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Airbrushed paint drying times


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Hi all, this a general query rather then looking for a definitive answer.

When airbrushing (I've used Humbrol enamels and Tamiya acrylics( The paint seems to be touch dry very quickly but i'm wondering is it actually dry and safe to continue?

For example to get used to my airbrush set up im spraying a old Revell Phantom clip kit, it was sprayed with primer yesterday and i sprayed all over the one colour in dark brown, how long should i ideally wait before masking it up for the dark green? It's been touch dry for most of the day but am i risking paint peel when removing the masking tape because it's not fully dry?

So is there a certain amount of time i should ideally wait? Or is it a case of 'i can pick it up so i can move on'?

Thanks

Mark

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My normal paints are enamels and I normally wait for at least 24 hours to allow the paint to "cure" before masking.This is why I normally have two kits on the go at any time.

Cheers

Dennis

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Hi Mark, as you thought, there is definitely a difference between being 'touch dry' and being ready to be handled/masked. My only real experience is with Tamiya acrylics. If you're not in a hurry, the next day should have given the coat plenty of time to 'cure'. Also bear in mind the length of time that you leave something masked for, and what you mask with. If you give your base coat a day to cure, and mask with something that you remove quite soon after painting, you'll probably be OK. In my expereince, the glossier the paint, the longer the curing time.

I also use Tamiya acrylics, thinned with meths, and given my slow build rate I don't usually have any problems as it's usually more than a few hours between paint & masking. I did use some Mr Colour acrylics once, that had a satin finish, and even after a couple of hours I was able to cause a ruddy great thumbprint in the paint through squeezing a bit too hard when handling.

chris

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Hi Mark, as you thought, there is definitely a difference between being 'touch dry' and being ready to be handled/masked. My only real experience is with Tamiya acrylics. If you're not in a hurry, the next day should have given the coat plenty of time to 'cure'. Also bear in mind the length of time that you leave something masked for, and what you mask with. If you give your base coat a day to cure, and mask with something that you remove quite soon after painting, you'll probably be OK. In my expereince, the glossier the paint, the longer the curing time.

I also use Tamiya acrylics, thinned with meths, and given my slow build rate I don't usually have any problems as it's usually more than a few hours between paint & masking. I did use some Mr Colour acrylics once, that had a satin finish, and even after a couple of hours I was able to cause a ruddy great thumbprint in the paint through squeezing a bit too hard when handling.

chris

Thanks for the info.

However i'm a bit concerned now because you mentioned about how long leaving paint masks on.

I masked up and sprayed last night and i can't remove the mask's until after work tonight by which time they would of been on over 24 hours, am i risking causing some harm/damage?

Thanks

Mark

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With Tamiya Acrylics thinned with Lacquer thinners I usually try to give them 30 mins before handling. But with flat paints in particular it's not unusual for me to handle them within 10-15 mins after painting. Gloss coats usually get longer as they seem to take longer to dry.

With Lacquers like Alclad, Mr Color or Tamiya Aerosols I usually handle them within 10 mins or so

Gunze Mr Hobby Acrylics I'll leave for 2-8 hours depending on the colour. Some dry quicker than others, the greys being the ones that seem to take the longest.,

I like to pull the masks off ASAP, usually straight after painting.

Enamels I usually leave 4-6 plus hours, again gloss colours take longer to cure it seems.

Thinning with lacquer thinners speeds up drying times

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I've left masks on for days without too many problems, depends of course which material you use for masking. With tamiya tapes I've never had problems, so I'd not worry too much about 24 hrs.

In general the drying time depends on a number of factors: of course the type of paint, how thinned it is, what are we going to do with the painted model. Regarding the latter point, a model could be handled without no problem say 2 hrs, after painting, however a second coat of paint at that point might ruin the underlying coat. Before masking and painting something over, I wait usually 24 hrs, gives me much more peace of mind. If however I'm spraying some more paint on without masking, I usually wait less. WIth some water based acrylics it's possible to paint with no problem over a previous coat after less than 2 hrs and sometimes I add effects to the paint straight after the first coat.

Tamiya paints have a very bad habit of looking dry while they are still setting. If they are at that point overcoated with a faster drying paint, the lower coat can craze, so ruining the model. Better leave them for 24 hrs before overcoating even if they are dry to the touch

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I'm a very slow modeller - I sometimes leave masks on for weeks. Longer is riskier, true - but (famous last words?) I've rarely had an issues. I use Tamiya masking tape usually. Cheap tape is much more likely to lift the paint, IME

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I used to rush in and mask paint after allowing it to dry for an hour or so. But after lots of frustration with paint lifting with masking, or getting finger marks in I now leave well alone for at least a day in a big plastic box somewhere warm to properly cure.

Ak interactive even state on their bottles Do not touch for at least a day!

When removing masks that have been on a while i usually blast them with a hair dryer to soften the adhesive.

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Oh, CRAP!

I've sprayed a Tamiya Price of Wales & masked the waterline. That was 2 YEARS ago, & the masking tape is STILL on her.....

Umm, what can i expect when i take the tape off in the morning?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've left masking on for two years before now without issue, but that's another story.

Tamiya acrylics I usually leave for an hour before I mask, but Gunze I have a tendency to leave over night as they tend to be softer than Tamiya and require more drying time, particularly the glosses which can take an age to dry.

One trick I picked up a while back was putting a coat of Future on before masking. This protects the underlying paint, and gives a cleaner edge to masking as Tamiya tape adheres better over a gloss.

Karl

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Removing masking tape is allways done with a liitle apprehension . I use Tamiya tape which i detac a little before use by simply peeling off my cutting mat half dozen times . When removeing i try to do this in warm conditions as i hope the glue of the tape is a little less sticky . I also try to keep the distance between the tape i'm holding and the model as small as possible . Holding the area to be de- masked over a cup of hot water should also help to loosen the glue. I find the most risky situations to be where i'm masking a resin kit that has mould release wax that is difficult to remove so a good degreasing agennt probably helps reduce risk off paint lifting.

Alistair

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