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Model Air (RLM 74) clogged my airbrush twice today.

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  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Model Air (RLM 74) clogged my airbrush twice today.
Posted by 1943Mike on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:59 PM

I shook the bottle until I started to shake myself LOL. I'm distugsted with the non-session I didn't have this afternoon. Probably my fault but the stuff clogged my Iwata HP-C Plus two times today. It's a pain to put back that tiny nozzle but I do it each time I use that A/B. My normal A/B is a Badger 105 Patriot which I love and it never gives me problems like this.

Should I be thinning the Model Air with something? I thought it was supposed to be good right from the bottle after thoroughly shaking it up. Any suggestions?

I'm now going to mix up RLM 74 using Tamiya's XF24:3 + XF27:2. At least I know how to thin Tamiya's paints to my satisfaction but I'm puzzled and annoyed at Vallejo's Model Air. I'd really appreciate suggestions.

P.S. I was trying to do some freehand camo on a 1/48 Revell Bf109G-10 and thought the finer nozzle/needle combo with the Iwata would serve me best but I will probably go back to the Patriot after doing some masking.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:25 AM

Vallejo model air is a good product. You need to do more than shake it. Take the dropper top off and stir it then shake it with a small metal ball in it preferably. That is why mig jimenez puts them in his paints. Use only vallejo airbrush cleaner/ thinner to thin their paints. If you use the small needle set they will need some thinning.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, March 14, 2019 4:25 AM
Also try their Flow Improver.

  • Member since
    November, 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:12 AM

I haven't run into an acrylic paint yet, even if it says ready to spray, that doesn't benefit from a little thinning and some retarder. Especially with a fine needle. But you are probably suffering from tip dry more than an actual clog internally, the retarder helps that. So can ( sometimes) flow improver.

You might try straining your final mix though, just in case..

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:27 AM

Even though they say ready to spray from the bottle, It helps to thin it specially when using small ab tips. 

I suggest only using their thinner and flow improver to help things out. I have used it a couple of times and it did ok. I get tighter freehand lines with enamels.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, March 14, 2019 9:32 AM

Vallejo Model Air should spray fine without thinning in in HP-CS (though I echo the above, use a few drops of Vallejo Airbrush thinner AND Vallejo Flow Improver). As mentioned, don't use anything else.

I do not recommend using the .35mm needle/nozzle with Vallejo paints, and if you are, I'd suspect that is at least of your problem.

I mean this in addition to all the advice above, all of which I agree with.

-Greg

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Thursday, March 14, 2019 11:32 AM

modelmaker66, Tojo72, oldermodelguy, plasticjunkie, and Greg,

Thanks all for the advise and suggestions. I'll buy some Vallejo thinner and flow improver, mix my A/B paint out of the bottle stirred thoroughly and hope that the next time I use Vallejo Model Air with a .3mm nozzle I won't have problems.

Plasticjunkie, I don't use enamels but thanks for the note.

Oldermodelguy, There's just so much prep I'm willing to do for airbrushing and straining the paint is pushing my limit one step too far. But thanks for the obviously helpful hint.

Modelmaker66, with regard to the quality of Vallejo Model Air paints, I agree with you. I've found the colors and how they go down to be just fine in the past. I guess, as several of you have mentioned, it is really necessary to thin the paint if you're going to be using a fine needle/nozzle airbrush with Vallejo Model Air paints (and most other acrylics as well).

Again, my thanks and appreciation for all your comments.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    November, 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, March 14, 2019 2:19 PM

1943Mike

modelmaker66, Tojo72, oldermodelguy, plasticjunkie, and Greg,

Thanks all for the advise and suggestions. I'll buy some Vallejo thinner and flow improver, mix my A/B paint out of the bottle stirred thoroughly and hope that the next time I use Vallejo Model Air with a .3mm nozzle I won't have problems.

 

Oldermodelguy, There's just so much prep I'm willing to do for airbrushing and straining the paint is pushing my limit one step too far. But thanks for the obviously helpful hint.

It will spray fine once reduced properly for that tip size.

Straining generally not needed with new paint, sometimes older bottles can get a bit crusty. It was just a thought.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, March 14, 2019 7:50 PM

Couple more thoughts.

Vallejo recommends rolling the dropper bottle vigorously between your palms in addition to shaking (and stirring as previously mentioned which is a great additional step). I've been doing the rolling thing for years now. Can't promise it is helping, but I figure it can't hurt.

Also, getting back to your needle size for a sec, when I was getting started with Vallejo somebody told me the pigment size isn't the finest, and that is my objection to using any needle/nozzle combo smaller than .5mm. This is just a personal thing, and I'm probably all wet. Surely don't go smaller than .35mm though. Also, that was back before Vallejo introduced their flow enhancer, which is a game changer. I guess come to think of it I've not tested Vallejo with a .35 needle/nozzle since I started using the flow enhancer, so I will say oldermodeler guy is probably right!

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, March 14, 2019 8:51 PM

I gave up on Vallejo a long time ago after hearing too much crap using their acrylics. 

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:20 PM
Vallejo a dream to brush paint but for me a absolute headache to try and airbrush even the model air series I've found hard.

Clint

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, March 14, 2019 10:58 PM

I just shot the 60cm Morser today with Vallejo Air using a .35 needle and lots of thinner and flow improver and falls short of using enamels. It still clogged a couple of times otherwise it performed kind of ok. I'm not a fan of acrylics specially Vallejo but have been experimenting with them. Their Panzer Aces colors do hand brush beautifully.

I wish Tamiya would have a broader color line since their paints spray almost like enamels.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Friday, March 15, 2019 12:47 AM
PJ: Check out AK real color I got some on the way, should be here today but they are a lot like Tamiya but they have a huge color line.

Clint

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, March 15, 2019 6:57 AM

Rambo
PJ: Check out AK real color I got some on the way, should be here today but they are a lot like Tamiya but they have a huge color line.
 

 

Thanks for the heads up! I just read about them and should work as the Tamiya and Mr. Color ones since being lacquer based. Man what a lineup of colors they have too. Gonna get a couple to play with.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

ZAT
  • Member since
    November, 2018
Posted by ZAT on Saturday, March 16, 2019 10:40 PM
I’ve come to have a love hate relationship with Vallejo Model Air. It’s truly inconsistent for me. I’m relatively new to the hobby so I know I’m inducing human errors out the wazoo, but I would have thought that I’d at least be consistent. Out of my infinity with a .4 nozzle it’s workable out if the bottle. I did buy a pile of 316 SST nuts to place into the little bottles for better mixing. I’ll still get dry tip and inconsistent flow a bit. Out if a .15 nozzle it stinks. There is an article on Model Paint Solutuons site on thinning VMA for use in smaller diameter nozzles. The author thins using a mixture of Vallejo thinner and liquitex as a flow improved. I haven’t tried it yet. If I have to go back to thinning, I’m not sure what advantage VMA has over Tamiya or Real Colors aside from the trillion or so shades.
  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • From: Somewhere in Ohio...
Posted by DasBeav on Saturday, March 16, 2019 10:56 PM

I use mostly Vallejo Model Air(I bought them in sets) and I have found that even with BBs or Hexnuts you still have to stir them to get them truly mixed to work in ABs. It may be overkill but I stir, shake, stir again, shake again(isn't that the lyrics of a 60s song?)

I'm sure the VJ thinner works great, but I thin with plain ol' distilled water...

 Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Monday, March 18, 2019 11:25 AM

I just had to try this in light of this thread. Today I microwaved a bottle of MA ( Model Air) tan earth color for 10 seconds on high. Rolled it in my hands to mix it, it was nice and warm to the touch. The paint dripped out of the bottle thin enough to spray actually. I cut it about 10-15% with my own thinner anyway, which has some retarder in it and sprayed it 18-20 psi through my Badger 200 with .25 nozzle ( which is mostly why I thinned it) . I opened it up a little bit but it sprayed in beautiful even if thin coats with no clogs or tip dry. It laid down beautiful imo. The retarder did slow the dry to touch time so I heat set it ( not to be confused with pre heating the bottle of paint in the micro wave).

Just FWIW. I had to try this to satisfy my own curiosity but heating it was not my idea, I saw it in another forum where someone heats MA in hot water, it was my choice to use the microwave because that's what I do with epoxy finishes for fly rod building. Thought I would pass my findings on.

Update: I now took the same bottle of tan, microwaved it for ten seconds, stirred it with a coffee stirring stick, rolled it in my hands, dribbled some into the side color cup of my Badger 200 with .25 nozzle and shot the paint straight from the bottle. It went on well. Obviously it covered faster than with thinner in it. But it leveled out pretty nice ( I think it's a bit smoother with thinner and retarder but it's not objectionable this way). And no smell, I didn't even turn the booth on. I shot it 20 psi, the needle pretty opened up.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Friday, March 22, 2019 9:24 AM

Give your airbrush a good deep clean. take it apart and clean everything. so it looks like it just came out of the box. Think of it like a gun. The cleaner the better!

Make sure the Vallejo paint is well shaken etc. I put a metal shaker ball (AK) into each colour bottle and really give it a good shake and clean the dropper top before putting into the airbrush.

I have had no issues apart from cleaning the needle tip including 0.2 and 0.15 H&S Evolution nozzles/needles, no thinning was done!

try a lower airflow. Mine is about 18 PSI

Take a look at the painting on my Ki-45 in the aircraft section. ALL that is Vallejo and I had absolutly no issues, and it was done with a 0.4 nozzle.

Have the room quite cool too. I do warm the paint in my hands during the shaking so warm(ish) paint and cool room!

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