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Acrylic vs. Enamel Paint for Plastic Model Building Kits??

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Acrylic vs. Enamel Paint for Plastic Model Building Kits??
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, November 04, 2007 12:19 AM

Hello Everyone,

This is my first post.  I'm extremely new to model railroading.  I've got a starter train and am working on a 4X8 layout.  I've picked up a few DPM building kits and am wondering what the consensus is about acrylic vs. enamel?

Thanks in advance!

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Posted by NeO6874 on Sunday, November 04, 2007 1:29 AM

seems to pretty much just depend on personal preference.

I use acrylics for the majority of painting work, as they don't reek (very important to me).  They are a little more of a pain to work with at times (ie coverage),  but I'm willing to trade off the slightly poorer coverage for no smell.  

 

Now, if I had an airbrush, the coverage issue might be resolved. 

-Dan

Builder of Bowser steam! Railimages Site

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Posted by loathar on Sunday, November 04, 2007 1:22 PM

I like to use enamels for track, cars and locos. (things that get handled a lot) Acrylics and even thinned down craft paint work fine for structures.

In case you don't know. These are what I mean by craft paint. They come in gloss and flat finish. Available at Wal Mart and craft stores.
http://www.plaidonline.com/apAB.asp

 

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Posted by Wikious on Sunday, November 04, 2007 2:20 PM
The only downside to acryllics is the fact that you usually need at least two coats on a model to cover it well. The upside is that they're pretty cheap and you can buy them almost anywhere. On smooth surfaces, though, they tend to scratch off pretty easily, so I'd recommend enamels for those and as Lothar said, any rolling stock you want to paint.

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Posted by 2021 on Sunday, November 04, 2007 7:21 PM

For buildings I always use acrylics.  Dry faster, easy clean-up of brushes (I keep a little bottle of water nearby, rinse off the brush, and on to the next color).  As far as an extra coat goes, it's no big deal since by the time you finish the model, your first coat is dry and can be repainted if needed.  Another advantage is you can do weathering by super thinning in water as you apply.  I use PollyScale which is more expensive than Walmart specials, but it seems to work better for me (that statement will bring comments).

Best way to learn is to experiment and find what you like best.

Good luck, Ron K.

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Posted by IL2windhawk on Monday, November 05, 2007 1:12 AM

I LOVE acrylics.  They are so incredibly easy to airbrush.  I prefer Modelmaster over Polyscale for most colors, because they seem to stay mixed better (fewer globs on the bottom of the jar).  They dry to the touch in like 5 minutes.  They are non toxic, and can be cleaned up with water (instead of nasty chemicals).  I woudl strongly urge you to get a decent airbrush.  I got a Badger 155 for ~$50 on ebay, and it's an excellent painting tool.

I only resort to enamels for very shiny things, like bare metal surfaces.

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Posted by dadret on Monday, November 05, 2007 6:31 AM
I use both - clean-up with acrylic is much easier (water) but sometimes hard to match specific RR colors.  Acrylic is a lot cheaper - I buy mine in the craft dept. at Wal-Mart.
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Posted by donhalshanks on Monday, November 05, 2007 10:55 AM

I agree with the responses so far.

But wanted to welcome you to the forum.  Have fun modeling and come back often with questions or concerns.

Hal 

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:22 AM
Thanks everyone for your advice and suggestions!!
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 06, 2007 10:32 AM

I used enamel paints on my n scale dpm kits. Don't let it drip from windows, doors, etc. or it will leave a big blot of enamel (not good!). I haven't tried acrylic...yet.

By the way, welcome to the forum!

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Posted by Stevert on Tuesday, November 06, 2007 10:51 AM

Jeff,

  This topic has been discussed extensively several times on the rec.models.railroad Usenet list, although not in the recent past (which means it's probably due to come up again any time soon...)

  Lots of folks like to use acrylic craft paints for buildings and scenery because they're inexpensive, easy to use, come in many different colors, and give the nice flat finish you want for those uses.  A few individuals have even used them for rolling stock, so thinning and airbrushing them has also been discussed on R.M.R.

  Delta's Ceramcoat seems to be a widely-available and well-liked brand and is often mentioned in those R.M.R discussions.  If you search the list for that name you'll get lots if hits.  And if your Internet provider doesn't give you Usenet access (sadly, that's becoming more common) you can always reach R.M.R. through Google and do your search there:  http://groups.google.com/group/rec.models.railroad/topics?lnk=gschg 
 

HTH,
Steve

P.S.  Those DPM kits can look great with a light coat of red oxide primer out of a spray can (Krylon or whatever's available).  Then do the trim and some dry-brushed weathering with Ceramcoat and you'll have a very respectable looking building!   
 

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