You can use most anything with color in it for scenery and objects in the background however when painting precision scale models house paint and common arts & crafts paint will obscure fine detail. The pigment in fine model paint is ground MUCH finer than common paint and will cover with a much thinner coat. Of course you need to apply the good stuff with an airbrush to do this costly paint justice, though since it goes on so thin you use less of it. The transition from running toy trains to building a scale model railroad can be rather costly. Lucky we each get to determine our own comfort zone for cost vs realism and what makes us happy. j
I beg to differ with you , if you go on youtube and this for anyone reading this , guys paint award winning car models with the Walmart 89 cent craft paints in any color you can imagine , Hobby Lobby has a better selection . The paint is self leveling , I have done models with a fine sponge and stippled the paint on and as it is drying lightly stipple (less pressure ) using a clean piece of sponge . Find an old piece of memory foam . If using an airbrush you thin it with windshield washer fluid ($3) a gallon (AUTO ZONE) , air brush from Harbor Freight $24 , compressor $60 , best thing about this paint in an airbrush , in cleaning up just have a bottle of straight windshield washer fluid and spray it thru your air brush till the paint color is gone , that's it . Hundreds of shades to create faded cars to exact match , take a car with you to match . For gloss coat for decal application use " PLEDGE " floor care finish (WALMART $3.94 ) formerly know as future floor acrylic , again windshield washer cleaning of airbrush . You can even lay the car on it's side and use a soft brush and brush it on , if the car is dead level , once applied and you don't go back over it this also self levels . It even can be lightly sanded after decal application if needed , best part no need to clear coat the areas not getting decals unless you see a change in color of paint .
YOUTUBE SEARCH painting models with cheap craft paint , save yourself a bunch of money , no need to wait on shipping or pay for shipping plus like $8 for a one ounce bottle . With the hobby acrylic , even if you mix colors and get it off , dump it , and start again . This the best paint for models and once you use the PLEDGE , hard as nails .
Dollar store 91% isopropyl alcohol , large bottle $2.50 , take a half gallon plastic milk jug put 4 bottles in and dip your car , Atlas cars the paint comes right off after about 30 minutes no harm to plastic ,
So under $100 bucks ( air brush , compressor , paints ) you can be up and running having fun , learning a skill and you can paint anything this way .
I have serious spine issues and don't do much anymore , hope this helps people , it will take some time to perfect your skills , but thats part of the fun of being a real modeler not buying every last thing out of a box (BORING)
The cheap air brushes are dual action and if they clog after awhile toss them , sometimes they are on sale for like $16 . Take the needle out and carefully polish it on the point and it will work even better .
Hobby Lobby only has about 500 colors , buy a big bottle of white for $3 in case the shade is slightly off .
craft paint job no airbrush