Painting models didnt know where it would fit so I put it here

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by who_dat73, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    Hey working on a new model for the layout and was wondering since I cant make to the LHS cept maby once every three months is it possable and recemended to paint a model with say Folk Art Acrylic paint like you can buy at Wally World I am building a Cornerstone Clarksville Depot and will be trying my airbrush technique but jsut want to know if this is a go or no-go.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are trying for a prototype scheme on a locomotive or car, you need model railroad colors. My experience with craft paints is that I have never found anything to match railroad colors. For painting buildings vehicles, or lpb's, pick the craft paint colors you want. Also craft paint colors are great for weathering.
  3. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Acrylic paint

    I have been using those "Folk Art" plus "Craft Smart" and "Apple Barrel" acrylic paints for a while. They do not rub off even if you do not coat them.

    Tip - Do not try and coat them with Poly sealants/protective coatings as they tend to dissolve into the poly or run even after a few days of drying. Stick with shellac, varnish (even spar varnish has worked for me) or other water based top coat sealants. I suspect most people use some form of Dull Coat for weathering and that has worked OK since most are varnished based.

    No smell, easy to clean with water or damp Q-tip and goes on smooth. I have not thinned one yet to try in my air guns but have been meaning to once I get a couple replacement filters for my mask.

    Tip - Do not use a primer on anything except wood because it takes a couple coats to hide the primer. I found this out using black, various browns and various greens (hand mixed colors). The other reason to not use a primer is that with the extra coats, you will lose any molded in details wall1

    They have not reacted with any glues or plastics like some of the metalized enamels have done to me.

    The one thing that does require patience and an eye for color is that they do not come in pre-mixed colors for most anything and as noted by Russ, that is what you will really want for the engines unless you are making up your own railroad company with its own custom colors...

    Tip - If you are mixing colors for large surface areas, use a large container so you have enough to do more later. I finally mixed a good match for real wooden ties on the tracks near me but only had about 5 ounces. Of course I did not remember what I had added to get the hue and saturation just right and spent another couple hours making more when I wanted some.:roll:
  4. who_dat73

    who_dat73 Member

    Thanks for the advice guys, I have in mind the colors I want just didnt know if it would come off if I used them on a model and didnt want to goof this up since this is middel of the layout focal point:thumb:
  5. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Be very careful using acrylics with an airbrush. Acrylics can destroy a paint brush if they are not fully cleaned. I did this to my old airbrush by accident. I've read this elsewhere as well. You must be very, very certain that the airbrush is clean. Once it dries as a clog in the brush...there is no removing it...the brush is effectively ruined.

    Further, I've read that Windshield Wiper fluid helps as a thinner to airbrush with acrylics.

    I personally won't put anything other than solvent based paints in my airbrush.
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I don't have an airbrush, so consequently everything on my layout is brush painted. Structures, track, rolling stock, all that. I use the craft paints exclusively, Folk Art, Apple something, and one other brand that I can't remember the name. Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, whatever they have. I shouldn't say "exclusively" because I use both the craft paint and powders for weathering. Oh... and I use regular ol' cheap latex house paint for the scenery base.
  7. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Badger, Pactra and Tamiya

    I just went through my old box of 'little bottle' paints and found I have acrylic paints from Badger, Pactra and Tamiya.

    Yes, that is the Badger Air Brush Company out of Franklin Park, IL. The Badger ones include things like "Western Pacific Orange", "Amtrak Red" and "Engine Black" so there is hope if you get frustrated mixing colors.

    I also found two bottles of Tamiya Thinner. It smells like rubbing alcohol, is labeled "Flammable" but is also "Water soluble"...

    Since the "Amtrak Red" and one of the thinners are filled to about 1/4, I suspect I used them during my 'Amtrak fascination phase' of model railroading, but I do not remember on what or if I used one of my guns...
  8. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    I use craft acrylics all the time on both wood and styrene and they do work. My brand of choice is Americana, as I find the colors have higher pigmentation and coverage.

    My experience with styrene is that a primer is necessary -- especially with lighter or thin pigmented colors (reds, yellows, whites) and if you're trying to cover a darker color (red, green, black) you may end up needing multiple coats without a good primer. These may be the situations where a more expensive airbrush formulated acrylic may be the best bet.

    For weathering, make sure you use a spray on sealer like dullcoat before you use washes -- not all acrylics end up permanent and I've had some literally wash away with the wash. Also be careful with mixing rubbing alcohol based washes with dullcoat as a white scale can form due to a chemical reaction (this will go away after another coat of dullcoat, though)

    I have used an airbrush with acrylics and it seems to work fine (although cleaning everything well is essential as noted above -- an external mix airbrush overcomes some of this). Testors/Aztek makes an acrylic craft paint nozzle that is especially designed for using craft type paints; this may be worth a look if you use their products (cost about $12 at Walthers I think).

    Craft paints are very thick and will need to be thinned to airbrush. I thin with distilled water -- to a whole milk or light cream consistency, usually 2 parts water to one part paint, but it varies. If you use alcohol or windshield fluid you will definitely need a respirator or spray booth to avoid inhaling toxins (and I think it's probably best to use one or both anyway). Also test in advance - denatured rubbing alcohol sometimes has a reaction with acrylic pigment and makes a gummy mess.

    A lot of this takes practice. Grab some junk boxcars and spend some time getting to know your medium and tools before you commit to a front and center project.

  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Rubbing alcohol is not denatured. It is isopropyl, and will frequently "shock" acryllic paints. Denatured is found as a paint thinner in home stores. I like denatured alcohol for thinning instead of distilled water because I think it will dry quicker. Harbor Freight Tools sells an air breush for under $10.00. I bought 2 or 3 of them for $5.00 each on sale. I would reccomend using a cheap air brush for acryllics if you want to use an air brush. The Harbor Freight units are single action, external mix brushes, but they are cheap enough to throw away if they get clogged with paint.
  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Those are some practical, wise words! Especially regarding the $5-$10 airbrushes.

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