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thinning paints


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im having issues thinning paints ( im using p3 mostly ) and ive come here to ask some advice..

 

i have only seemed to have success with a 2:1 paint/water mixture, which im told is too thick still.. but if i try to thin any further i start to get blotches and water lines on the mini.

With the 2:1 mix its still so thin that its streaky and needs 2-3 coats to fully cover ( on white primer ) , im not sure what im doing wrong.. and i cant find any definitive " how to thin paints" tutorial.. because im guessing it should be idiot proof.

 

any help would be awesome.. ive seen some of the stuff being painted on forums such as these and i want to achieve the same results, and it seems that the first step is being a roadblock.

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I ue a wet palette, but before doing so when using a normal well palette to mix my paints my basecoat would be a 2:1 water paint mix. It would usually take 2-3 thin coats to get a good even cover of basecoat on. I think for layering I would use anywhere from 3:1 to 5:1 water to paint, depending on the color and how thick the paint was or was not. It is not an exact science. The entire idea is to use 2-3 thin coats to achieve a very even appearance.

 

Here is an article from the "Craft" section of this website, that does a fairly good job of explaining this concept.

 

Thinning Paints Tutorial

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I listen to advice, try it, then go with what works. I know I can use practice for some things (color transitions) but really, there isn't anything better than experimentation.

I don't use a specific ratio typically. I put some paint down, and start with a small amount of water, then test it on something (my working surface or a piece of scrap metal usually) to see if it is the right consistency. If too thick, I add a little water. To avoid water marks, using a very small amount helps. Thin the paint, then blot out most of it from the brush before putting it to the mini.

 

And I'll probably be called unprofessional for being so imprecise but oh well, its been working so far!

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I listen to advice, try it, then go with what works. I know I can use practice for some things (color transitions) but really, there isn't anything better than experimentation.

I don't use a specific ratio typically. I put some paint down, and start with a small amount of water, then test it on something (my working surface or a piece of scrap metal usually) to see if it is the right consistency. If too thick, I add a little water. To avoid water marks, using a very small amount helps. Thin the paint, then blot out most of it from the brush before putting it to the mini.

 

And I'll probably be called unprofessional for being so imprecise but oh well, its been working so far!

 

 

what youre saying makes sense.. and its what ive been trying to do.. im wondering if its just not the wrong paint to be attempting it with .

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The thing is that thinning paints isn't a science; it really is a matter of personal choice to a degree. When you factor in various brands as well, it really makes it difficult to answer your question beyond just telling you to experiment.

 

For example, I keep a record of various ratios and how many coats it takes to cover in a .txt file on my computer. Some keep a paper notebook. Others actually paint on an index card the different ratios.

 

I guess the point is, it doesn't matter what specific ratio you use, so long as you know how to use it to get the results you wish.

 

As a P.S., do you use any kind of flow improver in your water? The only time I've had water marks is when I used straight water, but when I started using Future, they went away.

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Test different paints, they aren't always the same even within same brand and type. I find my bottle of Gemstone Purple from Reaper to be somewhat grainy, but the Bright Blue to be very smooth. In my Citadel paints, the Fortress Gray is somewhat gloppy, but the Red Gore is smooth, etc.

 

Another thing I do which is even more imprecise but has become a kind of favorite is to thin on the brush. I take a tiny bit of paint on the tip of the brush, and I dip it very briefly in my water. The glop dissipates into the brush and the water, then I roll the extra water out of the brush and test it. If I'm using just one color, I can become fairly consistent with each paint dipping and that way I don't have a glob of paint out. I do this more for slight touches in shading or accenting than main features however.

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Thinning just with water can yeild good or bad results. If you live in an area that has hard water you might get splotchy results so you might want to see if thats the problem.

I never use tap water but only distilled water you can buy at just about any grocery or drug store. And adding a flow improver is a godsend. I use a mix of 25% Flow Improver 25% SloDri and 50% distilled water.

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does synthetic vs natural brush fiber make a difference?...

The pros say it does . . . if I could paint like a pro maybe I would notice the difference ::(:

I noticed a pretty big difference, and after switching to S7s (and practicing for a year or so) I can paint almost as well as you. :poke:

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One of the best tips I ever got on these forums was to switch to a larger brush too. I had been using a 5/0 down to a 20/0, but pretty much everyone told me to find a nice 0 or 1 to use, that would hold both paint and retain a fine tip. I still have the super tiny brushes for the rare occasion of needing a brush with less width, but I pretty much do all my painting with my 0 sable now. I got a bunch of different 0s, 00s, and 1s to try and have one that's working great with the rest as stand-bys.

The brush can do the fine stuff, can hold the water and apply paint without streaks, its awesome.

Other excellent tip was brush cleaning. Brush soap works wonders.

 

Not directly paint thinning tips, but hey, the brush is pretty darn essentially to using the thinned paints!

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I'll +1 the natural brushes are better camp.

 

Once you practice proper brush care, a good sable brush will hold a point far better and far longer than a synthetic. And detail painting is often times all about the point. (Try doing eyes with a flayed tip... it'll be Simple Green time before you get the first eye done.)

 

I do most of my painting with 1 and 0 size brushes. I do have a 3/o Kolinsky brush which I use on two or three details per model, but generally I'm all about the 0 and 1.

 

As to thinning P3's, the trick is maintaining 'body' because of the insane amounts of water used in the thinning proocess. I recommend Liquitex matte medium. on average, I run 10 water : 3 matte : 1 paint with the P3's. Undrstand, they use a liquid pigment and LOTS of it. 1. Be sure to shake the paints well in the pot, as some colors, articularly the blues/greys can separate after a while. 2. Be sure to test various colors and mixes; I posted my guideline, and sometimes I end up using more matte and/or water to thin the P3's.

 

They are a good paint line, and I still use them for several purposes, but they're no longer my go-to paints.

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i had what im going to consider a breakthrough today.. as i stopped trying to use the grey that likes to seperate, using a ratio of 1:1:2 paint/medium/water i was able to achieve the thinned texture that ive seen, the technique which i have heard about.. and some really nice colors.. it took upwards of 5 coats to get a good red on the mini, but as ive heard that is something to expect with dark on a light primed surface.

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