Enamels Vs Acrylics?

Right now I have a small set of enamels and am thinking of switching
to acrylics before building up a large collection of supplies, what
are the pros and cons regarding each?
From what I've read acrylics sound so much easier to deal with but
what are the drawbacks? I had to thin my enamels and used naptha for
lack of a proper thinner and thought how much more convienent it would
be to use water. (the naptha worked well though).
I'm essentially a novice revisiting a hobby I enjoyed as a kid and
will be dealing with styrene kits.
ps- I will be using an airbrush if that matters.
thanks.
Reply to
Drake
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Hi
No real problems really.
Just remember that acrylics dry a LOT faster than solvent based (they are ALL enamels) in your airbrush and they need to be thinned a little more. Generally you want the consistency of skim milk. Also, I live in a climate where it goes from very dry to very humid. For the very dry an acrylic extender really helps. The humid environment poses the problems of improper drying of the paint, and increased fisheye and orange peel. This is where a spray booth helps out a lot. check your local weather and dont spray when the temprature and dew point are within ten degrees of each other. Also helps to clean airbrush are higher pressures 60 psi works fine.
For brush painting, thin as above, and just make one pass on the object. It sets up so quickly that another pass with the brush pulls/rips at the finish.... A real pain but with practice, you can get a beautiful almost sprayed on finish with a brush :)
Testors acrylic paint thinner seems to work VERY well with Poly Scale, Tamiya, and Gunze Sangyo acrylics.
A CLEAN surface is also a must for acrylics......
AM
Reply to
AM
For me the smell of Enamels and the headache thay cause it enough reason to make me forget about them. I have noticed that the flatness of Revell enamel is much better that of Pactra acrylics. I don't recomend Pactra - thay are cheap (al least in Poland) but I don't like the glossiness of the paints that I have bought as "flat/matte". Tamyia acrylics on the other hand have similar nice flat look - I can recomend them.
Maciek
Reply to
Maciek
One more thing - revell enamel changes from flat to gloss easily when surface is touched/polished. Same is for Tamyia though it is a bit harder to polish it. Still it is ofter enough to touch to get a glossy spot (and I don't mean dirty-greasy hands). In my opionion such surface feature can be used to get very nice look of partally flat- partially glossy surface.
Maciek
Reply to
Maciek
Newsflash for you here.
When airborne, the fumes from acrylic paints are just as bad as the fumes from solvent based. Not bad when brush painting, but every bit as bad when spray painting...........
To put it another way, you want to avoid breathing fine particulate matter in airborne suspension.....
AM
Reply to
AM
True. But the big disadvantage of acrylic paint over enamel is adhesion. You can't mask acrylic the way you can enamel. (Anybody who says you can has been spray painting acrylic for so long they forgot what it's like to be able to mask anything, anytime, and never, ever see any paint lifted by the masking tape.)
On the other hand, new technologies make masking acrylic relatively painless. Low-tac masking tape (like a Post-it Note) is available from 3M as well as (very) low tac masking fluid (Micro Mask). Tamiya makes a low tac masking tape that's available in hobby shops.
(Note: if you brush on a coat of Microscale Metal Foil Adhesive on the bare plastic, allow it to dry, then spray the acrylic paint over it, even old Poly-S paint will stick like enamel and you can mask it with anything and the mask will not lift it!)
I recommend using Model Master Acryl or Polyscale paints. I'm in the USA so these are the brands I can get at my local shop. They use newer technology (acryl) than the old acrylics and they just work better. Avoid Tamiya paint. Tamiya is good paint for kids in Japan who want one coat coverage and instant drying paint. For adults, it's very poor. Hard to spray or brush, and requires a toxic thinner. If you must use Tamiya paint, get some stuff called Liquitex Slow Dry Acrylic Medium (liquid) and experiment around with it. Adding a small amount to Tamiya paint causes it to dry slower and this makes it much easier to spray or brush.
I've tried the Vallejo paints that some folks rave about and I was not impressed. I did some experiements with this paint and it resembled the Tamiya paint in many (unpleasant) ways. I paint with brushes and this paint that is "formulated for brush painting" had all the disadvantages of Tamiya-- dries too fast, poor adhesion, and not self leveling.
Gunze Sangyo is better paint but the lids stick on the bottles (for me) and I have to use dynamite to remove them. The neighbors are beginning to become concerned...
Reply to
dancho
I use Tamiya to brush only. I don't know what do you mean 'one coat coverage and instant drying paint'. Not thinned tamiya dries slower than Pactra and much slower than Revell enamel paint. In fact Revell enamel is unusable when not thinned. One coat is not enough event with not thinned Tamiya. Maybe acrylic thinner is also toxic but at least doesn't smell that horribly. I think it is alcohol based and perhaps not as toxic as enamel thinners. Never tested Model Master though - I am planning to do so soon.
Maciek
ps.And no, I am not a kid from Japan.
Reply to
Maciek
I must have been doing too long then, I dont have any lifting problems anymore because..... I mask, then paint then lift the mask right then and there. (within the first hour) Key with masking over acrylics is not to let the masking medium stay on there long. Also use frisket paper. Excellent low tack, and clear.
Actually the Tamiya, and Gunze Sangyo are same technology. the difference being that they expect you to thin with a 50/50 paint/thinner ratio average. I love them and the PS. You can actually thin these paints to 70/30 thinner/paint ratio and spray at 15psi for fine work. Finish is superb ! I have just started using the MM Acryl, so far I like.
I have several of their airbrush only paints, and at low psi they work well for small stuff. thats about it. They are a fine grind though, and very smooth. Very thin tho...
I never have a problem with ANY lid's sticking (except Humbrol)because I store all paint upright, NEVER shake it, always clean the cap on opening, and always stir the paint. For airbrushing, I always mix thinner/retarder then paint, mix in small container, seal paint jar, then add to airbrush (my new :)iwata HP-B, more on this puppy later)
I also now prime models with Gunze Mr. Surfacer 1000 Acrylic paint loves to stick to that no end ! Though a clean plastic surface is probably the best. It does etch the plastic.
I use ModelMaster Acryl thinner for all of the above acrylic paints. ModelMaster Airbrush thinner and or Floquil solvent thinner, for solvent based paint. I use Liquitex FLOW-AID Flow enhancer for acrylics I use Floquil retarder for solvent based paints. Clearcoat with either Floquil Crystal Cote (awesome !!) or Testors Glosscoat, either out of the can, or sprayed in container then airbrushed. I use Testors Dullcoat for final, and or Gunze Semi Gloss.
For better or worse, I have around 500+ jars of paint around here. (better than the 50+ gallons of various house paint I have sitting around also !!!!)
AM
Reply to
AM
The big thing I have against acrylics is that it dries almost too fast for airbrushing. If I get a phone call and let the brush sit while I answer it, the nozzle clogs. ANY distraction that prevents IMMEDIATE cleaning of the brush and I have a really bad cleanup to do. Acrylics are not as easy to clean up as enamel. Now, some have mentioned using a retarder in the acrylic. I have not tried this yet. I do keep acrylics around for brush work.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
I found the real key to airbrush cleaning is 60 psi. At that pressure even water works lol... But the real issue is immediate through cleaning. (like using corrosive ammo, or blackpowder)
Thin the paint to where you you can easily spray it at 20 psi. It gets easier to clean out of airbrush later.
For acrylic paints it's called an extender, and or flow enhancer. I mix 4/1 thinner/extender, THEN add paint. This is for dry to very dry climate conditions. For regular conditions, not necessary. More important to pay attention to your local dew point and temperature !! Very humid conditions lead to increased fisheye, and orange peel. Just a nearby fan works wonders to helping the situation. Spray booth, spraying indoors the best. I have seen an airbrush spray ICE on an 80 deg day in the sun, with a 75 deg dewpoint........
AM
Reply to
AM
I tried Xtracrylics not so long ago but went back to enamels. Despite intense testing I could not find a solution for the acrylic paint drying up in my airbrush. I will only use the semi-gloss white again (for wheel wells, etc.) as it covers any primed surface better than Humbrol's Flat white, let alone gloss white. For any large scale paint jobs I will stick to my enamels. Extra Dark Sea Grey as an acrylic was quite managable too, but only with cleaning the airbrush nozzle every minute or so. The satin varnish was a complete mess. Didn't work at all. So it's still Xtracolor enamels for me. Just my opinion an experiences. Ingo
*time is an enemy*
Reply to
Ingo Degenhardt
You must have considerable skill and experience with Tamiya paint. I'm still a bit unhappy over having bought quite a few bottles of Tamiya paint, all at once, assuming that the name "Tamiya" guaranteed that I would like it. I didn't (as you can tell).
I can brush Tamiya, with some effort and planning. The stuff I have seems to dry almost instantly. I haven't seen "Pactra" paint in years. I have never seen a bottle of Revell paint. And I've been around-- to a rodeo and world's fair, anyway. I assume that maybe you are in Europe? Maybe the paint is different???
Reply to
dancho
dancho wrote in news:pJGdnaxxoY-NHf snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com:
I use Tamiya exclusively for airbrushing. Which gives a superb result every time, but don't seem to get the paint to stick to the model when I brush it. One sroke with the brush is kinda OK, but the second removes the paint again.
With Pactra (and all other paints I use) I donot have that problem.
Cheers,
Dennis
Reply to
me-me
I spray gloss finishes at 15 psi, flats at 20. I still have problems cleaning acrylics if it sits for more than two minutes in brush.
AM wrote:
Reply to
Don Stauffer
I've had these problems reasonably bad with my MM Pro, and MM Aztec airbrushes. Not quite so bad with the Passche VL, and almost not at all with my iwata HP-B Out of the four I have, only the iwata handles acrylics no problem.
Using the FLOW-AID does help here I guess....
AM
Reply to
AM
Apparently you've been using enamels so long you've forgotten what it was like when you first tried to apply them or mask them. I've had enamels lifted by masking tape, until I learned what not to do. I had to learn again when I switched to acrylics, but it was worth it.
Yes, acrylics have different characteristics, so you can't use exactly the same techniques as for enamels. It took time for you to learn how to use enamels, and it'll takes time for you to learn how to use acrylics.
Not in my experience. I find all three brands of acrylic are equally good. There's very little difference in drying time and adhesion. If you're seeing a difference, you must be doing something different. And Tamiya Acrylic does NOT require a toxic thinner -- in fact, I use the same stuff for all three: windshield washer fluid. (Are you sure you didn't look at a bottle of Tamiya's enamel thinner by mistake?)
That's good advice for any acrylic. Gives you more working time when brushing, reduces clogging when airbrushing, and helps the paint even itself out for a smooth finish.
Another tip: If you have to cover a large area, use a wider brush. I like to use a 1/2" wide brush with a chisel-shaped tip. It lets me finish before the paint dries, and I don't have to overlap strokes as much.
Reply to
Wayne C. Morris
The only adhesion problems I've had with enamels is covering aluminum or silver. I do occasionally have problems with those, but not with other colors of enamel.
Wayne C. Morris wrote: > > > >>AM wrote: >> >>>To put it another way, you want to avoid breathing >>>fine particulate matter in airborne suspension..... >>> >> >>True. But the big disadvantage of acrylic paint over enamel is >>adhesion. You can't mask acrylic the way you can enamel. (Anybody who >>says you can has been spray painting acrylic for so long they forgot >>what it's like to be able to mask anything, anytime, and never, ever see >>any paint lifted by the masking tape.) > > > Apparently you've been using enamels so long you've forgotten what it was > like when you first tried to apply them or mask them. I've had enamels > lifted by masking tape, until I learned what not to do. I had to learn > again when I switched to acrylics, but it was worth it. > > Yes, acrylics have different characteristics, so you can't use exactly the > same techniques as for enamels. It took time for you to learn how to use > enamels, and it'll takes time for you to learn how to use acrylics. > > > >>I recommend using Model Master Acryl or Polyscale paints. I'm in the >>USA so these are the brands I can get at my local shop. They use newer >>technology (acryl) than the old acrylics and they just work better. >>Avoid Tamiya paint. Tamiya is good paint for kids in Japan who want one >>coat coverage and instant drying paint. For adults, it's very poor. >>Hard to spray or brush, and requires a toxic thinner. > > > Not in my experience. I find all three brands of acrylic are equally good. > There's very little difference in drying time and adhesion. If you're > seeing a difference, you must be doing something different. And Tamiya > Acrylic does NOT require a toxic thinner -- in fact, I use the same stuff > for all three: windshield washer fluid. (Are you sure you didn't look at a > bottle of Tamiya's enamel thinner by mistake?) > > > >>If you must use Tamiya paint, get some stuff called Liquitex Slow Dry >>Acrylic Medium (liquid) and experiment around with it. Adding a small >>amount to Tamiya paint causes it to dry slower and this makes it much >>easier to spray or brush. > > > That's good advice for any acrylic. Gives you more working time when > brushing, reduces clogging when airbrushing, and helps the paint even > itself out for a smooth finish. > > Another tip: If you have to cover a large area, use a wider brush. I like > to use a 1/2" wide brush with a chisel-shaped tip. It lets me finish > before the paint dries, and I don't have to overlap strokes as much.
Reply to
Don Stauffer
Yes - I am from Poland. And perhaps you are right - the paint may be different.
Maciek
Reply to
Maciek
I don't use anything but acrylics and I always paint with a brush. I don't mask anything. I use decal material for some tricky things and glue metal foil to models for unpainted planes. It works good enough for me!
But once upon a time (thirty years ago) I used Testors, Pactra Military Flats and Humbrol enamels in an airbrush thinned with laquer thinner. YEE HAW! Those were the days. Of course, my lungs and liver could take more abuse in those days....
I never, ever had ye olde enamels lift up due to masking. Not one time. None. Zero incidence. I used plain old masking tape that you buy at the hardware store and it stuck to the surface with bite like an aligator. You could mask some fine, fine lines with it. I used a swivel knife to cut camoflage masks, placing the tape on a clean piece of window glass and cutting the pattern freehand.
But times change and paints change. I suppose that the enamel paints available now may not have the adhesive properties of the old-timers. Maybe. But, truly, I am beginning to suspect-- just suspect-- that your acrylic paint does not peel away with the mask because you have such a beautiful, child-like faith in it. Truly, it is *faith alone* that holds that paint to the surface! Hallelujah!
Reply to
dancho

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