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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Advice on paint brand
firstcircle
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 11:32 AM UTC
Andrew, no doubt all paint *brands* have their differences, but it seems to me that the differences between paints of the same *types* of paints from different brands are nowhere near so great as the differences between different *types* of paint. Not that I have tried every brand...

I would say that *generally*, the higher quality the paint, in terms of finish, durability, ease of use (and I'm mostly talking about in an airbrush all the way through this) then the more toxic it is, and the more care you have to take over its use.

Take Mr Surfacer 1500 primer - this is amazingly easy to spray, it doesn't clog, doesn't seem to do over or under thinning, it dries quickly, but not too quickly (no sandy textures from mid-air drying) and if you spray it too thickly, you can just stop, wait for it to dry, and miraculously it spreads out and self levels and looks like you never messed up. You can also buy the Mr Hobby lacquer paints (Mr Color, I think, not the Aqueous ones) and they behave in a similar way.

The downside is the toxic fumes. Forget using this in your home or anywhere near anyone who isn't wearing a vapour mask. I use it in the garage, with the door open, even in winter, and you need nitrile gloves, not latex ones as they will go brittle and get holes in, and safety goggles that seal around your face. You need to wear all that while spraying and also while cleaning the airbrush with cellulose / lacquer thinners, and keep it on until you walk out of the garage and shut the door - preferably with some sort of double door airlock. In the quantities that model makers like us use, it probably won't contribute to climate change much, but it is that kind of chemical.

Enamel paint is different, but similar in terms of being forgiving in terms of application, and also in terms of being harmful as you need to use white spirit to clean it up. It is also the easiest paint for use with a brush.

Tamiya paint, and Mr Hobby Aqueous, are a kind of acrylic that don't use lacquer thinners as the base, but instead use water and some kind of isopropyl alcohol and possibly detergent. They don't give off poisonous fumes on opening the jar, and the Tamiya thinner is also OK in terms of fumes, but I think a mask is definitely necessary when spraying it. Note someone mentioned you can mix it with lacquer thinner - once you do that then it turns into something with the same toxicity as those above. Or you can thin it with water, or with alcohol, or windscreen wash, or window cleaner...

Tamiya paint is probably the easiest and most convenient paint to use if you have an airbrush, but probably to be avoided if you only have hairy brushes.

AK Real Color I haven't tried, and I thought it was like fully lacquer based, but maybe it's like Tamiya paint?

Water based acrylics, such as Model Air, any Vallejo, the Ammo, AK, Hataka, etc. mostly in those 17ml squeezy bottles, and Lifecolor, all tend to have this issue around drying - too fast or too slow. The problem is that once they set, they are set, and cannot be re-dissolved in solvent, they just turn into plastic. Hence the problem with tip drying on the airbrush, and if hand brush painting, if you let paint fully dry on the brush you have to kind of pick or scrape it off. You almost always need to use retarder to slow the drying down. This can make them hard to use for low pressure, fine detail work with an airbrush, and for hand painting they are almost impossible to blend together, but you can hand paint OK with them providing they are kept thin, and you work reasonably quickly and keep wetting the brush. The plus side is that there are no fumes at all and you could use it indoors and no one will even notice a smell. They don't give off greenhouse gasses and don't damage your skin and eyes, though if spraying I'd still wear a mask and goggles, otherwise there must be airborne particles that can go and turn to plastic in your lungs and eyes.

Something I have said is probably counter to the opinion of others, and as I say, some paints I haven't used so my generalisations may be wrong. I think however that beyond all the stuff about brands, it is important to understand the above categories and what you are buying.
BunkerBuster
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 08:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

My 2 cents... and it's not worth that. I personally use enamels. All the acrylics try to act like enamels so why not just use them. As long as you can safely deal with the fumes life is good. To me the issues with the acrylics out weigh any benefits they might bring.



After two years of being back in the hobby and trying various brands of acrylics and new age lacquers, I agree with this statement. Before leaving the hobby, I finished aircraft with MM enamels and Armor with Tamiya. Those two brands flow out beautifully for free hand camo jobs.

AMMO of MIG: I can work with it, but it took a long time to master and I have to use Tamiya X-20 thinner with it. I have a ton of it and will burn through what I have without restocking. The newest formulation brushes really well.

AK Real Colors: Very similar to Tamiya paint, only with actual colors that can be used out of the bottle. I'm switching over to this paint for all of my armor builds. Durability is fair compared with even Ammo of Mig paint.

Hataka Orange: I had such high hopes for this paint to replace my Model Master Enamels for aircraft builds....but it's falling short. I invested about $60 into a small selection of colors to do modern USN and USAF aircraft. Their pigments are weak and it's unforgiving if under-thinned. It's harder to airbrush than Ammo of MIG. I'm using it on two builds and haven't given up hope yet. It's super durable though. I'm guessing I'll end up burning through what I have and switching back to MM enamels for aircraft.



drewgimpy
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 04:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Ammo of MiG is really nice to work with, I have found.


Worst paint I ever used.



What is it about the Mig paint that you didn't like?
PanzerKarl
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2019 - 01:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ammo of MiG is really nice to work with, I have found.


Worst paint I ever used.
kaleu
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Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2019 - 09:25 AM UTC
I still use Vallejo Air and Tamiya, but I have been trying AK Real Colors and have been very impressed with them. They spray and cover just as well as Tamiya and have a range of colors that aren't available from Tamiya.
drewgimpy
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 04:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Ammo of MiG is really nice to work with, I have found.



I was at my local shop today and they said they are probably going to get rid of their model master display due to supply issues and replace it with Ammo or AK. I will most likely try whatever they bring in.
matt
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 07:48 AM UTC
As my supply of Model master paint dwindles... I'm slowly switching over to Vallejo and Mission Models.
Mortifa
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 07:31 AM UTC
Ammo of MiG is really nice to work with, I have found.
drewgimpy
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 07:26 AM UTC
Thanks for all the advice. I really appreciate it.
Tojo72
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 01:10 AM UTC
I pretty much use whoever has the color availability that I need.Mostly Tamiya,Vallejo,Modelmaster Enamel,and Lifecolor.I am looking forward to trying some Mission Model,have heard good things about them.
retiredyank
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Posted: Wednesday, February 06, 2019 - 12:57 AM UTC
As far as acrylics go, I prefer LifeColor. I don't consider Tamiya acryls true acrylics, as you can reduce them with lacquer thinner. However, a very fine spray pattern is easier to accomplish. AK are very nice. I have a large quantity of Vallejo Model Color, which I reduce with water and Liquitex Flow Improver. My biggest problem with Vallejo is the amount of time it takes to cure. It all comes down to what you are comfortable using.
OldWarloke
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 10:44 PM UTC
I use the Tamiya Paints thinned when necessary with regular Laquer thinner from the local home improvement store.
I've never had any issues with the Tamiya paint.
Regards.
Donald
varanusk
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 10:43 PM UTC
I mostly use Vallejo Model Air and works fine for me, but in my opinion their flow improver is a must.

I have heard good things from AK Real Colors, but haven't tried myself.
M4A3E8Easy8
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 09:35 PM UTC
My 2 cents... and it's not worth that. I personally use enamels. All the acrylics try to act like enamels so why not just use them. As long as you can safely deal with the fumes life is good. To me the issues with the acrylics out weigh any benefits they might bring.
drewgimpy
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 04:43 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Both Vallejo and Tamiya are still valid choices. There are definitely other new paints, but my standbys remain the two listed above. Welcome back to the hobby!

Cheers,
Paul H



Thanks, it is good to be back. Thank you for your reply.
PRH001
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 04:33 PM UTC
Both Vallejo and Tamiya are still valid choices. There are definitely other new paints, but my standbys remain the two listed above. Welcome back to the hobby!

Cheers,
Paul H
drewgimpy
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2019 - 02:34 PM UTC
I have returned to model building after 8 years. I thought some of my paint was still good but on closer inspection It didn't survive the break. I have used Vallejo model air and Tamiya in the past and like both. I will be airbrushing with an Iwata Eclipse. So what brand of paint would you suggest on someone starting from scratch with paint? Vallejo, Tamiya, or something else?