…

  1. Start with the fleshy and light coloured parts first such as the face, shirts and then finally jackets and coats.
  2. Always work outwards from the centre of the model figure no matter what the scale, this reduces the risk of over-painting areas you’ve already covered.
  3. Use the best brush you can find. Personally I find the ones in the Humbrol Coloro range to be more than adequate as they have a good pointed tips.
  4. Use a real Cats Whisker for detail work such as eyes and other facial features, badges and insignia etc. Tape it to the blunt end of a pencil and cut it to about 1cm in length.

  1. Chose the most accurate flesh tone you can. Nothing looks worse than orange faced people! is slightly darker in colour that Revell’s No.135 and looks better on outdoor workers in my opinion.
  2. Use a good quality primer. Either ModelMasters primer or a white primer from a car accessory shop will do the job just fine. It helps the coloured coats of paint adhere to the figure better and also enables you to see the detail on the figure more clearly.
  3. Fix the figures by the feet or base to something while you paint them. Trying to hold them in your fingers whilst you paint them is more hassle that it’s worth. Use the smallest amount of SuperGlue to fix them to a bit of wood while your work. Double sided sticky tape is probably good enough to hold seated figures. BluTak is useless for this. You’ll spend more time trying to hold the figures still rather than painting them.
  4. For low cost paints for figures, try a set of cheap artists acrylics from an art clearance store (UK readers try branches of The Works or Tesco)

I hope you find those tips useful. They’re just a few I’ve picked up over the years but they help me to get better results when detailing figures for my Model Railway Layouts. Look out for more tips very soon indeed! In the meantime, please feel free to browse Model Trains Online, and don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter to get all the latest updates and news, plus some fantastic free buildings courtesy of Model Railway Scenery.

* Image by Thingo

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