Friday, April 22, 2011

Tamiya Acrylics, Lacquer Flo, Airbrushing and You

Tip dry: the one thing we all hate when airbrushing our water-based acrylic paints. Oddly enough, Tamiya Acrylic paints are water-soluble and contains isopropanol and glycol ethers (says so in the labels). I have no problems about using Tamiya's Acrylic thinner (X-20A), I've used it through my AB, no problems. But searching around the 'net, people say they also use Tamiya's Lacquer thinner with no ill effects.

Lacquer thinners and acrylic paints: recipe for disaster?

I've read people swear by this so decided to try it out. Unfortunately I didn't notice if it's sold at the nearest hobby modeller's store (read: >40kms away) so went with the next best thing: hardwarestore-bought lacquer flo. (I didn't go for the thinner, as I still have lacquer flo stocked for brush cleaning and thinning acrylic-epoxy paints decanted from rattlecans).

(TL;DR Read on for the experiment...)

On with the test

Red things go fastah!

Since I'm doing Blood Angels, I decided to test the lacquer flo with Tamiya's XF-7 Flat Red.

With a suitable container, I mixed one loaded brush of the paint with the lacquer flo.

Above is the lacquer flo + Tamiya Flat Red already mixed. No problems so far (I'm still not sure about the 'consistency of milk' thingy but I'd go with this for AB use)

One loaded brush onto the paper towel. Just testing consistency; I'd use this as a wash if it's not mostly lacquer :p (no problems still: paint isn't clumping together or any other wierd reactions). Room's starting to smell of lacquer, be sure it's either properly ventilated or am using a respirator...

Some more paper towel test. Now you may have noticed that this particular paper towel already has some red stains: I've already used this while ABing some figures before doing this blog entry :p (some test sprays of the AB are evident to the left of the thinned paint container/pointed by the toothpick)

The figures airbrushed with flat red thinned with lacquer flo that I mentioned before. So, this means I can finally use the airbrush for things other than priming and acrylic-epoxy rattlecan paints and without the fear of tip-drying every so often (specially being in a tropical country).

As a parting pic, below is the place where I airbrush: exposed to the elements like sun, wind and dust :p

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