Plastic models or miniatures are the way of expanding the business, fulfilling hobbies. The perfect presentation of these models (e.g., car, house) can fulfill your instinct, making you happy.
It appears well when you paint the plastic models properly. I am sharing this article, including familiarity with the best paint for plastic models.
Plastic models are usually small in size. However, some businesses use bigger size plastic stuff as models. Painting these plastic miniatures may appear overwhelming to beginners. They find it hard to pick the right type and way of painting. Sometimes, these hobbyists or artists don’t find interest in this job. Some don’t know how many coats of paint they should conduct.
You will get information In this article regarding the top plastic models paints. Hobbyists, DIYers, artists should know them for further improvements. You get the answers, explanations to these below questions besides the main story:
- What paint should I use for plastic models or miniatures?
- Do you need a primer for plastic models?
- Can you use the regular spray paint on plastic miniatures?
- Should I use acrylic or enamel on model kits?
As I am a paint enthusiast, I have collected some notable names of paints for plastic models. They are all excellent and efficient for mostly plastic surface painting. Have a look at the below table:
List of Favorite Paints for Plastic Models 2022
|Vallejo Basic USA Colors Model Paint Set||Check Price|
|Reaper Miniatures Paint for Model Kit Core Skills||Check Price|
|The Army Painter Miniature Painting Kit||Check Price|
|Acylicos Vallejo Acrylic 16 Colors||Check Price|
|Acrylic XF1 Flat Black Paint for Plastic Models||Check Price|
What Paint Should I Use for Plastic Models or Miniatures?
You may have questions like, “What kind of paint should I use for model kits?”. In fact, most beginners who want to paint plastic model kits have the same problem. It happens as there are lots of variations in paint products out there. Acrylic, latex, enamel, oil etc. are some of them. But the point is that you need something better for plastic model kits.
According to many experts, acrylic modeling paint is the top choice for painting purposes. You can easily use it for any plastic toy model for business and other plastic surfaces. Also, there is an option to either use paintbrush or spray the acrylics. Some acrylics are also available as paint markers to subtly present the beauty.
you should choose acrylic over other paints for plastic models because:
- Acrylics offer simple, time-saving touchups when you see it fading or smearing.
- It dries faster to apply the second or further coats (if needed).
- Cleaning the acrylic painted area is super easy with simple water.
- Applying the acrylic modeling paints is flexible: spray, brush-on, marker, etc.
- It comes with versatile finishes from smooth, glossy to satin, rugged.
- No required paint thinning when applied to plastic objects.
- It is safe to use as it contains no toxic or fume elements.
Besides the acrylic paint, you can use enamel paint too. Enamel paints create a tough layer on the models. They are a slow and steady option for miniature painting. Again, they can hide the brush strokes from the surface. Both acrylic and enamel can be applied without a primer. The major issue with enamel paints is they take a long time to dry. After all, you won’t love to wait for a day to dry small stuff and do the next coat.
Do You Need a Primer for Plastic Models?
Yes, it is a question: Do you have to prime a plastic model before painting it. I had discovered an interesting fact when I wanted to try some paints on a couple of plastic models. Although acrylic paint doesn’t require mandatory priming, some experts suggest priming the surface first.
Priming can be not so necessary. But you should prime before painting the plastic models. It helps to form a base for resin, diecast, plastic models. It also reduces the need for extra coats of main paint. When painting light colors (like white, yellow), priming helps you maintain the opacity. Additionally, it can hide minor flaws such as cracks or uneven areas.
A few modelers avoid priming as they count applying a small number of paints. It enables them to preserve the tiny details on the painted object. However, you must clean the models first, even if you are priming or not.
Another question in the air: do I need to prime the Tamiya models?
Of course, Tamiya models (mini plastic sports cars) also need to prime before applying paints. Primer put an impact on the final finish of the paint. As an example, white primer can make the colors brighter.
Can You Use the Regular Spray Paint on Plastic Miniatures?
You may have already thought of picking the car or other spray paints for plastic models. Now, you think where spray paints work or not. Well. I have seen the topic over the internet too. Automotive paints are more available than modelers paints in some regions. Also, most of the households have regular spray paints. So, it is usual to have such a thought.
Here is the answer: you can use the right spray paint on the plastic miniatures. Choosing flammable and toxic paints can bring bad results. If you choose the wrong paint, there will be blisters, mini bubbles, flaking, staining on the surface. Also, the paint may not stick to plastic well.
In such cases, you can prefer spray paints having the formula of plastic paints. Some multipurpose, regular spray paints may be a good choice. If I name some brands of other paints, there will be Krylon, Rustoleum, etc.
Should I Use Acrylic or Enamel on Model Kits?
Obviously, you can color the hobby with acrylic and enamel paints. Both paints can make a model kit vibrant, attractive, and appealing to develop your purposes. But these paints have some notable differences when you use them in plastic model kits painting projects.
Acrylic Paints on Model Kits:
I have already discussed the greatness of acrylic paints. These paints are widely taken as core material for model kits painting. Again, they take less time to paint but gives awesome result. You can fluctuate the flow and viscosity manually while keeping the saturation in the line.
These paints contain color pigments and acrylic polymers which are emulsified in water. Even some acrylics have essential fillers to put an impact on the result. After all, they are performing quite similarly to oil-based paints. Especially, the quick-drying of 10-30 minutes allows the user to use them more. Again, the water-soluble feature helps to clean with water easily.
You can thin the acrylics with water and alcohol easily. Also, it is very easy to work with brushes and acrylics. However, I have seen the sprayer, brush-on, and paint markers of these plastic model paints. You can choose from a wide range of colors. Additionally, there are no toxic or fume elements to harm you, your family, or pets.
You may need a couple of coats using acrylic paints on model kits in some odd cases. Also, they can leave brushstrokes if not applied properly.
Enamel Paints on Model Kits:
Enamel paints are available earlier than people have heard of acrylic paints. These are basically oil-based paints with a composition of pigments and vegetable oils like linseed oil. When applying the paint, the oil reacts with air while giving a strong finish after drying. This consistent finish holds the color properly.
You indeed get glossy sheen and a more durable finish using enamel paints on model kits. They don’t leave any brushstrokes like acrylic paints. Even you can remove the paint at ease with mineral spirits. But you need to thin the paint using thinner or primer for changing the viscosity and flow.
Several problems like long drying, toxicity, fumes, and limited color options appear in these paints. However, experts suggest using enamel paints with proper ventilation and light to avoid toxicity.
5 Best Paint for Plastic Models Review in 2022
So, you are thinking right now: what are the best paints for plastic models? I have the answer to befriend you. I have seen many brands and products related to plastic models painting. But do they work accordingly on plastic model surfaces? Of course, not all of them. Here are the detailed reviews of my selected best paints for plastic models painting:
1. Vallejo Basic USA Colors Model Paint Set
If a person has completely zero experience in painting miniatures, Vallejo Basic is there for him. DIY crafters, hobbyists, professionals – everyone keeps this brand on top of their choice. The manufacturer started their services in 1965 and still maintains the same good quality. So, the fame and rumor about Vallejo paints are real.
The basic USA colors miniature paint set comes with 16 pieces bottle of 17ml each acrylic paint. These paints are highly pigmented and so vibrant that plastic models turn into matters of attraction. Around 200 color options of Vallejo paints can easily meet up your expectations. No brushstrokes appear visible after applying this paint set.
You don’t need to consider viscosity as moderate (not too thick or too thin). Also, the unique formula helps to stick on the plastic surface for a long time. Even you can clean the water-based model paint simply with water. Another thing, you can mix multiple paints for new palettes.
2. Reaper Miniatures Paint for Model Kit Core Skills
Are you looking for complete paint set for model kits? Try Reaper 08906 miniature paint set with an instruction guide. This set is for enthusiast persons who don’t have time to buy separate tools for painting plastic models. It includes several paints, paintbrushes, miniatures, and a user guide for a seamless painting.
This master series paintbox set has something you will love. The 11 colorful paints are suitable for their viscosity, consistency, and outcome. The superior finish, smooth and glossy look on plastic models will always sound like your decision is correct.
It comes with three non-painted miniatures. You can try or practice painting on these good-looking models. The set has two solid paintbrushes and an easy-to-use manual for better assistance. They will help you better in achieving success. In fact, this is the best paint set for plastic models for beginners.
3. The Army Painter Miniature Painting Kit – Best Acrylic Paint for Plastic Models
If you ask me the best paint kit for gaming models, I suggest “The Army Painter”. It can beat other popular or less popular modeling kits for miniatures. The specialty of this kit is it has 50 non-toxic best model paints (together with a mega paint set). Obviously, the paint makers are aware of the novice and pro users.
Each paints bottle contains 18ml of warpaints. Among the 50 paint bottles of versatile colors, you get 39 acrylics, 5 metallics, 4 quick shades, and 2 effect paints. It means you don’t need to think about looking for other paints or colors. Again, this starter kit has a regiment paintbrush and a helpful painting guide. The best part of this certified non-toxic paint set is its efficiency on gaming models.
This Wargamer paint set is a good return on investment. These paints’ consistency, density, and excellent coverage are comparatively better. Again, the equal distribution of sufficient pigments improves the quality of paint results. For the better trust, you can check the Nordic Swan Eco-label mark on the products. After all, The Army Painter is a budget-friendly idea for newbies.
4. Acylicos Vallejo Acrylic 16 Colors
Turn your fantasy into reality with Acylicos Vallejo fantasy figures paints. It comes as a set of 16 waterproof colors. I loved the design of the 17ml bottles, which matched with the colors. One more thing, these bottles are non-flammable, non-toxic.
72299 acrylic paints for plastic models are good at fine-tuning the lines. You can use the paint kit as a starter one. You can use the included eyedropper to apply the paints. It helps to prevent waste of paints. Also, using an eyedropper, you can save time to paint the mini toys.
You can dilute the paints in water for thinning. Once you apply the paint, it creates a waterproof layer on the surfaces. A color chart also comes in the package to help the painters. You can follow the chart to color the wargamers models perfectly.
5. Acrylic XF1 Flat Black Paint for Plastic Models
XF is the flat version of acrylic paints from Tamiya, the popular paint products manufacturer. These paints are good for any landscape, clothing mostly. But XF1 flat black paint is superbly designed for model painting.
This is a single bottle unit of (semi) gloss paint. You can use it on any plastic surface, especially on plastic models. It is more like “show-room finish” paint. You can apply the paint with a regular paintbrush.
The pigments in XF1 paint are very active to give a lively look on painting miniatures. Also, it sticks well to the painted surfaces. However, I haven’t found sufficient product details on the sales page.
I have seen many difficulties among the newbies in choosing the best paint for plastic models. So, I came forward and tried hard on my own. It helped me to gain experience with versatile paints. After such involvement, I got the earlier reviewed products.
You can choose others besides acrylic paints. But they won’t be fruitful like acrylic paints. With more time in your hands, try enamel paints too. However, for the versatility of colors and better smooth finish, choose any above points. I hope you’re having a nice time with the painting. Cheers!