Vallejo Model Color - preparing for use with airbrush

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Vallejo Model Color - preparing for use with airbrush

  • Is there a preferred way to thin Vallejo Model Color (not Vallejo Model Air)  for airbrush use.  Is there a preferred thinner?  Is the result a soft or a hard paint surface?  Is there anything that can be added to make the surface harder.

    Before I purchased these, Vallejo told me that they can be thinned and airbrushed.  Now some friend have told me that they will produce a soft surface which MUST be covered with Future or have a hardener added to the paint and thinner.

     

    All suggestions will be appreciated.  Thanks

     

    Bill
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  • Bear in mind I haven't used these, but from my knowledge of coatings technology, if someone is getting a soft surface just from thinning the paint, they are using the wrong reducing solvent, or doing something wrong when airbrushing, or did not prepare the surface properly.

    Aaron Skinner of FSM, in his pull out from an issue date I don't recall, said that the recommended thinner was their Model Color Solvent, 70524. The Vallejo website says you can use distilled water—their instructions specify it. There is also an implication, at least, that alcohol may be used as a cosolvent (which would speed drying).

    Aaron found no defects in the cured coating with respect to surface qualities or adhesion. He did say it required numerous thin coats to cover, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering that these are formulated to be thick in the bottle.

    There is no such thing as a "paint hardener." There are accelerants that can be added to some paints, but they often change the performance of the paint in less than desirable ways.

    I suggest you experiment and practice on some scrap before using it on a kit. I always do this with a new brand of paint, as well as test it for solvent compatibility.

    Acrylics are NOT enamels, and CANNOT be treated or used the way enamels are.

    Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • Thanks so much for your reply.  Further reading points out that Tamiya and other alcohol-based acrylics are based on older types of paint formulations.  The newer modeling acrylics such as Vallejo, are based more water formulations.  At least that is what I have read.  Some links even mention the use of Golden acrylic paint  thinner.

    Bill
  • Vallejo is best thinned with distilled water.  The basic line is intended for brush painting & is widely used by figure painters,  It can be thinned & sprayed with an AB, but their Air Color line will give better results.

    BTW... DO NOT try & thin Vallejo with alcohol.  You'll end up with a pulsating, congealed lump of goo.  I learned the hard way Sad.

    Regards,  Rick

    RICK At My Age, I've Seen It All, Done It All, But I Don't Remember It All...
  • I agree with rjkplasticmod.  I use Model Color a lot and distalled water works great.  I mainly use tap water with a drop of Liquetex flowaid and slow dry.

    But do avoid alchool.  It will get nasty quick and that is from experince.
    This is what will happen.
    http://www.happinessismandatory.com/misc/Models/PolarLights_Enterprise_NCC1701_1_1000/Build_Images/ent_060909_base_Dish.jpg

    Most of the paint I used on my Viper and Polar bear were airbrushed Vallejo paints
    http://www.happinessismandatory.com/misc/Models/Colonial_Viper/Build_Images/Viper_Finished_1.jpg
    http://www.happinessismandatory.com/misc/Models/Wave_Polar_Bear/Build_Images/PB_090514_Finished_6.jpg

     

  • Rick and Greasy, what alcohol did you try with Vallejo?

    Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • 90% isopropyl alcohol from wal-mart
    I use it with tamiya pants not problem but Vallejo just became stringy.

  • Vallejo makes their own thinner that comes in the same type bottle as their paints (they call it "diluant"). Online vendors that carry Vallejo paints usually have it.

    As is the case with other brands, usually it's recommended to use the brand's proprietary thinner. Personally I haven't tried thinning Vallejo with water, but as indicated above I've heard it works fine.

  • I've airbrushed Vallejo a number of times after thinning it with distilled water as recommended by the mnanufacturer. It has held up well during the subsequent painting process and on the finished subject.

    Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • To add to what's been said already, I highly recommend using a flat primer coat (of any type of paint) under Vallejo to help give it some "bite".

    I've found that it does very quickly pick up a sheen from handling, so I wonder if that's what some people might consider "soft"...

  • Just did some quick and dirty compatibility testing, and the stuff is completely incompatible with either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.

    Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink

  • Triarius

    Just did some quick and dirty compatibility testing, and the stuff is completely incompatible with either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.

    "Broken Heartse distilled water...They are 100% water soluble...As mentioned before, ...use only very clean water...'dilution rate' and it will be noted as 'parts of paint' to 'parts of water'... you may notice that paint will begin to dry on your palette. As soon as this happens, add the necessary amount of water and/or paint..."

    Source: PAINTING FIGURES WITH MODEL COLOR Acrylicos Vallejo

    Can they be ANY clearer about this? Thin Vallejo with WATER!  No need to experiment with more costly products and other brands' proprietary thinners. Use Water. Distilled water costs less than $2.00 a gallon, even with a Poland Springs label on it.

    Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • ajlafleche

    Distilled water costs less than $2.00 a gallon, even with a Poland Springs label on it.

    I think I payed $.79 a gallon at Smart & Final here. Smile

    Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon
  • Yeah, but it doesn't say POLAND SPRINGS on it...nor does it go to 11! Surprise

    Anyway, that could lead me to yet another, though unrelated rant. If you distill the water, don't you eliminate eveything but the essential two H's and one O of each molecule of water that is supposed to make Poland Springs water special? Hmm

    Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

  • The purpose for testing was to determine whether or not an alcohol could be used as a cosolvent to modify coating performance. For example, Tamiya and Gunze are best reduced with an alcohol solvent, but will tolerate small amounts of distilled water, which evaporates more slowly. Cosolvents are just another tool in the box, like using an adjustable crescent wrench instead of one the exact size.

    Ross Martinek A little strangeness, now and then, is a good thing… Wink