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Sheffie

Acrylic paint basics

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Sheffie

I’m looking at using acrylic paint for covering polystyrene boards and possibly other materials. My search-fu is weak; therefore I cannot find a thread on the subject. 

 

So, so far I’ve got a set of sable and something brushes, and a couple of pots of Tamiya brand paints in neutral tones. 

 

What are the basics of using these paints? Are they easy to dilute, or mix? How about cleanup? Any other do’s or don’t’s?

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Kiha66

I'm no expert, but I've had great luck with tamiya acrylics.  If airbrushing you wanna dilute them using tamiya acrylic thinner to the line in the bottle, if brush painting you'll wanna dilute them much less depending on your project.  Very easy to mix, just shake the bottles.  The pigments do settle if they've been sitting for a while, but a good shake will mix them back in pretty quickly.  If you need to clean up, water works fine if the paint is still wet.  If you wanna remove the paint (if you're unhappy with the paint job) Isopropyl Alcohol or IPA will easily remove them, even if dry.

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Sheffie
1 hour ago, Kiha66 said:

 If airbrushing you wanna dilute them using tamiya acrylic thinner to the line in the bottle, if brush painting you'll wanna dilute them much less

 

Do I need to buy their own brand of thinner if I just want to dilute for regular painting? I’d like to make a color wash, for mortar around stonework for example. Or is something generic like isopropyl alcohol going to work?

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Kiha66

I'd recommend picking up their thinner, its not very expensive and it lasts a long time.  I don't think I've used up the first bottle I bought two years ago.  For washes you could probably use IPA, but it also might start to eat into the other paint layers so I'd go with something else for that.

 

Tamiya does make premade washes which work nicely, iirc they use an enamel base so you can clean them up with enamel thinner and not damage the acrylics underneath.  I have a buddy who does model making professionally and he is quite fond of them.

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Martijn Meerts

If you're going to cover large surfaces, you might want to invest in an airbrush. It's very possible to do with regular brushes as well, but it requires a bit of practice to not get brush strokes. 1 way to prevent brush strokes is to thin the paint and use multiple thinned coats rather than try to cover it in 1 go.

 

Tamiya paint can be thinned with water, but I'd definitely recommend getting their thinner. In fact, for every brand of paint you use, you should get their own thinner. Usually works somewhat better than mixing brands or using water.

 

Also, you might want to roughen up the surface you're painting a bit (just a little bit of sanding really), and use a primer. Primer helps a lot with getting paint to stick. Tamiya has good primers that come in spray cans, so for stuff that's not installed on the layout yet, you can use those to quickly prime bit and pieces. For washes, you don't need primer.

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