Puzzled by Paints? Model Making Painting Basics 1: Acrylics – what you need to know

Acrylic paints are one of the most popular types of paint used for model making but what’s the difference between the different makes, the varnishes, and thinners; when would you use them and how.

If you think painting models was simply a matter or popping down to the local craft or model shop and buying a few pots of paint you’re in a for a shock. There are dozens of types and makes.  Even for the most common form of paint, acrylics, there numerous makes, types and additional products.

Model maker Davie Graham kindly guides us through the makes of acrylic paints, why you’d use Vallejo, Citadel, Army Painter, Tamiya or the budget Artist Colours makes; the thinners and varnishes and the advantages of each.

Thanks to Davie for his informative, helpful, guide.

If you’re struggling with maintaining the consistency of your acrylic paints, check out my guide to wet pallets; they’re a must have accessory for acrylic painting.

Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of modelrailwayengineer.com. He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.

Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.

When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here,

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