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Question about thinning Tamiya acrylic paint for handbrushing

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  • Member since
    February 2021
Question about thinning Tamiya acrylic paint for handbrushing
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Friday, August 20, 2021 3:57 AM

Hello. I am finally getting ready to hand paint the road wheels and small parts (tools, etc.) on my 1/35 Sherman (after having applied the decals fairly satisfactorily-first time I have done that on a model). I have Tamiya paint retarder to use (to hopefully keep the Tamiya acryclic paint from 'gumming' up too quickly on my palette or paint cup). But I am wondering should I still thin the acrylics (and how much in comparison to when one airbrushes the same paint)? I know that when airbrushing, one has to thin Tamiya significantly. But maybe for hand brushing not as much?

Second question: In a scale modeling book, I've read that when brushing outer part of road wheels one should dip the brush in thinner (before dipping in the paint). And I am wondering if one can/should do this in lieu of mixing the paints with thinner (in a cup or on a palette)? Thanks in advance for advising on these points. 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, August 20, 2021 5:09 AM

The simple answer to thinning is 'as much as will work.' I usually do my brush-painting right out of the jar cap; a drop of retarder and a few drops of thinner usually do the trick. You'll have to periodically add more (and re-stir) as you go along, but since individual bottles can have slightly different viscosities, there's no one hard-and-fast rule.

BTW, when done I usually wipe out the whole cap before returning it to the jar . It's probably better not to contaminate the whole jar with additional chemicals...though admittedly I sometimes forget, and no tragic consequences seem to follow. Big Smile

Cheers

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, August 20, 2021 5:50 AM

I have a round, aluminum palette with multiple paint wells around the outside of it that I use for brush painting with Tamiya and other hand-brushable paints.  For Tamiya, I use a Badger motorized paint stirrer to stir the paint, and then I just let the paint on the stirrer drop into one of the paint wells on my palette.  In the next paint well, I fill that about half-full with Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver to wet my brush with.  Then I add a couple of drops of the Flow Improver to the Tamiya paint in its well and stir that with a toothpick.  

Only have to do that with the Tamiya paints, because the Vallejo Model Color and MRP Aqua and Figure paints that I have both brush really nicely without having to do anything to them.

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

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, August 20, 2021 6:41 AM

I use a palette with a pipette to get my paint and mix in retarder till it's a consistency that flows off the brush well. And that's it,brushes great.. But I don't use Tamiya retarder simply because I use Liquitex in any acrylic paint that I want retarder in. It's alsoin my home brew thinner I use in craft paints etc, not to mention artist acrylics.

I also use the palette to test ratios of colors to adjust colors to what I want them to be.. Then use that ratio when I mix the paint for airbrushing. Really you can to the same thing with a platic party plate. Depends how long your project will be, most of my mixing and or brush painting is fairly short in my case and with the retarder you get extended time without a wet palette anyway.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Friday, August 20, 2021 10:33 AM

OK, thanks for all of the explaining of your techniques, folks. This helps me understand better what to do. One follow-up question: is it easier to just discard one's brushes after hand painting acrylics than try to clean and reuse them (and just use new ones for each job)? I am finding it takes a lot of thinner to get most of the color out of the bristles and then the brushes still don't have the right texture (and aren't completely like new when they dry anyway); so I just discard them and keep packs of extra (relatively cheap) brushes handy. Or is there a 'special'  (more effective) technique to cleaning used paint brushes than just soaking and swilling them around in a cup of thinner? I figure I would ask to avail myself of some of you all's experience, because when I start painting figures for my 1/35th scale tanks, there are usually many colors used. Worst comes to worse, I guess I can use a fresh brush for each color. Thanks again (this is a really helpful and friendly forum!)

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Friday, August 20, 2021 11:53 AM

ScaleModeler_1973
One follow-up question: is it easier to just discard one's brushes after hand painting acrylics than try to clean and reuse them (and just use new ones for each job)? I am finding it takes a lot of thinner to get most of the color out of the bristles and then the brushes still don't have the right texture (and aren't completely like new when they dry anyway);

 

I clean mine.  With acrylics, I do a swish in Windex followed by a swish in distilled water.  

 

The Masters Brush Cleaner will deep clean the bristles after you are done for the day and restore them back to original texture.  It's available at Hobby Lobby, Amazon, etc.

 

https://www.amazon.com/General-Pencil-Company-Masters-Preserver/dp/B001TNR7VM/ref=asc_df_B001TNR7VM/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167139098072&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15322375918583991652&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9020068&hvtargid=pla-316225532395&psc=1

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, August 20, 2021 1:22 PM

ScaleModeler_1973

OK, thanks for all of the explaining of your techniques, folks. This helps me understand better what to do. One follow-up question: is it easier to just discard one's brushes after hand painting acrylics than try to clean and reuse them (and just use new ones for each job)? I am finding it takes a lot of thinner to get most of the color out of the bristles and then the brushes still don't have the right texture (and aren't completely like new when they dry anyway); so I just discard them and keep packs of extra (relatively cheap) brushes handy. Or is there a 'special'  (more effective) technique to cleaning used paint brushes than just soaking and swilling them around in a cup of thinner? I figure I would ask to avail myself of some of you all's experience, because when I start painting figures for my 1/35th scale tanks, there are usually many colors used. Worst comes to worse, I guess I can use a fresh brush for each color. Thanks again (this is a really helpful and friendly forum!)

 

For Tamiya paint, I actually use a jar of MEK to swish the brush around in to clean it.  You have to be really careful with that method though, because the handle of any paintbrush is usually coated with something that MEK attacks.  For other acrylic paints, I just squirt a little Windex in an old glass and swish the brush around in that to clean it.  Definitely not into discarding my brushes, because all the ones I use for hand painting are red sable hair, and they're pretty pricey.  You should look into getting really good brushes for hand painting...they make a HUGE difference in the results you'll get.

"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: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, August 20, 2021 1:50 PM

ScaleModeler_1973
I am finding it takes a lot of thinner to get most of the color out of the bristles and then the brushes still don't have the right texture

You didn't mention whether you're using natural- or synthetic-bristle brushes...but generally synthetic bristles are recommended as working far better for acrylic paints. Natural hair or fur bristles will actually tend to wick the solvent out of acrylic-type paints, leading to problems just like you describe.

Even using reasonably cheap brushes -- and I'm a big fan of reasonably cheap -- it shouldn't be necessary to discard brushes after every use. That's just not practical.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, August 20, 2021 3:16 PM

 I use brushes where the bristles are made from taklon, they work awesome and actually decent with enamel too. They might cost a couple bucks more for a set but worth it and not as costly as hair brushes.

For acrylics ( cleaning) I just take my brushes to the kitchen sink and rinse etc under running hot water to clean them, stroke them through finger, rinse again till no color shows on a white paper towel.. I might fill a glass and use a drop of dish soap put the brush in there, come back and rinse. I've used Fantastik too, with airbrushes as well.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Friday, August 20, 2021 5:08 PM

Something I forgot to mention about brush painting is that some paints that are more the pure, primary colors like red, blue, and green, all tend to have a dye in them that can permanently taint your brush.  It won't be noticeable until you go to paint something white and it looks slightly pink, or has a bluish or greenish tint to it.  I try to use my cheaper brushes for those colors.  But, sometimes I have situations where only my trusty Tamiya ultra fine brush can get the job done...everything else is just too big.

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

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Saturday, August 21, 2021 5:07 AM

Thanks for all the advising again, folks:) The paint brushes I have been using were $4 for a pack of ten that I bought on Amazon (I don't know for sure what kind of bristles, but they vary in shape and size). LOL, I guess one gets what one pays for, and common sense should have told me that (decent) hobby brushes should not be that cheap. I do have in my supply cache a couple of new 'Model master' synthetic round brushes that I am going to start using (sizes #0 and #2). I am getting the message that to encounter more success with painting, I need to invest in better tools (of course skill is a big part of this equation, too). I am going to give cleaning my brushes afterwards a better try using some of the techniques you all have suggested. (I get the point that using brushes once and discarding them just doesn't make sense even for cheapies...)

I must not be using enough paint retarder with my Tamiya acrylic, because in painting my Sherman's road wheels, the Nato black paint is going on OK, but I notice that when wheels have dried for a few hours, the paint is 'beading' heavily from gravity (wheels have become oblong on the bottom of the wheels). I am left with having to try to smooth out these 'blobs' with a brush (still kind of gooey). On a couple of the wheels, these beads have dripped down on to the rollers. Twenty four hours and still not completely dried. 

Boy, upon reflection, it takes a really steady hand to get those road wheel rims to not be 'overpainted'. Being completely neat and not getting paint to leak past the rims is perhaps beyond my skill ability with my hand shaking/tremor. But my goal is being reasonably 'tidy-looking' with my finished products given my limitations. Just had a physical a couple of days ago, and the battery of tests came back OK (apparently nothing physically wrong with me).

However, for many, many years, I have been on some prescription medications and my doctors  (mental health) have told me the shaking is likely at least partly attributable to side effects of some of these medications. Going to possibly consult a neurologist like about a decade ago and ask my doctor to evaluate again to see if it makes sense to tinker with what I am taking. It's unfortunately a tricky balance, because I want to be able to participate in hobby activities/live a fuller life; but I am hesitant to risk throwing out of whack things for me (when I have been doing 'better' on the whole in my daily life for several years). Apologies: I know this isn't a mental health forum. I guess we all have challenges that we try to overcome or at least cope with in our daily lives... Anyhow, I will let you all know how painting the hand tools on my Sherman goes (it will be tricky, but hopefully with my #0 brush I will be able to get the red-brown and other colors on there looking somewhat realistic. Completing the whole process with a scale model for the first time and having it look decent (assembling, painting, decaling, weathering) is my modest goal. Thanks!

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, August 21, 2021 6:03 AM

Brace/support your brushing hand with your left hand. Or if on a bench a stack off book or something. Brace the hand but not so tight you aren't free to rotate it as need be.You'll get it once you see what I mean... I learned as a kid to support that hand, I had a schooldesk I built at and do brush painting and would place the side of the palm of my hand on the edge of the desk when painting small part or assembling small parts for that matter, like back arounf 1959 or 60. I had a friend about 3 years older than me who often had this stuff figured out. Amazing detail modeler, so I'd watch him and pick things up by sight.

I thin to where the paint flows off the brush, I don't know ecactly but maybe 30-40% retarder to paint. Lets put it this way, sometimes it needs two coats. So it's not a thick film going on. With all that retarder intial set time still isn't very long, it doesn't really run but overall cure is longer.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Sunday, August 22, 2021 5:56 AM

oldermodelguy

Brace/support your brushing hand with your left hand. Or if on a bench a stack off book or something. Brace the hand but not so tight you aren't free to rotate it as need be.You'll get it once you see what I mean... I learned as a kid to support that hand, I had a schooldesk I built at and do brush painting and would place the side of the palm of my hand on the edge of the desk when painting small part or assembling small parts for that matter, like back arounf 1959 or 60. I had a friend about 3 years older than me who often had this stuff figured out. Amazing detail modeler, so I'd watch him and pick things up by sight.

I thin to where the paint flows off the brush, I don't know ecactly but maybe 30-40% retarder to paint. Lets put it this way, sometimes it needs two coats. So it's not a thick film going on. With all that retarder intial set time still isn't very long, it doesn't really run but overall cure is longer.

 

 

 

Good morning. I've been trying the bracing technique you suggested, and I think it is definitely helping keep my brush hand from being so jerky (fewer of those 'wild' zigs, sags, etc when I was just using just my unaided brush hand to 'poke motion' apply the paint). I rest my right elbow/upper forearm on my work desk and cradle my brush wrist but not that tightly. I think I asked a similar question on another thread a while back and you gave me similar advice (but I forgot about it; so thanks for having beared with the repeat question!)

Thanks, yes I clearly was not adding enough retarder previously, because my black paint for the road wheels was more like molasses (goopy) than the thinner film I need to be using. I find that the thin coat is easier to work with and doesn't get lumpy when applying it. In many cases, just a tiny jab motion is all that was needed to make the road wheels look more evenly painted from the side perspective.

I gave painting my hand tools a shot, and I think my end results are actually decent (they look like tools with distinct colors for shafts, handles, etc.).  I basically was just using the specified two colors (metallic grey and flat earth). I'm already getting more used to how the paint behaves when applied to small surfaces like tools. For example, it doesn't really require sweeping brush strokes along the length of the tools, because capillary action tends to spread out the paint some. I learned the hard way that when painting tools that are vertical (the tools on the rear plate of my Sherman) that the paint will tend to seep downwards because of gravity and the capillary action: I ended up with a parallel line of metallic grey on the rear plate surface running below the actual long tool). So next time, I will adjust by putting just a tiny bit of paint on the tip of my brush so it hopefully doesn't spread out onto the tank's surface. I tried touching up this error by applying some olive drab paint; it is still noticeable but at least looks less apparent than before.

I've realized thatI have been mixing too much paint for these small painting jobs. I've stopped using disposable plastic pipettes to transfer from my paint bottles after stirring: instead, I just use the mixing tooth pick to drip paint into my palette wells (and do the same with the retarder-basically similar technique to what some of you folks have helpfully related to me).

One question I have: I ran into a problem where on one of the tools, the metallic grey dried as a black splotch on one half of the tool. I tried mixing the paint even more in my second painting session, and attempted to touch up the black, but it still wasn't completely going away. Finally, I tried using a toothpick to 'spread' the splotch around, and I found that this worked pretty well: I was able to stretch the silver tint over most of the remaining black. My question: what causes these color inmperfections: do I need to stir my paint longer than one minute (could insufficient mixing be the culprit)? OR is there just variation in the quality of some paints (I've been using Tamiya acrylic for my hand painting)? I know that shaking acrylic paint bottles is a no-no for airbrushing, but could shaking the bottles actually help to better mix the paint for hand painting (are air bubbles less of an issue when hand brushing?

So my results weren't bad with these two painting sessions, and I do think I am improving. I am actually encouraged, and suprised that the small bit of end product (tools) did not turn out terrible....Thanks for advising and reading about my experience. Next session I think I will try to paint some of the figures.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, August 22, 2021 6:33 AM

ScaleModeler_1973
My question: what causes these color inmperfections: do I need to stir my paint longer than one minute (could insufficient mixing be the culprit)? OR is there just variation in the quality of some paints (I've been using Tamiya acrylic for my hand painting)? I know that shaking acrylic paint bottles is a no-no for airbrushing, but could shaking the bottles actually help to better mix the paint for hand painting (are air bubbles less of an issue when hand brushing?

Metallics as a whole seem particularly resistant to thorough mixing...and tend to separate out faster as well. Just stir a little more often, especially right before you paint, and it should sort itself.

(Also...I don't know whether you're familiar with or have ever tried a technique called dry-brushing...but it can give you many of the same effects, sometimes in a more subtle fashion, as mixing metallics into regular paint colors. Just a thought.)

As to shaking bottles and airbrushing, I do it all the time with no problems. The trick is that you have to stir well first anyway, to get all the 'sludge' knocked loose so the shaking will help it go back into suspension. (And if the paint is properly thinned for spraying, any air bubbles from shaking should be a non-issue.)

One more suggestion for painting things like road wheel rims/tires -- if you can mount them on something where they can turn...like the model axle, a toothpick, a cotton swab 'stick' or a paintbrush handle...then you can just hold your brush still and spin the wheel beneath it. Takes a bit of practice (like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time), but once you get the knack, it can make the whole repetitive process go smoother and a whole lot faster.

Good to see you getting more comfortable with your techniques. That's when the hobby really starts getting fun.

Cheers

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, August 22, 2021 10:58 AM

What brushes nice in metallics is craft paint but you kind of need to prime first. Although multi surface Folk Art sticks fairly well to plastic they say ( I wouldn't know since I prime everything).. Course I'm talking about metallic paints here not so called metalizers, that's another matter.

With metallic it's a finer line between not thinning enough and thinning too much to where the metallic fleck wants to what I call fall out of suspension. Or settle within the paint solution. In airbrushing it's a matter of swirling the airbrush around fairly often between coats. Kind of do the same with the brush in your pool of paint then just to the side of the pool stroke some paint off your brush so it's not overloaded before applying. I've honestly never brushed Tamiya metallics, plenty of Testors Enamels and craft paints and artist acrylics though. For a while there on model cars I was using a certain silver metallic Folk Art for the chrome around windshiels and side chrome, it brushed ver well one the right consistency was gotten. I used my own thinner in it, the same thinner I use for airbrushing which has alcohol, water and retarder in it. One coat application for that silver. But since went to Molotow. But my now passed on wife used just water in craft paints and did well brush painting her ceramics to include metallics, you would never know, never see a brush stroke, she was a phenominal brush painter though.

Hope any of that helps and I'm joyful to hear you're gaining ground in this area of your modeling. You're right to kind of let the paint whick off the end of your brush with metallics. And I also can't help but agree with Greg on trying some dry brushing. That's an area I could improve on myself actually but it has come through for me many times in detailing and certain weathering. Speaking of which, weathering is a gigantic gain to your models as you gain those skills, even if just shadowing or settled dirt techniques are used.

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Monday, August 23, 2021 2:39 AM

Hey guys. Thanks as always for all the advice/information and encouragement! I'm going to watch a couple of youtube videos on 'dry brushing' just to see more about how it works. And this coming weekend, I will give figure painting a crack. (During the work week (M-F) I am only able to build (cut out and glue) at my apartment in my free time, but weekends I am able to work on painting/airbrushing in my 'workshop' (half of my mother's basement:) 

I do have a can of Tamiya primer and a spray can of olive drab set aside for my Tamiya Pershing build. (It's about ready to be painted). One question I have: is it worth it to use the Tamiya Primer on a tank first even if I am going to just paint over it with the olive drab spray can? I also have a bottle of Tamiya olive drab paint: maybe I will just thin and airbrush that over the Tamiya primer. I also have a bottle of grey Stylnrez paint. Maybe that would work well as a primer, too? So many choices and options with this hobby in a good sense:) Thanks again.

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, August 23, 2021 5:56 AM

All I can say is, you can never go wrong with Tamiya Primer.  I prime everything with it.Cool

"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: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, August 23, 2021 6:11 AM

ScaleModeler_1973

I do have a can of Tamiya primer and a spray can of olive drab set aside for my Tamiya Pershing build. (It's about ready to be painted). One question I have: is it worth it to use the Tamiya Primer on a tank first even if I am going to just paint over it with the olive drab spray can? I also have a bottle of Tamiya olive drab paint: maybe I will just thin and airbrush that over the Tamiya primer. I also have a bottle of grey Stylnrez paint. Maybe that would work well as a primer, too? So many choices and options with this hobby in a good sense:) Thanks again.

The whole issue of whether to prime or not seems a real personal thing. Some people swear you have to prime everything all the time; some never bother; and then there are folks like myself who come down somewhere in the middle.

The things I will always prime are:

a) areas where putty has been applied and sanded -- both to put a layer over the putty, but mainly as a visual aid to make it easier to check the sanding/finishing is as smooth and 'feathered in' as I need it to be.

b) I will often prime over white, red, silver or multi-colored styrene, for the same 'visual' reasons as above -- on those colors it's often difficult to tell how well your sanding and polishing of things like joints has gone, so the primer gives a monotone surface where you can more-easily spot scratches or imperfections you might have missed.

c) over resin and photo-etched metal parts, to give a good solid base for the 'real' top-coat color to grab onto.

Beyond that -- which is probably 80-90‰ of my building -- I rarely bother to prime at all. I just make sure the surface is clean and free from finger oils by wiping down with alcohol, then go ahead and paint. I've never seen any particular difference between primed and non- primed surfaces in terms of paint durability and such...and I'm happy not to make extra work for myself. I've got models that are nearly 50 years old where the non-primed paintwork is holding up just fine, so to me it seems I'm doing okay by not obsessively priming.

I will agree with Eaglecash that Tamiya primers are top-drawer. Both their grey and white primers are superb. Those, and Testors 'square bottle' enamel battleship grey are virtually the only primers I ever use.

Can't say as to Stylnrez since I've never used it...but many modelers whose work I admire rave about it, so it must have something going for it. Big Smile

Cheers

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, August 23, 2021 11:59 AM

ScaleModeler_1973

Hello. I am finally getting ready to hand paint the road wheels and small parts (tools, etc.) on my 1/35 Sherman (after having applied the decals fairly satisfactorily-first time I have done that on a model). I have Tamiya paint retarder to use (to hopefully keep the Tamiya acryclic paint from 'gumming' up too quickly on my palette or paint cup). But I am wondering should I still thin the acrylics (and how much in comparison to when one airbrushes the same paint)? I know that when airbrushing, one has to thin Tamiya significantly. But maybe for hand brushing not as much?...

I originally tried brushing Tamiya's acrylics by hand, right out of the jar, and got clumping, and second coats would pull up first coats, even if I let the first coat sit overnight

I went through a lot of trial and error, trying to resolve this.  Till I learned that Tamiya acrylics need to be thinned for hand-brushing as well as for airbrushing.  Along the way, I read somewhere that they're formulated for airbrushing and meant to be thinned for use.  I use the same ratio for either-pretty much 1:1 paint to thinner.

I also learned that I got my best results using Tamiya's proprietary acrylic thinner.  I tried water, which didn't work at all-the paint still clumped, and when applying a second coat, though the first coat looked cured, the second would lift it off.  I tried isopropyl next, but still got clumping and poor results on the surface of the piece.  I broke down and spent the money for Tamiya's thinner, and it was a revelation.  I can lay down coats as thin as if I airbrushed them, and I have no problem putting down multiple coats.

I don't use a retarder; I have not found it necessary.  But of course, we may each have different experience.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by ScaleModeler_1973 on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 3:40 AM

Hey Baron. I appreciate your having shared your experience with/knowledge of hand brushing figures with Tamiya acrylics, too: you likely saved me some frustration/puzzlement with this (I'm sure I probably still have some 'growing pains' to go through with trial and error to figure out precisely what 'works' (maybe a combination of Tamiya thinner and a bit of retarder, stirred just right, etc.). But at least I'm not starting from zero now and won't try painting Tamiya straight out of the bottle and such. Luckily, I also have a few figures from my early built kits that turned out pretty crude/'amateurish-looking' that I can use for practice/experimenting... 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 5:54 AM

Also you can always strip old paint jobs. I soak in purple power, I call it the purple pond and use the back side of a butter knife and a dedicated hard tooth brush after 24-48 hours soaking in the bath. But some here seem to get faster results using a 91% isopropyl alcohol bath.

If you go to Tamiyas website pretty sure you will find their suggested thinner for brushing their acrylics is retarder. I could be wrong and they may have changed the data but last I knew that was it. Not to argue with anyone, we all find our own paths in these things and if you find a better way then hallejuah.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 6:12 AM

oldermodelguy

Also you can always strip old paint jobs. I soak in purple power, I call it the purple pond and use the back side of a butter knife and a dedicated hard tooth brush after 24-48 hours soaking in the bath. But some here seem to get faster results using a 91% isopropyl alcohol bath.

Yup.  91% will strip any plastic parts of paint, right down to the bare plastic.  With a 20-30 minute bath in that, along with a semi-submerged, gentle scrubbing with a cheap electric toothbrush, it can be stripped and ready for new paint in about an hour.  I'm actually using 99% now, and its a little faster.  I've used this method on pieces that had been painted 25 years prior to that, with a couple of them actually having been primed with aircraft grade zinc chromate out of a rattle can.  No chemical change to the plastic either, as can happen with the oven cleaner method I see mentioned here and there.  Heh...I always cringe when I see someone talking about using that method.  Its almost always followed by a "Wow, this plastic has become really brittle over the years" post, when it was actually the oven cleaner that made that happen the day it was used.

Just remember when stripping with alcohol to use isopropyl alcohol only.  If you use denatured alcohol, you're taking a big gamble on the other, assorted ingredients that were added to it to make it taste bad so people don't drink it.  They put lacquer thinner, acetone, xylene, and sometimes even MEK in that stuff.  Isopropyl is always going to be just alcohol and water in some ratio.

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

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 8:49 AM

ScaleModeler_1973

Hey Baron. I appreciate your having shared your experience with/knowledge of hand brushing figures with Tamiya acrylics, too: you likely saved me some frustration/puzzlement with this (I'm sure I probably still have some 'growing pains' to go through with trial and error to figure out precisely what 'works' (maybe a combination of Tamiya thinner and a bit of retarder, stirred just right, etc.). But at least I'm not starting from zero now and won't try painting Tamiya straight out of the bottle and such. Luckily, I also have a few figures from my early built kits that turned out pretty crude/'amateurish-looking' that I can use for practice/experimenting... 

 
I'm glad to help!
 
When I brush it by hand, I use two methods to thin it.
 
One is to use a small jar of the thinner, to pick up the color from a palette (usually just the inside of the paint jar lid, and dip it in the thinner, then apply it to the piece.  It levels itself out for me. 
 
The other is to use a proper palette, and to mix a drop of the thinner and the paint, and then apply it to the piece.
 
And I work with small amounts, too.  But I do that with my water-based acrylics, too-a small amount of paint, on a wet palette for thinning. It really goes a long way.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

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