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Acrylics - tube/thick or bottle/liquid?

Discussion in 'Just starting...' started by Darren, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. Darren Member

    Hi all,

    Starting my figure painting journey after many years with military and navy models.

    At present I mostly use lacquers as they airbrush well, and a mix of acrylics, oils and enamels for detailing, highlights and weathering.

    I've been looking through painting styles, and am going to play around with both acrylics and oils to see what I like. Obviously a lot of scale/figure/miniature paints are acrylic and in bottles.

    So...is there much difference in tube (e.g. Scale75 or Abteilung502 for example) and liquid (AK 3rd Gen, Citadel, etc) apart from the consistency?

    Both would need thinning for many applications, tube naturally more so. Both seem to work fine on a wet palette and ultimately do the same thing.

    Is it just personal preference? Are things like washes and glazes easier with liquids, or no difference once you thin down tube paint? Are pigments similar.

    I may buy a couple of a few brands and see what I like, but as I use oils a bit for weathering I like the thick, pigment-dense starting-point so want to understand if there's any big factors either way for acrylics.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    Will be posting work on my first figure soon.

  2. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Hi Darren,

    Neat hearing you’re going to have a crack at figures.
    I mainly use Jo Sonja, ScaleColour & AK Interactive acrylics as find these most consistent in finish. I use Vallejo Glazing Medium to thin during painting & typically water just to clean brushes.
    I’ve tried lots of other brands plus also use oils, lacquers & enamels. Very much a case of what works for you & what you want to achieve.

    Over the years I’ve shared lots more info in various threads.
    Some of that maybe of value, as I’m sure other replies here will.
    Best advice is give it a go mate & share your practice with us.
    We’re happy to answer any specific questions you may have.

    Look forward to seeing how it goes.

    grasshopper and DaddyO like this.
  3. Darren Member

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply. Some amazing work in your posts, and I'll definitely be picking up your book when it's out - great work.

    Since you mention Jo Sonja and ScaleColour, do you use them for different applications/effects or just whatever colour you're needing? This is kinda the crux of my question - are they just personal choices, one you need to thin more, or would they be used differently?

    I'll pick up some glazing medium too, appreciate that pointer.

    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  4. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Glad it was of use mate.
    JS is multi purpose & used for all sorts of effects.
    ScaleColour- I’ve only got Artist tube flesh set & used for this.
    AK is only for uniforms - too flat for other surfaces.
    Trust useful.
  5. Darren Member

    Thanks again Mike, great feedback!

    Mike - The Kiwi likes this.
  6. theBaron A Fixture

    Almost all of my acrylics are in bottles, whether eyedroppers like Andrea and Vallejo, or the larger flip-top plastic bottles of the craft-store brands. I have some in jars, like Lifecolor. I have some artist's acrylics in tubes, which I bought specifically for the colors. If I find any advantage of one packaging over the other, it's that the bottles and jars are a little easier to organize in my toolbox than tubes.

    For me, the color is the most important, then the brand, and I really don't think about the package.

    Oh, and, I prefer water-based acrylics, when it's acrylics, so I can use them on the wet palette. But I have a large collection of Tamiya acrylics, which are lacquer-based. Tamiya has good colors, and I use them with the airbrush as well as brushing them on by hand. The jars are reusable, too.

    Tecumsea, harrytheheid and Nap like this.
  7. Steve27 New Member

    Hi Darren, Like Mike, I use Jo Sonya. In fact I use them almost exclusively for Ancients/Historical figures. Great range of colours and you can pick them up cheap when Spotlight has there 30% off sales for about 5 bucks for the series 1 range. They do great metallic (Copper/Gold) plus grab their flow medium to thin out the paints for brushing. Also they thin well with Tamiya X22 acrylic thinner for airbrushing. I'm really just starting out too with figures (well two years in) after a life of AFVs. Cheers

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