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Author Topic: Using Akan Acrylics  (Read 19807 times)
John Thompson
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« on: May 09, 2010, 09:27:36 PM »

I bought several Akan acrylic paints from Linden Hill recently. Although most of my painting experience (what little I have lately!) is with enamels, I've noticed that the Akan paints seem to behave differently from some other acrylics I've tried. Since they come in a bottle with a very narrow neck (not like the wide-mouthed bottles from Japanese paint manufacturers, or the familiar Humbrol tinlet), it seems the only way to mix them is by shaking them (the pigment also seems to settle very quickly). This causes the paint to foam much more than any other paint I've tried. Apparently the surface tension of Akan's acrylic formula is very high. I also noticed that, if you smear a large drop of paint on a surface with a toothpick to check the colour, the paint blob actually seems to shrink in at the edges, also suggesting high surface tension. Has anyone else noticed this, and what did you do to prepare the paint for airbrushing? I'd like to try adding a drop or two of Liquitex Flow Aid, but I haven't been able to obtain any of this yet - maybe in a week or two.

I've also read that the paints require a lot of dilution to airbrush them, although in the bottle, they don't look too thick. Distilled water? Automotive windshield washer fluid? I probably should have checked to see if Linden Hill's Akan product list includes some kind of special diluent, but I didn't expect to need it.

For brush application, the paints work quite well right from the bottle, although again, the odd bubble may appear on the painted surface. The paints dry quite quickly and give good coverage when used this way.

John
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John Thompson
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 02:36:28 AM »

I did a quick airbrush test tonight, using the Akan paint straight from the bottle, with no dilution or other additives. My airbrush is a very old Badger 100XF, and my compressor is a cheap diaphragm type with no method for pressure regulation (I'm not sure it makes enough pressure to be able to regulate it!). The paint applied extremely well, and I was very pleased with the results. After about 10 minutes, the paint was dry, although still slightly tacky. After one hour, it was completely dry and could be handled without fear of damaging the surface.

John
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K.Ingraham
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 03:44:07 AM »

Well John, you're earning your 'Hero' status. I haven't had a chance to try my Akan order yet so I'm watching your guinea pig status carefully.
Thank you for leading the way!
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John Thompson
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 06:43:15 PM »

My courage was inspired by the May 9 "Victory Day" celebrations... Wink

When I get a chance I might post a photo of the "test mule" I used for the trial, but it'll probably take me a couple of days to get to that.

John
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John Thompson
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« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 06:27:37 PM »

Two more experiments last night:
(1) Tried thinning a small sample of AII Kr red with "Polly S Airbrush Thinner for Waterbased Acrylic Paints" - this did not work! The paint went into clumps; apparently one of the chemicals in the Polly S thinner reacted with the paint and caused it to coagulate.
(2) Tried the same thing with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol (rubbing alcohol); this seemed to work perfectly. I then smeared some of the thinned paint on some plastic; the paint dried well and had good adherence.

John
« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 11:39:48 PM by John Thompson » Logged
John Thompson
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 11:38:34 PM »

Here's a couple of images; both of these show paint applied to the wings of an old ZTS 1/72 Yak-1 which I've been using for paint tests. The surface already had a coat of very dark blue automotive lacquer from a previous experiment, although it doesn't look dark blue in the photos because of the angle of the lighting. The surface is very rough because of the reaction between the solvent in the lacquer and the styrene plastic of the wings.

The first image is just a comparison between Akan AMT-7 and Humbrol 47, both applied by brush; the Akan paint is the lower, darker colour:




The second one shows the Akan AII Kr red, applied by airbrush without thinning. The rough appearance is due to the effect of the previous lacquer paint attacking the styrene, not any fault of the Akan acrylic paint. Notice how well the Akan paint covers the very dark blue surface, with only one coat:




John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2010, 07:26:00 AM »

Hi John,
thank you for your work. It definetly looks that Akan paints worth buying. (Agh! I hate to have to do with paying by the web).
It would be interesting to compare the AMT-7 to its closest equivalent on the Humbrol range, the n.89.
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 03:04:09 AM »

Thanks, Massimo! I don't have any Humbrol 89, but I'll look for it on my next trip to the hobby shop.

John
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John Thompson
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 01:51:16 AM »

I found some Humbrol 89 today and tested it. No image to post yet, but Humbrol 89 is almost identical to Hu 47. The most obvious difference between the two is that one is gloss and the other is flat. My conclusion on this one is that Hu 89 is not a good match for Akan AMT-7, unfortunately.

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 07:13:27 AM »

Hi John,
let me know more, please.
Massimo
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learstang
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 05:37:01 AM »

John, I'm tempted to get the AKAN paints from Linden Hill, but I haven't had much success in using acrylics with airbrushes over the years.  It looks like you got yours to behave pretty well.  I was interested to see the AMT-7 colour - it's more muted and darker than I would have thought, almost like a darkened Hellblau.  The paint I just used on my latest Il-2 was Testors Topsides Blue (Russian), and I liked the results.  It's more muted than the WEM blue I'd been using previously.  It is however still considerably lighter than AKAN's AMT-7.  Forget problematic colours like AMT-1 and AMT-12 - I'd just be glad to get the blue undersurfaces correct.  At any rate, thank you for reporting on your experiments with AKAN.  Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Learstang
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"I'll sleep when I'm dead."

- Warren William Zevon

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John Thompson
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2010, 07:48:56 PM »

John, I'm tempted to get the AKAN paints from Linden Hill, but I haven't had much success in using acrylics with airbrushes over the years.  It looks like you got yours to behave pretty well.  I was interested to see the AMT-7 colour - it's more muted and darker than I would have thought, almost like a darkened Hellblau.  The paint I just used on my latest Il-2 was Testors Topsides Blue (Russian), and I liked the results.  It's more muted than the WEM blue I'd been using previously.  It is however still considerably lighter than AKAN's AMT-7.  Forget problematic colours like AMT-1 and AMT-12 - I'd just be glad to get the blue undersurfaces correct.  At any rate, thank you for reporting on your experiments with AKAN.  Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Learstang

Hi Learstang! Thanks for the kind words. Yes, it's hard to "believe" that AMT-7 is so dark; likewise the two AMT topside greys. All I can say is that the FS595 equivalent given for AMT-7 by Vakhlamov and Orlov is almost identical, but they, like Mr. Akanihin, could be basing that on the samples in the Albom Nakrasok, so obviously they would get the same result. When I finally get around to actually using some of this paint to do a model, I will probably try "scale-effecting" it with about 15% white, which I think is the theoretical percentage for 1/72 scale.

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2010, 09:07:39 PM »

Hi John, I had a new look to my chip of Humbrol 89, comparing it with FS25190 given by Orlov for AMT-7. Their colors are very similar, my 89 is just a bit lighter of the FS shade. I wonder if your chips and mine are identical, maybe the shades of Humbrol paints change with the stock?
Massimo
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John Thompson
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2010, 09:21:45 PM »

Hi John, I had a new look to my chip of Humbrol 89, comparing it with FS25190 given by Orlov for AMT-7. Their colors are very similar, my 89 is just a bit lighter of the FS shade. I wonder if your chips and mine are identical, maybe the shades of Humbrol paints change with the stock?
Massimo

That's possible - I've certainly seen rumours on the Britmodeller forum of colour variation between "old Humbrol" and "new Humbrol" with the same numbers. The tin I bought was (I think) the new formula. I'll have to do some more checking when I get time.

John
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Seawinder
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« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2011, 04:15:52 AM »

John, I'm tempted to get the AKAN paints from Linden Hill, but I haven't had much success in using acrylics with airbrushes over the years.  It looks like you got yours to behave pretty well.  I was interested to see the AMT-7 colour - it's more muted and darker than I would have thought, almost like a darkened Hellblau.  The paint I just used on my latest Il-2 was Testors Topsides Blue (Russian), and I liked the results.  It's more muted than the WEM blue I'd been using previously.  It is however still considerably lighter than AKAN's AMT-7.  Forget problematic colours like AMT-1 and AMT-12 - I'd just be glad to get the blue undersurfaces correct.  At any rate, thank you for reporting on your experiments with AKAN.  Keep up the good work!

Regards,

Learstang

Hi Jason.

I'm still working on finding a good approximation of AMT-4 using Model Master and/or Mr. Color. I'm almost ready with a report, which I'll post to the thread I started earlier. Here's a couple of observations about Akan paints, of which I have several bottles. Their AMT-7, which I used on my Il-2, is just a bit lighter and just a bit greener than FS 25190. Although I thought it very dark out of the bottle, it actually looks pretty convincing now that the model is completed. Also, it was very easy to apply -- covered well in a couple of light coats -- and I'm pretty sure I remember not having to thin it.

OTOH, Akan's AMT-4 does not impress me. I think it's a poor match for either of the two most common FS references, 24102 and 24151. Its hue is is browner than 24102, and significantly darker -- very close to 24079. Also, (like a lot of green paints when compared to blues, I think), it is harder to apply, even unthinned: it tends to bead away from the point of application, leaving uncovered areas.

More later.
Pip Moss
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