Xtracolor Paint?

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by dneid, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. dneid

    dneid Active Member

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    Hey, All,
    I have seen several of you post comments about Xtracolor paints. I have a couple of questions for you all:
    1) Enamel or acrylic?
    2) Advantages?
    3) Still in production?
    4) if yes for 3, from who?

    Dale
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Xtracolour are enamel paints, and Xtracrylic are acrylic paints.
    The main advantages of Xtracolour are that they are superb enamels, giving a smooth, gloss surface, ready for decals, available in a very large range of camouflage, airline, metallic and standard colours. Finish with a desired clear coat - eg semi-matt, matt, gloss etc. (Interior colours, and such colours as Zinc Chromate, tyre black, rubber etc, are available in matt finish)
    Yes, they are very much in production, marketed through Hannant's in the UK.
    However, there are restrictions on sending flammable liquids (or any liquids, according to Royal Mail) via the postal service. At present, these restrictions mean surface mail only from the UK.
    BUT!
    Hannant's have announced that they foresee further postal restrictions in the near future, which might restrict sending any fluids by any postal means, including UK, except courier.
    I think that Squadron may be the distributor in the USA, or, if in doubt, a quick e-mail to Hannat's should provide info on who/where etc stocks in various countries.
    They are excellent paints, and I can thoroughly recommend them. I've recently used some which I've had for around 20+ years, without any problem.
    Just a pity they aren't stocked locally to me, which would allow me to replace my Humbrol as needed.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. dneid

    dneid Active Member

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    Hey, Terry,
    That is EXACTLY the information I am looking for. Now the question becomes, given that Xtracolor is an enamel based paint, how do they stack up to Testor's Model Master enamels? I have a significant collection of Testor's and I do like them. Granted, most of what I shoot is flat with the need for Future prior to decaling. So, I put the question to the forum.....

    1) Are Xtracolor paints worth the effort and cost to replace my Model Master's at this time? I know this
    is a very subjective way to frame the question. I am looking for your experiences between the 2 paints.

    Thanks in advance for your time, all.

    Dale
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I haven't used MM paints - yet. I did have some experience of Testor's enamels, a long time ago, and they reminded me very much of the old Airfix paints, back in the late 1960s / early '70's. To be honest, I thought they were terrible - BUT! That was the old paint - I believe the MM paints are very good, and I've been considering changing to either those, or Xtracolour. My problem is getting paints locally, in a hurry, when I need just the odd tin or two. If the postal restrictions in the UK do come into force, then I'm stuck with Humbrol, which I've used for 50 years, but is now [email protected] since the demise of Humbrol as a company, with only the name remaining, on paints made God knows where.
    I can say, however, that the Xtracolour really are superb paints, and airbrush beautifully. Brush-painting gives very good results too, although the paint must be thoroughly stirred and, whilst brushing, it should be 'laid off' properly, to avoid tiny air bubbles.
    I've only identified two very small disadvantages - being gloss, drying time is longer, and hence the possibility of being prone to dust. Also, some 'enhancement' techniques, such as using a pencil on panel lines or control surface joints, can't be achieved as well, and are better done after applying a matt clear coat, with a final 'sealing' coat to follow.
    The major advantages are the ability to apply decals without first applying a gloss coat, and the huge range of accurate camouflage colours, bearing in mind that, like any 'modelling' paint scheme, allowances still have to be made for 'scale colour'.
    Is changing worth the effort?
    If you want the advantage of a gloss finish and consistent, accurate colours, then perhaps the answer is yes.
    However, as far as quality, depth of colour, and coverage are concerned, I doubt there would be an advantage, although of course I can't be definite, not having (yet) used the MM paints.
    It's purely a matter of personal choice, and it might be worth trying, say, one colour of the Xtracolour range, then decide.
    One final word regarding Xtracolour - when it comes to their metallic paints, I have yet to find any paint (not including specialist coatings such as Alclad II) which can match the quality and appearance. For example, their 'Steel' actually looks like steel when applied, and same for their 'Oily Steel' etc., unlike some paints, which look like dull grey with a background hint of silver.
     
  5. dneid

    dneid Active Member

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    Well, I cannot find anyone selling Xtracolor in the US yet. I did send an email to Hannat's to ask them as well. No reply yet. I am very curious to try these paints now.
    Dale
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Did you send the e-mail via their web-site, or direct, using their e-mail address?
    I sent them a message via the e-mail link on their web-site on two occasions, without receiving replies, but have had replies when sending direct. The last message was about four days ago, asking about postal restrictions on paints in the UK - as yet, no reply, and I'm not convinced that the 'system' actually worked as it should.
    Restrictions for sending paints outside the UK meant surface mail only - and no aerosols can be sent - but if further restrictions are imposed by Royal Mail, then it might not be possible to order and receive paints direct from Hannant's at all.
    I'm fairly sure they have a distributor in the USA for Xtracolour paints - if you don't get a reply in, say, the next four or five days, let me know via a PM, and I'll 'phone them and establish a) the situation regarding sending paints, and b) if they have an outlet for them in the 'States, and if so, who and where.
    Given that you can obtain some, I feel sure that you'll approve.
     
  7. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

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    Xtra Color is also a great source of specific airline colors. the first Xtra Color I used was Southwest Airlines Desert Gold, which precisely replicates the desert gold color of the old Southwest Airlines livery. you might try airline hobby supply inc. Airline Hobby Supplies, Airliner Models and Collectables.
     
  8. mikefly

    mikefly New Member

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    Hey Guys...
    I am a FNG here, but felt the need to chime in...
    1st...XtraColor is IMO without a doubt the best on the market...unfortunately...that's the problem, the U.S. market...getting it here.
    2nd...Widest selection, and most accurate colors I have found...
    3rd...Most are gloss finish, no need to top coat for decals.
    Below, all XtraColors w/ Model Master Flat topcoat
    View attachment 229372
    Now, the bad part...
    Thinning for airbrush work needs XtraColot fast dry thinner...
    I believe the paint is cellulose based (?) lacquer thinner doesn't
    quite cut it.
    And,
    If stored in a glass container, (mix jar) shelf life is limited to 7-10 days...needs to be in a tin.
    Good news...Hannants sells empty 14ml tins for mixing.
    Availability...
    Roll Models (as of 6 months ago) carried a limited supply...and yup..took weeks.
    Royal Mail is becoming a Royal Pain, and not sure if its going to improve.

    I just got back last night from London...
    While there I spoke with Garry at Hannants in Colindale...
    Shipping is going to be a problem in the foreseeable future, but they are trying.

    LHR security is a HUGE impediment (even for Crews)...
    I had my "18 tins" in my quart bag...legally allowable... and you would have thought it was U-235.

    But, got 'em home, so my next 4-5 builds should stay on schedule.

    If I get any further intel from "over there" I will pass it along.

    Cheers
    Mike
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good stuff Mike, and welcome to the forum.
    I've normally just used white spirit for thinning - the paints are enamels, not cellulose base, as far as i'm aware. (cellulose could possibly have a detrimental effect on plastic). Lacquer thinners should not be used with any enamel based paint - it can cause separation of pigment and carrier.
    In their latest e-mail newsletter,yesterday, Hannant's have just announced that they can now send paints again, in the UKand EU at least, although aerosols are still a no go. The position regarding sending to countries other than those in the EU has not yet been clarified, and as far as is know there is no change.
     
  10. dneid

    dneid Active Member

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    Hey, Terry,
    I wanted to let you know I finally received my Xtracolor paints the other day from Rolls. I bought a bunch of RAF colors and will use these when I start on a Hurricane after the Dora build. Thank you for all the help with this.
    Dale
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Good to hear Dale, and you're welcome.
    Now that the shipping situation has been clarified, I'll be ordering a fair stock of paints myself - got to get away from Humbrol, as the quality and inconsistent colour matching is driving me nuts. Shame, after fifty years of using the best modelling paints, that I have to change.
     
  12. stevebrauning

    stevebrauning New Member

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    #12 stevebrauning, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2015
    I use both and find them complementary: for some things Xtracolor are best, like the previous posts, for camouflage due to the accurate colors and gloss finish; Model Master enamels are good for details painting, interiors, etc. I mostly airbrush them, But as indicated in other posts, you have to treat them more carefully than Model Master which is very forgiving paint. Xtra needs high quality thinner. I have started using Sherwin Williams Flo Glo which is made for gloss automotive finish, and it really helps make a beautiful finish. A couple other tricks: when mixed with thinner, it breaks down fairly quickly. The dry-time with Flo Glo is quite extended: more than 24 hrs. 48 hrs is better.
     
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