Customs: Acrylics vs. Enamels

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by Jaekwong, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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    Alright,

    So i see some customizers using enamels like testors, and some using water based acrylics like tamiya

    A) Whats the difference?
    B) What is more suitable for what?
    C) Do enamels work for air brushes?
    D) Do you need to thin down enamels?
    E) Whats a good brand for enamels?

    and on the side note

    F) when clear coating, can we thin down with isopropyl?

    Thanks for answering these questions!
     
  2. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    some answers from someone who's used both many years,, and still use BOTH

    A)
    Enamels are oil based, acrylics water based.

    Enamels offer a better selection of metallics, and typically colors.

    Enamels are color-fast, the most important factor.
    Color-fast, means a figure painted with enamels will retain it's fresh new color pigments for 10+ years, where-as acrylics will fade after about 3.

    Enamels are harder to clean up
    Acrylics clean up with water

    Enamels take longer to dry
    Enamels are dry to the touch in 30 minutes
    Acrylics are in 10
    Enamels cure in 8-10 days
    Acrylics cure in 4-5 days

    B) Both are suitable for TFs, however, I prefer Enamels because...

    They bond to plastic better.
    They are more scratch-resistant.
    They provide a brilliant shine, or very dull matte finish, depending how applied.
    They don't leave brush strokes as prominent as acrylics do. being oil based, the paint will lay flat before drying.

    C) I prefer enamels over acrylics in an airbrush because:

    1 run of thinner and your airbrush is sparkling clean.
    They take longer to dry, so a full load in your airbrush won't gunk up the insides after 3 minutes of sitting un-used.
    They blend better. (again, they are oil based, so they pigments melt together and bond w/ each other better)

    D) Paint thinner. it's about $2.00 a quart in all hardware stores, even walmart.

    E) Testors - model masters.

    F) you can, but not needed. I usually just spray clear coat. And NEVER user krylon, it sucks. Use hobby clear coats like Tamaya or Testors (best) You will know why after trying both.
     
  3. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    A)Acrylic=Water Based, Enamels= Oil Based

    B)Enamels are stronger and self leveling paints that need to be thinned(brushes must also be cleaned with thinner) prior to use but do wield a strong and usually glossy finish. Acrylics are water based(easier clean up with just water) and are not self leveling. They do not always need thinning and they dry much quicker than enamels do. Both can be used with great results for any kind of action figure.

    C)All paints can be used with an airbrush when properly thinned.

    D)Yes, they come in the bottle thick(like oil)and should be thinned with something so it does not cover up details.

    E) Testors

    F)Clear Coat does not need thinning but if you want to it really depends on the sealer. Use a can of testors clear coat, future floor finish or Krylon clear coat for best results.

    *Regardless of what type of pain and what applicator you or anyone chooses, please take the proper preparations before actually painting. Always sand rubbing areas down to reduce rubbing. Always primer your figure, priming first makes sure that the paint you use will stick to the figure and reduce chipping. When doing this it will not matter what type of paint you use because the preparation you did will make for a great top finish and with a good sealing your figures should be nice and durable.

    *Edit*
    LOL I've been beat!
     
  4. Kouri

    Kouri kupo

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    And um, where do acrylic enamels stand? o.o *pokes an oddly labeled can of paint*
     
  5. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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    G)So any ol' paint thinner will work?
    H)Can i use Isopropyl for a paint thinner for enamel?
    I) Can i use a brush for enamels? or they are only best with airbrushing?
     
  6. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't use them enough to know for sure but when I paint cars that is what the paint is called. What brand are you using?
    G)Yes
    H)Yes
    I)Yes they are self leveling so you should not have any brush strokes but airbrushes are better so you can get thin even layers easier.
     
  7. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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    Wow how come it sounds like enamels are actaully better than acrylics?? lol and how come i didnt know about this!!
     
  8. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Cause sometimes they are harder to use and if you don't prime and prep your figure right, the paint can mess up the plastic or never dry and stay tacky.
     
  9. returnofplex

    returnofplex Well-Known Member

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    Enamel used to be exclusively associated with oil based products. Enamel is actually used now as a term for how hard a paint finish dries to. Thats why when you buy house paint and it's called a "latex semi-gloss enamel" it can be confusing. I've been in the coatings industry for about 12 years now, and the terminology has always been confusing. The best thing to do is to look at whatever paint your considering, and see what is recommended to thin it with. If it's water, it's a dead give away that it's latex or acrylic(water based products).
    I prefer oil enamels just for the hardness of finish, as well as the flow and leveling properties. Plus oil enamels will stick to unprimed surfaces a little better. This is just my preference.
     
  10. returnofplex

    returnofplex Well-Known Member

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    This is true. For some reason, certain types of plastic which are more "rubbery" for lack of a better term, the oil based products will never seem to cure properly. Maybe it's because of the presence of more petroleum in the plastic, I'm not 100% on that. Anyway, I get around it by putting about three coats of a matte finish, clear acrylic on the surface to seal it first. I do this instead of acrylic primer because it doesn't build to as thick or uneven of a coat. After the "seal", I usually have no problems with the curing.
     
  11. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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    Then the question is, whats the best way to "properly prime and prep" your figure?

    What type of primer do you use? or is most suitable

    also another question stupid... but

    is it possible to dry brush with an airbrush? only a BRUSH BRUSH rite? lol
     
  12. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Most swear by a can of Krylon Fusion(Including myself) use automotive primer. Also drybrushing can only be done with an actual brush.
     
  13. Jaekwong

    Jaekwong Well-Known Member

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  14. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    It is the regular fusion for plastic. I am not to sure about what auto primer to use but I can almost guarantee that Krylon is way cheaper and easier to get at you local walmart.
     
  15. returnofplex

    returnofplex Well-Known Member

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    I've had great luck with the krylon automotive primer. It sands really well.
     
  16. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    automotive primer is nice, but requires that extra sanding. from experience, I get the same durability with krylon fusion (without sanding) as I do auto-primer,
     
  17. mampy

    mampy Movie-Accurate Mampy

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    Can Krylon Fusion be used as a primer for Tamiya acrylics? Or should I stick to the Tamiya Brush-on Surface Primer? I'm still quite confused on what to use for my Ironhide.
     
  18. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    I personally use Krylon Fusion for any paint type. it's the bridge between your paint and the plastic.

    fusion sticks to plastic, paint (any) sticks to fusion.
     
  19. Ne0

    Ne0 Well-Known Member

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    I have noticed that when I use the Krylon fusion clear coat (matt or satin) it takes some of the paint off, how do you guys get around that?

    Am I just spaying too thick of a coat? I have tried it as a sealer for both enamel and acrylics paints.

    Another problem I am having is getting a smooth surface with the sealer.
     
  20. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    1st of all, make sure your paint is completely cured. I'd wait 4 days minimum.

    2nd of all, don't use Krylon clear coat. I've had nothing but problems with it. It's not intended for models, so why use it? because it's cheap? honestly, if you are going to invest 10, 20, sometimes 100 hours into a repaint, does a few more dollars per can really even matter? go with Testor's or Tamaya finish coats.
     

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