Can general artists acrylics be used to paint plastic models

Hi all,
I'm new to plastic models unless you count a couple of abortive attempts as a child to put together a couple of presents.
I'd like to know if it's possible to achieve even average results painting cheap plastic kit aircraft models using general acrylic artists paints, normally used to paint on canvas. Will it be more difficult with artists acrylics than with hobby paint?
I've got about half a dozen cheap 1/144th scale jet fighters. My fiancee is a hobby painter and has an abundant supply of acrylics in a wide variety of colours she's happy to let me use. I don't fancy spending $3-4 a bottle for a few mil of each colour of paint to get started if I can avoid it.
While I'll try my best to get the models looking good I don't expect what I build to be show quality given my current artistic skills. This is a stepping stone for me, and at least until I'm confident in my abilities, I'd rather mediocre but acceptable results than spending a fortune to try to get it perfect.
My woodwork, metalwork and plastic skills are non-existent. One of the reasons I'm doing this is to try to improve my skill with small fiddly mechanical things and to try and practice a little patience. In the long run I want to build r/c aircraft (plywood and metal) but I'm starting much smaller with a handful of small cheap plastic aircraft and seeing how that goes first.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Sammy
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I would take a piece of a hull of this cheap aircraft and try to paint the inside with the paint.
Maciek
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Thanks Maciek,
That's actually a very good idea. Simple, elegant, obvious once stated. I really like it!
Reminds me of the story of a truck that got stuck under a bridge it didn't quite clear, and while everyone else was coming up with complicated ways of un-jaming it a young boy suggested deflating the tires..
Sammy
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Well thanks :) It's something I often do to check how a particular combination of colours would look. It's something you can do while waiting for someone with more experience with artists acrylics to respond. :)
Maciek
ps. Nice story about a truck - I will remember this when I see a stuck truck :)
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In general, the answer is yes. There are caveats, however. You need to get some Kodak Photoflo (or the equivalent) to reduce surface tension, and the addition of gel medium to the paint mix helps as well. I also add retarder to the mix. Finally, I always use an airbrush; I've had little success attempting to brush paint with artists acrylics on styrene.
DJ

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Sammy wrote:

snippage
Sammy:
    Much good advice has been offered in the posts below. I would add one thing. Most plastic molds have some parting compounds used to help the product separate from the mold and not all plastic kit companies clean the plastic sprues well after they are molded. This stuff will prevent adhesion of the paint. I would advise cleaning the parts in warm water and a dishwashing detergent before painting.     And DO NOT use one of those dishwashing detergents that has cold cream or some kind of oils in them to make Milady's hands soft and touchable while doing the dishes!! Those kind will just make things worse.
                    Bill Shuey
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I recommend good old Ivory dish detergent. I use the plainest one I could find (Ultra Ivory with Classic Scent) and it has never failed me.
My airbrushing techniques - that's another story entirely... :-(
WmB
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You get better at these things by doing. Practice. I use old empty 1 or 2 liter Pepsi bottles as "targets" to practice my airbrushing skills on. I have tossed out some really strange looking soda bottles! :-)
                        Bill Shuey
WmB wrote:

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