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Hand painting acrylics, and finding an alternative to Testors acrylics.


flyinghorse
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Sometimes, I like to hand paint models, and I've had excellent results with Testors Acrylics. Sadly, Testors has discontinued acrylic paint and now I have to look elsewhere for acrylics that are easy to brush on. I really like Humbrol paints, but these are not readily available in bulk where I live (U.S.A.), and ordering them online has proven to be a bit expensive. I am thinking of using Tamiya acrylics after seeing some videos by Chilhada, a South Korean model builder on Youtube, and I was impressed by the results. I attempted to try my hand at brush painting Tamiya's........which resulted in epic failure. Tamiya paints are more for airbrushing but there's a technique to brushing them that I just can't seem to figure out. Still seeking a good alternative for testors, but for now, I've been airbrushing. I honestly would prefer to brush because I have no choice but to build in a room with a small window, therefore I get poor ventilation. Not a good combo, but thankfully I just stick to brushing when I can. It's also, I must admit, quite nostalgic 🤣 Any hints, tips, and recommendations? 

Edited by flyinghorse
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G'day flyinghorse,

 

I recently brush painted my Tamiya 1/350 IJN Musashi using Tamiya acrylic paints with great success. (Pics posted in Maritime RFI)

 

The secret seemed to be using Tamiya acrylic paint retarder and Tamiya acrylic paint thinner X-20A to help the paint not dry out to fast and to adhere to the model.

 

Search this site regarding brush painting Tamiya acrylics, there is some really useful information and tips.

 

Good Luck. :yes:

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I find the Vallejo range great for brush painting - similar consistency to Humbrol.

 

Revell Aqua also works well but always needs some thinners - water works fine.

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Citadel paints brush nicely. However, the colour range may not suit your needs as they are tabletop gaming oriented. I use them in detail painting.

 

I haven’t got any clue about their availability in your place of origin, but I’ve been pushed towards them as there still is brick and mortar tabletop gaming shops in here while the modelling shops have closed down. I run out brush colours one pot at a time. And buying a single pot of paint online is not very economical.

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Unfortunately, there isn't really a replacement for MM Acrylics (which itself wasn't a real replacement for Polly Scale, which I consider to have been the ultimate brush painting acrylic). Because of this, I generally still use enamels. That being said;

 

If you want to stick to acrylics, there are still options, but each requires different techniques.

 

Vallejo Model Color and Air: These guys paint pretty well. Unfortunately, they are incredibly easy to chip and have very weak adherence. Priming the plastic is almost a must. Air can also take many coats to cover your model.

 

Tamiya acrylic: These can be painted successfully. All I do is add a squirt of Tamiya acrylic paint retarder in to each new pot I buy. Wait for the paint to dry for a while first, and don't keep scrubbing over the same area for too long when painting or recoating. A bit more painful, but not terribly difficult. You can also use Gunze Aqueous, as they paint similarly to Tamiya acrylic.

 

Revell Aqua: Thinned down, this stuff is pretty damn good. It covers and adheres well, Unfortunately the colour choice is pretty poor, but I still recommend this paint to cover colours that you will use, as they are a good paint.

 

Humbrol Acrylic: The new stuff in the 18ml pots (and from I have been told, the 14ml droppers) are also a good brush paint. The problem is that their range is pretty anemic and they lack many of the enamel colours. That being said, they are the same paint as two other paint lines, Coat D'Arms and P3 paints, both of which hold pretty large colour ranges. All of these are made up of the same paint, and mix together well. Between the three of them, you have a colour range that rivals Vallejo.

 

I don't know enough about any other brands, but the above should tide you over.

Edited by sapperastro
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Revell Aqua is probably the closest you can get to MM. As long as you don't mind mixing your own colours, I find them to be really an excellent choice for brush painting. Otherwise sapperastro's post roughly agrees with my experience. You can find more on brushpainting acrylics here: http://www.dogma72.com/ (paint reviews are referenced in the right-hand column)

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17 hours ago, ptarmigan said:

Revell Aqua is probably the closest you can get to MM. As long as you don't mind mixing your own colours, I find them to be really an excellent choice for brush painting. Otherwise sapperastro's post roughly agrees with my experience. You can find more on brushpainting acrylics here: http://www.dogma72.com/ (paint reviews are referenced in the right-hand column)

Thanks for pointing me to Revell Aqua. Im impressed by the range of colors :D I'll get some soon to try them out.

 

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Just thought I would add in that Italeri acrylic paint is the same as Vallejo model color. So if you decide to go the Vallejo route, you have another paint line that mixes well with Vallejo (and it is usually cheaper for the amount you get).

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Acrylicos Vallejo doesn't make paint for anyone else, so they can't be the same. Similar; possibly. Mixable; probably. I'm not sure why anyone would really need or want to, though.

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On 8/16/2021 at 7:49 PM, Ade H said:

Acrylicos Vallejo doesn't make paint for anyone else, so they can't be the same. Similar; possibly. Mixable; probably. I'm not sure why anyone would really need or want to, though.

 

How do you know this?

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On 8/16/2021 at 7:49 PM, Ade H said:

Acrylicos Vallejo doesn't make paint for anyone else, so they can't be the same.

 

I recall an old thread a few years ago. I think @Giorgio N can confirm if Vallejo make the Italeri acrylic range.

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On 8/20/2021 at 10:25 AM, Ray_W said:

 

I recall an old thread a few years ago. I think @Giorgio N can confirm if Vallejo make the Italeri acrylic range.

 

That's what I was told when these paints were first introduced and the source was pretty reliable. That was many years ago, things may have changed or maybe the source was wrong the first time, in any case if they are not produced by Vallejo they are made by someone who makes very, very similar paints...

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