'Painting' fine black lines on 6mm vehicles

Discussion in 'The Barracks' started by LesCM19, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Am in the process of painting a newly acquired batch of French WW2 tanks o_O and need to know the best way of doing the black outlines on the buff/brown/green splodgy camouflage, apart from painting it!!!
    I thought there was some sort of pen,maybe marker pen??
    I am using Humbrol Enamels.
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    If I want really fine black lines I just use a .5mm or less drawing pen, Rotring or disposable. The Ink can be a bit purpley though.

    However... my dad showed me a magic device that the railway types use for livery lines. Metal tweezers-like thing that worked really well (even for the cack-handed like myself), but I can't describe it properly or recall it's name. Seem to recall you used to get them in technical drawing sets - will have a shufti in the Squires catalogue.
    LesCM19 likes this.
  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Got it.
    A 'Ruling Pen' is apparently the technical term - I was surprised how good they were with paint (maybe only straight lines though ?? :
    Ruling Pen

  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Jeez, I haven't seen any of these for the past 30 years! Just adjusting the paint to thinner ratio will be a chore!

    No, not French but I used to do my squiggles in my 80s US force using a '000' brush and properly diluted paint, nothing more. The contraption above will work well for straight lines, definitely not for bendy camouflage schemes.
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    You're probably right Za, was really impressed with 'em for straight lines with undiluted acrylics though. Suspect I'd use liquid mask and the Airbrush for Mickey Mouse now.

    I never got on with really teeny 0000000000 brushes, always found that a really good quality size 1 or 0 can do as fine lines as any single hair thing, and holds more paint (expensive business though).

    I'm getting model-guilt now - not the usual guilt at actually scraping away at plastic things (I can handle that, I'm shameless), more the guilt that goes with a half dozen unfinished kits and the gradually thickening layer of dust on 'em. :rolleyes:
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    You tell me! Some years ago I got bit by some bug and I sold my entire 1:76 vehicle collection: unbuilt kits, built kits, but mostly the half-built kits!

    I have to add that at the time I was working as a professional model maker, doing industrial models - refineries, cement plants, etc. I got so fed up with gluing plastic for a living that I couldn't derive any pleasure from my models. Never go the professional way, it will kill you!

    As for the black lining for 1:300, I still advocate the 000 brush, but I suppose any art shop will carry permanent pens of different thicknesses. But afterwards remember to apply a couple of coats of matt spray varnish, or else they will go away with normal use.
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Years ago the sainted Peter Gilder taught me a trick for black lining, especially at the time for 28mm metal figures - but I've used it ever since on ALL scales, great for fingers, facial details, outlining etc. on 20mm and below...

    (oh god it IS years - He's dead and I'm OLD....:mellow:)

    Let your paint dry REALLY hard...

    Then simply draw on your lines/details with a nice sharp HB or 2B pencil!!!!

    The 2B can be a bit of a pain, though, it can leave lines that are so broad that you see the "grey" of pencil lead/graphite rather than black.

    A year or so I wanted to keep my hand in, so to speak, and picked up a box of polystyrene Zvezda Republican Romans (about 22-23mm figures); ALL the detailing you see here is by HB PENCIL - the folds in the tunics, muscle definition, rouching in the crests, outlining etc..

    It's a great time-saving trick for wargamers, for it means you can paint in single colours with a minimum of shading/highlighting, for speedy painting of figures in bulk.


  8. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Bought the finest point Pilot Drawing Pen from WHSmiths the other day which uses 'pigment paint'. After a days drying I then went over it with Humbrol Matt Cote which did not smear the ink at all, so...job done!
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Got it.
    A 'Ruling Pen' is apparently the technical term - I was surprised how good they were with paint (maybe only straight lines though ?? :
    Ruling Pen


    Yes they are great for straight lines but you have to make templates for curves. ie Tenders for Railway engines that are lined out.

  10. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    When I was in a drawing office (before AutoCad days) we used to use .18 and even .13 Rotring drafting pens with refillable ink cartridges for fine lines. Doubt these would work with enamel paints but the various inks available should work well for straight or curved lines on a painted background - take it you have a steady hand as a modeller!
    The 'ruling pen' was used by a couple of tracers in our office and could produce incredibly fine lines but only straight unless, as already said, used with a template. Could work well with thinned down paints but might not get a 'heavy' enough colour.
    Would be interested to hear results of any experiments.


  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    At the design office I was working pre-CAD days in the late 70s, those ruling pens had already gone the way of the archaeopterix, replaced by a variety of Rotring pens in a number ot line thicknesses. Below 0.2mm were avoided as they clogged immensely, but above that they were virtually maintenace free: just plug a new cartridge. In any case, line thicknesses in technical drawing are coded and there is really not much requirement in ultra fine lines, at least as far as ISO and DIN go.

    But yes, I was surprised to see the 'Gilder Method'. I remember him from 'Battle' Magazine, and the couple of books he wrote. R.I.P.
  12. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

    Bought the finest point Pilot Drawing Pen from WHSmiths the other day which uses 'pigment paint'. After a days drying I then went over it with Humbrol Matt Cote which did not smear the ink at all, so...job done!

    Ahhh good stuff! All you have to do know is show us the photos. ;)
    LesCM19 likes this.
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    You were suprised??? Imagine what it was like to use the legendary "Callan" Gettysburg layout for two days....THEN after wondering for 48 hours how he got the amazing detail on literally THOUSANDS of figures, to be shown just how! Talk about slapped round the head with a wet kipper!!! I was the best of all my friends at the time - but it still took HOURS for a single figure. That reduced it, production line-like, to a couple of dozen a day.

    Even better for 15mm's - it meant NO shading was required at all in "real" 15mm scale, JUST the pencil linework. THAT was fast...

    And THEN he showed us how he made prototype figures for Hinchcliffe - first time I'd ever seen Milliput used for prototyping work...well, first time I'd seen Milliput at all! :) Somewhere I have a half-dozen "Wild West" figures he designed and cast up for Hinchcliffe's that were never put into production in the end.
  14. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Photos of recently painted 6mm France 1940 Panhard 178, 2C & FT17s.
    The 2C camo is more like that seen on the B1 but with all that tank surface to paint I wanted to try a more complicated scheme than the olive green I think they actually had. The FT17s did have camo like that shown at some point, but again, I just wanted it to look nice in the game and not just brown & green. I will have a go at roundels one day!

    Attached Files:

  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    They seem ok, no problem with the black lines, but would benefit from a wash or two :)

    What kind of paint did you say you used? For the record, yesterday I bought a couple of MIG washes, I'll try them in a couple of weeks only ;)

    By the way, weren't the 2Cs entirely olive?
  16. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    They have all had a dusting which looks pretty good on plain vehicles like Panzers but it does get a bit lost (especially with my cameraphone, the highlighting has turned the same colour brown on the 2C) on anything with camouflage.
    I take it a wash will add shadow effects?
    For a change I merely wanted to have a go at a scheme more complicated than the original olive and the plain 'army green' which I used in the past for convenience and as it is for wargaming I thought instead of charred ;) (sorry about that) hulks on flat rail cars I would use some artistic license and have them like this!
  17. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    That's the idea with the washes, creating shadows, Les, and your models would improve with it. It's easy, really :)

    I follow Ritterkrieg's method, although I can never claim to be nearly as good as he is.

    Remove flash and excesses from models and figures, wash with kitchen liquid soap and let dry.

    I undercoat in white using a standard Citadel Skull White spray can, let dry overnight or more, and then apply slightly diluted base green, yellow or whatever by brush. When I feel lazy I just spray on the base colour, but that's when I'm lazy and it certainly shows!

    Secondary camo colours then let dry again until the next day.

    After well dry and cured I go over them with a wash in a mix of Winsor & Newton ink, with some Klear floor polish (see here) and water added in. Excess removed by carefull application of a paper kitchen towel. Let dry and cure for a day or more.

    Then drybrush with your favourite dust colour and that's it. This drybrushing process has to be very subtle, and repeated if needed. Better too little than too much.

    I paint my tyres very dark grey, not black, and my tracks black, which will do well with the dust drybrush and a suuuubtle application of steel drybrush too.

    It all has to be very understated. In the end, a matt varnish spray coat for protection and there you go.

    Now for superlative base work you can go to Wotnochad's blog as advertised in his posts above, you won't find any better!
    LesCM19 likes this.
  18. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Humbrol enamels used.
    Does the polish reduce the surface tension of the ink? Could you use washing up liquid instead?
    I think I would have to take up 1:76th scale gaming to get Ritterkrieg's standards Painting Tips: for example although his 285th models seem to have more detail than Navwar 300th
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Humbrol? I swear by them :) In fact I like drybrushing with Humbrol over anything else.

    Window washing liquid will make your inks a little wetter, so no harm in adding a bit. That liquid wax isn't really needed if you use that Glassex or Windex or whatever.

    The basic techniques for water or enamel based paints are the same, materials change a bit, nothing else. Everything I wrote above is valid for both, except that I still use water based inks over Humbrols. I could (and did) use diluted oil paints, but they take too long to cure for the next step.

    Look, difference between 1:300 and 1:285 is trivial, it's simply that GHQ models are superlative compared to Heroics/Navwar so it's quite natural that good models as shown painted by a great painter will look different. However I've been collecting 1:300 models since the 70s and my WW2 armies are made up of H&R/Navwar and Scotia Models and I'm quite happy with them.

    My next step will be learning how to make bases like Phil Wotnochad shows at his blog http://6milphil.wordpress.com/ , praised be his name! At least I have already bought quite a few bags of scatter material :lol:

    I can't find any relevant pics in the net of my work, as the service where I had most of my model photos bought the farm, but here are some US M60s on the same shelf as my 1:300 Late Romans :)


    Here they are, paint used was IIRC some Testor acrylics I had bought in the 80s in the US, but Humbrol would do as well. And the squiggly bits were done by brush :)

    Please don't feel disappointed or frustrated by anything written here, we're all here to help, and I myself want your models to make you look good in the world of God's Own Scale!
  20. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

    Well I think you've donw a cracking job, but as far as I know there's no way to do the thin black lines aside from painting them... triple zero brush ahoy!

    Humbrol enamels used.
    I think I would have to take up 1:76th scale gaming to get Ritterkrieg's standards Painting Tips: for example although his 285th models seem to have more detail than Navwar 300th

    Yes the GHQ and C-in-C models are much more detailed, both are 1/285th as it's the US Army scale for miniature wargaming for training. It's probably this detail which makes you think you could only manage that level of painting at 1/76th, even though Ritterkrieg is a master, because if the details not there you can't really paint it. The kettenkrad below is a good example.


    I use acrylic paints on all mine, and sometimes an ink wash, sometimes an acrylic, just very watered down. I typically use really simple paint schemes, with a wash. Below is a Comet which is just green, brown and highlighted green, which all pulls together with a wash.


    The one below is a more complicated German ambush scheme on the tank, but a mono-chrome on the staff car, but it does show the level of detail on GHQ (the car) against the non-GHQ (the tank). The tank commander and chap sitting on the front are modifications.


    I'd suggest having a look at the GHQ painting guide over at GHQ Models- The Best Damn Wargaming Products Since 1967

    And perhaps even a butchers at my own humble blog, click on the graphic below, only you'll have to find your way past all my latest zombie projects stuff to find the 6mm, although there's a ton of links including the Angel barracks 6mm forum which both me and Za frequent, and there's folks of all levels and periods over there and you'll find yourself most welcome. ;)

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