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Paint & Masking Choices

For painting you've got a number of options to consider, depending on your budget and how annoying (in terms or odors and noise) you can be.

Paint Type

Type Brand Examples Solvent Pro Con
Enamel Model Master, Humbrol, Tamiya, Gunze-Sangyo Petroleum-based durable finish requires ventilation
Lacquer Floquil Dio-sol very fine finish; durable can attack styrene; requires ventilation
Acrylic Model Master, Aero, Tamiya water or alcohol minimal or no ventilation; easy cleanup less durable

Application Method

Method cost Pro Con
Brush cheap good for detailing small areas, easy to switch colors & clean up large areas may show brush strokes; may be "globby"
Aerosol moderate easy application; fine finish may require extensive use of masking; can't mix colors
Airbrush can be costly fine finish; good for misting and weathering effects may require extensive use of masking; lots of "fussy" prep & clean-up work

Masking Method

Method example cost Pro Con
liquid MicroMask; latex cheap to moderate easy to make irregular edges paint may flake off when removing
film frisket; parafilm cheap to moderate easy to make irregular edges paint may bleed under
tape Post-It; masking; transparent cheap easy to mask shapes; clean edges may lift underlying paint; paint may bleed under
etched mask brass; cut vinyl expensive saves time can only be used for one subject; paint may bleed under

Depending on your type of paint job - a gaming mini, one-color model or multi-color/multi-shade model - you should pick'n'choose the most-suitable methods. More on that as we delve deeper.


The Model Citizen's "Sprue U" pages are �2004 Roger Sorensen
last updated 04 December, 2007