A Dumb Idea That Worked: Dirty Thinner

I think I may have accidentally discovered a new technique over the last week or so. The reason I say that is because I don’t think anybody else would be dumb enough to bother trying it.
Here was the situation: I had the base colors on the Snowball SG (pictured to the right) laid down. There was the white over most of the body, some pale blue up top, and a few other colors here and there. The brush strokes on the white stood out pretty badly–it’s a hazard associated with hand-painting. Something I’ve done in the past is brush pure 91% alcohol over the painted surface. This loosens and blends the brush strokes, if done properly. This time, I decided to use my brush cleaning solution–which is an old (large) Tamiya acrylic thinner bottle filled with 91% alcohol and just a smidge of water. Did I also mention that it’s way overdue for a cleaning itself? In short, the fluid in there is considerably more murky than I thought it was. Who knew that this would be a huge advantage and actually help me out?
Over the course of the last week (because it seems like I only work on this thing for about 15 minutes at a time before dozing off), I used a small brush to dab on the dirty thinner. In many spots, I merely dabbed. In other spots–where there were really painfully evident brush strokes or the shade of white didn’t blend well–I kinda swirled the brush around a bit to blend it in more. And along the back edge of the pale blue on the hatch, I made short strokes with a smaller brush, which served to blend the blue into the white behind it somewhat.
The results aren’t as good as you’d see with oils or an airbrush (for blending), but they’re pretty darned good. I’ve been extremely pleased with this accidental technique and will definitely be using it in the future.
Next up, I’m going to be doing the decals–and I’ll be trying something new there, as well. Fingers: crossed.

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