Thinning the Cost of Painting.
Let’s face it …. model making is not cheap. The cost of kits and figures as well as all the paraphernalia that is needed to assemble and paint your model all adds up…and with many of us feeling the economic pinch after the last year or two of turmoil, our hobby is getting quite expensive.
So, with that in mind, anything that we can do to save a little bit of money here and there will be very useful.
Making your own Thinners is a good starting point.
With the popularity of acrylics as the preferred method of painting our models producing one’s own thinners and saving the cost of just this part of the painting process is well worth the minor amount of effort.
- IPA Isopropyl Alcohol 1ltr 99.97% – Approximately €15.00
A quick internet search will show stockists or suppliers in your region.
- Flow Improver – Approximately € 6.00
(Windsor and Newton/ Liquitex/ Daler Rowney/ Art Advantage)
Available from most are suppliers.
- Fluid Retarder – Approximately €10.75 to €13.99
(Windsor and Newton/ Amsterdam Retarder/ Liquitex/ AK Interactive).
Available from most are suppliers.
- Distilled Water: – 5ltrs – Approximately € 5.60
(Halfords) or most large hardware stores
Please don’t use regular tap water as it has variations in its quality depending on location and source. There are the effects of the mineral content, purification chemicals and the pH to think about, so with all these variables its best to keep it simple. Most chemists (UK) or pharmacies (rest of the world) will stock this
The Equipment for mixing
- Pipette Approximately € 5.00 (Pack of 100 plastic disposable pipettes available from Amazon.
Check pricing as there may be a shipping charge – There are also glass pipettes with graduations available, but they’re are correspondingly more expensive but are reusable)
- 120 ml Mixing bottle Approximately €.12.00
(Pack of 5 plastic dispensing bottles with twist top nozzle available
from Amazon available as 120ml or 60ml)
- Gloves Approximately €.10.00
Most chemists or pharmacies or hardware suppliers
approximately 100 gloves
- Pour 80ml of water into the mixing bottle.
- Add 40ml of the IPA to the same bottle
- Add 2ml of the Windsor and Newton Flow Improver
- Add 2ml of the Windsor and Newton Fluid Retarder
- Shake vigorously
We all have our preferences regarding our favourite brands of paints, adhesives, and thinners etc. So, does it really make any difference if you buy a 250ml bottle of the shelf rather than faffing around and making your own? ………. Think about it …. It’s a lot of work getting all the ingredients together. Isn’t it false economy?
I use Tamiya thinners and, due to one thing and another, it is very difficult to shop around for a good price. I am pretty-well confined to one single consistent supplier. Currently a 250ml bottle of Tamiya X-20A Thinner will set me back €10.95. I can’t get online as most suppliers on Amazon can send it to me due to postal regulations.
If I include EVERY cost as listed above, including the cost of a box of gloves as well as shipping, my ingredients and equipment bill comes to €72.59
To prove the point:-
- 1000ml of Isopropanol 40mls per bottle = 25 bottles.
- 25 bottles x 120ml per bottle = 3000mls
- Total cost of ingredients & equipment is = €72.59
- Cost per ml = €72.59 3000mls = 42c per ml or €6.08 per bottle
- The retail cost per ml is €10.95 / 250ml = 38c per ml
Or another way of putting it is: –
- 3000mls of Tamiya would cost me €131.14 (12 x 250ml bottles) whereas I have paid only €72.59 for mine.
- Total saving of €58.55
The prices in the future would be lower as I now have stock of the following: –
- pipettes and
- reusable bottles.
- Total saving approximately €32.00
So, my next batch of thinners will cost: –
- 35c per ml or
- €3.38 per bottle or
- €40.59 total
Total saving of €90.55. That is a kit or two!
Happy model making!