Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Thinning Tamiya Paints
Tamiya acrylic bottle paints are excellent for airbrushing plastic model kits whether you're building a model tank, airplane or car. When you begin using Tamiya bottled acrylic paints, we recommend thinning the paint for the best possible airbrush experience. Airbrushing Tamiya acrylic paint directly and un-thinned from the bottle is usually too thick for most applications. It's suggested to use the two thinner options available from Tamiya's finishing supply product line-up.
The first choice is the X-20A Thinner and the second is the Tamiya Lacquer Thinner. Tamiya X-20A is the easiest to work with as clean-up is simple and less messy for modelers who are new to airbrushing. The paint will dry slower using X-20A which will give modelers more time to work with the paint.
For advanced modelers Tamiya Lacquer Thinner will yield two main benefits, but at the expense of a messier clean-up. Tamiya paint thinned with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner will result in the paint drying much faster and the paint will have a harder shell. For modelers who sand their work, a harder finish is preferable. A softer shell is easier to over-sand and it's easier to go too deep into the paint.
A good starting point for achieving the proper paint to thinner ratio is to get your mixture close to the consistency of milk. If the paint is thinned to heavily the paint will appear opaque and it will be easier to run and drip.
Tamiya Thinners are made from the highest quality materials, which gives you the best finishes. Our thinners are available in many sizes (10, 23, 46 & 250ml). You can use them for thinning paint or clean-up.
Tamiya Mixing Jars (item 81041 23ml and 81042 46ml) are the best way to store your thinned paint. The jars are made of glass and use the same quality plastic seal as the bottled paints. The Mixing Jars have convenient measurement marks so your mixing ratios are exact every time.
If you are going to use Tamiya bottled paints in your airbrush, we recommend thinning the paint for the best finish.
Good starting point for milk consistency: two parts paint, one part thinner, which is best done in one of our handy empty mixing jars. Start by deciding how much paint you need for your surface and pour two-thirds of that amount of paint into your empty jar.
Next you will be filling the remaining one-third with Tamiya X-20A Thinner. This will give you the proper mixture for spraying with your airbrush.
After adding thinner its best to stir your mixture rather than shaking the bottle to blend the paint and thinner. Shaking the bottle will create air bubbles in your mixture, which is not ideal for airbrushing. It's best to stir your mixture with a paint stirrer.
After you are done mixing the paint, you are ready to spray. Just pour what you need into your airbrush cup and start spraying! Important notes:
After paint is thinned you will be required to apply multiple coats as the layers will be thinner.
Old, empty Tamiya paint bottles can be cleaned and re-used for mixing purposes.
Tamiya makes all the finishing materials you will need to complete your model.
Use our thinner and paint together for the best results