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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:00 pm 
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Tamiya LP Paint: Not for everybody

I took a business trip to Japan recently and high on my list of things to buy was the mystical Tamiya LP (Lacquer) Paint bottles.
This paint is not available in the US (at least not yet) and I wanted to give it a go because of lacquers durability and clingyness to PE.

Before going to Japan I had purchased a new Tamiya Premium Yamato kit and Pontos PE.
Tamiya almost certainly started this line of paint for ship modeling because all of the 12 colors at release were IJN ship colors, so it would be dumb to not jump on it.
Since then of course more colors have been released (63 by now).

So how is it? Well, its different.

1. I haven't figured out quite the right lacquer thinner ratio for airbrushing. The tamiya acrylics you could simply fill a new bottle up to the brim with thinner and that would work everytime.
But this LP paint is a little more viscous and that old trick may be too much. However, once I poured out a little paint and then gave the bottle a really good shake then the issue disappeared.
So note shake the bottle real good!

2. Remember the viscous problem? Well it still seems to clog. It might be my cheap syphon airbrush but after 5 minutes of use and setting down the brush and picking it back up again, it would stop feeding. After taking the paint bottle off and squirting thinner right into the brush it would clear right out.

3. LP paint must be used outdoors or in a well ventilated area. Its the same paint in the spray cans and as such it is flammable and harmful to your health.
It stinks just as much as the spray paint too. Not as bad as enamels but close.

4. It actually is the same paint in the cans. I did a side by side of the Kure Arsenal gray and they look nearly identical. The acrylic version of Kure looks a little whiter to me.

5. Drying times are longer. I would give it at least 30 minutes.

6. It does cling better to PE than airbrushed acrylics. Many times in the past I have had acrylics simply lift off the PE after masking something but this LP paint seems to resist the temptation.
Not saying you can't scratch at it but it may save your butt from having to repaint.

7. You can apply Tamiya's panel liner directly to it without running the paint. Doing so on the acrylics was disastrous and so always required a lacquer spray coat before application.


Bottom line:
I would only apply the LP paint as a main color, like you were planning on buying the spray cans from the start. For a ship this of course would be some shade of gray.
Having the LP in the airbrush allows you to now color match the spray cans to do more detailed work that before was not easy to do such as color shading.
It also allows you to avoid the spray cans all together and still get the durability and finish.

As I said before the first concentration of colors for this new paint series focused on IJN ships. It seems to me that the Tamiya in-house ship modelers finally got what they were asking for. :cool_2:

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