Monday, January 10, 2011

Painting Tips from Tim Tuminaro

Hi, I’m Tim Tuminaro and I started painting Subbuteo teams after arriving home from a trip to the 1982 Subbuteo World Cup in Barcelona, Spain where I and Jon Schultz formed Team USA. Many countries had teams painted in their colors and many carried along club teams for the many practice games that were held. I got a crash course in using polish and saw some awesome teams hand painted. I loved them. I have been playing this game since 1981 when I bought my first game set and have painted many teams since then. The number one rule however is do not be afraid to attempt it. With practice you learn a few tricks to making it easier and the challenge to improve with each new team seems to come along with the “job”.

Today with the computer and an assortment of unpainted figures available you can create your own personalized team. Testors makes a waterslide decal sheet which is very easy to use, when you follow directions. I use them and another available through an art store but those cost more . After practice and ending with happy results you can always move to upgrade your tools and materials. I have an inkjet printer but a laser printer makes more tiny details very simple. Currently, I use the most basic Windows Paint program (this allows cutting and pasting and image reducing very easily)for most of my work, along with window’s Word processor for names and numbers. Reducing it to very smallest output size like 25% before printing. However the Professionals use the Corel Draw and other graphic Art programs with much better decals being produced. But Your Artistic impression goes much further in the end than a computer program. Most figures are seen from three feet away and rarely closer while actually playing.

I have spoken to the ASA President and TABLESOCCERUSA .com owner Paul Eyes and he asked me to share my steps of creating my teams. I am happy to do so. I love seeing others work as well. I would first choose the style of figure you want to use ( I love Superfooty 2k10 figures and also 2k4 figures also their detail and pose are realistic ). Then count out enough to a team and a keeper usually 10 field players a sub and a keeper makes 12 figures.

Using a hobby store style sand paper or small scale sanding stick remove the moulding lines around the edges of your figures. Then wash off the figures in a mild detergent with a toothbrush to remove any grease from the molds they are made in. Primer the figures with a primer in a white color. This allows the paint to stick much better and not come off as easily. Allow two or three days before painting or applying decals.

Now the fun part, which team. Pick one and research on the internet the colors and type of colors Home or away. I go far enough to check out their faces and hair styles as well sometimes which shoes they are seen in more also.. I find a way to get an image from Bing or Google pictures or image shack to save the picture to use in Windows paint. Then I reduce it, copy and paste eleven or twenty of them and print out on paper first what they look like. If the detail is too small I will expand it so it more easily seen from closer. With the paint program you can change colors and erase certain points which may obscure the overall appearance of the logo for instance, use your own artistic talent here.

For the numbers I will go to the teams roster and write down the spellings and numbers of the players. To start I suggest trying the numbers first only and go to other levels later. there are many number sets on switch image .com which I have found wonderful. Many names have an abundance of letters as well Stefenhagen may not fit in the same size Alpha . Make it smaller or take out a couple of a’s and an e and the effect is not recognized so easily. German names are most prone to this . Make the final changes and then print out on decal paper. Seal all colors with decal bonder agent from testors as well. It is a clear coat which doesn’t allow the ink to release itself when liquid is out on it . Don’t use same day when applying Let this too dry or several days.

Cutting the decals to place on your figures is not hard but using a fresh xacto blade is vital a dull one will tear paper and decal. Start with one figure at a time and cut on a flat hard surface like a piece of scrap laminate counter top. These are available at hardware stores for a buck or two you can get one scrap toss away to work on.

I use varnish and micro sol and micro set to adhere my decals to the figure. I tried this many times before getting the hang of it . I cut the decal and place it on a non skid mat very flat I place a drop of the blue bottle micro set product next to the decal. I push the decal into the liquid and touch it after a few seconds when it moves it goes on the figure. I use a paint brush and a tooth pick to move it on to the figures back (for numbers by example). As far as the figure goes. I put a varnish on the figure moments before the decal goes on a light spreading on the varnish allows for tackiness to hold down the decal. But a light coat is used . Pick up the decal like it is a wet cloth it will surely curl up , it happens. Keeping it as flat as you can is best. Use a pre wet cue tip,then squeezed out to soak up water from decal sometimes helps I twist a napkin and. Dab ,dab , use it like a pencil to remove water . Don’t over touch decal it soon melts into form on the figure. Let this dry off and seal with a light coat of varnish. You can use acrylic or oil lacquer but don’t use too much . I like the gloss varnish and Dullcote varnish best from testors the gloss allows the decals to slide around better.

If you make several small decals they are much easier to apply than a whole front / and back of a shirt decal. That is very worth learning. I am still trying to get that one. These are now available online also and look beautiful but they are not easy to simply put on. You should practice with a positive attitude

A personalized team can be achieved by painting the color and hairstyles of the players, facial hair as well as skin tone. I start with the Squadron white putty which dries very fast and add small drops of Inslx brand Stix primer to it and affix it the scalp of the players. You may shave or sand off some of the existing head to allow for the hair to appear realistic and not a hat on the head affect.

I use a tooth pick to move around the hair before it dries and then coat this with a small drop of super glue to harden the putty super hard. (not for kids to try. Put a small drop on aluminum foil and dip the head down into it for a second. While holding the figure head side down remove existing glue by touching it with your tooth pick. Set aside to dry , paint and seal in with clear coat. I personally love it when players are bald. Ha-ha.

The tools I use for painting I have collected over many years but the most important one is my brushes. I care for these like diamonds . They are the Windsor Newton Series Seven Sable mink brushes. Number 1 and Number 0 are my staples. They apply paint with excellent flow. I use paints (oil based) while they are still available , but also like acrylics for their safety aspects. I thin out the paints a little with thinner but too much make paint very weak. The thinned out paint should stick when applied and not run away into crevices. For smaller details I have cut off bristles from 5/0 small synthetic taklon bristle brush to make the brush small enough for the stripes, and eyebrows and eyes.

Remember painted teams are durable once dried and you apply clear coats to them , I would let the final decal dry or paint dry to two days before spraying your clear coat on them . I once sprayed them the next day and the paint crinkled almost immediately, a sign the paint had not dried cause I thinned it to much and applied too may coats . Let it dry before clear final coat . If you are playing with then you can repeat a clear coat every season. But the paint will eventually chip off , back to the work table for a little touch up. Have fun and try it you may be very happy with the results. Or ask a friend who paints models.

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