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There are numerous paint types, effects and manufacturers.

Acrylic Paint

A water based paint in which the binder contains acrylic resins.

Acrylic paints are available in different forms and consistencies. The paints on the left are more traditional artists acrylic paints.

The acrylics in tubes tend to be of a thicker consistency.

There are a number of acrylics more traditionally used by model makers that have a thinner consistency but again can give a very dense colour. These are better for fine work.

Review of Liberon Metallic Effect paint.

Emulsion Paint

A paint in which resins are suspended in water. These flow together with the aid of an emulsifier.

Enamel Paint

There are lots of different types of enamel paint that dry to a hard, usually glossy finish.

Humbrol enamel paint. In this case a gloss tan colour. The traditional plastic model paint.

Enamel spray can. In this case a gloss pale yellow. You can get a great finish with this type of spray, but you do need to be careful not to apply too thick a coat as it will run and it does take much longer to dry than cellulose spray paints.


A fast-drying usually clear coating that is highly flammable and dries by solvent evaporation. Can be used to build up layers of paint and create a 3 dimensional effect.

Linseed Oil

A drying oil used as a solvent in many oil- based paints. "Boiled" linseed oil can be used to protect wood from water damage and is sometimes used as a furniture polish.

Oil Paint

A paint that contains drying oil, oil varnish or oil-modified resin as the film-forming ingredient.


This is the first complete coat of paint applied to a surface. Such paints are designed to provide adequate adhesion to new surfaces. Take time and get the finish correct at this stage and this will result in a superior final top gloss finish.


A coating made from purified lac dissolved in alcohol, often bleached white.


Water colours are watered down paints perfect for painting landscapes and ‘natural’ pictures.