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Humbrol Enamels

The correct thinners.

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Anthony Knights10/01/2021 07:58:38
486 forum posts
206 photos

I was recently given a large number of the small tins of Humbrol enamel, most of which have never been opened. On the tin it says to use Humbrol thinners. Is this a special composition, or would white spirit or some other solvent work? It has been many years since I made plastic models (moon shot) and I'm afraid I can't remember what I used back then. It is presently so cold in the workshop, I thought I would try something I can do in the house.

JasonB10/01/2021 08:08:05
20249 forum posts
2207 photos
1 articles

I only used to use their thinners when spraying, for brush wok and washes I used Daler Rowney "Low Odour Thinners" and for cleaning cellulose thinners worked well. You could get away with white spirit though.

DMB10/01/2021 09:08:37
1082 forum posts

Do a test first to check following. My Father used white spirit to thin house paint but it spoilt the gloss versions. Could WS have same effect on Humbrol, even if only the gloss types?

Jan B10/01/2021 09:25:07
37 forum posts
10 photos

I use white spirit to thin Humbrol paint, and it has not affected the gloss finish. For cleaning paintbrush, I use cellulose thinner.


Clive Brown 110/01/2021 09:27:16
628 forum posts
26 photos

I've sprayed Humbrol Gloss enamel on several models over the years. White spirit has been entirely a thiner / air brush cleaner.

JasonB10/01/2021 10:21:20
20249 forum posts
2207 photos
1 articles

Any solvent can have a matting effect as it speeds up the rate of drying. When I used to do a lot of figure models I often used artist's oil paints which if allowed to dry naturally are far too glossy and thinning was not desirable as the coats being applied were so thin anyway that the trick to getting a matter finish was to false the drying by placing in a box with a light bulb as the heat source.

Anthony Knights10/01/2021 10:38:04
486 forum posts
206 photos

Thank you for your replies gentlemen. I'm not bothered about any matting effect as I will be painting figures and most clothing and skin is not glossy.

Ron Laden10/01/2021 10:38:51
2173 forum posts
432 photos

I have always used Art Shop thinners to thin Humbrol Gloss Enamels. I was once told by a sign writer (my cousin) that diy type white spirit is too harsh, OK for brush cleaning but not for thinning decent quality paint.

Edited By Ron Laden on 10/01/2021 10:40:04

Dusty10/01/2021 10:43:32
485 forum posts
8 photos

If you have an automotive vehicle refinishers shop (car paint) near you they should have something called Topcoat thinners, this appears not to be cellulose and works well, it even cleans Hammerite. The problem with white spirit is that it takes forever to evaporate. Having said that I have used cellulose thinners in enamel to airbrush, I would not recommend it on plastic though. The problem with airbrushing in cold damp atmospheres is that it can bloom, doing it indoors is an option but I find that the distaff side has a completely different view to the smell than I do and a frying pan round the back of the head hurts.

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