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Denny Anspach <danspachmd@...>
Relative to the real time costs of the paint that we actually apply on our models, not to mention the imputed value of the efforts that we expend in doing so, even the cost of the small amounts of the most expensive thinner/reducer that we use is almost nothing, i.e. nothing. In this regard, my view has been for some time is to just use the thinner that the paint manufacturer recommends, and not spend time wringing my hands about it. I do wince at the up front prices to be paid for these OEM thinners, but I also have not been disappointed in their use; and have been comforted that a little DOES in fact go a very long way- certainly ameliorating the investment.
Now, I do use up lacquer thinner by the gallon(s) for cleaning, and in a pinch for thinning/reducing. One used to be able to go to the automotive paint stores (DuPont, Pittsburgh, etc.) and choose among a selection of very high quality lacquer thinners of differing characteristics (I once would purchase what I needed in five gallon cans). At least in California, one can no longer do so. Commercial lacquer painting has almost disappeared, and like other volatile solvents suppressed by the government, only generic solvents in relative small amounts can be easily obtained retail- and I do not trust them for fine painting.
Other observations: I have long valued AP for the richness of its colors, its forgiving nature, and the very real fact that I am able (and do) use it to the very last drop, i.e. there is almost no wastage, none, nada (if it thickens, or even dries, it can almost always be fully reconstituted it to full use with thinner). How many, many clotted half-filled bottles of Floquil and ScaleCoat (ouch!) paints have I discarded, too often after-the-fact discovering their bad characteristics on the surface of a valued model.
TrueColor is the true inheritor of AP inasmuch as the owners report to me that they purchased from the AP owner (George Bishop?) or his estate all the fundamentals of the business. My experience so far with TC certainly bears this out.
IWATA Eclipse air brush: For 50 years, I was happy as a clam with a versatile single action Paasche H airbrush, a classic and quite venerable still-popular work of American art (whose utility is attested to by being virtually unchanged for that half a century). Then, at an NMRA convention, Dr. Bob Church and I were both seduced by a huckster demonstrating an IWATA Eclipse double action airbrush, asking if we wanted to try it? Well, we did, and five minutes later (no more), both of us respectively shelled out the money and walked away with a new boxed sets. When I got home, I had buyer’s remorse, and set it aside, not to be opened and tried for some months. Well, I did at last set it up, and I have not looked back since. What a fine instrument! It is gorgeous to look at and handle, and it works and cleans up like a charm. It is a total pleasure to use.
The venerable and also lovely Paasche H owes me nothing, and it now resides looking new in its original box, again ready to use if called upon.
Denny S. Anspach MD