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How to Paint with Acrylics

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How To Paint With Acrylics

Ammo Modelling Guide

Edited and printed by Ammo of Mig

Reviewed by Glen Broman

There are a fair number of people that know me that are absolutely convinced I’m not playing with a full deck of cards and attribute it to all those enamel paints I was exposed to since my youth. It may disappoint you to find out that my mother had me tested and I’m perfectly fine, although I do believe she wishes that she had taken me to that specialist in Seattle. Like many folks of my generation, I had to be drug kicking and screaming to acrylic paints. My first attempts at airbrushing Polly S acrylics would have made a great YouTube video. Who knew you couldn’t thin acrylic paint with Humbrol enamel? The bottom line is that I’ve been an experiential learner most of my life, which is also how I learned not to stick a dime in an electrical outlet. Not only will you not get a Coke, it will send your little fanny zipping across the room. When it comes to painting with acrylics, you don’t really need to learn by trial and error any more. As I’ve mentioned in the past, trial and error is a fine way to learn, unless you defuse roadside bombs for a living, but if you can take advantage of others experience, that is, as we say in the business “more better”.

I started seriously using acrylic paints about ten years ago and am now hooked. For those of you just starting to use acrylics, or are new to the hobby, you will find this book a very useful primer. Although this book is from the folks at Ammo of Mig, the techniques apply equally to the Ammo, Vallejo, AK and other lines of acrylic paints.

The first chapter covers that age old question, what is acrylic? That question is a little deeper than you may think because there are two types, the pure acrylic and the lacquer based types such as Tamiya and Mr. Hobby. This chapter does a good job of defining both and laying out their strengths and weaknesses. The following chapter covers primers and applications by both brush and airbrush. Very useful, as I’d never really considered using a brush to apply a primer coat before. We get into the real meat and potatoes in chapter 3; using acrylics with an airbrush. Quite a number of folks have been tripped up the first time they tried to airbrush a true acrylic paint. I count myself amongst them. There is a definite technique to it and you get a good laydown here. They also cover modulation, zenithal lighting, care and feeding of your airbrush and troubleshooting some basic painting problems. Most of these techniques apply equally to pure enamels and enamel acrylics as well. Chapter 4 covers painting acrylics with a brush. This is where I think acrylics really shine; they are a great brush paint. I use acrylics for all of my detail painting these days. Some good techniques on painting hard edge camo schemes are included. There is a short two page chapter on painting cockpits. I don’t think tanks have those, but it’s cool. Next up are decals, another short two pager, perfect for my short attention span. Now we come to something that I found very useful, how to paint figures. I’ve become very adept at closing the hatches on all of my tanks just to keep from painting figures, so you can imagine I found this useful. Just a disclaimer here, if you see any of the figures I’m working on for my Churchill project, and they still suck, it’s not their fault. They are a lot better than they were before I read this chapter. The next two chapters cover chipping and washable paint, or whitewash winter camo, as most of you know it. Chapter 10 covers metallic paints. At the IPMS Nationals in Columbus a few years ago, I watched some guys spraying the new acrylic metallic ranges and was absolutely amazed at the effects. Following that are short chapters on painting clear coats and painting tracks.

I have to say that this book is not really for a modeler that is experienced with pure acrylic paints, but if you’ve been using enamels, or the Tamiya and Mr. Hobby lines and want to give these a go, this is a book that will give you an understanding of the basics you need to get a good result the first time out. This product will help prevent you from teaching new words to any members of your family that may be within earshot when you are trying something new, and in the immortal words of Martha Stewart, that’s a good thing.

I purchased my copy from Last Cavalry at www.lastcavalry.com