Follow up paint questions


New Member
Jul 2, 2023
Hello everyone,

A while ago, I got a very simple model kit in the mail. I figured it would be good for my first model that I will build.


I haven’t built models in years, and I have a bunch of questions concerning painting.

First off, do you use acrylics or oils for model aircraft? What is best for a complete beginner?

Second question, if I need to use acrylics, do I need to have a primer or something?

Third, is there anything else I need to know about painting model aircraft?

Like I said, I am a complete beginner. I used to be into it when I was younger, but I’m just now getting back into it.


Hi, Jared,

You can use whatever paints you like, though I don't know too many modelers who would use oils for their model, apart from using oils in weathering. There are a lot of modelers who prefer enamels, actually. I use enamels, water-based acrylics and alcohol-based acrylics, and even some lacquers, myself.

If you use acrylics, particularly water-based acrylics, I would definitely prime the model, to improve the adhesion of your color coats. Priming also can serve to show you places where you might need to do some additional work before applying your color coats. For example, a primer coat can show you where there are seams that need fixing before laying down a color coat.

As far as "anything else" goes, that's a pretty broad category, but I'll say study the instructions, and if you can find more references, whether online or hardcopy, it's a good idea to study those. But it's up to you. Some modelers go very far in researching their subject and strive for almost a 100% exact miniature of the subject. Others are satisfied if their model looks like the subject, but they don't worry about color chips or manuals, etc, for the subject. All of us strive to enjoy building the model, in whichever way we enjoy it. That's the most important thing to remember-enjoy it, have fun, it's a hobby.

Hope that helps!

Best regards,

A post-script-hopefully Momo will reply and clarify what "acrylic" means. "Acrylic" does not mean "water-based", though because many brands are water-soluable, many people equate "acrylic" with that term. Rather, it has to do with the composition of the carrier fluid, though I may be misspeaking with that description. We really should create a post about that and pin it to the top of the forum.
Thank you for getting back. I appreciate it. I was able to pick out the right paints I needed today.

I’m going to start the model either tonight or tomorrow morning.

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