Choosing the right paint for your model is an important step in the build process. So what's the difference between the paints available?
Acrylic paints are the more common and most popular type of paint for modellers. Most acrylic paints are water based meaning they are easy to clean with water and non-toxic. Some are alcohol based and can be cleaned with either water or an appropriate thinner.
They are excellent for hand brushing and dry quickly. Adding a medium called Retarder will slow down their drying time giving you more time to adjust and blend the paint.
For first time modellers acrylics are the most suited
Enamel paints are oil based, they are durable but are toxic compared to acrylic. They tend to dry rigid and are best suited if you intend to handle your models frequently. Because they are slow drying, they tend to show less brush strokes as they generally self level. Unlike acrylics, enamel paints need a toxic enamel thinner for general clean up.
Lacquer paints are solvent-based. Although lacquer paints are not suited for hand painting, they are excellent for airbrushing. When dry they are the most durable of the three types of paint and also dry the fastest. They have become very popular with modellers in the past few years due to their increasing ease of use with high quality thinners and broad range. Being the most toxic of all the three types, it is strongly recommended that you have a sufficient amount of ventilation and air flow when working with lacquers. We strongly recommend you wear a respirator if you intend to use toxic paints!