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mossieramm

switching to water based paints

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Hi there, due to the growing problems of getting enamel (WEM/MM) paints shipped to holland I'm looking to switch to acrylics, and preferably 1 make. I looked at Vallejo and although they hand/air brush perfectly, I'm not convinced about the accuracy of their military colours, for instance their RLM 02 model air looks different to their Model Color, which strikes me as odd being it's from the same company. But also compared to others, they look off. I don't fancy having to mix paints everytime I want to paint something, so Tamiya is also not an option.

So I picked up a few Gunze Mr Color water based paints to try out.

What are your experiances with these paints ?? Do they hand and airbrush well, are they accurate ?? What other alternatives are recommendable ??

David.

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I've been building my own little collection of Mr Hobby Aqueous paints, but haven't yet had the opportunity to try them. However, they seem to have a solid, positive reputation here on ARC (see this thread).

Another well-regarded source for RLM and other military colours is Lifecolor Acrylics; these I have used and can vouch for their airbrush delivery. For hand-brushing, I tend to use only enamels.

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Gunze paints are excellent! They airbrush beautifully and they have a great range of FS and RLM colours. LifeColour have a massive range of FS and RLM and once you master them, they airbrush just as good as Gunze/Tamiya. Tamiya are excellent. True they don't have the full range, but you can get most colours with some easy mixing.

In terms of accuracy, I would have to say that LifeColor is top of the pops for me. One of the most difficult schemes in terms of getting right is the Aegean Ghost worn by Hellenic AF planes, and LifeColor nail them straight out of the bottle, and their RLM's are pretty spry on as well.

Edited by Crazy Snap Captain

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Gunze are great choice. For mixing with water, be sure to use H range, not C range. The only problem is, that H range is almost impossible to brush paint.

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What are your experiances with these paints ?? Do they hand and airbrush well, are they accurate ?? What other alternatives are recommendable ??

You can't go wrong with Gunze aqueous paints when airbrushing, probably the best if not the best. They adhere very well to bare plastic. On the other hand, they don't hand brush as well because they tend to dry quickly. In terms of accuracy, it depends on the color. Most are very accurate, such as Light Gull Gray and Gunship Gray, although Light Ghost Gray and Dark Ghost Gray are a little bit off.

gunze_rack.jpg

Gunze FTW!!!

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By the way, AKAN water based acrylics are also very good and lay down smoothly when thinned with 10-15% distilled water. For Soviet/Ukraine/Russian colors, I would go with AKAN.

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I've been using Gunze Aqueous for a while now, and it's definitely my paint of choice. Airbrushes beautifully. Hand brushing may be OK for smaller parts, but I personally prefer LifeColor for hand brushing. I'm yet to "master" airbrushing LifeColor.

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Gunze (GSI Creos) has a new line of paints out called Acrysion. These paints are much better for brushing and still airbrush well I hear. Don't know when they will be available for foreign markets though.

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Gunze (GSI Creos) has a new line of paints out called Acrysion. These paints are much better for brushing and still airbrush well I hear. Don't know when they will be available for foreign markets though.

Looks like Seal Model (EricYY) is carrying them. He also carries the Mr. Hobby Aqueous and Mr. Color lines.

http://www.sealmodel.com/products.php?category_id=61&filter=%26fl1%3D6&pn_pr=7

Tom

Edited by Tom G

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Another vote for the Aqueous color range.

But I wouldn't thin with water. Tamiya X20A or Mr Levelling thinner is the way to go for airbrushing.

Some colours take quite a long time to cure, more like enamels than acrylics, but once cured they are very hard.

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I thin Gunze aqueous paints with Gunze aqueous thinner for airbrushing -> excellent results, fast drying.

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i switched over about 4 months ago. I love the Mr. Hobby Gunze. I also use the Tamiya X-20 thinner. I thin them down much more than i did my MM Acrylic paints.

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i switched over about 4 months ago. I love the Mr. Hobby Gunze. I also use the Tamiya X-20 thinner. I thin them down much more than i did my MM Acrylic paints.

You meant Tamiya X-20A, didn't you? X-20 is enamel thinner. Acrylic is X-20A.

In my case, I mix 2ml paint with 1.5ml thinner. Then sprayed @ 12psi using gravity-fed dual action airbrush (0.2mm nozzle).

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Gunze are great choice. For mixing with water, be sure to use H range, not C range. The only problem is, that H range is almost impossible to brush paint.

Tamiya and Gunze GSI can easily hand brushed when thinned a bit with Lifecolor Thinner. The results are excellent!

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Here we get Revell at almost every corner and the acrylic series "Aqua color" is - besides enamel - my favorite when it comes to hand brush paints! Just dilute with purified water, it is fast drying and when you put several well thinned layers over each other it is really no problem! The next fresh layer is not making to first layer down liquid like it happens when you use Tamiya or Gunze Acrylics because the thinner has to contain solvent there.

For airbrushing I use the Revell Aqua too, but only for small parts (and then I take the Revell thinner for Aqua Color, otherwise I get to much glogging on the needle when thinning with water).

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In the past I have tried many lines of water based, alcohol and acrylic paints. I love most of them!!!

Gunze GSI and Tamiya are easy to use and on some degree forgiving paints. They adhere very well on plastic and I can recommend those.

Lifecolor is nice too. Their accuracy is very good, but adhesion is less strong on unprimed plastic compared with the above mentioned. The best thinner I found fot those is the new Ammo of MIG Acrylic Thinner. With this medium, it srays nicely and very fine lines are possible with no problems. The MIG thinner also works very well with AKAN Acrylics, an other highly recommended range, especially when the model is of a Russian type.

I also like Xtracrylics and Agama Acrylic paints very much. With those, the finest lines can be sprayed, however these tend to be critical with some thinners and the paint to thinner ratio. My favorite thinner for those is a home brew mixture consisting of 50% Lifecolor Thinner, 40% Isopropanol and 10% Water. Try it with a 1:1 ratio with the Xtracrylix and thinner, you will have some nice results!

The Agama Red Line Alcohol paints are another favourite. They have excellent airbrushing capabilities when using their original thinner, absolutely no clogging of the airbrush tip and a good adhesion. Their range is not so big, colour accuracy of the available FS colors is mostly good, but these are very difficult to get. To my knowledge, there is no source outside the Czech Republic.

I am not a good friend with the Vallejo acrylics and their derivatives (Italeri, Prince August, AK ...) as well as to the new Ammo of MIG acrylics, which remeber me to the handling characteristics of Andrea paints. Those are very good for hand painting, but not for airbrushing. But this week I found out one exception in the Ammo of MIG range: Their flat clear varnish is excellent stuff, when diluted with their own brand thinner. You can highly diluted the varnish and then it can be airbrushed in a very thin coat, which provides a really flat finish with no frosting patches on darker colors. This is a really good, if not superior substitute for the legendary Polly S Flat Finish in the old green labeled jars.

Good luck with your acrylic paint experience!

Edited by falcon91352

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I have nothing to base what I'm about to say on other than my own anecdotal experience, but I quit using Gunze Aqueous a long time ago. It sprays and works just fine - except... if you make a boo-boo, it's impossible (at least for me) to sand it down to a perfectly feathered edge. No matter what I do, or how long the paint has cured, or what grade of sandpaper I use, I can't get a feathered edge with it. You can always see the repaired area under the paint.

I switched to Tamiya and Xtracrylics exclusively, and have never had that problem since. I absolutely love both brands (just don't mix them in the jar).

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For airbrushing I use the Revell Aqua too, but only for small parts (and then I take the Revell thinner for Aqua Color, otherwise I get to much glogging on the needle when thinning with water).

Try mixing some Windex into the purefied/distilled water. In my experience, this mixture is best for water-based acrylics that I use (LifeColor, Citadel).

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I have nothing to base what I'm about to say on other than my own anecdotal experience, but I quit

AHA!... I see what you did there... I thought you were going to say you used coloured sunscreen :E

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On 5/4/2014 at 6:09 AM, falcon91352 said:

Tamiya and Gunze GSI can easily hand brushed when thinned a bit with Lifecolor Thinner. The results are excellent!

When you say lifecolor thinner is that the 22ml one with the green sides or something different 

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AKAN paint looks good on package , even better in a set for specific aircraft combos of 6 bottles ,... but when dry ? 

They look accurate enough? I know that paint for military purpose , have a specific requirements . And for visual contrast , individual perception is different .

I want a paint that have good adhesive retention , but doesn't melts your model , or detail . I use to go with Testors model master FS* for my WW2 models (no primer) now I'm use to prep work with light primer Tamiya or cheap ones canned spray  (those light viscosity , lacker quick dry)and seal paint with a clear , to go with another type of paint acrilic etc. in light coats . 

I heard that with acrilic or water base paint you can dilute with some alcohol for faster drying . If is true ,will work in airbrush?

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Can anyone recommend a Model Masters/Testors acrylic replacement for hand-brushing?

 

I've tried Model Color and it was awful, cheap craft-store paints are better if you ask me.

 

I noticed Lifecolor had a good ref from one of you kind folks. Noted and hoping to hear more.

 

Many thanks in advance for the tips!


Bri2k

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3 hours ago, Bri2k said:

Can anyone recommend a Model Masters/Testors acrylic replacement for hand-brushing?

Vallejo (Not the Air) hand brush pretty well IMO.

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I tried Vallejo Model Color and found them terribly disappointing. With Model Masters acrylics, I often get away with just one coat. Model Color was three or more and still not as good, unfortunately.

 

Then there's having to decant the stuff because they don't sell it in a real paint bottle which I can't fathom because this paint is supposedly made just for brush-painting.

 

If you've got any tips on making Vallejo Model Color work better, I'd welcome them. I still have two full squirt bottles left.

 

Thank you for your advice. I greatly appreciate it!

Bri2k

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I've switched almost exculsively to Ammo by Mig Acrylics and love them! The product line is extensive and constantly expanding.

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