Mission Models Paints FAQ Tips and Tricks

Mission Model Paints: Tips And Tricks/FAQ

Mission Models Paint is a water based acrylic paint system. 

Due to the fact that Mission Models MMP paints are organic we do not add any further additives. You will find that you are using an extremely high end fine art grade paint in its truest form.

What does this mean to you? 

  1. Paints by nature even when airbrush ready mix at varying consistency when formulating the paint.  For example based on pigment values white pigment may be larger than green pigments no matter how fine the pigments are ground.  White is the larger pigment in raw form. What this means is one color may seem a bit thicker than another. This is not something to worry about and it is not a problem with the paint by any means. Although our paints are all airbrush ready you may find due to the nature of that particular pigment a bit of thinner may help you out.
  2. We do NOT add any additional thinners or reducers to force an airbrush ready product. This is an advantage to you. This means consistent blends and you will never get a bad bottle of paint and no shelf life with proper care and storage. Subject to our warranty and sales terms. Please note that when looking at a Mission Models bottle of paint and due to the fact that all colors are triple pigmented the pigments will settle. This is NOT an issue. In addition in some colors you will be able to see the various pigments used to make a particular color.  When you mix or shake the pigments blend together as intended. 
  3. If you feel you need to add thinner (technically a reducer) less is more!  If you go by the skim or non fat milk rule our paint is Full Fat. Example  30-40 drops paint 10% thinner or (3-4 drops)  10 % poly or (3-4 drops poly mix) and spray at 10-15 psi. Remember never more poly to paint. 
  4. Dont be afraid to experiment a bit if you need to add an extra drop or two or thinner.
  5. Dont worry if the paint looks a bit thicker than what you are used to (Do not mix 1:1) The paint will spray smooth as butter and not hide any details. We recommend spraying 2-3 from the surface at 10-15 psi. Light wet coats for proper adhesion. You will loose all adhesion if you spray in dry coats.  A dry coat is a result of spraying from too far of a distance allowing the paint to dry in the air before hitting the model. This also applies to primer. 
  6. DO NOT mix the paint 1:1 or 50/50. It is not necessary as with other products. The paint will NOT work properly if you mix 1:1 or 50% thinner 50% Paint. It will fail meaning that your paint will be over thinned for opaque coverage and will run or result in adhesion problems.  Over thinning is ideal for creating filters tints and washes.  Less is more for general coverage. 

Please follow our ratios when 1st using the paint to get the full and proper experience.  Once you have mastered (mastering is easy when you mix properly) the basics then feel free to experiment you will be able to go by eye.

PAINT TROUBLESHOOTING: You should not have any issues as long as you follow our instructions. Yes we all make mistakes. Mistakes are a natural part of modeling it just happens. Thats why its called a mistake.

  • There are a lot of variables when using paint or airbrushing. We wish we could answer each and every question or trouble shoot every variable. We cant. This applies to any brand of paint. We have no control over the condition of a users airbrush spraying environment storage temperate elevation application technique skill level experience etc.
  • Remember painting takes time practice and patients. This also includes trial and error testing and more. Dont be afraid to add an extra drop of thinner. That extra drop or two may be the ticket if needed. The Earth will not stop spinning.  
  • Drying Time:  When dry to the touch you can continue working. The paint is technically dry in 12 hrs.   


Q:  Will MMP thinner work with other brands? 

A:  Yes it will.  It will work in most all acrylic paints as will the MMP Poly Intermix. We have tested in most other popular brands however we cannot guarantee how it will work in all brands. Please proceed with caution and test before shooting your project. We cannot and will not take responsibility for modelers mistakes or user error. Always test on scrap first. 

Q: Will MMP mix with enamels or solvent-based paints?

A: NO it will not mix with enamels or Lacquers. 

Q: Can I thin MM Paints with alternative thinners?

A. NO. DO NOT use alternative thinners. This includes Tamiya Gunze Vallejo Future Floor Wax etc.  

Q. Can I thin MM Paints with water?

A: Yes and No. You can thin MMP with water however it must be distilled. DO NOT use tap water. Tap water contains chemicals minerals and rust that will affect your finish.  Because Mission Models thinner may work with other brands it does not mean that their thinners work with Mission Models acrylic paint.  Also:

  •  DO NOT ever thin with Glass Cleaner wiper fluid lighter fluid alcohol Lacquer thinner etc. You will destroy the paint by contamination ruin your finish and the high performance properties of the paint.  This includes Windex which includes alcohol and ammonia. This also includes during color changes.  Please clean your airbrush with water and follow up flush with our thinner. 
  • NO it will not mix with enamel or Lacquer thinners.  Oil and Water do not mix. 
  • Do NOT add future floor wax to the paint. Future is floor wax. This will destroy the performance and nature of the paint and the longevity. Future floor wax will yellow and crack over time. Liquid floor wax is not designed to be added to paint. It is not a paint thinner nor is it a hobby clear coat. 


  1. MMP thinner is very powerful. Due to the nature of our paint formula only the smallest amount of thinner is needed (DROPS). If you over-thin the paint it will become less opaque than expected. The paint will be translucent and possibly bead or may lead to adhesion issues. Be sure to pay attention to your mixing ratios with both the thinner and Poly. Once you have that down and a solid feeling for how the paint mixes and sprays then feel free to experiment.  Once you have a feeling for the very easy nature of using and mixing the paint you can then begin to eyeball your ratios etc. Again do not mix 50/50 or 1:1 your mixture will be over thinned for proper general coverage. 
  2. Although there is no harm in adding MMP Thinner / Reducer / Poly to any of our products MMP Metallics for example are thinner than standard colors. You may find that you dont need to add any thinner or possibly just one or two drops. Yes you can add poly to metallics however build up in light airbrush passes.  Dont rush. 


  1. MMP paints work best in 60-80 degree temps. Storage should also be maintained between 60-80 degrees. Do not store paint in locations that are subject to wide temperature changes. Improper storage will damage the paint.
  2. We have shot paint in 105 degree weather and 90% humidity with no issues. If you are spraying in these extreme temps add a little poly to your paint for good measure. 
  3. Cold weather. We have sprayed in all climates. Yes the paint will spray in extreme cold but we do not recommend it. Long term cold conditions 50 degrees and under could result in possible airbrush clogging and other difficulties. Yes it will work and yes you may run into issues. If you must spray in extreme cold keep the paint warm along with the Thinner and Poly before spraying in the cold.
  4. We have found that even if your paint is warm but the thinner or poly is ice cold when you add the cold thinner to to the warm paint you may find issues by shocking the paint with a cold thinner. Points 3 and 4 are in reference to extreme cold situations. 
  5. Depending on your location and temperature you may have to adjust your ratios by a few drops here and there. Our basic ratios work best for our location and environment but will also work best for most users. Dont be afraid to adjust to suit your needs.  


Always prime your model!  Paint always sticks best to primer.  Primer offers bite for the paint. The paint will not adhere properly to bare plastic.  Painting on bare plastic and expecting it to proper adhere is like painting on glass. 

Due to the fact that our primer is a proprietary formula you MUST use our thinner ( reducer) to thin our primer. NO ALTERNATIVES PERIOD. If you really break it down our primer is a two part system and we keep it simple. When our thinner is added to the primer the primer is Activated. Activation is nothing that the user needs to worry about except for the fact that only our thinner will make the primer work properly with the intended finish. Its very easy and there is nothing you need to do but use MMP Thinner. Mixed properly MMP primer is incredibly smooth. Requires no wet or dry sanding and is extremely durable. 

  • MMP primer is thick in the bottle. It must be thinned. We recommend the following example ratio for reference only. The ratio below is mixing just a small amount of paint. 
  • Example for reference: 30-40 drops primer + 4-6 drops thinner. No poly needed. 
  • PSI approx. 10 to 15. Adjust accordingly. 
  • Spray 2-3 from the work surface light wet coats and even passes. Will not hide any details.  
  • DO NOT spray primer in dry coats. Light wet coats are the way to go. Dry coats will lead to adhesion issues. Remember light wet coats. A light wet coat means that the primer looks shiny or wet on the surface but not so heavy that it runs. 
  • DO NOT add poly to the primer. It is NOT needed nor are there any advantages. 

The Primer wont Stick:  Please re-read the above. If you spray in dry mist coat meaning if you spray from too far of a distance the paint or primer will dry in the air before hitting the surface of the model and you will loose all adhesion properties as you are now spraying dry paint or primer. 

Mission Models primer can be dry sanded or wet sanded. When wet sanding please allow to dry 12-24 hrs. Dry sanding can be performed when dry to the touch. 

Transparent Primer.  Can be tinted with any Mission Models color to create your own custom primer color. Ideal for sealing masked areas before color coats.  Perfect for priming canopy frames after masking.  This give paint bite on those fine frames.  Spray your interior color 1st and then your top color coat. 

Do not allow primers to freeze 


A: MMP Thinner is also your airbrush cleaner. Yes you can rinse your airbrush or paint brush with water and then follow up the final rinse and spray though with MMP Thinner. 

B: Yes you can soak your airbrush parts in MMP thinner without damage to chrome finish and rubber seals. 

C: DO NOT to use Glass cleaner alcohol alternative thinners lacquer thinner universal thinners etc  to rinse your AB. Mixing oils and water when cleaning your airbrush will result in problems. It may flush it in cavity and bowl but will build up in the chamber and nozzle. This will then result in clogging and nightmare clean up repair. You may think the airbrush is clean but you have created a gummed up concrete mess deep with in the body and nozzle which will only get worse. 

D:  Note if you do use any alcohol or ammonia based cleaners it is a must that you flush the airbrush after with water. Any residue from the alcohol lacquer thinner or ammonia in the ab will contaminate the paint at color change. Contamination will again destroy the paint and cause nightmares in the AB. We cannot take any responsibility for user error when cleaning. YES we consider this to be user error so please follow the guide lines. In addition by using cleaning solutions other than our recommended guide lines can cause performance problems with in the paint system.  Contaminated paint / primer can result in adhesions issues. This happens when residual lacquer thinner alcohol hardware store thinner residue resides in the chamber of the airbrush brush. The result is airbrush clogging poor spray patterns adhesion issues and more.  PLEASE clean your airbrush with water and follow up with a few drops of our MMA-002 or 003 thinner. The more you follow the cleaning guide lines the faster you can clean your airbrush with out the need to strip the brush.

E:  A Dirty airbrush will cause problems. If you did not clean properly and you have dried residue on the needle or nozzle the AB will clog. When fresh paint flows through the brush it will build up on the dried paint and clog.

F:   Always make sure your needle is straight and your nozzle in not damaged. A bent needle or nozzle will cause over spray guaranteed.  


The MMP Polyurethane Intermix is an amazing product. We know there will be a lot of questions about it. What does it do ? How does it work do I need it etc... 

Well here are the answers. DO I NEED IT? Yes and No. MMP Poly is optional. As modelers we highly recommend it. The poly does a few things. It increases flow from the airbrush in addition to the incredible non-clogging flow you get with-out. Slower drying times increased durability and adds a beautiful slight eggshell sealed sheen plus a flawless smooth finish. The Poly Intermix is also an additional adhesion promoter and increases durability.  Always add Poly when spraying onto Lexan vinyl polycarbonate etc. The natural eggshell finish is ideal for many reasons. Seals the paint for washes pin washes applying decals and more. Amazing for Aircraft Cars Trucks and more. Poly is not a flow enhancer.  Flow is just one of the by products and features of the poly.  Adding poly will create an automotive grade polyurethane based acrylic paint that is tough as nails. 

POLY BOTTOM LINE:  Poly will add increased durability and adhesion properties due to the nature of poly it will finish with a slight eggshell finish.    We add it to every thing we spray.  There is nothing complex about it. Again poly will seal the paint and dries from the inside out thus creating a hard shell automotive grade finish. Yes the paint can be sanded and yes the paint can be weathered  and all chipping tech can be performed with or without poly added to the paint.  

POLY CARE:  Although our paint does not have a shelf life when properly stored some products do and are temperature sensitive. DO NOT store Poly in direct sunlight DO NOT store it in high temps 80 degree and up. If you know your garage gets hot please store it in a cool spot. DO NOT allow the Poly to freeze. YES you can optionally store the poly in the fridge. Well taken care of poly will last along time. There are many other products in the hobby that are also temp sensitive such as Super Glue 2 part epoxy Carpenter glue etc.  Be sure that the cap it tight and lids are snapped shut. The poly will last along time when properly cared for.  Mission Models will not take responsibility for improperly handled MMA-001 Poly Mix. If you know that your poly is over two years old old it may simply be time to replace it. 


A: Yes and No. Although MMA-001 Poly Intermix is acrylic it is still HOT  it will not melt plastics etc however if you decide to use it as a clear please be cautious. It can have adverse effect on paint. We have had great success using MMP Poly as a clear coat. It cannot be sprayed straight form the bottle at all. It must be thinned in a mixing cup. We do not have an exact ratio for this but it must be thin. Not too thin but thin enough to spray with out choking the airbrush.  This technique is for advanced experienced users. 

B:  When applying from the airbrush spray in thin even coats. Overlapping each spray pass.  Build up the coats until you have a gloss finish allow to air dry or under UV light wall heater or naturally air dry.   

C. Using MMA-001 poly as a clear is recommended for advanced painters only. 

D. We cannot take responsibly for any type of damage when using MMP Poly as a clear. We will not replace any damaged parts or kits. Please be advised. We have a dedicated Gloss Semi and Flat on the way.  Mission Models does not offer technique tutorials. 


After you mix and thinned your paint in a mixing cup (not in the AB cup) with an example paint ratio of  3-5 drops thinner to say 30 to 40 drops paint add 3 drops no more than 5 drops of poly and then mechanically mix using a paint stirrer and youre ready to fill the airbrush. PSI aprox 10 to 20 depending on your needs. 


A: If you dont add poly you the paint will dry to a flatter finish when dry. You will still see amazing and ultra level super fine finish. The paint will not have the eggshell finish. The eggshell finish is subtle. The paint will still spray with no clogging or spider webbing. We use it with and with out Poly we love it with the poly. If you forget to add poly dont worry add it when you mix more paint. You will also find that when you dont add poly the paint will be more porous and will soak up more of your oil washes. 

BRUSH PAINTING AND POLY:  One advantage of the poly is the reduced drying time. This is ideal for brush painting if you need slower drying or blending times. You do not need to add poly for brush painting. Although our paint is equally suitable for brush painting some paint may need multiple coats due to the nature of the particular pigment color. When brush painting you will again find a beautiful smooth level finish with no brush strokes. 

TROUBLE SHOOTING POLY:  We thought we would address this now. Plain and simple. If you add too much poly you will see the results. You will find that your paint may be too translucent and also muddle and puddle or start to bead and pull from details on the surface you are working with. Less is always more. If you add too much poly. You will also find very slow drying times. Your ratio is way off. 

SOLUTION:  Let it dry naturally. The muddled look will self level. Poly is very durable so once dry and if needed you can easily sand it out. 


Washes can be made using MMP.  Example: Starting with a 1oz mixing cup add 30 drops Mission Models thinner 5-6 drops paint add water to the 1/2 oz mark. We we like MMP Tire Black for washes or Rail Tie brown. Allow your base coats to dry and then use the above wash to highlight details and panel lines. Works great and flows like an oil wash. No need for a clear barrier coat. Can also be used as a filter etc. You may need to adjust as needed. 

MMP paints will accept all types of washes with out damage to the paint. 


All decal setting solutions will work with Mission Models MMP. Please allow any clear coats to dry 1st. 


Yes you can chip MMP paint. If you plan on chipping or using the Hairspray Technique here are some basic guidelines. 

  1. Apply your base coat normally. 
  2. Apply a very fine mist of hairspray as your barrier coat. If you add to much hairspray you will create a slippery surface underneath your top coat and remove too much paint too fast with minimal control once the hairspray re-activates.  The best practice is to weather over a flat or semi gloss coat. 
  3. The key to chipping our paint is to apply the top final coat in light to medium coats. The the thinner the better even if you need to apply multiple thin layers. Let it dry DO NOT RUSH.  Thick heavy coats will be much more difficult to chip or remove.
  4. The goal is to get your chipping solution underneath your top coat which in-turn re-activates the hairspray and lifts the paint. We prefer not to ( but you can) use plain water for the chipping process of MMP paint. We have found great success using MMP thinner mixed with distilled water. You can also mix Windex with water. There is no prescribed mix ratio you may need to experiment to find the best mix.   
  5. Chipping is all about control. Go slow and take your time. Take a very lightly dampened brush.   NOT A WET brush. The brush must me nearly dry.  Lightly ( almost feather light )  start scrubbing in a controlled manner.  You want to create micro sized chips depending on your end goal. If you feel that you are removing too much at one time stop and move to another area. If you find that the paint is coming off too easily that is a result of too much hairspray etc.  Chipping takes patients and practice.   
  6. Please be aware of how much removal fluid is on your brush. If your brush is too wet during the chipping process you will create a paint color sludge and a mess. Less is more. Again practice control. Its key.  Use clean brushes.  Dirty brushes will transfer removed paint to other areas of the work.  In addition do no use a brush that has previously been used for applying pigments. 
  7. Types of brushes.  Use a variety of tools.  Soft flat brushes cut down short brushes Q-Tips etc.  

Chipping can be achieved with or with out poly. There are no fast hard rules. We cannot teach you techniques. Modeling is about experimenting practice and patience. Mistakes happen. Mistakes are part of the learning curve. 

There is no exact science to chipping. There are thousands of different ways to achieve the look. Mission Models does not provide tutorials on paint chipping or other types of advanced techniques. We can not teach users how to chip or weather models. Techniques are learned and can take many hours of trial and error to master. 


  1. Try spraying light coast of our Metallic Burnt Iron as a base coat on exhaust or other rust prone areas.  
  2. Add a small amount of thinner to our Transparent Rust and lightly dust over the Metallic Burnt Iron with your airbrush. 
  3. Try mixing a couple drops of Transparent Rust into MMP Metallic Burnt Iron for a different effect. 
  4. Transparent dust. Lightly spray on slightly heavier towards the bottom of the model and feather as you go up. You can also thin the Transparent dust for different effects or washes. 


A: Use Mission Models Clear Coat. Our Flat Satin and Gloss are a special formula unlike any other clear available. They are extremely durable. Dry in 30min and can be masked over in 30. They accept all setting solutions. Please be sure the clears are dry before application of setting solutions. Our clear coats are chemically resistant and very durable.

B:  All clears will work over MMP paint. Yes Tamiya Synthetic Lacquer spray Gunze Testors Lacquer Alclad and more. 

C: Clear Part dipping.  Thin Mission Gloss Coat in an epoxy mixing cup with Mission Models thinner only. Thin to a water like consistency. You will notice a light cloudy white tint to the mix which is not a problem. Dip your clear parts for a crystal clear protective coat. Wick off extra with a Q-Tip and place on paper town and let dry. 

D: How to Apply Gloss Clear.  The process for applying MMP Gloss Clear is very easy. We like to add just a couple drops of thinner ( MMA-002 or MMA-003 ) to the clear. You may add poly but it is not needed.  We prefer to spray in light wet thin passes. Building up layer by layer until a proper smooth finish is achieved. Please allow to dry thoroughly before polishing or wet sanding.  Applying gloss clear regardless of brand is one of the most difficult techniques.   

E: Flat Coat.   Flat coat by nature must be dusted on in light coats. When applied in heavy coats flat can become semi gloss. This is true for any flat coat. Again light dusted coats allow to dry and then apply next dusting if needed.  If you end up with a semi or egg shell finish please refine your technique. It is NOT the flat coat. It is about refining your application style and taking your time. 

F: Please be advised that Mission Models can not be held responsible for improper use or improper application of 3rd party chemicals.  We do not support them and can not speak for other manufactures chemical make up. 


  1. Mixing the paint 50/50 paint to thinner will result in the paint failing You will have poor coverage and possible adhesion issues. Failing means that the paint will be too thin in addition to the above. 
  2. If you over thin be patient stay in control and dont worry. Let the over thinned  paint dry naturally. Re-mix your paint properly and reapply. 
  3. Adding too much poly will cause the poly to become the carrier of the paint.
  4. Too much heat from a hairdryer can plasticize the paint. Accelerating the drying time with a hairdryer is no problem. Just dont concentrate the heat in one spot keep the air flow moving at a 12 or so distance. 
  5. Spraying from too far of a distance will cause the paint to potentially dry in the air before hitting the work surface. If this is the case you may find the the paint will not adhere to the surface properly. You will find the paint in this case to be delicate and scratch easily.  Mission Models Paints and Primers are very durable and you will be rewarded by taking your time. 
  6. My paint is peeling or coming up when removing tape.  Again this is the case of improper application. Spraying in dry coats or not priming. Paint always sticks better to primer. Primer delivers bite to the paint.  
  7. My poly is thick like gel or solid.  ?If your poly is allowed to freeze it will kick over and become solid.  It cannot be repaired. If the poly is left in extreme heat ie: 80 degrees and up for extended periods in a garage trunk of the car etc...  it will or can kick over and solidify.  If in question you can store it in the refrigerator or other cool location.  Keep out of direct sunlight. Stored properly with the above in mind the poly will last a long time. 
  8. My AIRBRUSH IS CLOGGING   If your airbrush is clogging etc. please clean it. Follow the above guidelines. Please be sure you are NOT cleaning with Lacquer Thinner Alcohol universal thinners etc. Mission Models paint and primers will not clog the airbrush when using a properly maintained airbrush and cleaned properly. Remember oil and water do not mix. 


  1. MMP paint does not like alcohol or ammonia. Alcohol and Ammonia will strip the paint. If you need to clean dried over spray or spills off your work surface Windex will remove it. 
  2. Yes you can spray Glass Cleaner on your model if you want to strip it down. Once cured 100% you may find removal difficult. 


  • Mission Models Clear Coats are very easy to use. Mix them as you would with standard MMP paints.  
  • Thinning Example: 20 drops Gloss Clear 3 drops thinner NO POLY NEEDED
  • We recommend light wet coats at 10-15 PSI. 
  • Nice even passes building up your gloss finish in layers.
  • Allow to dry at least 3 hours before masking etc. We prefer to allow the clears to dry over night. 
  • Mission Models Clear coats will accept all decal setting solutions. 
  • <

$6 Flat Rate Shipping. FREE Over $199* Most Orders