Well since we have been talking about tips here is mine:
For some of us out there we will simply walk into the GW store buy the paint and some brushes and crack it open and have a go, bang out some models and then wonder why their drying out why my brush is crusty and isn't applying smoothly anymore. SO HERE are some of the components of paints.
Pigments: fine granular particles mixed in to a vehicle [more on this later] or binder, these are the things that give paint its color texture and quality.
Quality Lends itself to the richness of the color, how well it goes on, how far you can push the paint by adding thinner or thickeners or textured mediums[i.e. gesso, gels] and how the paint ages, some cheaper paints begin to crack and flake after a few months, not to great for models.
Citadel makes a fine quality of paint, but Vallejo and such paints are much higher quality, but better quality cost more. $$$
Binder, commonly referred to as the vehicle, is the actual film forming component of paint. It is the only component that must be present as it holds the pigment is suspension. Binders are separated by drying time, or the curing time of the paint.
Binder and Water
There is a myth out there that it's okay to thin acrylic paint with water. Well it's not the best idea. Here's why:
Water is not a binder. Duh, right? Well if you use too much water in your acrylic paint mixture, you will over thin the binder in the paint and weaken the paint film, lessening its adhesion to your Model. If you want to thin the paint, use a polymer medium i.e. acrylic thinner. This will maintain the adhesive qualities of the paint and the paint film will maintain its integrity.
The main purposes of the solvent are to adjust the curing properties and viscosity of the paint. It is volatile and does not become part of the paint film. It also controls flow and application properties, and affects the stability of the paint while in liquid state. Its main function is as the carrier for the non volatile components.
And on to Brushes
Citadel Sells many types of brushes, But these are only Natural sable hair brushes.
Ever wonder why the brushes cost so much its simple, the fibers your painting with are 95% of the cost of the brush.
Sable comes from a particular type of squirrel like weasel that is bred [farm raised squirrels best job ever? whose got the nuts] in Europe/Russia. The Kolinsky Squirrel is a one of the highest quality brush making fiber you can buy and can run anywhere from $6.95 - in the hundreds of dollars [Quality COST].
But brushes can be made from almost any type of hair, from boar, horse, pony, whiskers, and most widely available and cost effective is Synthetic. Synthetic paint brushes are a god send. Natural brushes will always leave a particular texture behind as well as soaking up a great deal of paint and needing to be cleaned with particular and harmful chemicals. Which you will see extensively in oil painting and such, while synths will apply the paint almost as smoothly as an airbrush, easy to clean with soap and water and maintain their shape longer if properly maintained.
These will usually be seen in talkon, golden and white, these just describe the process in which they are made and produced. Why does this matter, because that particular hair has its very own qualities like spring [how much the brush resist pressure while painting] carriage [how much paint the brush holds or water] and longevetity [simply how long and how well the brush will hold up to abuse].
Royal makes a very cost effective and high quality brush.
Studio Gallery makes fine brushes they are cheap but hold up well for a few months and it’s not a blow to the wallet when you trash them. [Silver white is on par with these and has very fine pointed synthetic]
Loew Correnll, nice brushes but at almost 8 dollars a brush [starting at the detail level] can add up quickly. They also make a hard to reach detail brush for $5 dollars it’s pricy but is a pretty nifty little tool, for fine detail work.
Windsor Newton[oh let me count the ways] A very high quality brush, and brush making company, recently changed hands and their brushes have dropped in price and are mostly on clearance at the moment. So grab these brushes they really are a steal $6 dollar brushes for 2.
that’s all I can think of......at the moment.....