Painter’s Lament

I had a “come to Jesus” moment recently, after I had posted something about how Badger Model Flex was not making paint that was reliably brushable any more– if they ever had. I bought a bottle of flat black Model Flex and it was too thin to brush, so I wept bitter tears and posted a blog entry to straighten up the universe.

But now I’m wondering if that wasn’t a big waste of time and energy. I used Army Painter Warpaint to paint some yellow and white– two very difficult colors– and it worked better than anything I’ve used before. But what does that really prove? I used two colors. I used two colors from Revell, posted a glowing review, and then spent years wondering if I could really stand to use the stuff.

I like Polly Scale paint. That was good paint. Testors took it off the market. Now they are taking Model Master Acryl off the market. I ASS-U-ME-D that Badger’s Modelflex would work for me, but that was, of course, an assumption. I now have a bottle of black paint with the label “wash” on it.

I’m can’t be angry at Testors. They are doing their job. They are responding to the vast army of airbrushers. Case closed.

But if I were heading down to the hobby store to buy a “starter set”– WHAT WOULD I DO? If I live in Ogden, Utah or Grass Valley, California or Odessa, Texas I’m not going to find much of anything but some Vallejo paint in squeezy bottles.

I can’t recommend it. Certainly not the Model Color. Not even the Model Air, even if I could use it in a pinch.

So what to do?

I don’t have an answer. There is no one magical paint (no, not even Revell) that will solve the problem right now. I know that this seems like “no big deal” because, quite frankly, brush painting is so damn hard that most people who try it are so lost in the maze of techniques and skills to be learned that they just accept lousy results and that’s it.

But I’m used to getting DAMN FINE RESULTS with Testors and now I’m out of luck. I can get similar results with Tamiya but their paint smells like tequila. Really. My solution to this is to stick with what I have and, in a pinch, replace paints that “run out” with whatever I can get at Scale Model Supplies. They still have a lot of good paint. Even Polly Scale in limited colors.

I have a BIG paint collection. So, it may last until I finally kick the bucket and spill Polly Scale all over my bucket list, in a final, futile act of defiance.

But I can’t tell YOU what to do.

So if you were hanging out here, hoping against hope that the oracle would deliver a way to escape the comet and survive– I’m out of ideas.

The best paint in the long term might be Tamiya or Revell Aqua. Both paints require learning a lot of stuff. The learning curves are steep. If it were me, I’d pick one and learn that one. Probably Tamiya.

I’m not going to be in the same boat with a beginner, ever. I have too many bottles of paint in my collection and too many bottles “in reserve” at one of the biggest old funky hobby shops in the country (Scale Model Supplies on Lexington and University). I’m lucky.

Y’all? Y’all gonna hafta press on while the privileged few suck down grapes and watch the sunset. I guess that’s life.

By the way, I ordered some Hataka Blue and I’ll do a review when it gets here (soon).

Perhaps the old world will come to the recue of the new.

Perhaps not.

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