some of you might remember the other Daryl's Sprays reviews I did with their earlier line of metallic/glossy paints. Suffice to say they have since branched out into more paint colors, thinners, topcoats, mostly for lacquer acrylic users and airbrush buffs. Many other products are on the way and I can definitely say they'll be developing more mainstream-ish model paint colors as time goes by, and even experimenting with products that have to do with kit preparation rather than painting.
One of their latest offerings spells something hopeful for fans of water-based acrylics like Vallejo, Tamiya, Mr. Hobby, Citadel and others.
Today, we look at DS Aqua Thinner.
So let's say for some reason you wanted to paint a space marine miniature in purple using an airbrush (you cheater-- said every mini figure painter ever), and you normally prefer to use acrylics designed for these little minis because they offer a lot of colors, quite sturdy and are sufficiently handling-resistant when dry. Problem is your hobby store isn't carrying the proper thinner. You dread using alcohol or tap water because these can affect how good the paint will come out.
and then someone throws you a bottle of DS Aqua thinner from a tiny little cloud hanging out of your window.
well thanks to a Deus Ex Machina, you can get to painting!
Okay, I'm using my normal setup which is a sprayworks basic trigger feed gravity airbrush hooked up to a Yehong AC-108 portable air compressor. since this is a continuous air-flow setup, around 20PSI is more than enough to get painting.
Next I add the Acrylic paint (Vallejo Game Color in this case) and turn on the compressor to mix it with the thinner using the backwash technique. But you can get a better mix if you use an old flat brush to mix the paint and thinner in the cup. It's important to note that for the AB, the ratio of paint to thinner is 2:4 more or less. You really want the consistency to be slightly milky.
I chose to go with an unprimed "spess marehn" because I have no regard for foresight (but I at least cleaned up the mold lines beforehand), and misted the initial coat of heavy violet on the mini) and let it dry.
The drying time of the actual thinner is pretty fast, and this is quite an advantage for acrylic users, since it becomes dry to the touch in less than three minutes.
Next I painted the mini again in secondary coats (three for this session), and as usual with DS thinners, the coverage is very very good, less than five coats are needed to get an opaque color.
The coating is even and level all around, but there may be some areas that the AB didn't reach.
What comes next is how we demonstrate Aqua Thinner's dual purpose.
Yes, you can use DS Aqua thinner to hand-paint as well, simply pour paint and thinner into a palette or a cup and mix. for hand-painting what I'd recommend is a paint to thinner ratio that is more 2:3, where there is only slightly more thinner to paint.
Here, we're hand-painting the hands that are molded onto the Bolter rifle.
Of course, as we said it's not just vallejo that DS Aqua works with, it can also work for other brands in the same way. I personally pour a bit of thinner into my citadel pots to revive the paint when it gets clumpy, and I feel it helps the paint flow better when brushed on.
About half an hour later, we're done with our spess marehn, who ended up looking not too shabby, honestly.
DS Aqua is a nice product to add to your set of painting tools/supplies, where its a good alternative for the more expensive thinners out there. the fact that it can be used on many brands of water-based acrylics and dries rather quickly is a plus for painters, just as well it's ability to be useful both as a thinner for Airbrushing and hand painting makes it a very versatile product in terms of hobby painting.
You can buy DS Aqua Thinner (along with other DS Hobby products) at JMN's Hobby Store, located in Harrison Plaza, Malate, Manila, Philippines.