Tag: Painting

Review : The Masters’ Brush Cleaner

Content: 1/4 oz
Price: IDR 75,000

What is it?
The name says it all doesn’t it? It cleans your brushes. Sure you clean with thinner and water after every painting session, but if you’ve used them long enough you know that doesn’t get rid of everything. I’m also quite abusive of my brushes so they deteriorate quite badly.

The Masters’ Brush Cleaner claims to work for brushes that have been used for oil, acrylic and water paints. One thing to note is that mine doesn’t say ‘Brush Preserver’ on its label but if you google, the label usually says ‘Brush Cleaner and Brush Preserver’. I’m not sure if mine is different. This is also supposed to work for both nylon and sable brushes.

How does it work?
It works just like how you would use soap on yourself: just lather and rinse. I found the following instructions online:

For Cleaning

  1. Wipe brush to remove excess paint.
  2. Wet brush and/or The Masters with water.
  3. Swirl brush in The Masters and work into a lather.
  4. Rinse with clean water.
  5. Repeat if necessary until brush is clean (lather will be white). You can clean one color after another without removing the previous colors from The Masters first.
For Preserving
  1. Clean brushes as above
  2. Leave clear lather on bristles, shape and allow to dry.
  3. Shake powder off bristles when ready to use again.
For Restoring
  1. Clean brush as above, but use hot water.
  2. Allow lather to remain on bristles for a few minutes.
  3. If necessary, tap bristles on hard surface to work paint out.
  4. To clean paint from ferrule, allow lather to remain on the bristles for several hours, and repeat cleaning process.
  5. Leave clear lather on bristles, shape, and allow to dry.

Easy enough isn’t it? The cleaner itself looks like soap and has a very slight lemony smell. When I lather the brushes there isn’t any suds but take a look at the before and after below. This was just a quick session of 3 lathers and rinses.

The effect is quite drastic, especially on the older nylon brush. This also proves that it works on both nylon and sable brushes. The nylon brush has gone through a ton of different paints including acrylic and oil types. I’ve also dipped the brush in PVA glue, Future and lacquer thinner. This is also the brush I use to clean my airbrushes. The sable meanwhile spent a few years between uses.

The Masters’ Brush Cleaner is definitely more price effective for the more expensive sable brushes as nylon ones can be bought for such a low price nowadays. The bottle is very small for the price you pay but I think it’ll last for a lot of cleaning sessions.

Highly recommended if only to extend the life of your brushes.

~ Review courtesy of my wallet

Review : AFV Acrylic Techniques by Mig Jimenez

DVD Info
Minutes: 55
Language: English with Spanish subtitles
System: PAL
Price: USD 20.00 (est.)

First a disclaimer: this DVD does not teach you how to assemble a kit. It does teach you how some simple techniques can really ‘pop’ a kit and bring it to another level.

Traditionally, weathering and finishing of model kits are done with oil, enamel or lacquer products. The general understanding is acrylic-based items are not suitable for the job since acrylic paints tend to be have bad coverage and chips easily.

Miguel Jimenez was the man behind Mig Productions, one of the more popular products for weathering and finishing model kits. He has since parted company with Mig Productions. This DVD is a joint release with Acrylicos Vallejo, the manufacturer of the Vallejo line of acrylic-based finishing products, to show that good finishing and weathering can be achieved, even with acrylics.

I have been using acrylic-based products more or less exclusively for about 6 years now. I like how there’s very little smell (especially Vallejo products) and it’s toxicity level is much lower than enamel and lacquer paints. However, I still have to use some enamel, lacquer or oil-based products when it comes to weathering. This DVD is of particular interest to me since given a choice, I’d switch 100% over to acrylic finishing.

I mailordered the DVD from Panther Models Ltd in merry ol’ England. One Paypal payment and 10 days later, the package arrived. A pleasant surprise was the inclusion of a 5% discount coupon I can use towards Vallejo products. Nice.

Included with the DVD is a 7 page full-color booklet summarizing the contents of the DVD. Sort of like a crib sheet. The DVD itself has Mig himself building a Panzerkampfwagen II kit from the start of painting to completing the kit with weathering and detailing. A nice touch is how the whole video is split into convenient chapters so you can always go back and re-watch one particular aspect of the finishing process.

The narration (by Mig?) is clear and concise although a bit fast. But if you’re used to the English language, it shouldn’t pose a problem. There is a hint of accent in the voice but it’s nothing jarring. Best of all, the whole video is done with the kit covering the entire screen so you can see the processes clearly. I gather you can even ‘get’ what’s going on even if you turn off the sound.

The chapters are divided logically and I like how nothing is glossed over. For example the chipping section, Mig actually shows you how he does chipping on more than one part of the kit so you get a more concise idea of how and why it’s done the way it is.

He does do some things differently like adding gloss varnish in his paints so he doesn’t have to gloss coat the kit before the decaling stage. He also doesn’t preshade or use red brown as base color but it still works.

I find it interesting how he even controls the tones during the primer stage: he highlights parts that get more exposed to light with white primer. Best of all, he gives reasons to why he does everything, which you can then adapt to your own skillsets.

Of course this being a Vallejo sponsored DVD, everything you see in there is from Vallejo. This includes the primer, paint, gloss/matt varnish, decal softener/fixer, pigments, wash and even the paintbrushes. If you thought Vallejo only had paints, think again.

Everything that Mig uses in the video has a different branded alternate. The alternative might not be acrylic-based, but there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s the beauty of it I think: You might not use acrylic products, but all these effects and finishes can still be learned through this DVD.

The topic of this DVD is armor, which lend themselves to a ton of weathering and detailing. However, it won’t be hard to adapt the skills shown here to other genres like aircraft and sci-fi.

If you’ve ever wondered how modelers achieved their finishes and detailing, or if you’re thinking what can be done after switching to all acrylic products, or if you just want to see what can be done to bring your kit into the next level, this DVD is for you.

I hope Mig comes up with more DVDs of this quality. Highly recommended!