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Hello from Michigan

Discussion in 'Welcome aboard' started by Charles, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Charles New Member

    Hello all. This looks like a fantastic site. I am a long time builder of model aircraft in 1/72 & 1/48 scale and want to try my hand at figures. Several years ago I built my first one, a 1/16 scale figure, a USSR WWII pilot (Safonov) that came as a bonus in a special edition kit. It turned out OK, but I am using painting and shading techniques that I learned from aircraft. What I notice here is figure modeling is completely different in painting techniques. I am hoping to learn a lot and improve my ability.

    On my bench now is an old Airfix 54mm George Washington on horse that I am practicing on. Simultaneously I am starting the 1/16 Tamiya Sengoku Jidai Samurai figure that I picked up living in Japan many years ago.

    I've done a bunch of research here so far but one question I haven't found an answer for. Are my paints (Mr. Color Lacquers & Tamiya Acrylics) considered as "Acrylics" or "Oil" based?

    OK, as second question: Are they good for brush painting or should I invest in tubed paint?

    Thank you all!
    theBaron, sd0324 and oldtrousers like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Charles


    PF is for all figures with or without additions like planes/AFV etc

    Great to have you with us ....share the PF word , all are very welcome to join ..no matter what's modelled with figures

    Do ask any questions someone will know...feel free to message me with questions

    Lots of different sections to look at including traditional and 3 D sculpting , competitions , WIP's , References , Painting techniques and so much more

    There are threads in Welcome Aboard about how to do things including posting pics on PF but do contact me always happy to help

    We have a Marketplace where after members have contributed 50+ posts can use to sell , request if anyone has a model to sell etc

    We have V Bench for WIP's and also a Completed part ,reference section

    There's also Painting techniques where you will find much about Acrylics and Oils

    ALL figures are welcome and of course Vignettes & Diorama ( we run friendly competitions if you wish as well , one called FOTM where there are 3 classes to choose in which to enter )

    Look forward to seeing your modelling no matter what you paint ..its all about having fun

    Happy bench-time

    Nap ( Moderator/Admin )
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Charles

    Ref the paints , I've never used those you have but they sound acrylic , so should be brush able , if your used to them why buy more ?

    Like most I have loads of paints some still unused !

    Hopefully others will post but why not pose the question on a separate thread in Painting Techniques

    Happy benchtime

  4. 1969 A Fixture

    Welcome Charles.
  5. Larsen E. Whipsnade A Fixture

    Hi Charles and welcome to Planet Figure, the best military miniatures site on the web. We're happy to have you with us and look forward to seeing your work.
    sd0324 likes this.
  6. theBaron A Fixture

    Welcome to the Planet, Charles! I look forward to seeing those pieces you've mentioned.

    I wouldn't describe painting figures as completely different, but rather that there is some overlap in skills and techniques, between building and painting a model and building and painting a figure. I do both, too; I grew up on classic Monogram, Revell, Airfix kits, so having figures with a model was just expected. One thing is definitely common to both areas of the hobby: Practice! We improve with practice.

    To your specific questions about Mr Color lacquers and Tamiya acrylics: yes, they can be used to paint figures by hand. Many Japanese painters use those products, naturally, since they're made in Japan.

    Pardon the tautology, Mr. Color lacquers are lacquers, thinned with lacquer thinner, and are a little "hot" for hand-painting. Though as I said, there are painters who do use them. Personally, I only airbrush lacquers.

    Tamiya's acrylics can also be used to hand-paint, and I use them. Now, here's where the terminology gets confusing, because they are lacquer-based acrylics. Many people understand "acrylic" as "water-based", because many acrylic paints are water-based and can be thinned with water. But "acrylic" refers to the chemical composition of the liquid carrier in which the pigment is suspended. Some are water-based acrylic liquids, others use other solvents. Andrea, Vallejo, Lifecolor, craft-store brands Americana, Apple Barrel, and Folk Art, are all examples of water-based acrylics. They can be thinned with water. I think many of the fantasy wargame brands are water-based acrylics, too.

    Tamiya's acrylics, in my experience, are best thinned with Tamiya's proprietary acrylic thinner. I tried water, but the paint clumped. I also tried isopropyl (91% solution), with similar results. The paint clumped on the brush, and it didn't cure properly-a second coat would lift a first coat off. When I decided to buck up and buy Tamiya's thinner, then I got my best results. I also airbrush Tamiya acrylics, and it was when I read somewhere that Tamiya's paints are formulated for airbrushing, and meant to be thinned, that I started down that road and figured it out.

    As far as hand-brushing goes, I don't use Tamiya acrylics with my wet palette, since that uses water as the solvent. Instead, I use a ceramic palette and mix a bit of the color with a little of the thinner. Blending goes the same way, just using different wells on the palette.

    And as far as oils go, you certainly can try them. I bought a bunch of oils years ago, to paint flats, "just like the Germans do". The techniques are a little different between applying oils and applying acrylics, though. With oils, you can blend colors while the paint is wet, and produce your highlights and shadows that way. With acrylics, and their quick drying time, you build up colors with thin layers, till you get the result you want. Put very generally, that is.

    So, you don't need to discard the paints you have, but certainly add to your paintbox as you see fit. I've got acrylics, enamels, lacquers, oils, all accumulated over years, even going back to when I was a kid (I still have some Pactra acrylic enamels, that can be thinned and cleaned up with water-how's that for a mix of terms!), all for different uses and as my techniques changed over time.

    That's just my story, others will have their own experience to tell you, but I hope it all helps!

    sd0324 likes this.
  7. theBaron A Fixture

    Oh, I forgot to mention that oils are oils, because linseed oil or similar oils are used as the carrier fluid. The pigment is suspended in the oils.

  8. Charles New Member

    Brad, Thank you immensely! Your explanations are very clear. It sounds like I will use my Mr Colors for airbrushing only, as they spray amazingly; by far my favorite airbrush paint. My Tamiyas can be used to brush paint, when needed, but I would very much like to learn the art of brush painting beautifully like the many modelers I see in this forum.

    Now I need to decide if I try acrylics or oils. I need to mull over the pros and cons as you've described. My initial thought is that since I am starting from the beginning, oils will allow me to "see" what the end product will look like as I'm applying it. Whereas with acrylics I need to let each step dry before moving onto the next one, hoping I did the previous one correctly! Is this a fair analysis?
    theBaron likes this.
  9. Mirofsoft A Fixture

    I used Humbrol at the beginning, then pushed by a shop owner (in the 70ies), I begon using oils but, I still do but also paint first with Humbrol as second primer, no highlight or shadow just a medium tone of the final one I will try to reach with oils over it ...
    As brad wrote, I use everything, including acrylics if I want to texture, feltpens, chinese inks, gouaches, dry pastels grinded to dust for ... dust effects ... etc



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