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New Airbrusher Questions

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  • Member since
    December 2021
New Airbrusher Questions
Posted by DLavan on Monday, December 13, 2021 4:36 PM

After decades of model building (not all dedicated though), I've finally seen the light and moved from hand-brushing to my first airbrush.  It's definitely been a game-changer and I'm enjoying it.  I'm learning on my first model and have two questions:

1) I am using Vallejo Model Color paints.  One color (black grey) looks fine after painting, but even if I handle the model with gloves it randomly chips down to the primer.  I've only thinned it slightly with a few drops of water to get to a "2% Milk" consistency that I've read about, and using 25psi on my compressor.

2) I've seen other modelers (in FSM magazine and some books) use some type of putty to hold parts to cardboard when they airbrush.  I've tried Silly Putty (doesn't hold well) and some others that leave a residue.  Does anyone have a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Monday, December 13, 2021 5:14 PM

You don't say if you've primed or not, and if so who's primer used.  Most here find that problem with Vallejo primer.  Most will probably recommend Tamiya for priming.

Vallejo needs plenty of dry time, and may still pull when pulling tape off.

For holding small parts, some recommend Blue Tac or other poster hanging adhesive.  Might also try a piece of masking tape rolled sticky side out.  Stick to the part and your cardboard.

Silly putty works well for rolling in thin "worms", got masking soft edge camo schemes.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, December 13, 2021 6:14 PM

For best results with Vallejo Model Color,thin with their own thinner,and add their Flow improver,I spray it over Tamiya Primer in the rattlrcan, or Mr Surfacer 1200, I never had any adhesion problems.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Monday, December 13, 2021 6:28 PM

Not a fan of Vallejo paints for airbrushing, due to the durability issues that you describe.  If you're open to trying other paints and don't have an aversion to lacquers, MRP paints work extremely well, dry/cure in less than an hour, and are extremely durable.  I even found out accidentally that they adhere just as well to unprimed plastic.  But, I still use primer.  I use decanted Tamiya grey primer.

For holding parts on cardboard for airbrushing (I am definitely a big fan of using scraps of cardboard for that purpose), I like using little chunks of foam double-sided mounting tape.  It holds things really securely and has that sponginess to it so it deals well with irregular surface features.  For small parts, after I get them off the sprue and all cleaned up, I like to use toothpicks and a hot glue gun.  I just snip a little off one end of the toothpick, put a tiny blob of hot glue on that, and then stick the part on it in a spot on the part that doesn't need to be painted.  With those, you can use cheap rolls of masking tape and stick the sharp ends of those toothpicks in the sides...sort of like a dart board.  You can use those little "dart boards" over and over again.  Makes a nice place to hold multiple parts so you can pluck them off, one by one, paint them, and then stick back into the tape roll to dry.

Here's an example of painting parts on the cardboard with the double-sided foam mounting tape.  F-4B exhausts...they were held on the cardboard through the whole process of priming, painting, and weathering.

And an example of the toothpick/dart board method for the small parts.  Su-25M1 cockpit parts.  They were held on those toothpicks through the whole process of priming, painting, and detailing.

I airbrush practically everything now.  Pretty much everything short of knobs and switches get airbrushed.  Nothing beats a nice, thin, even coat of paint that still shows all of the delicate detail underneath...so I hand brush as little as possible.

BTW...neither method leaves a residue behind.

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

  • Member since
    December 2021
Posted by DLavan on Monday, December 13, 2021 6:32 PM

Thanks.  I used Tamiya primer.  I had let the paint dry overnight, but perhaps that was not long enough before handling.  I'm having this problem where I remove tape and in plenty of spots where there was no tape at all. 

I'll try the Blue Tac - my daughter has a bunch of that stuff lying around.

  • Member since
    December 2021
Posted by DLavan on Monday, December 13, 2021 7:46 PM

I'm open to different paints.  This is my first airbrushing so I'm only invested in 3 small bottles of Vallejo paints.  I'll give another brand a try on the next one to not have to deal with chipping.  Thanks!

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 11:57 AM

Try Tamiya's acrylic paints; they're formulated for airbrushing.  I've never had any issues with Tamiya not drying and curing successfully, applied with the airbrush.  I thin them 50/50 with Tamiya's own acrylic thinner, and airbrush generally at about 20 psi.

 

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 12:01 PM

As far as holding small parts goes, I've used a piece of masking tape stuck to cardboard to hold some things.

I also made myself a set of holders with alligator clamps and bamboo skewers.  Don't buy holders-the bag of clamps was five bucks online, and the skewers were a buck at the grocery store.

And if you've seen those bases that look like they're made from pieces of corrugated stock stuck in a box lid, they are.  Don't pay for one, make one.  I cut up a box and stuck the pieces in the lid of another box.  Cost me nothing to make.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 12:24 PM

I keep double sided sticky tape (rrecommend 3M scotch) for painting small parts that have a flat bottom, but resort to poster tack for odd shapes (blue tack works best for me).

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 1:42 PM

DLavan

I'm open to different paints.  This is my first airbrushing so I'm only invested in 3 small bottles of Vallejo paints.  I'll give another brand a try on the next one to not have to deal with chipping.  Thanks!

 

Water for thinner with Vallejo is not the way to go especially with model color. Mostly you need their flow improver to use as thinner in that line. You can use a little of their thinner as well. But if you want to airbrush Vallejo the Model Air and Game Air etc. are much better handling. They don't really need thinning at all but a few drops of thinner with finer needles is good. And for tip dry I just use a bit of Liquitex retarder, not much.

I have to agree with Tamiya acrylics as well. You can thin with their thinner, lacquer thinner or alcohol. Also no water as thinner in this one either.

Airbrushing, you should be quite happy with Model Air or Tamiya acrylics. The Tamiya shoots more like lacquer or solvent based paints, very user friendly in my experience. It's my second choice to enamels. From there I use many types of acrylics from craft paints, to artist acrylics to Vallejo. I also decant Rustoleum 2X enamels for airbrushing. Just fwiw.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 2:18 PM

I've had excellent luck with MRP lacquer if you are open to solvent based paints.  Much easier than Mission, MIG or Vallejo acrylics.  No additives, mixing, tip dry, etc.   You can spray at 15psi, lose no detail and you dang near have to try to make it run.   Sets up to the touch almost instantly and can take tape (in a pinch) in an hour.  

Tamiya is also very easy if you can live without FS matching colors.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 2:45 PM

Yup.  The other cool thing about MRP lacquers is that most of them are semi-gloss, so they're immediately ready for decals and weathering, without having to clearcoat first.  After weathering and decaling, I just use their clear coats (they have 4 of them).  Same durable, trouble-free experience with those.  Right from the bottle to the airbrush...no fuss...no muss.  Also found out recently that they are 100% impervious to enamel thinners, so enamel detail work can be done on top of them and any mistakes with the brush can be completely erased without doing any damage to the MRP base color.  Just takes a q-tip dampened with enamel thinner to make a detailing mistake disappear and look like nothing ever happened.

"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 Tuesday, December 14, 2021 4:20 PM

AK Real,great color range,thins with LT,acts send shoots like Tamiya.

  • Member since
    December 2021
Posted by DLavan on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 7:43 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions.  I definitely have a lot to learn, but now have some good advice to get pointed in the right direction!

  • Member since
    March 2020
Posted by Faux fisherman on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 5:49 AM

Before giving up on the model air try 15psi.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, December 16, 2021 6:56 AM

Ya the MA paint I shoot with my Badger 200 2.5 needle, add a few drops of thinner and shoot it around 18 psi. I couldn't be more pleased with it honestly but I'm shooting all flats and mostly earth and cammo tones. I can't speak for the brighter colors cause I haven't shot them. But these that I shoot go on in very fine atomization,good coverage, fine pigments, level nicely and look great. I shoot it over Stynylrez primer.

I can't say I have any complaints. The only reason I use any thinner is mine has some retarder in it and I use that fine needle, no tip dry or clogs to report..

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