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Thinning paints for airbrush

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  • Thinning paints for airbrush

    Ok I sprayed my T-34. I thinned the paints 2:1 (alcohol 70%:acrylic paint) I think it was a little too thin.

    Q's for the big dawgs:

    Is there a brand of paints for armor modeling exclusively for airbrushing?

    What is a good ratio for mixing Tamiya Acrylics for AB (in this context AB refers to airbrush not Actung Baby )?

    What about enamels? Different ratio?

    I have used 91% Isopropal Alcohol for thinning and cleaning in the past. It dries a little faster I find but with ABing the time is negotiable.

    I like the 91 for cleaning though.

    "At some point, we've all parked in the wrong garage."- Roger Sterling, Jr.

  • #2
    Hmmm, I remember Scott Fraser suggesting that water is just as good substitute as the alcohol, purely for the fact that the alcohol evaporates quicker, thus possibly clogging up the nozzle due to the force of the compressed air. I constantly clean the nozzle with a soft rag when airbrushing to avoid this problem. If Scott reads this he can fill you in with greater detail. The alcohol is brilliant for cleaning so stick with it.

    99% of my paints are Tamiya acrylics, and I think for the most part I rarely mix a ratio higher than 50:50... 25/40% water would probably be close to what I mix with my paints. I still hit and miss with the wrong ratios sometimes so it generally comes down to how the paint looks personally.
    As for enamels, it comes down to which paint you use, I still have heaps of Humbrol tins and when you mix some there is "sediment" at the bottom, these types of paints require extra thinning.

    I've seen people use a small paper filter before they add paints in the airbrush, sounds a bit over the top but one can never be sure of having no particles floating about in the paint, causing it to clog up.

    I've constantly read how Vallejo AB paints are very good, and I'm hoping to try one out in the near future to see for myself.
    "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
    Ernest Hemingway.

    "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
    Mark Twain.


    • #3
      For airbrushing Tamaya and other brands of water based modeling paint;

      1. Mix thoroughly. It tends to settle out over time. The mechanical micro shakers will do the best job of mixing those paints.
      2. Be sure that any lumps are stirred out. If they don't, it probably means that the paint had partially dried out and will no longer be any good for spraying.
      3. if necessary, use only the Tamaya thinner since paint thinned with water will not properly stick to plastic. Thin only as needed. You can thin more as needed for shading.
      4. Several light coats are better then one heavy one. Allow time to dry between coats.
      5. To avoid splatters, start the spray before you sweep over the model and stop after completing the sweep.
      6. Clean the tip if you start getting splattering and uneven spray pattern.
      7. Take your time to do the job right. Practice first on a scrap before committing spraying your model.

      Use the soap and water for cleanup.
      “Breaking News,”

      “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”


      • #4
        I shoot Tamiya straight or with a 70/30 mix with Denatured alcohol.

        I don't use enamels with the airbrush and have problems shooting Modelmaster acrylic regardless of how I thin it or what I use to thin it.
        If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.


        • #5
          I really like the Tamiya acrylics for air brushing. I like to thin it usually around a 60-70% paint to water which I like to use distilled water (tap water here is too hard). I don't ever recall having a problem with the paint not sticking to the model when using water to thin.
          I don't like to spray enamels out of my air brush because of reactions of the two different paints if it's got lingering remnants of one or the other. Ahh, maybe someday will be able to have two different rigs set up.
          "You listen to the ol' Pork Chop Express on a dark and stormy night......"


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