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Repost from July, 2017
"My take on acrylic paints" -- LateStarter.

[Updated with pertinent edits].

Although I prefer enamel primers, I will always favor acrylic finish coats because of their faster dry-times and easy cleanup.

Of the acrylics I've used, there are five favorites for various reasons.
Depending on whether I'm hand-brushing or air brushing, certain brands and types will do better than others for me.

• Vallejo & MicroLux.
• ModelFlex.
• ModelMaster.
• Mission Models.
• Tamiya.

These evaluations are based solely on personal experience and observation, and are in no way meant to slight any other choices or favorites.

Right off the bat, I'll go out on a limb, and say that the best acrylics on the shelf are Vallejo... hands down.
They hand-brush the best, and Vallejo/Air & Premium airbrush better than any other.
They can easily be thinned, or they spray right out of the bottle without a hitch, and they dry smooth as silk.
There's also a huge selection of colors.
That being said, their place in model railroading has only recently been established, because their selection is limited mainly to military, aircraft and game colors. You won't find Tuscan Red, Reefer Gray, or Pullman Green.
But for Black, White, Browns, Buffs and Grays, plus variations of all the primary colors you can't go wrong. It's sold by most online outlets, and at most Hobby Lobby's and Amazon.

MicroMark's MicroLux acrylics are made by Vallejo, and are divided into hand-brush and airbrush categories. A limited selection lists Engine Black, Grime, Roof Brown, Roof Red, Reefer White, RR Tie Brown, and Rust.
I've used the Engine Black and RR Tie Brown, and they're both top notch.

Badger's ModelFlex is a close second. It sprays like a dream right out of the bottle, but doesn't hand-brush as well. Wide range of railroad colors.

One of my favorites for hand-brushing is Testors ModelMaster.
Although it doesn't airbrush as well, it goes on nicely with a brush, and dries smooth. Wide range of railroad colors.

Mission Models
Extremely high pigment density, and excellent coverage. Thinner & "PolyMix" need to be added for dilution.
When thinned according to directions, (about 60/40) it's a superb airbrush paint. It also handbrushes well with less thinning. Very economical... goes a long way. Excellent adhesion.
Mostly military colors, but several basic colors, earth colors, and many shades of rust.

Tamiya is another one of my favorite acrylics. Again however, not many railroad colors. They're mostly meant for air-brushing, and they excel at it.
Not that they hand-brush all that poorly, but they're specifically thinned for the airbrush right out of the bottle.
Their sundry online down-loadable color charts are divided between gloss, semi-gloss and flat, by letter designations... somewhat overwhelming if not confusing.
They're available just about everywhere.

These acrylics all dry fairly quickly, adhere very well to alkyd, enamel and acrylic primers, and render superior coverage.
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