What actually goes into SMS paints?

What actually goes into SMS paints?

We are often asked about what sets our Premium Acrylic Lacquers apart from other, similar type hobby paints on the market and it comes down to the ingredients we use to create a strong bonding, rich pigmented paint.

So, without giving too much away (trade secrets and all), here’s a run down of some of the things that we do to create our Premium Acrylic Lacquer range.

The choice of solvents and binding resins is what ultimately makes or breaks a paint. The ability for the paint to adhere to plastic without damaging it (damaging by way of excessive “hot” solvents) is key for a high quality hobby paint like ours. Since we launched our range in 2016, we have continually adjusted and specifically formulated the base paint to be safe on all types of modelling plastics, resins and metals. Our choice of solvent load combined with the top shelf acrylic resin binders, has resulted in a paint that bonds extremely well with the surface it is applied to.

The base paint is essentially a clear gloss paint and needs to be tinted to get the colours we all love for our models.

Adding colour to the base paint is the next step in our process. Using high quality, vibrant liquid colourants (also known as tinters or “liquid pigment” in the paint industry), a formula is followed to add each colourant to the base at percentages and then is mixed thoroughly to give the paint it’s final colour. With our Premium solid colours, each and everyone is tinted using these colourant liquids which in turn bond with the resin binders which hold together when applied to your model and dry in place.

This process is very common throughout the entire paint industry but what sets us apart is the colourants themselves which allow for a more colour rich paint that gives a strong colour no matter the colour it is sprayed over.

And then you have our metallics, pearls and colour shifts. For these, we use the same base paint as with the Premium range, but instead add either a metallic liquid or a mica / aluminium based pigment flake. As these are a physical flake (as opposed to the Premiums that use a liquid colourant), we need to take into consideration the flake size so that they can pass through the airbrush nozzle. With a physical flake, as it is pushed through an airbrush nozzle, it can back up and then block if the pigment size is too large. Having a smaller pigment size is always best as it allows for more pigment to flow through easily without it backing up on itself and causing blockages.

Then, as with the Premium colours, the same acrylic resin binder bonds with the pigment flakes and aids in the final adhesion with the surface it is sprayed on to.

There’s definitely a lot more to what we do here at SMS that goes into each and every bottle, but hopefully this brief run down gives you a better idea of some of the innovations and new technologies that we employ in our range to constantly improve and give you the best products that we can produce to make your modelling easier and more fun.

So, to go back to the opening sentence of this article, what sets us apart from other paints out there is a high quality base paint, strong and vibrant colourants, beautiful metallics and pearls, and, what I consider to be the most important thing that sets us apart, strong and pure passion for a hobby we all love and adore.

After all, our paints are made by the Modeller, for the Modeller.

- Scott

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