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I know this has likely been discussed before, and I apologize. I've read a good bit on the subject, but still can't come around. 


Seems like the 'modern' consensus is acrylics, but I'm an old-school modeler that loved enamels. Anyone still use them? (Options for available sources would be appreciated) My 20+ year old Floquil collection is no longer an option. :( 

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Acrylics don't smell as much, are easier to clean up, and now offer a lot more variety of colours.  I find them much easier to airbrush (thinned properly and using a retarder - and again smell less when sprayed).  But generally harder to brush - need to be thinned right and again retarder helps slow drying time so you get a smoother surface.  So where possible, I'll still paint details with enamels.  Much better coverage and control for tiny parts.  And they seem to finish better on wooden ships.  So I use both depending on the situation.  Still use the old Humbrol tins.


Current Projects:

1/48 HMS Sirius cross-section by Modeler's Shipyard

1/72 HMS Vanguard cross section based on Victory Models full kit (researching)


Projects Awaiting Start:

1/48 HMS Endeavour cross-section (DeAgnosti)

1/72 HMS Victory cross-section (DeAgnosti)

1/24 Armed Longboat & English Pinnace (Model Shipways)












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Testor's Model Master line includes both acrylic and enamel color series.  The enamels are mostly "military" colors, but that includes a lot of hues.  Hobby Lobby carries Model Master and is in most major metropolitan areas.  


Scalecoat is also solvent based, with Scalecoat 1 formulated for wood and metal and Scalecoat 2 for plastic.  Mostly railroad colors, but many of those used the same cheap and available mineral pigments that went into marine paints.  For Scalecoat you probably need a traditional hobby shop if you still have one in your part of Texas, or it's available on line from Walthers (www.walthers.com) or from Minuteman Hobbies (www.minutemanscalemodels.com) in New Hampshire, which owns the Scalecoat line.  There's a color chart on the Minuteman site.



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Scalecoat I is a lacquer based paint, use it's listed thinner. Scalecoat II is an enamel. Both airbrush well. Never tried to brush paint with them. Used on brass loco shells, which I baked to set the finish.


Another enamel line is Colourcoats. Mostly steel warship colors, along with a line of aircraft colors. WWII and later.


Started: MS Bounty Longboat,

On Hold:  Heinkel USS Choctaw paper

Down the road: Shipyard HMC Alert 1/96 paper, Mamoli Constitution Cross, MS USN Picket Boat #1

Scratchbuild: Echo Cross Section


Member Nautical Research Guild

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Canute makes a distinction between enamels and lacquers. For the record: Lacquers can be re-solvated after application. Nitrocellulose, CAB and thermoplastic solvent borne acrylic resins are commonly used in lacquers. Enamels cannot be re-solvated readily after they fully cure. Both enamels and lacquers have superior wetting properties to water borne acrylics although the acrylics are rapidly catching up. Water is just a lousy solvent with very high surface tension (beading). For my money Colour Coats are the best solvent borne hobby paints I have ever used. They brush well and spray well after proper dilution.

On the water borne side Tamiya and Vallejo are my faves with excellent pigmentation and wetting for a water borne. I use water borne paints whenever I can for the ease of use and lack of solvents

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