Starting from scratch...air brushing inside

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Glue Sniffer

Sep 28, 2021
Northern Mi
Hey Guys,

Im starting from scratch after a long break from the hobby. New tools you name it. I will be painting indoors on my workbench in my home office. Venelation isn't a huge problem as I'm in a corner with two windows within arms length. As im painting indoors however im guessing its a good idea for my to primary use acrylic paints. Am im going to be severely hampered by the use of these over the more caustic options? A make shift table top paint booth is going to be my only option.

I know with many of the more experienced modelers they get set on paint types and dont like to switch. Im painting WWII 1:48 common kits. Any thoughts?

T Bolt

Mar 24, 2010
Chicago, Illinois
I paint with enamels in my enclosed back porch. No spray booth but I use a respirator when spraying. The enamels are getting hard to find so I know I'll have to switch to acrylics but I'm not looking forward to it.


Nov 16, 2008
"Severely hampered"? No - there are good acrylic paints out there. In general, acrylics do not adhere to surfaces as well as lacquers (best) or enamels (second best) but if you take care to keep surfaces free of oils then you should have no issues. I use Tamiya paints but the drawback is a lack of specific colours so you need to mix them to achieve the correct shades. I think also that the term "acrylic" is loosely applied and some of these so-called acrylic paints do contain ingredients that I'd sooner not be breathing in.

Builder 2010

Senior Airman
Aug 25, 2016
Louisville, Kentucky
I've been using Tamiya paints since the mid-1980s and like them very much. Get yourself some isopropyl alcohol and us it as thinner for airbrushing. It's way less expensive than Tamiya brand. I clean the brush with water and some windex first, then IPA. Every once in a while I'll shoot some acetone or MEK through it to remove any dried stuff. Vallejo is good because of color selection, but DON'T USE IPA TO THIN. It will clump up and paint terribly. Use the Vallejo thinner for this job. Clean up with water and a little detergent, but don't use alcohol. Again, dried acrylic will loosen with acetone or MEK. If you're using a Chinese airbrush DON'T USE THE AGGRESSIVE SOLVENTS. They will eat the cheap o-rings used inside for seals. High quality airbrushes use teflon which is impervious to these solvents.


Jul 8, 2016
Yes, Vallejo paints are good. I have also used Mr. Color but I made the mistake of thinning it with Tamiya acrylic thinners because it was all I had. I wondered why it wasn’t coming out of the airbrush. It had gelled into a gloopy mess. I used Mr. Color thinners and it was fine. Moral: do not mix brands.

I agree thinning with Isopropyl alcohol. It is thinner than water and imparts a lovely finish.


Airman 1st Class
Aug 2, 2017
I too am a dedicated enamel fan. True North Paints has stepped up, and I have seamlessly began replacing my Model Master Enamels as they run out. They airbrush well and paint very smoothly with a hand brush also... enamel forever!


Wayne Little

Chief of the Air Staff
Oct 7, 2006
Adelaide Sth. Aust.
Tamiya Acrylics and thinner for me since forever, as Andy said limited for specific colours but that don't bother me, I like the challenge of mixing my colours as required. I use Gunze Acrylic Gloss and Flat coat and clean out with water and IPA with every colour sprayed....and use a Cheapie $30 Airbrush of which I have a couple of extras for spares or changes....I think I do alright...:)

Glue Sniffer

Sep 28, 2021
Northern Mi
Hey Guys,

Just thought id give an update. So I'm back at it full tilt. I made the decision to go with Vallejo paints...i figured if i had to start from scratch I might as will stick with a brand with great selection, great pricing, and the least toxic. Ive been priming and black basing with Rustoleum paint and primer mix and its worked great. Feathers nice and great adhesion. I spray that in the garage and then paint in my office once dried.

I use water and windex to clean...once in a great while i clean with vallejo ab cleaner. I thin with tap water and a little flow improver for the model color and spray the model air straight at about 20 psi.

I purchased an Iwata hp/cs and a Paasche Talon and figured id keep the one I liked better which for me was the Paasche. Both sprayed about the same but the Paasche was much easier to take down for cleaning. Was a couple bucks cheaper but that wasn't a factor.

I just finished my first kit (Revell P-40B) after an aborted attempt at a P51 and have two others on the bench...the Revell Spitfire mk ii and the B-25J The painting has been going issues what so ever painting with Model air and thinned model color.

The P-40 turned out great considering its 1. a horrible abortion of a kit that needs to be retired and 2. my first kit since Regan was in office and the Spit and B-25 are going well. Seems Revell/Monogram is fest or famine. I picked up their F4u and it was so bad after dry fitting i threw it in the trash. The P-40 kits is garbage as mentioned above. Super flimsy, horrible fit, obvious gaps and flaws in the 200 year old mold but it was at least accurate in shape and could be made to look passable. I have found the B-25 J and B-17G to be excellent however in both detail and fit and the Spit mk ii and p51d to be ok...though nowhere near as good as the new tool air fix options.

Anyways thanks everyone for the help...this has been a blessing and a joy

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