MCW - Model Car World Thinners / Engine / Base Colors Enamel Paints1000E
Thinners, Hardener, Engine Colors, and Base Colors.
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MCW has been producing paint products for over 20 years. MCW can produce almost any factory car color used from the 1930's to the 1980's, specializing in the often neglected area of American car paints colors.
MCW started adding enamel paints to their lineup in early 2020, as a replacement for discontinued Model Master paints. What they ended up with was a far superior product that has more versatile. You can brush paint right our of the jar, thin it and spray through an airbrush to get an incredibly beautiful, smooth, and glossy finish, and you can go a step further and use hardener to cure the paint for faster handling time.
MCW paints are made using actual automotive grade single stage toners and formulas. The paint color you get is actually the real car formula from the manufacturer! If you want Bahama Blue or Sassy Grass Green, it will be a perfect match to the real car. Current MCW Enamel lineup is around 200 colors, I will be stocking 80 colors to start, but will be adding more in the future. About a dozen of these colors were requested by me from MCW that I feel are iconic muscle car colors that will be available in enamels for the first time, and MCW will be adding them to their lineup. If you are needing a specific US 1950's to 80's color that you don't see here, contact me and I can probably get it for you on my next order.
MCW finishes recommends thinning enamel paints at the following ratios:
- Gloss(3) to reducer(2) of 3:2 (or 60/40 %), you can also go 1:1 (50/50%) for a thinner mix ( 1:1 will allow for a lower air pressure and less overspray). Our Enamel Clear (1017E) is a crystal-clear enamel. It will dry on its own but stays soft, so hardener is required. We recommend using our 1017EH Clear Hardener. The mix ratio is 2 parts clear to 1 part hardener and thin as desired (2:1 or 66/33%).
- Primer needs to be reduced 1 part primer to 2 parts reducer. This will vary depending on your airbrush and spraying conditions. We recommend using MCW enamel reducer or lacquer thinner. We recommend thinning our primer 1 part primer to 2 parts thinner (1:2 or 33/66%). Drying time is typical for enamel, depending on humidity and temperature can take a few days to a week, same as Model Master and Testors. Using a food dehydrator or incubator can cut the cure time to 24 hrs. Using hardener cuts this down to 4 to 8 hours.
- PAINT Although not required, you can add Enamel Hardener (1003E) to the paint which will fully cure it in eight hours at 70 degrees F. This will make the paint less likely to be reactivated with additional coats of enamels. If you want to add the hardener, the ratio is 8 parts paint, 1-part hardener, and 1-2 parts thinner (8:1:2). We recommend that you do not add hardener to any paint that you do not plan on using right away. The hardener will make the paint extremely tough like real automotive paint, and in fact it is.
- Do not use mineral spirits or enamel thinners for any MCW Enamels!!! MCW is compatible with their own reducer and Mr Color Lacquer Thinners, other lacquer thinners can be used, just make sure you know how it will affect the plastic you are spraying on.
- VERY, VERY, IMPORTANT! All paints must be thoroughly mixed, the toners will settle to the bottom, faster for metallics than solid colors, since toners affect colors dramatically, even a tiny bit on the bottom will affect the color quite a bit. You must stir or shake the jars until you cant see any swirls on the bottom, you can get small hobby paint shakers, or you can use small stir sticks ( a 4” cut piece of sprue works great)
How to use these Paints:
In our trials, MCW sprayed the paint at about 25-30 psi. Depending on airbrush and conditions you may want to adjust your pressure up or down. A thinner mix will allow lower air pressure, and less waste. We recommend spraying it a lower pressure for fine details also for fine details you may want to some more reducer.
We recommend using a good primer like our MCW line of primers to help adhesion and to help avoid pooling or pulling from high and low spots.
Once dry, the paint can be wet sanded and buffed to a high shine and one of your favorite clears can be applied. We recommend thinning our primer 1 part primer to 2 parts thinner (1:2 or 33/66%).
Our Enamel Clear (1017E) is a crystal-clear enamel. It will dry on its own but stays soft, so hardener is required. We recommend using our 1017EH Clear Hardener. The mix ratio is 2 parts clear to 1 part hardener and thin as desired (2:1 or 66/33%).
As the paint will fully cover in 2-3 thin coats, you can expect to get 2-4 models out of a jar depending on primer used underneath, the color spraying, you desired shade, and your technique.
One bottle of 1003E Hardener will last about 8 jars of paint. one bottle of Reducer will last 1-3 bottles of paint depending on the ratios you use and feel comfortable with.
Clear will be entirely dependent on how much you spray, however, since the paint is already gloss, you won’t need much on each model, and the ratio of clear to hardener is 2 bottles clear to 1 bottle hardener.
Cleaning your Airbrush:
Clear w/hardener: Pot life for the clear is 1 hour, it will begin to harden at this time, this means you need to need to spray and clean your airbrush within 1 hour. This is based on a temperature of 70-80F, hotter temperatures will speed this up.
Paint w/hardener: We recommend that you do not add hardener to any paint that you do not plan on using right away, pour enough paint into a disposable or cleanable cup for a single use session. You can use disposable pipets and mixing cups, If you are using a color cup, use a pipette to mix using the above ratio(8:1). The hardener will make the paint extremely tough like real automotive paint, and in fact, it is. Never drop any hardener into the whole jar of paint unless you plan on using that paint within 4 hours. Pot life is 4 hours, this means you need to need to spray and clean your airbrush within 4 hours.
Use any lacquer thinner or Tamiya Airbrush Cleaner to clean thoroughly after you are done. My personal favorite for cleaning airbrushes is the Tamiya Airbrush cleaner or Montana brand Acetone spray. Make sure you know which cleaners are safe for your airbrush. Be very through, its difficult to clean an airbrush after clear or paint hardens.
If you are using the paint with the hardener, I HIGHLY recommend that you use their reducer or Mr Color Lacquer thinner, as this paint is fully tested and compatible with each other. Other may work, you may want to experiment on your own.
If you decide to use the enamel paint without hardener, you can use any hobby grade lacquer thinners. Specifically, Mr Color (Gunze) or Tamiya are relatively mild and not likely to harm plastic, hotter automotive/hardware store grade thinners can cause issues that will damage the underlying paint, primer, or plastic. Both the MCW reducer and Mr Color Leveling thinner will allow slower dry times, which can give you a smoother finish.
Please remember that if applying multiple layers of different paint colors on top of each other like two-tones, or graphics, make sure the underlying paint is fully dry/cured as with any paint, top layers car soften the bottom layers. It’s always a good idea to mix a tiny bit of paint and spray a couple small test pieces. Hardener helps speed up tape time with multiple colors
And finally, don't let any of this confuse you, it’s just enamel paint! Call me and ask if you have any questions that I didn't cover or are just new to using paints and want some advice, I will be happy to help, and I don't know, I will get you the answer.
Download the PDF paint guides here:
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