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I`m done with Humbrol Acrylics :-(


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Sorry in advance for the rant but.....

Having recently taken up the hobby I thought I`d use Humbrol acrylics mainly for their availability. Being new to airbrushing I knew I had a lot to learn so have stubbornly stuck with Humbrol with my first two builds and have put down all my airbrushing mistakes to inexperience.I`m using an Iwata Neo airbrush by the way. But on reading through many threads on here I think it obvious the problems lie with my choice of medium.

It sprays ok on 12-15 psi but only with an isopropyl based thinner, their own brand thinner just doesn`t seem to work at all, it constantly clogs the airbrush. Humrol also suggest using water as a thinner. I`ve even resorted to mixing my own thinner with varying degrees of success. It seems the less water used the better it sprays.The real problems start when I try to do detail work and fine lines. I`ve thinned the paint and turned the psi down as per the many tutorials I`ve watched and read but it just will not flow at all on lower settings. I`ve also found it dries to a very coarse texture and no matter how much its buffed it still looks coarse and even after a couple of coats of gloss it has still led to silvering decals.

Such a shame as I`d love to support a UK brand.

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Jimbob 1978 welcome, I'm no airbrush expert but I like the Tamiya acrylic range it goes through my airbrush nicely with no thinners. Vallejo do a nice ready to airbrush range, with your transfers try a product calf micro sol it softens up the carrier film to reduce any silvering to next to nothing. Hope this helps

Oz

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Thanks for the welcome Ozzy.

I have the micro sol and applied many coats to soften the decal on my very first model but to no avail. I put it down to not buffing the paint enough before applying the gloss coat but now on my second model the finish still seems too coarse. On looking at the mixed paint in my mixing cup you can clearly make out the pigment size! That doesn`t seem right to me.

On reading many posts in here I`ve gone ahead and ordered Mr Hobby Aqueous paints for my next build.

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I have very little ventilation in the only available room but if I get into the hobby as much as I hope, and can justify installing some sort of extraction, I`d definitely like to try enamels as I only hear and see good things about them.

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I tried and tried to airbrush Humbrol acrylics and just gave up. I simply couldn't get any sort of consistent flow, no matter how I played with the pressure, viscosity and flow. I also tried brushing them and was totally underwhelmed by their performance that way too.

Tamiya airbrush flawlessly for me, and despite what people say I can brush them on small areas, or else I use Vallejo for detail work.

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Tamiya are the best IMO, tried Humbrol to use a certain colour and even though I got it spraying OK in the end, I won't be adding too many to my paint inventory.

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Hello Jimbob.

After quite a few problems with Humbrol (some enamels in my case), I decided to give others brands a chance.

I'm really happy with Gunze Hobby Color acrylics thinned at a ratio of 1 part of paint/2 parts of thinner (Tamiya X20A or Gunze's own thinner) sprayed at 18 psi (the sweet spot for me) but I went down to 12 without a problem.

I can say that

- they almost never clog my airbrush (H&S Silverline 0.2 needle)

- the finish is smooth enough to my liking (most of their paints are semi-gloss)

- the range of colours is wide and between them and Tamiya, about all needs are covered

- put over a basecoat of Humbrol enamel or Alclad Grey primer they dont peel off when unmasking

Still using enamels for the cockpits and detail work(Humbrol and the new ones by Alclad real great these but lacquers like so really smelly)but steadily building up a collection of Gunze and Tamiya acrylics.

Edited by PattheCat
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Another +1 for the Tamiya acrylics. Spray really well with their own thinners or IPA. never used humbrol and don't get on with enamels therefore I've found my paint :) hope you find yours too mate.

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gunze was king before they vanished from the UK some time ago.

Then came Tamiya - very limited line so I moved to Vallejo Model Air.

Not perfect, but very convenient and I can spray straight from the bottle.

I never liked Humbrol, a true pain to spray.

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I like Gunze also. Failing that, Tamiya is a close second.

gunze was king before they vanished from the UK some time ago.

Gunze haven't vanished from the UK. Still available from UK online suppliers and at shows.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Just a couple of comments chap.

Try W&N "Flow Improver" with your Humbrol.

Most of the issues you mention sound like the paint drying too quickly.

This'll lead to clogging on the tip and rough textures.

It also works well with Vallejo, Tamiya and Xtracrylix.

Personally I've never tried Humbrol, so it may not work well, but seeing you have some it'll be worth a try.

Rick.

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Wow great responses. Thank you all for your comments.

Rick, I did buy myself some flow improver and a retarder and have tried and tried over a couple of afternoons with dozens of different mixes but to no avail unfortunately.

I wanted to avoid online purchases as I like to support local businesses, that and it`s always handy to just pop out and pick up a colour on the spur of the moment, but it looks like its unavoidable unfortunately.

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you didn't mention what size needle you're using, as that can impact paint flow if the pigments in the paint aren't ground finely - and I suspect Humbrol aren't the finest grind ever. The roughness also implies that the paint is drying on the way to the model, which might be fixed by flow improver as already mentioned, or spraying from a little closer. Also, make sure that your 15psi is working pressure. Tune your compressor to 15psi with the airbrush actively spraying air. i.e. finger on the trigger. That will lead to a higher initial pressure that you can bleed off with a flow test each time you paint, but it will ensure that as you spray the pressure doesn't drop too far and result in poor paint atomisation that can lead to a grainy finish.

Gunze acrylics are good, as are AKAN, LifeColor are good too, but can be tricky to thin initially, Tamiya are good, but a slightly limited range, and AK, AMMO and Vallejo are all well liked, although my experience with them is limited. :) I spray with a 0.2mm needle and all these work ok with this - I have the occasional problems with Xtracrylix drying on the tip, but nothing that renders them unusable.

+1 on the Gunze Levelling Thinner. it's the nicest cellulose thinners I've used. It might cause a smell/fume issue in your set-up, but wear a proper mask when you paint anyway if your modelling area isn't well ventilated. Acrylic resin in tiny particles isn't all that good for your lungs despite them being marketed as odourless or low odour. Doesn't automatically make them good for you :) Last bit - the filters in masks do need changing from time to time, as they have a limited lifespan, particularly if they are the activated carbon ones. PSA over ;)

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Some very good pointers thank you. So much to learn.

My airbrush has a .35mm nozzle, I did try flow improver but not much joy with that either.

Should be taking delivery of my Gunze paints soon and looking forward to starting a new model.

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.35 should work with most paints, so once you get your Gunze stuff you should notice a difference ;)

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I've been trying to spray Humbrol Acrylics as well..the times I have got some paint onto anything using Vallejo Airbrush Thinner it's gone on like sand paper..really rough finish..and recently I was brushing out some 94 brown yellow and it seemed to have some grit in it which wasn't there when I prepared the surface I was painting on..maybe that's somethihg to do with the clogging..i just have the feeling with the screw top Humbrol Acrylics that's there something odd happening..

Leslie

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Yep, I too have given up on them. I've tried all manner of thinners, additives, air pressures and air brushes and, at absolute best, I have managed once or twice to achieve nearly passable results. In my opinion, Humbrol acrylics are worthless - and it's shameful that Humbrol market them as being 'airbrush-able'.

Funnily enough, like Leslie, I have a pot of 94 that's full of grit....

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Humbrol acrylic is pretty useless and after a couple of bad experiences I've given up on it. FWIW I'm also unimpressed by Humbrol acrylic in rattle cans. If I need to use Humbrol I stick to enamel.

I'm a wee bit surprised that nobody has mentioned Revell Aqua. I've airbrushed it several times and had good results - thin it with Revell's own thinner rather than water (make sure the bottle has a blue cap) add a spot of flow enhancer and it's as good as anything else I've used.

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I've ha similar problems with humbrol acrylics through my airbrush. My solution in the end was tamiya and to only use my humbrol for brush painting. It must be a dark art to get humbrol acrylics running smoothly through an airbrush.

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I've found that Humbrol acrylics work about the same as Vallejo, but completely different than Tamiya, Gunze or Model Master Acryl. MMA is very different than the others. I've tried universal thinners like IPA or water, but found what works best is:

Humbrol or Vallejo -- 50/50 mix with Future/Kleer, plus a drop of W&N retarder. Pre-mix, then decant into the color cup. Sprays very smooth, dries finger touch after an hour, rock hard in 24 hours. Vallejo's thinner works, but Future is cheaper, and better.

Tamiya or Gunze -- 50/50 mix with Mr Levelling Thinner. Dries completely in an hour, Maskable after 3-4 hours.

Model Master Acryl -- still trying; I like some of the color choices and they are very easy to get locally but they airbrush terribly.

Tim

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Does anyone want to buy any Humbrol acrylics and thinners ? I too tried to support a British company but it is very poor quality and hence is unusable.

After a lot of trials and errors I use Tamiya paint and their thinners. The trick with brush painting with it is to use it very thin and in lots of layers.

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