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Really dumb question...

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Really dumb question...
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 21, 2003 9:47 AM
Can anyone tell me the correct ratio to thin enamel paint? At least a starting point.

It seems to me that it is 2 parts paint to 1 part thinner, but I would appreciate your adivce.

Thanks in advance!!
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Iowa- USA
Posted by toadwbg on Friday, March 21, 2003 10:39 AM
Great Question. The answer is not so great.

It depends on many factors- what airbrush your using, air pressure, temperature, humidity, color, manufacturer of paint, what thinner, gloss or flat, blah..blah...blah..

Generally speaking 2 to 1 may be a good starting point. I ususally go closer to 3:1 myself but once again results are in the beuty of the beholder.

Hope this helps.

Todd
"I love modeling- it keeps me in the cool, dark, and damp basement where I belong" Current Projects: 1/48th Hasegawa F-14D- 25% 1/48th Tamiya Spitfire- 25%
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 21, 2003 10:43 AM
I don't mix by ratio, I go by consistency. From what I've read here many others do as well. I thin my paints out to the consistency of milk. I have a tendency to lean towards a thinner mixture. It takes more coats to cover, but I think it goes on better. Just a personal preference.

Darren
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 21, 2003 10:46 AM
Toadwbg is exactly right, only practice will make perfect when airbrushing any type of paint.

I prefer very thin paint, milk consistency or a bit thinner: low to med. air pressure, 10-15 p.s.i.: and several light coats of paint for even application.

Just get yourself a scrap piece of styrene and start trying out techniques. Find what works for you. You will find several posts on this forum about personal painting techniques and I have yet to see two that are exactly alike.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Friday, March 21, 2003 11:05 AM
Practice, practice...

I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda builder. I use enamels almost exclusively, and have experimented with different thinning ratios. I've found that, as was said above, there are too many variables to define "THE" perfect thinning ratio. Generally, I thin a bit more if I want to get a fine line, but for the most part I'm usually doing a 50/50 mix. Whatever "feels right" to me is what I go with.

Just mess around on some scrap plastic or whatever you can find and determine what's comfortable for you. I used to be scared of the airbrush because I didn't know how to use it "properly". One day I just dove in, messed around awhile and haven't looked back since. Now I can't see how I ever did without it!

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 23, 2003 4:03 AM
Dont call it a dumb question... cos that was my first question when I signed up here and bought my first airbrush. Generally.. I have seen that inspite of dilute mixture and several coats being required it is a better way to paint because paint flows smoothly and foms a better coat inspite of it being very fluid.

The 2:1 ratio works okay with me and I use tamiya thinner for acrylics with Gunze hobbycolor and tamiya acrylics. However as the others here have said.... it all comes down to airbrush type pressure etc etc
Would be better to practice on scrap stuff hence avoiding big time boo boos.... Enjoy..
Cheers,
Nandakumar
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Newport News VA
Posted by Buddho on Sunday, March 23, 2003 7:30 AM
It's never a dumb question, Joseph
I agree with these fine folks on here about starting at a 2 to 1 ratio and about 15 psi of pressure. The lower the pressure, and thinner the paint , the less chance of overspray buildup. The only downside is its easier for drips to occur on your surfaces. You can start at these settings and experiment a little and see what works best for you. I am like some on here who like to mix paint even thinner...I just happen to spray better that way.

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Sunday, March 23, 2003 7:55 AM
Not much more to add to what's aleady been said. Practice, practice, practice-can't stress that enough. Even some of the "ready to spray" paints may need thinning-you'll have to experiment and satisfy yourself with the results. -Ed
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, March 23, 2003 8:02 AM
what I do is much easyer. First if it is ensmil, I will usualy not sprat it because it is hell to clean and it will clog the airbrush untill it is cleaned perfectly. As for the mixture, it dose not matter much, if you are spraying lighter over darker than less thiner. THe more thiner you add to the paint the easyer it is to clean. and if you are not shure just go with the stuff out of the bottle, and use lots of air pressure. In my opinion, use a test modle, and just use what looks best. Viscosity is not the problem, how the completed modle dose is the true question. Hope this helps.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Sunday, March 23, 2003 7:19 PM
I don't want to sound like a jerk (too late! Tongue [:P]) but it's not really advisable to spray most model paints straight outta the bottle with no thinning. Also, enamels are only hard to clean up if you let them sit in the airbrush and dry for an extended period of time. And even then, they're a helluvalot easier to clean than acrylics. More thinner is not necessarily better, and sometimes it's downright troublesome. The only time I use a ton of thinner is for a technique that I use to get a high gloss finish.

Contrary to what many seem to believe, enamels are among the easiest types of paint to clean up, so long as you get right to it after you're done spraying. Although, I have had absolutely no problems cleaning up an enamel "mess". Once I had to rush outta the house in an emergency and wound up leaving the paint in the brush 'til the next day. It took a bit of time, but it was really a breeze to get the brush back to code 1.

Maybe it's just me, though. I dunno. I've been using enamels for so long, it's all second nature to me. I realize that everyone is going to have a different view and that we all have had different experiences. A friend of mine swears by his acrylics. I swear at them.

In conclusion, I shall finish by ending.

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Newport News VA
Posted by Buddho on Sunday, March 23, 2003 7:42 PM
I have found the same problem as you have blackwolf, as regards to the difference in enamel and acrylic airbrushing and thinning. I prefer enamels because I can get a much better finish and the cleanup is much easier. I have begun using Acrylics more now (Tamiya) and am getting good results, but if I dont clean right after it is a mess!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, March 24, 2003 10:34 AM
My personal experience is: when in doubt, make it thinner. I find it alot easier to test spray the paint and find it is too thin, rather than too thick. The 'skim milk' consistency is a good measure, but takes some practice to get the feel for it. I would recommend going 50:50 to start, and you will get a feel for it from there.

Note that different paints and paint-types tend to have different 'ratios' that work best for them. It seems to me that 'flat' paints need less thinning, and gloss paints need more. You might also want to consider using a 'retarder' with acrylic paints.

M.
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