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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 02:00 am 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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I get pretty good results using Model Master Acryl/Pollyscale paints which are difficult to get in the U.K. but easy to get here (the U.S.).  I paint with a brush and use acrylics to keep my modeling as clean and green and I can.  But as a member of this forum, I found it frustrating to be unable to recommend any paint to my friends in Britain.  So, when both Xtracrylix and Humbrol Acrylic became available in the U.S., I decided to get a bottle or two of each of them and try them out, in order to compare them to the Testors products that I use.

Here are the two Xtracrylix colors I ordered from "Two Bobs."

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and the Humbrol acrylic I got from the U.S. Airfix site.

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I tried the Xtracrylix first.  It smelled just like MM Acryl and brushed on very well.  It dried to a nice smooth finish with no brushmarks.

Image

The only problem with the paint was that it is, like Xtracolor, high gloss.  This is not a super big deal, but I find it a bit more challenging to get a good finish with a brush using this type of acrylic (I'm now assuming that Xtracrylic is equivalent to MM Acryl or Pollyscale) if it is glossy.  It's not that much more difficult, but it is a little more tricky.

*****************************************************

Now the Humbrol Acrylic is a totally different barrel of two week old fish.

Image

It is TOTALLY different.  Smells like latex house paint and leaves some nasty brush marks.  I tried to "fix" it by adding some water, and some flow additive. This caused a chemical reaction and the paint began to bubble!

Image

Wait a minute...wait a minute...this reminds me of something.

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AH HA!  AH HA I say!  The olde fingernail test reveals that this stuff peels off just like Vallejo.  In fact, it seems like the same stuff, and it goes on my "do not buy" list along with the "V word."

A similar test on the Xtracrylix caused no paint to be removed from the painted part.  Can't scratch it!

Image

The Xtracrylix finish is just as good as MM Acryl or Pollyscale (gloss).

Image

So, I conclude that I wouldn't touch Humbrol Acrylic with a ten foot brush, but if you like Vallejo you will like it--it's practically the same paint.

If I were to emigrate to the U.K. and couldn't get MM Acryl, I'd switch to Xtracrylix.  It's good stuff--and you don't have to put a coat of Klear on it, which is also good since Klear is no longer available in the U.K.

If I can ever get some Lifecolor or Revell acrylic I will try them out as well.

Update:  I tried Revell Aqua Color and that is now my favorite Euro-paint.  In fact, if I could get it here I would use it all the time.

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Last edited by dancho on Fri 21 Jan 2011 23:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 08:12 am 
Dancho wrote...
'Smells like latex house paint and leaves some nasty brush marks.  I tried to "fix" it by adding some water, and some flow additive. This caused a chemical reaction and the paint began to bubble!'

Ayup Dan...

:shock:

Same here too. I've about Sixty or so, with flow agent added too after a 'Tip' off another site. Why did I do it to them all ? :shrug:


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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 08:31 am 
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Thanks for the great comparison Dancho!   :D

Unfortunately, I had just made a sizable investment in the Humbrols and it's too late! :(   I took your lead and checked out two bobs and ordered some of the Xtracrylics from them.  Another investment, but worth it, I think.

Do you think using vallejo thinners with this Humbrol paint would work?  I don't want the Humbrols to be a total waste.

Thanks again for the info! :D

Sincerely,
Jeff
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 09:48 am 
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Gold & Bronze Stars
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I use Vallejo thinners with Humbrol acrylics and yes, it works fine.

Both types of paint come out fairly thick from the tinlet / bottle, so a bit of thinners and / or water is needed to get them to flow like normal paint.

Mostly these days I've been doing figures so I haven't noticed any brush stroke issues.

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 10:01 am 
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Hi Beaufighter!:

Thanks for the info!  :D   I will try both the water and vallejo thinners!

Sincerely,
Jeff
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 12:55 pm 
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As a follow up I should mention that the thin and bubbly Humbrol Acrylic did not have the brushmark problem, although the adhesion was still relatively poor.  I can see why people like this paint, it covers in one coat.  No stress.

The Xtracrylix is great paint, and comes in wonderful colors, but I have mixed emotions about recommending it to a beginner.  The gloss finish means that you have to apply it in thinner coats, which mean more coats, which mean the whole thing is going to take more time and be (perhaps) frustrating to someone who is just learning.

I highly recommend thinning the Humbrol Acrylic, and if Vallejo thinner works, then that's the stuff to try first.  My "home brew" made it bubble, but there was no toxic gas or flames (whew!) and the lid stayed on, so the reaction must have been pretty mild.

I don't recommend thinning the Xtracrylix as a matter of course.  I tried thinning it a little and the result was to amplify the things that make it "tricky" to use.  

What I have learned from this is that Xtracrylix is similar in formula to MM Acryl.  If someone in the U.K. wanted to acquire a bottle, then you could compare it to Lifecolor or Revell or whatever and be able to tell if those brands of paint are "Vallejo-like" or "Acryl-like."  Acryl (and Xtracrylix) smells like ammonia, has excellent adhesion and is "self leveling" so brush strokes are minimized.  Humbrol and Vallejo smell like latex house paint, require thinning and have relatively poor adhesion-- which is worth it for some folks who prefer the excellent one-coat coverage.

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Last edited by dancho on Sat 24 Apr 2010 23:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 17:12 pm 
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Hi Dancho!:

Thanks for more good info!

I always liked the Enamel paints for brush painting, and used them for years, but, like you, I wanted something more odor friendly.  Also being able to wash out brushes, airbrushes, etc, with water or alcohol, is a GREAT byproduct of using Acrylics.  I REALLY like the Gunze Sangyo acrylics, but sometimes they are hard to get.  Squadron has all but quit selling them.  Plus, they have that wierd odor like the Tamiya paints, which airbrush beautifully, but are kind of bad brush painting paints.

I bought a couple of colors of the Xtracrylics a while back for a Supermarine Swift I started, but have not really tried them out.  I am sure they would airbrush pretty well, but I am trying to go more simplistic on modeling these days as well, and want to do mostly brush painting.  

Sorry for rambilng! :oops:

Sincerely,
Jeff
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 17:17 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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Gunze Sangyo is really good--but they have one problem that's pretty serious to me.  They tend to change color when covered with Future (Klear).  Can't have that!

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 17:25 pm 
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Good point about future!  That's something I've wanted to try using for a long time, but every time I buy a bottle to use for modeling, it gets nicked to do floors with!  

My friend Dave uses it with GREAT results on canopies!  I've also seen enough on the different forums to see how good it works.

I really like the Testors Acryl, and Polly Scale paints for brush painting, but the price has skyrocketed on them in the last few months!  With this dodgy economy, saving some money on supplies leaves a little more money to buy more kits (like I need any more!)  The Xtracrylics are a good deal at $3.50 a jar, and the Humbrol acrylics are a down right steal for $2.09.  That's what originally attracted me to them.

Sincerely,
Jeff
Modeling Rambler  :D

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 23:27 pm 
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How old is that pot of Humbrol? Just trying to suss out which formula it is.

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Apr 2010 23:55 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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How can determine that?  I just got it from the U.S. Airfix website.  Ordered it a few days ago.  Great service from them.

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PostPosted: Tue 18 May 2010 15:40 pm 
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Two Gold & Bronze Stars
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I just ordered some Lifecolor paint from Sprue Bros.  in order to do another comparison.  Most paint reviews are all about airbrushing, so I'm trying to provide an alternative for the those who march to a different drummer. :D

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct 2010 09:41 am 
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thanks, nevery buying humbrol at all it seems to me that they are a knockoff of the proper airfix items

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct 2010 12:00 pm 
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I'm a big fan of Humbrol acrylics, but I always undercoat my models and thin my paints properly before using them.  :idea:  

Most acrylic paints don't adhere well to unprepared plastic and coat poorly straight out of the pot.  :idea:

The 'chemical reaction' is nothing of the kind, it is bubbles in the paint caused by the action of stirring.....You get the same effect when you add distilled water to Humbrols too.  :idea:

Try mixing up a good splodge of well stirred paint with a few drops of water and a tiny dot of flow enhancer in a palette.  Brush from the palette onto an undercoated model.....You'll find Humbrols work just fine.  :idea:

FWIW & All the best
Sgt.S

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PostPosted: Sun 17 Oct 2010 12:57 pm 
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Thanks for bumping this thread.  :D  I wouldn't want to "undercoat" a model if that means spraying it with an enamel of some kind.  That would break one my rules.  I like my rules.

Recently almighty Testors announced that they are discontinuing Pollyscale (except for the railroad colors) in order to annoy me, save money and streamline their product line.  This will take what I consider to be the perfect paint off the market (eventually).  Sad.  Hopefully they will expand the MM Acryl line.

I'm sure that Vallejo and Vallejo-type acrylics are great for many applications.  They're very popular.  But Tamiya acrylic is better paint for the kind of painting I do (and Tamiya is a pain).  Pollyscale, on the other hand, is perfect, MM Acryl slightly less so, Xtracrylix slightly less again, and Vallejo/Latex type paints even less appropriate for my methods.  In the end, the important thing is to use whatever works for you.

Here's a link to my review of Lifecolor paint.

http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforum.o ... 19396.html

I really have tried to be fair in these reviews.  But I did spend over fifty dollars American on Vallejo paints due to glowing reviews and was shocked and dismayed and upset and sobbing uncontrollably when I discovered what they were like.  So I'm still a little miffed about that.

(P.S.  WAS SO a chemical reaction :P  )

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PostPosted: Sun 24 Oct 2010 13:52 pm 
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I've done some more experimenting with Xtracrylix.  I added about 30% (by volume) Tamiya Flat Base to the "Desert Pink" color and tried it.  It's easier to apply this way (for me) and dries to a flat finish.  This is one coat applied by brush on bare plastic.  It looks good, but will require a coat of Klear for the application of decals.

Image

Here a coat of the "Hemp" color applied straight out of the bottle, to show how shiny the paint is.  It also shows what good coverage and self-leveling ability the paint has.  This is just one coat.  No "Klear" would be required in this case, obviously!

Image

As of today, if I were unable to obtain Testors Model Master Acryl, I'd switch over to Xtracrylix.  I would be even more inclined to do this if I could not obtain Klear.  

Xtracrylix solves a number of problems.  It's a good acrylic paint that has excellent adhesion and does not require a undercoat of sprayed enamel.  It thins with water and has a mild smell compared to Tamiya.  It cleans up easily with water.  It is excellent for brushing, and will provide a high gloss finish right out of the bottle--perfect for decaling.  It can be mixed with Tamiya Flat Base to give it a flat finish.  I'm tempted to buy more of it and use it in a group build (as I did with the Tamiya paint in the BOB Group Build).  I do believe that I could get be very happy with Xtracrylix (and some Tamiya for any colors that aren't readily available from Xtracrylix).



:D

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PostPosted: Sun 31 Oct 2010 17:48 pm 
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News flash. Please see my review of Revell Aqua Color.  This paint has to be the best "euro-paint" that I have tried (by a wide margin).

http://airfixtributeforum.myfastforum.o ... php#269454

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