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Discussion Starter #1
Please keep in mind that I do not have an air brush. So all my painting has to be done by brush. But I am curious as to what types of paint, and brands of paint, others use when painting Styrene ???
 

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Sheesh, I think I've used them all. Acrylics in a can & airbrush, Good old enamels, even lacquers. The lacquer cans stink to high heaven, and prompted me to use a respirator from Home Depot. About $25.

I've had good results from all, and some disasters.

So all my painting has to be done by brush
Embrace the rattle can
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys for the advice,......And yes, I can definately embrace the rattle can. And I've always liked Testors, so that's cool.
 

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If your going to go with a rattle can, I think it's best to use Testor & Tamiya Lacquer paints as others have suggested. They go on much better then enamels, IMO. But, as mentioned, a respirator is a MUST. And spray outdoors if you don't have a spray booth. A plastic model is not worth ruining you health over!

As for brush painting, Tamiya stinks, Testors acrylic isn't much better. For acrylic, I've read that Vallejo is the best for brush painting, but I've never used the brand myself.
 

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Model Masters is another big name, owned by Testors these days -along with Floquil, Pactra and maybe one other. Tamiya, Vallejo, Revell are a few other names that spring to mind. Testors is the most common and affordable I think.

Even with 'hobby' enamels like Testors, you should use a respirator. Only acrylics are safe to breath. Acrylics are great as they wash up with soap and water, avoiding turpentine and other thinners, but they dry lighter than they look when wet which can be misleading. Wet or dry enamels look the same.

You can use artist oil paints from any art store if you are comfortable with those.

Alcald II is a great lacquer paint and the best choice if you are looking to do realistic metals in a variety of tones. MUST use respirator with lacquers of any kind!

Heck, even Sharpies or any 'art marker' can look good. :) Anything that makes color can be used on almost any styrene model. It all depends on what effect and look you want to achieve. Tempera anyone?
 

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If you should decide to use lacquer do not, I repeat DO NOT use lacqure over any type of paint or you are in for a world of MESS UP!!!!!!
 

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I started out with enamel paints back in the late 60s, and I still prefer enamels to acrylics--they take longer to fully dry/cure, but they're more durable and result in a better finish in my opinion. Rattle cans for basecoats, bottles and brushes for detail painting, usually Testors. As for primer, I like Testors' white primer in the rattle can--it covers nicely and, being white, it doesn't affect the color of your basecoats the way gray or red/orange primers can.

The key to painting with rattle cans is multiple light coats. Don't try to cover everything in one coat, build up your basecoat slowly. And never ever hold the can in one spot--always keep it moving. Also, heat the can before you spray. I soak mine in hot tap water for 5-10 minutes, shake them thoroughly (30-60 seconds), then spray. The heat makes the paint slightly less viscous, so it flows from the can and lays down on the surface of whatever I'm painting better.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've heard some say you have to primer styrene before painting it. While others say just shoot the paint straight to it. While others say you MUST lightly sand styrene before painting. Your opinions ???
 

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Just make absolutely sure no skin oils or anything else is on the surface of the plastic. I never prime styrene. Unless it's softer styrene from strips.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks alot Chris. You have been more help to me than you can imagine. I've been watching your builds, and paying attention. And I really appreciate you taking the time to document your builds and post pictures. I have learned alot that I didn't know. And of course it helps that you and I seem to have alot of the same interests (Especially the B-9 ROBOT). Again, thanks.
 

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I used to be an enamel guy. I started using acrylics in the 1990s and I know whats good. Testor Acryl is excellent for brush painting and so is Polly Scale. I read above that Testors acrylic isn't that good. Thats just not true I have hand brushed entire models with it with superb results. Another thing is you need practice to get the hang of using it. Use thin coats and allow several hours between coats. Some colors also cover better than others. On some colors you may have to apply more coats.
 

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Sheesh, I think I've used them all. Acrylics in a can & airbrush, Good old enamels, even lacquers. The lacquer cans stink to high heaven, and prompted me to use a respirator from Home Depot. About $25.

I've had good results from all, and some disasters.



Embrace the rattle can
Do you mean "Embrace the SPRAY CAN"? I don't understand WHY this seems to be an acceptable saying since it's so ignorant! The can doesn't rattle - the ball inside it rattles against the cans' insides to mix the paint more evenly that just simply shaking it. I don't know who started saying this first, but whoever it was needs their tongue nailed to their forehead!! The can doesn't rattle paint onto the surface - it SPRAYS it on! I know that some people don't know the correct term for this, but it should be obvious. I know that this sounds like I'm attacking you, but I'm not, K. I just wish this saying along with a few others would just GO AWAY! :mad:

The simple, but humble, and highly unappreciated SPRAY CAN that acts as a compressor, a regulator, an airline, a spray gun, and paint cup all in one is one of the most ingenious inventions of all time! This is a compact version of the spray paint set up that used to take 20 to 30 minutes to set up. All you have to do now is take the cap off! How much easier can it be? It can't spray itself, but it's ready any time you are to go paint anything, anytime. I just don't understand how stupidity seems to be so rampant among the public today, and why so many stupid things are becoming so widely accepted, but that's another story! :confused: Either way, the SPRAY CAN is so widely known to the world, and is the number one paint product used today. Why doesn't it get the recognition it deserves? I guess it's because after it's empty you can only throw it in the trash bin. :cry: Once its' job is done, so is it!

I take the mixing ball out of it after I use all the paint that will spray out. I then pour what ever is left into a paint jar. This is what I do when I have more than one can of paint, and when I need to save it for future projects. A SPRAY CAN will either make you, or break you. If it doesn't want to spray there's not much you can do unless you have another spay button that you can use. And if the butane (propellant) escapes from the can slowly over time (as it has in the past), the only thing left to do is throw it away, or punch a hole in the end of the can, and pour what's left into a jar for airbrushing. I also keep the spray button since you never know when you're going to need another. There have been times when one won't spray for some reason, or another. And some that don't even have a spray button at all! I've had the worst luck with Dutch Boy brand SPRAY PAINT! Not spraying, actually! I can't tell you how many of those I've tossed against the steel clothesline post when they don't spray. I took them back (of course). I won't ever buy the ones that say "Fresh look". They're the ones with the white label with blue lettering. These were only a couple bucks, but back in the day they used to be .99 cents, and were much better quality. Rant over.

If your going to go with a rattle can, I think it's best to use Testor & Tamiya Lacquer paints as others have suggested. They go on much better then enamels, IMO. But, as mentioned, a respirator is a MUST. And spray outdoors if you don't have a spray booth. A plastic model is not worth ruining you health over!

As for brush painting, Tamiya stinks, Testors acrylic isn't much better. For acrylic, I've read that Vallejo is the best for brush painting, but I've never used the brand myself.
This is why I SPRAY outside - NOT rattle, even though I have a respirator. It's a hassle to get it out every time I only want to spray a little paint into an old soup can to mix, or paint a tiny part.

If you should decide to use lacquer do not, I repeat DO NOT use lacqure over any type of paint or you are in for a world of MESS UP!!!!!!
Quite true! This happens as a result of paint incompatibility. Lacquer has a much hotter formulation, and can damage any type of other paint surface, even so-called "acrylic lacquer" which isn't really lacquer! Lacquer is made from nitrocellulose fiber, or tree gum spirits. It requires a much higher binder solvent base than acrylic can stand without being completely liquid because of the acidity of the solvents required to keep the cellulose fiber soft, and pliable.

Some people think that lacquer is, or can be made into an acrylic form, which it cannot since the two are incompatible. Acrylic isn't enamel, or vice-versa, but it can be used in conjunction with enamel since it's formulation isn't so hot chemically speaking. However acrylic can be solvent based in a higher than normal form requiring acetone to remove it, but that doesn't constitute it as a lacquer product.

You have to be careful which paint coating you buy - some say lacquer, but aren't. Testors has proven this more than once!! They claim that they make lacquer based products, but the model master paints, and dull cote are NOT lacquer, but acrylic based. You CANNOT spray lacquer over a decal, and not expect it to dissolve - I have FIRST hand experience with that!! Walthers sells a "Decal dulling varnish" that is polyester in formulation that is perfect for decals. I used it to restore a Fender Stratocaster neck (guitar part) that I have had for over seventeen years now. This saved me a lot money, and heartache had it not existed! ;)

Just make absolutely sure no skin oils or anything else is on the surface of the plastic. I never prime styrene. Unless it's softer styrene from strips.
Primer won't hurt styrene. I've used a lot of primers, including lacquer based, and acrylic based primers with success. The only time you have to worry about this is when you make a mistake such as spray too much on your model and get runs then attempt to clean it off with lacquer thinner, and have it mar the surface! :(


~ Chris​
 

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Well, without delving into abstraction too much I think technically you could say that the can does rattle because the device that causes the sound is encapsulated by the can itself.

Besides not all spray cans have the mixer device, and thus will not rattle when shaken. Therefore you could say that the 'Rattle Can' is a subclass of the superclass 'Spray Can'.

Thus 'Rattle Can' IS A 'Spray Can' but a 'Spray Can' IS NOT A 'Rattle Can'.


**slopes off to draw UML diagrams of various aerosol delivery systems
 

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Still not a "rattle can"! Only the mixing ball inside rattles against the inner wall of the can. The can still doesn't rattle! This doesn't justify a misnomer, or uephamism for it. :rolleyes:

This makes me think of the soup cans that we used in school to make cheap Christmas bells with. These were simply covered with wrapping paper, and had a sleigh bell inside tethered to the end of the can. THAT rattled!

~ Chris​
 

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It's really easy to get good results with mainstream hobby products. Plus, for the most part, you are not going to have compatability problems that you may get with automotive or hardware store products that are not made specifically for plastic models. That doesn't mean you can't get good results with those products, but if you don't know what you are doing, you can screw things up fast, and irreversibly.

Testors, Poly Scale (now discontinued), Tamiya, Humbrol etc. all make a variety of enamel and acrylic model paints that are styrene safe. Testors, Tamiya, and Gunze also make some styrene safe lacquers.

I use an airbrush, but for large models, simple color schemes, or schemes that require masking, I often use spray cans. I prefer the Tamiya spray lacquers... they dry very quickly, go on very thin, and are extremely durable, especially the metallic colors. Put them down first, and then you can hand paint details on top of them with other types of paint.

For painting little details you can use enamel or acrylic paints. Perhaps what kind you get is based on the color you want? Some shades may only be available in one formula or the other. I don't like a lot of acrylic metallics either, so often I use an enamel for those colors.

For brush painting larger areas or the whole model, I find some paints work much better (or worse) than others. While I like Tamiya acrylic jar paints for some detail work, and airbrush use, they are not the best to brush paint large areas. They dry too quickly to level out smoothly, and although they are acrylic, they are still solvent based and subsequent coats will easily lift up the first coat of paint.

The old Poly Scale stuff brush paints very well. I have had reasonable success with SOME of the Testors Acryl acrylic paints too. Oddly one color may work great and the next will be thin, gloppy crap.

Humbrol enamels work very well. You have to THOROUGHLY mix the paints (i use an electric stirrer) and let the individual color coats dry overnight or a bit more, but they are durable and you can paint colors on top of each other without lifting or clumping.

Revell Germany and Tamiya enamel paints also brush paint very well, although they are not sold in the USA so you need to get those mail order.

Vallejo acrylic paints are excellent for brush painting. They offer a vast line of colors in several series like Model Color, Model Air (airbrush), Game Color (sort of like the Games WOrkshop line) and a Railway Color line. They do not stick to bare plastic though, so you need a primer.

I prime some kits and don't prime others. It may depend on how much puttying, sanding etc I do first, or what color the plastic is. If your model is in black plastic and you want to paint it yellow... you will NEVER cover the black with just translucent yellow paint. And, as mentioned, some paints (mostly acrylics) don't stick well to bare plastic. Generally I use Tamiya Fine White or Grey spray primer.

This original Aurora Hunchback was hand painted with Vallejo Acrylics. I did the whole figure in about 6 hours spread out over two or three days



I did paint this Polar Lights Hunchback with Tamiya acrylic paints, and it was a pain. So yeah you can do it, but is it worth the hassle?



Atlantis/Aurora's Zorro was done mostly with Tamiya spray cans. I used Flat Black, Satin Black, GLoss Black, and Tire Black. The details were painted with Vallejo Acrylics. The base was spray painted with Tamiya Desert Sand and detailed with Vallejo washes.



Monarch's Sinbad was hand painted pretty much entirely with Vallejo acrylics except for the stone head which was airbrushed with a discontinued Testors acrylic ship paint



KP's MiG-17 was hand painted with Poly Scale Acrylics



Airfix's Bismarck and Hood were done with Tamiya spray paints for the grey and red shades, and Humbrol enamels for the decks and a lot of detail painting.



Even complicated, multi color schemes can be done with spray cans like this 1/72 Chance Vought Vindicator. The model was spray painted white first, and all subsequent colors sprayed on top. Tamiya tape was used to mask inbetween colors and Tamiya sprays were used entirely. The red, yellow, silver and black were all sprayed on.

 

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I know that this sounds like I'm attacking you, but I'm not, K. I just wish this saying along with a few others would just GO AWAY!
Although I probably won't go away, If your "spray can", that has a small ball-like device for mixing the paint, does not rattle when shaken-then throw it out and get one which does.

Seems like when I use Testors once, the second time I go to use the can the "rattler" won't rattle. And then the can spits paint droplets and ruins the finish. Additionally, I almost always let the cans sit in hot tap water to help the can be more pressurized.

Nothing worse than hitting cold morning styrene with a cold can of paint.
paraphrased quote from Randy Neubert, a master professional modeler.

Finally, I only started using that "R" term, after joining this forum. Never heard it before then...........:(
 

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Still not a "rattle can"! Only the mixing ball inside rattles against the inner wall of the can. The can still doesn't rattle! This doesn't justify a misnomer, or uephamism for it. :rolleyes:
~ Chris​
Doesn't matter how the sound is made, surely a "rattle" is the sum of its parts which makes the rattling noise.

I think youre getting rattled over semantics.

:p
 

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Wow, rattle can is what my high school shop teacher called spray cans back in the 70's, I've called them that since then.

Back on subject. Like djnick I use whichever brand or type of paint will give me the color or effect I'm lookin for. There is no one solution that covers everything.
 
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