What is a good paint and thinner for someone new to airbrushing?
That really depends on your situation. If you are in a situation where solvent and odour are an issue, go for an acrylic like Tamiya or Mr Hobby, using IPA as a thinner.
If you have an open ventilated area to airbrush and happy to use respirator, the new lines of laqcuer paints from MRP, Tamiya, Mr Hobby and SMS are great.
YouTube is your friend, watch as many videos as you can on Scale Model Airbrushing.
If i was just starting and not an old school Floquil fanatic, Tamiya would be my choice due to quality and availability. I’d use Tamiya yellow top lacquer thinner with Tamiya paint. Thinned about to 1 to 1 and spray at about 15 pounds of air pressure.
The AK Real Colors are also worth a look and testing. I’ve not used them but read many good things about them.
Additition thoughts: Wear a quality respirator as paint particles are bad to breath and have good ventilation. Rubber gloves are nice too. Keeps finger oils and prints off the model. Washing model in warm soapy water, rinse and let dry. This gets all the construction grime of lf the plastic.
To a degree one may need to experiment a bit with different paints brands to find their best paint brand.
This over view might be of interest Night shift on Best Paints and other thoughts.
There’s a lot of excellent info on his YouTube channel.
It is always difficult to answer certain questions, the variations are endless, what is more important for you? … dry quickly or have more working time?..Acrylics vs Enamel vs lacquer
Is the smell a problem? same as above
toxicity / allergies?..respiratory problems or skin
Do you have any shops nearby and if so what brands do they sell and in which part of the globe do you live?..some brands are difficult to find in some places
what do you build, what era and do you have specific nations in mind?..some brands are more focused on certain nations/era/Vehicles
Airbrush, brush or both?..Tamiya,lacquers etc…are awesome with AB but tricky with the brush or LifeColor the opposite
I use LifeColors and MissionModels as acrylics and Humbrol Enamel, for washes and for ready-made effects I use AK and Ammo, for DIY Abteilung and Rembrant oils, metallic Agama Metals pastes … for sure others use totally different products
As said above, first you should decide how important are fumes for you. That will restrict your choice, for safer paints I would go for Vallejo Model Air, if smell is not a problem then AK Real Color would be fine.
Yeah, the smell isn’t much of a consideration when I choose a paint,I have several Tamiya bottles and a few Vallejo, which I like Vallejo but it takes me a few minutes to get the thinner ratio straightened out but when I do it’s probably my favorite, I got a bottle of mission model paint and it must be a bad batch, it’s got some gunk on the surface of the paint in the bottle and luckily the discoloration on the model I painted with it before knowing that just looks like it should actually, (meaning applied in the field by the tank crew) I believe Tamiya is probably the easiest to work with, for me anyway,oh, and I’ve tried Mr Hobby and it wouldn’t even come out of the jar and actually the smell of that did bother me because it was clearly old or had gotten too hot or cold a time or two and destroyed the properties of the paint pigment, so I’ll probably stick with Tamiya and Vallejo, the laquer paints are gonna be released soon by Tamiya anyway and I’m looking forward to trying it, thanks guys
Depends too on what your building, you would have to find the colors you need and who makes them.
Consider using what’s available locally from the nearest hobby shop. Likely to be lots of first-hand experience and advice and resupply will be much easier and faster than interweb-shipping.
I personally do almost all of my airbrushing with Tamiya paints because they are the easiest to find locally and work quite well once you learn them. I don’t mind mixing custom colors, so the somewhat limited pallet is of no particular issue to me. I use their proprietary lacquer thinner in the yellow-cap bottle to reduce the paint for spraying, and I use ordinary hardware store lacquer thinner for clean up. I use both their XF- flat paints and their X- gloss paints. These are also compatible, and both paint lines can be mixed, if desired or needed for some special level of sheen or custom color.
However, that’s just me (and about a zillion other model builders…).
Seriously, though, pretty much any brand can be used successfully. Availability and associated products are, at least for me, more important than type or brand. I use what I use mostly because I can get it easily and quickly (since paint is a consumable and must be resupplied all the time).
Once you do settle on a brand and type, though, stick with it long enough to really get good with it. Don’t be too quick to blame the paint on any problems or lack of success you might have. There is a learning curve and switching brands of types just sets you right back to the beginning of it.