Finishing techniques of architecture model making
Architecture model making
When architecture model making comes to ﬁnishing presentation models thehighest standard is often expected to convey the level ofprofessionalism a design practice would want to show.This means careful consideration to the ﬁnished look of amodel. Perhaps the proposed scheme has a speciﬁc set ofcolours used throughout the design or requires a minimalapproach to colour at an earlier stage of development.Either way, these ﬁnishes can be very inﬂuential to theprospective audience a model is designed to reach out to.Colour schemes are therefore worthy of a lot of thoughtas the model and or design architecture model project is advancing. Materialﬁnishes can be used in their natural state or with theaddition of artiﬁcial colouring.
architecture model Material colour
– When the natural state of a chosenmaterial is used as the ﬁnished colour. This means caremust be taken in cutting and preparing components tomaintain the desired ﬁnish for example, when using wood,saw and sanding marks will need to be removed with carethrough stages of sanding.
– When a desired colour is applied to achosen material when its desired shape or form has beenachieved. Examples of this would be to stain wood or paintacrylic components.
Using ﬁllers for architecture model
– Fillers are widely used in modelmaking,the type of ﬁller applied is largely dependent on thematerial you are working with. When working with acrylicor metals, using polyester-based ﬁller with a catalyst ispreferable. Wooden projects can use a variety of ﬁllers thatcome in many different pigments but rarely match thecolour of the materials perfectly. Whilst instructions willvary slightly on each product the general rule for mixing ita ratio of 50 parts ﬁller to one part catalyst hardener.When applying ﬁller, make sure you cover the desired areabut ensure any excess is removed before it cures to reduceprolonged ﬁnishing work. Once cured, ﬁlled areas can besanded over and painted without trace if done correctly.
architecture model makingTechnical processes:
Rough ﬁnished materials can be worked up to a ﬁne,smooth ﬁnish in preparation for artiﬁcial colour ﬁnishingor as a ﬁnal ﬁnish. To carry out this process correctlyrequires time and patience.There are two main types of sandpaper used inmodelmaking industry.
wooden pieces to remove splinters and saw marks on architecture model
ﬁnishes. As the name suggests, this paper can be usedwith water or dry on its own. The beneﬁt of using wateris that dust produced is reduced and the resulting slurrythat is produced acts as an additional abrasive on thematerial.
Both paper types are graded low to high (see image on theleft). These grade levels refer to the coarseness of the papere.g. Low grade: 80 abrasive pieces of grit per cm squared.High grade: 1000 abrasive pieces of grit per cm squared.
When working with porous materials like wood thatrequires painting it is necessary to apply a coating ofsanding sealer before priming. This coat soaks into thepores of the material and sets to allow a smooth surfaceto be worked through sanding. The application should becarried out through a spray gun to ensure even consistencyalthough if these facilities are unavailable brushing to coatfollowed by careful sanding can be effective.
architecture model Painting is a very individual skill to master, and it is likelythat personal preferences and skill will combine to developa modelmaker’s particular approach of achieving thedesired ﬁnish through practise. Here is an outline of a basicspraying process applicable to both spray cans and guns:
A general rule of thumb is that architecture model is always better to buildup coats of paint in stages rather than trying to cover yourobject in one coat. This reduces the chance of ‘runs’ in thepaint and allows the modelmaker the chance to see anyﬂaws that may have been overlooked.
Health and safety considerations
Whilst individual products will come with their ownhealth and safety advice, it is important to get used tofollowingbasic guidelines: Wearing gloves is essential toprotect hands from paint and thinners. It is also a goodidea to wear old clothing or an overall to protect clothesfrom spillages. It is always advisable to wear a respiratormask when spraying and to ensure its ﬁlters are in goodcondition. Fine particles of paint in the air can easily beinhaled and this should be avoided. Many workshops areﬁtted with extraction booths for spraying which offer thebest environment for in terms of the user’s health. In theabsence of these facilities it is usually advised to spray ina well-ventilated area or outdoors to avoid a build-up ofairborne fumes and paint.
architecture model of Using spray cans
Beneﬁts of using spray cans for painting are the portability,wide range of pre-mixed colours, and relative low cost. Forthese reasons spray cans are often chosen by students andhobbyist modelmakers. Commercial workshops equippedwith spray facilities prefer to use air-fed spray guns forﬁnish, long term costing and eventual responsible disposalof used cans. Generally speaking it is much harder toachieve a high quality ﬁnish with spray cans, howeverwith practise a reasonable result can be achieved. The mostnotable and used types of spray cans are plastic primers,ﬁller primers, acrylic top coats, lacquers and frosting. All ofthese are readily available at craft and DIY shops.
Using canned paints for architecture model
Using canned paints offers us much more freedom to mixcolours to our liking in the exact quantities required. Theuse of cellulose paints is being phased out although manycommercial companies and suppliers still have accessto old stock. This change was due to the environmentalimpact of cellulose and has been widely replaced with theuse of water-based acrylics. Whichever paint you come touse it is important to mix it using the correct thinners andfollow the health and safety considerations as listed above.
Using gravity-fed spray guns offer us great versatility in ourspray ﬁnishes. Standard guns should feature the followingvariable controls:
Adjusting these allows for controlled variation in the typeof ﬁnish. architecture model settings are very individual and should beset each time a different paint mix is put through the gun.Spraying with too much paint ﬂowing causes a wet coatwith an increased chance of inconsistency in the coat. Thisis also more likely to cause runs in the paint. Should thishappen it is important to leave the paint to dry and rub itback to a priming stage – a situation which can be far fromideal on fragile components! If the gun’s air pressure is settoo high this can result in what is known as an ‘orange peel’ texture and is generally not desirable. Mattingadditives also give us the ability to create satin or mattﬁnishes to any mixed colour. When adding these it isimportant to use the correct percentage ratio as instructedon the additive. Incorrect ratio mix can result in poorquality ﬁnish or cracking in the paint.Once the required components have been sprayedremember to clean the spray gun. Leaving paint in spraygun will mean a lot of work to clean the gun next time itis used. The best way to do this is to ﬂush out the paintusing the thinners used to mix it. As with any otherprocess it is advisable to carry out tests before committingto the completed components.
A good architecture model guideline to get used to when mixing and thinningpaints is to achieve a ‘milk-like’ consistency. Too muchpaint and the mix will not ﬂow efﬁciently through thegun. Too little paint and the coverage produced will beweak. Both instances are likely to require rubbing theobject back and starting from the priming stage shouldthey occur. Aiming to mix to the paint to the consistencyof milk, leaving a slight residue when dripped on theside of a mixing cup, will achieve a good ﬂow and areacoverage through a correctly set spray gun.
This technique is often used commercially to differentiatebetween different materials in the architecture model.Speckling allows a subtle hue change over speciﬁc areas toconvey differences without using bold block colouring.To create the speckle effect using a spray gun set up withlow air output. Subtle adjustments to the paint and low used for a wide range of scales and with multiple colours.It is important to take into account the thickness ofthe ﬁnished painted components. If the parts will beassembled into an accurately designed model, paintwill signiﬁcantly add to their thickness and thus hindersmooth assembly. It is for this reason that the designershould take this into account during the componentconstruction stage of the architecture model to avoid issues duringﬁnal assembly.
Desktop air brushes
Airbrushes are essentially scaled-down spray guns but canproduce a greater level of accuracy when painting architecture model. Theyare primarily used with acrylic water-based paints thatcan be easily mixed at low cost. Their use is widespreadamongst hobbyist modelmakers but does have practicalapplications in the commercial design industry. Mostsuited to small scale components, the main beneﬁt of thistool when using acrylics is that it does not require anyextraction. This means that a compressor can be set upand the brush used almost anywhere. If there is no accessto mains power then compressed air cans may be used inplace of a compressor. The airbrush offers an increasedlevel of control allowing for ﬁner paint gradients or subtledetailing. This means they are of little use for coveringlarge surface areas that are typically done using spray gunsor cans. There are a variety of air brushes on the architecture model.Typically, low priced models tend to have fewer spraycontrols, which are less likely to be used commercially.