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Ink peeling off?? - Advice Wanted


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Hi all.

So I've been priming my minis with black vallejo airbrush primer.  A few months ago I bought Winsor and Newton White drawing ink for zenithal highlights.  It's been working great.  Until yesterday. I was painting a mini that was ultimately going to have a white underbelly, so I used more ink than usual.  Sprayed underneath at about 60% coverage, and from above from maybe 90%.  I did not dilute the ink with any airbrush thinner.

As I started slapping down some thinned paint, the ink layer peeled up and rubbed off.  It was gummy like rubber.  Fortunately I wasn't very far into painting, but it was frustrating none-the-less.  Anyone else have this happen?  Where did I go wrong?

Edited by MoonglowMinis
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This the drawing ink you are using?

 

wnink.jpg.5851f903ab0ab114f3d148723bf8ff21.jpg

 

If it is, important thing to know about inks: they come generally in either pigment-based or dye-based. Pigment-based inks, like the acrylic ones miniature paint companies sell, get their color from pigments, like the name implies, and the same kind of pigments that are used in paints. Without diving in too far into science (it's Sunday, after all) it uses a waterproof acrylic-binder to keep the pigment "glued" on after it dries.

 

Drawing inks, like the one above, get their colors from dyes. The formulation of those can be more complex because dyes can reactivate with water, so things get added to make them water-resistant. Big difference between water-resistant and waterproof. Once it's cured, throw water at something waterproof all day and it won't come off. Water-resistant can take that abuse up to a point, but eventually will give out.

 

Since you said it was a drawing ink, and what I looked up on the W&N inks, I'm going to assume it reactivated with your thinned paint (assuming you use water to thin?) and that's why it started to peel off. Why it came off rubbery, I don't know. Maybe that's some of the stuff they put in the drawing ink formula to make it resistant (maybe the shellac). Or possibly some of the paint you were laying down came up with that layer? No clue right now.

 

My advice would be to try a pigment-based ink instead (do some research, lots of different types of inks), or wait longer for the ink layer to dry before painting and maybe try a bit less water when thinning that first layer of paint.

 

EDIT: You also said you used more ink than usual, and previously had no issues. That could also have been an issue.

Edited by ManvsMini
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32 minutes ago, ManvsMini said:

This the drawing ink you are using?


Yep.  That's the one.

I've had issues with using water-based inks before (the very cheap stuff).  I thought for sure I had gotten the right kind this time.  But I clearly didn't do my research well enough.  I'll have to just order some FW stuff online because going to the art store has let me down twice now.

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On 8/8/2021 at 2:35 PM, MoonglowMinis said:


Yep.  That's the one.

I've had issues with using water-based inks before (the very cheap stuff).  I thought for sure I had gotten the right kind this time.  But I clearly didn't do my research well enough.  I'll have to just order some FW stuff online because going to the art store has let me down twice now.

 

There is a lot of marketing going on in art materials these days, particularly with acrylic paint. The ink most people use on miniatures in recent years is what used to just be called high flow acrylic paint. The ink part is marketing and can confuse a lot of buyers. If you want what most people are using buy something with acrylic in the name. There are lots of pigment based ink that are not acrylic and there are people who use them on minis. They used to be fairly commonly used for washed, but they aren't what most people are talking about when the say they use ink today. The ink you have is pigment based rather than dye, but it uses shellac rather than acrylic resin for a binder. 

 

Acrylic inks can be delicate if you airbrush them on and can rub off when using a paintbrush over them if they haven't cured sufficiently. When you do something like a zenithal prime it's best if you set them aside for a few days before brush painting on them. 

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1 hour ago, cmorse said:

The ink you have is pigment based rather than dye, but it uses shellac rather than acrylic resin for a binder. 

 

Careful on that. If you are talking about the one that I put a picture of, and was confirmed by @MoonglowMinis, then that ink is dye-based, not pigment-based. The pic came directly from W&N's site, and they state dye-based.

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54 minutes ago, ManvsMini said:

 

Careful on that. If you are talking about the one that I put a picture of, and was confirmed by @MoonglowMinis, then that ink is dye-based, not pigment-based. The pic came directly from W&N's site, and they state dye-based.

 

That's true for most W&N drawing inks, but not that specific one. You'll find most white inks are pigment based even if everything else in the line is dye based. Likewise the india ink and metallic ink in the line are also not dye base. Those just aren't things you do with dye.

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13 hours ago, cmorse said:

 

That's true for most W&N drawing inks, but not that specific one.

 

You are correct, and I am not (the horror!), as is W&N's website. I contacted W&N and specifically asked about it, and awoke to an email that all of their of drawing inks are dye-based except for the white and black, which are pigment-based (though to their credit, the website does say the black ink is pigment-based).

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