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Problem with Tamiya Acrylics?

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  • Member since
    May, 2017
Problem with Tamiya Acrylics?
Posted by Roald on Monday, May 15, 2017 1:13 PM

Hello all, 

New to the forums and looking for a little advice. I've been an aviation enthusiast my entire life (obsession might be the correct description), and was an avid modeler as a kid. I recently got back into the hobby following a 25 year break after my son got into building models. It's great to have a hobby that we can work on together.

The hobby is so different now, I can hardly believe it. The range of products is so much more impressive than the old Lindberg and Monogram kits I had as a kid. 

My question: I recently started airbrushing, and am using Tamiya acrylics. I am surprised at how very flat and dull they appear. These are indeed flat colors, but they appear SO flat that they have an almost chalky appearance. If I compare them to models sprayed with the Tamiya rattle cans, they look much duller.

I don't mean that the surface is pebbly from the paint drying in the air. The surface is smooth, but less so than the rattle can paint.

Additionally, they seem susceptible to picking up scratches and shiny spots from even gentle handling.

Is this normal? Is this simply how airbrushed acrylics work? 

I am using no more than 15 psi, and am thinning at a 2/1 ratio with Tamiya thinner. 

I would truly appreciate any help.

Thanks!

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:25 AM

I don't spray Tamiya acyrils much, but when I do I find them one of nicer and more trouble-free hobby acrylics to spray, so my guess is something isn't right.

Really sorry if this is dumb, but are you thoroughly stirring (not shaking) the paint as a start?

You said Tamiya thinner. X-20A, right?

I'm not sure about your thinning ratio, I don't use Tamiya often enough to opine, maybe someone with more experience with Tamiya might chime in here?

It's also possible you are laying it down dry, even though you don't think you are. If you have a double action brush and haven't used one before, maybe you are not pulling the trigger back far enough, hence laying down a fairly dry paint:air mixture.

Just like a rattle can, which you seem to be quite familiar with, for general coverage airbrushing you need a fair amount of paint flow and you need to keep the airbrush moving, just as you do a rattle can.

PS, I waited a couple of days for the real airbrush experts to reply. I'm not one of them, but maybe this will bump your question.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, May 18, 2017 2:42 PM

Hmm... I've airbrushed Tamiya numerous times and had zero issues with them. I'm suspecting the same idea Greg mentioned about the possibilty you didn't stir the paint.

  • Member since
    February, 2017
Posted by Nsmekanik on Thursday, May 18, 2017 3:17 PM

Tamiya Flat paints are very flat to start with, and flat paints do tend to scuff easily. Tamiya does make a clear and flat base, X-21 Flat base, and X-22 Clear. There have been a variety of discussions on how to use these on various forums but I'll stick to what I've experienced and the first thing I will tell you is never ever use X-21 Flat base as a flat clear or you will end up with a foggy mess on your model. 

   That said from what I gather these to clears are meant to be mixed with the colors when sprayed, the flat base is to matt a gloss colour, and the Clear is to gloss a matt colour. I haven't used the Flat base this way but I have added a bit of clear to a matt colour to gloss it up and this has worked very well. The ratio of paint to clear will detirmine how glossy the paint gets you'll have to play around with the ratio to get what your happy with. Apperantly there have been mixed results in using the clear as a clearcoat over the paint and I'm one of those who has not had any luck in doing so, however your milage may vary.

  I use about a 50/50 or less thinner to paint ratio and I use a paint mixer but I have just stirred the paint by hand and have had no issues as far as I am concerned, with the results being very similar to yours.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, May 18, 2017 4:18 PM

Yes Tamiya acylic Flats do give a very dead flat finish. You can almost see light refraction off the finish in direct sunlight. Especially from certain colors. But I have never noticed a chalky look off mine, and I airbrush in pretty much the same ratios and manner you described for yourself. And yes, they can be a little sensitive to marring from handling or inadvertent dings. Especially if this happens before the paint has dried but not yet cured. They are not as hardy as enamels. But like others here have said, they are probably the best and easiest acrylics to airbrush. Hand brushing with them is a whole different ball game though. And I would echo the suggestion of thoroughly stirring your paints and not just shaking them. That goes for all paint brands and types. You will get far better results.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:27 PM

I use tamiya acrylics as my primary and find the flats are very flat. The flat paints seem to go down less smooth than the gloss ones. I have also noticed handling can easily leave scratches. The only time i have had white spots or shiny discoloration is when using flat clear. Your thinning ratio should be ok, I use 70 paint/30 thinner + a few drops of retarder on most of my jobs. The few times I increased the thinner it seemed to go down ok as well.  Also check your thinner, mine got contaminated Oops and my paintjobs incurred a lot of problems from fisheyes to discoloration.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Saturday, May 20, 2017 3:30 PM

Roald

Hello all, 

New to the forums and looking for a little advice. I've been an aviation enthusiast my entire life (obsession might be the correct description), and was an avid modeler as a kid. I recently got back into the hobby following a 25 year break after my son got into building models. It's great to have a hobby that we can work on together.

The hobby is so different now, I can hardly believe it. The range of products is so much more impressive than the old Lindberg and Monogram kits I had as a kid. 

My question: I recently started airbrushing, and am using Tamiya acrylics. I am surprised at how very flat and dull they appear. These are indeed flat colors, but they appear SO flat that they have an almost chalky appearance. If I compare them to models sprayed with the Tamiya rattle cans, they look much duller.

I don't mean that the surface is pebbly from the paint drying in the air. The surface is smooth, but less so than the rattle can paint.

Additionally, they seem susceptible to picking up scratches and shiny spots from even gentle handling.

Is this normal? Is this simply how airbrushed acrylics work? 

I am using no more than 15 psi, and am thinning at a 2/1 ratio with Tamiya thinner. 

I would truly appreciate any help.

Thanks!

 

Hi, Roald - Tamiya acrylics are my mainstay, and your description of the results you get sound just like mine. It is a dead flat finish, it is easily marred by handling, but it's so easy to use and not at all problematic.

I use 2:1 for thinning, but have gone to as much as 50/50 for certain tasks. 15-20 psi is my normal range, X-20A or Tamiya lacquer thinner works well, the lacquer thinner is used less often.

Before decaling Testors Glosscote, then either Glosscote or Dullcote for final finish.

One helpful tip, if you haven't tried it, use a small container for some regular lacquer thinner and keep some Q-tips handy. When you sense some tip dry developing, or just every few passes with the airbrush, dip a Q-tip into the lacquer thinner and swirl it GENTLY around the front bits of the airbrush. That will keep the paint flowing as intended, preventing spattering and reduced paint flow.

Patrick

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by damouav on Saturday, May 20, 2017 6:51 PM

I thin Tamiya Acrylics about 50:50 with Laquer thinners as per others advice and set compressor at about 20psi.

The paint should have the consistancey of skim milk.

I always spray a little what ever thinners Im thinning with through my AB first to clear and clean prior to painting.

On the Bench
1/48 Hasegawa Corsair AU-1 (F4U-6)
In the Que
1/48 Hobby Boss TBF-1C Avenger
1/48 Tamiya P-47-D Bubbletop
1/48 Hasegawa P51-D
1/48 Roden S.E.5a
  • Member since
    February, 2014
Posted by bigjsd on Monday, May 22, 2017 12:51 PM

If you have access to Mr Color Self Leveling Thinner it mixes great with Tamiya Colors. Tamiya also has a new paint retarder and you can add a drop or two of this along with the Tamiya X20A or Lacquer Thinner. The self levelling thinner has a retarder in it already. The new Tamiya Paint Retarder also makes Tamiya a very good paint for brushing as well which has always been one of the downfalls of Tamiya in the past. With the new retarder  product I have had very good results brushing on Tamiya acrylics. 

  • Member since
    May, 2017
Posted by Roald on Monday, May 22, 2017 2:30 PM

Thank you to everyone who replied, I truly appreciate the help.

 

I have taken your advice and tips, and have tried two things which seem to help:

 

1) I actually STIR (not just shake) the jar. This seems to help.

2) I used Tamiya Laquer Thinner as opposed to Tamiya X20a, and this makes a noticeable difference. The paint seems to go down smoother and more evenly. 

 

One problem I still experience is with "lines" (I don't know what else to call them) in the finish. If I hold the model at an angle under sunlight I can see lines where the spray has passed. In normal indoor lighting it's not too visible.

I assume this means I need practice with getting better, more even coverage?

 

As far as the dull/flat appearance, this sounds part and parcel with Tamiya acrylics. Almost everything I do is military, so it's fine. 

Thanks again!

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, May 22, 2017 3:22 PM

Roald

Thank you to everyone who replied, I truly appreciate the help.

 

I have taken your advice and tips, and have tried two things which seem to help:

 

1) I actually STIR (not just shake) the jar. This seems to help.

2) I used Tamiya Laquer Thinner as opposed to Tamiya X20a, and this makes a noticeable difference. The paint seems to go down smoother and more evenly. 

 

One problem I still experience is with "lines" (I don't know what else to call them) in the finish. If I hold the model at an angle under sunlight I can see lines where the spray has passed. In normal indoor lighting it's not too visible.

I assume this means I need practice with getting better, more even coverage?

 

As far as the dull/flat appearance, this sounds part and parcel with Tamiya acrylics. Almost everything I do is military, so it's fine. 

Thanks again!

 

Roald - The lines you describe, make me think it's the spray pattern you are using.

First, painters with full size spray guns make their passes with a decided overlap, I'd estimate about 1/4 to 1/3 into the line last sprayed. That way you get full coverage of the surface to be painted, and the overlap allows for a complete melding of the spray edges, from one pass to the next.

Not that easy to do with an airbrush, since the spray pattern is conical as opposed to the fan shape of the full size spray guns, but it can be accomplished OK. Also, the distance the airbrush is held from the surface is a real factor, plus the light source you are using at your bench. Good light is a spray painters best friend, it's hard to see the paint passes blending from one to the next, without good light and at a proper angle relative to the surface.

I think you are at the point where you have the basics, I'd recommend that you get some smooth, flat surfaced material, then practice spraying lot's of paint. Try varying the distance to the subject, different pressures, thinning ratios, etc. Spray away, checking how well the paint passes blend at the edges, how the light can be adjusted for optimal "reading" of the flow and spray pass coverage.

Early on I just loaded the cup and sprayed away, taking each finish as the way it worked. Wrong! I ruined many a finish, before I took the advice to get plenty of scrap plastic and get busy learning the right way.

The three most important things about getting to the point of consistently good results? Practice, practice and then some more practice. You'll soon see what works best, as a technique for achieving the results you're happy with.

If you feel like it, please let us know how it goes for you, always nice to read that someone got comfortable with using the airbrush. Best of luck with it.

Patrick 

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, May 22, 2017 6:18 PM

One technique to combat the line problems of overlap is to cross hatch your paint job. If your first sprays are wingtip to wingtip, then do another set of nose to tail. This works great on solid color schemes. If you're doing a multi color camo scheme it is not really an option. At least on any follow on pattern colors.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May, 2017
Posted by Roald on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 10:53 AM

Thanks again to everyone for the replies, this is very helpful.

 

Last question: are there any other brands of acrylic paint that are not quite so dead flat as Tamiya? Vallejo and Model Master are both available at my LHS.

 

If so, do they lay down as well as the Tamiya stuff?

 

Thanks! 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, May 30, 2017 4:10 PM

I can't speak much for Vallejo, but of the times that I have used them, for handbrushing, only occasionally can I get a dead flat finish from them. I have never airbrushed them, so no comment there.

Model Master Acrylics... where to start? They do hand brush better than Tamiya, but are often translucent, requiring multiple coats. For airbrushing, they are more troublesome than Tamiya. But they are not quite so dead flat as Tamiya in most cases. You will get best results using their "universal Acrylic thinner". But they are far from trouble free. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, June 02, 2017 7:46 AM

Hi;

 Believe it or not .When I am spraying I use an old De-Vilbiss touch up spray rig . Yeah , from an Auto Body shop long gone . This rig works as low as five pounds and as high as forty for this work .

 Why ? Well , if you've ever seen one it has the same type of nozzle a regular sprayer has . So I can adjust the pattern from a cone to a straight line Up and Down or Right to Left .

 When I do the flat line , It comes out about a thin line the size of a number two pencil . Nice part ? Though old as the hills , The company still carries parts for it !  T.B.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, June 02, 2017 7:47 AM

Hey ;

 Flat and dull I can live with . Zero brushability I can't . Don't use the brand and won't ! T.B.

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