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sapperastro

Shelf life of different model paints

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With the Lifecolour plastic bottles, there is no sealing washer on the screw-top lid. That may well be the cause of the problem!

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Morning sapper, was reading this with interest and thought i would add my two penneth.

 

I dont have an awful lot of experience in adult modelling like many on here but i hope i can add something..

 

I started modelling around 1996-7 building an original airfix p40 in 1/72nd scale with my old man helping me, These were the humbrol ''super'' enamel range which happens to be my favorite paint atm! These kept fine until i left modelling again around about 2008, I got back into modelling around a year ago and having sold all my original paint started buying humbrol enamels again exclusively, The longevity of these little 14ml tins deserves its legendary status.. I must of bought close to 1000 tins off ebay :worry: in the past year, ranging in age from ''one hour enamel'' right up to the latest stuff, Some tins had the lids haphazardly slapped on some had been properly sealed!

Out of all of these tins id say two to three had gone dry and these were tins with badly replaced lids, Even some seriously neglected tins had skinned over and could be rejuvenated. Bear in mind though most of what i have accumulated is older stuff and made in hull! (marfleet)

As for the latest hornby era tins i have got some oldish (7 years maybe?) tins that seem fine.. The latest RLM Tins are appalling from the factory no age involved.

But everything newer besides those tins has been fine!

 

I have a bit of a routine to preserve my sacred humbrols in all fairness, If i buy some off ebay i check them out at eye level on a table and pick out the ones with ''top hat'' looking lids sticking right up! or lids put on ajar!

The paint still seals it makes a ring around the lid!

I then set these aside and using a craft knife i chip the old paint off of the lid, Wipe it clean put the lid on as good as i can by hand then i turn the tins upside down.. I then push them down hard on a solid kitchen table (any workbench or hard surface will suffice) until the lid is right down!

Do this and i think we may get a century out of the little blighters!

 

Regards lads.

 

 

 

 

Edited by degsye39
Im a rather poor speller it seems

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Also just as an aside ill try contribute something in regards to the other brands! (what i remember at least!)

 

Molak enamel: Garbage, every tin i have come across has been dry!

Airfix enamel: Seems to have the same lifespan as humbrol!

Wem colorcoats: Seems superb as humbrol is

Testors glass bottle enamels: Ones i had lasted 15 years seemed to have longevity

Citadel acrylics: A lot dried out when i was bumbling around with them at 14-15 seem to find many dried out pots off of ebay? Cant see them lasting forever tbf

Newer humbrol acrylics: seem fine not come across any dried out pots!

Older humbrol acrylics pre hornby: Seems like a lottery got one lot off of ebay with 10 of 12 dried out and them some are fine, They do go hard though!

Tamiya acrylics: Used to brush paint with these in my late teens (why?!) Seem fine but the carrier seems to vanish after some time, I just used to top them up with x20a

Evil glass bottles keep the threads clean! I got a large blister on my hands from them at one point! If the lids are stuck fast i would suggest a set of pump pliers, used with care works just as well as the gunze tool! 

Revell enamels: Some keep ok, but definitely inferior in longevity to humbrol enamels! Im not sure if its something to do with the slightly different tin design?

vallejo acrylics: Seem quite good, cant see them keeping for 50 years like the humbrols though!

Revell acrylics: Got a few pots.. None dried out odd container design mind.

 

Cheers lads!

 

 

Edited by degsye39
spelling doh

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Humbrol enamels dating back at least fifteen years all fine, I have a feeling that some may be even older than that. Hoping my Colourcoats enamels last as well. Not much experience of anything else although I had a couple of jars of Tamiya that just dried out on me without a chance to use them a few years back.  

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Never force plastic tops from screw thread paints(tamiya. railmatch, etc)If they are stubborn no need for pliers, molegrips, stillsons or pipe wrenches, you will shatter(many are brittle) the plastic cap and you are left with paint and no top, and worse paint over the carpet or your clothes...........The way to persuade plastic tops to come off without any effort is to run that top under the hot water tap(OR BOIL A KETTLE)all the paint IMMEDIATLEY softens up inside the thread, then you can undo it with your fingers.....clean the threads when replacing cap this time.

 

As for turning paint tins upside down to seal any gaps in the lid, forget it!!!  I used to do that, I have in excess of 300 paints in jars, tins and plastic bottles, you will find as soon as you put the tin on its lid, all the ingrediants settle on the inside of the lid, you know what its like when you open a tin normally, liquid on top, ingrediants on the bottom - same here, only reversed.........all the sediment is stuck to the lid..........you dont realise this until you open up the tin, you take the lid off and you see a blob of essential ingrediants stuck to top of lid.................best thing to do, clean lid(I use a dremel with a drill in the jaws and burr off any old paint and get rid of residue.......then clean lid till spotless,( I use cellulose thinners or enamal thinners-cellulose makes short work of stubborn caked on paint)) as it was when new, replace lid and shake for a few seconds to seal any gaps in lid.

 

When opening paint, I use an electric stirrer(cocktail maker) to churn up sediment at bottom of paint.  First thing I do when buying new paint, I drop a couple of stainless steel hexagonal nuts into the paint, these are agitators?  when I shake the tins these nuts and their cutting edges break up the sediment inside the tin...........some paint, is over 50 years old and still going strong...............Airfix paint that came in pyramid glass bottles and metal screw cap............Humbrol Authentics, still going strong..................

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Ray i think you misunderstand me mate, I dont leave my humbrol enamels upside down to seal the lids.. I do it to get the lids shut firmly for all of 10 seconds then i store them upright! Can agree on the spotless lids though!

 

Im going to try the kettle trick on some tamiyas thanks.. Probably less rough than my method haha! I brush paint though so most of my tamiya arycrlics got sold  a while back!

 

Im also going try the agitators trick mate good shout! I normally resort to electric paint stirrers! (Well a drill with a piece of bent bicycle spoke in the end! :ner:)

 

All the best.

 

 

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Thanks degs for your experiences.

 

Unfortunately, getting old Humbrol/airfix over here is very difficult. I have quite a few of the 1980s vintage, and super enamel, and these are great. The new tins need certain care when using, though they are hit and miss.

 

Never thin in the tin; take some out to a bottletop/whatever, and thin there.

Watery rubbish; some of them will go gloss and not cover at all; wait for paint to totally settle, tip carrier fluid out, and use as above.

Matting agent marks; some are mongrels that seem to go on perfectly when wet/thinned, but dry with matting agent tide marks. I have'nt found a way to defeat tis problem yet.

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Just a little tip. I wouldnt recommend pliers except as a last resort. Id be afraid of breaking glass. I use two rubberbands one on the cap, the other on the bottle. The extra friction helps me twist open stuck on caps. HTH

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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Corsair i think the using the pump pliers thing is just the rough mechy fitter coming out of me! It worked ok but it seems like i deserved to be chastised for being that rough! :lol:

 

Sapper its funny you say about the matting agent in the newer humbrols is this like a white streaky substance?

I bought a newer tin of humbrol 86 to paint the (superb) airfix bedford mwd with and when thinned with white spirit it left some hard to spot but still present white streaks!

I wonder if the newer humbrol doesn't take to white spirit very well? All of my older tins have been fine! I was happy enough with the finish in the end though!

It never ceases to amaze how much old humbrol is floating about on ebay uk! Oddly enough im only about 14 miles away as the crow flies from humbrols now demolished marfleet site!

I think i heard someone say the new humbrol uk made tins are produced by ineos? Runcorn way on maybe?

 

Cheers!

 

 

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Another thumbs up for Humbrol enamels here. They can and will last decades so long as the lip of the tin is kept relatively paint free so the lid can be properly affixed. Saying that I've always found enamel paint to have a much longer shelf life than acrylics.

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The new UK Humbrol enamel is made by Rustins, a London based paint manufacturer. Perhaps someone could drop in there with a tin of Authentics (anything older really. 1980s stuff, Super enamel...) and say 'please drop whatever you are doing and replicate this in all colours'. Problem solved ;)

 

In all honesty, they do seem to be improving, but the improved versions need thinning before use; forget about the old 'paint straight from the tin' (not that this is ever a good idea really). The new stuff airbrushes nicely, even the horrible initial RLM batches. It is with the brush that you have to be careful.

 

I forgot to mention that I bought a new tin of Revell enamel. Like their Aqua paints, very high pigment levels...however, they dry so quick! No wonder they dry out in the tin without the utmost care. The whole idea of enamel paint is that it dries slower so the paint levels out nicely. I think somebody is trying to make enamel into acrylic.

 

 

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Thread revival but what are peoples experiences of using older airfix enamel tins? The tall metal ones? Ive got quite a few and they are all liquid i just haven't used them in anger yet.

 

And bare with me as im useless at adding pictures so you may have to click the link, But this bottle alcad chrome i have had for a bit now seems to have gone a bit weird?

Almost like the pigment is separating, Does alcad go off in other peoples experiences? Cheers!

 

https://ibb.co/cuGkkG

 

 

Edited by degsye39

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I opened a “new” tin of Airfix Matt Black last year and it was the best performing model paint in history.  No brush marks, dried fairly quickly and absolutely Matt.  Better than Humbrol of the same period.

Presumably it’s at least 36 years old,probably more as I was at Uni when Airfix went TU the first time...

Cheers

Will

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Ay up will, 

 

For someone who wasn't even alive in the 70's ive got an awful lot of airfix enamel in my stash, Thing is you can get it for a pittance as with old humbrol (im tight) :lol:

What strikes me is how EVERY tin i have is still liquid and perfectly preserved.. None are in the slightest bit off, They come in these lovely little printed metal tins none of which show any rust or corrosion.. they make me wonder if they are an alloy of some sort? Unlike humbrol who seem to be cheapening the tins to extent that im expecting the numbers to be daubed on the top in permanent marker eventually! :lol:

 

Im not having a go at humbrol/airfix though i do like many of the new enamels and find them fine to use in all fairness, I just avoid the rlm's! :o 

Ill report back on here when i give the airfix a go.. Seem to have far too many pots of grey and like a red oxide color mind you!

 

Cheers!

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You blokes are making me jealous. I still have a few tins of the old airfix enamel, and agree they are excellent and seemingly indestructible, but I cannot find any more for love or money. And getting any from overseas would label me as a terrorist for daring to try getting it shipped from the UK. I cannot bear to look at ebay UK anymore...if anyone has a bunch of matt black airfix tins they want to post to me through some devious means let me know haha.

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Funny thing is sapper i was drooling over some of the modelmaster enamels that you can most likely get in Oz but not in the UK, The car colors they do stuff like crazy plum! :o

 

I sadly dont have any airfix matt black just about 40 tins of various other colours! Every time someone clears out a sadly passed grandads loft a load of humbrol appears on ebay its a very ubiquitous paint here it seems..

 

:yes:

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Well, a much bigger population, along with the fact Humbrol is the British paint brand (and Airfix paints) with factory being just 'down the road' would add to the amount of old enamel tins in circulation there compared to here. Kind of like how every German modeller you see has tins and pots of Revell enamel and Acrylic.

 

Australia always had a bit of this and a bit of that, and we have always been swimming in Tamiya stuff, acrylic and enamel.

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