Differences between Acrylic, Enamel and Lacquer Paint

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. Acrylic paints are water soluble but become water resistant when dry. Depending on the suspension agent used in the paint, some acrylics can be thinned with water, but it is generally best to use the manufacturers recommended thinner to avoid potential problems.

Enamel paint is usually used to describe oil based paints, which air-dries to a hard finish. Consequently they are more resilient to hard wear and tear (scratches) and temperature variations. Enamel paint can be thinned with enamel thinners, which can also be used to clean brushes and equipment. Enamel paint is NOT water soluble, and water can NOT be used to thin or clean enamel paint.

Lacquer paint is generally referred to as an alcohol based paint, and specific lacquer thinners must be used to thin the lacquer paint and to clean equipment after use. When dry, lacquer paint forms a hard and tough surface which is resistant to scratching and temperature variations.

"Can different types of paint be used together?"

It is best to stick with one type of paint to minimize the chance of ruining your subject model. For example, choose to use either acrylics, enamels or lacquers and stick with that type of paint. As enamels and lacquers are far more resilient that acrylics, it is possible to apply an enamel paint (or a lacquer paint) and wait for it to FULLY HARDEN. This could take a few days. Once completely hardened, an acrylic paint can be applied over the hardened enamel or lacquer. It is NOT ADVISABLE to attempt to apply an enamel or lacquer over an acrylic paint. The enamel or lacquer will attack the acrylic and ruin the paint.

The different types of paint cannot be mixed when wet, and it is strongly advised that different brands of the same type of paint are not mixed when wet. Variations in the chemical composition of the paints among manufacturers usually results in the different brands of paint being incompatible with each other when wet. In other words, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for best results.


Differences between Ni-Mh and Li-Po batteries

Nominal voltage is 1.2v per cell for NiMh, and 3.7v per cell for LiPo. NiMh come in standard size round hard cases, and are very difficult to physically damage; LiPo come in various sizes - usually rectangular shape - soft packaging which is easily damaged in a crash. LiPos may catch fire if  damaged, overcharged, over-discharged or have too much current drawn from them. Even if they don't catch fire, they should be discarded if there's any sign of significant physical damage. Weight is the biggest reason for using LiPos. They're about 1/3 the weight of similar voltage and capacity NiMh packs.


Differences between completion levels

RTR stands for Ready to Run and it means that the model is pre-assembled and “Ready To Run”, although most of the time you’ll need to buy a battery and charger.

ARR stands for Almost Ready to Run and it means that the model is pre-assembled and “Almost Ready to Run”, normally this means that the model does not include a battery, motor and radio gear (transmitter and receiver).

RTF stands for Ready to Fly and it means the model you are buying comes complete with everything you need to get started straight from the box.

BNF stands for Bind N Fly, it means that the model comes with everything you need except for a transmitter. With BNF products you can use the transmitter of your choice and “bind it” to the receiver included with the model.

PNP stands for Plug N Play, it means that the model comes with everything you need except for a transmitter, receiver, battery and charger. It does contain servos, motor and ESC.

ARF stands for Almost Ready to Fly, this means the model needs some additional “need to complete” items before you can start flying. Common additional items include servos, motor, electronics, batteries and even glue.

Kit vehicles are sold as a box of individual parts, and must be assembled before driving.