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"How do you use military sprays?" Topic

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1,587 hits since 14 Nov 2018
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Comments or corrections?

Baranovich14 Nov 2018 8:01 p.m. PST

I'm going to be building a 1:35 Tiger tank soon, and I've been reading some varying opinions about how to use sprays like Testors model master and Tamiya.

I have Tamiya's X-60 Dark Yellow which has been widely used to represent the Dunkelgelb (spelling?!?!?) color the Tiger came out of the factory with after Feb. of 1943.

But my question is about the nature of military sprays themselves.

Do you use a spray like Tamiya by itself, or do you use a spray primer UNDER a Tamiya spray? What about Testors?

Some modelers say they use the military color as the only spray coat and is fine by itself without a primer.

In the case of sprays like GW's Citadel, the color sprays are widely used on plastics as primer undercoats which also serve as the base coat color of the model as well. In addition Chaos Black and Corax White are technically NOT spray primers but are widely used as such with good results.

So do any of you use Tamiya and Testors spray colors as the undercoat andd base coat color, or do you use spray primer before you put on the color spray?

I was always under the impression that a spray coat of paint on a model can be the undercoat because it adheres better to plastic than if you just started using brush-on acrylics straight over plastic, which doesn't work well.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2018 8:28 p.m. PST

When I use a spray I don't usually use a primer first

I do usually do a couple of light coats of the spray though

Garand14 Nov 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

Yes. It pays to know about the nature of the paints. IIRC the Tamiya spraypaints are lacquer based. Lacquer solvent will "bite" into the plastic, so a primer is not necessary since the paint should have no problem binding to the plastic. The only reason you would use a primer is if you want to alter the tone of the shade somehow (i.e. like undercoating white before spraying a bright red).

The same is true of Testors sprays as well (though most of those are enamels, still similar principals apply)


Anton Ryzbak14 Nov 2018 8:50 p.m. PST

Very thin coats, particularly with the Testors as it will run and "sag" if given any chance at all

Vigilant15 Nov 2018 6:34 a.m. PST

Personally I always use a primer, usually a pale grey. This shows up any flaws and seams that need sanding or filler before applying the main colour, along with providing a base for the main colour(s). The choice of colour of primer can also effect the top colour, pale colours making the top colour brighter, darker ones darkening it. I've found it helpful to watch some of the car restoration/modification shows on TV to get tips on painting and on using base colours to enhance the main colours.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

As far as Tamiya sprays I very much recommend a primer. I prefer a dark primer. I use Tamiya spray can TS-3 Dark Yellow for Dunkelgelb, the matching bottle is XF-60 Dark Yellow. The Tamiya sprays, out of the can, in light coats which is how I prefer it. Allows you to build up the color. With use of a dark primer can provide nice contrasts in what is called "pre-shading".

With the primer and TS-3 I have a great base to airbrush on XF-61 Dark Green and XF-64 Red Brown.

A tip I picked up, while doing 1/35 scale, from the various hobby magazines and sites. While the Tamiya bottle paints are "acrylic" they actually thin and spray better if you thin with Tamiya Lacquer Thinner (with the yellow bottle top) than with X-20A their acrylic thinner. I find the paint sprays much smoother and less clogging of the air brush.

Marc at work05 Apr 2019 8:37 a.m. PST

Ok. UK question. Where are you buying Tamiya spray paints? On line postage charges seems shocking but sadly, Tamiya seems a modellers' colour rather than wargamers

Mark 112 Apr 2019 2:48 p.m. PST

I prime with automotive spray primer in white. As I am painting metal models the priming is a useful starter. I like the sort of highlighting that a white undercoat provides, and at my scale (6mm) the generally lightening effect is also helpful.

I usually base coat on top of the primer with Testors Model Master sprays. I then weather and detail with Acrylics.

The best tips for preventing glopping from the sprays are:

1) Shake a lot, quite vigorously, before and periodically through the time you are spraying.

2) Spray with broad sweeping motions with at least 12 inches (300mm) and better 16-18 inches (400-450mm) from nozzle to model. I usually paint 10 or 15 models at once, so that I can use very broad sweeping motions effectively. At larger scales that may not be practical.

3) Only spray when the temperature and humidity levels are right! If the air is too cold or the humidity is too high you may get concentrations, globs and runs in the paint job. If it is too hot or the humidity too low the paint will dry too fast, sometimes drying into micro-drops while in the air, leading to a sand-paper like finish.

Sometimes I do the base coat with Acrylics using a brush, just due to the selection of the color or the small size of the lot I'm painting. But even then, the priming is done with a spray white automotive primer.

White automotive spray primer. Testor Model Master (Dessert Sand above, Olive green below) spray base coat. Detailing and weathering with Acrylics. That's my most common approach.

As to buying, I have never bought paints through online or mail order. Always in shops. But then I'm in a big urban area in California, so even if I did buy through the post it would not be particularly relevant …

(aka: Mk 1)

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