Well, I started painting the 1:350 Falcon tonight. Being such small scale, your paint coats have to be flawless.
First, I wanted to start with a black primer, for reasons I'll mention here soon. I sprayed Mr Surfacer 1500 thinned 1.5 : 1 thinner/primer with Mr. Leveling Thinner. This sprayed absolutely beautifully and laid down a smooth primer coat. If you don't have Mr Surfacer 1500, black Stynylrez is also a fantastic choice.
While I probably could have just left the primer as is, JUST to be sure, I gently polished the Falcon's primer coat with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. This now left an ultra satin smooth finish for paint.
I chose to paint the Falcon Mr. Color 107 Character White. It's a very very light grey, not exactly white, and also semi-gloss. I chose to do a semi-gloss basecoat, because even at this scale, some flat paints may produce too much graininess, even with a flawless application. If you don't have a semi-gloss grey and are using Tamiya paints, you can mix their flat paints 50/50 with Tamiya X-22 clear to get semi gloss. If you're using Vallejo, you can add gloss medium in the same way. I thinned the paint 1:1 again with Mr. Leveling Thinner. This is where the black primer coat really does it's work. Because white has a poorer opaqueness than black, not all of the white pigment can get into every nook and cranny. This allows some shading in the crevices and is much better than a heavy handed black wash. I personally hate all but the most subtle of washes on a model, it ruins realism.
Lastly, I also polished the cured basecoat with toothpaste again to make sure it was absolutely flawless. Once all weathering is applied, the semi-gloss basecoat will probably get knocked back down to the flat hunk of junk we love.
Looks really nice so far - surprised by the LOD on this.
I've seen your other models and know you've got the skill to work at this scale, just wouldn't you find it easier to work on something slightly larger? or is it the challenge?
I don't choose to work at this scale. I choose to work with the most movie accurate models, which happen to be Bandai. Revell makes larger models, but their quality is awful. Bandai just happens to be adverse to making large models for some reason. I have their 1/48th X-wing which is a fairly good size. This 1:350 Falcon is fun also because it will be in scale with my 1:350 TOS Enterprise which is 3ft long itself. My next project is the Zvezda Star Destroyer which is over 2ft long. It's big. So that will be a change of pace.
So to start off, I striped down back to plastic with isopropyl alcohol alcohol, and then primed with black Stynylrez, then painted the basecoat with Vallejo Model Air White Grey. I must say I was very impressed with this combo. Really smooth.
Next I used Vallejo Model Color Flat Red and Dark Red mixed 50/50 to pic out the red panels with brush painting. I mixed this 1:1 with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner to avoid brush strokes. This mixture is then very self leveling. I did the same also for the yellow panels by mixing Vallejo Flat Yellow and Sky Grey 50/50. Again thinned with Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. Then I touched up my work by brushing on the original White Grey color where I had accidentally gone outside the lines.