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Supplies for mixing paints

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  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Lynchburg, VA
Supplies for mixing paints
Posted by AV8R1992 on Saturday, March 04, 2017 10:47 PM

Hey everyone!

Just graduated to using an airbrush and I'm loving the results so far. My only problem is that I'm having to mix paints and thinners now (probably shouldve done that while brush painting). I was given the Battle of Britain Gift Set by Airfix from my in-laws and this kit included little bottles of acrylic paints. I am now using those and pippetes to get the amount of paint I need and thinner. 

Do you guys have a better suggestion to use for mixing paints in? I've seen the guys on youtube using these stainless steel cups for paint mixing.

Also, are pippettes something that I should have plenty of? How do I go about cleaning these so I can save some money?

  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by rob44 on Saturday, March 04, 2017 11:10 PM

Plastic pipetts can be bought in bulk on Amazon. I usually dont clean them, but I do go from using a pipett from thinner and reusing it for paint. 

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Saturday, March 04, 2017 11:32 PM

I also use the pipettes for mixing, but only for larger quantities. For small stuff like cockpit accent colors, landing gear and other things that will be applied by brush, I use the "Toothpick Method", i.e, I stir the paint with a toothpick and just count the drops into whatever I'm using to contain it.

I've mostly used lids from milk carton lids in the past, they're cheap but not that precise. My new favorite is tattoo ink cups, also available on Amazon. They were recommended by a former Forum contributor DoogsATX, and have the advantage of consistent size.

The toothpick method works for airbrush as well, mixing the color you need right in the cup. It's simpler to adjust color on the fly than it is to do a lot of samples, once you're comfortable with the tools and materials.

Happy modeling!

Mike

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, March 05, 2017 11:10 AM

I also use the toothpick method if I just want to tint the base color with a few drops.  However, for more even (close to 1:1 mixes) I just pour from the jars into the bottle I will be storing the paint in (I use a suction feed, so I use those airbrush jars).  I mix the two colors first, then add the thinner.  I don't try for colorimetry accuracy on my colors, but find I can get pretty close just eyeballing it.  Same thing for the paint to thinner ratio- it is not that critical.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, March 05, 2017 11:43 AM

I also buy my pipettes in bulk. I think you'll find cleaning them quite the exercise in futility. 2 cents (I use pipettes for larger mixes of paint, and also for jars that are not the dropper style I mention below....)

I've become a fan of the dropper bottle style of paint bottles as Vallejo and some others use. They are probably not the best for mixing/stirring but for dispensing into the airbrush cup and minimzing waste I find them hard to beat.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2014
  • From: Nampa, Idaho
Posted by jelliott523 on Sunday, March 05, 2017 2:11 PM

I, too, buy pipettes in bulk, I've got them on eBay and Amazon for a very reasonable price. I also buy small plastic cups, like those used to measure liquid medicine, I've also heard of guys using tatoo ink cups for mixing small amounts of paint, I've looked at them as well, but the 2 oz medicine cups were actually cheaper. I will use those to mix paint and thinners. Again, you can get these on eBay or Amazon.

 

On the Bench:  Lots of unfinished projects!  Smile

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, March 05, 2017 5:18 PM

Hello!

In laboratories they use little metal spoons, those are good for taking a small amount of paint out of the jar. They also have tiny glass jars, very nice I use several of those. Those can be bought in specialized shops. For thinner I always take a fine screwdriver and I pour the thinner along that - this way I can add quite precise amounts of thinner to the mix, with no spills, neither. I mean you contact the lower edge of the thinner bottle opening with the screwdriver somewhere along its length, and the tip goes in the jar where the mixture will be. Then you tip the thinner bottle carefully, and all the thinner "sticks" to the screwdriver and securely goes down to the jar.

OK - hope it helps, have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Sunday, March 05, 2017 6:18 PM

I buy small squeeze bottles, (about 1/4 ounce,) on EBAY, maybe $10.00 per hundred. They look much like Vallejo bottles. The top is easy to lift off by pushing it sideways, then lifting it the rest of the way off with a fingernail.

When my paint is thoroughly stirred and mixed, I use a marking pen to place two lines on the bottle side. The top line is for the estimated amount of paint I will need for the job, the lower line is for measuring the amount of thinner for a proper ratio.

Once both ingredients are in place, a finger over the applicator tube gives me a good mix by shaking the bottle, then it's always on hand and I don't have to continually pour and mix thinners for re-loads.

To initially load the bottle, I use anything like a toothpick to hold against the original paint jar side, with the toothpick ending in the applicator bottle. The poured paint will then neatly follow the toothpick directly into the second bottle, in a narrow stream conforming to the thickness of the toothpick.

From experience I can say, brace the bottle you're pouring into for holding it steady. I use other bottles to surround the one I'm pouring into, to keep it in place. Being so small and light, it's easy to make a mess by letting it get moved out of position.

Works well for me, good time saver, it'[s worth a try.

Patrick

   

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Lowell City, Mars
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Sunday, March 05, 2017 8:35 PM

Wendy's restaurants have nice little plastic medicine cups for ketchup at the condiment bar.  I always grab a few extra with my burger.  The price is right!

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, March 05, 2017 9:11 PM

Cadet Chuck

Wendy's restaurants have nice little plastic medicine cups for ketchup at the condiment bar.  I always grab a few extra with my burger.  The price is right!

 

 

Oh nice tip! I'll remeber that next time I head out to Wendy's LOL!

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Monday, March 06, 2017 1:28 AM

Patrick those sound really handy, will you give us a link to your supplier? I use a lot of those condiment containers for storing small parts during builds. Instead of buying meals to get them, I buy them by the hundred at a local restaurant supply - a hundred cups and lids will set you back about $7.00.

Mike

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, March 06, 2017 10:02 AM

mrmike
Patrick those sound really handy, will you give us a link to your supplier?

I was going to ask too..........

-Greg

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, March 06, 2017 5:53 PM

Greg and Mike, I'll be happy to. Have to go have a look at EBAY to refresh my memory, when they came to me they were just in a huge plastic bag, no ID as to the original supplier. In the meantime you could do the same, just type in "small squeeze tube bottles," scroll through and see what might interest you. I'll give you the EBAY item number when I locate it.

The key is, they look just like Valley Joe bottles, but clear.

Patrick

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by ecotec83 on Monday, March 06, 2017 8:05 PM

I use a combo of toothpick into water bottle caps for small amounts of paint, thinner and weathering washes. For larger mixes I use small nutrient syringes in 1ml or 3 ml sizes. This allows me to get a consistant paint color if i need to make more than one batch of the same color. Then I inject the paint and thinner into a small glass dollar store jar and mix it up with a tamiya metal stirrer. The syringes can be easily cleaned or tossed out. You can get 50 for around 3 dollars on ebay.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 12:49 AM

Greg and Mike - The seller on EBAYthat I have bought from is:

VMHOUSEof79. In USA, 100% feedback, all items purchased were as described. Good folks.

The types I liked best are 1/2 oz. 25 pack, $9.95 free shipping. These don't have the nozzles like Vallejo bottles, the nozzle threads on and off like a regular jar cap. Buy any greater quantity and you pay the freight.

Actually you wouldn't need any more, they clean up easily after use, can go on for long periods. Just go to EBAY, enter item number 222427766317. Once there just click on "see my store," then you'll find the list of all their items, lots of them on two pages.

Try 'em, very handy and good usability, me like.

Patrick

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 3:14 AM

Pawel
In laboratories they use little metal spoons, those are good for taking a small amount of paint out of the jar.

Tamiya actually markets something like this. One end is a little scoop/spoon which can extract a fairly consistent drop of paint from a jar. The other end is a flat paddle which can be used to stir the paint.

(for reference purposes only) https://www.tamiyausa.com/product/item.php?product-id=74017  

For thinner, as I primarily use Tamiya acrylics, I have a little plastic squeeze bottle which I fill with denatured alcohol (aka methylated spirits in Australia). These came in a set of 3 from a dollar store type place. If you trim the very tip of the nozzle off (they come molded shut), you can easily dispense one drop at a time.

Also, you might want to check out the party supplies section of your local supermarket. Here in Australia, one can buy a 100 pack of disposable plastic shot glasses for about two to three dollars.

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 9:32 AM

I cut lengths of sprues for mixing sticks myself. Cheap and a great alternative to toothpicks. I've got enough to last a lifetime.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 5:58 PM

Hi ;

 Promise not to laugh ? I use Micro Screwdrivers . Why ? well years ago I had a problem . I had to do a touch - up of a model at a show . Paint was in my kit , but no bottles , and so on .

 Snack bar - Aha ! little condiment containers . Screwdrivers ? Littlest one delivered just the amount of paint I needed . Easy to clean and got the exact amount of both colors . Mixed and applied . Perfect ! I still do it that way . T.B.--- P.S.You only dip the tip up to the end of the flutes .

  • Member since
    March, 2016
  • From: Lynchburg, VA
Posted by AV8R1992 on Saturday, March 11, 2017 4:13 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone! Lots of ideas. I'll probably be getting some pippetes soon but I actually found something that works great for me. The little coffee creamer containers that are the single use kind are great for mixing in paints and easy pouring! 

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