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Tamiya versus Model Master Acrylic Paint

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I am seeking opinions and experiences on the merits of Tamiya versus Model Master acrylic paints.

 

My preference is to stick with one brand if at all possible, but I have not yet made a decision as to which, so I thought I would ask and see what others think.

 

I am building airplanes and military vehicles, if that makes any difference.

 

JLK

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Not very helpful here, but I use both and on the same model. I've learned the hard way that it is best to use the thinner specific to a brand name. Perhaps its just the psychology of it all but when I stray from brand name paint and thinner combinations I think the end result isn't quite as good.

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Not very helpful here, but I use both and on the same model. I've learned the hard way that it is best to use the thinner specific to a brand name. Perhaps its just the psychology of it all but when I stray from brand name paint and thinner combinations I think the end result isn't quite as good.

 

Thanx for the reply.

 

I believe that I will use Tamiya's primer, as I have seen from other sources, that it works with both brands, whereas Testor's primer is more difficult to apply and does not always work if overpainted with Tamiya's colored paint.

 

JLK

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I really LOVE using Tamiya acrylics! I pretty much use them exclusively!

 

As much as I love the Tamiya acrylics I absolutely HATE the Testors MM acylics. IMHO they are total crap! Again, just MY opinion though. I've never gotten the results I've wanted with them. If there's any way around it I'll never use Testors' acrylics again. That is strictly with the MM acylic line. I do LOVE the rest of Testors' MM product line though.

 

 

 

 

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I use Tamiya paints 99.5% of the time. I do use MM paints but only for detail work, like headlights and talelights etc.. I never spray with the MM paints. I have not gotten the results that I would like. Love the Tamiya paint. Make sure to use the brand name thinner. Very important.

 

Chris

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When it comes to acrylics, of late I've been using the Testor Acryl and Tamiya line. I used to use PollyScale exclusively, but Testor's has apparently decided to phase it out....

 

I am one of the few people, it seems, who has had very little trouble with the Acryls--I've never had an adhesion issue (and I rarely ever prime my models) and I've only had one airbrushing issue traced to an old bottle of paint. I guess I must be either living in a warp of some sort or living right.... :smiley17:

 

I used to use a mix of Future Floor Finish and Isopropyl alcohol to thin acrylics, but lately I've been using the brands' own proprietary thinners.

 

Ralph

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My favorite will probably always be Tamiya acrylics. They shoot nicely and I can clean the airbrush out with Windex. The problem with Tamiya paints is the lack of specific colors. I actually like being able to buy a paint per its FS number, rather than mixing colors and hoping I get the right color. This is especially true if I don't mix enough for the first round of painting.

 

My issue with MM Acryl paint has always been cleaning it out of my airbrush, until I found that denatured alcohol actually cuts it and cleans out the airbrush.

 

For primer, I have been using Mr Surfacer 500 or 1000 shot through my airbrush, and so far, haven't had a problem with MM Acryls adhering to it.

 

I agree with everyone else about thinning. I try to only use the manufacturer's thinner. Less chance of a gloppy (technical term) mess in my airbrush.

 

Welcome to the forums, and good luck!

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I too like Tamiya paints, their Nato armour colours are awesome and on militairy aircraft and vehicles thin with 95% Isopropol is both cheap and ok.

If your doing a job that requires gloss you do need to use their expensive thinners.

I also found that the screw thread on their jars are an exact match for the badger pot adapter as long as you trim the tube to fit so keep the jars after you've used the paint.

 

As far as the Acryl and Acryl2 line of paints go you must use a primer as they don't adhere well though Tamiya is prone to being easily scratched it tends not to lift.

Also, if you want to brush paint Tamiya you must thin with their thinners and only make one pass of the brush otherwise it will lift and go funky.

 

As an aside I also experimented with Humbrol Acrylics, they don't do too well in an airbrush; clogging, but properly thinned they go down very well and their flats are dead flat.

If I could get their stuff here in the states I would switch.

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My thanks to all who took the time to reply. I posted this question in several different forums so to get as many opinions as possible.

 

As I understand the answers:

 

Tamiya is better for airbrushing, but brushes poorly unless thinned. Their range of colors is not as great, and they make no effort to tell the consumer what FS number the paint is.

 

MM has a greater range of colors, gives the FS number, is better for brush painting, and may not adhere without a primer. It may also be harder to clean out of an airbrush.

 

The bottom line: the choice is personal, and would probably best be determined by experimenting with each.

 

 

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I use both. I only use laquers and acrylics. I love the Tamiya for brush straight from the bottle, (I thin about 50/50 for spraying using only water). I also use the MM Acryl line. Nobody and I mean nobody carries as many colors as MM. I only thin MM with Testors Acryl thinner. I have had great results with both. I build air planes and cars.

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I HATE ACRYLICS! (That feels better) I've not found any acrylic that is as good as even an average enamel. That said, when I have to use an acrylic, it is Tamiya. They are the best, by far. However, I am having some luck with Lifecolor acrylics.

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I have previously had nothing but trouble with acrylics. The original Polly S stuff reminded me of the paints we used in elementary school. When Tamiya came out with their acrylic range, I gave it a spin and was equally disappointed. I tried Polly Scale flat on the recommendation of a model buddy, and while it was one of the best dead flat finishes I ever had, the airbrush kept clogging every 10 seconds of use and spat booger wads of congealed clear flat onto the model.

 

However, recently I have been experimenting airbrushing Tamiya acrylics with lacquer thinner as the solvent, and it works great! It sprays like a fine enamel, and has none of the frustrating clogging issues that seem to plague acrylics. The paint also dries really fast. A friend came over to airbrush some Tamiya acrylics using distilled water as a solvent, and it took around 30 minutes for the paint to dry enough to mask over for the next color. I am an enamel user, so I can usually start masking only 5 to 10 minutes after the previous coat (assuming it was flat). Some have pointed out that using lacquer thinner to airbrush defeats the odor advantage of acrylics, but I paint outside so it is not an issue for me. I have also heard that profesional grade lacquer thinner is required to get good results, but I use the cheap hardware store stuff in the gallon can. Cleanup of acrylic paint is a snap using lacquer thinner.

 

I have also tried limited brush painting with Tamiya acrylics, again using lacquer thinner as a solvent, and the results have been excellent. A single "wet" pass is needed to get even coverage and to avoid brush strokes. If a second coat is needed, wait until the first coat is really dry like 15 to 30 minutes. The only thing to watch out for is that lacquer thinner attacks styrene plastic, so avoid super heavy applications of thinned paint.

 

Also, I have found that the Tamiya acrylic will take clear lacquer overcoats without crazing. I use Tamiya/Gunze gloss from the rattle can as well as Testors glosscote/dullcote with an airbrush. I usually use Tamiya/Gunze rattle can primer (the fine one) for an undercoat for most of my models. Alclad grey primer also works very well.

 

One thing I noticed was that Tamiya acrylics tend to chip easily, so the robot kits might have to stay with the enamels.

 

Hope that helped.

 

Neal

 

 

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the trick with MM acrylics is that they need a good prime or they will not bite down. low tack masking tape can rip it up very very easy. tamiya acrylics have better bite with or without a primer.

 

you'll find more FS coded paints in the MM acrylic line. when it comes to tamiya, mixing is the thing to do.

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I go with what Neal said. However if you brush paint MM it will stick and not lift with a second coat. Not so with Tam, nothing but trouble everytime. I have to clear coat between coats just to keep it down. Makes it a pain to work on a teak wood ship deck.

Edited by sumterIII

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I use enamel and lacquer whenever possible. Dont really like the way most acrylics go down. That said, I have had good luck with Tamiya but only through an airbrush cut with rubbing alcohol. Its misery to brush since its sticks to itself if you go over a spot more than once. I tried Testors line a few years back and was not at all satisfied with how it went on. Shortfall of Tamiya line is color selection as others have said. Tamiya primer is second to none, when you can find it.

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I really like the Tamiya acrylics but the only problem is that a lot of colors are not available which means you have to mix them,. I always clean out my airbrush with denatured alcohol and it works well on both Tamiya, MM, and other acrylics.

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Guest PetrolGator

I use Tamiya paints 99.5% of the time. I do use MM paints but only for detail work, like headlights and talelights etc.. I never spray with the MM paints. I have not gotten the results that I would like. Love the Tamiya paint. Make sure to use the brand name thinner. Very important.

 

Chris

 

Agree with 99% of this. Tamiya is the way to go. However, I've have had good luck using generic thinner I picked up at Wal-Mart.

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I use both with good results.

As has been said use the appropiated thinner for the brand and be careful try to mix them - this doesn't always work.

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I use MM Acryl's almost exclusively. I put a few drops of flow enhancer into my color cup and that keeps the drying on the tip in check. I use MM Acrylic thinner for thinning (who knew!). When I finish up I clean out the brush with a couple of jars of tap water and then a final cleaning with lacquer thinner. Bright and shiny needle and innards are the result.

 

Bill

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