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Acrylic Paints Recommendations? Tamiya, MM, Mr. Color....


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Hi everyone:

I'm restoring my workbench into the basement finally (!), after it was mothballed almost 14 years ago due to basement repairs. And I've got to start anew with paints, glue, putties, etc.

I'm leaning towards water-soluble acrylics, mostly because the fumes are less noxious. What are the pros and cons of the acrylics available - Tamiya, Model Master, Mr. Color Aqueous, etc.?

I'm looking at the Mr Color line, but not sure of the best source here in the US (I'm in the Cincinnati area).

 

Any thoughts and opinions are greatly welcome! Thanks everyone! 

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Well, Model Master  (my first choice) is discontinued.  I like Tamiya for performance, but not color selection. I like Lifecolor for color choice, but not necessarily performance.

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If you are avoiding anything that smells then you are looking at paints all of which have some fairly common characteristics which are that they dry up in your airbrush more quickly than other paints do.
Its not that they dry quick, its just that they dry quicker.

Life Color has a good range but the paints are very thin so need several layers

Vallejo seem ok all rounders, good selection of colours and working with them is alright.

Mr Colour Ive never used.

Tamiya acrylics use alcohol as a transport so hold the acrylic medium so they smell a bit but spray well because of it.

 

I went with Model Air years ago and they work alright for me. Not the best but they dont smell at all. At the time that was the biggest consideration, now I dont care so lacquers are my choice but Model Air is still an option

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Tamiya, Mr. Color Aqueous, Vallejo Model Air, LifeColor, and AK acrylics all spray well for me.  I tend to stick to acrylics in the cold winter months since I don't want to trap harmful fumes from lacquers and enamels in the house.  In the warmer months when the windows can be opened, I will sometimes use MRP and AK lacquers due to color availability.

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3 hours ago, MA Cooke said:

I'm looking at the Mr Color line, but not sure of the best source here in the US (I'm in the Cincinnati area).

 

You can get Mr. Hobby Aqueous from Spray Gunner in the US:  https://spraygunner.com/aqueous-paints/

You can also get Mr. Hobby Aqueous from Hobbyworld-USA:  Gunze Sangyo Aqueous

If you want to try Mr. Hobby lacquers, then you can order them from Scalehobbyist.com:  Gunze Mr. Hobby Lacquers

 

Both lines of paint are excellent.

Edited by RichardL
Added Hobbyworld-USA
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They both are very close and very smooth, so it might be hard to pick out the difference from these pictures.  On the left is Gunze H331 Dark Sea Gray (thinned with Gunze Aqueous thinner).  On the right is Tamiya XF-82 Ocean Gray 2 (thinned with Tamiya X-20A):

 

gunze_vs_tamiya.png

 

Tamiya is just a tad more grainy in this second picture:

 

gunze_vs_tamiya2.png

 

Great acrylics.  You can't go wrong with either one.

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Not to hijack this but Id like to find out how Mission Models, AK and Ammo paints compare to the Gunze and Tamiya.  I have to get into something new since the MM is drying up and those three have a pretty good color range.

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On 11/12/2020 at 7:36 AM, MA Cooke said:

Thanks for the replies thus far. I may be considering lacquers, any thoughts on the Gunze Mr. Color lacquers?

I like them. I started using them on Bandai Star Wars kits and they spray beautifully with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner.

 

Vern

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On 11/12/2020 at 7:53 AM, RichardL said:

 

You can get Mr. Hobby Aqueous from Spray Gunner in the US:  https://spraygunner.com/aqueous-paints/

You can also get Mr. Hobby Aqueous from Hobbyworld-USA:  Gunze Sangyo Aqueous

If you want to try Mr. Hobby lacquers, then you can order them from Scalehobbyist.com:  Gunze Mr. Hobby Lacquers

 

Both lines of paint are excellent.

Spray Gunner also carries Mr Color lacquers.

 

Vern

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Yes, you can get Mr. Color lacquers from almost any online hobby retailers such as Spray Gunner, Sprue Brothers, Scalehobbyist, USA Gundam Store, etc...

 

However, these retailers don't seem to stock the entire line of Gunze Aqueous colors, only the basic/primary colors.  It would be great if they also stock Gunze military and Federal Standards colors further down on the paint chart.

 

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4 hours ago, Spectre711 said:

Not to hijack this but Id like to find out how Mission Models, AK and Ammo paints compare to the Gunze and Tamiya.  I have to get into something new since the MM is drying up and those three have a pretty good color range.

Mission Models are very good. You need their activator to go with them but I do really like their WWII German armour colours.

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25 minutes ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Mission Models are very good. You need their activator to go with them but I do really like their WWII German armour colours.

But arent they water based acrylic paint?  I havnt seen an activator but they do have a poly that is supposed to act as a flow enhancer and of course a thinner.

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Below is a picture of Mission Models Dark Gull Gray thinned 10 parts paint to 1 part thinner:

 

mission_models.jpg.7e21910ec54dfbe54aa9f45fd97d746b.jpg

 

The paint sprays well and is extremely smooth with very fine pigments.  Great paint.  Not sure about color accuracy yet.

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One thing to note about Mission Models paints:  they 'must' be applied over primer if you plan to use masking tape over them.  Otherwise they will tend to lift if applied over bare plastic, as I've just discovered with my test spoon above using a piece of Tamiya masking tape.

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On 11/14/2020 at 6:44 PM, Spectre711 said:

But arent they water based acrylic paint?  I havnt seen an activator but they do have a poly that is supposed to act as a flow enhancer and of course a thinner.

https://www.missionmodelsus.com/pages/tips-and-tricks-faq

 

The above link contains all the answers to any questions you might have about their paints.

 

Acrylic does not mean water.

 

I will point you to the wikipedia article about it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylic_paint

 

 

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Yeah and it says right off the bat that they are organic water based acrylics and that's why I was asking about your reference to an activator.

 

It does mention that their thinner when mixed with their primer activate their primer but I don't see anything about their paint.

Edited by Spectre711
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After a 30+ year gap, I have started building kits ( well, one kit ) again and have just started using an airbrush ( Badger 150 IL ). So far, I have used some Tamiya with their X20A thinner and some Gunze-Sangyo Aqueous with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner. Both have worked quite well, with no problems. I've been using 99% Iso for easy cleanup. 

 

 

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, dogsbody said:

Gunze-Sangyo Aqueous with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner.

 

You can also thin Gunze-Sangyo Aqueous with Tamiya X-20A thinner and get the same great results.

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On 11/14/2020 at 8:03 AM, RichardL said:

...However, these retailers don't seem to stock the entire line of Gunze Aqueous colors, only the basic/primary colors.  It would be great if they also stock Gunze military and Federal Standards colors further down on the paint chart....

 

 

Agree 1000% !!!!!!

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9 hours ago, Spectre711 said:

Yeah and it says right off the bat that they are organic water based acrylics and that's why I was asking about your reference to an activator.

 

It does mention that their thinner when mixed with their primer activate their primer but I don't see anything about their paint.

I see.

I was talking about their PU additive.

It, as far as I can tell, puts a nice surface on the paint when it dries.

Its not an activator in the literal sense of the word as you would use in a resin for instance.

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On 11/14/2020 at 4:03 PM, RichardL said:

Yes, you can get Mr. Color lacquers from almost any online hobby retailers such as Spray Gunner, Sprue Brothers, Scalehobbyist, USA Gundam Store, etc...

 

However, these retailers don't seem to stock the entire line of Gunze Aqueous colors, only the basic/primary colors.  It would be great if they also stock Gunze military and Federal Standards colors further down on the paint chart.

 

How many colours are in that range?

 

On 11/15/2020 at 4:49 PM, RichardL said:

One thing to note about Mission Models paints:  they 'must' be applied over primer if you plan to use masking tape over them.  Otherwise they will tend to lift if applied over bare plastic, as I've just discovered with my test spoon above using a piece of Tamiya masking tape.

Thats because they use a water based carrier. If the surface of the model isnt activated then it has nothing to key to and it will lift off very easily. 

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