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Brush painting with Tamya

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I'm unsure now, whether to go for Tamiya or Vallejo acrylics.

Both paints are pretty easy to get hold on the internet, but I've read somewhere that the Vallejo acrylics don't need thinner/retarder to brush paint successfully. Also the Tamiya retarder is more expensive than the Vallajo equivalent.

I have one pot of Tamiya already, but unsure whether to get the retarder, or just get a bottle of Vallejo to try without thinning or get the Vellajo retarder too. I don't want to plump for one and find out the other is better. Neither do I want to get it all to test as I could do without the expense.

Does anyone have any thoughts on Tamiya v Vallajo (with or without thinner/retarder) debate?

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For hand painting i'd recommend Vallejo model color, as it's especially formulated for hand painting, it also comes in a very handy dropper bottle. Vallejo also has a model air range, wish is thinner and formulated for airbrushing, so not really suited for brush painting, although it can be mixed in with model color or used over a light undercoat. their metalics are superior and perfect for brush painting (much better then the model color alternative) they also have a game color range with is more aimed towards war game figure painting and is apparently more sturdy paint... i tried silver from the range but didn't like it.

Tamiya is more an all round paint.. i find it is less forgiving and dries to fast out of the bottle for brush painting so you'll need some flow improver, but it's also suited for airbrushing. it comes in a traditional jar wich i find less easy to use, especially as dried paint can get it stuck.

for a smooth hand painted finish on large surfaces both will need some flow improve, but for valleyo i use floor polish, wich is dirt cheap as far as modeling products go.

one thing to keep in mind is that, it's perfectly ok to mix brands... get a few colours from each and see what works best for you. perhaps one will work better for details (black for example you'll use likely more for tires and such, while certain camouflage colours might be used more for larger sufraces)

for interior green for example i often use a mix of tamiya XF-71 cockpit green (wich actually is a japanese interior color) and model air 95 pale green... the vallejo , being model air, is to thin to cover well, while tamiya covers well but dries to quick... so the vallejo acts as a flow improve for tamiya and changes the tone slightly to what i think is a nice interior green.

I've also used italeri paints wich came in an raf paint set, and they're very nice for hand painting as well, maybe even better than vallejo.

finally i recently started using tamiya spray can primer, wich really helps any brush applied stick better and go on more smoother, also a light primer will reduce the amount of coats needed...

so just get a few bottles of each and see what you like best...

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Does anyone have any thoughts on Tamiya v Vallajo (with or without thinner/retarder) debate?

Having used both and having numerically significant range of both.

Without thinning or retarder, for brushing Vallejo Model Color wins hands down. For airbrushing, Vallejo Model Air and Tamiya acrylic are both excellent, and Model Color OK too. All need thinning for airbrushing, Model Air the least.

Vallejo do two ranges of acrylic. One intended for brushing - Model Color (sic), and one for airbrushing - Model Air. The former was formed around their Game Color Warhammer wargaming miniature brush painters range. Their brush application and colour range nomenclature reflect that. The latter around airbrushing by military modellers desirous of authentic colours. Both now include plenty of colours to achieve what's required, but Model Air is commercially tailored to their target demographic with named sets etc. The primary differences between the two is pigment particle size and coating opacity. They are both water & resin based.

Tamiya acrylics are legend. I love them. Their retarder is a fairly new product. Until then, IME they were useless/utterly dreadful for hand brushing application IME. Their colour range generally needs to be mixed and matched to achieve authentic military RLM/RAL etc colours. Although I have their retarder too, I don't hand brush large surfaces, so I won't comment upon how good or not Tamiya acrylics are now for that purpose with their proprietary retarder added. Others reports indicate it renders them effectively brushable.

Cost is inconsequential. Proprietary thinners/retarder/flow improver etc are minor outlays in the overall scheme of things.

If you want to brush paint on the cheap, Vallejo Model Color. They are already brush friendly OOTB, and to improve flow, you can just use water to thin if necessary if you don't want to outlay on their thinner/flow improver.

Edited by Bigglesof266

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Revell aqua might be worth a try too. The range is a bit small but they thin well with water and brush really nicely if thinned correctly. I like vallejo paints, unbelievable range of colours but I sometimes have problems with chipping and lifting under masking tape.

Loads of choice out there and I don't think anyone should limit their collection to one brand.

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I remember reading an Ian Huntley piece specifically about brush painting with tamiya.

It was suggested to add a drop of washing washing up liquid to help flow along with a stainless steel ball bearing.

It works.

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Revell aqua might be worth a try too. The range is a bit small but they thin well with water and brush really nicely if thinned correctly. I like vallejo paints, unbelievable range of colours but I sometimes have problems with chipping and lifting under masking tape.

Loads of choice out there and I don't think anyone should limit their collection to one brand.

indeed revell aqua colour is worth a look, they do tend to be more of a paste so they do need thinning a lot,but indeed their finish is nice.

Edited by lunarhighway

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So much choice 😁

Thanks for all the replies. I think I'll get a bottle of Vallejo Model Colour and thinner and see how it goes.

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I tried the Vallejo model color without thinner and found that it is much easier to use with a normal brush than the Tamiya acrylic. It dries much less quickly, so I could get it on the model without it drying and bunching up.

I've also tried adding a few drops of water to thin it slightly, which also helped bigger surfaces. It's going to take a lot of practice to get it right and avoid pooling/brush marks, but I think I've found my paint of choice 😊

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