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Painting figures

Q: I saw an article of yours in an old Scale Auto Enthusiast about painting figures. In it, you mentioned using Floquil brand paint because it provided a dead-flat finish.

I went to the local hobby shop in search of the Floquil colors you discussed, and guess what? They don’t carry Floquil paints! Ditto for a second hobby shop near my house! Any suggestions?

I’m new at figure painting and I’m unsure now which paints would be an acceptable substitute.

Tim Sickle
via E-mail

Ken: That was a long-ago article indeed, Tim! Floquil is a solvent-based paint that’s particularly popular with model railroaders, because they offer a wide range of prototypically correct railroad colors.

It’s still available in most train-centric hobby shops or on line through Micro-Mark and other distributors, but you can find many acceptable substitutes closer to home.

Solvent-based paints are losing favor among some modelers, especially now that there are so many good acrylic paints out there.

My favorite is Jo-Sonja, an artist-quality paint that you might find in a good art-supply store. Another great paint is Vallejo. Both of these are also available on line, but probably your best bet if you’re just dabbling with figure painting (and don’t want to spend a lot on a big stash of paint) is to visit your local craft store, like Michael’s or AC Moore, and pick up small jars of their craft paint. They’re flat and should work out well for you.

If they do end up giving you something other than a dead-flat finish, you can always spray a coat of Testor’s DullCote or any other flat lacquer over the finished piece. The lacquer won’t hurt the acrylic.


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