FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are Acrylic Lacquer paints?
Acrylic Lacquer are a solvent based paint that uses an Acrylic Resin binder as an ingredient. Our range of paints have been specifically formulated for air brush use on a variety scale modelling plastics, metals and resins.

But isn't Acrylic water based paint?
Yes, in common terms, water based paint is often referred to as an Acrylic. Whilst this is true, confusion does set in when Acrylic is used to describe other types of paints that aren't water based. We suggest that the best way to describe paint types to avoid confusion is Water, Oil, and Solvent rather than Acrylic, Enamel and Lacquers. 

What about colour coverage?
Some colours like White and Yellow are notoriously hard to get an even coverage due to bleed through of the base colour underneath. The Premium range of paints fixes this common issue by increasing the pigment density of each and every colour, meaning that any colour can be applied without fear of bleed through with only a small amount of coats - even with White!!

Why should I choose the Scale Modellers Supply paints over other brands?
Ever had a paint job ruined because of chipping or scratching? The nature of Acrylic Lacquer paint means that once cured, they are tough. They are much more resilient and less likely to damage when compared to water based paints and are very fast drying.

I have heard that you should not spray Acrylic Lacquers over water based paints? Is this true? 
Yes and No.

Solvent based Acrylic Lacquers cure 'hot' as in they produce a small amount of heat as they dry. If the layer of solvent based Acrylic Lacquer is very thick over the top of the water based paints then it will produce enough heat to cause damage to the paint below it.

If you follow the general rule of air brushing - apply in light coats after the layer below has been given enough time to fully cure - risks of reactions are lowered dramatically, making it possible to apply a solvent paint over a water based paint. As always, if in doubt test on a throw away piece first before committing on your hard worked on model. 

Do I need to thin SMS Paints? 
Our paints are designed for air brush use.

We adjust our paint viscosity to ensure that our paints can pass easily through a 0.3 mm sized air brush at 15 PSI. Some environmental factors and personal preference may influence further thinning but it is not necessary in the majority of cases.   

Our paints are all air brush ready meaning that all of the guess work with thinning ratios is eliminated - all you need to do is give the bottle a good shake and then Pour & Spray!

If I do decide to thin the paint further, what do I use? 
Whilst we sell our own Thinners, it is not necessary to use our own brand. Any solvent based Acrylic Lacquer thinner is fine to use. Any of the major brands of Lacquer Thinner are good to use as are thinners such as solvent based General / All Purpose Thinners. 

How do I clean up my air brush after spraying SMS Paints? 
Easy! Flush the air brush through with Acrylic Lacquer Thinners, making sure to use an old brush to wipe down the sides. Repeat the process until the air brush is clean and then do one final flush with water to remove the thinners from inside to prevent drying out of the internal seals. 

What precautions should I take when air brushing? 
Air Brushing involves the atomisation of paint into an air borne particle. If you are spraying ANY type of paint, whether it be water, oil or solvent based, you should ALWAYS spray in a well ventilated area with adequate safety equipment. 

We recommend that you use a face mask that is fitted correctly with the correct rated filters (P2 minimum) installed. A spray booth is also highly recommended. 

Our paints are Class 3 Flammables (as all solvent based paints are) so be cautious around ignition sources and open flames. 

Is SMS truly an Australia company? 
Yes! We are a small family run business based in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia and our aim is to produce the best products with as much local materials as possible. 99% of our paint range is made from local materials from a range of suppliers across Australia. 

Whilst we try our hardest to make sure that our products are made from local materials, some things are just not manufactured here, so unfortunately we have to import those few items that we do not make ourselves. This equates to around 5% of our total product range. 

I have another question but it's not on the FAQ!
If you have other questions, please contact us via our Contact Form and we will be in touch as soon as we possibly can to help.