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Basic Types Of Paint used vastly in Scale Modelling

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Basic Types Of Paint used vastly in Scale Modelling

Post by Indian Bison on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:48 pm

Safety Advice: Whatever type of paint you are using you should wear a good respirator when airbrushing.

The types of paint used in scale modelling are as below

1)Acrylic
2) Enamel (modelling)

Acrylic

Acrylic paints have an acrylic resin binder and use water and/or alcohol as a liquid. They are easy and safe to use, permanent, quick drying, low odour and are suitable for brush and airbrush. Currently, they are probably the most popular type of paint used in scale modelling.

Since acrylics can be thinned and equipment cleaned with alcohol or water they are very user friendly. However, care is needed because they can dry very quickly and when dried are difficult to remove - airbrushes should be flushed with thinner every few minutes of use with acrylics. Most manufacturers produce thinners for use with their own ranges and to be absolutely safe you should stick with these. Water and alcohol will act as a thinner with most paint ranges, but will not always give such good results and it is not always possible to mix acrylic paints from different manufacturers.

Traditional acrylic paints for artists come in tubes similar to oil and water colour paints. These are not as good for modelling as acrylic paints specifically produced for modellers.

Acrylic paints have been available for a very long time, but traditionally were used by artists for painting pictures. Acrylics came as a thick paste in tubes which was either applied with a palette knife, or thinned with water for use by brush. When specific ranges were introduced for modellers in small pots, their low odour and low toxicity were emphasized rather than any of their other qualities. This gave the impression that they were suited to younger modelers and not equal to the existing enamel paints used by 'serious' modellers.

This is a pity because although acrylics are very different to enamels, they are every bit as good which is why they are used so widely today. However, it has taken a long time to squash the image of acrylics being for children. The one application where acrylics do not do well is where different colours need to be blended seamlessly, such as is often the case with figure painting. Some figure painters will use acrylics for the clothing, but stick with oils and enamels to paint the face.

A wide range of additives are available for acrylics to make them more or less glossy, transparent (glaze) and slow drying time.

Modelling Enamels
Modelling enamels have an oil binder and spirit based liquid (white spirit or turpentine). I use the term 'Modellilng Enamel' on purpose to distinguish them from the normal enamel paints that are glossy paints used to cover kitchen appliances and often hardened in a kiln. Modelling enamals are quite different as they are air-drying and can be either a glossy or matt/flat finish. Modelling enamels are really thinned down oil paints and can generally be mixed successfully with oil paints.

Modelling enamels were the first type of paint to be specifically produced for modellers. They were generally offered for sale in small metal tins and the introduction of colours made to exactly match military aircraft and vehicles was revolutionary and welcomed with open arms by modellers worldwide.

Today, enamels are widely available from many manufacturers in a huge range of colours matched only by the ranges of acrylics available. Like acrylics they cover well and produce a durable finish. They are not as user friendly as acrylics because they have to be thinned with spirits that are inflammable, toxic and smell bad, but this disadvantage should not be over emphasised. Providing the room is well ventilated there should not normally be a problem. Enamels have the advantage that they are slower drying and even after they have become touch dry they can be softened again and removed with spirits which makes them less stressful when used in airbrushes.

The above information is courtesy - http://www.scalemodelguide.com.. This info is not meant for commercial use. Is just for scale modeler rookies to understand the basics.


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