Finally got an Airbrush-best paints?

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Sr Member
Hi guys,

Well ive finally taken a leap into another world with buying an airbrush kit (compressor, airbrush etc) and would like to get a general idea of the best paints for airbrushing. Im uk based and know of a few makes, but im not 100% sure of which to go for. Also, as an airbrushing newbie, are the paints thinned down first using water/thinner??

Thanks in advance.


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Sr Member
The Vallejo Air line is pretty good. They are acrylic so you don't have to deal with solvents and they are already pre-thinned


Active Member
Paint is a personal preference with a lot of different opinions out there. Makes me think that there are a lot of good paints and I have tried many. My advice to a new Airbrush owner......get a good compressor.


Sr Member
Tamiya, Vallejo Air, or Mr. Color. Anything else is going to be inconsistent and eventually make problems and headaches for you. Testors/Model Masters are hit and miss. Some of the paints lay down beautifully and some of them horribly. It's a crap shoot one which will do what. So for your sanity, stick with Tamiya, Vallejo Air, or Mr. Color.


Sr Member
I like Tamiya and Testors MM Acrylics, both spray rather well when thinned properly. You can thin Tamiya with their thinner or with lacquer thinner, which will make it dry faster. Mr. Color sprays very well too but tends to be a little harder to work with and smelly because it's lacquer and dries very quickly.

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New Member
I agree with DanielB, i recently bought an entirely new compressor and paint (vallejo air) and it works like a charm. I have tried to different hobby paints and thought I could mix it for airbrush myself .. Dont go there spend the extra buck and buy the known brands, but most important of all - learn how to keep your brush clean.


Sr Member
If I can have my input,
Best paints out there would have to be the vallejo range, however the water based (acrylics ) are very hard to spray as a first time user .
As they are already thinned down and take a long time to dry , you will find the first time user spraying way too much paint and causing drips or blown runs.
Easiest paints to Learn airbrush IMO is cheap humbrol and thin them down enough till you are comfortable to spray with and leave the acrylics until you are more advanced .
Again this is just my opinion .
Also a very important note you will hear every airbrush user say, ten thin coats rather than one thick, however this is easier said than done.

Jun Austria

Active Member
For beginners. Vallejo Model Air works best. But as you gain more experienced in airbrushing and knowledge in paint mixing for airbrush. All available paints in the market works well.
In the end, it will goes down to the price and coverage ratio.


Master Member
what do you intend to paint?

it will probably have an effect on your choice of paints.
i'm in the u.k. also and tend to stick with tamiya and humbrol.

2 very different paints.

in terms of thickness of paint i go for the milk test. in other words get it to the consistency of milk. you can test this by adding thinner to a glass jar with paint in and then you tip it up at an angle then level again. you now watch the paint run down the side of the glass, it should go translucent fairly quickly. if it doesn't its too thick.
there are plenty of how to vids on you tube.

and as said above, cleaning is a must. after every time i use mine it is stripped down and cleaned after words. if its dirty before you start then you are just wasting your time.
i use cellulose thinners to do the clean up, this way i know its clean!

good luck!

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Robert McLain

Sr Member
I'm fairly new to airbrushing(less than one year) and use acrylics. The two best I've used so far are Tamiya and Valejo Model Air. These seem to be the most trouble free for me, The model master acrylics seem to dry too fast, causing the airbush to clog more often no matter how much I thin them.

Although I haven't tried it yet, I hear there are retarders that you can add to the paint to slow down the drying process. Also be sure to try varied pressures and be sure to use a moisture trap, unless you use compressed C02, then it isn't needed.

BTW, my airbrush in an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS dual action that has performed really well.



Sr Member
I'm new to airbrushing as well (first started maybe 8 months ago). Some of the stuff I've learned: cleaning pot is a necessity, Mr. Hobby thinner called "Mr Color Leveling Thinner" is my favorite, apply multiple thin coats to build up the color (can't stress this enough, puddling sucks), Tamiya metallic paints clogged my airbrush instantly however Testors enamel metallics did not. I mostly used Tamiya acrylic paints.

Find something you can experiment on, I used some hard plastic packaging from a gopro mount that had an interesting shape.

Scarecrow Joe

Sr Member
Acrylics and I thin them down with car wiper fluid, the cheap blue stuff found almost everywhere. Works very well. I usually go 1:1 ratio agree with the milk test.


If you're just getting started you can try regular acrylic paint mixed with Windex as a thinner until it's the consistency of milk. It works pretty well and goes a lot further when you're learning what your airbrush can do. With that mix you can clean the airbrush with isopropyl alcohol. I've used this to steampunk a nerf gun. I did have to put a clear coat over it to protect the finish.

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Well-Known Member
I use Vallejo Air and I really like Freakflex paints too.

I use Muc'Off from Halfords to clean the brush and a rinse with Badger airbrush cleaner. Muc'Off is way cheaper than airbrus cleaner and Halfords are doing it for £5 at the moment for 1L.
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Sr Member
I prefer, and mainly use Tamiya paints. I thin them down with Isopropyl Alcohol, it's cheap and easy to find. I also use Model Master every now and then and I thin it with their Thinner for Metalizer, which I think works much better than their regular thinner. As for cleaning my airbrush, I use whatever thinner I used in the paints that I sprayed.

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