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LewisWood12

Thinning problems with Mr hobby self levelling thinner.

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Hello all, I have recently started building a 1/35 UH 1C model and have begun the painting process of the cabin. After hearing lots of good things about mr hobbies self levelling thinner I decided to give it a go with my tamiya acrylics. I thinned at a ratio of 2:1 (paint:thinner) at about 20psi. Good thing i tested it on an old model as the results were not good! The paint seemed to go on really thin and lacked any adhesion quality. Can anyone suggest what I am doing wrong? Should I stick with this thinner or go back to good old x20a for my Tamiya acrylics? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

(side note- The weather at the moment is usually around the 10 celsius mark and is not to rainy) 

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Hi - sorry you are having trouble.  I use it with Tamiya all the time with no problems - although I would say that the thinning ratio can vary a little between colours.
20 PSI sounds a bit high though - have you tried dialling the pressure down?

just to confirm , its this one- yes?
https://www.emodels.co.uk/mr-hobby-400ml-mr-color-levelling-thinner-108.html


Cheers

Jonners

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Hello LewisWood

Usually I use Mister Levelling Thiner (aka MLT) with Tamiya ansd Mr Hobby with good result, my ratio is 1:2 (paint:thiner) pressure 15 PSI, I like thin layers in order to build the color, so far no problem.

Check the surface of your model, do you primed the surface?

 

All the best.

Edited by Paulo Monteiro

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Hi, thanks for replying so soon. Ill give it a go at lower pressure and see if that makes any difference, would you say the paint needs anymore thinning or is 2:1 a good sort of ratio?

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7 minutes ago, LewisWood12 said:

Hi, thanks for replying so soon. Ill give it a go at lower pressure and see if that makes any difference, would you say the paint needs anymore thinning or is 2:1 a good sort of ratio?

I use 1:1 acrylic paint to Mr Levelling Thinner spraying at 15-20psi (max) and it usually works very well. But I would echo the earlier question from Paulo - do you use a primed surface? If not I'd heavily recommend a good primer. Otherwise, try soaking the parts in warm soapy water and letting them thoroughly air dry before trying to spray again.

Edited by Alan P

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Hi All, not currently using a primer (I intended to use the paint I was thinning as a primer) what primers would you recommend? and when spraying in a ratio of 1:1 how many coats would you say would be sufficient for a nice coverage?

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1 hour ago, LewisWood12 said:

Hi All, not currently using a primer (I intended to use the paint I was thinning as a primer) what primers would you recommend? and when spraying in a ratio of 1:1 how many coats would you say would be sufficient for a nice coverage?

I use Mr Surfacer 1200 (thinned 1:1 with, yes, Mr Levelling Thinner 😂) but you can also get it in a rattle can (not cheap!). I know others have plenty of success with other primers though. You can use a rattle can or airbrush. It's always best to wash the model parts in soapy water (warm, not hot, with a few drops of Fairy liquid or detergent, rinse and let air dry) to get rid of any oily residue or dust from the building process. this helps paint to adhere evenly in my experience.

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A quick update, I went out and bought a can of Tamiya’s surface primer (the only one my local model shop had) and have sprayed a sheet of styrene with it. Once dry I’ll mix up some paint with the thinner and try it out on there to see the results. Also thanks guys for all the quick responses I really appreciate it! 

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I could never answer anyone when asked what my thinner ratios are, though I'd say it usually comes out to about 2:1 thinner:paint.  The best way I've found to describe it is to mix the paint in a clear jar.  After thoroughly mixing the paint, hold the jar up to a light and tilt it so you can see in through the top toward the light.  As you tilt the jar so that the level of the paint goes across the bottom of the jar, if properly mixed, there should just be a bright separation line between the liquid and the paint that remains on the jar above the liquid paint (same as if you tilt a glass of milk and do the same thing).  If the paint above the line is very translucent, you've gotten it too thin, if the line doesn't appear right away, it's not thin enough.  Yes, very inexact, I know, but it works well for me for both acrylics and enamels, usually in the 12-15 psi range.  Hope this can help you get a good mix for painting.

 

Steve

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Have a go at General Purpose Thinners.  It costs me less than $25 Aussie Dollars for 4 litres.  I use it with Mr Hobby,  Mr Colour,  Tamiya, Hataka Laquer paints, Tamiya and Humbrol enamels.   I thin it about the consistency of runny milk.  Works a treat.

 

Stephen 

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I find that Mr hobby self levelling thinner is better suited for Lacquer based paints such as Gunze's Mr Color. 

 

For Tamiya Acrylics, I usually use the Tamiya thinner designed for their acrylics: Tamiya X-20A

 

https://www.emodels.co.uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=Tamiya+X-20A+

 

Do note that X-20A ( A = Acrylic) is very different from Tamiya X-20 , which is their thinner for Enamel paints.

 

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Ask 12 modellers about anything, and you'll get a dozen different replies... 

 

As for me... meh to primer. I use it or not, as the feeling takes me. GS acrylics and Mr Leveling work very well for me, as does Tamiya and Mr L. I tend to mix 'paint and a splash of thinner, if it's grossly wrong change the ratio, if it's close enough change the way I spray'. Somewhere around skim milk is a point to aim for, but don't be a slave to mixing ratios, that way lies frustration and madness. Different paints will need different amounts of thinning, and 'close enough' is good enough. Can't tell you what pressure I use, there's no gauge on my little Paasche compressor, a quick test spray lets me know how it's going to work.

 

My Number 1 rule for airbrushing- DON'T OVERTHINK IT! It's paint, art if you will, not a chemistry experiment. Work out what works FOR YOU and roll with that - if you're one of those people who need 'exact', you may need to learn to chill a bit and just play. It's a tough thing to do (I speak from experience), but it's the only way you'll manage to get a good result.

 

From what you've written, it sounds like either the paint is over thinned or there's something greasy on the plastic surface. Give the model a wash as has been suggested, and thicken up that paint a bit. Try reducing the pressure too, a thin mix doesn't need a great blast of air to make it move. The Tamiya primer is good, but be aware that the spray cans can throw down a thick layer quite quickly, so a bit of practice on a scrap model will help get the feel for it before you commit to the good one. Also, try to warm the environment up, paint doesn't like cold and you'll have other issues when you get the mix issue sorted out if it stays cold.

 

Good luck and remember- it's art, not science!

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Has anyone had problems with mr hobby levelling thinner and other paints besides Tamiya, namely Acrylic Hataka, Revell, mig?  I am finding that it is thickening the paint rather than thinning or in the case of Revell causing thick sticky parts, which can be rectified by adding way more thinner?

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14 minutes ago, Old pro said:

Has anyone had problems with mr hobby levelling thinner and other paints besides Tamiya, namely Acrylic Hataka, Revell, mig?  I am finding that it is thickening the paint rather than thinning or in the case of Revell causing thick sticky parts, which can be rectified by adding way more thinner?

I've only used Gunze thinner (Mr. Color Leveling for the record) with Tamiya and Gunze acrylics, which I understand are acrylic lacquers.  Works beautifully for me, as do cellulose/lacquer thinners from the DIY store.  X-20A and isopropanol also work well.

 

Other acrylic formulations like Revell and Vallejo are different formulations (acrylic resin based IIRC) that do NOT work or play well with hot thinners.  You really want a mild acrylic thinner for these, mostly water with a small amount of alcohol and flow aids.  For airbrushing these paints I'll pay the premium for the branded thinners just to save home chemistry experiment aggravation.

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18 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

I've only used Gunze thinner (Mr. Color Leveling for the record) with Tamiya and Gunze acrylics, which I understand are acrylic lacquers.  Works beautifully for me, as do cellulose/lacquer thinners from the DIY store.  X-20A and isopropanol also work well.

 

Other acrylic formulations like Revell and Vallejo are different formulations (acrylic resin based IIRC) that do NOT work or play well with hot thinners.  You really want a mild acrylic thinner for these, mostly water with a small amount of alcohol and flow aids.  For airbrushing these paints I'll pay the premium for the branded thinners just to save home chemistry experiment aggravation.

I do have the correct thinners and isopropanol which I tend to  use on vehicles, for aircraft levelling thinners seem to give a far smoother application, which for me is important due to the small scale (1\144) I’ll just have to stick to the correct paints or add way more thinner which seems to work for Revell Acrylics.

cheers

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19 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

I've only used Gunze thinner (Mr. Color Leveling for the record) with Tamiya and Gunze acrylics, which I understand are acrylic lacquers.  Works beautifully for me, as do cellulose/lacquer thinners from the DIY store.  X-20A and isopropanol also work well.

 

Other acrylic formulations like Revell and Vallejo are different formulations (acrylic resin based IIRC) that do NOT work or play well with hot thinners.  You really want a mild acrylic thinner for these, mostly water with a small amount of alcohol and flow aids.  For airbrushing these paints I'll pay the premium for the branded thinners just to save home chemistry experiment aggravation.

:thumbsup:  Big thumbs up for this post. Exactly!

 

I use Tamiya and Gunze "acrylics" with Mr Levelling Thinner. Excellent stuff.

 

I also really like Lifecolor. Never go anywhere near it with Mr Levelling Thinner. That is just asking for trouble. I use their thinner or a little water with a touch of flow aid. It also sprays beautifully thin.  The point about paying for the premium branded thinner sold by the manufacturer is also so correct. The other thing is a fastidiously clean airbrush (if you spray) between changes. No hint of the previous chemistry. 

 

We really need different names for the "acrylics" based on their chemistry. It would take away a lot of the mystery. 

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I would rub down the model ( bare plastic) with isopropyl alcohol to remove any grease etc. not soap and water. the only time I used soap and water to clean the model, tape pulled off not only the paint but also the primer. Gunze and Tamiya make good primers. Never had a problem with Gunze Levelling thinner. 

George

 

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I use UMP/Stynylrez primer and mostly Tamiya or Mr Color thinned with Mr Color Leveling thinner with little or no issues.

I also use Alkan and vallejo acrylics thinned with UMP(Ultimate Modelling Products) thinner which also give excellent results.

Recently, this week, I've started using AK Xtreme "metallics", I've not needed to thin these but being non-acrylic, I've no idea if their lacquer or enamels.

 

I also clean my airbrush between colours, ie taking it apart and ensuring that the needle is clean and free of any paint build up.

Depending on how much I been using it my airbrush gets stripped down and given a "sonic clean" every 2 or 3 weeks, this is almost certainly overkill but I prefer to err on the safe side rather than slovenliness.  

 

Now that I've started using "non-acrylic" paints I'll have to look at getting a stock of replacement seals as the cellulose(?) cleaners will probably effect them sooner or later.

 

as rgb40 suggests cleaning the plastic with IPA is a good idea, soap could leave more of a residue than the mould release, if you've not got any IPA then watered down vinegar could be used as a de-greaser

 

interesting topic

rgds

John(shortCummins)

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On 3/14/2020 at 4:42 PM, Old pro said:

Has anyone had problems with mr hobby levelling thinner and other paints besides Tamiya, namely Acrylic Hataka, Revell, mig?  I am finding that it is thickening the paint rather than thinning or in the case of Revell causing thick sticky parts, which can be rectified by adding way more thinner?

MLT works with the Hataka lacquer acrylics (the orange line), not the regular acrylics. It also works with other lacquer paints (e.g. Akan - again, the lacquer version) and MRP.

 

Jon

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you need to post things like this in the appropriate section

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I tend to use the recommended thinner with any paints I use. I know people use levelling thinner with Tamiya, but I use Tamiya thinner. I always try not to mix brands of paint and thinner. Just my rule and it's never failed me yet..

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I'm not sure on my thinning ratio, I just mix and go.  An educated guess on my mixing ratio is 1:2.  If it's too thin, I add a touch of paint.  If it's too thick, I add some more thinner.  I try to spray in the 15psi range.  With Tamiya paints, all I use is Mr Leveling Thinner and clean up the airbrush with regular lacquer thinner.  I have a small glass bottle of X-20A and have never used it.

 

What airbrush you using?  I had nothing but issues with my H&S so I sold it.  Fought it and fought it.  Sold it and got another Iwata........never looked back.

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