Thinning out paints

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Thinning out paints

Post  maxthebrbr26 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:53 pm

How do you thin paints out and what is the point of it? People always talk about it but I don't understand the point.

-Max Barber
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Thinning Paints

Post  Fletch on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:45 pm

The basic concept is to make you paint last longer Laughing

Ok, maybe not - but it is universally a good idea.

You're looking to decrease the brush stroke lines left behind and a good ratio is about 3:1 (paint to water).

The P3 and newest GW paints are pretty nice in this regard, but I still add a bit of water to mine.

Here's a post as to the how's/why's.

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Thinning out paints

Post  John -Garro- Vas on Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:48 pm

Max,

Thinning out paints is a technique used to help prevent visible brush strokes on the surface area of your project. Often times the medium (the magical liquid that suspends the pigment of the paint) is just too thick. So when you apply your color to your model, you lose the detail of the sculpture and you can see brush strokes after the paint has dried.

Now, there is a very easy way to avoid this abhorrent situation. It's called a wet pallet.
You can make one of these for about $7-$9 ! Here's how-

1) go to Wal-mart
2) find the plastic storage section (tupperware).
3) locate a 20oz, 5in x 5in container with a lid that seals.
4) Find the sponge section, Grab a couple of sponges that you can cut to fit the container.
5) nab a box of parchment (wax) paper. You'll find that by the tin foil.

Now buy the stuff and run out of the store Laughing maniacally as if you are off to destry the world. When you get home, cut your sponges so that they fit flat along the bottom as one piece, and add water. You dont want standing water, but you want the sponges to be really wet. Now cut a piece of the parchment paper to the size of the container and place on the sponges waxy side up. Viola' Wet pallet. Matt has a post on this at Monster Lab.

Now then. Since the paints we use are acrylic, they are water soluble, so you can use water if you want to thin them out, or you can buy acrylic thinner at Hobby Lobby. A bottle costs about six and a half buck but will last for a very long time.

What I do is put down a drop of water or thinner down on my pallet. I then add one or two drops of paint to that and mix a bit. Just from that you can get a good Idea if you have the paint thin enough or not by looking at the bristles of your brush. If you can see the bristles with some paint "In" them you are good to go. If the paint is globed up and you can't see bristles, probably too thick.

As for laying the paint down, if you seem to be too thin on your mix, it's ok, you can always add layers, It's the streaks you want to eliminate. And once you start learning to layer, you'll find yourself doing some pretty advanced stuff sooner than you know!

Hope this helps!
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Thanks John

Post  maxthebrbr26 on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:30 pm

Woe. Way more than I was expecting. Thanks you very
Much. I plan on doing all of this once I get my next paycheck. This hobby seems to keeps wallet empty.
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Re: Thinning out paints

Post  Vericlas on Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:39 am

If you feel like you need pictures to build the wet pallette go to the Midwest Monster Lab (link on home page) and go to the August 2011 articles. One of the first articles there will show you how to build one. I was going to link to the article but I can't post links yet. Also I use acryllic thinner instead of water to thin my paints down some. A lot of it is style and personal preference. A wet pallette will help thin the paint a little, but where they really shine is being able to blend and store the blended paint so you don't have to reblend the same color if you need to stop.

The money thing is what it is. If you aren't building a new army every few months the expenses tend to even out. Past new paints for projects and the odd new model here and there you can do this hobby on the cheap once you have 'your army' pinned down.
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Re: Thinning out paints

Post  Matthew Ochs on Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:45 pm

These are all great suggestions and a wet palette is definitely tool worth adding to your arsenal. Most often you don't need to thin your paints, but sometimes after you've had them for a few months they'll start to dry out and thicken up. This is what Andrew is talking about and what leads to a lumpy paint that doesn't look good on models. A few drops of acrylic thinner does the trick to rejuvenate an old pot of paint. If you need some ask one of the hobbyists at the store or get your own at Hobby Lobby.

Here's a link to the product I use: Testor's Acrylic Thinner
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