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Hoosfoos

Which thinners to use for acrylic paint?

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Hoosfoos   

Hi everyone, I've been doing a gradual switchover from enamels to acrylic paints for my jet modeling. I do not like the cleanup involved with enamels.

There seems to be dissention on what the best airbrush thinner to use on acrylic paint and I am hoping to gain some clarity.

 

I own acrylic paint from the following manufacturers:

 

Tamiya

Gunze Sangheo

Vallejo

Model Master Acrylic

Mig Ammo

Lifecolor

 

I have read that there are a few alternatives for thinner, i have in the past used the wrong one and ruined the paint.

I currently have stock in all 3 of these thinners:

 

Distilled Water

99% Isopropyl Alcohol

Blue Automotive Window Wash/De-icer

 

I am wondering if anyone can help me to identify the best thinner for the aforementioned products.

Sorry for the deluge of information and thanks in advance.

 

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dsahling   

I use Tamiya thinner for Tamiya Paints and Mr Hobby (The Gunze Aqueous line, NOT Mr Color!), for Model Master and Floquil I use a combination of their Universal Acrylic Thinner and about 10% or so of Vallejo 'Flow Improver.'  Also, I use a 0.4mm airbrush nozzle when working with acrylics and find that really helps prevent drying at the tip which causes pressure to build up and "blasts" paint everywhere.

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adamitri   

For about 20 yrs, I have used 91% ISO alcohol to thin my tamiya paint.

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On 7/21/2017 at 9:00 PM, Hoosfoos said:

Hi everyone, I've been doing a gradual switchover from enamels to acrylic paints for my jet modeling. I do not like the cleanup involved with enamels.

There seems to be dissention on what the best airbrush thinner to use on acrylic paint and I am hoping to gain some clarity.

 

I own acrylic paint from the following manufacturers:

 

Tamiya

Gunze Sangheo

Vallejo

Model Master Acrylic

Mig Ammo

Lifecolor

 

I have read that there are a few alternatives for thinner, i have in the past used the wrong one and ruined the paint.

I currently have stock in all 3 of these thinners:

 

Distilled Water

99% Isopropyl Alcohol

Blue Automotive Window Wash/De-icer

 

I am wondering if anyone can help me to identify the best thinner for the aforementioned products.

Sorry for the deluge of information and thanks in advance.

 

Each of the paints you have listed pretty much require their proprietary thinners to be used with exception to Tamiya. As others have posted 91% isopropyl alcohol works well, some use lacquer thinner as well. The others will likely have horrid results if you use anything other than their thinning agents. I could be wrong but I do believe Vallejo and Mig Ammo is the same product, others are welcome to comment if that is incorrect. Vallejo Airbrush Thinner, Not to be confused with Vallejo Brush Thinner (they are different formulations) and Airbrush Flow Improver are the best products to use for good results. 

 

Life color is very thinner sensitive, some colors require extremely low psi to spray properly (like under 10 psi). 

 

Model Master Acrylic can be thinned with distilled water however their airbrush thinner and airbrush cleaner will work a little better. The only difference between the thinner and the cleaner is the cleaner is a bit "hotter".

 

The HUGE NO NO on your list is the Blue Automotive Window Washer/De-icer. This is a great product to ruin your airbrush as well as the paint. The ammonia naturally reacts with brass which is the common metal used in the production of airbrushes. I've been told by those who use the Testor Aztek (plastic) airbrush, it's bad for the plastic on that airbrush too. Any compromise in the plating of the airbrush body/color cups will allow ammonia to contact and react with the brass underneath. It will eventually pit and compromise the plating and the overall performance of the airbrush. Want to trash an airbrush,,,just use that stuff. 

 

As for paints, it destroys the resins and breaks the paint down. I've asked Alex Vallejo this very specific question with the use of Windex and similar products that contain ammonia (like Auto window wash) and he was very adamant that that it's use is harmful to his line of paint products. 

 

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Thommo   

I use almost exclusively Tamiya acrylics.

 

I used the Tamiya acrylic thinner until a year ago, but after reading on ARC  the Tamiya lacquer thinner (yellow cap) was better, and finally tracked down a bottle of that in a Noosa Toyworld store of all places, and now use it exclusively. It is definitely better - smoother, less airbrush needle clogging.  But, I have found it works better with some colours than others, esp if brush-painting.

 

But it does not work with some old Model Master acrylics I have.

 

I have a couple of Vallejo acrylic colours too.  Hardly ever use them, but if I do the only thing that seems to work as a thinner is distilled water.

 

Edited by Thommo

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For what it's worth,,,Tamiya is a horrible brush paint. It's intended purpose is to go through an airbrush. The Tamiya USA reps will even say as much. In fact the term "acrylic" when it comes to Tamiya is hardly accurate, it's s cellulose based alcohol paint. The only reason they label it as an acrylic is because it's made in Japan and they can call it anything they want.   

 

The important thing to know is this, acrylic paints have one of three vehicles in their chemistry, Alcohol, glycol, or water based. If you sniff it and it smells like alcolol (Tamiya for example) it's probably.....you guessed it,,alcohol based. Adding water to an alcohol based paint isn't likely to provide the best results. Determining glycal versus water based can be a bit more difficult to determine. Also most glycol based or water based paints tend to have a weak bond. With that said the extra step of spraying primer is generally mandatory. In the cases of Testors acrylics and Vallejo a primer is required for good bonding. If a primer isn't used and the camouflage scheme calls for masking of any kind the paint is very likely to lift when the mask is removed. Even with Tamiya tape this is very likely to happen. Post it notes might get way with it but even then there's still a chance of lifting. 

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Thommo   

Yes, the only brush painting I do with Tamiya acrylic is small details, nothing large.  And as you say, anything larger than about 1cm, it takes some patience to get coverage. 

I agree re the bonding.  I always undercoat with Tamiya spray-can primer - for everything from Tamiya acrylics to Alclad, though with Alclad I'll usually also add a layer of Tamiya acrylic gloss black to give better colour and depth.

There was a time I was using a Model Master acrylic 'under coat' (not sure if it could be called a primer?) but it was rubbish, esp with Tamiya acrylics - they would just lift off with masking.

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jabow   
On 7/21/2017 at 8:00 PM, Hoosfoos said:

Hi everyone, I've been doing a gradual switchover from enamels to acrylic paints for my jet modeling. I do not like the cleanup involved with enamels.

There seems to be dissention on what the best airbrush thinner to use on acrylic paint and I am hoping to gain some clarity.

 

I own acrylic paint from the following manufacturers:

 

Tamiya

Gunze Sangheo

Vallejo

Model Master Acrylic

Mig Ammo

Lifecolor

 

I have read that there are a few alternatives for thinner, i have in the past used the wrong one and ruined the paint.

I currently have stock in all 3 of these thinners:

 

Distilled Water

99% Isopropyl Alcohol

Blue Automotive Window Wash/De-icer

 

I am wondering if anyone can help me to identify the best thinner for the aforementioned products.

Sorry for the deluge of information and thanks in advance.

 

Make ur own.

60% distilled water

30% isopropyl alcohol 

10% Future.

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zeus60   
On 8/12/2017 at 2:30 PM, 86Sabreboy1 said:

For what it's worth,,,Tamiya is a horrible brush paint.

 

Although not great for brushing large areas - and off the top of my head, I don't know of any paint that is - you can brush paint Tamiya just fine if you thin it first.  I stir the paint, then let a few drops fall from the stirring stick into the lid from a soda or water bottle.  Add a drop of thinner, mix and you can brush just fine.  The reason most people get frustrated trying to brush Tamiya paint it is they use it straight from the bottle.

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