Mr. Hobby Aqueous: Quick review

I bought a whole bunch of gloss colours from this range some time ago to give them a try-out, and thought I should do a very quick overview of how these perform!

The paint was tested on alclad lacquer primer, twice applied with a round of high-grit sanding between. Was also applied using an airbrush.

Consistency

Much thinner than Tamiya or Vallejo, and some pigment / binder had congealed at the bottom of the pot. Be careful when stirring, if you find a sticky blob at the bottom, carefully ease it out into the mix and try not to ‘slip’ inside the pot or you’ll find it spluttering out of the pot.

Coverage and thinning

As with many acrylics, coverage can (especially in the case of Vallejo model air) be a little a little inconsistent. In MHA’s (Mr. Hobby Aqueous) case I found that no matter now thin, or thick the thinning ratio was, the coverage was always consistent. Definitely a pro. I thinned using UMP (ultimate modelling products) thinner, and again using Tamiya thinner. UMP performed way, way better mixing very nicely after a little mixing. Tamiya took a little more work and produced a couple of blobs. Definitely avoid. I found for good, strong coverage using roughly a 3:1 ratio worked for me for a single coat, spraying at around 20psi. This does mean however, a pot of MHA will not last as long as a pot of Tamiya. Around 2/3 of a single pot Tamiya on an MG kit with large areas of colour would be enough for me, in MHA’s case I found myself using 1 and a half.

Colour

Lovely, lovely lovely. The white is very vibrant (on a white primer!), orange is closer to red to me but equally solid. The range of colours I tested were all consistently gorgeous. Off-white leans towards beige, black is well..an acceptable black.

Application

No problems here. A full cup in the airbrush caused very little ‘dry-tipping’ and did not start to congeal. Cleaning out was a doddle, just a cup of acetone did the trick without any funky blobby mess. Sprayed fine from 15psi to 30, above/below behaved as you would expect.

Drying and durability

I gave it 2-3 hours to fully cure but it was touch dry in around 20 mins. As with most acrylics, MHA is pretty fragile even after a good amount of curing, a little pressured toothpick scraped it off quite easily. Applying masking directly on too, was a little disappointing, pulling up a few flakes here and there. However, a thin coat of Alclad gloss lacquer gave it suitable toughness without dulling out the colour, and allowed me to mask with much more confidence.

Overall

Pros:

Great colour and colour range.

Pretty cheap, around the same as Tamiya.

No probs smashing it through and airbrush.

Consistent coverage.

Cons:

A little fragile after curing.

Does not last as long as other paints.

Needs protective layer if masking.

You’ll need to test which thinner works best. UMP thinner worked great for me, but depending on where you are it may take a little experimenting.

Will I continue to use it?

Yes, I think so, probably not for large areas of colour though, i’ll probably stick to Tamiya in that case. I’ve also ordered in some metallics from the range. Will write on this too.