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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi. happy new year for Australia... and for the rest of you guys, a bit later in the day. :wave:

I would like to know the pros and cons of acrylic. I'm building right now the NX-01 with enamels and the next one should be my AMT Qo'nos or the "beast 1/350 1701". i wanted to know if I could do those ships with acrylics... but I know nothing about it... yet.

thanks a lot..
Butch
 

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Well, basically - enamels tend to stick to plastic better, but are more toxic and harder to clean off brushes (including airbrushes).

Acrylics are less toxic (fumes etc...) and most can be cleaned up with plain water.

Enamels also - usually - have better glossyness (is that a word???) than acrylics, though that's not usually an issue with starships...
 

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The Model Master acrilcs are already thin enough to run through an airbrush so you should'n have to thin it out, then again I don't know if you can get MM over there.
 

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StarCruiser said:
Enamels also - usually - have better glossyness (is that a word???) than acrylics, though that's not usually an issue with starships...
NEVER seen anything top Future [shot straight from an airbrush] in the gloss department, and it's acrylic.

Scottie
 

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As somebody that actually uses an airbrush on models, I completely disagree with some of the pro-acrylic comments posted here.

First of all acrylics are easy to clean up with water, TILL THEY DRY. And they dry fast. But the oft repeated "wisdom" that they are superior because of easy clean-up is not my experience. You can ruin an airbrush real easily with acrylic paint.

And yes there are acrylics you can use right out of the container in your airbrush. However, they are expensive, and frequently are mixed either too thin or too thick, either of which won't spray properly. You're better off learning to properly thin the paint you're using, whether it's acrylic or enamel.

I personally use both, both have their pro's & cons. I like how fast acrylics dry, the great color selection, and their low cost. However, enamels are more durable (after a long drying time) and look more realistic in metallic colors imho.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks a lot. that clears a lot of questions I had in mind for a while. by the way, can I use acrylic color on a model painted with enamel, just to make some touch-ups ? Will I see the difference ?

Butch
 

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That's a tough one to answer with a simple yes or no. If the color match is exact, you might get away with it, and you could use Dullcoat or Future to even out any differences in sheen.

But you'd probably be better off trying to use the original enamel to do the touch-ups.
 

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I have to agree with Phillip completely. Professionally, I use enamels in my airbrushes 90% of the time. In fact, the only time I used acryllic recently is for specific pearlescents which I have not found in enamels. I also find that enamels go on more evenly with a brush and come thick enough so that I can thin them out to any consistency I need. You can always thin paint, but I don't know quite how to THICKEN it.

A word or three on clean-up: I have accidentally left a brush caked with enamel overnight. I have a very good brush cleaner involving a silicone coil in a jar and a cleaner/conditioner solution. Within 5 minutes, the brush was clean. This won't work on acryllic. It's called the "Silicoil", you can get it at Hobby Lobby or any good art store.

IF you let ANY paint dry in an airbrush, it's a mess to clean up, and will involve the complete disassembly of the airbrush. What I do in this case is to wash all the parts in a bath of LACQUER THINNER. Warning: only use lacquer thinner in a VERY WELL VENTILLATED SPACE, it's some of the most noxious stuff you can use. Imagine opening up 300 jumbo size permanent markers in a small closet and locking yourself inside. However, it will soften both enamel and acryllic enough to be cleaned out of the metal airbrush parts. I imagine all this lacquer thinner will damage plastic airbrush parts and will make a sorry mess of brush hair.
 

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You'r better off using acrylics from a hobby shop instead of a craft store. Those you find in craft store are much thicker and harder to thin out for an airbrush, but you can thin them out for regular brush painting and some of them are a good match for the MM paints.
 
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