During the build of this 1:8 scale Back to the Future DeLorean partwork model, I have used different paints, markers, washes, and powders to add some additional color to the model and correct some inaccuracies versus The ‘A’ Car. Recently, a visitor comment asked if I could share a list of what I used during construction, so here we are!
Each builder is different, and my choices below are not the only options, so feel free to do your model any way you like. These are merely what I thought would help spruce up my own model. I have included links to the products (but you can likely get them anywhere hobby supplies are sold) and links to the issues where I used them. This page will be updated throughout the build.
I prefer to use acrylic model paints over enamels. Acrylics are water-based, so they are non-toxic, easy to clean up, and can be thinned with water, or with 70% isopropyl alcohol to allow for fast drying. The majority of my paint collection is from Tamiya, but I also have some Model Master and Mission Model paints as well.
|Brand||Product Number & Link||Color||Used in Issue(s)|
|Tamiya||XF-2||Flat White||04, 57|
|Tamiya||Fine Surface Primer||Light Grey||05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 14, 29, 33|
|Tamiya||XF-56||Metallic Grey||05, 06, 11, 12, 14, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33|
|Tamiya||X-32||Titanium Silver||05, 06, 12, 14, 17, Wheel Works|
|Model Master||4672||Brass||07, 10, 19, 22, 23, 24, 27, 46|
|Tamiya||XF-16||Flat Aluminum||08, 30, 31, 86|
|Tamiya||XF-1||Flat Black||12, 14, 21, 22|
|Tamiya||XF-85||Rubber Black||44, 69, 73, 121|
|Tamiya||X-26||Clear Orange||67, 71|
|Model Master||4852||Green Zinc Chromate||83|
|Tamiya||XF-3||Flat Yellow||111, 118|
While I occasionally use fine-tip paint brushes to apply paint, most of the time I use my Grex Tritium.TG airbrush system. It is a fantastic product, but if you want the whole Grex GCK03 kit with compressor and accessories, it can cost nearly $400 USD.
There are less expensive airbrush systems out there that can easily do the job, from Master Airbrush, Iwata, Paasche, and so on. However, I wanted the Grex’s dual-action pistol grip (I have big hands) and a quiet, adjustable, and reliable compressor with a built-in air-dryer. This system was recommended to me by a trusted hobby shop owner and I have been very satisfied with it.
I also have a basic Iwata Neo CN airbrush that I use with ‘gummy’ paints (especially metallics) in order to keep that gunk out of the Grex.
I build indoors in a spare bedroom, so I needed someplace I could spray paint without killing myself with fumes and covering everything in over spray. I found this great little Master Airbrush Portable Spray Booth and absolutely love it. It folds up for easy storage and includes a thick filter, decent airflow, LED lighting, turntable, and an external ducting system:
I have found that adding small quick spots of color can easily be achieved using a variety of permanent markers. And, with the multitude of colors available (especially the metallics), we can really add some nice details along the way.
|Brand||Tip||Color & Product Link||Used in Issue(s)|
|Sharpie||Fine Point||Black||42, 46, 54, 57, 82, 87, 106, EL Light Mod|
|Sharpie||Fine Point||Metallic Silver||43, 45, 48, 57, 59, 83, 100, 102, 109, 112, 125, 131, 134, 147|
|Sharpie||Fine Point||Metallic Gold||46, 54, 57, 59, 81, 87, 137, 140, 143, 147|
|Sharpie||Fine Point||Metallic Bronze||54, 57, 83, 137, 140, 143, 147|
I do not use color washes often, but they are useful if you want to bring out subtle contrast in recessed details. They are applied straight from the bottle and seep into cracks and crevices. Once it dries a bit, you can wipe off the excess with water or alcohol.
|Brand||Number||Color||Used in Issue(s)|
|Vallejo Game Wash - Black||73.201||Black||44|
Powders are almost exclusively used for weathering, damage, or heat marks, but I also use them to add a color tint to otherwise dull details:
|Brand||Set||Color||Used in Issue(s)|
|Tamiya||D||Oil Stain||53, 125|
|Tamiya||B||Rust||120, 125, 126|
|Tamiya||B||Soot||120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126|
|Tamiya||B||Snow||125 (on the large curved black hoses around the reactor)|
17 thoughts on “THE COLORS”
This is amazing thank you!! I can’t locate my original message I sent to you to reply to, so I thought this was the next best place. This is soooo helpful thank you!!!!
Awesome resource. I hope you get credit for the links to the products as I have bought most of them. My question is on some of the smaller details that you paint are you using a brush or airbrush? If it is with a brush do you use thinner with the paints? Thanks.
I thought about doing an Amazon store to help cover the domain registration and hosting costs, but we shall see. If a part is easy enough to paint by hand, I will use a brush and un-thinned paint. If I want a really smooth surface or a larger area, I will use my airbrush. Using the airbrush takes a lot more time to setup and clean up, so I reserve it for when I really need it.
Maybe this is a rookie question, but did you paint a clearcoat on top of all of your painting throughout the build, e.g. over the grey primer on the chassis parts or metallic grey/brass screwheads?
No rookie questions here! I did not, but many people do. Clears do protect the paint, but also adds a sheer (matte, semi, or gloss) to the surface. If it is a part that is expected to be handled or detailed enough that I do not want to repaint, I do clearcoat them. For example, I clear coated the copper grilles on my Enterprise D build as I knew we would be handling the nacelles quite a bit and did not want to damage the detailed masking lines I made.
Could I use a different brand of paint such as Vallejo as I’ve heard that tamiya paints are quite toxic because of the ingredients in them?
You can use any paint you like, but all paints should be used in a well-ventilated area (paint booth, etc). I don’t feel that Tamiya paints are any more or less toxic than other acrylics. Perhaps if you drink them, so don’t do that.
First do you vent your airbrush outside using the booths hose?
Second a video of your work space & model shelf would be amazing… asking for a ‘friend’
Since I use strictly acrylic paints (which are water or alcohol based), I just use my paint booth and the filter catches everything. I have the vent hose for my little paint booth, but do not use it. I will see about taking some pictures of my work room, it is kind of in disarray at the moment because of the arrival of my new 3D resin printer.
What size needle would you recommend for the airbrush and should I get a gravity fed one. Are there a lot of large pieces to paint or are the majority small pieces? Thanks.
I use the 0.3mm needle my GREX came with and it has worked fine with all but the thickest paints. A larger needle may come in handy when spraying the thicker paints such as metallics, but I tend to just thin them down more and spray additional coats. I did pick up an cheap Iwata Neo airbrush with a larger needle to use with my metallics (the metallics tend to be ‘gummier’ and that way I don’t gunk up my GREX.
I like the gravity feed (top or side cup models) because they tend to waste less paint. The bottom feed (bottle suction) needs more paint to fill the vacuum tube. However, the benefit of a bottom feed (bottle) is that you can see what you are painting a little easier (the cup is not in the way). It is personal preference really.
What could I substitute model Master brass for as I can’t seem to find any in the UK?
You could also use Vallejo Model Air 71.067 Bright Brass Metallic.
I found this one? Vallejo 70.913a yellow ochre
That is close in color, but not metallic. Do you need it to be a metallic finish?
I’d prefer which ever is closer to the actual car.
The ‘brass’ parts on the real car are actually coated with a zinc-chromate like rust protection coating. I found the brass paint color to be closest.