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Al Clad Mil-spec II enamels, anyone tried them? Any tips?


Beardie
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Hi all,

Just waiting to take delivery of a few of Alclads new Mil-Spec II enamels (ordered a healthy selection of the metal finishes and thought I would give the enamels a bash too) and was wondering if anyone here has used them as yet and, if so, are there any things to watch out for, tricks for using them and what you think of them?

They sound like a great idea to me as a devotee of enamels and with past experience using nitro-cellulose lacquers. I like the sound of quick drying thin enamel films sounds pretty attractive to me with the only downside being that they are not really suitable for the kitchen table modeller given the strong smelling solvents. Never been a fan of acrylics so these seem to be right up my street.

All input gratefully received. :winkgrin:

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Hmm..... nobody partaken of a bottle of this stuff yet?

I guess I am just going to have to take the plunge and get to spraying it about. I will write up my findings here for anyone interested in giving the stuff a go. I have almost all the colours so far released (I have to thank Mr Robert Bunn at Alclad for chucking some extra bottles into my order so that I could give them a fair trial. Got basic OOB built kits of a Hurricane, Mustang, Martlet and Stuka as test beds and I am hoping for good results.

If anyone has indeed tried these out though I would still be very grateful to hear your opinions of them.

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Hi that is an interesting wee report. Thanks for directing me to it.

I note that you say you cleaned your brush with white spirit and also used this to thin your paints. From my correspondence with Alclad it is recommended that only cellulose thinners should be used for thinning and I seem to recall a reference somewhere to the paint becoming congealed, lumpy when mixed with white spirit/turpentine. My personal preference is the Alclad own brand thinners for any mixing needs and I use pure acetone or cellulose thinners for cleaning. I would avoid Rustins Cellulose thinners as they smell pretty disgusting. A quick sniff at the bottles tells me that the solvent used in the Alclad Mil Spec paints is indeed cellulose thinners (that lovely sweet car body shop smell ).

This morning I prepared parts of a Sword 48 Martlett with Alclad White filler/primer which goes on a dream without clogging and a very fine, more satin than matte finish, which I rather prefer.Hopefully tomorrow I will be laying down some USAAF interior green Mil-Spec II so hoping for good things :winkgrin:

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I would recommend getting in some of their primers as well as I gather the paints have the potential to damage the plastic if sprayed direct onto the bare styrene. You get a generous bottle for not much money.

The only other drawbacks I can foresee at present are the need to have your humbrols or other enamels to hand for the small brush applied detail work and the limited colour range but Robert Bunn says that they are hoping that they will have the full range available in the not too distant future. In an email he said that they are hoping to release five new colours per month so I am hoping that these will become my go-to paints and I can say goodbye to waiting hours or even days for enamels to dry before being able to move on.

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I used white spirits only for a small mix of Alclad paint and humbrol black, just for a very limited wash Inside a cockpit. So indeed I wouldn't dare recommend it for thinning the paint itself without real testing.

I never used Alclad products before, so it was just a tiny "trial and error" approach.

Used the paint right from the bottle on Tamiya's plastic and I didn't see something weird as a result.

Also I don't have cellulose thinner nor any "derelict" kit usable for this at the moment, so I'll probably wait for your conclusions.

Searching for a sandable primer for acrylics (gunze and tamiya). Should the white primer you are speaking of qualify for it?

I would like to order Alclad RAF interior green for an aifix spit but I plan to use acrylics for the camo (and I don't want to spoil it), so a primer for acrylics and enamel seems a wise choice).

Edited by PattheCat
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Not sure what the nature of the Alclad primers is. I never use acrylics myself. I would imagine that an acrylic primer would work just as well as a barrier between the kit plastic and the Mil-Spec paints. I am pretty new to Alclads range of finishes myself but finally bit the bullet as I had completely failed to find a pleasing bright metal or chrome finish from any of the humbrol enamel range. After buying their Chrome and High speed silver plus some primer I was blown away by the results and kind of went a little daft buying as many of their metal finishes as I had spare cash for. Then next my attention was drawn to the enamels.

Fortunately I have a number of kits in the stash which I have bought better/more detailed kits to make more careful builds of which are being offered up for testing. I have a Sword Martlet/wildcat, Airfix Stuka, Airfix/Arii P-51 mustang and Hasegawa Hurricane which have all volunteered for experimentation in the next week or two :winkgrin:

One thing I have so far been pleasantly surprised by is the Alclad finishes imperviousness to white spirit/turpentine which has allowed me to get stuck into some turpentine thinned enamel washes without the fear of 'wrinkling' of the underlying finish that I have found now and then with humbrol enamels.

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I use nothing but lacquer based primers (Alclad),because in my opinion they are fool proof, correct me if I am wrong nothing will react against them. Obviously there are those who dont like the fumes, but in your case if you are going to use Alclad this doesnt seem a problem. Use acrylic based ones which Aqua gloss is, ( I removed it last week with household cleaner) then you could have problems.

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I have to admit to loving the smell although I know it is bad for you it smells really good to me then again I love the smell of genuine turpentine too and most people can't seem to stand it.

One thing that puzzles me is, if the alclad primers are lacquer based, why don't they pose the same risk to the plastic that the paints do?

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One thing that puzzles me is, if the alclad primers are lacquer based, why don't they pose the same risk to the plastic that the paints do?

I've often wondered this myself, but as a philosophy major, I am wholly unqualified to answer the question in helpful terms.

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I don't doubt that if you left a piece of plastic in a jar of alclad primer it wouldn't do it much good, but i have never had a problem spraying it.

I suppose as well that if you sprayed a very wet coat of thinned primer onto bare plastic then that could cause damage. But the secret is in my experiance, mist a thin coat on first let that dry and then you can go a bit heavier on the next coat.

Also I have learn t the hard lesson that if you let white spirit get into contact with these primers and finishes then you are going to have a horrible congealed mess to clean out in your AB nozzle

Edited by Stuck
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Well I emailed Alclad about their primers. They kindly informed me that they are indeed lacquer based as previously stated but include additives which the paints don't contain which stops any danger of reaction with the plastic.

I have also been informed that another eight colours should be added to the range in 3 to 4 weeks - RAF EDSG, RAF MSG, RLM 74,75 Panzer Schwartzgrau, USN WWII non-specular sea blue, canadian voodoo grey and British deep bronze green.

Having sprayed a fair amount of RAF interior green tonight I am very pleased with the handling of these paints and I think I will be ordering all the new colours when the become available. :thumbsup:

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Got me there I'm afraid the colours look good to my eye but not sure just how their accuracy has been determined. Certainly in the email I received about the new colours they were given with BS, FS and RLM numbers so I would hope that these correspond reasonably well. The RAF interior green I sprayed last night is around about the same shade as Humbrol 78 cockpit green.

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Used their RAF Dark Earth for the first time today on the Airfix Lancaster. Sprays superbly straight from bottle through my Iwata HP-BC set at 15psi, won't be going back to Humbrol where there is an Alclad equivalent available. Sprays as well as Tamiya if not better, not much in it either way. Easy clean up with white spirit or cellulose thinner.

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One of the things I find attractive is that, if it has dried in your airbrush just adding some more to the brush will re dissolve it and away you go again unlike acrylics where once dry it ain't going to come out without an in-depth clean of the brush and certainly doesn't require the deep clean that is needed if Humbrol enamel has clogged your brush.

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