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Matching the Paint Dilution to the Airbushing Job Easily with Laborato


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Hey Guys!


So I've been working on this article for a while :please:


Laboratory Centrifuge Tubes!


These are awesome for measuring, mixing, and storing model paints.

They'll take Lacquers, Enamels, whatever..........


I've been using them for 20 years.

I didn't want to add them to MPS until we had a source of well made, graduated tubes.

Now we do.


Here's the link:




Drop me a line and let me know what you think!








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Couple of points:

1. They're tubes. They don't stand up, unless in a rack. I know there's a lid, but I'd inevitably knock them over. Guaranteed. (The idea of storing them upside-down is not comforting, but even so, they need to be point side down to accept liquid.)

2. I use graduated pipettes, transferring the paint & thinners to an empty Tamiya jar, which I have many of and a Tamiya paint jar sized paint rack. I'm not sure I see an advantage to using tubes?

3. Tamiya paint jars have screw lids that work just as well as the click lid of the test-tubes.

4. You'd have to buy the tubes AND a tube rack - more "stuff" on an already crowded desk, more expense. Empty Tamiya jars are plentiful, practically free and do the storage job just as well?


I can see how a lab tech who has used these for many hours will be attracted to the idea of using them at home for his hobby. However, for an old fart like me, with years of experience of pipettes & empty jars, the benefits of switching don't really jump out at me.


But that's just me. I'm old. And a fart.

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Thanks for your comments.


I appreciate you bluntness ("old and a fart") :D


A couple of things to consider :rolleyes:


-These tubes are good for smaller sized mixes (2-5 ml) such as the average airbrush paint cup. Tamiya bottles are great but not so much for smaller volume mixes (too much head space).


-Pipettes are good for volumes of ~1ml or so but not much smaller. The 2ml tubes have gradations smaller that 1ml making smaller volume mixes easier and more accurate.


-The tube racks are 4.25 for two. Each rack holds 25 tubes. So, 4.25 get's you rack space for 50 tubes.

That seems reasonable too me.


-Glad you have an endless supply of Tamiya bottles :)

My build rate has never been fast enough to generate a lot of free bottles for mixing or storage.


-Not a tech.


Thanks again for your comments and best regards,


Stuka, M.D., Ph.D.

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Guest Peterpools

WOW. Excellent article.

Right now I always thin each paint to a thinning ratio I have wrtten down, mix by counting drops of paint and then thinner into a 1 oz disposible cup. I also keep a small list of working air pressures for different paints and my different air brushes.

What paint is not used is never added back to the paint jar.

Sometimes, no most times I feel I've gone way too far and over the top but it does allow for repeatable results.


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Great read!  I generally use "medicine cups" used to dole out medication from a medical supply house. They have graduated marks on the side in various measurements, but I do have to use pipettes to get the paint into and out of them after mixing. 


I think I would be inclined to go the way of the tubes with lids on them if I could get a rack in a convenient place. At the moment though, my bench space for such a thing is a bit limited. However the premise itself I think is very viable.   I think even if a rack had 5 or 10 slots (two rows of 5 stacked) it might prove very useful indeed.  

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Hi Guys,


I work like Peter, just not as good at painting! I use 25-30ml plastic cups and use the drop system. My paint of choice is MMP, using their Polyurethane additive and strictly the MMP Thinners, no substitutes. I haven't written anything down but I can remember most settings for most airbrushes (lost count, at least 10). Lovely paint, needs a bit of attention the first time you use it, like read the instructions!!! After that, Easy Street, works every time, no splutter, no needle clog.


My spray booth is set up so the air pressure regulator and brush stand is to my immediate right and can be adjusted easily. Paint stirrers are the long wooden coffee stirrers, in a box of 1000 from Amazon, who also supplied the cups. Also got a pile of their plastic pipettes for when I use Gunze or Tamiya paints, again using the drop system. I've got used to eyeballing a model and guesstimating how much paint I need, rather than pouring paint into the pot willy-nilly.


Great tutorials at MPS, always a good read. Brilliant models too!




Bruce Crosby

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I use the snap-lid clear cup sets that Hobby sells, with the spares I can get by the bag-full, in case I forgot to rinse one after use, and the dried paint is too difficult to remove.

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