Paint experimenting again

About a week ago I sprayed the body of the Miniart Lieferwagen using a mix of Mr Color 72 and 74 as this looked as-near-as-dammit to the illustration in the instructions and box art.

Not long after I started spraying I became aware of a gritty finish on the paint so I left the model to dry for a day or so before cleaning it up.

At first I thought the Mr Color had reacted with the Games Workshop Chaos Black primer coat as Mr Color is lacquer based, however after rubbing the paint down with 800 grade wet and dry paper I found out this was not the case and it appeared that an old issue with spraying was coming back to haunt me.

After doing some research online the gritty finish is due solely to the paint drying too quick as it hits the surface. To overcome it you can add retarder to the paint to slow down the drying time, so while at the model shop today I bought some of the new Tamiya lacquer retardent as well as Hataka thinners for the red and orange line paints.


The Tamiya lacquer retardent was added to the Mr Color mix I had made and sprayed on my test subject. It worked quite well so there is another avenue opened for paint.

While in the mood for experimenting I tried the Hataka red line acrylic thinner to see if their acrylic paint sprayed any better. The paint was still drying on the tip of the needle like last time so I put a couple of drops of Winsor and Newton acrylic retardent in the airbrush cup and that seemed to help.

Finally and just for shits and giggles, I tried the Hataka acrylic thinner with some Revell acrylic paint. Revell’s acrylic is verrry thick and probably more suited to brush painting however when I eventually re-work the Airfix Sea Fury I’m going to need a decent Sky Type ‘S’ and Revell 59 is pretty close (to me anyway).

I loaded the airbrush with the Revell paint, added some Hataka thinner and sprayed the test subject. As I suspected might happen, the paint dried on the needle tip almost straight away so I added a couple of drops of retardent and that seemed to help. What helped even more was reducing the air pressure on the compressor a bit and I was able to spray for a longer time before cleaning the tip.

This is very useful to know as when I paint the ICM Dornier 217 that I’m building for The Modelling News, I’m going to need a LOT of paint for the undersurface colour of RLM 76 which you can match using Revell something or other and white.

I’m happier now that I’ve seemed to have ironed out my paint issues as it really was getting me down, I mean yes I can build stuff but what’s the point if I can’t paint stuff? Hopefully my experimenting has given me more options especially as my local model shop in town stocks Hataka paint plus Revell paint is available locally too.

Published by andyk21

I've been a modelmaker for a verrry long time and still show no signs of growing out of it after 50 plus years. I mainly build tanks, aircraft and paint figures but generally do whatever takes my fancy whether it's historical, Science-fiction, a 'what-if' or because it has pretty colours and looks nice. I'm hoping that you find my blog interesting and useful, particularly if building a model that I have built and documented here.

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