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LooseSeal

AK Air Series?

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Hi guys,

 

I recently got the AK Air Luftwaffe Camouflage set for a 1/48 BF-109 G-6. I'm just wondering if anyone else has used these paints and how they've used them? I tried thinning them with Mr Hobby Self-levelling thinner but it just turned into a gloopy mess. Neither Tamiya nor AK's so-called "high compatibility" thinner worked either, so the only one I had on hand which did seem to work was Vallejo's acrylic Medium Thinner. But - the paint when applied seems to have an almost leathery texture to it... Is this normal? It also seemed to bubble across the surface until it was dry, which was a bit disconcerting...

 

Can anyone recommend a thinner which does work with AK Air? Or... should I just switch to RLM paints from a different brand? I was thinking of Lifecolor...

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Have not tried AK paints, but the problem with brands labelled as Acrylic is that it only refers to the type of binder they use.  So you can have Water based acrylics, Lacquer acrylics, Enamel acrylics, etc.  Back to AK,  if you mean the Real Color series, someone stated Mr Color Leveling thinner works quite well.  To avoid compatibility issues, should use same brand thinners.   Be aware that Tamiya has two types of thinner, Alcohol and Lacquer.

 

regards,

Jack

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You're talking about their "water" paints. Those won't thin properly with lacquer thinners, try IPA as a cheap thinner (but you might need some retarder in there to avoid tip dry). The AK high-compatibility thinner is lacquer based I believe, which is why it doesn't work, but the Vallejo one does.

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Thanks guys. I think the AK Air series is just incredibly fussy and needs their specific thinner, as not even the Mr Color Levelling thinner works (and that's alcohol, right? Just made it a horrible mess), so neither alcohol nor lacquer works... after trying 5 different brands.

Even when it did sort of work with the Vallejo Medium Thinner, I was deeply unimpressed with the quality of the paint... I found it doesn't spray well, clogs up the airbrush, very hard to get the right ratio of thinner to paint.. And weirdly, impossible to do hairspray chipping with this paint as it simply does not scratch off in flakes, it almost comes off like soft leather.

 

So I've given up on AK (not my first bad experience with them, but it will be the last) and decided to go with the RLM range in Mission Models.

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MrLT is a less concentrated lacquer thinner. Works great with solvent based paints, but the water ones not so much. Strictly theoretically speaking if you add enough lacquer thinner to it you might get something that's usable, but why bother?

I've successfully thinned water paints (Green Stuff, Revell and Vallejo) using IPA. But if I add MLT to the mix the result is pretty bad.

If you find a paint line that works for you just stick to the brand. It's why I stick to Gunze and Tamiya for most of my needs.

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Looking at AK's website, the paint in question is indeed water based, and they specifically suggest to use their thinner AK712.   If you find they thin ok with water (distilled would be best),  then you can add a drop or two of Future clear acrylic to bring some strength back to the paint.

 

Unfortunately with water based acrylics, paint drying on the airbrush tip is common, though as suggested, adding retarder does help.   The 'leather skin' you experienced may have resulted from compatibility issues, but this can also happen if the sprayed layer is applied heavily and quickly.   That is another problem with water acrylics, they just sit on top of the model surface, unlike lacquers that etch themselves into the plastic.

 

regards,

Jack

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