Tips and Tricks FAQ
Here you will find a selection of tips, tricks and helpful hints
NATURE OF MISSION MODELS MMP PAINT
Due to the fact that Mission Models MMP paints are organic we do not add any further additives. You will find that you are using an extremely high end fine art grade paint in it's truest form. What does this mean to you?
A: Paints by nature even when "airbrush ready" mix at varying consistency when formulating the paint. For example based on pigment values white pigment may be larger than green pigments no matter how fine the pigments are ground. White is the larger pigment in raw form. What this means is one color may seem a bit thicker than another. This is not something to worry about and it is not a problem with the paint by any means. Although our paints are all airbrush ready you may find due to the nature of that particular pigment a bit of thinner may help you out. We do NOT add any additional thinners or reducers to force an " airbrush ready " product. This is an advantage to you. This means consistent blends and you will never get a bad bottle of paint and no shelf life.
A-1: Although we have mentioned else where on the site, if you feel you need to add thinner (technically a reducer) less is more! If you go by the " skim or non fat milk rule" our paint is "Full Fat" Yes we are teaching you new tricks.
Example 30-40 drops paint , 3-6 drops thinner , 3-6 drops poly mix and spray at 10-15 psi.
A-2: Don't worry if the paint looks a bit thicker than what you are used to ( Do not mix 1:1) The paint will spray smooth as butter and not hide any details. We recommend spraying 2-3" from the surface at 10-15 psi. Light wet Coats.
A-3 DO NOT mix the paint 1:1 or 50/50 It is not necessary as with other products. The paint will NOT work properly if you mix 1:1 or 50% thinner 50% Paint. It will fail. Less is more
Please follow our ratios when 1st using the paint to get the full and proper experience. Once you have mastered (mastering is easy when you mix properly) the basics then feel free to experiment you will be able to go by eye.
PAINT TROUBLESHOOTING: You should not have any issues as long as you follow our instructions. Yes we all make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of modeling it just happens. That's why its called a mistake.
MMP THINNER / REDUCER
Q: Will MMP thinner work with other brands?
A: Yes it will. It will work in most all acrylic paints as will the MMP Poly Intermix. We have tested in most other brands however we can not guarantee how it will work in all brands. Please proceed with caution and test before shooting your project. We can not and will not take responsibility for modelers mistakes or user error. Always test on scrap 1st.
A: NO it will not mix with enamels or Lacquers. DO NOT use alternative thinners. This includes Tamiya, Gunze, Vallejo, etc.
Q: CAN I THIN MMP PAINT WITH ALTERNATIVE THINNERS: NO
A: Yes and No. You can thin MMP with water however it must be distilled. DO NOT use tap water. Tap water contains chemicals , minerals and rust that will affect your finish.
B: DO NOT ever thin with Glass Cleaner, wiper fluid, lighter fluid, alcohol, etc. You will destroy the paint by contamination, ruin your finish and the high performance properties of the paint. This includes Windex which includes alcohol and ammonia. You will destroy the paint.
C: NO it will not mix with enamel or Lacquer thinners.
MY PAINT WILL NOT COVER :
A-1 : MMP thinner is very powerful. Due to the nature of our paint formula only the smallest amount of thinner is needed ( DROPS). If you over thin the paint, it will become less opaque than expected. The paint will be translucent and possibly bead or may lead to adhesion issues. Be sure to pay attention to your mixing ratios with both the thinner and Poly. Once you have that down and a solid feeling for how the paint mixes and sprays then feel free to experiment.
A-2 Although there is no harm in adding MMP Thinner / Reducer / Poly to any of our products, MMP Metallics for example are "thinner" than standard colors. You may find that you don't need to add any thinner or possibly just one or two drops. Yes you can add poly to metallics, however, build up in light airbrush passes. Don't rush.
BEST TEMPERATURE FOR APPLYING MMP PAINT
1. MMP paints work best in 60 degree temps and above.
2. We have shot paint in 105 degree weather and 90% humidity with no issues. If you are spraying in these extreme temps add a little poly to your paint for good measure.
3. Cold weather. We have sprayed in all climates. Yes the paint will spray in extreme cold but we do not recommend it. Cold conditions 50 degrees and under could result in possible airbrush clogging and other difficulties. Yes it will work and yes you may run into issues. If you must spray in extreme cold keep the paint warm along with the Thinner and Poly before spraying in the cold.
4. We have found that even if your paint is warm but the thinner or poly is ice cold when you add the cold thinner to to the warm paint you may find issues by shocking the paint with a cold thinner. Points 3 and 4 are in reference to extreme cold situations.
Due to the fact that our primer is a proprietary formula you MUST use our thinner ( reducer) to thin our primer. NO ALTERNATIVES PERIOD. If you really break it down our primer is a two part system and we keep it simple. When our thinner is added to the primer the primer is "Activated." Activation is nothing that the user needs to worry about except for the fact that only our thinner will make the primer work properly with the intended finish. It's very easy and there is nothing you need to do but use MMP Thinner. Mixed properly MMP primer is incredibly smooth. Requires no wet or dry sanding and is extremely durable.
MMP primer is thick in the bottle. It must be thinned. We recommend the following example ratio for reference only. The ratio below is mixing just a small amount of paint.
Example for reference: 30-40 drops primer + 4-6 drops thinner. No poly needed.
PSI aprox 10 to 15. Adjust accordingly.
Spray 2-3" from the work surface light wet coats and even passes. Will not hide any details.
DO NOT spray primer in dry coats. Light wet coats are the way to go.
DO NOT add poly to the primer. It is NOT needed nor are there any advantages.
HOW DO I CLEAN MY AIRBRUSH?
A: MMP Thinner is also your airbrush cleaner. Yes you can rinse your airbrush or paint brush with water and then follow up the final rinse and spray though with MMP Thinner.
B: Yes you can soak your airbrush parts in MMP thinner without damage to chrome finish and rubber seals.
C: Honestly it is best NOT to use Glass cleaner etc to rinse your AB. Yes It will work with no issue. We do not advise it. Glass cleaner will destroy your airbrush in due time.
D: Note if you do use any alcohol or ammonia based cleaners it is a must that you flush the airbrush after with water. Any residue from the alcohol or ammonia in the ab will contaminate the paint at color change. Contamination will again destroy the paint and cause nightmares in the AB. We can not take any responsibility for user error when cleaning. We consider this to be user error so please follow the guide lines.
E: A Dirty airbrush will cause problems. If you did not clean properly and you have dried residue on the needle or nozzle the AB will clog. When fresh paint flows through the brush it will build up on the dried paint and clog.
F: Always make sure your needle is straight and your nozzle in not damaged. A bent needle or nozzle will cause over spray guaranteed.
MMP POLYURETHANE INTERMIX
The MMP Polyurethane Intermix is an amazing product. We know there will be a lot of questions about it. What does it do ? How does it work, do I need it etc...
Well here are the answers. DO I NEED IT ? Yes and No. MMP Poly is optional. As modelers we highly recommend it. The poly does a few things. It increases flow from the airbrush in addition to the incredible non-clogging flow you get with-out. Slower drying times, increased durability and adds a beautiful slight eggshell sealed sheen plus a flawless smooth finish. The Poly Intermix is also an additional adhesion promoter. Always add Poly when spraying onto Lexan, vinyl, polycarbonate etc. The eggshell finish is ideal for many reasons. Seals the paint for washes, pin washes, applying decals and more. Amazing for Aircraft, Cars, Trucks and more.
CAN I USE MMP POLY INTERMIX AS A CLEAR COAT?
A: Yes and No. Although MMA-001 Poly Intermix is acrylic it is still "HOT" it will not melt plastics etc however if you decide to use it as a clear please be cautious. It can have adverse effect on paint. We have had great success using MMP Poly as a clear coat. It can not be sprayed straight form the bottle at all. It must be thinned in a mixing cup. We do not have an exact ratio for this but it must be thin. Not too thin but thin enough to spray with out choking the airbrush.
B: When applying from the airbrush spray in thin even coats. Overlapping each spray pass. Build up the coats until you have a gloss finish allow to air dry or under UV light , wall heater or naturally air dry.
C. Using MMA-001 poly as a clear is recommended for advanced painters only.
D. We can not take responsibly for any type of damage when using MMP Poly as a clear. We will not replace any damaged parts or kits. Please be advised. We have a dedicated Gloss, Semi and Flat on the way.
HOW TO USE MMP POLY AND SUGGESTED MIXING RATIOS
After you mix and thinned your paint in a mixing cup (not in the AB cup) with an example paint ratio of 3-5 drops thinner to say 30 to 40 drops paint add 3 drops no more than 5 drops of poly and then mechanically mix using a paint stirrer and you're ready to fill the airbrush. PSI aprox 10 to 20 depending on our needs.
WHAT IF I DON'T ADD POLY?
A: If you don't add poly you the paint will dry to a flatter finish when dry. You will still see amazing and ultra level super fine finish. The paint will not have the eggshell finish. The eggshell finish is subtle. The paint will still spray with no clogging or spider webbing. We use it with and with out Poly we love it with the poly. If you forget to add poly don't worry add it when you mix more paint. You will also find that when you don't add poly the paint will be more porous and will soak up more of your oil washes.
BRUSH PAINTING AND POLY. One advantage of the poly is the reduced drying time. This is ideal for brush painting if you need slower drying or blending times. You do not need to add poly for brush painting. Although our paint is equally suitable for brush painting some paint may need multiple coats due to the nature of the particular pigment color. When brush painting you will again find a beautiful smooth level finish with no brush strokes.
TROUBLE SHOOTING POLY : We thought we would address this now. Plain and simple. If you add too much poly you will see the results. You will find that your paint may be too translucent and also muddle and puddle or start to bead and pull from details on the surface you are working with. Less is always more. If you add too much poly. You will also find very slow drying times. Your ratio is way off.
SOLUTION : Let it dry naturally. The muddled look will self level. Poly is very durable so once dry, and if needed, you can easily sand it out.
WASHES and OILS
Washes can be made using MMP. Example 1/3 Mission Models thinner, 2/3 water, 3-5 drops MMP paint. We we like MMP Tire Black for washes. Allow your base coats to dry and then use the above wash to highlight details and panel lines. Works great and flows like an oil wash. No need for a clear barrier coat.
MMP paints will accept all types of washes with out damage to the paint. We prefer Mineral Spirits but you can also use enamel oil washes that can be applied once the paint is dry to the touch.
DECAL SETTING SOLUTIONS
All decal setting solutions will work with Mission Models MMP. Please allow any clear coats to dry 1st.
Yes you can chip MMP paint. If you plan on chipping or using the " Hairspray Technique" here are some guidelines.
1. Apply your base coat normally.
2. Apply a fine mist of Hairspray as your barrier coat. If you add to much hairspray you will create a slippery surface underneath your top coat and remove too much paint too fast with minimal control once the hairspray re-activates
3. Top paint coat that will be chipped. The key to chipping our paint is to apply the top final coat thin. Light thin coats from the airbrush. The the thinner the better even if you need to apply multiple thin layers. Let it dry DO NOT RUSH.
4. The goal is to get your " chipping solution " underneath your top coat which in-turn re-activates the hairspray and lifts the paint. We prefer not to use plain water for the chipping process of MMP paint. We have found great success using MMP thinner or distilled water and a few drops of Windex.
5. Chipping is all about control. Go slow and take your time. Take a very lightly dampened brush. NOT A WET brush. Lightly start scrubbing in a controlled manner. You want to create micro sized chips depending on your end goal. If you feel that you are removing too much at one time stop and move to another area. If you find that the paint is coming off too easily that is a result of too much hairspray. Chipping takes patients and practice.
6. Please be aware of how much removal fluid is on your brush. If your brush is too wet during the chipping process you will create a paint color sludge and a mess. Less is more. Again practice control. It's key.
TRANSPARENT RUST COLOR TIP
1. Try spraying light coast of our Metallic Burnt Iron as a base coat on exhaust or other rust prone areas.
2. Add a small amount of thinner to our Transparent Rust and lightly dust over the Metallic Burnt Iron with your airbrush.
3. Try mixing a couple drops of Transparent Rust into MMP Metallic Burnt Iron for a different effect.
CLEAR COAT: WHAT KIND OF CLEAR COATS WILL WORK?
A: Use Mission Models Clear Coat. Our Flat , Satin and Gloss are a special formula unlike any other clear available. They are extremely durable. Dry in 30min and can be masked over in 30. They accept all setting solutions. Please be sure the clears are dry before application of setting solutions. Our clear coats are chemically resistant and very durable.
B: All clears will work over MMP paint. Yes, Tamiya Synthetic Lacquer spray, Gunze, Testors Lacquer, Alclad and more.
C: Clear Part dipping. Thin Mission Gloss Coat in an epoxy mixing cup with Mission Models thinner only. Thin to a water like consistency. You will notice a light cloudy white tint to the mix which is not a problem. Dip your clear parts for a crystal clear protective coat. Wick off extra with a Q-Tip and place on paper town and let dry.
D: How to Apply Gloss Clear. The process for applying MMP Gloss Clear is very easy. We like to add just a couple drops of thinner ( MMA-002 or MMA-003 ) to the clear. You may add poly. We prefer to spray in light wet passes. Building up layer by layer until the proper finish is achieved. Please allow to dry thoroughly before polishing or wet sanding.
E: Flat Coat. Flat coat my nature must be dusted on in light coats. When applied in heavy coat flat can become semi gloss. This is true for any flat coat. Again light dusted coats, allow to dry and then apply next dusting if needed. If you end up with a semi or egg shell finish please refine your technique. It is NOT the flat coat. It is about refining your application style and taking your time.
TROUBLESHOOTING PAINT FAILURE AND ISSUES
A: Mixing the paint 50/50 paint to thinner will result in the paint failing You will have poor coverage and possible adhesion issues.
A-1 If you over thin be patient, stay in control and don't worry. Let it dry naturally. Re-mix your paint properly and reapply.
A-2 Adding too much poly.
A-3 Adding too much Poly and Thinner combo
A-4 Too much heat from a hairdryer can plasticize the paint. Accelerating the drying time with a hairdryer is no problem. Just don't concentrate the heat in one spot keep the air flow moving at a 12" or so distance.
A-5 Spraying from too far of a distance will cause the paint to potentially dry in the air before hitting the work surface. If this is the case you may find the the paint will not adhere to the surface properly. You will fin the paint in this case to be delicate and scratch easily. Mission Models Paints and Primers are very durable and you will be rewarded by taking your time.
A-6 My paint is peeling or coming up when removing tape. Again this is the case of improper application. Spraying in "dry" coats or not priming. Paint always sticks better to primer. Primer delivers bite to the paint.
HOW DO I REMOVE OR STRIP DRIED MMP PAINTS?
A : MMP paint does not like alcohol or ammonia. Alcohol and Ammonia will strip the paint. If you need to clean dried over spray or spills off your work surface Windex will remove it.
B: Yes you can spray Glass Cleaner on your model if you want to strip it down. Once cured 100% you may find removal difficult.
Mission Models Clear Coats are very easy to use. Mix them as you would with standard MMP paints.
Thinning Example: 20 drops Gloss Clear 3 drops thinner NO POLY NEEDED
We recommend light wet coats at 10-15 PSI.
Nice even passes building up your gloss finish in layers.
Allow to dry at least 3 hours before masking etc. We prefer to allow the clears to dry over night.
Mission Models Clear coats will accept all decal setting solutions.
Clears are chemical resistant.
DIPPING CLEAR PARTS: Mission Models Gloss can be thinned for dipping clear parts. Add 10 drops to an epoxy mixing cup. Dilute the 10 drops with Mission Models thinner until the clear looks slightly cloudy. The mixture should be watery thin with just a slightly cloudy look to it.
Dip the canopy and wick off any excess and soak up excess from the edges with a cotton swab. Next: let dry on a paper towel and allow to dry. We prefer a full cure and safe cure time of 6 hours before masking over a canopy. Floor wax is now a thing of the past.
Always be sure to close the lid on the clear coat bottle when not in use.
Cleaning. Be sure to clean your airbrush 100% after shooting clears. Mission Models Thinner is the preferred method for cleaning.
HOW TO USE MMP CHROME AND GLOSS BLACK BASE
Mission Models Chrome and Gloss Black Base are very easy to use. Although they can be thinned to meet your needs, there is no need as both can be used straight from the bottle. The MMP Gloss Black Base is what allows the chrome to "reflect" like a mirror. The smoother and glossier the better the chrome effect will be. Replicating a Chrome finish is not like applying standard MMP paints. There is a method for applying the MMP Chrome and Gloss Black Base that takes practice to perfect. Application is not difficult but "practice makes perfect.” When applied correctly these paints replicate a chromed finish. The more methodical you are when applying these paints, the better your results will be. It is a finish that can’t be rushed. MMP Chrome is made with finely processed 6061 Aluminum and is extremely durable when dry.
The MMP Chrome system works best on smaller detail parts (wheels, trim, exhaust, etc.). We also know that many modelers would like a chrome or bright finish on larger sections and "flat" panels such as on car bodies, aircraft, and Sci-Fi models. Using the appropriate technique, MMP Chrome can be used on such pieces but as with many airbrushing and painting techniques, practice will be rewarded with superior results.
GLOSS BLACK BASE Application:
Always use MMP Gloss Black Base as an undercoat for MMP Chrome. We recommend spraying the Gloss Black Base straight from the bottle at 10-15psi using multiple light semi-wet coats. DO NOT try to cover an area in one pass. Build up the Gloss Black Base slowly using multiple passes until a gloss finish is achieved. Keep the airbrush moving to prevent puddles or runs. Remember, any imperfections in the Gloss Black Base coat will be reflected and magnified when covered with chrome. The Gloss Black Base can be lightly wet sanded between coats if you wish. We recommend 6000 to 12000 Micro Mesh Sheets or Sanding pads. For a super smooth finish, additional coats of Gloss Black Base can be applied after buffing with Micro Mesh. Be sure that each coat is 100% dry and free of lint or dust before spraying the next layer. Any and all imperfections will show in the final chrome finish!!
PSI and Distance:
Shooting the Gloss Black Base is best at low psi, between 10-15psi. If your psi (air pressure) is too high you run the risk of blowing and moving the paint around on the surface and possible beading. Please test and adjust accordingly to your equipment.
Spray distance is also key to delivering a smooth coat of Gloss Black Base. Too far away and the paint will dry in the air before hitting the surface causing a grainy effect in the finish. Too close and the paint can run, dimple, or spider web. One of the easiest ways to determine a good spray distance is to actuate the air trigger on your airbrush (no paint, just air) while moving the brush closer to the model until you can hear the air hitting the surface. A good working distance is the point at which you can just hear the air flow hitting the surface of the model. This can vary based on your PSI (air pressure). Be patient and use smooth even passes with the proper working distance and psi. Remember, the smoother the Gloss Black Base, the better the chrome finish.
Troubleshooting - Gloss Black Base:
- Spraying from too far of a distance. Result, possible poor adhesion and textured surface.
- Spraying too close. Result, possible runs, beading or too much build up which can cause dimples or fish eyes.
- Do not add MMP Polymix to MMP Gloss Black Base or MMP Chrome
As mentioned above, the application of MMP Gloss Black Base and Chrome takes time and practice. Take your time and follow the proper steps.
Once you are satisfied with the preparation of the Gloss Black Base it is time to shoot the MMP Chrome. There is no need to add MMP Thinner. Shake MMP Chrome well and pour it directly into airbrush or epoxy mixing cup. Deliver light even UNIFORM coats using an air pressure of 10-15psi. Dust it on lightly and build it up slowly while keeping the airbrush moving at all times to avoid runs, puddles, or fish eyes. Allow each layer to dry 30 seconds to 1 minute before applying the next. Be methodical and think before you spray. As you build successive layers, you will begin to see the chrome effect. You will go from "Black Chrome" to dark chrome to chrome. As the paint dries, the chrome effect will appear. Use your best judgment and know when to stop as too much chrome will make the finish appear less shiny.
- Distance please see Gloss Black Base PSI and Distance section.
- PSI we prefer (air pressure) of about 10-15 psi.
- Test before you shoot. We always recommend testing on scrap before shooting the final piece.
- Be Methodical. Take your time. Think twice, spray once. Chrome needs to be built up in light layers. As you shoot you will see the transformation.
- When applied properly, MMP Chrome is very durable. It can be wet sanded, polished and clear coated for various effects.
- Do not add MMP Polymix to MMP Gloss Black Base or MMP Chrome
MMP Chrome can be tinted with any standard MMP color of paint for various color effects. Just add a couple drops of any color to the chrome before spraying. We leave this effect up to you to experiment with. We do not have a ratio for tinting. You can add 1 drop or 10 drops to find the level of tint you are seeking. If you start adding drops of MMP paint to your chrome in an epoxy mixing cup, you will notice that the chrome will tint instantly. We feel less is more when starting. If you add less tint to the chrome and build up on the work surface, you will have more control when it comes to color depth and opacity. The more you build up, the darker the finish. Again, we highly recommend testing on scrap or black glossy plastic spoons.
Troubleshooting - Chrome:
If applied too heavy, MMP Chrome can fast become silver paint. This happens due to the fact that the pigment has become so concentrated that all reflection from the Gloss Black Base has been canceled out and the reflection is dead. Be cautious. Know when to stop visually. Again practice makes perfect.
Applied properly, the MMP Chrome system will result in a beautiful durable finish.