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acrylic vs enamel?

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  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: USA
acrylic vs enamel?
Posted by nsclcctl on Monday, June 9, 2003 8:43 AM
I am an aircraft modeler, mostly WWII but am foraying into modern F series. I have always used enmels. Hand brush small parts and spray (recently airbrush) the bodies. This weekend, I needed chromate green for interior of a B24 Liberator. I had run out so on y trip to my hobby shop, I could not find it. However, there it was in acrylic. I used it and I loved it! Two coats on the interior of the fuselage. Went on like water and really covered nicely. Cleaned up in a heartbeat and just looks awesome, doesn't have that thick appearance, instead, it seems to have soaked right in and looks smoorth.

What do most people use? I am curious. Is there an advantage other than the fact that in enamels, you can often match the cans of spray paint? Why use either? I am open to opinions. Do I need to go out now, take out a bank loan and replace all my model master bottles with acrylics?
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Monday, June 9, 2003 9:22 AM
Really just a personal preference between acrylics and enamels with most modellers I think. I find that acrylics cover very smoothly and the colour choices I need are readily available. I've tried many different brands but always have gone back to using Tamiya acrylics in the end. I choose to go with acrylics because I tend to be a little on the lazy side when it comes to clean up so the thought of cleaning everything in water really appealed to me.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, June 9, 2003 1:49 PM
I am slowly converting from Enamels to Acrylics.
While I prefer enamel metallics, pretty much everything else just plain works better in acrylic! Acrylics are almost 100% self-leveling, so even if you are a n00b, or a very poor brush-painter, you will still get nice, even coats of paint!!
However, enamels tend to be more opaque, thus needing fewer coats, and I prefer my tan enamels to tan acrylics...
Maybe it IS just preference, I don't know!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 12:54 AM
I was a die-hard enamel user until, like you, nsclcctl, I was forced to use some acrylics. Now I love 'em! The ease of clean-up alone is worth it, but I also love how smoothly they flow, no fly-away stringing, and the thin, even coats they lay down. I still use some enamels for airbrushing when there's a color matching problem with acrylics (some of the acrylic colors are a bit weak), but today's acrylics are really impressive. True, they often require two coats when one coat of enamel would've done the job, but, again, the clean-up, thinning, etc. is so easy that it's still easier than the clean-up of one coat of enamel.
Like TenchiMuto81, I find the enamel metallics are usually superior, so I usually choose which to use by the application.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 5:32 PM
Yep, I agree with the other posters. I have lots of bottles of both kinds of paint and generally go back and forth between the two. Personally, I try to do most of my base coat painting in enamels. I do more of the detail painting in acrylic so that I can wipe it off easily if needed (and not harm the enamel underneith).

I'm sure there are noticeable differences between enamels and acrylics, but my personal opinion is that the biggest difference is the clean-up factor.

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Warwick, RI
Posted by paulnchamp on Wednesday, June 11, 2003 10:14 PM
I also go back and forth between the two, but given the choice, I'll reach for the acrylics first. Love that easy cleanup, and thinner's cheap - Isoproply alcohol!
A pint for 97 cents! Gotta stretch that hobby budget.
Paul "A man's GOT to know his limitations."
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Pominville, NY
Posted by BlackWolf3945 on Tuesday, June 24, 2003 11:12 PM
One more proponent of "personal preference" and "personal opinion" here!

I personally prefer enamels because it's my firm belief that acrylics were invented by satan. But that's just my personal opinion! Tongue [:P]

Wait, how could he have invented acrylics when he had to devote so much time to superglue...

Fade to Black...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, June 26, 2003 7:22 AM
So acrylic over enamel is fine?? If you need a wash to highlight panel lines, what do you use over the acrylic??
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: West Des Moines, IA USA
Posted by jridge on Thursday, June 26, 2003 8:39 AM
The only thing I can add is acrylics are fragile - the paint may pull off with to much handling, masking, etc. Read the threads about applying Future.

Another big benefit -- no fumes.
Jim The fate of the Chambermaid


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