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How to decide on which paint manufacturer?

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  • Member since
    February 2021
How to decide on which paint manufacturer?
Posted by Calcio on Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:08 AM

I am a newbie and I am overwhelmed on tyring to decide on which paint manufacturer to focus on. I will specialize oin WW2 aircraft. The 1st model I purchaed was Tamiya and thus specified Tamiya paints. Subsequent purchases specified other brands and I am have difficulty cross referenceing to Tamiya.

I am looking for guidance on how to proceed with paint choices and purchases.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:48 PM

I don't have a good answer since I'm also new to airbrushing, but I'll tell you how I'm approaching it.  

I am primarily interested in post WW2 jets.  I've assembled a basic set of paints in the most used standard colors by FS number in Mission and Vallejo.  I chose those because they seemed to cover the ones I'd be most likely to use.  Both seem to generate an equal number of "love it" and "hate it" comments, so I assume it has a lot to do with the particular airbrush and environment.  If one stands out, I'll stick with it.  If not, I'll move on and try another brand.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:37 PM

MRP paints, which come in airbrush-only and brushable versions, are what I'm mostly using now.  I build mostly post WWII jets myself and I find their FS colors to be really good for color accuracy.  They shoot beautifully right out of the bottle and fully cure in less than an hour.  They don't require any thinner either.  The only downside to them is that unless they specify matte or gloss on the bottle, all of their paints are generally semi-gloss.  Not a big deal though, since most of us like to finish our military aircraft models with a final coat of flat clear.  Many of their airbrush-only paints have a counterpart in the Aqua and Figure lines, and those are all brushable.  They brush just as wonderfully as the airbrush-only paints airbrush.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:51 PM

Eaglecash867

MRP paints, which come in airbrush-only and brushable versions, are what I'm mostly using now.  I build mostly post WWII jets myself and I find their FS colors to be really good for color accuracy.  They shoot beautifully right out of the bottle and fully cure in less than an hour.  They don't require any thinner either.  The only downside to them is that unless they specify matte or gloss on the bottle, all of their paints are generally semi-gloss.  Not a big deal though, since most of us like to finish our military aircraft models with a final coat of flat clear.  Many of their airbrush-only paints have a counterpart in the Aqua and Figure lines, and those are all brushable.  They brush just as wonderfully as the airbrush-only paints airbrush.

 

Were I starting to collect model paints, I would go with MRP as well. I like both of the lines, acrylic lacquer and Aqua. I've used both and agree with Eaglecash on all counts.

Tamiya is great, but I'm in the don't like to mix my own colors camp. I like Vallejo just fine too.

Back to the MRP, unlike Vallejo it dries fast and tough and lays down well everytime with no fuss. That said, I have enough Vallejo to open a small store and more Tamiya than I ever should have bought, so I won't be changing over in earnest anytime soon. But my MRP collection growing.

Good luck and that's sure a fair question. So many available brands.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:05 PM

Well I guess that makes 3 votes for MRP.  A handful of colors just came in the mail today for a current project as a matter of fact.  Like Greg I still have and use Tamiya paints due to my Tamiya inventory.  Im basically a lazy slob so the no mixing thinner, just shoot and go seals the deal for me.  As already stated the results are great too.  

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, February 25, 2021 6:31 PM

Still have a lot of Tamiya myself.  I found that their Titanium Silver and Metallic Grey colors are great matches for the bare metal fixtures and cannon plugs in Russian jets.  Building a Russian jet for the first time was the main reason I decided to try MRP paint.  They have a great selection of paints that are perfect matches for the colors used on Russian aircraft.  After trying it, I started picking up the US FS colors too to begin gradually phasing out my Model Master Enamel collection.  Those enamels are awesome, but I've never been a fan of still being able to put indelible fingerprints in an otherwise perfect paintjob after more than a week of allowing it to dry.  Its just too easy to burn into the stuff.  With MRP, I deliberately tried to burn into it with fingerprints after 45 minutes to test the quick drying time...and I just couldn't burn into it no matter how hard I tried.  It also is much more durable than anything else I have used.  Stands up to handling during detailing and assembly like no other paint.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, February 26, 2021 12:55 AM

Started ab'ing MM acrylic and Tamiya.  Liked the ease of both.  Shot a little of vallejo, no issues.  Just got in a lot of Mr Color.  Not that fond of the laquer thinner clean up, but like how it dries and holds up to handling so far.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, February 26, 2021 5:35 AM

Calcio

I am a newbie and I am overwhelmed on tyring to decide on which paint manufacturer to focus on. I will specialize oin WW2 aircraft. The 1st model I purchaed was Tamiya and thus specified Tamiya paints. Subsequent purchases specified other brands and I am have difficulty cross referenceing to Tamiya.

I am looking for guidance on how to proceed with paint choices and purchases.

 

Do you handbrush or airbrush,that will determine a lot.

Do you want to use enamels,acrylics,or lacquers 

Which company makes the colors you need for a model

Availability of a certain line

Ease of use and learning curve

Get an App like Hobby Color Converter for cross refrencing colors

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, February 26, 2021 7:33 AM

Tojo72

 

 
Calcio

I am a newbie and I am overwhelmed on tyring to decide on which paint manufacturer to focus on. I will specialize oin WW2 aircraft. The 1st model I purchaed was Tamiya and thus specified Tamiya paints. Subsequent purchases specified other brands and I am have difficulty cross referenceing to Tamiya.

I am looking for guidance on how to proceed with paint choices and purchases.

 

 

 

Do you handbrush or airbrush,that will determine a lot.

Do you want to use enamels,acrylics,or lacquers 

Which company makes the colors you need for a model

Availability of a certain line

Ease of use and learning curve

Get an App like Hobby Color Converter for cross refrencing colors

 

 

Ditto

Excellent summary. You should consider all of these factors, though you may alter your choices at at any time.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, February 26, 2021 8:58 AM

Unless you are figure painting,,  I would go with Tamiya personally as they are good paints for both airbrushing and brush painting. They have been around for about 50 years now and are readily available. One bottle at my hobby shop is 1.88 USD whereas 1 bottle of mrp is $7 (then you have to buy a brushable bottle of the same color? No way. For general stuff I'll stick to Tamiya. Mixing the colors they don't have is not difficult and much info is available for mixing on the web. 

Here is a F-100 I just finished with tamiya. Had to custom mix the tan and underside  grey.

On the Bench:

  • Monogram P-47D
  • Monogram 1/72 F-4J
  • Monogram F-14A
  • Monogram P-51D
  • Revel 1/72 HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
  • Italeri F-100D 1/72  Done!
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, February 26, 2021 12:53 PM

cbaltrin

One bottle at my hobby shop is 1.88 USD whereas 1 bottle of mrp is $7

The standard Tamiya bottle is 10ml, MRP is 30ml...in the interest of a fair comparison.  Wink

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    September 2014
Posted by rooster513 on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:08 PM

MRP for me also when airbrushing. I really like being able to just put a few drops in my airbrush if I have something small to paint. Then run a little hardware store thinner through it and change colors if needed. No having to mix too much and through it away like you do if you mix a color with thinner. If I don't use all the MRP that's in the airbrush I can just dump it back in the bottle. As others have said drys quick which is also nice. The other night I was able to put a black base down, the color coat and a clear all within an hour easy and then decaled with no issues.

-Andy

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:09 PM

Eaglecash867

 

 
cbaltrin

One bottle at my hobby shop is 1.88 USD whereas 1 bottle of mrp is $7

 

The standard Tamiya bottle is 10ml, MRP is 30ml...in the interest of a fair comparison.  Wink

 

Yes, Thanks for that point..  Very smart of Tamiya to let you buy smaller quantities. A beginner modeler can go pick up 10 colors to get started for less than $20 USD  Cool

 

Also for airbrush ready paint, it's more like u are buying 15ml of paint and 15 ml of thinner Wink

On the Bench:

  • Monogram P-47D
  • Monogram 1/72 F-4J
  • Monogram F-14A
  • Monogram P-51D
  • Revel 1/72 HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
  • Italeri F-100D 1/72  Done!
  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:22 PM

cbaltrin

 

Here is a F-100 I just finished with tamiya. Had to custom mix the tan and underside  grey.

 

I like your F100. I like F100's since it was both from the era I grew up in and possibly the first jet model I ever built. And I agree Tamiya is a good choice if one doesn't mind a little color mixing especially ( I'm pretty used to that myself).

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by bluenote on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:24 PM

cbaltrin

Unless you are figure painting,,  I would go with Tamiya personally as they are good paints for both airbrushing and brush painting. They have been around for about 50 years now and are readily available. One bottle at my hobby shop is 1.88 USD whereas 1 bottle of mrp is $7 (then you have to buy a brushable bottle of the same color? No way. For general stuff I'll stick to Tamiya. Mixing the colors they don't have is not difficult and much info is available for mixing on the web. 

Here is a F-100 I just finished with tamiya. Had to custom mix the tan and underside  grey.

 

I'm with you.  I only use Tamiya exclusively.  I needed Light and dark ghost grey for my current build.  They only have those in spraycans, not acrylic.  I did a quick search on google, found the mixing ratios, and made a bottle of each.  Took no more than 5 minutes

I love the consistancy of Tamiya, everytime I buy a bottle, I know exactly what to expect.  

Drop of retarder, and they brush paint perfectly.

Nice and easy.  

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:38 PM

cbaltrin

 

Also for airbrush ready paint, it's more like u are buying 15ml of paint and 15 ml of thinner Wink

 

Also a good point, but I'm expecting to airbrush with everything in the bottle.  I still have Tamiya paints too, which I use for both airbrushing and hand brushing (with retarder as mentioned).  The problem I sometimes run into with the Tamiya paints that I use a lot, is that every time I dump the leftover paint from my airbrush cup back into the bottle to try to not waste any of it...the paint in the bottle gets progressively thinner to the point where its still great for airbrushing, but won't handbrush anymore because its too thin.  I just like the predictability of something you don't have to mess with, and you always know what you have left in the bottle, no matter how many times you dump leftover paint back in the bottle.  The world is round, we all get there eventually.  Cool

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, February 26, 2021 1:46 PM

rooster513

 The other night I was able to put a black base down, the color coat and a clear all within an hour easy and then decaled with no issues.

 

 
One of the biggest reasons I love the stuff.  I've had to change my thinking about how much time a particular sequence of events takes to complete...allowing for proper drying time.  What used to take days can now be done in an evening, even when its a short weekday evening.  Gives me more time to have fun with modifying and tweaking things on the model when I'm not having to say "OK, I can't touch anything for at least 3 days."

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, February 26, 2021 2:01 PM
You Tamiya fans,I still like and use them, and so far AK Real colors are just like Tamiya for me, I thin them with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner and it sprays the same with a tough finish,and they have a nice color range

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, February 26, 2021 2:28 PM

I think I've tried them all.

Acrylics have some advantages, so you might stick with them.

I don't use Tamiya except for basic colors as otherwise I need to mix too much.

I'm currently using AK as I phase out of Model Master enamels. The USN color set to my mind doesn't match my colors perfectly, That may be because I am just used to the Testors.

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Friday, February 26, 2021 6:31 PM

So Calcio I hope that answers your question.  

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, February 26, 2021 6:55 PM

wpwar11

So Calcio I hope that answers your question.  

 

Well we all had a really great discussion anyway

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, February 27, 2021 3:32 AM

It seems AK has a few lines of paint. Without digging too much, I get the idea some are enamel, a kind of lacquer hybrid like Tamiya and maybe an acrylic line . So what exact AK products are you guys using who seem to like these. If we are getting two or more confirmed likes here, it's probably a line worth trying out is my thought.

Model Master surely leaves a hole to fill. I've worked my way around that with several different paints starting with acrylics before MM was even taken out of the picture. I tackled acrylics as a goal to " learn their ways" so to speak and mostly use them these days. But I'm always game to try something else and be won over. I tried MCW lacquers, no thrill there for what they cost imo. Not at all.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, February 27, 2021 6:33 AM

oldermodelguy

It seems AK has a few lines of paint. Without digging too much, I get the idea some are enamel, a kind of lacquer hybrid like Tamiya and maybe an acrylic line . So what exact AK products are you guys using who seem to like these. If we are getting two or more confirmed likes here, it's probably a line worth trying out is my thought.

Model Master surely leaves a hole to fill. I've worked my way around that with several different paints starting with acrylics before MM was even taken out of the picture. I tackled acrylics as a goal to " learn their ways" so to speak and mostly use them these days. But I'm always game to try something else and be won over. I tried MCW lacquers, no thrill there for what they cost imo. Not at all.

 

I'm referring to th AK Real color line,the lacquer hybrid type,similar to Tamiya,so far do good,I cant vouch for color accuracy,but they mix and dry like Tamiya

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, February 27, 2021 7:05 AM

Keep im mind that Testors enamels are still available.  They have just re-oriented the MM line into general colors rather than military models.  They are also re-emphasizing model car paints.  They have also offered new metallic colors like chrome, copper and aluminum.

I find a big rack at my HL.  Two thirds is now acrylic, but that still leaves a lot of enamels.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, February 27, 2021 9:40 AM

Don Stauffer

Keep im mind that Testors enamels are still available. 

A guy posted over in another forum (MCMF) where his hobby store guy told him Testors ( actually Rustoleum) was dumping all the hobby paints. Just recently, in the last week or so.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by Calcio on Monday, March 1, 2021 9:48 AM

Thank you for your excellent replies, very helpful. I settled on Tamiya. Got some on order. GSI Creous has an excellent wenbsite that helped me with color cross referencing amongst paint manufatctures.

  • Member since
    December 2020
Posted by TheDemiGod on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 7:44 PM

Let's see here....

 

Here's my paint stash:

Testors Model Master - enamel and acrylics

Testors enamels in those square bottles 

Tamiya acrylics

Aeromaster

Pollyscale

Floqull Railroad Colors

Gunze/Mr. Color

Badger Colors

Humbrol

Mission Model

AK Interactive Real Colors

Linden Hill

LifeColor

Vallejo

Createx

Alclad lacquers

a couple of old Pactra colors

I've also have enamel, acrylic and lacquer clearcoats in gloss, flat and satin.

 

In a nutshell, there's no such thing as recommended hobby paints. Don't be afraid to try other brands.

Keep in mind, not all greens, blues, greys, blacks - yes, black paints (AND white paints) are alike.

Soon, you'll get sick & tired of mixing Tamiya colors real fast to get the correct shade. Trust me, it's a hassle, expensive, (to buy more paint for mixing) and a waste of time. Take it from me, I know. 

 

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Slidell, LA
Posted by dswebb on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 7:55 PM

I highly recommend the AK Interactive Real Colors line. Great paints, wide wide selection of accurate colors both old and new. They airbrush great out of all 4 of my airbrushes, and are durable. They also brush well. AK Interactive also has a metallic line called Xtreme Metal which I also highly recommend. I use their AK "high compatability" thinner for the paints. Just my opinion, but I don't think you can go wrong with them. 

 Doug

Slidell, LA

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