Monday, December 03, 2018

Thinning acrylic paint

Martin asks:

I am trying to be ‘green’ in my modelling. I plan to use acrylics with my airbrush but Ideally do not want to use any chemical thinners. This might sound odd, but can I use good old fashioned water?

Some paint can be thinned with water - Games workshop stuff and I think Humbrol are fine.

Tamya need their own thinners and Lifecolor are better with theirs too, but again, I have used water.

Cheap bottles from The Works etc. are good with water.

I'd suggest experimenting. Hard or soft water is going to make a difference too. If you don't mind trying chemicals, then cheap car screenwash is apparently very good. The military modellers use it and I have tried it with some success, but I didn't check if it was better than water!

However, I'm no expert on this, so throw the question out to readers for further wisdom in the comments section please.


Christopher said...

Since airbrushing was mentioned, I would be inclined to try an acrylic paint thinner especially designed for airbrushing. (Although I have read good things about Halford's? screen wash in the past.)

Many years ago, I experimented with the Humbrol 1990s acrylic range using an airbrush and water, and had problems with a clogged needle. (The paint seemed to dry too quickly!) I think I had better results when I mixed in Liquitex acrylic extender (to prolong working time) to the thinned paint, but it seemed like a lot of effort and I went back to enamels. I believe things have now moved on a bit in 20 years...

Mark said...

A better option might be to buy paints pre-thinned for air brushing. Vallejo have at least two ranges, Model Air and Game Air, which come already at the right consistency for airbrushing. Just pop the paint straight into the airbrush and away you go. It makes life so easy I wouldn't use anything else now.