Airbrush Paint for Plastics

nw-modeling-list at nw-modeling-list at
Thu Aug 5 01:23:28 EDT 2004

As a custom painter, the best starting point for a novice is water, food 
coloring and a stack of paper plates in order to get used to how the 
airbrush works in regards to air pressure and type (single or dual action). 
Water & FC is a lot cheaper than paint and plastic. Also get Jeff Wilson's 
painting book from Kalmbach Publishing for further reference info.

When you're ready, try to shoot in a well ventalated area or in a spray 
booth. PollyScale can be cut with water, shot straight from the bottle or 
cut with their airbrush thinner. I've also heard isopropyl alcohol works as 
well, haven't tried it, so I can't confirm. PollyScale also has a wide 
variety of colors to choose from. Only drawback is it yields a flat finish 
that needs to be gloss coated prior to decalling, then sealed.

My personal preference is Scalecoat (metal) and Scalecoat II (plastic), cut 
10-15% with their thinner for each product. The paint yields a high gloss 
coat, which can be decalled directly onto, then overcoated for a seal. 
PollyScale is my second choice based on color availability. (Check with 
DesPlaines Hobbies in DesPlaines, IL (Chicagoland area) for Custom Scalecoat 
II Colors including IT Green.)

Personal opinion on other paints; ModelFlex and Accuflex dry to quickly to 
the airbrush and gum it up, thinner from mfgr; AccuPaint great paint, 
finishes like Scalecoat, unreliable availability, thins with isopropyl 
alcohol; Floquil, great paint, great high, use their thinner, need multiple 
clear coats for applying & sealing decals. I do use Floquil for a limited 
number of colors - Sou Frt Car Brown and Platinum Mist.

When finished, I clean all the parts with Acetone, a little harsh, but works 

Two tricks to handling paint; mix it with a babyfood or "Martini" mixer, 
don't shake the bottle, fewer micro bubbles in the paint; clean the rim of 
the bottle and jar lid with a "Q-Tip" and acetone, then dab a little 
Vasaline or Chapstick around the rim of the bottle to create a airtight 
seal. Turning the bottle over works as well, just not a personal preference.

Hope this helps,

Russ Goodwin

>From: nw-modeling-list at
>Reply-To: "N&amp;W Modeling List" <nw-modeling-list at>
>To: nw-modeling-list at
>Subject: Airbrush Paint for Plastics
>Date: Mon, 02 Aug 2004 18:11:53 -0400
>While I'm not new to modeling or painting, I am new to air brushing.
>Could you as a veteran recommend a brand of paints and thinner for a
>How about a brand of air brush? I'm thinking about starting with a single
>action brush. Comments?
>Steam on,
>Dave Willis.
>Norfolk and Western, 1940->1950
>NW-Modeling-List at

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