Welcome to my first Learn With Me series, this’ll be the primer and man, I’ve learned a lot. And for sure, you will too.
So my AB came and got delivered by out village guard. I bought it from Hobbyland and its price is REALLY tempting. I was so excited and immediately opened it and here are the things that I got:
1. Air Compressor with tank
2. Air hose
3. Dual-action AB
The dual-action AB comes with hose connector and hose connector nut. Maybe for other ABs? I’m not sure. Also comes with a dropper and a small cute wrench.
The instructions that it comes with only tells you the parts, not how to disassemble or how to use. But I guess using it is intuitive, but disassembling IMO, should be there. Or at least a video in their page. Disassembling for each AB is different, but same for most parts. They don’t have any, so I guess I’ll make one soon 😛
The Air Compressor has an instruction manual and I hope that you read it thoroughly unlike me 😛 But it’s a simple connect the hose and AB, then push the button and you can start spraying. The things you should watch out is the pressure regulator. It’s important that you set it properly, in my case around 15-20 PSI. You can lift the know then turn it to set, push down to lock it in place. Since I’ve got a tank, it’s more convenient. It has pressurized air inside that I can use whenever I want while the motor is resting. It has an auto turn-on/off BTW. It’s also oil less design so no need for maintenance.
After exploring each, I immediately tried it. I already have a premixed acrylic paint using Mr.Color Aqueous (It’s mr.hobby’s acrylic line.) and Tamiya Acrylic. I placed it in a bottle with dropper on it so I can use it whenever I want without actually mixing a new one.
Took out the cap of the AB (it’s actually better when you take it off most of the time. It only makes sense using one when it’s filled, but most likely it won’t be so yeah. I put an enough amount on it then started spraying. I’m quite satisfied with the result. however, I’m only quite satisfied on the first pair. BTW, the first pair is the light pink/purple of Destiny Impulse R. Also topcoated it using Pledge Wipe and Shine. That thing works wonders as you can see and no need to thin. It can be thinned down further if you want to BTW. And for the second pair is also a mix, but I used 70% Isopropyl Alcohol with moisturizer so I expected it to be sucky, but alas, the finish was still good. However, the color isn’t quite enough nor that close to the darker shades of purple of Destiny Impulse R. I don’t have sufficient acrylic paint to mix another since I’ve wasted it here, but I have something else in mind. I mixed a bulk thinking that it’s already the right one, but I’m wrong.
So for now, let’s start an experiment, but first and foremost, the paint I’ll be using here involves two kinds. One, Tamiya Acrylics and the other is Mr.Color. FYI, Mr.Color line is lacquer based. If oyu want the acrylic, as I’ve mentioned above, it’s the Mr.Color Aqueous. So what do I need in order to do this experiment? Here are the ff:
1. Paints, as I’ve mentioned.
2. Acrylic Thinner.
3. Lacquer Thinner.
4. Container, in my case, I’ve used a coaster.
5. Mixing tool, preferably a metal so it can be reused.
The story behind this is I bought the wrong one, that’s Mr.Color Maroon. I thought it’s acrylic, but it’s actually lacquer. I don’t want to go out of the house, drench myself in my own sweat and get toasted by the sun so I was desperately trying ways to mix acrylic and lacquer.
Now let us begin. Acrylics are water based, meaning, it can be thinned down using water. Yes, even tap water works. But of course, for best results, we opt to other methods like using 70-99% Isopropyl Alcohol, Acrylic Thinner, Windex and a lot more. Lacquer on the other hand are, hmm, I don’t know based, lol! All I know is that it’s the strongest type of paint among others. So for this, I’ve tried mixing a small amount of Tamiya Acrylic White and Mr.Color Maroon. Well, it mixed and I got surprised knowing this. However, once thinned down, it doesn’t go well.
BTW, the first pic was thinned down using 70% Isopropyl Alcohol and the second one using Tamiya’s own Acrylic Thinner. The latter mixed better than the first. Knowing that the former has moisturizer, it makes sense.
The first experiment is a failure, I wasn’t able mix the two. But I’m still not losing hope just yet. So I continued asking for help from my friend, Google. I came across a video that Tamiya Acrylics can be thinned down using lacquer thinner. They say that lacquer thinner can also be used to thin down enamel paints. I’m quite surprised that lacquer thinner can be used for both knowing that they don’t mix together as they are water and oil based respectively.
I bought a lacquer thinner from our national hardware store, Ace Hardware, lol! National because I see it often. Anyway, since this is just an experiment, it won’t hurt using an industrial one. Lacquer thinners that are hobby grade are quite expensive.
I tried experimenting on two sets, first combination using maroon, white and pink. The next one using maroon, white and purple. Only difference between the two are the pink and purple got interchanged. Tried mixing a small amount on the coaster, then dropped a lacquer thinner and boom! I was quite surprised how fluid the paints got mixed together. It has a better feel. The first color combination resulted in a lighter tone, it’s not what I’ve been looking for, but the second one was closer.
So from then, I’ve tried adding a bit more purple until I get my desired shade. That’s how I usually mix actually. I do small amounts so you’ll not waste your paint in bulk.
Once you get the mix, it’s now time to start mixing it in a larger quantity. I usually store it in a plastic bottle, with dropper on it so I don’t have to mix whenever I want it and convenience. I’ll do a tutorial on how I mix and I’ll not put it here.
I sprayed my concoction and I am really impressed with the result. It has a natural dull on it, a finish that I prefer over gloss and semi-gloss.
Since I get the hang of mixing paints, I’ve tried it again. This time, using Tamiya Black and Pledge’s Wipe and Shine. As I can see, Tamiya Acrylics are in semi-gloss and Mr.Color Aqueous are in flat. The combination resulted in flat and I don’t like just flat or semi-gloss for my black since I’m aiming high gloss black, pretty much like Gaianotes.
They say Tamiya paints can have 1:2 (paint:thinner ratio) and this is what I’ll do here. Then, add some Wipe and Shine. So the ratio will be 1:2:2 the last 2 being the W&S. It worked, it created a high gloss, but not quite the gloss I’m looking for. So I have foun out, Acrylics can’t be as glossy as Enamel and Lacquer. My bet is Lacquer because Alclad Black base and Gaianotes are lacquer based. Though Tamiya’s Enamel Black is glossy as well.
After the spoon was covered by gloss, I placed some of my favorite graphite powder to see the result. As usual, it’s good. But not quite as reflective as I thought it would be. Gaianotes black here I come! Oh, if you’re curious, I will try and create a chroming tutorial once I get an Alclad II Chrome 😛
The last combination I’ve tried is mixing primer. Of course, before paints, priming is almost a must. I primed the spoons before using Tamiya Surface Primer in a can, but this time, I’ll mix my own. I bought one bottle each of Tamiya Surface Primer in a bottle. I have to mix it on my own since it’s in the bottle. I’ve read that the thinning ratio is 1:1. At first I told myself, is this really the right ratio? Yeah, it looks like milk because I mixed the white color first, but it’s too thinned in my perspective. But whne I started spraying, damn, it’s good. I actually think this could be thinned down even more. BTW, I used the lacquer thinner for this one, but they say Denatured Alcohol can be used as well. I think that’s a better option.
The last part of my experiment involves stripping paints. For this, I’ll use Prestone dot3 and use the earlier spoons for test.
It worked as of expected. Even the mighty Bosny got stripped as well. Yes, I used Bosny to color the right spoon. Bosny Gray Primer, Black and Clear Blue was used. It’s industrial type so I think stripping it proves the power of this product in stripping paints. I even tried bending the parts that got soaked for an hours, 2 for the Bosny but it’s the same as the original. However, one told me that the side effect of using Prestone usually appears after 2 weeks. So I’ll update everyone of what will happen once 2 weeks pass.
So that’s it for my learning with me series. I’ll compose many tutorials out of these. After I finish those, then that’s the time I’ll do this again so stay tuned 😉