Modeling Products

Reviews of general scale modeling products such as paint, glue, etc.

Lacquer Thinner

Published: January 23rd, 2017     
Lacquer Thinner
Reviewed by: Dick Montgomery, IPMS# 14003
Company: Tamiya

Tamiya has long offered a wide range of acrylic paints and acrylic thinners. Recently I experimented with Tamiya's Lacquer Thinner, item # 87077. As a rule, I tend to use the paint thinner produced by the same company that produced the paint being used.

I found that the Tamiya lacquer thinner worked very well, indeed, although its use is different than the acrylic thinner I'm used to using. Do not let the fact that it is a Lacquer thinner dissuade you from using it with your standard Tamiya acrylics. It works just fine.

The lacquer thinner is noticeably "stronger" than the acrylic thinner, both in how it interacts with Tamiya acrylics and how it smells. And it should be said here that if you can smell the paint you are airbrushing then you should wear a mask. Also, users are strongly advised not to have an open flame nearby as lacquer is combustible.

US Navy & USMC Colors From 70's to Present

Published: November 13th, 2016     
US Navy & USMC Colors From 70's to Present
Reviewed by: David Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Vallejo

Vallejo makes several different types of paints- some for hand brushing, some for detailing and some pre-thinned for air brushing. Model Air is a range of liquid acrylic colors developed especially for airbrushing and has very finely ground pigments and an acrylic resin which has been designed for durability.

The set reviewed here is for modern US Navy Colors and contains eight 17ml squeeze bottles of:

Vallejo Metal Colors

Published: October 17th, 2016     
Vallejo Metal Colors
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Company: Vallejo

Vallejo has introduced a series of eighteen metallic colors in their Metal Colors line. This also includes a glossy black primer and a gloss protective varnish. Each bottle is 32ml (1.08 ounces) and has an excellent pour dropper which is angled. MSRP is $10.99 per bottle.  

The colors reviewed are:

Halifax B Mk. III canopy masks

Published: October 11th, 2016     
Halifax B Mk. III canopy masks
Reviewed by: Rod Lees, IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/72
Company: Eduard

Thanks to Eduard for providing more of their excellent aftermarket parts for IPMS USA to review, and to IPMS leadership for sending it to me!

This set is simple to use; Kabuki tape masks for all the clear bits! Included are masks for all the windows, canopy parts, and gun turrets, and wheels. One benefit of these sets is the ability to mask off VERY tiny windows; in this case, all the 1/8" round porthole windows, and some of the intersecting canopy window bits. These can be less than 1/16" across, and are VERY difficult to mask; same with the turret frames, because of the complex curves. Eduard utilizes multiple small tape masks to make sure you cover all the areas without wrinkling, which leads to paint creep under the tape.

After you have installed the canopies and other items, just remove the masks with the tip of a #11 Xacto knife blade, and press into position. Spray paint with interior colors, then the final exterior colors; flatcoat, then remove the masks. Done!

American Staff Car Painting Masks

Published: October 9th, 2016     
American Staff Car Painting Masks
Reviewed by: Dave Koukol, IPMS# 46287
Scale: 1/48
Company: Hauler


Of the many consumable items available to the modern-day modeler, pre-cut masking aids are perhaps one of the most useful types on the market. Originally targeting aircraft areas of interest, recent years have seen a tremendous proliferation into other genre - including military vehicles.

The Product

A recent and pleasant surprise was to see Hauler offer a masking set for Tamiya's 1/48 scale US Staff Car kit. Having that model on the near-term build list, I just had to jump at the chance to try some Hauler masks for the first time. The set contains two sheets of finely cut, super-thin vinyl masks for glass areas and wheel hubs, and stencils for national insignia stars. A single sheet of placement diagrams is more than sufficient for applying the masks.