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Greetings,

 

I'm currently building BlueJackets 80' ELCO PT Boat and I'm getting close to the point where I'll have to decide how to paint the hull.  I was wonderng if anyone had strong feelings for Model Master Enamle over Acrylic or vice versa.  I ordered the standard gray paint kit rather than the Pacific Green, I assumed I would get Acrylic paint, instead they provided Enamle. :mellow:

 

Thank,

 

Tim 

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Same as Larry. Mostly I am using acrylic paint, because it's (for me) much easier to clean up (and breathe, mainly when using an airbrush). Only problems seems to me with metal colours like copper, gold etc. Now I'm sitting here and listening to other experiences :-)

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I have been doing models for years (not wood mind you , very new to that) but plastics etc.  In my opinion, acrylics are the best bang for the buck.

 

Enamels have the  benefit of drying quite hard.  However, drying time tends to be longer, just by their nature they tend to have a powerful odor, and clean up can be a pain and cost money as you need special cleaning agents to properly clean your brushes - which in turn has a pretty strong odor.   They do thin well, and do airbrush well however...

 

Acrylics are much more user friendly.   They have a much quicker drying/curing time,  they higher quality paints tend to self level quite well (Model Master Acryls,  Polly-S, Humbrol to name a few) and they can clean up with soap and water.   They also airbursh equally well and can be thinned with water (although not the best) or alcohol, windex etc.  They also tend to be more resistant to orange peeling.   A drawback however is that because they do dry fast you want to be careful about working the paint to much;  a few strokes is usuall all you need, too much and it will begin drying and clumping.   You will in most cases want to seal acryclis when done with some kind of finish,  but in most cases that is good practice regardless of enamel, stain or acrylics.

 

Cost wise I think they tend to be comperable so no real benefit there.   Back in the day you had much more selection in enamels over acrylics, especially with metallics;  however advancements over the years in acrylics really have produced some very nice metallic formulas.

 

Blending paints,  acrylics blend very well even across brands.   Enamels sometimes can have some issues mixing brands depending on the carrier/base they use.    Also if you mix types,  make sure you don't put enamels over acrylics unless the acrylic is completely dry and even then don't work it to much - you run the risk of lifting the acrylic with the enamel. 

 

Hope that helps a bit;  again just my opinion but over the years I have really moved towards acrylics and really havn't looked back :)   They just are much more versatile and friendly and don't smell anywhere near as bad :P

 

 

Enjoy!!!

-Adam

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Thanks Adam, your input is very helpful.

 

In respect to Tim's question on sealer and primer, what do you suggest? On my first and only build, I only used primer on metal and the resin hull. Should I prime all bare wood?

 

I used wood sealer on a few parts where I wanted the pores filled to get a very smooth surface. Is this the right application for sealer??

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I remember the good old days using Humbrol paints on my plastic models. It used to cover brilliantly, even dark colours would cover easily in one coat. Nowadays there is no lead in paint so its very watery compared to the old paint with lead. Its a three coat finish to get decent coverage. I think acrylic is the way to go these days.

 

Yes, in the "good all days" I also used Humbrol Enamel, they were much better than all enamel colors I can now buy here in Germany. Don't know what happened. And so my decision to go for acrylic colors was an easy one.

 

As to a question above. Sometimes I do a clear coat on wood before using the colors, mainly when drawing straigt lines like waterlines etc. because it lessens the chance of leaking the color. Don't use too much color on wood, the structure should not be overcoated by colore.

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I used to use Floquil years ago.  But now I use acrylics.  I like the easy clean up.  As for airbushing just remember that acrylics dry very fast and will clog your aribrush if you do not clean it every now and then as you use it.

David B

Edited by dgbot
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I have used sanding sealer before painting and it works out very well.  Believe it or not, I found a sanding sealer at Michaels that works well.  Have also used a primer before painting metal fittings and this worked out fairly well.  Just my two cents.  Also agree with the above comments recommending acrylic paints.

Dave :) :)

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Same as Larry. Mostly I am using acrylic paint, because it's (for me) much easier to clean up (and breathe, mainly when using an airbrush). Only problems seems to me with metal colours like copper, gold etc. Now I'm sitting here and listening to other experiences :-)

 

Most acrilicss need an appropiate base coat for coverage and bring out the color better.

For bronze and gold I use a brown  base color. For steel, iron and silver a black base color.

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  • 2 months later...

I used to use Floquil years ago.  But now I use acrylics.  I like the easy clean up.  As for airbushing just remember that acrylics dry very fast and will clog your aribrush if you do not clean it every now and then as you use it.

David B

When using airbrush and acrylics how do u thin them and what is the ratio
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Ahoy Mates :D

 

I prefer enamels for these reasons

 

Better coverage: Less coats mean more detail. Not as important if you airbrush, very important if you hand brush. The paint flows better too.

 

Better durability: I tend to handle these parts more then when doing plastics. With water based paints a clear coat is required to protect the finish and when brush painting it results in another heavy coat softening more detail. Enamels do not require a clear coat.

 

Better color: This might just be me but I find enamel has a much richer color.  

 

Don’t get me wrong, I use Acrylics whenever possible. Painting bare wood, doing effects over enamels just to name a few but if you are only looking to own one type, I would recommend enamel.  

 

Used properly the fumes are very minimal. If the project is big then they can be an issue and proper steps should be taken.

Edited by JPett
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I use acrylics almost exclusively. They are easy to clean up. I get mine from Hobby Lobby. They sell a vast variety of artist's acrylics in tubes for 50 cents or so. They last forever. I thin and/or mix them as needed. I put on very thin coats and build them up, sanding in between as needed. You can get as deep a color as you like.

 

Good paint work takes time and cannot be rushed. The more care you take in the beginning, the better it looks in the end.

 

Russ

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I try to avoid painting metal. I usually chemically tone metal. However, I know that you can use primers on metal parts, but this also adds to the build up of paint that hide details. Chemical toners will not hide any details.

 

Bluejacket Shipcrafters sells Brass Brown and Brass Black toners and both of them work very well. They also sell a product to tone Britannia metal pieces.

 

I have heard great things about Winsor & Newton. I think Chuck might use that product on his models. The main thing to look at is to get some paint that is finely ground. That makes for a better paint job at scale.  

 

Russ

Edited by russ
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    A little up front disclosure:  Me and paint don't get along real well.  I prefer to use natural wood and only paint when I have to.  I have experimented with (and used almost exclusively on my SULTANA) India ink.  I have also used colored wood dyes.

 

    That having been said, I like acrylic because it allows (in my experience) more color variations.  By using the artist acrylics thinned with water you can get more earth tones and toned down colors rather than the very bright colors you get with many enamels. 

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Popeye,

 

    Try Badger paints.  Used normally for airbrushing, they can also be brushed on.  I found the reds cover quite well.  I originally got mine online...getting several colors of red since I didn't know if I could trust the color chart.  (I have subsequently opted for caboose red.  Santa Fe red isn't bad either.)  Recently, I found our local model train store carries it as well.  :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Chuck.  I'll look into Badger paints.  I'm currently painting the interior bulwarks of my Soliel Royal.  I have three coats on it now and it's nowhere near covering the blue plastic they are molded from.  The red paint seems to go on like a wash, unlike any other color I have used.

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What red do you use ? Some reds are made up from dyes, rather than pigments. So whatever you do, they are more washes than solid coats of paint. This is not a question of manufacturer or enamel vs. acrylic, but a question of the ingredients used.

 

wefalck

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Henry:

It has been quite a while since I painted plastic, so I am not sure what the issue might be. If the paint is thick enough, it ought to cover better than that. I have had good results using thin coats on wood and that is why I asked the question. Good luck with it. I hope you can get better results.

 

Russ

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