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Best airbrush cleaner for Vallejo model air?

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  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Best airbrush cleaner for Vallejo model air?
Posted by jcfay on Thursday, December 20, 2018 9:25 PM

So I'm a big fan of lacquer thinner and use it to clean my airbrush of nearly everything, but I noticed that it turns the left over vallejo model air to solid globs in the paint cup.  It worked fine to clean the AB for a few sessions, but then this just happened and it clogged up the brush.

What do folks use to clean post vallejo model air?  I love the paints but need a better cleaner to cut through the paint.  I've got tamiya and vallejo thinners, isopropyl, water, etc. too as well as iwata airbrush cleaner (I'm using an Iwata HP-CS).

thanks

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Thursday, December 20, 2018 10:04 PM

Vallejo Model Air is my primary paint, and I clean my airbrushes with lacquer thinner regularly after using it. I can't imagine what might be going on.

If I want a less toxic cleanup, I use Badger acrylic airbrush cleaner, or like you, the Iwata Medea airbrush cleaner, both work great. The Vallejo stuff should too

I'll be pondering what happened to you. Either alcohol or ammonia (I forget which) will do what you describe to Vallejo Model Air. Big globby mess.

-Greg

  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Chicago area
Posted by modelmaker66 on Thursday, December 20, 2018 10:14 PM

Lacquer thinner for all paints.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Friday, December 21, 2018 5:44 AM

Greg

Vallejo Model Air is my primary paint, and I clean my airbrushes with lacquer thinner regularly after using it. I can't imagine what might be going on.

If I want a less toxic cleanup, I use Badger acrylic airbrush cleaner, or like you, the Iwata Medea airbrush cleaner, both work great. The Vallejo stuff should too

I'll be pondering what happened to you. Either alcohol or ammonia (I forget which) will do what you describe to Vallejo Model Air. Big globby mess.

Thanks all - I did run some isopropyl alcohol through it at one point - that must have triggered the mess.  I couldn't fathom how lacquer thinner would lead to any issues, but was also surprised to see that the cup stayed clogged for a bit even when trying to run lacquer thinner through it.  It's so hot that I figued it'd eat through anything, but I guess I'd already created a pretty solid blockage.

What do you guys thin it with - vallejo's thinner?  I would've assumed their thinners have alcohol in them, but I guess not.  Distilled water?

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, December 21, 2018 7:05 AM
I use the Lacquer thinner

  • Member since
    October 2016
  • From: .
Posted by DasBeav on Friday, December 21, 2018 7:36 AM

Never use alcohol and Vallejo paints together. Don't even drink around VJ.Smile I shoot Windex through my AB first and then finish up with Lacquer thinner.

For thinning VJ, I just use regular old distilled water.

 Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Friday, December 21, 2018 12:09 PM

Ok, now I have a theory.

My guess is you thinned the Model Air with something alcohol based, which created the mess to begin with, and lacquer thinner would not clean it.

To answer you last question, as a somewhat seasoned Vallejo user, my advice is thin Vallejo with nothing but thier own Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. It is ok to also use thier new Airbrush Flow Improver, it works great and all but eliminates dry tip. Anything else is asking for trouble.

There is one exception comes to mind, if you every try some Vallejo Model Color for brush painting, it can be thinned with distilled water. I do it all the time. But for reasons I don't understand, that is not recommended for airbrushing Model Air.

-Greg

  • Member since
    August 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Friday, December 21, 2018 12:47 PM
I haven't sprayed vallejo in a long time but I brush paint almost exclusively with it. I spray 95% acrylic paints mostly Tamiya. The way I clean it out is paint cup full of alcohol then wipe it out with a damp rag then half paint cup full of windex followed by a few paint cup fulls of water and dawn dish soap. After every model completed or as needed I tear it down completely and let the needle and nozzle soak in dawn dish soap for a few hours.

Clint

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Friday, December 21, 2018 1:15 PM

Rambo
I haven't sprayed vallejo in a long time but I brush paint almost exclusively with it. I spray 95% acrylic paints mostly Tamiya. The way I clean it out is paint cup full of alcohol then wipe it out with a damp rag then half paint cup full of windex followed by a few paint cup fulls of water and dawn dish soap. After every model completed or as needed I tear it down completely and let the needle and nozzle soak in dawn dish soap for a few hours.
 

Thats great for Tamiya,but he asked about Vallejo,and as stated alcohol will gum up your brush pretty bad with Vallejo,be careful of that !! 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Friday, December 21, 2018 1:42 PM

thanks guys - are you guys thinning your vallejo paints or just spraying them "neat" out of the bottle?  When I spray tamiya or model master, I'll always thin about 50:50 but so far having just done some very small airbrush jobs with the vallejo air I hadn't thinned it.  I'm now at the point, however, where I'm going to do the full exterior and I'm wondering if I should thin them?  Also, how long are you guys allowing the vallejo to dry before spraying additional coats, or masking?  I was able to spray consecutive coats on smaller parts almost immediately since it was drying so quickly, but again, these were much smaller jobs and now I'm moving to the exterior of my 1/32 dora.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, December 21, 2018 2:16 PM

Proper thinning consistancy is about viscosity not paint brand. It may be perfect out of the bottle already or it may need thinning to get it to that viscosity. A really good starting point is to put some 2% milk in your airbrush. Stir it, watch how that drips off your stirrer, watch what kind of film it leaves on the cup sides, how it washes down the cup sides, even spray some into the sink or someplace to see how the gun acts with it at different settings. Swish it around and get a feel for that consistany. Dump it out and clean the brush, now mix ( or not) your paint so it acts similarly. Some MA are good to go but for instance some of the metallics are too thick.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, December 21, 2018 9:04 PM

Greg

 

To answer you last question, as a somewhat seasoned Vallejo user, my advice is thin Vallejo with nothing but thier own Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. It is ok to also use thier new Airbrush Flow Improver, it works great and all but eliminates dry tip. Anything else is asking for trouble.

 

Ditto Stay with each manufacturer's thinner brand to avoid unpleasent surprises. What works for one may not work for another.

I also use Tamiya acrylics often and it is not a true acrylic since it can be thinned withlacquer thinner unlike true acrylics that are water based. I use Tamiya's thinner for thinning and to clean the AB I run LT without the need for a tear down after every use. I use those green dental mini brushes that fit right into the AB tip area tru the paint cup. A few pases with the mini brush and LT will loosen any paint in there then i blow thru a couple of paint cups of LT and the AB is spotless without the need of a tear down.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Saturday, December 22, 2018 5:24 AM

thanks again all - I do use each manufacturer's thinner, but it's good to know that LT will work with tamiya although I'll still use the X-20.  I'll have to get some of these dental brushes - can someone forward a link on to me for the right product?  They sound like a huge time saver...

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 7:33 AM

Ditto

Yes PJ I am also interested in that product.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, December 22, 2018 9:23 AM

Tojo72

Ditto

Yes PJ I am also interested in that product.

 

 

Here is the package

and the tiny brush

It can bend any direction and inserted into the paint cup and deep into the tip.

I dip the tiny brush into LT and do several passes then load up the cup with LT and shoot away........done. 

I break the AB down maybe every 8-10 uses but not after every single use. The wife said she got these either at Target or Walmart a while back so look around for these time savers.

You do need to extend the life of the tiny brush by gently using a paper towel to blot it dry otherwise the LT will dry up the wristles and shorten its life. They last me a good while till I see them start to get writtle then I toss it and get a new one.

EDIT: I went online and Amazon has them but the plastic handles are puple now. I'm guessing Walmart etc has them in purple too. I guess I've had these for a while then so that tells you how long they last if you take care of them.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

  • Member since
    July 2010
Posted by roony on Saturday, December 22, 2018 9:31 AM

Thank you all for the discusion.  I just finished a kit painting with Tamiya, and cleaning with its paint cleaner (item 87089-500).  But one of the colours was Vallejo.  Iwata airbrush cleaner finely got it clean, but it was a lot more work than with the Tamiya.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, December 22, 2018 1:35 PM

plasticjunkie

 

 
Tojo72

Ditto

Yes PJ I am also interested in that product.

 

 

 

 

Here is the package

and the tiny brush

It can bend any direction and inserted into the paint cup and deep into the tip.

I dip the tiny brush into LT and do several passes then load up the cup with LT and shoot away........done. 

I break the AB down maybe every 8-10 uses but not after every single use. The wife said she got these either at Target or Walmart a while back so look around for these time savers.

You do need to extend the life of the tiny brush by gently using a paper towel to blot it dry otherwise the LT will dry up the wristles and shorten its life. They last me a good while till I see them start to get writtle then I toss it and get a new one.

EDIT: I went online and Amazon has them but the plastic handles are puple now. I'm guessing Walmart etc has them in purple too. I guess I've had these for a while then so that tells you how long they last if you take care of them.

 

I found them thanks Yes

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Saturday, December 22, 2018 3:32 PM

Ditto thanks again just ordered some off amazon

  • Member since
    October 2016
  • From: .
Posted by DasBeav on Saturday, December 22, 2018 3:41 PM

Vallejo model air is pretty much dry to touch in 10 minutes. I wait 48-72 hours for it to cure before I mask. Still might have paint liftage. Make sure you de-sticky the tape.Smile

 Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Saturday, December 22, 2018 3:46 PM

DasBeav

Vallejo model air is pretty much dry to touch in 10 minutes. I wait 48-72 hours for it to cure before I mask. Still might have paint liftage. Make sure you de-sticky the tape.Smile

thanks.  I did get a little liftage but not bad at all considering I'm getting back to the hobby and forgot to clean the model prior to priming, so some liftage wasn't surprising.  I also only waited a few hours, but did use a pretty gentle painters tape (like the tamiya stuff except sold at home depot, etc. in large rolls for cheap).  I'll give it more time to rest next time around.  

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, December 22, 2018 4:48 PM

jcfay

 

 
DasBeav

Vallejo model air is pretty much dry to touch in 10 minutes. I wait 48-72 hours for it to cure before I mask. Still might have paint liftage. Make sure you de-sticky the tape.Smile

 

 

thanks.  I did get a little liftage but not bad at all considering I'm getting back to the hobby and forgot to clean the model prior to priming, so some liftage wasn't surprising.  I also only waited a few hours, but did use a pretty gentle painters tape (like the tamiya stuff except sold at home depot, etc. in large rolls for cheap).  I'll give it more time to rest next time around.  

 

I for one never clean or wash model parts except resin ones. Vallejo apparently lifts as easy as MM acrylics. A solvent primer like Tamiya's or Alclad's will give the Vallejo some tooth into the surface helping to lessen the lifting effect. Tamiya acrylics adhere very well  and speaking from experience, I have masked over Tamiya paint just a couple of hours after application with no paint lifting when removing the masking tape.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Saturday, December 22, 2018 5:15 PM

jcfay

Ditto thanks again just ordered some off amazon

 

 

What is it with folks ordering simple dental picks through Amazon? You can find them cheaper at Walmart or drug store. 

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Saturday, December 22, 2018 5:22 PM

I live in the city, and so most stores are small near me and have a limited selection.  I suppose could try multiple grocery stores, targets, etc. but it's just easier for me to order via amazon.  And often the prices are damn good too (especially with free prime delivery).  

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Saturday, December 22, 2018 5:25 PM

plasticjunkie

I for one never clean or wash model parts except resin ones. Vallejo apparently lifts as easy as MM acrylics. A solvent primer like Tamiya's or Alclad's will give the Vallejo some tooth into the surface helping to lessen the lifting effect. Tamiya acrylics adhere very well  and speaking from experience, I have masked over Tamiya paint just a couple of hours after application with no paint lifting when removing the masking tape.

I've just started using Badger's stynylrez, but my go to in the past was Tamiya's spray can primer decanted and then airbrushed.  Either that or Mr. Surfacer 1200 (I just got some of the 1500 too in black, but haven't tried it yet).  The Tamiya and Mr. Surfacer got really good primer adhesion, I felt.  Not sure about the Badger stuff yet...

ZAT
  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by ZAT on Saturday, December 22, 2018 5:58 PM
I’ve used x20 to thin the Tamiya paints at about 50:50. Also used IPA fir the same with good success. Tamils dried up real fast. Minutes between coats and masking. On my current build, I’m using the Vallejo Modea Air straight out if the bottle through a NEO running at around 18-20 psi. So long as I mix the holy bejeebers out if the MA it has sprayed pretty well on the small sections. I’m about to start the exterior camo pattern so we will see if that continues. To clean the brush I use Windex, water and then run a drop or 2 of Vallejo thinner through the brush. So far so good.
  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, December 22, 2018 6:41 PM

jcfay

 

 I've just started using Badger's stynylrez, but my go to in the past was Tamiya's spray can primer decanted and then airbrushed.  Either that or Mr. Surfacer 1200 (I just got some of the 1500 too in black, but haven't tried it yet).  The Tamiya and Mr. Surfacer got really good primer adhesion, I felt.  Not sure about the Badger stuff yet...
 

Stynylrez should be fine if you do it right. Most people who try it stick with it. I know I'm a convert after decades of solvent based paints.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, December 22, 2018 7:23 PM

jcfay
are you guys thinning your vallejo paints or just spraying them "neat" out of the bottle?

Vallejo Model Air sprays fine without thinning, but as mentioned before, Vallejo's Flow Improver will help eliminate dry tip. Most folks use a tiny bit of Vallejo Airbrush thinner too, myself included. Not sure why, really.

-Greg

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, December 22, 2018 7:25 PM

ZAT
On my current build, I’m using the Vallejo Modea Air straight out if the bottle through a NEO running at around 18-20 psi

Just a suggestion, but you might want to try 20-25 psi. I know, that sounds high but it's what Vallejo recommends and I've found it to be the best working pressure for Model Air. It's only a few more PSI that you are already at, so it may make no difference at all.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, December 31, 2018 12:02 PM

Hey for those that ordered the tiny brush I suggested, I would love to hear some feedback after using it.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

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

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Chicago, IL
Posted by jcfay on Monday, December 31, 2018 2:34 PM

plasticjunkie

Hey for those that ordered the tiny brush I suggested, I would love to hear some feedback after using it.

They work great, thanks.  I had received an "airbrush cleaner kit" a while back, a real cheap set probably 10$.  It's got a number of larger brushes, as well as metal reamers of some sort.  Long story short, it doesn't work for modeling airbrushes (probably works for guys doing full-size cars...) and the dental picks work great.  They get into the tip well but are also gentle enough so I don't have to fear damaging the tip or nozzle.  I definitely was able to pull out some goop using it.  Plus, they're cheap and reusable!

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