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Author Topic: hydrographics tutorial  (Read 475 times)


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hydrographics tutorial
« on: November 11, 2016, 11:35:50 PM »
ive done this tutorial on facebook, but maybe there people here that have not seen it.
ok hydrographics is a way to make patterned surface on a painted object, its used on many things, phone cases, car wheels, car trim and can be used on models as well.
here is a video showing it.

when doing ultra small modelling parts there are some things you need to take account of, the film wont stretch as much, you will get air bubbles, as the film doesnt stretch onto the part after care is just as important to get a nicely finished surface.

1 what base paint to use to lay the film onto?
i use vellejo primer, but any acrylic paint will do.

2 how long do you leave base paint until you dip?
i leave it for an hour or two before dipping, mainly as if i mess up the dipping, the paint will easily come off with x20 thinner or airbrush cleaner, but you can leave the base paint a whole day, it just wont be easily removed if you mess up.

3 cut the square of film as needed (lick fingers and test which is the sticky side and that faces down) border the cut film with masking tape and leave corners free so film can stretch.

4 you want the water (tepid) not warm or cool to touch, or you can buy a cheap electric thermometer and want it about 30.

5 place film into water make sure of no air bubbles under the film and leave for between 80 and 200 seconds(i would test this first as you can waste parts by the film not being ready to spray the activator).

6 once the film is ready, spray the activator. you should see the film turn to a liquid on the surface, then dip.

7 if the part doesnt come out well you can just rinse off under a tap and put in a bath of x20 or any acrylic airbrush cleaner and clean the part to re-paint the base.

8 if the part has come out well, with no tears you can leave it for 15 minutes so the activator really cuts into the base paint. at this point you may see bubbles of trapped air, this isnt a problem just dont touch them or try and burst them.

9 in the auto world they run parts under a tap but with our parts being so delicate, the best method is to place the part in fresh water to soak for an hour.

10 after soaking the part you should have all the residue melt away(you can tell as when the part dries it will dry matt, if the part still has water soluble film left on the part it will dry shiny)

11 after the part has had a while to dry check for any bubbles left in the film, any bubbles can be removed by very very carefully painting on x20 acrylic thinner or microsol, the film porus at this point and will suck up any thinner and bubbles will disappear, DO NOT TOUCH THE PART WHILE THIS IS HAPPENING just let the thinner take the bubbles out.

12 after an hour or 2 you should see any bubbles gone or greatly reduced, you may have to hit it again with x20, again just leave it to do its thing, ive only ever had to use the thinner no more than twice and it always works.

once you have your parts done and looking good with no air bubbles just leave everything for 24 to 48 hours before you hit it with the clears, after its cured you can use any clear you want although for the best glossy finish 2 pack clears are best

motorcycles aswell

now i get all of the supplies here in the UK from hugas. you will need a can of activator which costs 10 or $15
and the film, you can get a few pounds or dollars per metre DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON DIP KITS they are a rip off.
if you know how to paint programs like gimp or photoshop you can also make your own film and get it printed (A4 size needs atleast 3000dpi) its costs 3 to 5 per A4 sheet, which is pricy but you will have custom film and resize the pattern to a much smaller size as seen on the motorcycle carbon fibre and the sinanju stein snow camo pattern.
hope this gives people ideas for gundam painting.

Ryuken 76

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Re: hydrographics tutorial
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2016, 04:09:37 AM »
Great post,I looked into doing this a year ago,it looks awesome but I'm still not sure if I can afford it let alone find a decent supplier.

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