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Old citadel paints


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14 replies to this topic

#1
Sgt.Sangha

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Hey guys I have a bunch of old GW paints still in the pots. They seemed to have dried up, but is there anyway I could still use them by adding water to them or something or will I just have to throw away the entire set of 50? Mind you the washes are still good.



#2
Arkhanist

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If they're really thick but still liquid, they are salvageable - add a healthy dose of matt medium/lahmian medium to liquify them back up to normalish paint consistency, and add a few drops of flow aid to help them back to life (optional but recommended), then shake the hell out of em.

 

If they're solid plastic, they're done, and you're another casualty of GW's crappy 2000's pot design I'm afraid.


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#3
Grotsmasha

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In addition to above, adding a small ball bearing will help to remix any thicker paint whilst shaking them :tu:


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#4
Sgt.Sangha

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yeah some of hem are solidified. Ball bearing is a good idea thanks Grotsmasha. Im going to grab some Lahmian medium and see if I can salvage some. I would end up with thinner paints, but I would probably end of thinning my paints anyways before painting anything. Much appreciated Arkhanist



#5
Grotsmasha

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You can use water, but they will dry out quicker again verses using a proper thinner/medium

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#6
Razblood

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Just make sure it's not a metal bearing, that'll rust. Use glass or hematite, toothpicks are also useful for stirring your mediums in.

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#7
Subtle Discord

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If I'm rejuvenating older thickened paint I wouldn't use an acrylic medium to do it. With a product like that, you're adding more acrylic binding medium to the paint and actually thinning out the pigments more; the paint already should have the right amount of binder which doesn't evaporate so more it isn't what's needed. In this case, you want to return the moisture that has been lost and nothing else. The trick is you need to be careful and not overdo it otherwise you'll over-thin the paint. It will seem like the fault of the thinner making it too watery, but it's more likely it was too heavy-handed in how much was added. It's hard to say just what % of the final product is water but it could be just a dozen drops or so that's missing (been a long time since I've done this) so I'd just add 3-5 to start, shake the crap out of it and stir it, then add 2-3 more drops and shake and stir again, and keep doing that until it was performing properly.

 

Side note; I'm still not sure if I like adding FlowAid to the paint itself but I'm a strong advocate for using it properly diluted to thin paints on a pallet. The stuff really works.


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#8
Tordeck

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Personally I have found that cheap vodka works wonders to restore old paints.


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#9
Imren

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Hehe, Tamiya X20A thinner is pretty much vodka but isopropanol instead of ethanol, the rest is pretty much the same.



#10
Subtle Discord

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If you want the rejuvenated paint to dry a bit faster it will do the trick as the alcohol will speed it some. I prefer a bit more working time over faster drying personally. Acrylics already dry so quickly in most cases I don't see a need to speed it up and risk lumpy applications as the edges start drying while your still smoothing a section out.


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#11
Tordeck

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Hehe, Tamiya X20A thinner is pretty much vodka but isopropanol instead of ethanol, the rest is pretty much the same.

I'm a brush licker lol.



#12
Imren

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Hehe, me too!



#13
Arkhanist

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If I'm rejuvenating older thickened paint I wouldn't use an acrylic medium to do it. With a product like that, you're adding more acrylic binding medium to the paint and actually thinning out the pigments more; the paint already should have the right amount of binder which doesn't evaporate so more it isn't what's needed. In this case, you want to return the moisture that has been lost and nothing else. The trick is you need to be careful and not overdo it otherwise you'll over-thin the paint. It will seem like the fault of the thinner making it too watery, but it's more likely it was too heavy-handed in how much was added. It's hard to say just what % of the final product is water but it could be just a dozen drops or so that's missing (been a long time since I've done this) so I'd just add 3-5 to start, shake the crap out of it and stir it, then add 2-3 more drops and shake and stir again, and keep doing that until it was performing properly.

 

Side note; I'm still not sure if I like adding FlowAid to the paint itself but I'm a strong advocate for using it properly diluted to thin paints on a pallet. The stuff really works.

 

When the paint dries out over an extended period in an old GW pot, some of the acrylic binder is also lost, it's not just water evaporation. Some polymer will also have started to bind to itself, and usually you've got some extremely thick/solid paint dried to the inside of the pot which is binder heavy. When I first started to revive decade-old GW pots (I had a fair few!), I did use just distilled water at first, but even in limited quantities it would start to lose cohesion, just like when you overwater fresh paint - but the consistency was still quite thick. Switching to matt medium let me get the paint back to much more normal properties. Matt medium is just transparent paint, effectively, and does have water in it.

 

If you go overboard with matt medium, sure you'll end up with more dilute glaze-like paint, but when it's like treacle you do need a fair bit just to get it back to normal layer paint level, let alone properly thinned paint. Nothing wrong with adding it in stages between shaking with an agitator though so you don't overdo it, absolutely.

 

The flow aid helps overcome the remaining clumpy polymer that has started to bind in the dried out paint; it literally lowers the viscosity without significant thinning, which does help with actually painting with the revived paint - though there will likely still be a few small clumps. I do use flow aid for normal paints too, but generally only 'chalky' ones or when I'm trying to dilute to a glaze etc.

 

IPA/tamiya thinner will have a similar effect as flow aid - it's lower viscosity than water, so will make the paint more fluid with only a small amount - but alcohol also dries faster than water, so will speed up paint dry. It can also react with some acrylic polymers to leave a gooey mess, so I tend to avoid it except for those paints already using a part alcohol solvent.


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#14
Sgt.Sangha

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wow arkhanist decade old paint...and it worked? I got lahmian medium today and im going to start adding it to the pots to see if it will work. I did get some of the older paints working by just shaking. I have a skull white that I think im just going to have to throw out unfortunately.  



#15
Arkhanist

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Yeah, I've still got citadel paint going back to the late 80s from when I started. The oldest stuff barely needs any work, oddly enough - the original tall pot flip lids (same as coat d/arms/P3/foundry today) and later tall hex pots are mostly fine (nearly 30 years later!) though the lids are stuck shut on half of em. The short hard plastic hex screw top lids that followed those, they're all completely dead - I use them as spray handles.

 

The short hard plastic hex flip lids, of which I have quite a few those I've mostly managed to revive with the matt medium + flow aid method. The current bolter pot with the old colour range similarly, but they didn't need too much work. I did take a break from the hobby for a few years after I bought the latter, and when I came back about um 5 years ago, the whole line had been completely redone.

 

Having a substantial chunk of my paints being dead (the hex screw tops, which were most of my paints at the time) meant that I restarted with army painter and vallejo instead, though I have since bought quite a few of the new citadel line, particularly the base paints. There are some shades in the old citadel line that are very handy that aren't directly equivalent in current pots, though I use them sparingly! When they run out, I can replace some of them with instar vintage paints, they've colour matched quite a few of the old GW paints.


Edited by Arkhanist, 12 January 2019 - 08:01 AM.

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