A quick post about turpentine alternatives (mostly as a note to myself).
Turpentine is smelly, but more importantly, it is also quite toxic -not to mention flammable. (Even the odorless terpenoid is quite toxic. Aromatic compounds are not good for your health as a general rule.) However, since oil paints are part and parcel of scale modelling, not to mention enamel-based weathering products (such as AK’s and Mig’s weathering range), you are forced to use it. (I am still experimenting with water-based oils.)
I found two viable alternatives, which I would like to share. While they are certainly better than the original, they are still not healthy for you. It is still important to have proper ventilation.
I have been using Zest-It for diluting oil paints, prepare washes, apply filters, and cleaning brushes. Perfectly serviceable – I can only recommend it.
Now, just because “natural” is in the name, does not make it healthy. (Arsenic is quite natural, too, after all.) I have not had the chance to use it, but once I run out of Zest-It, I will probably give it a go. It claims to be non-toxic and non-flammable, which, in my book, makes it an acceptable compromise even if the performance is inferior to turpentine’s. (It does mention a maximum mix ratio, which suggests to me that it may not perform as well as the good ole’ turpentine,