Airbrushing metalic Humbrol enamel, what do you thin it with?

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by gijive, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. gijive

    gijive Member

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    Ok, New to airbrushing, about to try doing some spraying with Humbrol paint, metal cote 27001 to be exact. Metalic silver colour. What do you thin it with? I have some Terps handy will this do it?

    Only sprayed Tamiya acrylic paint thined with brand thinner or water, both work, so far.

    Any top tips?
     
  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Humbrol offers the thinner for both enamels and acrylic paints.So I suggest to use the one for the kind of paint you use.I'm not sure if the terps can be used as a thinner so I suggest to make a test before you decide to use it.Get small amount of the paint and add some drops of the terps.Check if there the grains appear.If the enamel get nubbling don't use it. If there aren't nubbles try to paint with a brush on a piece of white cardboard.Look if the enamel is applied smoothly.
     
  3. gijive

    gijive Member

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    Thanks the thinner I have is Tamiya acrylic thinner, it smells wrong for enamel paint.
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    A thinner for acrylic paints cannot be use for enamels.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Wurger is right on both counts. DO NOT try to use acrylic thinner with enamel paints. For your Humbrol enamel, if it is real Turps, this will probably cause separation of the pigment and oils, more so with a metallic paint, where the metal particles will 'float out'. Synthetic turps (Turps substitute) is normally OK, but it's best to use either Humbrol thinners, which is finely refined, or ordinary White Spirit. I use the latter normally, from B&Q, as it is much cheaper to buy it in larger bottles there, than a small can at the model shop.
    Thinning should start at about 40% thinner but, for metallics, it may need less. The easy way to see if the thinning is correct, is to let the mixed paint run down the side of the paint jar - it should flow just like milk. ALWAYS try spraying on something else first ESPECIALLY with metalics, to see if it sprays freely, smoothly, and will start to dry. NOTE - you will need to ensure your airbrush is doubly clean after spraying enemel metallics, as the metalizer will tend to dry, leaving a metal residue that WILL effect any subsequent paint used.
     
  6. gijive

    gijive Member

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    Right, It is Turps Substitute and seems to work ok, I mixed it, sprayed it badly as I am a beginner and its not the best air brush in the world. I over sprayed some areas, got my finger print on one bit, usual hair brain stuff. So laid it down to rest for an hour, went back and wiped over the worst bit with my finger, Low and behold it smoothed out really nicely and so I did the same to rest of parts, it looks really good. Still to put together and re-spray after any sanding, filler etc, but fingers crossed. Cleaned brush as best I could with more turps Sub. Could the finger be a new technique?

    Funny I usually buy White spirit but bought turps Sub last time.
     
  7. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Sounds like you're off to a good start Chris. Just keep practising; even now, I still sometimes 'doodle' with the airbrush, spraying ink onto paper, just to keep 'my hand in', and I ALWAYS have a practice spray before I hit a model. I have an old 1/32nd model that got seriously 'battle damaged' years ago, which I use as a 'hack' for trials, especially with different mixes of metallic paints. It certainly helps when I'm trying to achieve varying panel shades etc, as I can try it first on the 'hack'.
     
  8. antoni

    antoni Banned

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    Metalcotes are a special paint and not the same as the enamels. Notice the difference in smell. That’s naphtha, the lightest petroleum distillate. Similar to petrol but more volatile. Humbrol thinners are also naphtha. Lighter fuel as well, and some people use that. You could also use lacquer thinners. Turps substitute is basically paraffin and is meant to be used for cleaning brushes. Look for White Sprit which is more refined and better quality than Turps Substite and made for thinning paint.

    As you discovered by accident, Metalcotes dry with powdery deposit on the surface that polishes off with a soft cloth. You are actually meant to do that. This is much more noticeable with Steel and Gunmetal which are graphite based.
     
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