Drying Paints in Some Shipyard Kits

Recently, I noticed a post online from someone who had received a Shipyard branded boxed edition kit with dried out paint. I realized then that I had a similar experience and thought I’d pass it along.

I purchased a brand new lighthouse kit from Shipyard’s Laser Cardboard series. These kits include not only all the laser cut parts, but also landscaping material, and in the case of ships, they contain cast resin parts for the figurehead and turned brass cannon barrels. In all cases, they also include paint and brushes.

The old Shipyard kits included paint in tubes, straight from the manufacturer. These tubes were sealed, so they couldn’t possibly dry out. Then, a couple years ago, they switched to jars of paint. While this is most likely an economic decision as they could then probably purchase the paint in bulk, it’s also a little easier for modelers to use paint from jars than from tubes. However, this appears to have created an issue with the paints sometime drying out in the jars if they’re not properly sealed at the factory.

When I got my lighthouse kit, I opened up the paint jars and found that the paint had dried to a consistency of thick clay. I wasn’t too worried at the time, and probably the reason I didn’t mention this issue before is because I have a supply of the same paint in tubes. The problem is that the brand, which works really well in these kits, is a Polish brand of artist’s acrylics called Rennesans, and I’ve never found it sold on any website.

But, I decided to add some water to the dried paint to see if I could revive it at all. I stirred the clump of paint in the jar of water, and stirred, and stirred. It took some time and I had to do a lot of mashing of the paint clay, but eventually, it revived perfectly. I did to all four colors that came in the kit, and it was fine.

I ended up completing the model using the provided paints and found everything went perfectly well – I’d even forgot that I had to revive the paint in the first place.

I don’t know that it’s a widespread issue, but Ages of Sail will be looking into the issue and will be contacting Shipyard about preventing it in the future, which may need nothing more than tightening lids. In the meantime, if you get a Shipyard kit and end up with the dried paint problem, don’t worry, just do what I did and see if your paint will revive as easily. Ω

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