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Sunna

Which paints to use?

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Hi guys, I have been away from modelling kits for quite a few years. I now have a few kits that I want to start. I have quite an extensive selection of Tamiya paints but I have seen so many other paints being recommended that I am wondering if these are the best I could use. I intend working on armour at first but will be tackling a couple of U boat models and possibly some figures at some point. Has anyone got any recommendations?

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If you like Tamiya, I'd stick with them.    If you know how they work, and are happy with the results...

9 minutes ago, Sunna said:

but I have seen so many other paints being recommended that I am wondering if these are the best I could use.

by who, and I can guarantee others will swear blind that they are the worst thing they have used...  

Example, I read often how Tamiya are "unbrushable" but they are not, they just need thinning correctly.  

 

Standard Gunze is the same type of paint as Tamiya, 'hot' acrylic (by hot I mean solvent, you can thin Tamiya with cellulose thinners) and they have an extensive range, though not as easy to get as Tamiya.

 

Vallejo, Revell Aqua, Humbrol, Xtracylix and I believe Lifcolor are latex acrylic, main solvent is water. 

 

For figure use, Vallejo model color are great,  though I'd undercoat with something tougher, as they are fragile.  

One useful thing you can get for vallejo is Glaze medium, which is just the acrylic resin, but make for washes or a translucent layer.

I did this figure in Vallejo, with an oil paint wash and some detailing,

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235072084-132-airfix-paratrooper-officer/

 

Note, I like artist oils but use lighter fuel as a solvent, great for really thin and super fast drying washes.

 

HTH

 

 

 

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Oh oh! That's a bit confusing. Did you know that you have the same avatar as Alfisti??

That aside. My vote would go to Tamiya paints.....if you are airbrushing. I wouldn't recommend them for brush painting as they have a tendency to lift off the paint if you go back over it. But spraying them is fine, and if you get hold of Mike Starmer's paint mixes, you can cover most Brit/Commonwealth vehicles from the 30s up to the 50s.

 

John. 

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Depends on what way you paint. If you are air brushing Tamiya or Mr Color. If you are using

rattle cans to spray I would recommend Tamiya AS or TS sprays. For brush painting I use to use

Model Master but their quality is questionable so I use more Humbrol and Vallejo. If you do use

rattle cans you can mask with poster putty or Tamiya tape, That's my choice, others may have better

ideas to fit your needs.---John

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I certainly agree with the 'what works for you' motto and wouldn't get too sidetracked with marketing and hyperbolic claims.

Keep it simple to start with. Lots of thin layers works for all paints regardless of manufacturer and always use a primer.

 

I use acrylics for the basecoats simply because they are easy to clean and quick drying. Vallejo air work well with the airbrush though they aren't the most robust whilst the Panzer Aces and Vallejo model color ranges seem easy to brush with if thinned a little. Think about a using a 'wet palette' in this hot weather.

 

I like oil paints for the weathering stage as they blend beautifully and mistakes can easily be corrected with thinner. I use artists' distilled turpentine as it  less harsh than conventional enamel thinners and much easier to work with.

 

Has anyone tried the Wilder Flesh oil paints for painting figure's faces? Given their improved blending characteristics I'm hoping they will help me on that front!

 

 

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I mostly tend to use Tamiya acrylics for AFVs as they are easy to use, mix, get and spray. On the whole their colour choice is pretty much spot on too, with the odd discrepancy. They are also tough,resilient and will take weathering products well. Hand painting I find they are good but only for smaller objects. For most handpainting I'll use Humbrol.

 

(For bikes i'll use AK and Tamiya lacquers because they are better glosses/mataliics.)

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5 hours ago, Bullbasket said:

I wouldn't recommend them for brush painting as they have a tendency to lift off the paint if you go back over it.

Not if thinned with distilled/de-ionised water and a little flow improver.

Decant a little into a palette, add water/FI a drop at a time (I use a little syringe) until the paint will flow freely down the side of the palette.   It brushes out thin,  and can be recoated really fast. Use a flat brush.

I think the water allows it to flow, and reduces the proportion of solvent in the paint,  the reason it lifts is it's too thick and the solvent cause it to lift.

As with anything, test on something else first, but it has worked for me, and it's what @PlaStix does.

 

HTH

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Majority of my paints are Tamiya. I do have a fair few Revell Aqua range and some Vallejo and Citadel.

I still have a lot of Humbrol enamel but never use them.

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I haven't build much of anything for many years. I also only used my airbrush once, briefly, about 30 years ago. 

On my Hurricane build I have brushed Tamiya XF-16 and just the other day, on my third time of using my airbrush this month, I sprayed some 

XF-16. It's an old bottle of paint, too. One of the bigger ones. I thinned it with X-20A thinner and added some Tamiya Paint Retarder. Worked a charm.

 

50066055057_ea42c4381f_b.jpg

 

50219243048_26b44182c0_b.jpg

 

46394580264_fafae834e1_o.jpg

 

 

Get the Retarded. It works!

 

 

 

Chris

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Thanks guys, I do intend using the Tamiya acrylics it's just that I have heard so much about Vellejo that I thought maybe I am barking up the wrong tree. Every Youtube video I watch someone seems to be using some other product and my head is getting swamped. It has been a few years since I have done any model building and I am wanting to make sure I have the right tools before getting started again. I wish I had access to all the tutorials when I was young. I had no idea how people could get models looking so realistic.

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1 hour ago, Sunna said:

Thanks guys, I do intend using the Tamiya acrylics it's just that I have heard so much about Vellejo that I thought maybe I am barking up the wrong tree. Every Youtube video I watch someone seems to be using some other product and my head is getting swamped. It has been a few years since I have done any model building and I am wanting to make sure I have the right tools before getting started again. I wish I had access to all the tutorials when I was young.

Which is why I added this to my Sig 

"Beware of modelling trends and fashions, and remember, if the tools, materials and techniques you use, get you the results you want, they are the "right" ones. "

You will find plenty of vids showing all sorts of methods, techniques and products,   don't get overawed.    It's possible to make a decent model with a simple set of tools and paints,  and a paint brush 

eg

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235071371-airfix-cromwell-been-a-long-time-since-i-did-a-tank/

 

 

1 hour ago, Sunna said:

I had no idea how people could get models looking so realistic.

 

And beware of models that look like models....

Tutorials are about the "wow" factor bits, less about the basics, but a model is only as good as it's weakest part,  meaning there is a lot to be said for the less glamorous aspects, the basics of careful construction and alignment,  correct colours,  carefully observed weathering, even just how it's presented in photo, I see far to many excellent models photographed on a grotty cutting mat or kitchen worksurface, 

 

I on occasion have watched youtube build of a subject I'm interested in and end up fuming,  all bells and whistles,  but no comment on the base kit and it's flaws, or just getting the details wrong,  You might find I have a bit of a thing about Hurricanes and I see plenty of models that have a that "wow" factor to the casual observer,  but make me cringe. escape hatch open like a hinged door,  roundels in the wrong places, bare metal chipping on fabric parts etc etc

 

An armour example

"There is a long-term misconception in the modelling community that worn tracks and armour plate are silvery and that both go rusty in the orange/brown range we typically think of.  Neither is true.  Both are made of alloys containing other metallic elements and carbon which naturally inhibit and alter the speed and nature of oxidation and corrosion.  The use of graphite is relatively recent, but is also wrong.  Brown chipping has finally caught on, now it's time for tracks."

 

see here

 

It' is of course , YOUR model, and what you do with it is up to you.    But it you are interested in trying to replicate the look of the real thing, study photos a lot, and not models.

If you find a model that looks like a good representation,  then ask how this was done. 

 

And, again, observe the real thing,  how and why it weathers,  for example in the link on track colour,  if you have a model that does not have rusty tracks with silver highlights,  it's already more realistic than many "wow" models,  if you do one that does not have rusty armour plate, and shiny metal chipping....

I didn't know this, but the member I quoted @Das Abteilung  has posted a lot of useful information on what tanks actually look like

 

@Bullbasket  commented here,  well worth looking through his build threads for tips and techniques.

 

Finally, do a Work In Progress build,  we have a very friendly, supportive and helpful community,  one of the worst things you can do on here is be a arrogant twonk,  (they don't last long) so you will get like  and positive comments, and we also get lots of "I built models X number of years ago and have recently returned" 

Think of it as an added part of your tool kit.  

 

Finally.  the site search is not very good,  try adding "britmodeller" to a google search term to search the site,  and for really specific armour research questions, Missing Lynx forum is better.

 

cheers

 

 

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Wise and sensible words Troy, and I agree with everything that you say.....well, 99.99%. So let's just deal with that 0.01% and get it out of the way. Track colour. You're right and Das Abteilung has been very helpful with his info regarding alloys that tracks are made from. But some tracks do exhibit a silvery colour to the exposed parts that come into contact with hard ground. An example is the US T80 used on the HVSS Sherman. There are some photos on the Sherman Minutia page which show the T80 track links and they are stated as being "steel chevron". The photos show the chevron to be a dull silver colour. But I grant you, not the bright silver that you see on some models. 

As I say, the rest I entirely agree with, especially the bit about going OTT with the finish. Someone was trying to sell a completed model of a Tamiya Centaur on Ebay recently which quite frankly, was ridiculous. Yes, it didn't look bad for a model, but as a true representation of the tank itself, nothing could have been further from the facts. It was depicted as being battered with badly chipped paintwork and rusting. These tanks had been in storage for a number of years prior to their use on D Day, so would have been in near pristine condition.

And lastly, to get back to the question of paints, or rather correct colours. IMO there is no right or wrong colour, or should I say, shade of colour. Olive Drab can have many variations. I have a set of 6 paints from Life Colour, all labelled Olive Drab, and none of them are the same. The way a tank looks when it has just come out of the paint shop, is a mile away from how it will look two years later, after surviving dust, wind and most of all, bright sunlight. And if it's a desert based tank, even more so. Also, never go by museum exhibits. Sometimes, they can get them spectacularly wrong. If you want to know what I mean, take a look at the Centaur in the museum at Saumur.

 

John.

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Tools? Here are my basic "I can't model without these tools", your needs may vary.

X Acto knife, tweezers, alligator clamps, sprue cutters, scissors, metal measuring scales,

sanding sticks, round tooth picks, clothes pins, clamps, eye dropper, tape, a mat and my

most useful tool Optivisor for small details. There are many others but these are my

must haves! HTH---John

4WITlqe.jpg

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2 hours ago, Johnv said:

Tools? Here are my basic "I can't model without these tools", your needs may vary.

X Acto knife, tweezers, alligator clamps, sprue cutters, scissors, metal measuring scales,

sanding sticks, round tooth picks, clothes pins, clamps, eye dropper, tape, a mat and my

most useful tool Optivisor for small details. There are many others but these are my

must haves! HTH---John

4WITlqe.jpg

 

Yeah, that's basically what I have. There is a crapload of other things that I have bought over the years, but these basics are the most often used and are always close at hand. One handy and cheap thing I use fairly often are these clamps/pins or whatever they're called. I bought these in the kitchen section of a local hardware store. Thoy only cost a few dollars and there is a lot of them.

 

49785499751_315de8f609_c.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chris

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On 8/14/2020 at 9:47 PM, Sunna said:

Has anyone got any recommendations?

I've spent a lot of time travelling the world and setting up camp in new places and then sourcing what paints are sold locally. This has meant I have tried many many brands. Now there are so many available, too many to try and by that I mean time to do serious multiple builds with a paint system, that I can understand the bewilderment coming back into the hobby. Fact is all have a learning curve but once understood all work yet with different attributes like toughness, color accuracy and range, drying time, recoat time, toxicity, smell, paint compatibility, ease of cleaning, availability and the list goes on. Tamiya is still up there so you can use what you have with confidence. I think for colour coats, if you have the range , then there is no need to change.  If you want to go to the next level, dependent on your experience, some of the simple techniques for adding life to your model are worthy of study. Such as applying good clear coats (gloss and matt) and applying washes. I think this is more worthwhile than swapping out your paint range.  

 

Ray

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On 8/14/2020 at 9:47 PM, Sunna said:

I have quite an extensive selection of Tamiya paints but I have seen so many other paints being recommended that I am wondering if these are the best I could use. I intend working on armour at first but will be tackling a couple of U boat models and possibly some figures at some point. Has anyone got any recommendations?

Your Tamiya (presumably) acrylic paints will work just fine. Still one of the easiest and all round best paints to apply by airbrush in my book. Just use the right thinners & retarder when if applicable. The downside of Tamiya's range is the absence of a hand holding range of shades out of the jar.  To obtain authentic shade fidelity in many cases, they require mixing which in the absence of a predetermined formulaic guide, is experimental hit 'n miss until you get right. Vallejo and its ilk (I use them too) also work well, but are less forgiving. Same thinning Medium and additive rules apply. Vallejo, MiG, AK Interactive market a far wider no-brainer camo out of the dropper bottle colour range and in themed sets, but you pay for it.  

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Thanks guys. On the subject of realistic weathering. I had a disagreement with a guy on Facebook about maritime rusting. I pointed out that rust appears above the waterline where it is oxidising. Rust WILL appear under water but at a much, much slower rate. He said he had seen a ship with heavy rust under the water line. I said it must have been on the water line but he was adamant. I have seen many ships and structures that are subject to the rigours of the sea and know just how destructive rust can be but it needs oxygen to form. Structures that are permanently under water will eventually start to rust but just how many ships are permanently fixed under water? Growths, streaking and other such weathering is fine but heavy rusting is not realistic.

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Can I ask, how are you guys adding photos? On another forum I belong to there is an attach files option but I can't see anything like that on here.

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7 hours ago, Sunna said:

Can I ask, how are you guys adding photos? On another forum I belong to there is an attach files option but I can't see anything like that on here.

 

You need to use a photo hosting site, like Flickr, Village. Photos, Imgur, etc. Check out @Gorby's posting to see the whole lot that's out there.

 

 

 

 

Chris

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Thanks @dogsbody

 

In order to show photos on this site you will need a photo host. The site is run on a very small budget (you may have noticed that there isn't any advertising) so can't afford a server big enough to store all the pictures that are uploaded. There are other reasons like security etc. All you need to know about posting photos is here (don't worry that it's several pages long, all you need is the first post on the first page):

 

There is a document on suitable photo hosts here:

 

Posting photo's on here may look complicated at first, but it it is much easier than it sounds.

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Morning everybody, I have a questions more or less in line with the original question on this thread.

 

 Currently I have a stack of Tamiya paints. And I must say they spray like a dream, brushpaint meh but workable for the small parts and with good x-22 coat they look nice. I thin them roughly to milk consistency, no ratio, retarder or anything and they usually go fine. Without the use of primer, masking is no problem etc etc.

However there is one thing that annoys me, two actually,

 

- their colors are inaccurate

- their range is limited.

 

so I looked into the alternatives finally concluding lifecolor would do the trick, seems to have a very nice finish. On the other hand they seems less durable, more finicky, increasingly difficult the use etc.

so I am in limbo. I might go and just buy a bottle, but I’d like to get some information on it. I know that for lifecolor primer is a must, so here are my questions

 

- is the lifecolor primer itself good enough? Or is there something else I can spray which is better and wont obscure any detail?

- can I still mask over lifecolor with tamiya masking tape without reservation?

- are there paint producers equally accurate to lifecolor that are closer to tamiya’s in handling?

- how durable is lifecolor when compared to tamiya?

- how accurate are their IJN colors really since they differ massively from the tamiyas’s!

 

Hopefully this isn’t too much asked in once.

 

thanks already in advance

IJNfan

 

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19 hours ago, IJNfan said:

- is the lifecolor primer itself good enough? Or is there something else I can spray which is better and wont obscure any detail?

- can I still mask over lifecolor with tamiya masking tape without reservation?

- are there paint producers equally accurate to lifecolor that are closer to tamiya’s in handling?

- how durable is lifecolor when compared to tamiya?

- how accurate are their IJN colors really since they differ massively from the tamiyas’s!

 

My experience:

 

My go to paints are Lifecolor when home in Australia. Difficult to get where I am now and can go off in the bottle. I do not like to use old stock Lifecolor.

 

I use with their thinners to cut out the head ache of upsetting chemistry. Later you can experiment. Simple water (use de-ionised if you wish) and a little retarder* is OK. Totally different chemistry to Tamiya even though both wash out in water. 

 

* My Edit: I see much discussion of the difference between additive retarders, flow enhancers, and flow improvers. I actually use the mix detailed here and it works well for me with Lifecolor. https://modelpaintsol.com/guides/spraying-acrylic-paints-airbrushing-tips

 

I have used their undercoat no issue and their paints take a mask without problem. I am in the habit of waiting 18-24 hours between masking. Other may shorten this considerably.  

 

A bit of a learning curve first spraying them. Persevere. You can easily over thin. Once you get it right they spray beautifully - self-levelling and thin with good color density. Do not expect to cover in one coat. You may get tip drying just have a cotton bud ready.  They hand brush beautifully.

 

A PITA to clean the airbrush.  Never leave the paint idle for too long in the cup and don't spray to a dry cup. Rinse with water soon after. Get their air brush cleaner. Works well. Everything else with the exception of Mr Tool Cleaner seems to go to a glutinous substance. 

 

In terms of Japanese colour accuracy I would not know.

 

I also really like Gunze both lacquer and aqueous acrylic. Being Japanese they may have a more accurate Japanese colour range but I have not tested this. Totally different chemistry to Lifecolor. The Gunze Mr Hobby Aqueous Color range is very similar to the Tamiya aqueous that you are using now. Less of a learning curve. I prefer them to Tamiya for color range and performance. 

 

Some more reading:

 

And this:

 


 

   

Ray  

 

 

Edited by Ray_W
More info

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30 minutes ago, Ray_W said:

The Gunze Mr Hobby Aqueous Color range is very similar to the Tamiya aqueous that you are using now. Less of a learning curve. I prefer them to Tamiya for color range and performance. 

Agreed. Very good and forgiving paints. I use with Mr Color levelling thinner. In terms of range, Mr Hobby is pretty limited - the only two colours specifically labelled for IJN are IJN grey and green. The Mr Color range has a wider selection, but these are lacquer paints, so may not suit you.

 

Probably one of the best range of paints for IJN - and well regarded for accuracy - are Colourcoats paints from Sovereign hobbies https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/ ... but these are enamels, so again, may not suit you.

 

Cheers,

 

Colin

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Ray_W said:

My experience:

 

My go to paints are Lifecolor when home in Australia. Difficult to get where I am now and can go off in the bottle. I do not like to use old stock Lifecolor.

 

I use with their thinners to cut out the head ache of upsetting chemistry. Later you can experiment. Simple water (use de-ionised if you wish) and a little flow enhancer is a OK. Totally different chemistry to Tamiya even though both wash out in water. 

 

I have used their undercoat no issue and their paints take a mask without problem. I am in the habit of waiting 18-24 hours between masking. Other may shorten this considerably.  

 

A bit of a learning curve first spraying them. Persevere. You can easily over thin. Once you get it right they spray beautifully - self-levelling and thin with good color density. Do not expect to cover in one coat. You may get tip drying just have a cotton bud ready.  They hand brush beautifully.

 

A PITA to clean the airbrush.  Never leave the paint idle for too long in the cup and don't spray to a dry cup. Rinse with water soon after. Get their air brush cleaner. Works well. Everything else with the exception of Mr Tool Cleaner seems to go to a glutinous substance. 

 

In terms of Japanese colour accuracy I would not know.

 

I also really like Gunze both lacquer and aqueous acrylic. Being Japanese they may have a more accurate Japanese colour range but I have not tested this. Totally different chemistry to Lifecolor. The Gunze Mr Hobby Aqueous Color range is very similar to the Tamiya aqueous that you are using now. Less of a learning curve. I prefer them to Tamiya for color range and performance. 

 

Some more reading:

 

And this:

 


 

   

Ray  

 

 

The problem with Gunze is that there is not much difference with Tamiya, and as you say their "acrylic" range has only one IJN color etc. As for the Lacquers, too smelly and and fumy, though I don't know how they compare. How do you mean perfomance is better than with Tamiya's? do they have a better finish or ...?

 

1 hour ago, ckw said:

Agreed. Very good and forgiving paints. I use with Mr Color levelling thinner. In terms of range, Mr Hobby is pretty limited - the only two colours specifically labelled for IJN are IJN grey and green. The Mr Color range has a wider selection, but these are lacquer paints, so may not suit you.

 

Probably one of the best range of paints for IJN - and well regarded for accuracy - are Colourcoats paints from Sovereign hobbies https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/ ... but these are enamels, so again, may not suit you.

 

Cheers,

 

Colin

 

 

 

As for Enamels, my first painted model was painted with Revell enamels, I never sprayed enamels through my airbrush, but the revell enamels do not have the finish  that the tamiya's have as the Tamiya's just blend with the plastic while the enamels from revell visibly are put on the plastic, I hope the distinction is clear enough. I am afraid if I would use colorcoats that I would be limited because of the "enamel" finish which on the revell's I really disliked and most of all the drying time is long. If colourcoats would use the Tamiya formula with Alcohol I'd throw all my paint away and buy theirs without a second of doubt as they seem to be the holy grail of paint accuracy! They do seem difficult to acquire tough (in the Netherlands)

Edited by IJNfan

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