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Old November 12 2009, 09:54 PM   #1
daedalus5
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Cheap places to get model paint?

Hi,
I've bought a couple of models to work on for over the winter and was wondering if anyone could let me know the cheapest place to get all the numerous (40+) tins of paint, without it costing me a fortune.
There are loads of websites that sell paint, but they have different brands. My models are Revells' Voyager and B5 and The Reliant (yup, been ebaying!)
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Old November 12 2009, 09:55 PM   #2
Plecostomus
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

I too would like to know as I have a 1/350 battleship model I would like to build over winter and I've kind of balked at the high price of paints.
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Old November 12 2009, 10:55 PM   #3
Ziz
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

It depends what kind of paint you want to use - enamel, lacquer, acrylic? You'll need both bottles and spray cans. Enamels and lacquers give smoother coverage but you need thinners and turpentine to clean up. They also blend better while they're still wet so you can mush white into blue for imitation lighting effects. Acrylics are water based so they clean up easier but it takes more work to get a smooth coat. They also dry faster, so it's harder to blend one color into another to create effects.
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Old November 13 2009, 01:57 AM   #4
Albertese
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

When I'm building models I use a bunch of different paints. I usually airbrush my own color blend of testors model master acrylic airbrush paint, which isn't super cheap. But a lot of the smaller sections of the models you have (I've built the voyager and the reliant, but never seen the B5 kit so maybe this won't apply) can be nicely painted with super cheap cheap craft acrylics. Go to a craft store and find them. Here in the pacific northwest, I usually wind up with ceramcoat acrylic. A bottle will last me literally years. It's kinda thick coming out of the bottle, but it thins with water. Experiment and find the best mixture for your tastes. I notice you're in the UK, so I don't know what's available by it's brand name. But I've used the cheap stuff on Games Workshop models along side their own brand of Citadel Paints and the difference is marginal. With practice, you can get just as good.


Also, brush up a bit on color theory and by a limited range of paint colors. I almost never use a color straight from the bottle. A little tweak here and there and you can blend just about any color on your own. For me, I usually a keep a good black, white, red, blue, green, and yellow. I'll usually keep a couple browns on hand too just to make those more neutral shades a little quicker to get to. I will grant that Citadel makes some excellent metallic paint, so if you want metallic, I do recommend them and they are available in the UK for sure, but they are pricey. I bet you could get through the whole project with a dozen or so bottles of cheap paint and handful of classier ones. If you're not afraid to mix them that is. I highly recommend you experiment with it and see what you can do.

--Alex
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Old November 13 2009, 05:42 PM   #5
daedalus5
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

Thanks for the colour mixing tips - I'm balking at the idea of purchasing several different shades of grey! Will have a look at all the various different blueprint model colouring guides from the 3 models and go from there. Out of interest, whats the best way to apply a base coat - is it a spray, or will paint do the trick?

In the UK, popular manufacturers of paint is Vallejo, Revell (who make the Trek models and recommend their colours) and Humbrol - which are the best/most cost effective.

I presume a nylon thin brush is the best to purchase?
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Old November 13 2009, 06:58 PM   #6
Patrickivan
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

I don't use model paint anymore- too expensive. I use automotive paint. It's actually inexpensive in small quantities, and the range and quaility is very good.

But prime well- I've had some case of paint adheshion failure on un-primed areas. By the way, use auto primer too.

I also use automotive shortstrand fibreglass reinforced body filler on my models too. They sculpt well (before drying) and trims very nicely before settimg.
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Old November 14 2009, 01:58 AM   #7
Albertese
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

Patrickivan has a nice suggestion. I've heard a number of guys having success with automotive paints. Personally, my background leans as much towards miniature gaming figures as it does starships, so my techniques have evolved out of that as well.

I never knew Revell even made paint (every time I've seen one of their kits in the USA that included paint, seems like it was Testors paint. Maybe the two companies are related in a way i never knew about.) But I have used Vallejo and Humbrol, and both are excellent. I'm actually quite fond of Vallejo and I have a buddy who uses it almost exclusively. It's good stuff.

For you base coat, I recommend some sort of neutral grey primer. Go ahead and spend some money on this stuff as I find you get what you pay for with Primer. Make sure the can is warm when you spray it to avoid an orange-peel texture. I'll usually run the can under warm tap-water (around 100 F) for a little while to make sure it's a good temperature right before I spray. For the base color I would try to find a good color in a spray can and do the same thing. If you have access to an airbrush you can customize color which is very nice. Otherwise you have to find something good as the model store.

--Alex
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Old November 14 2009, 04:15 PM   #8
Forbin
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

www.squadron.com for all your modeling supply needs.
www.micromark.com for lotsa little tools and materials.

Do NOT use automotive paint on bare plastic (styrene) models. It's too hot and it'll craze the plastic like an orange peel.
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Old November 14 2009, 10:07 PM   #9
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

^Forbin is wise in the way of models ... you'd do well to listen....

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Old November 15 2009, 03:22 PM   #10
daedalus5
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

OK, thanks guys. Will look at all 3 of my models colour sheets and then whittle the numbers down and try and mix some paints up too, and go for a bulk size of base colouring too for the models. Good to know the popuplar brands are all pretty much the same too.
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Old November 15 2009, 03:35 PM   #11
Forbin
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

Q2UnME wrote: View Post
^Forbin is wise in the way of models ... you'd do well to listen....

But I'm a lazy bastich and I hate mixing paints, so I always try to find a bottle color close to what I need.
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Old November 15 2009, 05:56 PM   #12
Ziz
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

Same here. My fear in mixing paints isn't that I won't get to the color I want but that I won't get ENOUGH of the color I want. I mix paint the way Italian grandma's cook - "a little of this, a little of that, yeah, that looks good, it's done". As a result, I can never recreate a color I mixed, so unless I only need a tiny amount for detailing, I'd rather hunt for a bottle or can.
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Old November 15 2009, 10:11 PM   #13
Patrickivan
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Re: Cheap places to get model paint?

Forbin wrote: View Post
www.squadron.com for all your modeling supply needs.
www.micromark.com for lotsa little tools and materials.

Do NOT use automotive paint on bare plastic (styrene) models. It's too hot and it'll craze the plastic like an orange peel.
Yes- priming is very important (hence my prior statement)... That being said, while model paints are easier to use, they're far too expensive- that's why I stick with auto paint. I'm cheap!
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