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will2017

Who produces the best modelling paint

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I am currently working up to starting my first kit in a great number of years, and I've noticed a lot of talk about how good/bad the paints are these days.

I used to use Humbrol enamel tins back in the day (1990s), but it seems from some comments that they've changed the recipe and gone downhill.

 

As my first model I'm looking to build an ADV Tornado in 1:72, so lots of shades of grey. I don't have an airbrush so the paint will be manually brushed on.

Has anyone got any good recommendations - I am prepared to ditch Humbrol forever if there is a decent alternative.

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For me :- Tamiya for the airbrush , for the hairy stick any that orginate from Coat d'arms production .

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If you're airbrushing then I too have not found anything better than Tamiya. I like to brush paint with Vallejo Model Color (not Model Air), but I've not brush painted an entire model in years.

 

HTH

 

Val :)

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Gunze Mr Color (Laquers), hardly any better paint out there and luckily you can get them now in the UK. I've heard very good things about the new(ish) Mr. Paint range from Slovakia, but haven't tried them myself yet.

For enamels, I swear by Colorcoats (ex. WEM), but ease of use and drying time make me drift more and more towards Mr Color.

 

Jeffrey

 Edit: oops, didn't see that you're not airbrushing so that puts Mr.Paint out of the race as it's airbrush-ready paint, not for brushing. But I think both Mr Color and Colorcoats are good for brushing too, especially if you use Mr Levelling Thinner with the Mr Color paints.

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There are are two things to take into consideration, ease of use and accuracy of colour.

 

The following refers to brush painting, I've not used an air brush.

 

For enamels, the Sovereign Colourcoats are a hit on both counts. Revell paints are also quite usable but require mixing in many cases to get the right colour. Xtracolour has good matches but is trickier to brush paint.

 

I've had some success brushing Tamiya paint but it wasn't fun.

 

John.

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I bet you get 1000 opinions but here's mine :).

 

My #1 favorite paint is Mr Paint (www.mrpaint.sk). This excellent for airbrush and sprays very pleasant

#2 will be Gunze

#3 Alclad

#4 Vallejo

 

I do not stick to one specific brand. Every brand has it pro's and con's. But for metallic/alu colors Alclad is definately the way to go.

 

Cheers Evert

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Will, as you are just getting back into things - all the above suggestions are good, but for ease of availability ( i.e. you can go out and buy some today) - then Warhammer / Games Workshop make some very brushable acrylics - the names are a bit weird but you can always mix them or go for the one that looks closest. There's a Warhammer shop in Bury St Edmunds I believe.

 

To be honest I'd rather have paint that brushes well and need mixing, than accurate colours that only brush so so - but thats just my view.

 

They are water based acrylics and do brush really well, and their metallics are pretty good too. Just make sure you model is clean and free from greasy fingerprints before you paint.

They also have spray-can primer too which is useful.

 

Good Luck and please let us know how you get on.

 

Jonners

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Hi Will. I have found that acrylic paints from Humbrol, Revell and those from Games Workshop all brush on really well. For larger surfaces you would do well to pick up some flat brushes. Humbrol do a nice 4-pack of flat brushes with some decent sizes. As Jon mentioned above - make sure you clean the plastic well before starting work on the kit with warm (not hot) soapy (a washing up liquid) water and rinse well to get rid of any traces of the soap. I have found the Humbrol, Revell and Citadel paints all thin well with water. Another suggestion would be to practice on some scrap plastic first. All the models here I painted with brushes. Check out Tonyot's models too.

Kind regards,

Stix

 

Edited by PlaStix

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3 hours ago, will2017 said:

I don't have an airbrush so the paint will be manually brushed on

Bearing that on mind :coolio: , from my experience Lifecolor and Italeri/Vallejo (same stuff, different brand name). They are vinyl based acrylics, so thin very well with water, don't smell, and are non-toxic.

 

I also use Windex and/or Future to thin them, according to the effect I want to get. And I totally vouch for Stix's suggestion about the brushes; furthermore, I also agree 100% with:

2 hours ago, Jon Kunac-Tabinor said:

To be honest I'd rather have paint that brushes well and need mixing, than accurate colours that only brush so so - but thats just my view.

 

and I think that, generally speaking, Lifecolor has both the features: they brush well and are a good match. IMHO, of course :) 

 

Ciao

 

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I use the little tins of Humbrol enamel and have done for, dear God, the best part of 40 years. 

 

They are cheap, normally good quality (OK, every now and then a dog slips through, but same for everybody) and they are readily available.

I brush them on, having first stirred well and then thinned with Humbrol enamel thinners in a little pot - personally I use the plastic ones that you get various dips etc in but others are available. I clean my brushes in everyday of the shelf white spirit and I make sure i put the lids on the pots, to get a good seal I use some small spring loaded diy clamps, turn the tin upside down and then leave it aside for a bit.

They need to be kept at room temp otherwise the paint gets "gloopy" but apart from that, I love 'em. I have used other brands / types but I keep coming back to the tins.

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I brush paint and use a mix of Tamiya (very good but does need some thinning with their own brand of thinners) Lifecolour (some good, some bad, some awful, and some of the colours are waaaay off) and Mr Hobby acrylics. The Mr Hobby stuff is by far the best, just superb paint. Treat it like enamels as it takes a while to dry but even with just a tiny bit of thinner (I use Tamiya) it is great stuff.

 

Simon

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Having read the nightmare stories of brushing Tamiya paint...

20 odd years ago I airbrushed it just using water as thinner.  Hey it's acrylic so what did I know?  It went on fine.

Recently I traditional brushed some Tamiya paint.  I thinned it with car screen wash*.  It went on fine.

For household reasons I'm trying to move over to acrylics, made easier as only my ancient enamels actually cover properly anyway.

Cheers 

Will 

 

* A tip I got from Finescale Modeler or Model Railroader, both are Kalmbach mags.  As screen wash contains water, alcohol as antifreeze and detergent as wetting agent it's probably similar to proper acrylic thinners anyway.  I haven't tried it with white acrylic to see if the blue taints the colour!

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1 hour ago, phildagreek said:

(OK, every now and then a dog slips through, but same for everybody)

 

I can think of quite a number of brands I've had examples of over the years which haven't resulted in any dogs slipping through, actually.

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For me using an airbrush, I would go with Tamiya for ease of mixing/thinning together. The guy at my local model shop (Wonderland in Edinburgh) said that you get the most paint for your money with Revell acrylics, however they don't mix as well, although I have never tried spraying them. I have brush painted with a couple and they came out excellently. I would say it's personal preference, and that there's not a '1 paint to rule them all' as convenient as that might be. Each company's paints will mesh best with certain people's painting styles, along with what and how they are painting! 

Something I picked up with Tamiya paints, I read or seen it somewhere its not of my own discovery, but if you fill a freshly opened paint pot thats full of paint with their X20-A thinner, it sprays really well and is super convenient. 

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1 hour ago, SovereignHobbies said:

 

I can think of quite a number of brands I've had examples of over the years which haven't resulted in any dogs slipping through, actually.

 

Me too. I use Colourcoats and Mr. Hobby Aqueous for most of what I do, and have never had a bad batch. Model Master, on the other hand, seems to start its two-week "going bad" process the moment you open the bottle...the only way I've found to slow that down is to meticulously clean the bottle and cap after each use. But you won't stop it completely.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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2 hours ago, SovereignHobbies said:

 

I can think of quite a number of brands I've had examples of over the years which haven't resulted in any dogs slipping through, actually.

Same here, out of all the varied brands I have used over the years, Tamiya, Mr Colour, Revell, Xtracolour, Xtracrylix, Humbrol, Vallejo etc, the only issues I have had have been with Humbrol enamels.

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Gunze acrylics would be my choice, closely followed by Tamiya acrylics.

 

Gunze brush paints better than Tamiya, but even Tamiya brushes OK with a little thinner.

 

Karl

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Phildagreek:  I can't say that I've never had problems with other paint manufacturers in my 60 years of modelling - I didn't like Airfix much (don't remember quite why) there was a lot of discussion about drying times with Xtracolour, for example, and I recall a pretty awful pot of Olive Drab which may have been Compucolour.  I'd agree it was rare both in my direct experience and seeing comments from other people.  However, after Humbrol moved production to China there was a massive rise in complaints, which reduced but have not subsided completely since production was returned to the UK.  I believe they have a long way to go to regain their previous reputation for quality, but simple denial doesn't help.

 

I suspect that, like me, you have a large stock of Humbrol colours, and possibly just didn't need to buy much during this period.  I did have a rotten tin of 33, which was and is an important standard.  Fortunately I have large stocks of WEM Colourcoats, Xtracolour and even Precision Paint: I stopped using Humbrol for most specific camouflage colours many years ago.

Edited by Graham Boak

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For what it's worth, I've just received my monthly care package from Taiwan and it contained a few bottles of the new(er) Gunze acrylic paint (N prefix) called Acrysion. I needed to brush a small area and I liked how it performed. I'll do some more testing but it seemed like it brushed nicer than the standard Gunze acrylics (H prefix). One test, of course, isn't comprehensive. I've heard it doesn't spray as nicely, though, so I'm anxious to give that a try.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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I'm a brush painter and I still find Humbrol enamels the best to use.

 

More lately I've found their paint a bit too quick drying, but have adapted to it quite well, the older the tin the better and I'm still using stock that I bought in the early '90s.

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for brush painting vallejo model color (not air as it's to thin) is quite good, and also the bottles are quite convenient, i find revell aqua color actually very nice paint, but it comes in odd square containers and tends to be of inconsistent thickbess between colors, and also thicken with age to a paste, so you really need to thin it. but once you do it give a good and durable finish. I have a paint set from italeri and they also brush paint lovely perhaps the best of all brands i have. although it seems to chip of ealily.

 

tamiya is lovely for airbrushing, but not as good for brushpainting, but perhaps their own thinner would help... i also read they have their own flow improver wich helps hand painting

 

i found the tick to brush painting acrylics is to add some flow improver and to this end i used parket floor polish, wich i think is similar to things like clear and pledge... i use it as a thinner in stead of water and it does miracles for how the paint brushes... you still need to work fast on large surfaces, but it allows the paint strokes to flow into eachother and level out. pure polish can be used as a clear overcloat, al will lend a deep satin shine to paint

 

i should also mention citadel paint, although mainly used for figure painting... at some point the formula changed, but i have some of their now out of production old formula, copper, that was opened for the first time more than15 years ago, and it looks like it came of the shelve yesterday... i have another pot of their new formula with a screw on lid and the paint had tried to an almost rubbery mass, but some methyl alcohol and a lot of stiring brought it back to life (although truth be tolled it's usable but not as good as it was)

 

personally i wouldn't go out and buy a whole range of paints at once, but rather see who has the closest match to the actual colors you need, and try out a few different brands... most acrylic paints mix nicely between brands so if you end up with an eclectic collection of paints you can still use them all... i ordered some empty plastic bottles on line, and now make my own custom mixes for certain colors, sometimes with paints from 3 or 4 different brands, alsong with vallejo thinner and flow improver... sometimes the mix separates over time but a good shake will wake everything up

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I believe Italeri's paint is Vallejo.  :nerd:

 

Personally I like Tamiya acrylics through the Airbrush and Humbrol or Revell with a brush.....Mostly because they are readily available.  :rolleyes:

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Everyone has their own favourite brand of paint so eventually you will get responses recommending every brand of paint out there. There is a lot of sound advice in all the comments above however.

Lunarhighway's last paragraph makes a lot of sense when he talks about not buying a complete range of paints all at one time. When I came back to modelling in the early 2000's I faced the same dilemma as yourself and tried quite a few different brands before settling on one or two favourites (I was also a brush painter at the time). So try a pot or two of Tamiya and the other brands suggested until you find what works best for you.

Personally I airbrush 99% of the time but for small parts I use Vallejo Model Color or the newer AK Interactive paints which are better in my opinion, Ammo by Mig are also talked of very highly. They are all acrylic paints and brush nicely.

If you want to keep using enamels then Sovereign Hobbies' brand, Colourcoats, would be my choice as they will behave as you remember your Humbrol paints did but are a very modern mixture with a wide range of colours, quick drying times and good coverage (Jamie, the Grand Vizier of Sovereign Hobbies has already commented on your thread and is a very knowledgable chap when it comes to paints). If you still have your old Humbrol tins then have a look inside, you will probably find that they are still usable (I still have tins from the 1980's that are perfect but don't use them anymore).

Welcome to modern modelling where you will find so many choices and new techniques that your brain will boil and you'll wonder how you ever managed to make models with only a tube of glue with a pin sealing it, a pair of scissors and a piece of sandpaper!

 

Duncan B 

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I've found Humbrol enamels not too bad for brushing (though some of the non-UK made batches are hit-and-miss) but prefer ModelMaster or Colourcoats/WEM enamels for airbrushes. I thin both with enamel thinner from the local car parts shop. On the odd occasion I have to use acrylics, Tamiya are the go-to.

Edited by Bell209

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3 hours ago, Duncan B said:

Welcome to modern modelling where you will find so many choices and new techniques that your brain will boil and you'll wonder how you ever managed to make models with only a tube of glue with a pin sealing it, a pair of scissors and a piece of sandpaper!

 

Duncan B 

 

I remember having a pin in the end of a tube of Polycement! Those were the days!

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