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Discussion Starter #1
I know I've seen bits and pieces of advice spread across multiple forums, but I thought I'd try to get this in one place:

Many of the thinners and solvents we use in model building are very expensive in the small quantities sold in hobby shops. I know it must be possible to get some of them in bulk/generic form.

So, what are the "generic" thinners or solvents you use for:
- Enamels
- Lacquers (metallizers)
- Acrylics (although I've heard that people strongly recommend using brand name for the particular paint manufacturer)
- Airbrush cleaning

And if generics aren't appropriate, where can you buy thinners and solvents in bulk so you don't go through several bottles of them in a single airbrushing session?

Thanks in advance,
Jonathan
 

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I buy laquer thinner a gallon at a time. I use it to thin Model Master enamels and any laquer based paint that I'm using. I use it to clean brushes and my airbrushes.

I thin Model Master and Tamiya acrylics with thinners designed for them.

I buy MEK a gallon at a time - I use it as solvent cement to build styrene kits - MEK even works on ABS if I need to glue ABS....

I use Epoxy cement to assemble resin kits and Super Glue to assemble Vinyl Kits.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Dave, that's very helpful.
 

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I've always used regular paint thinner (mineral spirits) to thin enamels and to clean brushes. You can get it cheaply by the gallon at any hardware store.
 

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I can't find anything that works on testors as well as their own thinner.

Lacquer thinner also makes a good plastic 'glue'. I put it in a syringe to apply. Lacquer thinner is a combination of several chemicals, so it melts most plastics. Too much will turn styrene to goop though. You can put lacquer thinner in a jar with styrene and make putty.
 

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Over the years doing small figure and miniatures I have used enamels and acrylics. I found that 409 is a perfect cleaner for acrylics and won't affect enamels. This is great for doing tinting and wash effects with acrylics over enamels. Also if you goof with an acrylic over an enamel base color, just wash it off with the help of 409.
I never tried removing an acrylic (or ink ) after it had set for several days. Inks though will tend to dissolve no matter how long they have been on. A protective clear coat is almost a must when done.

For enamels, testors, humbrol (yeah I still have a bunch) I always liked DioSol. It thinned them beutifully and never caused the carriers to gel. I have had the carriers gel up though even when using the "correct" thinners, but never with DioSol. DioSol was the Floquil thinner for years and I found that my local Hobby Town carries Floquil (yay!)
 

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otto said:
I dont use an airbrush, but it seems I've heard of people using Windex as a thiner- cleaner...Otto
Hi Otto :wave:

That trick works on some acrilic paints.....mostly for thining me thinks?
 

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Windex works great for thinning acrylics, the blue color doesn't affect the paint color. It's also what I usually run thru the airbrush to clean it.
 

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I use enamels and I always use automotive carb cleaner to quick clean my airbrush. It's cheap and comes in spray can with a plastic tube nozzle. Also use it to clean brushes since it dissolves old paint.

It also dissolves plastic so only use with all metal air brushes (Badger, Paasche, etc.)

Jim
 

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Arronax said:
I use enamels and I always use automotive carb cleaner to quick clean my airbrush. It's cheap and comes in spray can with a plastic tube nozzle. Also use it to clean brushes since it dissolves old paint.

It also dissolves plastic so only use with all metal air brushes (Badger, Paasche, etc.)

Jim
I work at an auto parts store and I was going to say exactly what you said!

to(m)
:p
 
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