Moving to Acrylic

As is the case with every ATC unit in my experience, aero modelling is a primarily enamel paint based activity, and the shift to acrylics, which appears to have happened in every other sphere of modelling, seems to be being resisted somewhat.

However, it’s becoming problematic in my unit for reasons of COSHH. Because the paints and thinners are hazardous, they should be stored in the COSHH Store, but since our refurb, our COSHH store is outside, it also leaks and because it has a sealed floor with a lip, it fills up with water.

We’re tentatively looking at a transition to Acrylics, as then we don’t have any COSHH issues.

I’m looking for advice on how to do this, I was looking at it last night, and its going to be a big job, we have over 70 colours in our enamel range, and simply replacing every colour seems overly expensive, wasteful of the enamels and maybe wasteful, as there may be some colours we have, but just don’t need anymore, maybe something purchased for a one off.

My current plan is to start with maybe buying enough acrylics to paint basic kits, like early WW2 RAF fighters, which are the bread and butter of ATC modelling lessons in my experience. Giving me a start of 4 main colours, (Underside blue, two colour camo scheme and the internal greeny colour. I’d then need black for tyres, a metallic for metals, and maybe some more? Do the tail plane colours need to be freehanded or are they decals?

I then need to consider priming, (including whether we trust the kids with spray primer or not?) and palettes, because I note even the Humbrol acrylics come in dropper bottles now, and in my experience of working with acrylics the idea of painting without some form of palette and thinned paints is essentially blasphemy.

I also then need to do this gently so as to not supplant the very efficient modelling teacher we have now, but who has next to no experience of acrylics.

Any views?

How on earth is that a safe way to store things?

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The sealed floor with lip is to act as a spill bund.

However the fact it leaks… thats the problem.

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Simple, can’t burn if it’s already wet.


But yeah, I’m not getting into it. Even if it didn’t leak, it’s not a good place for paints because of the temperature fluctuations.


Are smaller indoor COSHH cupboards allowed within our H&S rules? Just thinking a small one indoors for all the paints would work well?

At work all our COSHH stuff is kept inside :man_shrugging:

There is a difference between a COSHH cupbaord and a flam store.

True. We store less than 50L so it can all go indoors in a combined COSHH/Flammable storage cabinet. Wondering if this would be acceptable for HQAC. Obviously this doesn’t work for gas as the leak risk is still there. No drip tray is going to catch the gas!

I think we had that before, but post refurb we have barely any storage at all.

By the way, would acrylic spray paint need to go in a COSHH/Flam store?

I’m going to go with yes

Over the years, slowly moved from enamels over to acrylics.

The starter sets from airfix include acrylics. Easier to store, easier to clean. You can get the same results.

In my modelling, I use enamel spray cans for a primer or for a varnish. Other than that, do everything with acrylics…go through less brushes that way.


Spray yes

Tinlets no afaik

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Put your paint tins in a 9/18 ltr. “Really useful” box it will keep the wet off at least.

As a general rule, most propellant aerosol are flammable so would need to be in a flam store