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sapperastro

Shelf life of different model paints

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sapperastro    28

Hi all,

Just wondering how long a shelf life have people here gotten from the various brands of paint? I will list some of the brands I have been using for over 5 years plus.

 

Humbrol Enamel: So far they mostly seem to last forever. I haven't given the new variants long enough to see if that has changed.

 

Tamiya Enamel: 5-10 years and a bottle is dried out. I can usually see that the solvent is slowly evaporating and replace it, but something to keep in mind.

 

Revell enamel: I only had a few from the 80s and 90s, all of which dried out. Not sure about new tins.

 

Revell Aqua: While I love the paint, they seem to slowly dry out over time, and not a long time either. Thankfully they seem to be easy to rejuvenate, but still...

 

Tamiya Acrylic: They seem to last forever. I have many jars going back to the early 80s and all are perfectly usable. Heard some comments from others that the newer jars can 'go off' but cannot confirm.

 

Airfix enamel: Seems to last forever. All my tins are still perfect.

 

 

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Tony Oliver    3,476

+1 on the tamiya acrylics

 

they do seem to last forever. 

 

 

This is a good question to raise because I love buying all these acrylic themed sets when cheap/on offer (along with AM decals) for planned future builds. 

 

Hoping when I get around to them in 10 years or whatever that the paints havent dried out and decals gone yellow! 

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Robby    25

I don't have enough experience with acrylics, but with a little care with the lid, Humbrol and Airfix tinlets last a loooooong time... I have a tin of Hu70 that I use 'regularly' that my father gave to me when I was a kid (about 30 years ago) which actually pre-dates me AFAIK, and I still have 2-3 of my grandfather's Airfix tins (the tall thin ones) that are so old that the green is probably WW2 surplus :D

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sapperastro    28

Well, I am hoping others here will list their own experiences with longer term shelf times so we can get a general idea Tony.

 

As for old airfix and humbrol, i think the concensus is 'bullet proof' for shelf life. I wish i had more of them.

Edited by sapperastro

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Ventora3300    106

The Humbrol enamel lasts forever for me, a couple at least 10-15 years in my box, although I think I am just about to clean the top rims of some of them of dried paint (maybe that is what keeps the tins sealed) and perhaps drop in a very little thinners in a couple which seem 'thick'. I also have three of the original Airfix mini glass bottles in which the paint is still clearly liquid - got them in a vintage kit ebay purchase - they must be 50+ years.

Regards,

Mike

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Tony Oliver    3,476
26 minutes ago, sapperastro said:

Well, I am hoping others here will list their own experiences with longer term shelf times so we can get a general idea Tony

 

Forgot to mention that I have some vallejo model color acrylics that seem ok after 5 years now.

 

Thats from when I restarted this hobby about 5 years ago, built all armour with sprayed tamiya acrylics (mentioned in above post) and then used the vallejo for brushing details and painting figures. 

 

All the other acrylic paints/sets I own are only 2 years old max as thats when I started with Aircraft and the subsequent experimentation and collecting with/of different brands. 

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cruiserguy    94

Hi Everyone,

 

I've Vallejo Modelcolor that's at least 8 years old and still useable.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Will.

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Mike    10,644

Alclad seem to deteriorate after a few years.  I couldn't say how many years, but I have bottles of darker colours that are gritty as hell now, and have to be strained to be usable, which is wasteful.  I'm semi-actively still on the hunt for a decent replacement, funds permitting :shrug:

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sapperastro    28

Hmm, well it seems Vallejo model colour is creeping up there.

 

Pity about the Alclad Mike, not cheap over here.

 

When it comes to paints I have noticed two failures; Drying out, and 'going off' where lumps appear never to be mixed in.

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LaurieS    912

This is from Vallejo Paints.

 

2.6. What is the shelf life of your Model Color paints?

The shelf life depends on the storage conditions. Our colors are formulated to withstand freezing and thawing. Normally the colors should be fine for at least 5 years, but we have tested some colors much older than that (10-20 years) and they are still workable. The colors do not “spoil” and unless exposed to extreme heat will not dry out either but the water content will evaporate eventually. Heavier pigment tends to settle, and the small bottle may cause some difficulty in restoring the balance in the consistency; if paint has settled heavily, first make sure the eyedropper tip is not blocked with dried paint, and restore the emulsion by rolling the bottle between your hands rather than shaking it.

 

I have a complete set of Vallejo Air plus a good quantity of Vallejo Model. These are now about 14 years old and all that I have used recently performed perfectly. But

especially the Model need the ball bearing experience to get them workable.

 

Laurie

 

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LotusArenco    483

I’ve got some of the original Citadel acrylics from circa 1987 that are still useable!:blink:

 

In 2009 I gave up on making models and only restarted again last year.

99% of my (embarrassing large:whistle:) collection of paints are acrylics, and with the exception of the ‘newer’ Citadel colours and a few pots of Lifecolor, all are still good to go.

Aeromaster (from about 2000?), Tamiya, Xtracrylix, Humbrol acrylic, Revell Aqua and Vallejo Model Color/Air, just needed a shake to be good as new.

 

The paints that didn’t make it seem to be due to the nature of the lids perhaps being not entirely airtight? The Lifecolour ones I had opened and used, but the ‘newer’ Citadel ones were as new/un-opened.

 

Mart

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M1ks    135
11 hours ago, Tony Oliver said:

Hoping when I get around to them in 10 years or whatever that the paints havent dried out and decals gone yellow! 

Yellowed decals are easily fixable, have done it lots with old kits as it's common and way yellower than the ones in this video.

 

 

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Nigel Heath    13,739

I have some Humbrol and Airfix enamels which are 40+ years old which are perfectly serviceable. However if the lids are not well sealed they are a goner.

l also have some Tamiya acrylics 30+ years old, all of which are fine. My paint of choice now is Mr Color which I suspect will also be bulletproof in many years time.

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sapperastro    28

I would also agree that it is usually the container, rather than the paint, that is to blame for paints drying out. This doesn't seem to equate to the Revell enamels however, that had the same tin as Humbrols, yet every one had dried out.

 

I have a few ancient Humbrol Acrylics that are still fine, while a couple of them have gone off, where the pigment has gone turned into floating lumps and will not mix in with the carrier.

 

Hopefully more members will come forward with their own experiences of long term paint life and we will be able to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

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Beardie    4,703

Indeed the container is the secret. The old humbrol tinlets are brilliant as long as the lids are on properly. I have found that some bottles from Alclad (cloudy white type plastic) are poor. These are typically their primers and airbrush cleaner and, although the bottles have their lids securely in place and stored upright they have reduced in volume significantly suggesting that the plastic 'breathes'. I don't use acrylics at all so can't make any comments on the various makers longevity but I would think that glass bottles like Tamiya are liable to be more durable.

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My vallejo's have lasted since i bought them new in 2015 when i came back. My new Tamiyas only last about 6-8 months before they've gone off. There is a thread somewhere here in paints about  that. My Model-masters go off in 3-5 months so ive stopped buying them. And im starting to get into Ammo by Mig paints. My Tamiya's Modelmasters & gunze's all failed and went off in my 10 year hiatus, and in the interim Gunze have become unavailable in my part of the USA. I can get Mr.hobby paints from Gunze. But have 0 referenxe as to wether its good or not? Or id still be using Gunze's now. 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
Correction

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lasermonkey    609

The oldest paints I have are Humbrols, most likely from the 1950s which are still usable, plus plenty from the 60s, 70s and 80s. I also have some Airfix, Gloy, Precision and Hales Pactra paints from the 70s and 80s which are still perfectly good. The Compucolour/DBI paints last well too.

I've been impressed with my WEM Colourcoats. I have over a hundred in the stash, and only one (the Soviet WW2 Dark Green, I can't remember the designation) dried up (and I hadn't even used it), which I put down to bad luck.

 

As far as acrylics go, my dwindling stash of Aeromaster and Polly Scale is still good. The same can't be said for all the Lifecolour paints I bought, and I bought a lot of them! Over less than ten years, over a hundred of them turned into a solid lump of coloured plastic, despite having been done up tightly. I maybe have thirty usable ones, which I have to keep an eye on regularly. It's a shame- I think they're great paints, but I really can't afford to have them go bad on me, so I've abandoned buying them.

I found that the SNJ aluminium would go off quite quickly once you'd started it. I still have an unopened bottle which looks ok, so I'll probably wait until I have a whole load of NMF aircraft and do the lot at once!

I also have four old bottles of Alclad that I haven't touched as yet. They look ok in the bottle. I've had these for a long time.

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Ventura11    11

Humbrols Authentic I have are still usable and I bought some of them in the early 80s.

I have shaken it and I suppose that also an Humbrol n. 1 Eau de Nil is still in good conditions.

My Lifecolor acrylics became solid in few years.

Cheers,

Paolo

 

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LaurieS    912
1 hour ago, Ventura11 said:

Humbrols Authentic I have are still usable and I bought some of them in the early 80s.

I have shaken it and I suppose that also an Humbrol n. 1 Eau de Nil is still in good conditions.

My Lifecolor acrylics became solid in few years.

Cheers,

Paolo

 

Interesting Paolo. I have had my Lifecolour approx 7 years and they are still very healthy. I wonder if it is the conditions they are stored.

 

 

They are very nice to use but they do not have on line any information on line how to use and store. Very annoying. Unlike Vallejo who

have just a mass of info including hypothetical question answers. Plus a customer dept. on line for questions.

 

Laurie

 

 

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lasermonkey    609

The 100+ Lifecolour paints that went solid on me were first kept in my house, and then my insulated and heated garden workshop, so never subjected to anything like extreme conditions. I actually read about the issue on here a while back, which prompted me to look through the stash. That was a depressing day!

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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Ventura11    11

Hello Laurie,

        I used Lifecolor for a while in the 90s and the paints in the old bottles (long and thin) had no problems.

Then I bought many in the new bottles and most of them lasted for not many years.

I kept them in a room in my house in normal conditions.

At my old LHS they  told me that sometimes they had the same problem and they guessed that this was related to the quality of the bottles .

To be honest, I still have a gloss blue and an olive drab in healthy conditions.

 

Cheers,

 

Paolo

       

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sapperastro    28

Did you add any thinner to the Humbrol white? I have read about this happening to the new enamels after thinner has been added to the tin. I haven't had any of the new paints go off so far.

 

So far, not counting the old enamels which I would say should be considered bullet proof, we have:

 

Tamiya Acrylic; Almost perfect reports apart from one stating they crystallised.

Model Master paints one good report, however whether that is acrylic or enamel, unknown.

Lifecolour; Bad reports across the board, bar one good report. Seems to be the new containers.

Vallejo: So far all excellent reports.

Humbrol enamel new: One bad report, one good report.

Alclad: Colour specific bad reports.

 

Hopefully others will chime in with more reports of these and other paint brands.

 

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LaurieS    912

Not surprising on Vallejo as there is only a very small aperture. This aperture I have

found is often clogged with dried paint which obviously stops evaporation.

 

Suspect with the pot type paints that the lids are not screwed on tight enough to

squash the lid washer very tight.

 

Laurie

 

 

 

 

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