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Has anyone given up on acrylic paint and gone back to solvent?

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  • Member since
    February 2021
Has anyone given up on acrylic paint and gone back to solvent?
Posted by MJY65 on Sunday, September 12, 2021 3:31 PM

I'm not completely there, but getting closer all the time.

For my current project, I decided to try decanted Tamiya FSP and MRP lacquer paints.  What a nice change from acrylics!   No mixing of proprietary additives, no tip dry when spraying, no airbrush disassembly for cleaning, no tape damage, no melting of a previous coat.  Nothing.   Just a darn nice finish with no drama.

I'm starting to think that acrylic model paints are like electric cars.  Great idea and we should probably all use them at some point, but the technology/product isn't quite ready.



  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, September 12, 2021 4:03 PM

I use MRP paints wherever possible for the same reason of no drama.  The finish comes out like the plastic you painted was molded in that color.  So much more durable than any other paint I have used.  Also found out recently that testors enamel paints used on details over MRP can easily be removed from areas you may have accidentally gotten testors where you didn't intend to.  Paint thinner has absolutely no effect on MRP, so the mistakes can be erased with no evidence of ever having happened.  Found that out when I was using Testors square bottle metallic silver for the bare metal parts of landing gear that had been painted with MRP White.  Even acrylic paints like Tamiya bottle paints react just enough to paint thinner to show damage.  No such problems with MRP.  I'm definitely a fan.

"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 Sunday, September 12, 2021 4:46 PM

I prefer Tamiya and AK Real thinned, with LT, but are completely comfortable with Vallejo Model Color, Mission Models,or AK Acrylics,so it really comes down to who has the color that I need and if I can get it,so no I have not given up on, acrylics,no reason to.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Sunday, September 12, 2021 4:51 PM

I am not an acrylic fan, but airbrushing Tamiya bottle acrylic with lacquer thinner works great.  But yeah, it stinks like heck.  But I use a respirator and paint outside so it's not an issue.

On my last project, I primed with a lacquer paint (Tamiya Fine), painted with their acrylic bottle paints using lacquer thinner, then applied gloss and finally flat with Tamiya rattle cans.  I didn't have any cracking or crazing.

I hate brush painting with acrylics.  BUT!!!  I think it's me, trying to use enamel brush techniques with acrylic paint.  I know this is true, since I have a friend who does fantastic work using only acrylics and brushes.  He can even do color feathering!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Sunday, September 12, 2021 4:54 PM

I love the dead flat finish of acrylics, but I just can't deal with the airbrushing issues.  I was raised on enamels and laquer thinner lol.  I really like Mr Color these days - and using their thinner. 



  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Monday, September 13, 2021 8:02 AM

I have given up on acrylics several times, and gone back to Testors enamels, which I have used for seventy years.  But now with the problems finding the color I need, I am looking for alteratives.  I like Tamiya acrylic lacquers in spray cans, and heard recently that they now come in bottles.  I intend to try them.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by bluenote on Monday, September 13, 2021 8:44 AM

Up until now, I always use Tamiya acrylic for both airbrushing and hand brushing.  However, they have finally started selling Tamiya enamels in Canada.  Yes, enamels, not their acrylic or lacquer, but enamels in square bottles, much like Testors.  These have been around for decades, but only in Japan and some other overseas countries.  

These paints brush on perfectly!  No thinning, nothing.  I always like hand painting smaller parts, and these work amazing.  Tamiya acrylics work well with their retarder, but I do like these enamels better.  

I just bought a spray booth, and now I'm doing much more spray painting with Tamiya rattle cans rather than airbrushing.  I can get the same finish with their rattle cans, and it's much faster and easier.  

  • Member since
    September 2021
Posted by DooeyPyle67 on Saturday, September 25, 2021 7:44 PM

No. It depends on the color I have or need. I'll use acrylics, enamels, and lacquer paints. Heck, I have a wide variety of paint brands in my stash... Testors Model Master acrylic and enamel, Testors square bottle enamels, Pollyscale, Tamiya, Mission Models, Humbrol enamel, Aeromaster, AK interactive Real Color, etc...

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 4:27 AM

Well I never totally abandoned enamels anyway, Like others I've been brushing enamels for over 60 years and spraying them since 1959 or1960. But worked in acrylics in these later years, found a few I took the time to learn the ways of and now embrace them. To include craft paints, Vallejo MA, Model Master ( probably about gone now) and Tamiya. You gotta prime, it tames the playing field against chipping and wear. Tip dry is a matter of some Liquitex retarder in your thinner, and I use trace amounts of dish soap as flow aid ( I really mean trace amounts, not drops)..

Tamiya acrylic is a no brainer, just use lacquer thinner or DNA for thinner and it's pretty much like shooting lacquer. And with DNA you get more flow out and less smell.

My latest gig for testing and experimenting is decanting Rustoleum 2x enamels, so far I find they work very well and you don't get that flood you get from the can. With a bit of extra thinner I can put down 4 nice wet coats for a car body for instance, using the Paasche H medium tip and 30- 35 psi the finish is very period looking for the eras I like to build in with no clear coat. And a 12 oz can is less than $5.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 12:34 PM

I don't have a preference.  I use acrylics, enamels, some lacquers, and oils.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.



  • Member since
    October 2006
Posted by JunJon on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 7:17 PM

Not really. Still using acrylic for accent colors and paint brushing. But my main body paint is lacquer.

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 6:27 AM

In a word: No

On the Bench:

  • Monogram F-14A
  • Tamiya A-1H
  • Hasegawa A-1H (OTS)
  • Monogram P-51D
  • Revell HH-3 Golly Green  Giant
  • Monogram 1/72 F-4J

Recenctly Completed:

  1. Airfix 1/72 Fw190D (1976 Release)
  2. Italeri F-100D 1/72 "Thors Hammer"
  3. Monogram P-47D Bubbletop 78th FG "Top Hat"
  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 7:54 AM


Not really. Still using acrylic for accent colors and paint brushing. But my main body paint is lacquer.



I can see that, but it definitely takes some careful planning.  No going back to any lacquer touch up anywhere near that acrylic.  Smile


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