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What retarder/flow improver recommendations - AK 3rd Generation

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Northern Nevada
What retarder/flow improver recommendations - AK 3rd Generation
Posted by HighDesertmodeler on Monday, September 11, 2023 4:06 PM

Does anyone have recommendations for a retarder/flow improver for use with AK 3rd Generation acrylic paints through an airbrush?  Maybe Vallejo Flow Improver?  I have AKs dedicated thinner.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 4:25 PM

I use several different acrylic paints, both brands and types, as well as for various purposed to include models. And the retarder I use throughout is Liquitex Slow Dri Retarder Fluid. This is not to be mistaken with their retarder medium ( this is for brush painting art work), that's a different product. I wish though that I could tell you that I've used it in AK but have not. Still, I can't imagine it wouldn't work. I hesitated to bring it up, thinking an AK user might reply, since non have I'm now posting the info. As a point of interest, someplace in the small print I doubt I can read any longer, it stated " for all acrylic paints and mediums". That statement was not brand specific.

For flow aid I also use Liquitex. A little is a lot with this as it's designed to be diluted 10-1 in water then used. I put both products in my home brew thinners I make up. I use other substances sometimes for flow aid, a trace amount of dish soap works or glycerin.

I've also read in more than one forum where Vallejo flow aid works in AK. I also can tell you that Vallejo's retarder is not made for airbrushing.

  • Member since
    July 2023
Posted by Lightning Pilot on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 3:31 PM

Thank you for the tips on Liquitex™!

As a retired materials scientist with some background in coatings, I'm also interested in what you put in your "home brew thinners." Proprietary thinners always work, but they are Surprise pricey!

You say that Vallejo's retarder is not made for airbrushing. Is that Vallejo 62.065, which does appear to be for airbrushing, or 26.270, which is a paste for brush painting?

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, September 14, 2023 7:23 AM

Lightning Pilot

Thank you for the tips on Liquitex™!

As a retired materials scientist with some background in coatings, I'm also interested in what you put in your "home brew thinners." Proprietary thinners always work, but they are Surprise pricey!

You say that Vallejo's retarder is not made for airbrushing. Is that Vallejo 62.065, which does appear to be for airbrushing, or 26.270, which is a paste for brush painting?

 

That is older information on Vallejo retarder, so it seems they have airbrush retarder now or that I wasn't aware of. Thanks for that.

Also I watched a video from Genesis Models yesterday about AK 3rd Gen. And he showed an AK branded retarder. So AK has their own retarder.

I make 3 different blends of thinner, non are rocket science lol.. Also for Tamiya acrylic I use lacquer thinner.

The first blend works in many acrylics actually and quite well, including many craft paints and in the Model Master Acryl. Acryl also works with the last mix I will explain.

In 3oz batches.

60% distilled water

40% 91 Isopropyl

6-8 drops of Liquitex retarder ( depends on season and if it's ultra dry I've used 10. But this all kills tip dry to where basically it's a non issue).

Trace amount of dish soap ( it's not even a full drop).

Many paints will spray very nicely with this. They go down nice and flash off fairly quickly per coat.

The next is similar except I use the Liquitex flow aid in it. And the alcohol portion of the mix is a combo of Isopropyl and denatured alcohol. This tends to flow out more and I heat set each coat with a hair dryer. More ISO than denatured. This I use in place of Createx 4011 reducer and it works as well if not better than 4011. It works in most craft paints as well, especially if you first add Createx 4030 to the paint you will mix. 4030 should be used in Createx as well. 4030 is a poly intercoat,it makes acrylic paints poly/acrylic and they dry harder with more adhesion. I have many craft paints working as well as some model paints, not to mention medium or soft body artist acrylics.

Artist acrylics either get my first blend ( Artist Loft takes to this very well) or I have another for any paint that doesn't like alcohol. It's 50/50 water to Liquitex airbrush medium or you can use the US Art Supply Airbrush thinner, which is very much like the medium, in place of the medium. Still add retarder and flow aid. This method retains the most acrylic base in the paints. But if you go with more medium than water it starts to increase gloss.

I just keep 3 bottles mixed up all the time. One each. I still have some 4011 but rarely use it, since the thinner is cheap to make once you have the products and it works as well. In fact when it's gone I'll just refill that with the two blended alcohols thinner I make up.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Northern Nevada
Posted by HighDesertmodeler on Friday, September 15, 2023 5:10 PM

Thank you for your excellent and very thorough post!  I located an AK Retarder off their website which they recommend for airbrush use, ordered it with a supply of AK paints...received in six days (the total, even with the more costly air shipment from Spain, was nearly a wash compared with total cost purchased domestically; and the delivery time to my door was quicker).  Tried the AK Retarder with their paint and thinner and I had better performance...can easily base coat a 1/72 A6M Zero, my favorite subject nowadays, without any tip dry 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, September 16, 2023 5:39 AM

HighDesertmodeler

Thank you for your excellent and very thorough post!  I located an AK Retarder off their website which they recommend for airbrush use, ordered it with a supply of AK paints...received in six days (the total, even with the more costly air shipment from Spain, was nearly a wash compared with total cost purchased domestically; and the delivery time to my door was quicker).  Tried the AK Retarder with their paint and thinner and I had better performance...can easily base coat a 1/72 A6M Zero, my favorite subject nowadays, without any tip dry 

 

That's great !

  • Member since
    July 2023
Posted by Lightning Pilot on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 3:15 PM
Thanks!
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