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John Thompson

Humbrol Enamels - Garbage?

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I just painted something using Humbrol flat enamel, expecting (based on previous experience from years ago) to get a quick and easy paint job, with no complications. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Yes, I stirred it thoroughly. Is there a secret to getting this stuff to dry? Unless I can rescue it with a coat of flat or satin varnish, it's going to have to come off and I'll use something else. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

John

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Thats Humbrol enamels for you since they changed the formula a number of years back. Won't brush very well, often don't want to dry and generally don't do what it says on the tin. They are the reason I changed to using acrylics for 99% of my painting. I did notice on their website that Airfix say they are planning to redo the Humbrol paint formula. I wonder if it is in response to complaints about the current stuff and consequent falling sales?

Bring back the old Airfix paints in the glass bottles says I! :angrysoapbox.sml: Bugger! That gave my age away a bit!

Martin

Edited by martin hale

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I just painted something using Humbrol flat enamel, expecting (based on previous experience from years ago) to get a quick and easy paint job, with no complications. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Yes, I stirred it thoroughly. Is there a secret to getting this stuff to dry? Unless I can rescue it with a coat of flat or satin varnish, it's going to have to come off and I'll use something else. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

John

Hi John

One thing I have found (most of the time) is that if the tinlet is new or not been used

in a while (all the sediments on tinlet floor) then the after an initial stir there are issues in drying, matt

drying semi gloss etc.

I usually wait a while give another good stir and seem to have no problems (thus far <_< )

This photo is of my current Mustang build, and I sprayed the colours and worked fine

326864be.jpg

Hope that helps some?

Regards

Alan

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I use Humbrol enamels pretty much exclusively, except for Model Master for some camo shades not available in Humbrol, and I don't have any problems with them. The recent production matte ones take a little longer to dry but apart from that I get absolutely even brush coverage. Perhaps you are not stirring them properly.

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There is a tendency for some Humbrol paint batches to take ages to dry - especially the "satin" varieties. I had some satin red that was still sticky two days after application. I chucked the tin and tried a fresh one and it was fine. Their "new" paint formula is pretty bad - the pant generally goes to jelly after about half the tin is used up.

However, mixed 50/50 with thinners it does airbrush well.

:giles:

Darius

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In spite of having a couple of airbrushes I pretty much still use the old hairy stick for most of the painting that gets done during assembly - even the cockpit :o

I pretty much use Humbrol but have always found them variable but in my view this is down to the mixing, in addition to stirring I always drop a couple of ball bearings into the tin - if the pigment has become particularly settled I'll use a big one and a couple of smaller ones. Before use I always give my paint a good stir and then a really vigourous shake - I feel the ball bearings help break down the larger clumps of pigment and provide a better dispersion of pigment to carrier amongst the paint. By doing this I find I have very few problems with the paint in terms of coverage or drying time.

Wez

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I use Humbrol enamels pretty much exclusively, except for Model Master for some camo shades not available in Humbrol, and I don't have any problems with them. The recent production matte ones take a little longer to dry but apart from that I get absolutely even brush coverage. Perhaps you are not stirring them properly.

Like MilneBay, I use Humbrol enamels exclusively (unless using a Halfords aerosol). I don't have an airbrush, so apply the paint by brush and am generally quite happy with the drying time and finish. In fact, when I have tried various acrylics, I pretty quickly return to the Humbrol enamels again due to poor coverage. I guess as the saying goes, "you pays your money and you takes your choice."

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I AGREE WITH SOME OF THE COMMENTS ON HERE REGARDIND HUMBROL. I USE THEM ALL THE TIME AND IVE FOUND IN MY EXPERENCE THAT IF YOU DONT STIR WELL I MEAN REALY WELL, THE DRYERS AND PIGMENT THAT SETTLES TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TIN ARNT DISPERST AND ALL YOU GET IS ABIT OF COLOUR AND THE CARRIER BASE WHICH IS WHITE SPIRIT REGARDS DAVID. :please: STIR WELL!!!!!

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I AGREE WITH SOME OF THE COMMENTS ON HERE REGARDIND HUMBROL. I USE THEM ALL THE TIME AND IVE FOUND IN MY EXPERENCE THAT IF YOU DONT STIR WELL I MEAN REALY WELL, THE DRYERS AND PIGMENT THAT SETTLES TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TIN ARNT DISPERST AND ALL YOU GET IS ABIT OF COLOUR AND THE CARRIER BASE WHICH IS WHITE SPIRIT REGARDS DAVID. :please: STIR WELL!!!!!

whiile i agree with my esteemed colleague ,s comments ive found that enamels are best if turned. what i do is i keep my paints in a tray with lid every so often i turn it over . its one of the really useful boxes range . but you do have to stir well but even so humbrol can be a bit tricky

dave

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Like a few other people who've posted, I haven't had any real problems with drying times. I did have a rattle can of gloss varnish that caused one model to stay tacky for three days, but on the next spraying session using the same can it stopped being tacky within a few hours.

As for the stuff in the tins, my main gripe is that some tend to get really thick fairly quickly, but they brush well enough. Other than that, I've no problem with them.

What I can recommend is that you give the tin a good stir after you've bought it, then leave it for a while before actually using it on the model. I've found that the same holds true for Xtracolour and White Ensign Models enamels as well.

Mike. :)

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You can't bottle patience, but in my opinion, Humbrol have found a way to tin disappointment. A few years ago, I was building a Sea Harrier, and bought a tin of Humbrol Dark Sea Grey (or similar) to brushpaint the cockpit. I stirred the paint until it was smooth and no lumps of pigments left. The coverage was poor and after three coats it still didn't cover. What the paint lacked in coverage, it compensated for in thickness and gooiness, so all the finest details were filled. The sole saving grace of the paint was that it wasneasy to remove. Even with my disappointment in mind, I got a tin of their clear green as I couldn't find my older tin of that paint. Expecting a vivid green perfect for lights and sunshades, it was more of a translucent olive green... Old Humbrol paints can still be counted on working well, but the new stuff I wouldn't touch. My paint of choice nowadays is Xtracolor, Xtracrylics, White Ensign Models, Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics which is good for detail painting.

Jens

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Hi All;

Recently, I embarked on a bit of a nostalgia modelling project building my favourite kits that I built as a kid. For this project, I decided that I would build and paint all of the models "old school" style, ie: out of the box and painted using a hairy stick. It's been a blast (photos soon on a fresh thread!)

I have used a fair amount of Humbrol for this, and generally, I have found the paints to brush beautifully and give finishes that have been almost perfect. I will say, that I have been using the excellent Trumpeter paint stirrer and every coat has been well thinned with around three coats on average. This has produced the best results for me. Drying times have varied, but I haven't had any that have taken more than 6 hours to dry..some far quicker.

However, a while back, I managed to obtain a fairly large collection of ex shop stock Humbrol paints and the variation in quality has been interesting. There appears to be a batch where the paint does suck! I've found that on opening a new tin, if the consistency is unduly thicker than usual when mixed thoroughly, then the paint has been a pig to use...even after thinning. These seem to be a batch originating from a few years ago and I have found them almost useless, overly oily with terrible pigments. More recent tinlets have surprised me with their excellent coverage by brush, even yellows!

As a footnote, and to take my nostalgia builds a step further, I acquired a few old Humbrol Authentics and a large box of 40 year old, unopened Gloy Authentic Colours. These paints were every bit as good as I remember them. The old Humbrols are beautiful to use and brush perfectly giving an almost airbrush perfect finish with a hairy stick. Likewise, the Gloy's are a delight to use. Every Gloy tinlet I have opened has taken a minimal amount of stirring even though they haven't been opened since being made nearly 40 years ago. The colours seem pretty good to my eye, and they give brilliant finishes. One thing I had forgotten, was the smell of those old Gloy paints. As soon as I popped open the first tin and caught the smell, I was 12 years old all over again. Even the missus said they smelt nice!!

So there is an idea there! Trawl Ebay or your local model shows. I always manage to pick up old unused tins of paint dating back to the 1970's or before for a bargain price and they are just the best if you use a brush. Haven't opened any of my old Airfix tinlets yet even if the G9 is calling me!

Sorry for rambling...

Regards;

Steve

Edited by fightersweep

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Thank you very much, everyone - I really appreciate all the many responses! Despite having stirred the tins very aggressively and made sure no lumps of settled pigment were present, I think what I'll do next is to put them into my daughter's toy rock tumbler that I, um, repurposed, and let them rotate in that for an hour or two.

Gloy - I haven't heard that name in ages! :D

Thanks again!

John

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I wonder if stirring them when you first open the tin is the problem some of you are having? When I get a new tin of Humbrol I always try and tip the carrier fluid (or whatever it is) away.

That thinner fluid that hangs around the top of the paint. I find if I don't do that on a tin of matt Humbrol....this fluid if mixed in will make the drying time a lot longer, it will be sticky and also the matt finish won't be matt.

That said, if you buy a tin through the post this fluid can get mixed in anyway and I've had a few tins like that lately. I've also had tins of Humbrol with hardly any paint in them or tins that have lumpy paint that's almost impossible to mix.

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I wonder if stirring them when you first open the tin is the problem some of you are having? When I get a new tin of Humbrol I always try and tip the carrier fluid (or whatever it is) away.

That thinner fluid that hangs around the top of the paint. I find if I don't do that on a tin of matt Humbrol....this fluid if mixed in will make the drying time a lot longer, it will be sticky and also the matt finish won't be matt.

That said, if you buy a tin through the post this fluid can get mixed in anyway and I've had a few tins like that lately. I've also had tins of Humbrol with hardly any paint in them or tins that have lumpy paint that's almost impossible to mix.

That's interesting - I would never have thought of that. Your observations are the same as mine - very long drying time, remains sticky, and the matt finish is patchy and/or shiney. Based on your comments (and some other responses), it seems that Humbrol has some serious quality control issues. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that you can tell good Humbrol from bad Humbrol by reading the label - one says Margate, the other says Marfleet (on Hull?), but I don't remember which is which, and I didn't find that post when I did a quick search last night.

Found it today (I think): "You can tell the most recent Humbrol paints as they have Hornby's Margate address on the tin, rather than Humbrol's Hull address."

...in this thread: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.p...t=0&start=0

So it seems Margate = bad, Hull = good...

Thanks again!

John

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I wonder if stirring them when you first open the tin is the problem some of you are having? When I get a new tin of Humbrol I always try and tip the carrier fluid (or whatever it is) away.

That thinner fluid that hangs around the top of the paint. I find if I don't do that on a tin of matt Humbrol....this fluid if mixed in will make the drying time a lot longer, it will be sticky and also the matt finish won't be matt.

That said, if you buy a tin through the post this fluid can get mixed in anyway and I've had a few tins like that lately. I've also had tins of Humbrol with hardly any paint in them or tins that have lumpy paint that's almost impossible to mix.

Interesting point regarding the "carrier fluid". I do the same thing if after careful stirring this still sits on top of the paint. I use a tissue to wick the fluid up and that works wonders when it comes to applying the paint as coverage and drying times are vastly improved.

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I use Humbrol and Revell enamels all the time, sometimes mixed to get the correct colours that I use. With a new tin of Humbrol I always stir first with with a flat blade to lift the pigment off the bottom then use an electric drill on very low speed turning a piece of wire with a right angle bend at the end. Stir for 2 minutes to thoughly mix the component chemicals. I store my tins upside down, this stops any additional air getting in to dry off the top surface. I have found a variation in the quality of paint that seems to be relevant to colours. Yellows go jelliefied at about 1/2 tin. Some greys have the solid pigment settle out more than others. The colour values vary too, sometimes wider than one should expect. Revell are no problem apart from that the tins often do not reseal well. They retain strong consistent colour values but they do not brush out as well as Humbrol, the surface tends to 'set' rapidly. Too much 'dryer' in the formula I think.

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Thanks, Mike and Nick! I enjoyed the video; certainly makes you think about how things change. He's a very talented artist; I guess if he can do that kind of beautiful work with these paints, I should be able to splodge a bit on a model without so much drama! ;)

As a follow-up out of courtesy to all who replied, last night I went back after rotating the paint for a few hours in that rock tumbler. I sanded off the old paint and tried again - this time, the result was hugely better. Dried almost completely within half an hour, with very uniform surface appearance. So obviously very thorough mixing, by whatever means, is the answer. I feel like this is something I should have known all along; thanks again to everyone for walking me through it! :blush:

John

Edited by John Thompson

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.........seems that Humbrol has some serious quality control issues. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that you can tell good Humbrol from bad Humbrol by reading the label - one says Margate, the other says Marfleet (on Hull?), but I don't remember which is which, and I didn't find that post when I did a quick search last night.

Found it today (I think): "You can tell the most recent Humbrol paints as they have Hornby's Margate address on the tin, rather than Humbrol's Hull address."

...in this thread: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.p...t=0&start=0

So it seems Margate = bad, Hull = good...

John

Hi John,

sorry, but it's not that simple!

Humbrols 'problem' started with the fire at the Hull (Marfleet) site, this destroyed hugh quantities of (mainly enamel) paint stock, hence the 'streamlining'or 'downsizing' of the available paint

range. (for the cynical here! [me] getting rid of the colours that didn't sell more than a couple of dozen tinlets a year.)

Move forward a few? years and the contract for the manufacture of the Humbrol paint range came up for tender, enter a VERY large player in the 'hobby' paint market.

Everybody and their brother thought :wow::speak_cool::thumbsup::yahoo: a decent range is about to get better.

Said company won the contract and promptly sent production out to China, so for the last xxx years the Q.C. has been virtually non existant.

Enter Hornby, problem with the paint range was known, BUT, not the highest priority, re-launch of the range of kits, a LOT of inward investment in new moulds etc. WAS.

Forward to 2012, it has been announced! (cynical, me?!) that there is to be a 'seed change' in the whole of the paint range, all we can hope for is whoever gets the contract either:

1) Gives it a better go than the previous contract 'owner'.

2) Has half an idea of Q.C.

3) Brings production back to the U.K. :clown: (You can live in hope!)

The only thing i can say about the "Margate = bad, Hull = good" is no, it just depends on the Q.C. (if any) in operation, remember pre Hornby, H.O. was Hull, it's now Margate.

Worth remembering too, the paint is made under licence and therefore attributed to the company H.O. Margate does mean that that particular tin / container is of newer manufacture!

As to if it's better..................... :shrug:

Paul

(Still using original 'Authentics', Gloy etc. Yes, i AM that old! :clif: )

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I have started to add some thinner to my tiny Humbrol enamel paint buckets. I used "dirty" white spirit at first (from bottles used to clean the brushes), but bought a bottle of Humbrol Enamel thinner and a pipette later on.

Perhaps the paint would start to dry earlier if the paint was thinned out a bit. Might have to paint two layers of paint though.

Until I can start using an airbrush, I console myself that the results are "ok", but keep noticing that painting with a brush seem to leave a poor finish, with an uneven shine to it all.

Edited by Decoman

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Perhaps the paint would start to dry earlier if the paint was thinned out a bit. Might have to paint two layers of paint though.

Until I can start using an airbrush, I console myself that the results are "ok", but keep noticing that painting with a brush seem to leave a poor finish, with an uneven shine to it all.

One of the basic rules is that two thin coats are always better than one thick one. Providing you leave enough time between the coats to dry, of course. If you stick to this you might find other problems go away too. There is no reason why brush painting has to leave a poor finish, there were magnificently painted models produced long before spray painting became common.

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Absolute garbage !!

I'm about to return a tinlet that I've opened and it's unusable.

I brush paint and have done since the 1960's, I expect a tin of paint to be paint not

sludge. The tin could fall on it's side and I doubt much would spill out. Thinning just

doesn't work. As to fine work forget it, touch a brush onto the paints surface and nothing

is picked up, it needs shovelling up.

 

'V'

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You've been brush painting since the 60s and have now got one duff tin?  Lucky you to have lasted so long.  However, the right thing to do now is what you say you are doing, that is what should be done with all consumer products that fall well below expectations.  Demand a replacement or your money back.  If you get a replacement and it's the same problem, repeat.  Write to Humbrol and complain.

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The guy selling 'bargain bundles' at Telford was, I suspect, offloading dodgy stock. I know a few bought them. I was not among them.

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