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Vallejo Air Paint Feedback

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  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Vallejo Air Paint Feedback
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 7:21 AM

I'm treading on thin ice on this subject since I'm an enamel paint user since day one. My paint brand is the MM enamel FS line which is being dropped by Testors.

Yesterday I spoke to the hobby store clerk who confirmed the discontinued paint rumor as he was told also by Testors. I want to see what options I have when I have to eventually replace my MM colors. I have some Humbrol enamels which is another possibility.

I see that Vallejo Air is availble  locally and has a VERY large selection of colors. So for you Vallejo users, can you list the do's and dont's of using this product?

How would you rate the air brushing qualities, clogging, tip dry issues, fine line/mottling abitities, best fluid for cleaning the ab, etc.

From past experienece using Acryl and Tamiya, I have more control and get finer lines with enamels. Tamiya sprays way better and smoother that Testors Acryl but unfortunalely some colors have to be custom mixed since they don't have an FS line.     

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 9:12 AM

plasticjunkie

I'm treading on thin ice on this subject since I'm an enamel paint user since day one. My paint brand is the MM enamel FS line which is being dropped by Testors.

Yesterday I spoke to the hobby store clerk who confirmed the discontinued paint rumor as he was told also by Testors. I want to see what options I have when I have to eventually replace my MM colors. I have some Humbrol enamels which is another possibility.

I see that Vallejo Air is availble  locally and has a VERY large selection of colors. So for you Vallejo users, can you list the do's and dont's of using this product?

How would you rate the air brushing qualities, clogging, tip dry issues, fine line/mottling abitities, best fluid for cleaning the ab, etc.

From past experienece using Acryl and Tamiya, I have more control and get finer lines with enamels. Tamiya sprays way better and smoother that Testors Acryl but unfortunalely some colors have to be custom mixed since they don't have an FS line.     

 

 

I airbrush exclusively with Vallejo, due to enamel being difficult to clean and I don't want to smoke out my wife, which I know she appreciates.

 

That being said, if you're going to use Vallejo, I heavily recommend getting the airbrush flow improver, also.  I mix about 20 drops of the stuff in with the 50mL Vallejo thinner bottle.  Also, with their Model Air line, they say that you can shoot it neat, however, I disagree, and I thin down approximately 3:1 to 4:1 paint to thinner, depending on the color.

 

I also use their surface primer before I paint.

 

The main problems that I see is that the paint surface until it fully cures is very very delicate.  It says it dries almost immediately, but that doesn't mean it's handle-able.  I've had to strip many models and start over due to me not waiting long enough to reposition or handle the model.  In general, I paint, then wait 20-30 minutes before I mess with the model.  Furthermore, if you're not careful, and you're airbrush is too far away from the model, it is very easy to get that rough, pebbly surface on the model because while it does take a bit to harden to a handleable state, it does dry very quickly and it is very easy to be too far away and have the paint dry before it hits the surface.

 

That being said, it's not all bad.  Once you get past the nuances of the paint, it lays down very very nicely.  Also, they do have a very wide range of colors.  And once it does dry, it does create a very hard surface, just not bullet-proof.

 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 10:03 AM

MM enamels are are really disappearing? Oh my, talk about the end of an era.  

Ernie, I can tell you already have some degree of trepidation in considering a possible switch to acrylics, and that, I think, is a healthy thing.

I tend to agree with most of lasdjn's comments above, except that I don't care for or use Vallejo primer anymore.

If you use the relatively new Vallejo airbrush flow improver as mentioned above, you should have little or no dry-tip issues. 

A random thought is yes, as mentioned, Model Air takes a while to cure (it has a funny, rubbery feel that may bother you. My tip is ignore it, a clear coat of your choice and it's gone). And back to the random thought, enamels take a while to cure anyway. The Model Air will certainly be handleable much sooner.

Vallejo have been my primary paint since 2013. If you ever want to discuss this further, we surely can, Ernie.

-Greg

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 10:07 AM

Greg

MM enamels are are really disappearing? Oh my, talk about the end of an era.  

Ernie, I can tell you already have some degree of trepidation in considering a possible switch to acrylics, and that, I think, is a healthy thing.

I tend to agree with most of lasdjn's comments above, except that I don't care for or use Vallejo primer anymore.

If you use the relatively new Vallejo airbrush flow improver as mentioned above, you should have little or no dry-tip issues. 

A random thought is yes, as mentioned, Model Air takes a while to cure (it has a funny, rubbery feel that may bother you. My tip is ignore it, a clear coat of your choice and it's gone). And back to the random thought, enamels take a while to cure anyway. The Model Air will certainly be handleable much sooner.

Vallejo have been my primary paint since 2013. If you ever want to discuss this further, we surely can, Ernie.

 

 

Greg,

 

Is there an acrylic primer that you recommend over the Vallejo stuff?  I'd love to find something that's sandable and not so delicate.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 12:05 PM

Las and Greg, thanks for your input.

I have Liquitex Flow Improver and wonder if it will be compatible with Vallejo. 

What do I guys use to clean and flush your AB, water, ammonia?

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 12:11 PM

I started off using 91% isopropyl alcohol but I was getting paint residue in the airvalve of my brush, I coulda just been doing it wrong, but I switched to Iwata's Airbrush Cleaner, and that has seemed to have been working really well for me.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 12:43 PM

plasticjunkie

I'm treading on thin ice on this subject since I'm an enamel paint user since day one. My paint brand is the MM enamel FS line which is being dropped by Testors.

Yesterday I spoke to the hobby store clerk who confirmed the discontinued paint rumor as he was told also by Testors. I want to see what options I have when I have to eventually replace my MM colors. I have some Humbrol enamels which is another possibility.

I see that Vallejo Air is availble  locally and has a VERY large selection of colors. So for you Vallejo users, can you list the do's and dont's of using this product?

How would you rate the air brushing qualities, clogging, tip dry issues, fine line/mottling abitities, best fluid for cleaning the ab, etc.

From past experienece using Acryl and Tamiya, I have more control and get finer lines with enamels. Tamiya sprays way better and smoother that Testors Acryl but unfortunalely some colors have to be custom mixed since they don't have an FS line.     

 

Hi, Ernie - I tried Model Air, excellent finish when it worked for me, but tip dry led to my giving up on it. I'm going to give it another try, as I read that they have a newer version of their flow improver. When I thinned it I used their thinner, but very little, next try I'll use a bit more.

Liquitex Flow Aid showed no compatibility problems. As to primer, I use strictly Badger Stynylrez acrylic, best I've ever found. Many colors, I use only the gray. For cleaning the airbrush I stick with LT, if you haven't heard it yet don't even walk near the Vallejo with alcohol, it will turn into a really ugly glob of goop. Can be cleaned but pack a lunch, you'll be busy for a while.

As was said, at first it has a weird rubbery feel to it, ignore that and just handle carefully, clear coat makes it no issue. I rate the sprayed finish really good, but the tip dry issue made me shy away from it. Probably just not patient enough on my part, (I'm Irish.) Greg likes it, I think with more famialiarization on my part I can make it work too.

Patrick

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 1:05 PM

patrick206

 

 
plasticjunkie

I'm treading on thin ice on this subject since I'm an enamel paint user since day one. My paint brand is the MM enamel FS line which is being dropped by Testors.

Yesterday I spoke to the hobby store clerk who confirmed the discontinued paint rumor as he was told also by Testors. I want to see what options I have when I have to eventually replace my MM colors. I have some Humbrol enamels which is another possibility.

I see that Vallejo Air is availble  locally and has a VERY large selection of colors. So for you Vallejo users, can you list the do's and dont's of using this product?

How would you rate the air brushing qualities, clogging, tip dry issues, fine line/mottling abitities, best fluid for cleaning the ab, etc.

From past experienece using Acryl and Tamiya, I have more control and get finer lines with enamels. Tamiya sprays way better and smoother that Testors Acryl but unfortunalely some colors have to be custom mixed since they don't have an FS line.     

 

 

 

Hi, Ernie - I tried Model Air, excellent finish when it worked for me, but tip dry led to my giving up on it. I'm going to give it another try, as I read that they have a newer version of their flow improver. When I thinned it I used their thinner, but very little, next try I'll use a bit more.

Liquitex Flow Aid showed no compatibility problems. As to primer, I use strictly Badger Stynylrez acrylic, best I've ever found. Many colors, I use only the gray. For cleaning the airbrush I stick with LT, if you haven't heard it yet don't even walk near the Vallejo with alcohol, it will turn into a really ugly glob of goop. Can be cleaned but pack a lunch, you'll be busy for a while.

As was said, at first it has a weird rubbery feel to it, ignore that and just handle carefully, clear coat makes it no issue. I rate the sprayed finish really good, but the tip dry issue made me shy away from it. Probably just not patient enough on my part, (I'm Irish.) Greg likes it, I think with more famialiarization on my part I can make it work too.

Patrick

 

 

I've found that alcohol makes for a very good stripper for Model Air, also, it does an excellent job cleaning my airbrush for when I do a full tear down clean.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 2:38 PM

Laskdjin - Alcohol may well work for stripping Model Air, I haven't attempted that, and if cleaning the airbrush immediately after use it may do that also.

But my experience with adding alcohol to the paint for thinning purposes, (before I learned the hard way not to,) led to an unholy, stiff and set up mess. Lacquer thinner or acetone was the only substance I found that would cut it, even then it was a slow process.

The advice stands, alcohol and Model Air are not friendly, best to not try it for mixing purposes before spraying. Other uses, like cleaning the AB immediately after use may be do-able, as you say. 

Patrick

  • Member since
    August, 2017
Posted by laskdjn on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 2:53 PM

patrick206

Laskdjin - Alcohol may well work for stripping Model Air, I haven't attempted that, and if cleaning the airbrush immediately after use it may do that also.

But my experience with adding alcohol to the paint for thinning purposes, (before I learned the hard way not to,) led to an unholy, stiff and set up mess. Lacquer thinner or acetone was the only substance I found that would cut it, even then it was a slow process.

The advice stands, alcohol and Model Air are not friendly, best to not try it for mixing purposes before spraying. Other uses, like cleaning the AB immediately after use may be do-able, as you say. 

Patrick

 

 

Oh, yeah, in that regard, I totally agree, I wouldn't dare try to use rubbing alcohol as a thinning agent for Model air.  Shoot, I'd use windex first and risk tainting my color.

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 3:12 PM

We need to clarify something mentioned in this thread--Model Master paints are not being discontinued, at least, not the entire brand.  The International Military & Figure Enamel series is being discontinued; apparently they're not selling like they used to.

Here's one such discussion, here at FineScale:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/18/t/175408.aspx

 

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 3:31 PM

the Baron

We need to clarify something mentioned in this thread--Model Master paints are not being discontinued, at least, not the entire brand.  The International Military & Figure Enamel series is being discontinued; apparently they're not selling like they used to.

Here's one such discussion, here at FineScale:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/18/t/175408.aspx

 

 

 

Yes only the Military line and the clerk at the shop cited poor sales. Too bad cause like Floquil, they are good enamel paints.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 3:38 PM

Thanks for your feedback Patrick. I will give them a try so see how they behave. I was hoping LT would be a good cleaner for these paints and you just confirmed it works fine. I use LT to clean my enamels now and the Tamiya and Acryl acrylics. Funny thing I needed RLM 81 and both the Acryl and enamel went bad.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 8:20 PM

Ernie, re your primer and Liquitex questions;

I'm with Patrick on the Stynylrez. I started using it sometime last year (at his recommendation) and I'm happy as can be. Self-levels, dries fast, sands well, adheres well, non-stinky and easy clean up.

Vallejo does all that except doesn't sand at all and IMO adheres poorly.

On the Liquitex flow-aid, I'm not sure. Patrick is usually spot on and if he claims Liquitex is ok with Vallejo, maybe I missed something. I did some testing with it back in '14 I think it was, didn't do much good. The new Vallejo 'Airbrush Flow Improver' certainly does.

On clean up for VMA, I usually use any acrylic cleaner I have on hand. (Vallejo, Iwata Medea, Createx, etc). I just obtained a thing of Badger's airbrush cleaner to try on the Stynylrez. I use Laquer thinner for a deep airbrush clean too.

I'm not too sure about the comments about using alcohol with Vallejo Model Air above in any way, but perhaps I am missing something (as is my nature).

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, August 09, 2017 8:33 PM

Thanks Greg for your feedback. I have heard about not using alcohol to thin Vallejo as Patrick mentioned. All I can do  is try it out to see how it sprays. For primer I like Tamiya's and Gunze Mr. Surfacer 1000 thined even more with LT.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Thursday, August 10, 2017 2:19 AM

I like the paint. It,s not perfect and you shoud use vallejo thinners, NOT alcohols ot LT. you can get Creatix airbrush cleaner at hobby lobby for less money and use the 40% discount on the app for more savings. The paint is good when stirred up and then shaken to mix it up fully and has great colors to choose from. Let us know how you do with them.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, August 10, 2017 6:16 AM

modelmaker66

I like the paint. It,s not perfect and you shoud use vallejo thinners, NOT alcohols ot LT. you can get Creatix airbrush cleaner at hobby lobby for less money and use the 40% discount on the app for more savings. The paint is good when stirred up and then shaken to mix it up fully and has great colors to choose from. Let us know how you do with them.

 

 

Thanks for your input!

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, August 10, 2017 9:26 AM

plasticjunkie
For primer I like Tamiya's and Gunze Mr. Surfacer 1000 thined even more with LT.

I've used both under Vallejo, Ernie. As you'd guess, they are both outstanding primers for Vallejo.

As modelmaker said, when you get around to trying these, do follow up with your experiences. Curious minds and all that....

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:07 AM

Will do Greg once I try the product.

  • Member since
    May, 2017
  • From: Denver, Colorado
Posted by MrStecks on Thursday, August 10, 2017 1:46 PM

I've been using some of the Vallejo Model Air paints and I'm pretty happy with it.  For me I get the best results with a thinner/paint ratio around 1:2 or 1:3.  This can change depending on humidity.  Also, I live at 6000 ft. above sea level, so depending on where you live I'm sure it might be different. 

I've also used some of the Tamiya XF and X paints.  Those seem pretty good, but my time with them is pretty limited so I really haven't formed a solid opinion yet.

Cheers, Mark


On the bench: Eduard 1/32 P-47 Dottie Mae

In the queue: Tamiya 1/32 P-51 Mustang;  WNW 1/32 Fokker D.VII (Fok.) "Early";  Revell 1/48 B-25J;  AMT 1/48 Lockheed Vega;  AMT 1/48 Stinson Reliant SR-9;  Revell 1/48 TBF Avenger;  Hasegawa 1/48 Nakajima E8N1 Type 95 Reconnaissance Seaplane (DAVE) Model 1

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, August 11, 2017 11:09 AM

Thanks Mark. I actually like Tamiya paints since they behave similar to enamels. Too bad they don't have an FS or RLM line.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2016
  • From: Albany, New York
Posted by ManCityFan on Friday, August 11, 2017 12:53 PM

plasticjunkie

Thanks Mark. I actually like Tamiya paints since they behave similar to enamels. Too bad they don't have an FS or RLM line.

 

 

Ditto  I love the Tamiya acrylics, but the color choice is limited.  It is my go-to paint if I can use it.  I tried Vallejo Air to see what I thought not too long ago, and it did cure to a rubbery finish.  I initially thought I did something wrong, but as mentioned, after clear coats, it is fine.  I did have dry tip issues, but just recently got some VJ flow improver, which worked VERY well with Tamiya acrylic.  I am sure it will help with VJ model air acrylics.  Other than dry tip, I liked the way it sprayed.

I just purchased some Mission Model paints for a T-34 I am building, and am dying to try them out.

D

Dwayne or Dman or just D.

 

 

  • Member since
    November, 2013
Posted by bstarr3 on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:51 PM

Just to pile on.  I tried MM acryls at first.  Like their color selection, found that they airbrush ok, brush lousy.  I liked Model Air because they come in kits with different colors for different projects (e.g., USAAF PTO, USAAF ETO, late-war Luftwaffe, etc) and their color match seems pretty good.  I've had best results using them with a little thinner and flow improver.  Thinning ratio varies somewhat from color to color.  Also agree on Stynelrez primer.  I bought a three color pack of it.  Use mostly black for priming but sometimes use the grey.  They work great. 

For my current project, I just bought some Mission Models paint in USN tricolor colors.  I've read great things about it and am looking forward to using it.  I'll certainly update with impressions.  My F6F diorama thread in Aircraft will have pics. 

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, August 11, 2017 1:54 PM

Hey D I keep hearing about Mission Model paints. Feel free to post back what you think of them once you use them.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Sunday, August 13, 2017 1:57 PM

A point of clerification on my use of Liquitex Flow Aid with Model Air. I didn't see much of a change in paint behavior, but it had no incompatibity issues like curdling or fish eyes.

At the same time, I didn't see much change using Model Air flow improver. But if there is a new and better flow improver from Vallejo, I'll give it a try as when the paint did flow OK, the finish was excellent. I'll check back in with results.

Patrick

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Sunday, August 13, 2017 3:37 PM

Thanks Patrick.

  • Member since
    July, 2017
Posted by crazypat on Sunday, August 13, 2017 4:47 PM
i use model air as is without thinning. works fine for me. no worries
  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, August 13, 2017 6:58 PM

patrick206
At the same time, I didn't see much change using Model Air flow improver. But if there is a new and better flow improver from Vallejo, I'll give it a try as when the paint did flow OK, the finish was excellent. I'll check back in with results.

Hey Patrick, you alluded to a new and better flow improver from Vallejo, and this user would like to chime in and say yes, it's a horse of a different color. It actually works.

I'll be waiting with bells on for your take on the new airbrush flow improver. 

BTW, I'd thought you'd already used it, sorry for not having insisted that you try it earlier. 

-Greg

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Sunday, August 13, 2017 7:32 PM

I finally got a couple of colors and the thinner. The store did not have the flow improver but I will test the paint tomorrow morning when the garage is not an oven. It turns into one around noon or so. Can't wait for the summer to go away!

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, August 13, 2017 9:52 PM

Since you're concerned about Testors enamel FS line being discontinued, why not make the switch to their acrylic line instead? They're basically have the same FS numbers as their enamel lines. I use Testors Model Master acrylics exclusively and have ZERO issues using them while airbrushing. 

I know some folks don't like Testors acrylics but it's worth giving it a try. Work at it until you find what works. Besides, if you've used Pollyscale (which by the way, Testors bought out) or even Aeromaster acrylics, I see no reason why Testors acrylics is any different to airbrush with. I thin them until I get the consistency of skim milk.

As Greg mentioned, Vallejo has sort of a vinyl feel compared to most acrylics.

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