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Old 09-09-2002, 09:58 AM   #21
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What is the difference between the various paint types?
Each paint type has a plus and a down side. Each type also has its place, though the following is through my experience and you may feel differently!


Is a very reactive paint, and will not allow automotive paint to be applied over it. It is happy over every other paint type however.

The gloss colours have a very deep, harsh shine which is a bit too plastic-y looking for car bodies.

It is perfect for fine detail however as the oil base is very easy to work with and it will happily sit where you place it. Have a small amount of enamel thinners near by in a small pot, and dip the tip of the brush in the thinners, then the paint pot, dab on paper and then paint on the detail.

Enamel is also good for large surfaces which require brush painting, as it is slow to dry. Allow 6 hours before adding another coat if required. Very difficult to remove as chemicals that remove the paint also attack the plastic. A strong degreaser like Castrol Super Clean is the only way known to safely remove it at this time.

USES: Fine detail painting. Large surfaces which require brush painting.

DO NOT USE: On car bodies. The shine is too harsh and unrealistic and it doesn’t polish well. Do not use on any surface which requires another paint type on top.


Because it is water based it is very friendly to use, but the water tends to ‘hold’ the paint off the part you are painting, making detail painting difficult. Again, thinned with a little soapy water, the results can be improved but expect to require a few coats to achieve complete coverage.

This type of paint is easy to remove, just spray the part with oven cleaner, leave to work and then rinse under a tap. The paint dries quickly, which makes painting large surfaces undesirable.

Great for matt colours, as it is easy to hide the brush strokes and dries to a very smooth, velvety finish. The gloss colours dry to a soft shine. Then just four days is required before polishing to a shine.

USES: Car interiors and light lenses.

DO NOT USE: On large surfaces. The paint dries very quickly and each new brush stroke tends to pull at the drying surface.


Also very reactive, and requires a plastic primer for modeling. Enormous colour range and it’s possible to use the exact colour of the car being modeled. Some metallic can be out of scale but true mica paints can be used, where the round metal particles reflect the light and give different shades.

Drying time is fast, touch dry in 10 minutes, but required hardening or ‘gassing out’ for a week before polishing.

Not suitable for detail painting, but possible to spray each part a single colour, and then add other colours with enamel or acrylic paints, or mask and spray other shades over the others.

USES: Perfect for car bodies, or model parts sprayed in a single colour.

DO NOT USE: With a brush as it leaves brush marks. Not suitable for detail painting.

Also, a marvellous write up on paint by daggerlee:

Last edited by Jay!; 04-18-2003 at 06:53 PM.
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