Which paint to use?

The majority of the little toy cars we collect are made from diecast metal, sure they have their plastic components as well, the windows, interior and wheels spring to mind, but the core of the vehicle is diecast metal and lots of people and hobbyists are not happy with the colours chosen by the manufacturer, it may be because its a terrible colour or maybe just because someone wants to replicate their real car, whatever the reason plenty of people choose to repaint the model.  Now we have discussed before how to pull apart the model and other ideas when repairing, renovating or updating your toy cars, but this time I thought it might be wise to look at the different paints themselves so we all know what paint we should be using.

First up we have enamel paint, this type of paint tends to be a little more on the heavy side than others and because of this is often more durable than a lacquer. It is also a lot better if you want to get better and more intricate detail.  Its downside is that it is usually more expensive than a lacquer and will take much longer to dry.  The enamels are glossier than an acrylic paint but they are less glossy than a lacquer and unlike other types of paint they do not require a primer, having said that a lot of model painters do still use a primer.

Next up we have the lacquer paints, these types of paints will dry quicker which is a real benefit if you are in a dusty area as it allows less time for any dust to settle on your new artwork. The lacquers are not as runny as other paints and if you do happen to make a mistake when painting (unlikely I know) you can easily rectify the issue by wet sanding without damaging the lacquer.  A word of warning though, be careful when using lacquer paints as they also have a tendency to melt some plastic components so be sure not to let the paint come in contact with any of the plastic components of your model.Restoring Diecast - Panit Brushes

Lastly we have acrylic paints, these type of paints fry quickly and can be cleaned up in water, and they are much more durable than enamel which over time can be worn off.  The acrylics are more of a flat paint than others and like enamels is much better than lacquers for painting those small details. Once you have painted your model in an acrylic paint you will need to add a coat of finish after it has dried, adding more cost to your project. Also acrylics don’t stick to smooth surfaces very well so you may need to use a primer which again adds more cost.

So there you have it, as you can see it is like most things in life, there are good and bad points for each of the options and you should choose the appropriate paint for the circumstance that you have and this can be different from model to model….


Collector of Matchbox cars for many years

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