Author Topic: starting out ... paint advice?  (Read 1851 times)

Offline albireo13

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starting out ... paint advice?
« on: January 06, 2023, 09:54:34 AM »
Hi all,
  I am getting back into model making again.   My basic, newbie question regards paints.   
I think I will go enamel.   I always used enamels as a kid and am not quite convinced acrylics are better.

Anyway, I have a handful of Testors enamel paints, from other hobbies, lying around.
Should I toss these and start over with better/other paints?

I don't want to waste time going down a dead-end road if I can help it.   

Which paint do you love??

Thx

Offline RAGIII

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2023, 10:05:24 AM »
Hi all,
  I am getting back into model making again.   My basic, newbie question regards paints.   
I think I will go enamel.   I always used enamels as a kid and am not quite convinced acrylics are better.

Anyway, I have a handful of Testors enamel paints, from other hobbies, lying around.
Should I toss these and start over with better/other paints?

I don't want to waste time going down a dead-end road if I can help it.   

Which paint do you love??

Thx

There is Nothing wrong with Testors. That being said Very Few Pre Mixed WW1 colors are on the Market and some of those are sort of suspect as to color. I like Mixing Tamiya, Testors, Model Master, Poly Scale etc. To match My Best Guess estimate. So find a paint you are comfortable working with and Mix it to match what you agree is the color! JMHO
RAGIII
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Offline Brad Cancian

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2023, 12:25:17 PM »
Hello albireo13, and welcome back to the hobby!

The question is always a good one. Everyone has their own preferences. First question is, are you intending on brush painting your models, or using an airbrush?

If brush painting, then enamels are good (humbrol / revell are easy to get hold of, for example). Enamels have a longer working time which makes them much easier to brush paint. Brush painting with acrylics can be fraught with danger; acrylics dry quickly and are thinner than enamels, thus they don't take well to brush painting.

If you are going to airbrush, then acrylics are a good place to start. Tamiya and Gunze do great acrylics, and there are many other great brands out there (AK, Vellejo, etc); just remember to thin them down a little prior to spraying. The advantage of acrylics is that they are quick drying and clean up is easy. I've been painting with primarily acrylics now for a long time due to this. The disadvantage with acrylics is that they can sometimes be fragile with handling and masking. If you wanted to try something different, then you have other options. Acrylic Lacquers are becoming increasingly prevalent; brands like AK and newcomer SMS do great acrylic lacquers. I have just started experimenting with these and they spray great. The advantage with these is that they are hardy and put up well with handling. The disadvantage with these is the lacquer thinners they need to smell a bit. 

So, it depends a little on where you want to start :)

Cheers!

Brad
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Offline albireo13

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2023, 10:55:16 PM »
standard brush, no air-brush for me

Any enamel better than Testors?   I have checked a fe local shops and they say their Testors paints are going away.

Offline pepperman42

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2023, 11:05:40 PM »
Yup, Testors has folded their tent. Tamiya does do a line of enamels that are quite good but not all stores carry them. Humbrol still has a good range of colours although some would argue their old Authentics range were the best. If your Testors paint still seems fresh (I have some that are decades old and fine) don't toss them, they are compatible with other brands of enamel. For WWI subjects mixing will be a must for now. Brad and Rick are certainly authorities on the matter - their model results are always excellent.

Steve

Offline WD

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2023, 06:54:56 AM »
albireo13,
              Yes, Testors is going away because their owner, Rustoleum, decided they wanted nothing to do with the hobby paint business any more. I've heard a lot of rumblings about Humbrol enamels disappearing as well, I'm sure others can chime in that deal with that brand, which I don't.

Funny, twenty years ago, you had a handful of paint brands, now it seems there's a new brand of paint for scale modeling each week. I ran across a new company making enamels, but I know nothing of them, their product, nor do I know of anyone that has used them yet? https://www.truenorthpaints.com/  As many have stated in this thread, you've going to have to do some mixing.

Also, do not fall into the trap that I did. Years ago I thought "acrylic" meant water based. NO!  There are acrylic lacquers, like Tamiya and Gunze which I love, and water-based acrylics like Vallejo, etc. You can buy retarders that enable you to brush paint Tamiya, etc. I've seen some guys do some brush painting that's pretty amazing with acrylics, but it takes a lot of patience, time, etc.

HTH!  YMMV,

Warren

Offline albireo13

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2023, 12:41:34 AM »
Are the acrylic lacquers as easy as enamels? 
I fear I don't have the patience, or steady hand, to use "fussy" paints anymore.

Offline RAGIII

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2023, 01:05:39 AM »
Are the acrylic lacquers as easy as enamels? 
I fear I don't have the patience, or steady hand, to use "fussy" paints anymore.

I would advise staying away from Tamiya and Gunze for care free Hand Painting. I love them for airbrushing. For hand painting and considering what is easily available in the US, I would not be too fast to count out Acrylics like Valejo. I also think Revelle Enamels have become available in the US and many of our European Modelers have praised them in the past. Just My Opinion.
RAGIII
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Offline pepperman42

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2023, 01:00:28 AM »
The term acrylic lacquer can be mixed up a bit. Tamiya's acrylic is tough to hand paint with. What Tamiya calls lacquer (an acrylic lacquer by definition) brushes ok coverage wise but it is a bit tricky. I consider the smell just "different" from acrylic, not worse. Both really are air brush paint. I don't think your hobby enamels are a bad choice really. They don't dry really fast but don't take forever either.

Steve 

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2023, 07:54:39 AM »
In contrast to many folk, I exclusively handbrushed Tamiya acrylics since I started at age six or so until perhaps the last 2yr - there are only a handful of Humbrol enamels and other brands that have crept into my supplies!
Zac in NZ

Offline DaddyO

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2023, 06:26:54 PM »
One thing to mention is that you can't mix 'acrylic lacquers' with acrylics because they are not compatible.  :(
Vallejo mix fine with Scale75 acrylics, Model colour, Darkstar and scale 75 acrylics which are all effectively water based paints that dry waterproof. Tamiya and some others need their own 'thinner' and behave more like lacquers.

The days of easily obtainable 'proper' enamels are long gone since most enamels are now polymer rather than oil based to make them safer to manufacture. They behave like oil based paints, but are not the same as the old Humbrol and others. (Working as a sign writer I've got old tins of oil based enamel with a high lead content which thin and cover beautifully; sadly the newer tins are polymer based don't behave in the same way)  :'(

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Offline Borsos

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2023, 06:47:54 AM »
I must admit that I don’t understand very much of chemistry, I use Tamiya, Gunze/Mr. Color and Ak Real Color for airbrushing only and thin them all with isopropanol. I have never used Tamiya thinner, but from time to time I use Mr Leveling Thinner for them all. I also like Vallejo/AK/Scale75 and all those bottled Acrylics that are thinnable with water, but just for brushpainting. For years now I have these two color „worlds“ and I live with them quite well. From time to time I decant something very special like Mr Paint (also just for airbrushing of course). For cleaning my airbrush I use metoxypropanol. That stuff is sold in 3 liter canisters here and removes every residue.
Clear coats, Matt, satin or gloss, I buy only from VMS  Poland. They are really great stuff and the best clear coats I ever got my hands on.
Andreas
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Offline Rick_H

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2023, 10:32:38 AM »
I think "Testors" was an awfully big tent.  When we were very young, Testors made little square bottles.  Many years later, they fired up a sub-brand called Modelmaster that had more colors specifically mixed for particular subjects (all except WWI). 

That Modelmaster line has been discontinued, but the little square bottles remain.  Many are the flat very basic colors (flat=best for hand brushing by non-experts), some gloss and some fluorescents.  Today's little square bottles cost much, much more than the ten cents we remember, but that's the way it goes.

Today I was in a shop that had nearly all of the current line of little square bottles and I found that I needed to put my glasses on to read the small print about color and flat/gloss split, marked on each bottle.

Personally, I don't like to mix specific colors because I rarely finish a model in the same year as I start it, and I don't want to try to mix the same shade for my touch-ups.  So I find the best color I can, of paint that brushes well for me.  There is a game store near me, and I am using the Army Painter Warpaints line, which is intended for painting wargame miniatures, and comes in horrid "dropper" bottles.  I have been making samples over white or grey Tamiya spray primer to see how the paint behaves and how close it is to my desired target.  (I do my sampling on big sheets of sheet plastic - For Sale or For Rent signs from my local hardware store.  (I'm using US terminology - sorry if my words don't match yours)

And as far as "old paint" goes, don't toss them just because they are old.  I try to take care of my paint bottles and tins and have been using some recently which I bought in the 1970s.  Give them a try before tossing.  And keep the threads on the bottle and cap clean.

Good luck
Rick in Seattle

Offline WD

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2023, 11:03:51 AM »
Hey Rick, there's a guy up there near you, Dr. John Miller, retired chemist and chemistry professor, that runs Model Paint Solutions. You can buy laboratory grade bottles to put your mixes in and they should stay fresh.

https://modelpaintsol.com/

I have no connection to him other than being a very satisfied customer, the fact he's never failed to help me when I've written him to ask for advice, and in every order he includes a hand-written thank you note and always throws in some extra goodies from his store. A really decent way to do business in this day and age.

Warren

Offline aaronc

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Re: starting out ... paint advice?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2023, 10:13:30 AM »
@albireo13,
                    man I've been lurking here for several several years. Finally got some dedicated space in my shop set up to get going. Been gathering supplies such as paint and glues and watching tons of youtube. I'll be messing up a few paint jobs myself. I'm not going air brush either...I'm going acrylic base and then oils by hand. We'll see what happens. Most of the info online seems to be tailored for the airbrush crowd. Good luck...Hopefullywe'll be posting some aircraft soon. -Aaron