Acrylic paint thinner

Winston65

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Aug 14, 2021
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Took a leap of faith on concocting my own acrylic paint thinner. I used 67% distilled water, 33% food grade ethanol(everclear), and 5ml each of Liquitex Flow Aid and Slow-Dri Medium. Will test this mix with Tamiya acrylic and just see what happens. Any suggestions of mix ratios? My recipe made 480ml plus mediums. Thanks to all.
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
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I'll be curious to hear your results using it with Tamiya acrylic. Through trial and error, I settled on using Tamiya's proprietary thinner with their acrylics, especially for hand-brushing.

I have used lacquer thinner (generic brand) to thin them for airbrushing. I read that lacquer thinner can produce an absolute dead-flat matte finish. I didn't notice enough of a difference to use lacquer thinner exclusively for that purpose.
 

Peppylepugh

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Mar 27, 2012
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176
I'll be curious to hear your results using it with Tamiya acrylic. Through trial and error, I settled on using Tamiya's proprietary thinner with their acrylics, especially for hand-brushing.

I have used lacquer thinner (generic brand) to thin them for airbrushing. I read that lacquer thinner can produce an absolute dead-flat matte finish. I didn't notice enough of a difference to use lacquer thinner exclusively for that purpose.
I’m kinda’ curious now Baron.
Do you use the thinner straight for brush painting? No flo-aid, no retarder?
I have recently switched to Tamiya almost exclusively, across the board, and am looking to dial them in for brush work.
Rebelsatcloudnine, on yt finds they are easy to work with, despite the wives’ tales.
 

Winston65

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Aug 14, 2021
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Tamiya X20a thinner will save you a lot of headaches.
Easy to say, but where I live the only hobby shop is about 70 miles away. So it's mail order and high shipping costs or make do. Shipping costs are eating my lunch. If you've got a local shop, patronize them and keep them in business.
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
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I’m kinda’ curious now Baron.
Do you use the thinner straight for brush painting? No flo-aid, no retarder?
I have recently switched to Tamiya almost exclusively, across the board, and am looking to dial them in for brush work.
Rebelsatcloudnine, on yt finds they are easy to work with, despite the wives’ tales.
Yep, just the thinner, no other additives. Personally, I haven't seen the need to use them, though I don't discourage anyone from using them, either. Certainly try them and see.

When I first started using Tamiya acrylics, it was to paint my gloss figures. I painted right from the jar, just as I did with my Testor gloss enamels, Model Master enamels and acrylics, Pactra "acrylic enamels", and so on. And I found some of the issues other people discuss on various forums-the paint would often clump, a second coat could lift off a first coat, the paint went on too thick-those are the most common complaints.

Some colors were worse than others-black and white, for example, seemed to be the worst for these problems. On the other hand, I used the flat gray as a primer on metal figures and it did the job.

But as I started to use an airbrush, I read somewhere that Tamiya's acrylics are formulated for airbrushing and meant to be thinned. That gave me the idea to thin the paints for handbrushing. And I started looking for a thinner. That's when I tried water, not realizing that they're not water-based acrylics. Then I read that they're alcohol-based, so I tried isopropyl. Neither water nor isopropyl worked-the problems persisted.

My Dutchy senses* had gotten the better of me before then, and I avoided Tamiya's thinner because of its cost. But I overcame them, bought it, and tried it. That's when I got the best results. I can lay down coats as thin as if I had airbrushed them, thinning with Tamiya's proprietary thinner.

I don't know how ethanol will work, but I think it's hot enough, isn't it?

Also, I've learned that it's often wise to use a company's products together, in some cases, at least. That seems to be true of Vallejo's Model Air line of products, for example. In this case, it makes sense to me to use the manufacturer's paint and thinner together.

As far as painting the acrylics by hand goes, I thin them in either to ways. One is to use a small amount of color on the brush, and then to dip it into a small jar of the thinner, then apply it to the piece. It levels itself out well enough for me. The other method is to mix a small amount of the color and a drop or two of the thinner in a well on a ceramic palette. It really depends on my mood.

For airbrushing, I mix the paint and color in the cup, about a 1:1 ratio, usually, and brushed at 20 psi.

*Here in PA, the Pennsylvania Dutch are noted for their thrifty ways. So we call someone who is cheap, Dutchy.
 

the Baron

Ich bin ja, Herr, in Deiner Macht
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This is off your direct topic about Tamiya, but I'll add that I use a number of different acrylics for hand-brushing besides Tamiya, mostly water-based: Andrea, Vallejo Model Color, Lifecolor, and also craft-store brands Americana, Apple Barrel, and Folk Art. Those last three work just as well as the more expensive products made specifically for scale modeling. And I've got some Grumbacher acrylics in tubes, colors I bought specifically for making ocean bases for ships.
I also use a wet palette with my water-based acrylics. That's the one drawback to using Tamiya acrylics-since they don't thin well with water, I can't use them with a wet palette. I suppose I could use a wet palette just filled with X20A, but that would be a little expensive to do. Even the best wet palette isn't absolutely air-tight, so there is a slow rate of evaporation. My point is, if there is an arts & crafts store near you, you might find some useful products there, too.
 

Jim62

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Oct 26, 2020
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Easy to say, but where I live the only hobby shop is about 70 miles away. So it's mail order and high shipping costs or make do. Shipping costs are eating my lunch. If you've got a local shop, patronize them and keep them in business.
Don't have a hobby store any closer than you. I live in the deep woods. Order more than one to make the shipping worth it. Most of us are stuck with the shipping costs since Hobby stores are few and far between. I think I have finally stocked enough to take a break from ordering anything for a long while. Stocking up when you order is the only way to go.
 

Winston65

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Aug 14, 2021
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17
I have to say that I'm generally satisfied with my homemade thinner. Mixed with Tamiya flat black in equal measures and sprayed the bottom of a little boat I'm building. Took a bit to tune the airbrush and I got a good coat. Going to switch to my double action airbrush for more control. A roll of the dice that went my way.
 

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