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I'm happy to say that I was able to get spray paint AND brush-on to work as primers for my shipping containers. The top-most red shipping container in the picture was painted using a can of red spray paint (Wal-Mart store brand). I started by spraying the underside of the lid and the inside of the container to see how the plastic would hold up. The lid underside dried reasonably quickly, though the interior of the container remained tacky for longer than it usually takes for base-coats on my miniatures to dry (so for a bit I was concerned that this wouldn't work). However, when I let it sit overnight, both pieces were perfectly dry, so I went ahead and painted the whole thing. I had a little trouble with getting coverage in some of the overhang areas (I didn't want to hover around missed spots too much and risk running paint, or melting plastic with the medium), but I could touch that sort of thing up with brushes anyway. For the other boxes, I painted them up by hand, choosing fairly opaque base colors. One coat won't suffice for even coverage. I have found that the spray-painted box is much more resistant to paint getting scraped off; the spray base coat definitely helps, even with the plastic, as the plastic is just too smooth to provide a very good anchor on its own. For the box labels, I searched online for images (Google search for "iso container door"), pasted them into a Word document, cropped, and scaled them to height (about 1.75" high, based on an approximation of the height of the model between the bottom and upper "lips"), printed four copies of each door, and then cut out the various label elements to glue onto the boxes. E.g. (I think this is a picture of a model): For the double doors, I pretty much used my pictures as a guide for where to paste the labels. The mechanism doesn't correspond perfectly to the structure on the doors of the Reaper Shipping Containers (in fact, the mechanism on the actual model is apparently nonsensical), but it at least gives the basic idea at a glance. Similarly, I know nothing about the meaning behind the various codes printed on the containers; I'm treating it pretty much like text-filler "Greek" -- all that matters is that there's some sort of print so the surface doesn't look conspicuously blank. (Still, I can't help but think about what a real train enthusiast might think of my boxes. "Why, that's NONSENSE!" Kind of like when I would get some imported Japanese toys with weird pseudo-English stamped on the vehicles. If you couldn't read English, it'd look just fine. And I suspect the reverse would be true for that craze back in the 1980s where random Kanji would be printed on T-shirts and head-bands, and for all I know the characters might spell out, "I Am An Idiot!" rather than the "Super Awesome Ninja Warrior!" message I might have hoped for it to say. :) ) Just about every ISO container reference I could find has flat panel areas for these codes and stats to be printed on, but Reaper's model has every side corrugated. This is a bit problematic, but I just glued down my cut-out paper labels (trying to color-match them as best I could manage), and used my thumbnail to push down the paper into the troughs of the corrugated surface so it might follow the surface a little better. For "distress," I dry-brushed the corners and underside with the rustiest paint I had (burnt orange), and splattered the whole thing with a bit of black acrylic wash (making puddles on the roof, and doing wash-spatter on the sides by wetting the brush, holding it back with my thumb, and then flicking the surface -- and trying to make sure nothing of importance was also caught in the spatter-range, as that's a very MESSY way of painting). I roughly painted the locking bars a dark "graphite grey," then went back over with a lighter "granite grey" to make the bars stand out. I plan on using these for a construction site for a "Fearsome Critters" (Savage Worlds) RPG scenario -- modern day -- but I may also use them as tabletop terrain for a Fallout-themed scenario, so I've tried to keep the boxes somewhat generic by NOT putting big shipping company logos on the sides. (If I ever do that, I'm going to make some stencils, and paint them on, rather than trying to do it with paper. The paper labels are passable for the really small details, but if I'm covering whole sides of the model, at some point I might as well just be making papercraft.)
"It seemed like such a good deal. Braythick Bearhammer the dwarf mapmaker/treasure salvager had been poking around some gnome's antique dealings stall and seen it standing there, looming in the back of the tent. It was massive, a masterwork of engineering, gone to rust and ruin. Still, it could potentially be useful to the dwarf. It did after all have a blade upon its tail, and long legs. It could carry his tools! Yes, it had been a brilliant plan. Something to carry his tools, and any 'rescued' loot he found in abandoned ruins. Something to defend him from the wilderness [and natives of said ruins that might disagree with his right of salvage]. And it had been a steal. The gnome had been desperate to get rid of the thing. It seemed too good to be true! Something like this could save him the cost of hiring lackeys to carry his stuff, of hiring thugs to protect him. It wouldn't need to eat, or sleep, it could guard him while he slept. Definitely too good to be true. And it was. Because apparently it had a few screws loose. Literally and figuratively. It had the attention span of a jackdaw. Braythick did not want the confounded thing to get distracted by a butterfly while he was trying to fight off a mountain lion or troll. And yet, as he unslung his hammer to remind the local natives of his right to found loot, the darn thing would turn around and trot off without a care in the world, leaving Braythick to run in an undignified manner after yelling at it. And most likely, the gnome that sold it was laughing as he counted his coins, grateful to be rid of the troublesome, ancient war machine" Old Show Off: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/56248-77177-rusty-wyrmgear/ WIP: http://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/55988-rusty-wyrmgear-wip/ Retitled Clockwork Orange