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Spraying Vallejo paints

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  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Lebanon
Spraying Vallejo paints
Posted by jeffriesr on Thursday, April 8, 2021 1:47 PM

Are Vallejo paints ready to spray from the bottle or do they need thinning?

If thinning needed, What is the best paint to thinner ratio for them?

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, April 8, 2021 2:11 PM

Vallejo Model Air will spray straight out of bottle.

Many folks swear by adding just a drop or two of Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. I'm going to say somewhere around 1:15 to 1:30 or so.

Adding Vallejo Flow Improver will go a long way to avoid dry tip.

I'd avoid using any other products other than those two. That's my advice, not gospel.

I wouldn't even try spraying Vallejo Model Color, Game Color, or any of the other variants designed for brush painting until having some degree of confidence with the Model Air Line. Those products require heavy thinning and still don't spray very well, IMO.

-Greg

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 2:21 PM

Hi Greg,

Model Color sprays nice with their thinner and flow improver,no issues,same with panzer aces colors

If I can do it,anybody can Wink

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Thursday, April 8, 2021 2:27 PM

Greg

I wouldn't even try spraying Vallejo Model Color, Game Color, or any of the other variants designed for brush painting until having some degree of confidence with the Model Air Line. Those products require heavy thinning and still don't spray very well, IMO

I thin Model Color/Game Color with Flow Improver, about 3:1 and have had no major hiccups.    I am familiar with the consistency of Model Air and shoot for that.   I also thin Reaper MSP Core Colors and Scale75 at the same rate.   No issues.

Always practice a new material or process before committing to a current model build

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Lebanon
Posted by jeffriesr on Thursday, April 8, 2021 3:35 PM

Thanks for the tip.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Lebanon
Posted by jeffriesr on Thursday, April 8, 2021 3:36 PM
Thanks for the tip.
  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 3:42 PM

Greg
Adding Vallejo Flow Improver will go a long way to avoid dry tip

 

I've found that to be the key.  Don't be stingy with the FI.  I'm using about 30% relative to paint and no thinner.  IMO:  Thinning makes the tip drying worse.  Also, give the brush some air.  20-25psi and don't try to "just barely" open the trigger.  Let the paint keep moving.

  • Member since
    April 2021
Posted by Cafguy on Thursday, April 8, 2021 9:31 PM

AH VAllejo.    I am sort of in the middle of actually working with these paints.  Vallejo paints do kinda have a learning curve.  THe model air paints are nice but,  as said above I add flow improver to help with the dry tip thing. I also spray my brush at 20P.S.I.  I have been using stynylrez as a primer and mixing about the same as said above with the model color and have gotten some really nice results.  JUst break out the plastic bottles and find the mix best for you

Life tip:  Skip marrage: find the women you hate the most and buy her a house and car.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, April 9, 2021 8:22 AM

Hey Tojo and Ed,

Thank you for setitng the record straight about spraying the Vallejo lines besides Model Air. I see now that my post was poorly worded and I wouldn't want to scare off a potential new Vallejo user.

I agree that Model Color, Panzer Aces, Game Color, etc will spray ok when properly thinned, and I don't even know why I said it won't.

What I really meant was depending on a new user's experience level, getting those products properly thinned might be challenging becuase the paint is so thick, whlist Model Air might be a better staring point.

Again, thanks fellas! Yes

-Greg

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by Jammer on Saturday, April 10, 2021 12:44 PM

Do not add alcohol to Vallejo paints.  Unless you want to spend an hour disassembling and cleaning your airbrush.  It clogs the tip almost immediately.

Distilled water works fine.

I always run water (and/or Vallejo thinner and Flow Improver) through my airbrush before using Vallejo paints. I've had Vallejo clump up based on what I last ran through the airbrush when I cleaned it, even if it had dried.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, April 10, 2021 1:41 PM

I spray the Model Air most often thinned a bit extra with my own thinner in it. I thin it 20% or so, sometimes a bit more. Sprays great. And my thinner that I use on paints that don't like alcohol has a little acrylic airbrush medium in it which improves adhesion. Just sayin, I like the paint and I really like it's super fine pigments for light coat coverage.

Never shot Model Color. I have no doubt I could make it work but can't comment because I've not done it yet.

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Building models on my kitchen counter top~somewhere in North Carolina
Posted by disastermaster on Saturday, April 10, 2021 3:53 PM

.... sure glad I only use Tamiya and an occasional acrylic craft paint.

         .....just saying

On the kitchen counter somewhere in North Carolina

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, April 11, 2021 8:22 AM

disastermaster

.... sure glad I only use Tamiya and an occasional acrylic craft paint.

         .....just saying

 

I hear you, and from all the negative stuff posted here about Vallejo, can't say I blame you.

Just FWIW, it's been my experience that if one sticks to the two Vallejo additives mentioned, it's pretty great stuff.

Most of the troubles I've read here over the years usually lead back to folks using additives that don't play well with the Vallejo chemistry.

The biggest negative was dry-tip, and that has been pretty much negated with their Flow-Improver product.

All that said, I'm becoming more and more fond of acrylic lacquers myself for their no-fuss spraying, fast-drying and durable finish......so in no way am I debating your comment!

-Greg

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, April 11, 2021 8:58 AM

Greg
All that said, I'm becoming more and more fond of acrylic lacquers myself for their no-fuss spraying, fast-drying and durable finish......so in no way am I debating your comment!

Ditto

I'm a big fan of the new acrylic lacquers too.  Sure, you can mix this and that with Vallejo paints and make them work...but why?

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Sunday, April 11, 2021 9:55 AM
I don't mix up my own colors,it's usually a case of finding the Color I need in the most user friendly paint.

  • Member since
    April 2021
Posted by Cafguy on Thursday, April 22, 2021 6:42 PM

I think it just adds a new fun dimension to the hobby.  These are not paint right out of the bottle and bobs your uncle. -- to get great results takes practice and as frustrating as it has been I really think that these are great paints.

 

Life tip:  Skip marrage: find the women you hate the most and buy her a house and car.

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Thursday, April 22, 2021 8:48 PM

Vallejo definitely has a learning curve lol.

I've been mixing MSP, Game Color, Model Color, Game Air, and the Model Air lines to varying success.

The flow improver helps, but after reading the other comments, I haven't been using enough of it lol.

Tamiya is my favorite, easy to spray, paint so far, but Vallejo paints are easier to find locally.

The real fun is in mixing up your own colors! I typically mix stuff up in small batches in one of those medicine cups that come with Nyquil or Pepto Bismol before putting them in my brush.

Anyways, Vallejo is my primary paint line and I'm still working the kinks out after years of experimentation. You guys may have just given me an answer I've been looking for. Use more Flow Improver.

Thanks!

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    April 2021
Posted by Cafguy on Thursday, April 22, 2021 9:48 PM

TAMIYA paints are my favorite its getting harder to find them localy not sure why i guess my hobby lobby has a lazy maneger

Life tip:  Skip marrage: find the women you hate the most and buy her a house and car.

  • Member since
    April 2021
Posted by Cafguy on Thursday, April 22, 2021 10:27 PM

THIs is good advice tamiya is not a true acrylic but an achohol based product.   Valoho piants are strictly water based

Life tip:  Skip marrage: find the women you hate the most and buy her a house and car.

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Thursday, April 22, 2021 11:08 PM

I don't know if they need it or not but I usually mix for every 5 drops of Vallejo Model Air or Model Color paint/ 1 drop distilled water/ 1 drop Vallejo Flow Improver. I even use this mix with Joanne Fabrics Craft Paint. Haven't had any problems with either paint except for those of my own making. You have to look through the racks of Joannes paints to find the color you need and sometimes you have to mix your own but they have always worked OK for me and sometimes they have sales. One day I walked in to a 3 for 1$ sale. $10 got me 30 bottles. Have an entire drawer in my bench full from there.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posted by Deeve_ on Friday, April 23, 2021 12:29 AM

jeffriesr

Are Vallejo paints ready to spray from the bottle or do they need thinning?

If thinning needed, What is the best paint to thinner ratio for them?

 

 

Ill add my 2 cents to this. I did some research on this a while ago because I was having massive issues with the Vallejo model air paints I had bought. I picked up about $100 worth of them at once never having used them. Got tip dry like mad and clogging.

 

What I found was using 10 drops paint, 3 drops thinner, 3 drops flow improver and 1 drop retarder medium. I only use the retarder if I am doing some really fine detail work at low paing flow. Otherwise I just omit it. I have had really good success with this mix.

 

Of course, all the thinners and whatnot are Vallejo brand.

 

 In Progress.

1/72 Revell Arado AR-240-c2

1/72 Hasegawa Mitchell Mk.III RAAF

1/72 Italeri XB-70 Valkyrie

Deeve_

  • Member since
    April 2021
Posted by Cafguy on Friday, April 23, 2021 12:46 AM

I tjink that is pretty much the ratio i have been using works great for me

Life tip:  Skip marrage: find the women you hate the most and buy her a house and car.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, April 23, 2021 8:17 AM

For Model Color I use 

10 paint

3 thinner

3 Flo improver

Spray between 15-20 PSI 

Works for me

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, April 23, 2021 10:11 AM

Not a fan of any acrylics but I have some Vallejo Air that sprays ok but not as fantastic as my MM enamels. I can get super tight thin lines with enamels and lacquer but not with acrylics like Vallejo even when using their proprietary thinner and flow improver. I have found better ab control with Mission Models acrylics over Vallejo.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Friday, April 23, 2021 11:14 AM

Greg
Many folks swear by adding just a drop or two of Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. I'm going to say somewhere around 1:15 to 1:30 or so.

I agree with Greg - Model Air + a drop or two of thinner = no problems.  I use my own "home brew" thinner, which is IPA & water based and has a small amount each of flow improver and retarder in it, so those features are built-in to an extent.  If I find I need more of either or both of them (so far I haven't with Model Air) I can always add them.  I've only sprayed Cold White from the Model Color range so, apart from agreeing that it took more thinning, I don't have much experience of those ones.

By and large I'm very happy with the Vallejo paints I've used, but I will never again buy their primers (different story!)

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posted by Deeve_ on Saturday, April 24, 2021 4:39 PM

Hutch6390

 

 
Greg
Many folks swear by adding just a drop or two of Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. I'm going to say somewhere around 1:15 to 1:30 or so.

 

I agree with Greg - Model Air + a drop or two of thinner = no problems.  I use my own "home brew" thinner, which is IPA & water based and has a small amount each of flow improver and retarder in it, so those features are built-in to an extent.  If I find I need more of either or both of them (so far I haven't with Model Air) I can always add them.  I've only sprayed Cold White from the Model Color range so, apart from agreeing that it took more thinning, I don't have much experience of those ones.

By and large I'm very happy with the Vallejo paints I've used, but I will never again buy their primers (different story!)

 

 

I am somewhat curious as to what your issue with Vallejo primer is. I have been using it for a while now and not had any problems. Can you elaborate for me? What are you using instead?

 

 In Progress.

1/72 Revell Arado AR-240-c2

1/72 Hasegawa Mitchell Mk.III RAAF

1/72 Italeri XB-70 Valkyrie

Deeve_

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, April 24, 2021 6:22 PM

I almost bought a bottle of Vallejo primer a couple of different times to find out the exact mystery everyone has with it. But I found the answer online, partly from Vallejo info and partly from reviewers and then assessing how people use it.. And I'll just stick with my Synylrez.

Stynylrez is a sandable primer sealer. So it primes, it seals and can be sanded, all of which I find to be true. Within certainly a couple of hours you can recoat over it but by natural events of my building it will most often be over night. But with a little heat applied I have painted over it in less than 30 minutes.

Vallejo is not touted to be a sandable primer and Vallejo's own instructions say to give the primer 24 hourse dry time. Not sure if it seals. I think people having trouble with Vallejo primer rush the operation and may also be expecting to sand it. I have enough faith in Vallejo to produce a product that works if people abide by the guidelines in using it. So if I bought that primer I'd use it as instructed and anticipate it would work fine. But I think stynylrez is a cut above in satisfying my usage, so why would I do that ?

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, April 24, 2021 7:06 PM

Deeve_
I am somewhat curious as to what your issue with Vallejo primer is. I have been using it for a while now and not had any problems. Can you elaborate for me? What are you using instead?

It is not sandable, adherence is awful, and pulls up easily with masking tape. There has to be a reason folks use it, but it is so far lost on me. I've wondered if it simply that it is popular with figure painters? It self-levels like a dream, lays down an awesome finish, and retains surface detail as good as any primer I've used.

My go-to for the past couple of years has been Stynylrez. Tamiya Surface Primer and Mr Surfacer are a couple of my old favorite solvent-based primers.

-Greg

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Saturday, April 24, 2021 7:08 PM

^^^^

I've done a few informal tests with Vallejo, Mission and Stynylrez primers. Their scratch resistance is in the order listed, but I can't say I had any lifting or peeling issues.  Stynylrez is absolutely crazy good, but a little tougher to clean out of the airbrush.   For good performance and easy clean up, I've settled on Mission primer under any acrylic paint. 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Sunday, April 25, 2021 5:50 AM

Deeve_
I am somewhat curious as to what your issue with Vallejo primer is. I have been using it for a while now and not had any problems. Can you elaborate for me? What are you using instead?

Hi, Deeve - I find that, as long as you don't want to do anything other than apply paint on top of it, it's fine.  I used it on a couple of Tamiya 1/35 tanks without needing to do anything else, and it worked beautifully - as Greg says, it applies well, and doesn't hide or soften surface detail.  That's why I bought a couple more bottles of different shades.  

Then I found that, even after leaving it in a warm, dry room for several days, or a week, if I needed to do any repairs - filling & sanding - it peeled off the plastic & left a slight but visible "step" around the edge of the exposed area.  I eventually found that VERY gentle wet sanding can feather this so the job can be finished (thanks to fellow members who advised me on this at the time).  I have had the same thing happen when removing masking tape, even when this was "de-tacked" before being applied.  

So I now use it only where I know I won't need to sand  or mask it e.g. the IDF Sand Grey primer is currently doing duty as a faded wood colour on the deck of a vehicle-launched bridge, other details on those parts are being carefully hand-painted around and over it.

Before I bought a dedicated model primer, I used ordinary household grey primer from a rattle can - that's what I've gone back to.  Yes. it's a bit smelly, but it covers well, adheres well, doesn't need an airbrushing session, and it's cheap.  (Edit: and you can sand it and mask it as well - no problem.)  If necessary I rub it down with micro-mesh before painting on top, but that's mainly just for aircraft - tanks have a rougher texture, so the primer doesn't hurt at all.  Hope this answers your questionSmile

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

   

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

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