SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Spraying Vallejo paints

5803 views
44 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    August 2004
  • From: Forest Hill, Maryland
Posted by cwalker3 on Friday, April 15, 2022 1:24 PM

Jammer

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.

 

I second this. Also, don't use alcohol initially in the cleaning process. That will also give you a mucked up airbrush. I run distilled water (from my dehumidifier) through my airbrush first, and then once it's fairly clean, I'll run alcohol through it. 

Cary

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Northern Nevada
Posted by HighDesertmodeler on Wednesday, April 13, 2022 4:01 PM

The key to spraying Vallejo Model Air and other water based acrylics as Hataka Red Line and AK Gen 3 is thinning them with Vallejo Flow Improver.  In our dry climate, I use 2:1, Flow Improver to Paint. Vallejo AB Thinner causes tip dry too quickly and I don't use it anymore to thin paints (I do use the thinner on occasion to thin Vallejo Poly clears (satin or matt)).  

Thinning with Flow Improver makes Vallejo Model Air spray like properly thinned enamels, smooth with no tip dry.  Yes, drying takes longer using more Flow Improver but paint still dries as fast or faster than enamels.  I lay down one coat and let dry 24 hrs, then spray Camo pattern, let dry 48 hrs and then lay down an acrylic gloss (I like Createx 4050 or Vallejo) to protect underlying paint for decals.  Seal decals with gloss, let dry, and then coat with Vallejo Satin Varnish, let dry and begin weathering!

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, July 25, 2021 7:53 PM

waynec

not think it is your manager. we have a GREAT LHS in Denver and they are not fully stocked with Tamiya.

 
There were definitely supply chain issues with a lot of overseas manufacturers for a while, but I think things are about to get better.  I had Tamiya and MRP items I had been waiting for for at least 6 months that all came back in stock a little over a week ago at Sprue Brothers.

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

  • Member since
    April 2006
  • From: Denver, Colorado
Posted by waynec on Sunday, July 25, 2021 7:34 PM

Cafguy

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

i do not think it is your manager. we have a GREAT LHS in Denver and they are not fully stocked with Tamiya.

Никто не Забыт    (No one is Forgotten)
Ничто не Забыто  (Nothing is Forgotten)

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, July 25, 2021 11:16 AM

I thin Model Air 10-20% or so with my own blend of thinner and it sprays beautifully through my .25 Badger at around 23 psi.That tip has always been an exceptionally good tip imo. No complaints at all. I'm sure their own flow improver would do the same with however much it took to get the job done. I've shot it straight from the bottle with the same tip and it works but I have to open up more, it doesn't take much to thin it that little bit and get nice smooth results in a range I like to shoot in.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Sunday, July 25, 2021 9:56 AM

dinglebery
Vallejo Model Air paint does not get thinned - it goes straight into the airbrush. If you have a large area to paint and don't want it to dry super fast and clog up your tip add some Flow Improver. .5mm needle at about 35psi 

That is generally true. Using an .5 needle is ok as you posted but try using an .2 one and unthinned. It will kinda of work but it will skip and spit unless it's thinned and still I don't get the same performance as an enamel that I can thin and use my Sotar brush and spray at 10-12 psi all day without skipping or tip dry.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

  • Member since
    March 2021
  • From: Southern California
Posted by dinglebery on Saturday, July 24, 2021 2:31 PM
Vallejo Model Air paint does not get thinned - it goes straight into the airbrush. If you have a large area to paint and don't want it to dry super fast and clog up your tip add some Flow Improver. .5mm needle at about 35psi
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, July 24, 2021 12:50 PM

disastermaster

I just stick with the tried and true.... much simpler, no problems.

 

Simple sounds good to me also,but for me,and just me,it's not simple for me to try to mix my own colors.If Tamiya has what I need great,otherwise I look elsewhere for something easy.Vallejo has a great color range and it has become simple for me,Mission Model paints are simple for me,and AK Real paint line I have found them to be the same as Tamiya only more colors,even the  same jar,thinned with LT,so their simple and basic for me.

No problems

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Saturday, July 24, 2021 12:33 PM

disastermaster

I just stick with the tried and true.... much simpler, no problems.

 

EXACTLY!  Love Tamiya paint for its simplicity and reliability.  Started using MRP paint, which is even simpler to use.  No worries.  Cowboy

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

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Building models on my kitchen counter top~somewhere in North Carolina
Posted by disastermaster on Saturday, July 24, 2021 12:25 PM

I just stick with the tried and true.... much simpler, no problems.

On the kitchen counter somewhere in North Carolina

  • Member since
    April 2021
Posted by Cafguy on Saturday, July 24, 2021 12:19 PM

I have found the key to airbrusshing vallojo paints,  and it is simply do not thin model color paint with airbrush thinner use only flow improver give it a try Ithink you will be happy with the result

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

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 8:01 AM

Not sure how the Tamiya primer would react with solvent glue.  I think most solvent glues for models are primarily Toluene, and I'm not sure of the compatibility.  What I have tried other than MEK was isopropyl alcohol, since that's what I use to thin other Tamiya paints.  Isopropyl alcohol and Tamiya primer definitely don't get along, the primer is pretty much instantly turned into something that resembles cottage cheese.  MEK is reliable and fairly cheap in comparison to other things.  Just have lots of ventilation and don't get it on your skin.  Latex gloves are pretty much impervious to it, so they offer good protection.  Vinyl gloves, on the other hand, will melt instantly.

Painting a second color over the top of any gloss paint is going to be inviting adhesion and cracking issues, especially if it goes on too thick.

For decanting, I usually get a box of 4 ounce mason jars with lids from somewhere like Amazon.  I take one of the lids and drill a big enough hole in the center of it for a 1/4" ID grommet.  That lid I use as my decanting lid.  Then I take the nozzle off the Tamiya primer can and attach a bendable party straw over the nozzle using epoxy and let that cure overnight.  After that, I take the can and shake it for a couple of minutes to get everything in it mixed and ready to spray.  Then its just a matter of putting the nozzle/straw assembly back on the can, screwing the lid with the grommet onto one of the mason jars, pushing the straw into the grommet, and spraying all of the paint through the straw into the jar.  Don't screw the cap on tightly when doing this, so the propellant can vent.  After that, leave the cap loose to allow the propellant to continue to come out of solution.  At about 2 hours, carefully stir the paint by hand (no motorized mixers) a little bit at a time...it will boil quickly as the propellant gas continues to come out, so you have to occasionally stop stirring to keep it from boiling over.  When it no longer boils when stirred, you can screw the lid on tight and you've got lots of airbrushable Tamiya primer that will be good for weeks or even months of primering model parts.

When airbrushing it, I find it best to put a little bit of the primer into a Dixie paper bathroom cup, and then thin/mix it with MEK.  You'll have to stir the primer in the mason jar each time because there is a thick, sticky sludge that settles to the bottom.  That sludge is normal though, so don't worry that your primer is drying out.  You just have to stir it each time.  I usually use a wooden skewer for stirring it since its too thick for a motorized stirrer.

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

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posted by Deeve_ on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 1:10 AM

Eaglecash.

 

Totally didn't even think to decant it. I will do that next time. Do you think adding some solvent glue to it will have the same effect as pure MEK?

 

When I had the Vallejo paint crack, I did insignia white overtop a glossy gray tamiya. The paint split and cracked in spots. Might have been from putting it in too thick as it was white and I was trying to cover up some defects. Likely my screw up.

 

 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 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, April 26, 2021 7:25 PM

Deeve_
I will have to look for these other Primers. Only ones Ive ever used is Tamiya in a rattle can (Hate using it due to lack of control of flow), Model Master Acrylic and the Vallejo

You can decant Tamiya primer into a 4 ounce mason jar and airbrush it.  It works like a dream.  I thin mine with MEK to give it even more bite on the plastic.  Can't comment on the cracking problem with Vallejo paint over Tamiya primer, as I stopped using Vallejo paint a few years ago.  Not into having to use a chemistry set to make the stuff do what its supposed to do, and there are other less-troublesome alternatives.  Also didn't like the ridiculously long cure times and fragile finish they produce. 2 cents

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

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posted by Deeve_ on Monday, April 26, 2021 7:12 PM

Well, thanks for the replies guys.

 

I will have to look for these other Primers. Only ones Ive ever used is Tamiya in a rattle can (Hate using it due to lack of control of flow), Model Master Acrylic and the Vallejo. I have noticed the Vallejo does scratch extremely easily, but I find that with everything Vallejo. Sad  I am somewhat concerned using Tamiya under Vallejo as I have had some cracking of Vallejo paints going overtop standard Tamiya colours. 

 

Personal experience is that I dont find I have the paint come up when masking. I am in the process of doing a Tamiya DO-335 and literally just peeled off all the masking and had none of the paint come up with the tape.  I did however have some chips and scratches in the primer Super Angry

 

Anyways, Thanks again for the responses. Yes

 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
    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

 

  • 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 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
    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 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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_

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
    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.

  • 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
    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

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

SEARCH FORUMS
FREE NEWSLETTER
By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.