Behavior of Tamiya acrylics thinned with lacquer thinners

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Behavior of Tamiya acrylics thinned with lacquer thinners

Joined: March 20th, 2008, 4:59 am

December 25th, 2011, 5:36 pm #1

Since coming to Japan I've become a great fan of painting with lacquers (from which also I got the impression that they're the most popular kind of paint around here), especially the Mr. Color line. However, I keep using acrylics quite often, generally Tamiya, since there are some colors that I prefer to the lacquer equivalents, and also because a lot of 'color recipes' in the internet are in Tamiya acrylics. Lately I've been reading a lot in forums of people saying that they are in some senses closer to lacquers than normal acrylics, and recommend thinning them with lacquer thinner for a smoother finish.

I'm interested in trying this, but I have some doubts of how they behave when thinned so, which I would like to ask to those who have tried this. Mainly it is, do they keep behaving like acrylics, although with a smoother finish, or do they behave as lacquers? The two most important aspects in which I have doubts are, can I paint over them with lacquer paint (as usually this is not a good idea, as the laqcuer-based paint disolves and becomes mixed with it, changing its color, in my experience), and if for some reason the thinner might help the 'grafting' of the paint to the model, which for me is by far the best advantage lacquers have over acrylics.

Thanks for the info!
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

December 26th, 2011, 6:30 pm #2

With lacquer thinner. Both the hardware store type and also Mr. Color thinner or Tamiya lacquer thinner.

They spray very very smoothly and tend not to plug up the brush much. If build up is an issue use Mr. Color levelling thinner which has a retarder/flow agent built it.

Tamiya acrylics are fairly durable. I use them as a base under Alclad lacquer, which dries instantly. I also spray Testors clear flat lacquer on top of them. You can always experiment if you are using Mr. Color as a top coat. If the paint dries quickly there should not be a problem.


DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: March 20th, 2008, 4:59 am

December 28th, 2011, 7:10 pm #3

Thanks for the information! Actually I still use Tamiya acrylics sometimes and I agree that they're durable enough over plastic, but one of the things that I like about lacquers is that they're also quite strong over metal. In my experience, acrylics peel off very easily over photoetched parts, and I do prefer to apply as few layers of paint as possible, so I'm not much of a fan of priming. Although I haven't tried a clear lacquer overcoat over acrylics. I suppose that might solve that problem!

About the lacquer over acrylic thing, well, the couple of times I tried that it dissolved and mixed with the acrylic undercoat, changing the colors. Although that might be because I always airbrush with Levelling Thinner, therefore with a slower dryin time?
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

December 28th, 2011, 10:54 pm #4

For the most part I spray with hardware store type lacquer thinner. I like the way it makes paint dry fast. I can use it in enamels, many acrylics, etc.

Metal should be primed, in my opinion. It is not for adhesion, but many metals will oxidize or corrode and they can do so under paint as well. And, a primer does give the paint something to bite into. I don't like to use too many layers of paint, etc. But often prime a kit that has a lot of metal so I get a good finish. But I do not use a lot of clear coats on my kits either. So I cut out some layers there.

There are some clear thin primers like Tamiya metal primer in a spray can. You can decant it and airbrush it. It is VERY thin.

For the most part I do not use many true lacquer paints like Mr. Color nor have I sprayed them over acrylics to notice any color shift or not.
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: September 21st, 2001, 12:15 pm

January 1st, 2012, 3:33 am #5

Thanks for the information! Actually I still use Tamiya acrylics sometimes and I agree that they're durable enough over plastic, but one of the things that I like about lacquers is that they're also quite strong over metal. In my experience, acrylics peel off very easily over photoetched parts, and I do prefer to apply as few layers of paint as possible, so I'm not much of a fan of priming. Although I haven't tried a clear lacquer overcoat over acrylics. I suppose that might solve that problem!

About the lacquer over acrylic thing, well, the couple of times I tried that it dissolved and mixed with the acrylic undercoat, changing the colors. Although that might be because I always airbrush with Levelling Thinner, therefore with a slower dryin time?
I didn't have much luck with lacquer thinner from Home Depot or Loews home improvement stores. It seemed to "destroy" the Tamiya paint when mixed together. Works great in cleaning out your airbrush though!

I had much better luck using Tamiya's Lacquer thinner, Mr Color lacquer thinner and Ganatinoes Lacquer thinner when it comes to thinning up Tamiya paint.



Peter Griffin: Any problem caused by a tank can be solved by a tank.
Peter Griffin: Any problem caused by a tank can be solved by a tank.
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

January 2nd, 2012, 4:24 pm #6

I have used Ace Hardware or Walmart lacquer thinner for 5-8 years now.

BUT I do agree the Tamiya stuff which just came out about a year and a half ago, or Mr. Color thinner is excellent. I would recommend those and they are also plastic safe.
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: April 27th, 2005, 11:54 pm

February 21st, 2012, 6:22 am #7

Since coming to Japan I've become a great fan of painting with lacquers (from which also I got the impression that they're the most popular kind of paint around here), especially the Mr. Color line. However, I keep using acrylics quite often, generally Tamiya, since there are some colors that I prefer to the lacquer equivalents, and also because a lot of 'color recipes' in the internet are in Tamiya acrylics. Lately I've been reading a lot in forums of people saying that they are in some senses closer to lacquers than normal acrylics, and recommend thinning them with lacquer thinner for a smoother finish.

I'm interested in trying this, but I have some doubts of how they behave when thinned so, which I would like to ask to those who have tried this. Mainly it is, do they keep behaving like acrylics, although with a smoother finish, or do they behave as lacquers? The two most important aspects in which I have doubts are, can I paint over them with lacquer paint (as usually this is not a good idea, as the laqcuer-based paint disolves and becomes mixed with it, changing its color, in my experience), and if for some reason the thinner might help the 'grafting' of the paint to the model, which for me is by far the best advantage lacquers have over acrylics.

Thanks for the info!
Just like when you buy paint to paint your house, do you know you should add a cup of water to every gallon??

I find that with water, the paint doesn't dry as fast. With lacquer, it drys really fast and has a tendency to go on rough, but most people add a clear to the mix, which I like to do at the end.

Alcohol works just as good!!

My biggest issue with Tamiya is that they really don't or won't say what their paints are based with. You can smell the alcohol when you open them up, but they end up saying, "thin with our thinner".

My issue is, why thin with what you are selling to use as a brush cleaner. If you look at the mix bowl when you add the paint, then the lacquer, see what it does to the paint. It separates it.

Does it work, yes. Is it the right medium, no. But when you use it in an airbrush, it works great, which is why I use it to clean.

Also, I'm not sure if most people do this, but you should remove the tip from your airbrush and run a small bottle cleaning brush dipped in thinner through the gun to clean out the paint. Just running a cleaner through does not clean 100%............... My tip for the year
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Joined: August 24th, 2011, 3:40 pm

March 18th, 2012, 2:02 pm #8

Since coming to Japan I've become a great fan of painting with lacquers (from which also I got the impression that they're the most popular kind of paint around here), especially the Mr. Color line. However, I keep using acrylics quite often, generally Tamiya, since there are some colors that I prefer to the lacquer equivalents, and also because a lot of 'color recipes' in the internet are in Tamiya acrylics. Lately I've been reading a lot in forums of people saying that they are in some senses closer to lacquers than normal acrylics, and recommend thinning them with lacquer thinner for a smoother finish.

I'm interested in trying this, but I have some doubts of how they behave when thinned so, which I would like to ask to those who have tried this. Mainly it is, do they keep behaving like acrylics, although with a smoother finish, or do they behave as lacquers? The two most important aspects in which I have doubts are, can I paint over them with lacquer paint (as usually this is not a good idea, as the laqcuer-based paint disolves and becomes mixed with it, changing its color, in my experience), and if for some reason the thinner might help the 'grafting' of the paint to the model, which for me is by far the best advantage lacquers have over acrylics.

Thanks for the info!
I have been using Tamiya acrylics all my life, in that time I have used water, windex, and isopropyl alcohol to thin them for airbrushing. I always got a rough gritty surface no matter what I mixed, or how much pressure I used. About 3 years ago I discovered Tamiyas laquer thinner with the yellow cap and quickly fell in love. It is like nite and day how well the paints go on the model. Super smooth, and consistent, no clogging the airbrushing either.
I believe that tamiya paints are not a true acrylic such as vallejo and that is why they work so well with the laquer thinner.
Just at a time when I was ready to give up on their paints I found the solution for perfect finnishes. Now if only I could find their paints these days!
Last edited by nathan211 on March 18th, 2012, 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 24th, 2011, 3:40 pm

March 18th, 2012, 2:56 pm #9

Just like when you buy paint to paint your house, do you know you should add a cup of water to every gallon??

I find that with water, the paint doesn't dry as fast. With lacquer, it drys really fast and has a tendency to go on rough, but most people add a clear to the mix, which I like to do at the end.

Alcohol works just as good!!

My biggest issue with Tamiya is that they really don't or won't say what their paints are based with. You can smell the alcohol when you open them up, but they end up saying, "thin with our thinner".

My issue is, why thin with what you are selling to use as a brush cleaner. If you look at the mix bowl when you add the paint, then the lacquer, see what it does to the paint. It separates it.

Does it work, yes. Is it the right medium, no. But when you use it in an airbrush, it works great, which is why I use it to clean.

Also, I'm not sure if most people do this, but you should remove the tip from your airbrush and run a small bottle cleaning brush dipped in thinner through the gun to clean out the paint. Just running a cleaner through does not clean 100%............... My tip for the year
Hello Ron,
I was wondering if you have used Tamiya's thinner with the yellow cap? I have the same issues you state but when I use Isoprophyl or water, and my finishes come out great when I use Tamiya's Yellow cap thinner. I agree that it dries fast, but I have only noticed smooth finishes when using it. What air pressure are you using?
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