Member's Area Hints and Tips Airbrushing and painting
An area for members to pass on any hint's and tips relating to airbrushing and painting of model related subjects.


Postby tomhamilton » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:32 am

I have always been impressed by the Lifecolor range and had no worries brushing them . Some of my collegues have given away trying to airbrush them, Can anyone recommend a suitable thinner and the ratio you mix it ? ( not Lifecolr as it is too expensive for the amount of airbrushing I do) Thanks in anticipation.
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Postby Damo » Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:43 pm

Distilled water, thinned to the consistency of skim milk. I understand Lifecolour paints are not solvent based, so don't take other thinners too well.
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Postby Creative Models Australia » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:15 pm

Hi Tom,

Lifecolour are a tue acrylic, so DONT thing with alcohol or general purpose thinners, it will just turn into a clogged up mess, that you will spend hours cleaning from your AB.

I like LC for brush painting figures, there great for tat, but have had no luck in airbrushing them, even using distilled water as said by damo. I've used several techniques, but have now given up.
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Postby A30_737_AEW&C » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:53 pm

Last edited by A30_737_AEW&C on Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Florence » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:18 pm

I have only used LifeColor paints once or twice through the airbrush - thinned with distilled water - and they were pretty good. Just have to keep the nozzle free of dried paint build up (as with all acrylics). I keep a damp sponge or chux handy and clean the tip after every few passes.

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Postby mikeyvet » Fri May 20, 2011 3:13 pm

I've been using Lifecolor paints through an airbrush for a few months with no worries.

I use the Lifecolor thinner and really, at $12.99 for 250ml you really can't claim it is too expensive, especially when you don't need to use much.

I've found that generally I use 2ml of paint to 1/2 ml of thinner. The clear gloss I use about 2ml paint to 1 1/2 ml thinner. When I mix them I look for one drop to fall off a piece of sprue used for mixing within a second of lifting it out. No drop and it's too thin, more than one drop or too slow and it's too thick.

One thing I do find is that when spraying big areas that if I just spray on a full heavy coat initially over unpainted plastic it goes a bit funny, but if I spray a very light coat, let it dry for about five minutes then put on a normal full coat it's fine. I'm sure if I was keen enough to use a primer it would be fine too. Spaying over previuosly painted areas is fine too.

The only real problem I've had is with the gloss silver that didn't want to spread over the plastic, the matt colours are all great. The gloss clear works fine over both Lifecolor and Tamiya so long as you don't put on too heavy a coat, ant it won't make the underlying paint go blotchy if used in humid weather like The Tamiya clear has done to me.

I use tap water to clean the airbrush
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Postby smeg1959 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:20 pm

I used to use Tamiya acrylics until I discovered Lifecolor, which are now my paints of choice. Having said this, I have had issues with the paint clogging the airbrush when using either Lifecolor's own thinner or distilled water as the diluent. Airbrush pressures are critical - I wouldn't recommend running above 12 psi, as excess air pressure definitely speeds up the drying process and, hence, clogging of the nozzle. Other suggestions I've seen include adding a small amount of Windex or an acrylic retarder. Haven't tried either yet but will do in coming weeks.
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Postby DesTROYer » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:34 am

Agree with the last two posts about airbrushing Lifecolor. I have been buying and using it almost exclusively now since I first found it. I like that all the common FS codes are readily available an the plastic jars are never hard to open. Use a dash 1/3 Lifecolor thinner to 2/3 paint. I mix it in the AB bowl with a pippet. Lower the pressure down to 12-18psi and light even coats. Wait 5 mins and reapply. Keep a cotton swab on hand to dip in thinner and clean the AB tip as required.
I've even found that touch ups can be made with a paint brush and the color shade stays the same.
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Postby Homerlovesbeer » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:55 am

A great reference thread guys...thanks!
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