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Dave Ambrose

Thinning Tamiya Acrylic Paints for Airbrushing

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I'm about to use Tamiya acrylic paints for the first time and I have a couple of questions:

1) How much do you thin it with the Tamiya thinner before spraying it through and airbrush?

2) Does it have any interactions with Model Master enamels?

3) Is there anything else I should know about this paint? It smells like it has a bit of lacquer solvent in it.

OK, that's three. Good thing this is an indulgent forum. :P

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For airbrushing use Tamiya thinner...it flows much better, you can thin with water or alcohol...the tamiya thinner does work best. Thin to what 2 % milk is like , you can use it over or under enamels. No lacquer thinner in it. Most important is to clean the airbrush immediately after spraying...it will get as hard as a rock inside.

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I'm about to use Tamiya acrylic paints for the first time and I have a couple of questions:

3) Is there anything else I should know about this paint? It smells like it has a bit of lacquer solvent in it.

MikeMc covered most of your questions. One thing I'll add is that you have to spray several coats to get proper coverage. Unlike enamels and lacquers that can do some jobs in one coat, Tamiya acrylics need to be built up. If you try to lay down lot of paint on the first go 'round you'll just get a runny mess. At least that was my experience! It doesn't take very long to get the job done and you can spray successive coats relatively quickly.

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I've used alcohol to thin their paint, and it does flatten it out a little, which actually improved matters for the color I was spraying- I always thought their s/g black was a little glossy.

91% alcohol is best for cleaning your airbrush, and Mike is 100% right. Do it immediately after painting. 70% will work also, but might take a little longer. The goal is to shoot alcohol until it comes out clear.

Charlie Larkin

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Others haves sworn they don't have this problem, but everytime I've tried to use something other than their thinners (other alcohols), I've had the paint fisheye terribly!

Like Mike said, I STRONGLY recommend you use their thinner.

One other recommendation....................DO NOT USE THEIR CLEARCOAT OVER THEIR PAINT!! In the past I've done this, and the paint got cracks in it like an old woman's face! :)

Mix the clear IN the paint and you'll save yourself a lot of grief!

Hope this helps!

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MikeMc covered most of your questions. One thing I'll add is that you have to spray several coats to get proper coverage. Unlike enamels and lacquers that can do some jobs in one coat, Tamiya acrylics need to be built up. If you try to lay down lot of paint on the first go 'round you'll just get a runny mess. At least that was my experience! It doesn't take very long to get the job done and you can spray successive coats relatively quickly.

How much time between coats? To me, "relatively quickly" means 10 minutes or so; alternately, a couple of medieval moments. :-)

Thanks to everyone for their answers. I hope this paint works out. Its chemistry is a lot less toxic than the lacquers I have been shooting.

Cheers,

Dave

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if you want to clear coat over acrylic with a lacquer just spray on a good coat of future foor wax first. you need to spray future over water slide decals to stop the lacquer clear from melting the decal to.

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I wanted to get a particular shade of green for my Detroit engine builds, so I mixed a few greens I had on my bench, reduced with my enamel reducer to airbrush consistency, and did the job. Came out beautiful. I cleaned up with lacquer thinner and all was good....................until I looked at the three bottles of paint to see which ones I had to get more of. I saw that I had used a Testors Model Master enamel, a regular Testors enamel, and a Testors Model Mater Acrylic. These are clearly not meant to go together, but they worked fine, and gave me both the finish and color I wanted. will I try it again?????? Probably not! Had some paint left over, and when I looked at it again about a week later, it was like snot in the jar and could NOT be salvaged!

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I don't shoot enamels and cannot tell you much about them. But if you are using Tamiya acrylics, I strongly recommend using their lacquer thinner. The thinner with the yellow cap. Their X20 thinner with the white cap isn't as good by a good bit. Using the lacquer thinner, Tamiya acrylics go down smooth as butter. I use cheap hardware store lacquer thinner for cleanup.

Before I started airbrushing, I hated having everyone tell me to thin to milk-like consistency, as it is terribly unscientific. But everyone was right. Conditions are too unpredictable, from type and shade of paint, to airbrush, to air pressure, to temperature. Too many variables. I've found starting with something like milky is best, then play around if it doesn't work.

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I use Tamiya acrylics and use Tamiya thinner as well. Like mentioned earlier patience is key with these to build up the color but they do give good results. I usually thin 2 parts paint to 1 part thinner and spray anywhere between 15-25 psi depending on the job and it seems to do the job.

To clean up I use Windex mixed with water. about a 70:30 mix. and it cleans great.

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I also use Tamiya lacquer thinner and it works great.

Is Tamiya Lacquer Thinner really so much different from the stuff I buy at Farm & Fleet?

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Is Tamiya Lacquer Thinner really so much different from the stuff I buy at Farm & Fleet?

Not the same stuff. Tamiya lacquer thinner is not hot and won't attach plastic. I recently used it to thin down some clear smoke to tint some windows with no crazing of the clear parts.

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this is weird i use the tamiya acrylic paint and jsut pour it straight into the gun. as do many people at the hobby store i have talked to. its sprays great for us..

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I'm about to use Tamiya acrylic paints for the first time and I have a couple of questions:

 

1) How much do you thin it with the Tamiya thinner before spraying it through and airbrush?

 

2) Does it have any interactions with Model Master enamels?

 

3) Is there anything else I should know about this paint? It smells like it has a bit of lacquer solvent in it.

1) like others said - til it is as viscous as 2% milk. I never really make a note of the proportions.

2) It shouldn't - it has a fairly mild solvent.

3) The smell is probably mostly Isopropyl Alcohol. Like most others have mentioned, I say stick with its dedicated thinner - don't cheapen out and use substitutes.

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