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The perils of using old paint.


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I painted my 4mm industrial; Garratt last week using a tin of Cherrys Furness Red which I have had for 10 years, last used 6 years ago to paint a friends loco.

The result, still tacky after 5 days indoors and lots of tiny bits (despite using an electric "whizzy" for 10 minutes).

I should no better as Ian Rathbone told me this many years ago.

So it will have to be stripped and a fresh tin of paint bought. 

 

IMG_3846 (2).JPG

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At what point should paint be flat out binned? I have some RailMatch and Phoenix paints purchased many years ago which were never opened and I'm thinking of selling (they were for a shelved project), but I'd rather not if it's defective.

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3 hours ago, GarrettTheThief said:

At what point should paint be flat out binned? I have some RailMatch and Phoenix paints purchased many years ago which were never opened and I'm thinking of selling (they were for a shelved project), but I'd rather not if it's defective.

 

It may depend on the brand as I've recently been using some Railmatch and Humbrol emanels that are over 20 years old without any problems, but I did test them on pieces of plastic sprue before committing them to any models.

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I've got some old (really old, c. 1963?) tinlets of Humbrol enamel paint.  Rather apprehensively I used one when painting a coach kit I'd built.  The result was excellent.  The fact they're old doesn't mean they'll be no good, but it might!  Best thing to do is to try them out first on a test piece.

 

DT

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5 hours ago, Torper said:

The fact they're old doesn't mean they'll be no good, but it might!

 

Exactly this, I have some very old Humbrol enamels that are still good to use. I also have some not so old tins that look ok until you dilute them and then the pigment separates.

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5 hours ago, Torper said:

I've got some old (really old, c. 1963?) tinlets of Humbrol enamel paint.  Rather apprehensively I used one when painting a coach kit I'd built.  The result was excellent.  The fact they're old doesn't mean they'll be no good, but it might!  Best thing to do is to try them out first on a test piece.

 

DT

These are working fine - around 55 years old...

IMG_20210315_231802_resized_20210315_112006652.jpg

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The paint I was using was one of the "Railway Humbrol Enamel" with the tartan-type background shown above.  I reckon that that design dates sometime round about the late 50s/early 60s.  Of course, back then they weren't over concerned about the health aspects of what they put in their paint which is probably why it was so good.

 

DT

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On 15/03/2021 at 12:29, GarrettTheThief said:

At what point should paint be flat out binned? I have some RailMatch and Phoenix paints purchased many years ago which were never opened and I'm thinking of selling (they were for a shelved project), but I'd rather not if it's defective.

 

Provided they have NOT been opened or partially used most of them should be OK.

 

Having run out, I recently had to use an old tin of the original Precision Enamel (prior to the Phoenix era) it being possibly 20-30 years old. It had been partially used in the past, but when opened, I was surprised to find it had not skinned over, and once very well stirred and thinned it airbrushed perfectly.

 

As for Humbrol, their old original paints were far superior to the modern day replacements.

 

HTH

 

Edited by tractor_37260
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 16/03/2021 at 00:14, Torper said:

The paint I was using was one of the "Railway Humbrol Enamel" with the tartan-type background shown above.  I reckon that that design dates sometime round about the late 50s/early 60s.  Of course, back then they weren't over concerned about the health aspects of what they put in their paint which is probably why it was so good.

 

DT

The tartan paint apprentices are always sent to fetch !

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Posted (edited)

Agreed - I do most of my painting using older paints with very few issues. Any lumps or bumps that may be present you can strain out with a fine mesh tea strainer anyway.

 

If a paint has got a skin on the top though, I do tend to dispose of as they're never quite the same again. Black is worst for this I find... especially Humbrol 85!

 

On 18/03/2021 at 09:24, tractor_37260 said:

 

Provided they have NOT been opened or partially used most of them should be OK.

 

Having run out, I recently had to use an old tin of the original Precision Enamel (prior to the Phoenix era) it being possibly 20-30 years old. It had been partially used in the past, but when opened, I was surprised to find it had not skinned over, and once very well stirred and thinned it airbrushed perfectly.

 

As for Humbrol, their old original paints were far superior to the modern day replacements.

 

HTH

 

 

The original Precision paints are excellent! I've a few of these and like you say, they just keep on going! Same with Gloy as well... always spray and stir well, and that smell! Totally unique to the brand...

 

Chris

Edited by Firecrest
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yup, agreed: those old Humbrols can still deliver. I was recently using an oldish (ten years?), previously unopened  tin of Cherry BR bauxite on some long-'paused' wagon projects - fine, although two (brushed) coats needed for a decent finish. Thought things were looking a little uniform though, so dug around and found a partly used, 1/2 fluid ounce tin of Humbrol 110, 'BR Freight Stock Red Bauxite' I'd been given some years ago. I reckoned it must be at least 50 years old. Wasn't optimistic... how wrong can you be? Twenty second shake, if that; quick test swab; and then, to my eye at least, really quite a decent finish after just one coat....

 

Colin

 

 

Humbrol bauxite edit (2).jpg

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On 05/05/2021 at 11:54, Firecrest said:

If a paint has got a skin on the top though, I do tend to dispose of as they're never quite the same again. Black is worst for this I find... especially Humbrol 85!

 

I opened a relatively new tinlet of Humbrol 121 the other day, had it maybe ~1 year, and was shocked to see it had skinned over. Thinking back, I had lots of tins doing that when I was young and making Airfix kits, but that probably was mainly down to me not putting lids on properly. This current one was definitely clean and closed properly so it got me thinking that not all tinlets are created equal and some must have inherently bad sealing lids and that it's probably always been like this.

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