login   |    register
General Aircraft: Tips & Techniques
Discussions on specific A/C building techniques.
Testors Model Master Acrylics
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 02:54 AM UTC
Been thinking of giving Testors Model Master Acrylics another shot, as I'm starting to get tired of constantly having to mix Tamiya paint for just about every color.

Other then Testors proprietary thinner, what else will thin Model Master Acrylics? I'm going to be doing some testing, and will be starting off with Tamiya's Yellow Cap lacquer Thinner, followed by X20-A, then 50% Iso alcohol.

the one time I did use it, I found it didn't stick to raw plastic very well. So I'm going to prime my test plastic with AMMO Mig acrylic primer.

Joel
Littorio
_VISITCOMMUNITY
England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: September 15, 2004
KitMaker: 4,728 posts
AeroScale: 1,351 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:02 AM UTC
Joel, I can't help with the Testers paint as it is very hard to get over this side of the pond (the enamel version is a bit easier), however as with most acrylic water based paints I would always prime first, also you should be able to thin with just plain water or if your water quality is not too good then use de-ionised water.
SaxonTheShiba
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: February 01, 2009
KitMaker: 1,233 posts
AeroScale: 663 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:26 AM UTC
Distilled water OR denatured alcohol applied with a dropper and mixed well. I also like MM Acrylics better over MM Enamel Primer.

Regards,

Ian

Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:29 AM UTC
Ian,
Denatured Alcohol kind of scares me. That's what I use to strip paint right off of plastic.

Luciano,
I never had much luck thinning anything with just plain water. I could always use stilled water, but it's just plain water.
Joel

SaxonTheShiba
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: February 01, 2009
KitMaker: 1,233 posts
AeroScale: 663 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ian,
Denatured Alcohol kind of scares me. That's what I use to strip paint right off of plastic.

Luciano,
I never had much luck thinning anything with just plain water. I could always use stilled water, but it's just plain water.
Joel





Never had any issues with denatured alcohol myself. Windex also does nicely too. Just a matter of individual taste and whatever works better for ya.

Best wishes,

Ian

Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Ian,
Denatured Alcohol kind of scares me. That's what I use to strip paint right off of plastic.

Luciano,
I never had much luck thinning anything with just plain water. I could always use stilled water, but it's just plain water.
Joel







Never had an issues with denatured alcohol myself. Windex also does nicely too. Just a matter of individual taste and whatever works better for ya.

Best wishes,

Ian




Ian,
Just might try windex with D or Windshield wash fluid which is about the same stuff.
Joel
chrism
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: January 05, 2012
KitMaker: 160 posts
AeroScale: 156 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:45 AM UTC
Joel, you can use MM Universal acrylic thinner. It was made for all the Testors Line (Pactra, Polly Scale, etc.)
PeeJay74
#363
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 08, 2014
KitMaker: 425 posts
AeroScale: 401 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 03:50 AM UTC
On the rare occasions I use Acryl, I thin with R/O water Joel. I have a system in the basement for my wife's saltwater tank so no issue of supply for me. It's completely inert, pure water. The R/O systems strip everything else out; chemical, mineral, whatever. Many grocery stores sell it as well, either by the jug or in 5gal reusable bottles. Distilled water is not the same thing btw.

I myself have been slowly switching to Vallejo Model Air paints for the same reason, no need to mix. It took me a bit to settle on a good thinner for them. R/O water is my go to thinner now after experimenting with many others and not liking my results. 5gal in a grocery store is like $2.00 around here. Cheap and will last you forever.
StukaJr
_VISITCOMMUNITY
California, United States
Joined: April 26, 2010
KitMaker: 346 posts
AeroScale: 292 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 04:47 AM UTC
I switched to Model Master Acryl about 5 years ago - they are readily available in US brick and mortar shops, thin with water so there is one less stink/fume producer to annoy family with and are cost friendly. Color selection is good too and pre-mixed colors are aircraft friendly.

MM Acryl used to have real problem with consistency 4-5 years ago, so stay away from places that still sell older batches (look for new label). Some older colors were way watery and covered for crap, some were close to gunk - glad they've worked out that since.

The new batches are much better - perfect for brush application. They are still not the best, when compared to top of the line Acryl, but mixed well they do all right... I'm little biased, as I paint WWI doped surfaces exclusively - I don't look for smooth... Airbrush surface is at least as good as Tamiya, IMO, though one has to be faster cleaning in between coats - I found that Medea airbrush cleaner works wonders and is quite cheap (when I've airbrushed Acryl last). If you let paint gunk up, Testors makes special thinner for dried up Acryl that works pretty well, but not as well as not letting it dry to rubbery latex consistency inside your tools...
thegirl
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
KitMaker: 6,743 posts
AeroScale: 6,151 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 04:59 AM UTC
Hey Joel , I still use Model Master Acrylic line . Still have some left from 10 years ago when I jumped to WW 1 aircraft . Still good to this date and I thin them with water or either Testors universal acrylic thinner . Don't use Tamiya thinners , turns the paint rubbery . 50% rubbing alcohol will do the same and clog the tip of the airbrush . This causes the paint to peel off . It doesn't dry right it stays like latex . If you chose to use denatured alcohol .


Terri
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 10:38 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Joel, you can use MM Universal acrylic thinner. It was made for all the Testors Line (Pactra, Polly Scale, etc.)



Chris,
Thanks. It's one of my options for sure, but the stuff is expensive for the small quantity you actually get. Right now I'm just looking for a generic thinner that's readily available in larger quantities.

Joel
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 10:43 PM UTC

Quoted Text

On the rare occasions I use Acryl, I thin with R/O water Joel. I have a system in the basement for my wife's saltwater tank so no issue of supply for me. It's completely inert, pure water. The R/O systems strip everything else out; chemical, mineral, whatever. Many grocery stores sell it as well, either by the jug or in 5gal reusable bottles. Distilled water is not the same thing btw.

I myself have been slowly switching to Vallejo Model Air paints for the same reason, no need to mix. It took me a bit to settle on a good thinner for them. R/O water is my go to thinner now after experimenting with many others and not liking my results. 5gal in a grocery store is like $2.00 around here. Cheap and will last you forever.



Paul,
Thanks for that info. Is R/O water, Reverse Osmosis Water? Will have to check that out at our local Shop Rite food store.
Joel
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 10:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I switched to Model Master Acryl about 5 years ago - they are readily available in US brick and mortar shops, thin with water so there is one less stink/fume producer to annoy family with and are cost friendly. Color selection is good too and pre-mixed colors are aircraft friendly.

MM Acryl used to have real problem with consistency 4-5 years ago, so stay away from places that still sell older batches (look for new label). Some older colors were way watery and covered for crap, some were close to gunk - glad they've worked out that since.

The new batches are much better - perfect for brush application. They are still not the best, when compared to top of the line Acryl, but mixed well they do all right... I'm little biased, as I paint WWI doped surfaces exclusively - I don't look for smooth... Airbrush surface is at least as good as Tamiya, IMO, though one has to be faster cleaning in between coats - I found that Medea airbrush cleaner works wonders and is quite cheap (when I've airbrushed Acryl last). If you let paint gunk up, Testors makes special thinner for dried up Acryl that works pretty well, but not as well as not letting it dry to rubbery latex consistency inside your tools...



Ivan,
I have only one good LHS, and his main paint line is of course Tamiya. He does carry a full line of MM paints, but from the dust on some of the bottles, they're not exactly new. So He's only my emergency go to store.

95% of my modeling supplies, kits, etc. come from Sprue Brothers, The Squadron, and ScaleHobbyist.com. So I'm pretty sure that the paints are new and haven't been seating around for long periods of time.

One of the reasons why I'm trying not to buy Testors priority thinner is that my ever increasing shelf of thinners and cleaners is getting totally out of hand. Right now I have on the shelf;
Tamiya: Yellow cap
Tamiya X-20A
Model Master: Universal Enamel Thinner
Acetone
70% Iso Alcohol
91% Iso Alcohol
Denatured Alcohol
Mineral Spirits
Lacquer Thinner
turpentine
Iwata Airbrush cleaner which also thins out Acrylic paints
It's like I'm running a miniature paint store.

Joel



Joel
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 11:02 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey Joel , I still use Model Master Acrylic line . Still have some left from 10 years ago when I jumped to WW 1 aircraft . Still good to this date and I thin them with water or either Testors universal acrylic thinner . Don't use Tamiya thinners , turns the paint rubbery . 50% rubbing alcohol will do the same and clog the tip of the airbrush . This causes the paint to peel off . It doesn't dry right it stays like latex . If you chose to use denatured alcohol .

Terri



Terri,
Thanks for your input.

Like I've said I've done so many Google and Bing searches, that just about every thinning agent we use comes up either good or bad. Personally, it seams that a lot of these posts are by modelers just making this stuff up. How can it work for one person, but the next person has all sorts of issues?

Right now, it seams that all the various thinners I've bought won't work including Iso alcohols. I do like Paul's suggestion of R/O water, although I have no real idea of what it really is.

Windshield wash and Windex with D are basically the same thing, both are mostly distilled water, Iso alcohol, some other stuff, and a blue die. I use it to thin Pledge, so it's out as well. Really sounds like Tamiya's X-20A minus the blue dye.

I'm going to try Denatured Alcohol, R/O water if I can get it or Distilled water as I know I can get it. Worse case scenario, I'll use their proprietary thinner.

Like I said, I'm just tired of having to mix just about every single color using Tamiya paints. Since I get the mixing formulas from a few trusted sites, I end up with just about every gray they have, and a lot of colors I only end up using once.

Every once in a while I run into a real chemist who has broken down these thinning propriety agents, and I was surprised at how similar they are.

I'll run my tests over the weekend and post my results here.

Joel
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United Kingdom
Joined: June 11, 2003
KitMaker: 17,581 posts
AeroScale: 12,794 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 01:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

How can it work for one person, but the next person has all sorts of issues?...
Joel



Hi Joel

Like Luciano, I've no experience of the ModelMaster Acrylics, because they've really made little inroad into the UK market.

But I totally understand your frustration in mastering them because, while I happily switch between enamels and some other brands of acrylics, I must admit I feel rather the same with Vallejo and their offshoots. Meanwhile, other folks clearly have no problems at all and swear by them.

I'm probably not helped by needing to "unlearn" 40+ years' experience with spraying enamels (always far more tolerant in my experience), but if I ever do find the knack, I'll no doubt wonder why I ever had any difficulty.

All the best

Rowan
JClapp
#259
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Massachusetts, United States
Joined: October 23, 2011
KitMaker: 2,265 posts
AeroScale: 1,715 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 02:07 AM UTC
Aquafina brand bottled drinking water is produced by RO.
chrism
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United States
Joined: January 05, 2012
KitMaker: 160 posts
AeroScale: 156 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 02:24 AM UTC
I use MM Acryl...sometimes. It is easy to find in the US, they are usually a good color match, easy to clean up but they will pull off when masked. Polly Scale did not have this problem. Hopefully, they can reformulate, add the Polly Scale colors and expand their line.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 11,666 posts
AeroScale: 7,410 posts
Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 03:24 AM UTC
I know I said no more Google and Bing inquiries, but I did more anyway, and like before the answers are so out of whack with reality. One post says X works fine, then the next post says it clogs up his air brush, thus it's nearly impossible to make any real sense out of all the posts.

So I ran my 1st series of tests.

I have a relatively fresh bottle of MM Acrylic Green Zinc Chromate so I did all three phases of the test with GZC.

Test Phase #1 dish test
Tape water: thinned easily
Yellow Cap: Thinned like always
Denatured Alcohol: Thinned just like Yellow cap
I mixed the paint in the little metal tins, spread it out and let it dry. The water took the longest to dry. The Yellow cap was the quickest to dry. Tap water dried even and smooth. The Yellow cap started to separate as it dried, and dried blotchy. The Denature Alcohol dried even and smooth as well.

Test Phase #2 Air Brushing
I shot both water and Denature Alcohol mixed 2:3 + 1 drop of flow enhancer. Both samples easily shot at 16 psi with my setup.
Water shot ok, and did have some tip clogging that was easy to clear. The Denatured Alcohol had tip clogs after less then 30 seconds between shooting. Once cleared, stayed cleared until I put the AB down again. No clogging as long as I kept on Air Brushing, unless I really closed the mixture down and moved in very close. The cone continually clogged.

Test Phase #3 Clean up
The water sample cleaned up easily with Denature Alcohol followed Iwata AB cleaner. The Denature Alcohol test was much harder to clean up, as the paint dried in the bottom of the bowl and in the cone as well. The clogged and dry paint needed LC to clean the bottom of the bowl, and the inside of the cone. 91% Iso had no effect on the dried on paint. Neither did the Iwata AB cleaner. Once the dried on paint was removed, the Iwata cleaner worked as normal.

The whole point of going with the Acrylics is to stop having to use LC all the time for cleanup. The water sample cleaned up with DA because it never really dried rock hard like the DA test sample did.

Other issues that have concerned me since my original usage of MM acrylics, is that they scratch easily, and have a tendency to pull up even with Tamiya tape. I solved this by sealing each coat with a clear Matt coat.

I'm also somewhat concerned that there is a point when thinning with water that I'll start to create a wash rather then thin paint. I've had issues where the MM paint actually splattered if I was too close to the surface if the paint was to thin.

At this point I just might give the Testors Universal Acrylic a try.

Joel