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Vallejo Model Color Thinning Ratios

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  • Member since
    April, 2017
Vallejo Model Color Thinning Ratios
Posted by KansasSteve on Monday, April 24, 2017 2:59 PM

Within the past few months I have switched from enamels to acrylics (to maintain marrital bliss) It has been a steep learning curve. I found little trouble with their Model Air line,but the Model Color,that has been a different animal altogether. What thinning ratio do you use? I either have it too thick, or too thin. Surely there's a sweet spot with these? Like I said, I'm new to acrylics and any wisdomanyone can impart on any aspect of these paints wouldbemost welcomed and useful.

Thanks!

Steve

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 11:30 AM

As a starting point, Model Air should require no thinning at all. It is designed to spray OOB.

If that isn't working, I'd say something else is fundamentally wrong.

What PSI and nozzle/needle size are you using?

-Greg

  • Member since
    April, 2017
Posted by KansasSteve on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 12:12 PM
Hey Greg, No, it's not Model Air that's the issue, it's their other line, Model Color, that I am trying to figure out the thinning ratios. I was using an Iwata Neo with a .5mm tip and needle,but I am going to go back to My Paasche Millennium with a fine tip and needle. I've been wondering about techniques to make the paint more durable before sealing. I'd read that some guys add a drop or two of Future to their mix. I plan to try this out to see if it helps with making the paint less likely to rub off during handling. Any other tips would be helpful and appreciated. Steve
  • Member since
    September, 2013
Posted by Marcus McBean on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 1:34 PM

I been using two to one ratio for the Vallejo Model paint.  2 drops of paint to one drop of thinner.  Living in San Antonio, TX during the summer I also add a drop or two of their flow improver.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 7:31 PM

KansasSteve
Hey Greg, No, it's not Model Air that's the issue, it's their other line, Model Color, that I am trying to figure out the thinning ratios. I was using an Iwata Neo with a .5mm tip and needle,but I am going to go back to My Paasche Millennium with a fine tip and needle. I've been wondering about techniques to make the paint more durable before sealing. I'd read that some guys add a drop or two of Future to their mix. I plan to try this out to see if it helps with making the paint less likely to rub off during handling. Any other tips would be helpful and appreciated. Steve
 

Hi, Steve - First, I have used Model Air and Model Color, although not a lot of experience with them. But here are my thoughts on their use. Model Air is formulated for airbrushing straight from the bottle, Model Color is intended for brush painting.

Model Color can be airbrushed, but requires considerable thinning.

I think of them this way, Model Air is useless for brushing, Model Color is not at all ideal for airbrushing, nor does it seem intended as such.

It may not seem like a big deal, but a thorough blending of Model Air, (or any paint,) prior to pouring into airbrush is really important. I know Vallejo says to just roll the bottle between your hands to mix, but my experience with it confirms this is insufficient. My first use with it was as they recommend, but the sprayed results were poor indeed.

Pressing sideways on the little top allows a fingernail to be placed under the base, then you can lift the top off. I used a small metal dental paddle, to actually physically stir the bottom of the bottle. There was a huge glob of unblended paint solids on the paddle bottom, that were scraped off the bottle base.

After stirring for a couple of minutes the paint was partially blended with the solids, then I put the top back on and gave it a good long shake. The difference in the appearence was dramatic, much thicker and looked like normal paint such as Tamiya, etc.

In fact, as I sprayed it I ended up needing a couple of drops of Vallejo thinner, to adjust it for ideal flow. Also, when I sprayed it straight out of the bottle it was quite prone to pooling/running, very thin coverage and took a few days to fully dry.

After completely mixing it, I had a good dry finish by the next day. To sum up, it's a good product that does spray well, but does require full blending to work as intended. And I'd say leave Model Color to the brush, Model Air to the airbrush.

Hope this will be of help.

Patrick

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:09 AM

I think Patrick about covered it.

As he said, Model Color needs to be thinned heavily, and I find the viscosity of Model Color varies greatly among colors, so ratio rules of thumb don't work.

Sorry I read your question backwards.

-Greg

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • From: Lacey, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 8:44 PM

I've been using a lot of Model Color because the Model Air is not as easy to find in my area. I can verify that there is no exact formula to mixing ratios. Some colors are happy with a 50/50 mix and others dry on the tip or plug it no matter what mix or even if you use their flow improver.

However, I have not had a single issue with the Model Air. Its. Very easy to use as you seem to already be aware.

Mixing well is good advice as that helps a lot. But mixing outside the paint cup also helps with consistency. 

Give it some time and practice. Using Model Color is possible, but tricky.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 10:24 PM

M. Brindos

I've been using a lot of Model Color because the Model Air is not as easy to find in my area. I can verify that there is no exact formula to mixing ratios. Some colors are happy with a 50/50 mix and others dry on the tip or plug it no matter what mix or even if you use their flow improver.

However, I have not had a single issue with the Model Air. Its. Very easy to use as you seem to already be aware.

Mixing well is good advice as that helps a lot. But mixing outside the paint cup also helps with consistency. 

Give it some time and practice. Using Model Color is possible, but tricky.

 

M. Brindos

I've been using a lot of Model Color because the Model Air is not as easy to find in my area. I can verify that there is no exact formula to mixing ratios. Some colors are happy with a 50/50 mix and others dry on the tip or plug it no matter what mix or even if you use their flow improver.

However, I have not had a single issue with the Model Air. Its. Very easy to use as you seem to already be aware.

Mixing well is good advice as that helps a lot. But mixing outside the paint cup also helps with consistency. 

Give it some time and practice. Using Model Color is possible, but tricky.

 

Mike is quite right, mixing outside the bottle is for the best. When adding thinners, retarders, flow aids etc, it's much easier to be accurate in a separate container. Besides, if you put all of that in the bottle then you have made the whole thing spray ready. That can be wasteful if it's a small job.

My suggestion for stirring thoroughly in the original bottle, is meant as the means of your actually getting all of the ingredients completely stirred and blended. After stirring is the right time to shake the bottle.

Good point, Mike, thanks.

Patrick

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:59 AM

M. Brindos
Using  Model Color is possible, but tricky.

I think that sums up airbrushing Model Color quite well.

-Greg

  • Member since
    April, 2017
Posted by KansasSteve on Friday, April 28, 2017 3:05 PM
Hey Patrick, Thanks for the information! I usually shake Model Color until my arm about comes off. I do have one of those dental paddles and will, from now on, stir the paint before shaking and hope for better results. There are days when I really miss using enamels. But, like I said, I switched to preserve marital bliss. Thank you again!
  • Member since
    May, 2012
  • From: Arizona
Posted by pilotjohn on Monday, May 01, 2017 3:29 PM

I spray a variety of both Model Color and Model Air, and thin both of them.  I do not use traditional thinner, but rather Golden's Airbrush Medium.  I read that it is "better" than thinner as it is acrylic paint without the color thusly it is very thin and can extend the paint much better and is much more forgiving than just thinner which can cause the paint to fail.

I mix in the cup and usually do about 50/50 and also a couple of drops of Flo-Aid as I am in Arizona and we don't have hardly any humidity.  the nice thing is that if it starts to be too translucent, I just add a drop of paint or if too thick, another drop of the medium until it works out.  A bottle has lasted for over three years, so it is much cheaper than thinner.

Just my .02 as I am no expert.  I wanted to try mixing in external plastic cups, but seemed to leave a lot in the cup so I just started mixing in the airbrush cup.  I put a stainless steel ball in each bottle of the Vallejo stuff and it really helps with the shaking and the mixing.

John

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