Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MicroLux Hobby Acrylics

A couple of months ago many model railroaders were dismayed to learn that Testors was discontinuing production of Floquil and PollyScale acrylic paints. These paints had been a mainstay of model railroaders for years, and based on the reaction to this news in various model railroad forums and blogs many model railroaders were ready to jump off tall buildings.  
Rather than getting overly upset about it, I opted to look for an alternative. One of them landed, quite literally, in my lap as I was flipping through latest Micro-Mark catalog.
In that catalog I noticed MicroMark was coming out with a new line of hobby acrylic paints called "MicroLux." 
The are prethinned for airbrushing just like regular artists acrylic airbrush paints (from manufacturer's like Golden). 

I also noticed Micro-Mark was offering Vallejo "Model Air" airbrush paints in "railroad colors" matched to the now defunct PollyScale and Floquil lines. Vallejo is well known to military and figure modelers as one of the best acrylic paints for model building available anywhere. In the list of the Vallejo and MicroLux colors you'll find many of the old names like "Tarnished Black," "Boxcar Red," etc....
So I went ahead and ordered a few colors of both the Vallejo railroad colors and the MicroLux paints.  

I just got them, so I haven't used them yet. The Vallejo paints are actually Vallejo's line of military colors - and come in the familiar 17 mil "eye drop" bottles. Micro-Mark has determined that Vallejo "Rust" is a color match for Polly Scale "Boxcar Red" and labeled it as such. 
The line of MicroLux paints come in larger bottles - 2 oz of paint in each and are specifically matched colors. I was thrilled to read the "Made by Vallejo" labeling on the Micro-Mark bottles. 
I haven't tried airbrushing with these paints - yet - I will report back with the results, but if these spray half as well as "regular" Vallejo paints but we may have a winner.

10 comments:

  1. I ordered some from Micro-Mark, mine are due next week :-) I am a bit disappointed they don't offer sets (with some price break).

    I've had particularly good luck spraying Vallejo red or gray primers.

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  2. Does the Vallejo Item number correspond with the MicroMark number?
    From the pictures I guess not
    for me living in Norway it would be very interestin to know the "original" numbers, because hobbyshops over here stock Vallejo.
    BTW - great layout you are building! ¨Thank you for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. No.
      You might to look at this chart posted over on MRH blog - it includes "matches" to different brands for most of the Floquil/Polly Scale colors - including Vallejo.
      http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/14152

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    2. knut the list is below I had the same problem

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  3. Thank you for the answer.
    I am aware of that chart over on MRH.

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  4. Hi,

    Good find, and I await your verdict after using them. I'm also a model railroading enthusiast who write about the hobby. I don't know if you're looking for more content or are interested in publishing articles written bby other people, but if you are I'd be delighted to let you use some of mine (free of charge, of course).

    Warm regards,

    Mark

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  5. Marty,

    I, too, was quite alarmed at Testors news.

    So, we sent actual bottles of the 28 most-popular PollyScale paints to Acrylicos Vallejo so they could color match them exactly. We verified their color chips showing the two paints side-by-side, and they have done a perfect job. We then labeled the colors for model railroaders' convenience. We think the 2 oz size bottle will be an especially good value over the cost of Floquil and PollyScale, which was priced at over $6 for a 1 oz bottle. We also love the new easy-to-use Vallejo dropper-top bottles . . . no more stuck-on jar caps, and the paint stays fresh.

    We sprayed the colors without thinning and coverage was excellent. When done spraying, we just dunk the entire airbrush in a bucket of water and press the trigger to clean it out, ready for the next color or for storage.

    The paint spreads very well with a brush on wood. Harder surfaces require more than one coat. The top unscrews from the 2 oz bottles; use pliers to pull the nozzle from the half-ounce size. Then, you can dip a brush into the bottle and come out with paint. To avoid compromising the paint quality, I do recommend that you squeeze out a bit of paint into a small thimble-size cap, and pick up paint from there instead of sticking the brush in and out of the bottle.

    Tom Piccirillo, MMR
    Micro-Mark
    http://www.micromark.com/microlux-paints.html

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  6. Tom,
    Good to hear from you - hope all is well with you!
    Thanks for the background information on the paint and the tips on using it. I tried spraying a little (track and ballast "blending") last night and found it works exactly as you describe. I have yet to paint a model with it but I'm sure it will work fine. As promised I'll have a complete "after action" report once I paint and weather some models with it.
    On another note, after watching me spend the better part of two hours last Saturday hand cutting the parts for the floor and trim in her large dollhouse Christine said "You should get one of those Micro-Mark table saws Dave Frary mentioned....." So, it's time to place an order for one before she changes her mind!
    Marty

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    Replies
    1. 29001 Rail Brown 71,247 Rail Brown
      29002 Grimy Black 71,222 Grimy Black
      29003 Railroad Tie Brown 71,043 Olive Drab
      29004 Reefer White 71,001 White
      29005 Rust 71,037 Mud Brown
      29006 Clear Flat Finish 70.520 Matt Varnish
      29007 Aged Concrete 71.230 Aged Concrete
      29008 Engine Black 71,057 Black
      29009 Roof Brown 71,038 Camouflage Medium Brown
      29010 Roof Red 71,036 Mahagony
      29011 Concrete 71,215 Concrete
      29012 Steam Power Black 71,251 Steam Power Black
      29013 Undercoat Light Gray 71.050 Light Grey
      29014 Clear Gloss Finish 70.510 Gloss Varnish
      29015 Boxcar Red 71.080 Rust
      29016 Aged White 71,232 Aged White
      29017 Dark Green 71,016 US Dark Green
      29018 Clear Satin Finish 70,522 Satin Varnish
      29019 Caboose Red 71,003 Scarlet Red
      29020 Signal Red 71,085 Italian Red (Ferrari Red)
      29021 Signal Green 71,014 Gunship Green
      29022 Tarnished Black 71,054 Dark Grey Blue
      29023 Earth 71,122 Desert Tan 686
      29024 Reefer Gray 71,047 US Grey
      29025 Dirt 71,228 Dirt
      29026 Flat Aluminum 71,062 Aluminium
      29027 Depot Buff 71,107 Olive Green
      29028 Reefer Yellow 71.078 Golden Yellow***

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