Humbrol Enamel Paint tins

It may be old school but at Bowfell Models we are fans of the classic Humbrol enamel range of paints.

It's what I used when I was the cool kid building models, because we all know the kids in school that built models were the cool kids...right?

We know we are not the only fans of enamel paint as a few our customers agree with us. Now unfortunately the powers that be at Humbrol have decided to put a temporary stop to their enamel paint range.Humbrol Enamel Paint tins

I put my deer stalker hat on, got my giant magnifying glass out and did a little investigating. The word on the street is they are changing the formula and replacing a certain chemical.

I assume the chemical was bad for the environment and not to us. If Humbrol enamel paint could effect us, then all the modellers I have met over the years would have shown signs. When was the last time you met a model builder that seemed a bit mad... oh wait. 

I am sure sitting for long hours hunched over plastic, glue and drying paint has not effected us. 

For now though it does mean we can not re-stock our enamel paints. So you can still buy enamels from us but we have no idea when we can replace our missing colours.

As soon as the Humbrol boffins finish their experiments, we will pounce and get some enamel colour back into your lives.

Its not enamel but we do also stock another paint brand

We now sell Tamiya Acrylics. So if you decide to give Acrylic a go while you wait for the enamels to return, I can highly recommend Tamiya Acrylic Paints.

As soon as we know more about the Enamels we will update this post.


A long overdue update to this blog entry. I will be totally honest with you, the Humbrol paints came back onto the market a while ago and I forgot to update this blog.

As you are all aware Humbrol enamel paint is back on sale. Their chemistry boffins have played with the formula and the new paint is now available.

The issue was to do with a chemical they used being reclassified. This meant they could no longer sell this chemical to the public. 

I have been told the chemical in question was not good for the environment. I am pretty sure it did not cause us modellers any harm, although I did forget to update this blog.

Nah I am sure it doesn't effect memory. Any way I have been told the chemical in question was not good for the enviroment. I am pretty sure it did not cause us modellers any harm.


Bowfell Models

Bowfell Models

Hi Andy. Thanks for the comment
Hopefully someone will jump in with an opinion on Revell enamels for you.
When we started this little venture we asked suppliers and wholesalers for enamel paints. They said that Humbrol far outsold the others in the UK plus it was the brand we had both used when we started so we went with it.
So our opinion would be slightly bias as that’s what we stock and neither of us have tried Revell. We were thinking of adding another brand and Pauls suggestion in an earlier comment of Colour Coats was on the list along with Revell but with the way things are we had to put any expansion on hold.
Hopefully as things settle down and the market picks up maybe we will look at adding a new paint line. So keep throwing suggestions at us and we will look at them all. Plus see if we can find a supplier for them. Always good to hear from model builders and collectors as all the decisions for growing this site are from 2 people with similar interests. Good to have different opinions. Just remember people keep it family friendly.

Andy Bowman

Andy Bowman

What do people think of revell enamel model paints.

Ian Jay

Ian Jay

I have used enamel paints since my childhood – Airfix in those tall square bottles and then Humbrol tinlets until now – in fact still using them. Locally I started using some Tamiya ‘enamel’ of some parts of a model build and overpainting caused the Tamiya paint to lift. So I investigated a bit into paint formulations.
It turns out the Tamiya enamel is based on a lacquer thinner not an oil base like the Humbrol paints. I have not made much more progress than that in my investigation due to a lack of information on paint binders and transport mediums.
I hate acrylics – except for small bits when I use Vallejo paint.

Paul Stanton

Paul Stanton

Have a look at Colour coats by Soveriegn Hobbies. They are an enamel paint of some repute.

Bowfell Models

Bowfell Models

Thanks for your comment, its so good to know someone is actually reading my blogs.
We are always happy to hear feedback or opinions as long as there is no naughty language (keep it clean folks) in those opinions.
We have a lot of regular customers of Humbrol and Tamiya paint and they all seem happy with them. When we researched other opinions online of Humbrol enamel we found negative and positive opinions on the brand. It does seem to be the Marmite of paint. Our resident semi tame modeller has always been a fan of the Tamiya acrylics and has produced some great results with them.
You are clearly an experienced and talented model builder. Brush painting a 1/24 car body and making it look sprayed is no easy task my friend. So if you don’t mind me asking, what paint brand do you use?
We are still small and have limited buying power but if you could share any tips on products you like to use we would appreciate it. We are always on the look out for new ideas for stock.
Also anyone else who decides to read my blogs, feel free to comment on products you would or would not recommend. We know we can’t please everyone but if just a few model collectors go away happy then we will call that a win

Ian Collis

Ian Collis

For a few years how maybe getting on to about ten years I’ve come across some right dodgy paints produced by Humbrol, either too thick which isn’t brushable at all – Unstirrable – Too thin and doesn’t cover – Colour doesn’t match what I’ve used for years – Paint never cures and stays sticky.

I’ve got tinlets in the tall guise with AIRFIX on them also tinlets from the 70’s & 80’s, all these old paints still usable and cover superbly in one coat & dry to touch in 6hrs, new Humbrol paint doesn’t cover well at all, sometimes it takes three coats to cover, this is bad as it hides all the detail on the parts.

I’ve tried other paints from the likes of Tamiya to Vallejo and I just don’t like using them, they just dry far too quickly, I can hand brush a 1/24th car body spreading on just enough it doesn’t run and all the brush lines in the paint settle down and looks like I’ve sprayed the body, this takes years of practice to get it right, now trying to brush paint large areas in acrylics is impossible because it dries far too quickly and leaves humps and bumps and the worse thing is acrylic paint is so easy to scratch.

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