Quick-drying paint option

Jim King

I’ve been using Dupli-Color grey primer on all of my kits and patterns for the past several years because it covers well and dries quickly.  However, because the nozzle is not designed for tight corners, I only use it for a general light coating to show areas that need some attention and to cover glue residue from Acetone.  Today, I primed an S scale B&O M15k body pattern that will go into production early next week and needed the fine control of an airbrush plus a quick-dry coat.


I don’t have time for Floquil primer to dry.  It takes DAYS at room temp; even with the help of my shop oven at 85F, it would take too long.  Spraying the Dupli-Color into a Paasche bottle to about 50% full, then adding about 40% of lacquer thinner gives me a great alternative to traditional Floquil.  I spray this mixture at around 18 psi outside under full sunlight so I don’t miss any spots.  This mixture is VERY thin … it took 10+ passes to cover bare styrene with about 10-15 seconds in between … but there are no blobs, drips or runs.  It dries FLAT in less than a minute and will fully cure in about 2 hours.  Great foundation for powders and oils if you use other colors.


Since I’ll have to handle the body a lot during rubber mold prepping steps, I’m letting it dry overnight.  This is a dull finish but can be shined with a paper towel.  A gloss coat is still required for decal application but since this body will be used as a mold master, the paper towel shine is sufficient.  Leftover paint is stored in the same airbrush bottle (I coat the threads of all opened paint bottles with Johnson’s floor wax to keep air out and store the bottles upside down so the thinner is away from the threads).


If you need a good quality, fast-drying paint but finer control than a rattle can nozzle provides, here’s an option.  The Dupli-Color line is available at Auto Zone and most other car shops.  It’s a bit pricy at around $8-9.00/can but lasts a while (mine is 2+ years old), especially when thinned as I’ve done for airbrushing.  Other colors are available, including a rusty-primer color that is very close to Floquil’s Zinc Chromate Primer (handy for B&O modelers!), black and others.


Jim King



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