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I need me some white spirit.
March 1, 2010 11:43 AM   Subscribe

I need white spirit. It seems no one has ever, ever heard of it. Am I missing something obvious?

I'm working on a model. I bought a very nice book on weathering effects for armor from Games Workshop. I'm trying to follow the steps in the tutorials to see how they work out.

One thing I see again and again is the use of a solvent called white spirit. In the context of this book, they use white spirit mixed with enamel paint to create a thinned mixture for both oil and rust effect.

I have been to three hardware stores and have called several paint supply places looking for white spirit. Everyone seems to look at me like I'm a fucking loon. The closest I have come is that a couple guys have suggested "white gas" which apparently is a fluid used with Coleman lamps. Doing some research online, I see that white spirit is also called stoddard solvent. No one knows what this is either. Further research calls up all sorts of outlandish things - like maybe white spirit is the same thing that's in WD-40?! What?!

Now I'm thinking... hey.. Games Workship is in England, maybe this is a language barrier and all I have to do is stumble on what it's called over here, because it can't be that hard to find, right?

I would prefer not to have to order it online.

And yes, I'm sure I could use something other than white spirit, like turpentine or some other solvent or thinner, but I'd like to, at least starting out, follow the instructions as closely as I can.

Can anyone help me out?
posted by kbanas to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total)
 
Try mineral spirits.
posted by mayhap at 11:46 AM on March 1, 2010


Googling "solvent white spirit" I found:

A definition, and

places to buy it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:46 AM on March 1, 2010


White spirit = Mineral spirits.Wikipedia to the rescue!
"Mineral Spirits, also called Stoddard solvent [CAS 8052-41-3][1], is a petroleum distillate commonly used as a paint thinner and mild solvent. Outside of the United States and Canada, it is referred to as white spirit. In industry, mineral spirits is used for cleaning and degreasing machine tools and parts. According to Wesco, a supplier of solvents and cleaning equipment, mineral spirits "are especially effective in removing oils, greases, carbon, and other material from metal." Mineral spirits may also be used in conjunction with cutting oil as a thread cutting and reaming lubricant."
posted by lungtaworld at 11:47 AM on March 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Damn, I was beaten to it!
posted by lungtaworld at 11:48 AM on March 1, 2010


Are you fucking kidding me.

I read that Wikipedia entry up and fucking down. I swear to God.

It's just Mineral Spirits?

Jesus Christ.
posted by kbanas at 11:48 AM on March 1, 2010 [17 favorites]


The wikipedia article led me to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), which is required to list alternate names and trade names.
Common synonyms:

Lacknafta (Sweden); Lakkibensiini (Finland); Mineral Spirit; Mineral Turpentine; Mineralsk Terpentin (Denmark); Mineralterpentin (Sweden); Petroleum Spirits; Solvent Naphtha; Stoddard solvent; Terpentin (Denmark); Testbenzin (Germany); Turpentine Substitute.

Common trade name:

B.A.S.; C.A.S.; Clairsol; Dilutine; Exxsol; Halpasol; Hydrosol; Indusol; Sane; Kristalloel; Laws; Ragia; Sangajol; Shellsol; Solfina; Solnap; Solvesso; Spezialbenzin; Spirdane; Spraysol; Stoddard Solvent; Supersol; Terpentina; Tetrasol; Thersol; Varnolene; Varsol; W.S.; White Spirit.
Some google-ing leads me to suspect that a synonym of "Turpentine Substitute" is "Mineral Turpentine", which should be really close.

It seems like Varsol is a product that you can find at a hardware store here in the states, if you look in the painting supplies section.
posted by muddgirl at 11:52 AM on March 1, 2010


Ah, good catch lungtaworld!
posted by muddgirl at 11:52 AM on March 1, 2010


If you're looking for some other stuff to mix your modeling paints with, I heartily recommend Future Floor Wax. Lots of people use it for 'dipping' their models to quickly bring out details. I use it as a shading step, after priming gray, I'll dip the model in a mix of future and paint. The paint then runs into crevasses and the like, making it really easy to bring out details like armor joints or skulls.

It also makes painting chainmail 100 times easier with a lot less drybrushing.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:53 AM on March 1, 2010 [3 favorites]


Robocop is bleeding,

That's one trick I'm already on to. I bought myself a bottle of that stuff and I use it as a gloss varnish and I love it. Thanks for the tip!
posted by kbanas at 11:55 AM on March 1, 2010


One thing I've also learned about Future (after having to varnish about 40 fake "marble plaques" for a stage set ten years ago) -- it smells very pleasantly of applesauce.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:01 PM on March 1, 2010


One thing I've also learned about Future (after having to varnish about 40 fake "marble plaques" for a stage set ten years ago) -- it smells very pleasantly of applesauce.

That's very true. It may be killing me with its toxicity, but I have to say that every time I work with it I cannot help but take a sniff. It's just... pleasant.
posted by kbanas at 12:04 PM on March 1, 2010


My first thought (wrong, as it turns out) was that you meant "white gas," which a childhood friend and I used to use as a solvent when painting lead figures when we were little. In a small room with no ventilation.

From the wiki entry for white gas, then, I found The Fuel Name FAQ, which compares the names used for different fuels in several countries. Pretty neat... thanks, internet!
posted by dammitjim at 12:08 PM on March 1, 2010


My first thought (wrong, as it turns out) was that you meant "white gas," which a childhood friend and I used to use as a solvent when painting lead figures when we were little. In a small room with no ventilation.

Interestingly enough, as I mention in the question, at two of the hardware stores I visited, this is the product that was recommended to me. I didn't think it was outside the realm of possibility that it was what I wanted, but before bought in I thought I would consult the hive mind first. Good thing I did. :)
posted by kbanas at 12:11 PM on March 1, 2010


According to that FAQ, in some countries, "white spirit" is a term used to refer to what we call white gas here in the States: pure gasoline. Of course, that FAQ dates from 1996.
posted by dammitjim at 12:11 PM on March 1, 2010


White gas is very, very flammable. And a great solvent. But very flammable.
posted by dammitjim at 12:12 PM on March 1, 2010


"white spirit" is a term used to refer to what we call white gas here in the States: pure gasoline.

This is a dangerous mistake to make. "White spirit" is not the same as (non-white, fuel-grade) gasoline. The difference is that gas contains aromatic compounds, benzenes and others, which are carcinogens. The "white spirit" part means that these toxins have been removed. If you spill "white spirit" on you hand, there may be some irritation and it may cause a bit of skin dryness, but it isn't going to give you cancer. Regular "yellow" gas exposure does increase your cancer risk.

White gas is still very flammable. One has to be quite careful with it. It just isn't a poison too.
posted by bonehead at 1:02 PM on March 1, 2010


For future reference, white spirit is also known as "turps" in the UK, even though it's not actually turpentine.
posted by djgh at 1:44 PM on March 1, 2010


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