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Thinning Paints


chika
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I use GW paints mostly and some Reaper Pro Series paints. I don't have a problem with the RPS paints, but when I use the GW paints they tend to get thick when sitting after awhile. Does anybody have any suggestions as to what the best way to thin the GW paints so that they lay a little bit smoother?

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Probably your standard acrylic paint thinner: either water (preferrably distilled) or "gunk" (Anne's last recipe that I saw was 40% flow improver (MSP) , 10% Slo-Dri (Liquitex). 50% distilled water).

 

I'm amused that you said that GW paints need to be thinned since a game store owner told me last week that he recommends GW paints for beginners since they don't have to be thinned. Since I've never used the new GW paints, I chose not to reply.

 

Ron

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I started with GW as well, because it's really all that was around here at the time. I find that they really need to be thinned to do any real detail work with.

 

I know what you mean about the game store. Down at the local GW bunker I watch all of the time and they teach the people to paint directly out of the pot tops, and they never even describe paint thinning to people. It wasn't until I started really digging into the internet that I really started to find out about usint thinned paint.

 

I use distilled water and a little flow aid in it (10%) and I also add about 6 or 7 drops of unthinned flow improver to GW paints in the pots. I did find that it made a big difference. I don't do this with reaper master or vallejo paints though, I think that they flow really well on their own, and just help them along with my gunk.

 

There is my two cents worth ::D:

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That's funny, because I first heard about thinning paints from a GW rep. We had some guys up from HQ in Glen Burnie (when it was there) to do demos and run games, and the guy teaching the paint class stressed that you needed to thin your paints (to a consistency of melted ice cream, as I recall). It wouldn't surprise me if this was an exception though. I'm sure most painters using GW paints paint right out of the pot for the convenience if nothing else.

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There is a major difference between getting a 100-200 piece army on the table quickly vs. painting a gold demon winning entry. If your aim is to teach young painters to get an army on the table, assembly line painting techniques are in order. But you do give up lots of quality with this type of painting. If you take a pic of one of these minis and blow it up on your monitor, you will see the skin looks like stucco from the unthinned paints. From across the table, it looks fine.

 

Back to answering your original question. Use a toothpick to transfer a few drops of paint to a pallet (cheap white ceramic tile from the home center works fine). Add a few drops of water or your favorite mix of goop - I start at 1:1 paint to thinner. If you are going to layer up highlights, then then more for each layer.

 

This does 2 things. It stops your paint pot from drying out. The GW design exposes lots of surface area to the air when the lid is open. And it helps you become a better painter.

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I haven't purchased a lot of GW paint, as I far prefer the Reaper paints for both colours and other properties. When I have gotten GW paint, it's seemed to me that a fresh, newly-opened bottle of it usually is pretty thin, thin enough to work fine for basecoats or only need a bit of thinning to be basecoat consistency. The problem is the bottle design, as Airhead mentions. The old design even let air in while the product was sitting on the shelf, but both old and new designs expose the paint to a lot of air while the tub is open, and the paint thickens up pretty quickly.

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