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Splattery mess

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  • Member since
    May 2011
Splattery mess
Posted by dazzjazz on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 10:23 PM

Hi,

My Sparmax Mx-3 is delivering a splattery mess - see picture. This has been happening with both brands of paint that I use, Vallejo Model Air and Tamyia Acrylics.

The brush is as clean as can be - I always strip it at the end of each session and clean thouroughly.

Any ideas?

does this sound right? Perhaps there's an airleak?

 https://youtu.be/kIUMD3Yk9YA

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 10:41 PM

Check the needle port, and nozzle, there might be a tiny crack. The crack might deform the shape of the paint cone being sprayed.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 11:26 PM
Was it working right before?  E.g. did you have successful thinning and air pressure?  

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Thursday, January 6, 2022 1:50 AM

Yes, I have had some success with this airbrush, but to be honest, it's been mostly a bummer. I've had it about 3 years now, my first airbrush, so I have some experience now. 
how it's going to spray on any given day is a total lottery.

might be time to upgrade it.

 

keavdog
Was it working right before?  E.g. did you have successful thinning and air pressure?  
 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, January 6, 2022 3:50 AM

What size needle and tip are you using ? And explain your thinning process with both paint brands, including thinner products..

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Thursday, January 6, 2022 5:27 AM

I thin each paint with their manufacturers thinner no more than 60/40.

im using a Sparmax Max 3 that is 0.3mm size. 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Thursday, January 6, 2022 8:38 AM

Just get a Paasche H.  Its the AK-47 of airbrushes.  Cool

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

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Thursday, January 6, 2022 8:53 AM

Might play with the thinning ratio.  Some paints like up to 2:1, thinner to paint.

Tamiya I usually spray at 1:1 or a little thinner.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, January 6, 2022 9:24 AM

I thin tamiya paints 50:50 with isopropyl alcohol and spray at about 17PSI

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Thursday, January 6, 2022 9:27 AM

That kind of splattering may be caused by a slight clog.  Reclean it thoroughly.  Even a tiny spec in the nozzle or needle really screws up flow.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, January 6, 2022 10:48 AM

dazzjazz

I thin each paint with their manufacturers thinner no more than 60/40.

im using a Sparmax Max 3 that is 0.3mm size. 

 

The Tamiya should go through that size tip fine, while I generally use a larger needle than that and thin Tamiya 1/1 or even a little more thinner. You might want to try that too ( more thinner), I have shot it through a .2 if I recall right. The Model Air would need just a little thinning to run nice through a .3 and I've run it through a .25 regularly, in fact it's my most common size for that paint. However, what you need to watch with MA is solids settling, make sure it's stirred good with certain colors especially. Anyway I thin that about 25% with my own thinner combo that has some Liquitex retarder in it ( not that that matters, just sayin).

If your thinner alone sprays fine then you should be able to get your paints going too. But if your thinner alone or even water alone spatters and sputters then it has to do with the airbrush or cleaning etc. I had an Iwata knock off acting up even after cleaning but looked with a magnifier at the tip up into a ceiling light and saw this little tiny guber in there. Soaked over night in LT, did some flushing till that was not to be seen and it sprayed fine. It was just a spec. But the nozzles are so tiny on that thing it's silly.

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Thursday, January 6, 2022 1:31 PM

I know this is probably not your issue, but try increasing your pressure a bit at a time until it sprays smooth. If it does, it's your thinning, if it doesn't, it's the AB. I use both those paints with no isssues through a .3 needle. I thin until I can get it to spray smooth at the pressure I want for that session. Lower pressure for closer more fine work, higher for larger areas. I don't pay attention to my ratios at all. I mix until I get the spray to go how I want at that time. Always works fine. Use some scrap to test with, even white paper will tell you what you need to know.

BK

On the bench:

Tamiya 1/35 M4A3E8 "Fury" with crew,

1/32 Kittyhawk Kingfisher,

1/35 Meng Panther Ausf A Early,

1/48 Pro Modeller P-51C "Boise Bee"

On Deck:

Tamiya 1/48 F4U Birdcage, 

1/25 Revell 32 Ford Coupe

1/12 Bandai "Mandolorian"

2022 Completed:

1/25 Revell 29 Highboy

1/48 Tamiya Sea Harrier

1/25 Revell 70 Boss 429 Mustang

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Thursday, January 6, 2022 2:26 PM

Looks like poor atomization.  Could be a burr on the tip of the needle, paint too thick, or pressure too low.

Don

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Thursday, January 6, 2022 3:35 PM

armornut

Check the needle port, and nozzle, there might be a tiny crack. The crack might deform the shape of the paint cone being sprayed.

 

No crack - I've had a good look under a magnifying glass and the nozzle looks fine. The needle is also in very good condition.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, January 6, 2022 4:34 PM

dazzjazz

 

 
armornut

Check the needle port, and nozzle, there might be a tiny crack. The crack might deform the shape of the paint cone being sprayed.

 

 

 

No crack - I've had a good look under a magnifying glass and the nozzle looks fine. The needle is also in very good condition.

 

Then if it's also sealing ok then you're coming down to more thinner and or raise your pressure a bit. I shoot tamiya arounf 20psi working pressure thinned 1-1. And I use a different brush for the Valljo but shoot that around 18 psi working pressure ( working pressure is the reading after the pressure drop you get with paint flowing).

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Thursday, January 6, 2022 11:32 PM

I've only had time to do a short test today, mix equal amounts of Vallejo MA white and their flow improver. Seems to be spraying better, but I had to raise the air pressure to 30psi on my Arism Mini compressor. Will keep experimenting and report back. 

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Friday, January 7, 2022 2:21 AM

When I've had spatter like this, typically it will indicate that there is dried paint inside the bore  of the nozzle. Your needle will move freely, you will be able to spray water/thinner through the brush, but paint will spatter like this.

Remove the nozzle from the airbrush body and soak it for  about 30 minutes in lacquer thinner.

Dip a fine-ponted paintbrush in lacquer thinner, insert it into the bore of the nozzle and gently scrub the inside of the nozzle by rotating the paintbrush. Every few twists, pull the paintbrush out and clean the paintbrush. 

Repeat until the brush comes away clean. 

Reinstall the nozzle in the airbrush body, mix up a batch of paint and test. 


dazzjazz
Vallejo Model Air and Tamyia Acrylics.

Remember that these two paint types and their supporting solvents are mutually incompatible. So when switching between brands, it is absolutely essential that none of the former paint's solvents remain in the brush when the next brand of paint is loaded. If not, you may induce a chemical reaction which then creates a gooey mess inside your airbrush which will be difficult to clean.

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, January 8, 2022 4:23 AM

dazzjazz

I've only had time to do a short test today, mix equal amounts of Vallejo MA white and their flow improver. Seems to be spraying better, but I had to raise the air pressure to 30psi on my Arism Mini compressor. Will keep experimenting and report back. 

 

MA is theoretically pre-thinned for airbrushing thus the word air in the name. Most of us find that not to be thin enough with many colors and especially with finer needles. Their flow improver is good but it too has more viscosity than thinner. I use another combo of thinners in MA but that's beside the point. The real matter is while you want some flow improver I think you also want some actual thinner in the mix.

All I can say is I run the stuff pretty thin and through a .25 needle and the results are super smooth with very very fine atomization, which is what I love about that Badger .25 to begin with). And I'm using no Vallejo additives. Even thinned out the pigments are dense enough to cover very well. Don't give up, you'll get it ! I'm not sure you will get there with flow improver alone. I'd like to hear that you got the viscosity of the paint down to at least where your brush will shoot it at around 20 psi or so. 30 tells me it's still thick.

Question though: Does that airbrush have a Mac valve ( air control valve, I know some Iwatas do others don't). I ask because it may not be open enough and that would blow everything we've discussed to where we start over again lol.

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Saturday, January 8, 2022 5:31 PM

Okay, so I've just tested some more, with Vallejo MA Black at the following thinner to paint ratios:

1:1 plus a little Vallejo Flow Improver

2:1 with no flow improver

air pressure varying between 15-25 psi. 
result is the same - awful spattering mess!

this was after soaking the nozzle in Tamiya airbrush cleaner and the cleaning with interdental brush, then flushing with water and Vallejo thinner to make sure the cleaner is gone. 

my setup doesn't have a Mac valve. 

2:1 is way too thin at any air pressure.  Think I will replace the nozzle - although t looks fine maybe there's a crack. If that doesn't work I'm going to buy a new airbrush as this one is a PITA. 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, January 9, 2022 6:52 AM

Well it sure sounds like some kind of mechanical failure. Sometimes the tip doesn't seal due to not seating right. in a 100 or 200 some bees wax fixes that till a new teflon washer is installed between the tip and housing.But that leak generally causes pulsing more than spatter in those model Badgers ( mine did that after about 30 years lol).

You might also polish that needle on general principle, I polish all my airbrush needles and it really makes a difference how smooth those droplets atomize and lay down. But I've heard where some 105 users found the tip not seating right was the cause of troubles like yours and that just a bare friction seat or tapered seat but they sent their airbrushes back to Badger to get that report back. If I owned the 105 I'd probably wax that seat just because I do things like that. Unfortunately that may not be the only cause for mechanically caused spatter though. One guy here in the forums had burrs in the bore someplace causing turbulant airflow ( sorry I don't recall the exact details on that one except he was going nuts trying to get it to work, finally sending it back to Badger who repaired it and got it back to him in short time).. So with Sparmax it could be something similar perhaps. I'm not familiar with their services though.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 9, 2022 6:55 AM

Seriously, just try a Paasche H airbrush and join us on the dark side.  Pirate

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

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, January 9, 2022 11:50 AM

Eaglecash867

Seriously, just try a Paasche H airbrush and join us on the dark side.  Pirate

 

Paasche H's are just about indestructable aren't they ? I use mine more than my Badger these days since shooting quite a lot of acrylics and enamels and after the loss of MM Metalizers. I bought it as a back up about 7-8 years ago while I upgraded my Badger 200 to the newer air caps and such..  The 200 was in need of a really good clean up after 40 years of use .  It's always good to have a back up imo. The Paasche H is a work horse, pretty inexpensive too. And it has hefty parts, large orifices etc. These days I keep the #3 tip on that and the .25 in the 200. My hands slip now and then as I'm aging, I've dropped that H on the floor twice now and it just keeps going. Not that I'm advocating doing such a thing mind you. If nothing else though, a guy could get an H and once everything is squared away with their other air brush or brushes, use the H for primers, heavy clears or whatever.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, January 9, 2022 1:01 PM

oldermodelguy
Paasche H's are just about indestructable aren't they ? I use mine more than my Badger these days since shooting quite a lot of acrylics and enamels and after the loss of MM Metalizers. I bought it as a back up about 7-8 years ago while I upgraded my Badger 200 to the newer air caps and such..  The 200 was in need of a really good clean up after 40 years of use .  It's always good to have a back up imo. The Paasche H is a work horse, pretty inexpensive too. And it has hefty parts, large orifices etc. These days I keep the #3 tip on that and the .25 in the 200. My hands slip now and then as I'm aging, I've dropped that H on the floor twice now and it just keeps going. Not that I'm advocating doing such a thing mind you. If nothing else though, a guy could get an H and once everything is squared away with their other air brush or brushes, use the H for primers, heavy clears or whatever.

I use mine for everything now...had the same one for 35 years so far.  I usually use my #1 air caps and needles with it, since I like a nice, thin coat of paint.  I have 2 sets of the #1s, and 2 sets of the #3s, along with 2 color cups.  When I get done with one color, I just dump the needle, cap, and cup into my relish jar of MEK in the ultrasonic cleaner and then put the second needle/cap/cup set on the airbrush to shoot the next color.  That set also goes in the jar and everything gets a thorough cleaning for about 30 minutes while I work on other stuff.  I bought an Iwata HP-CS last year, thinking I would really like it...its still practically brand new because it was a PITA using it, and I have never liked the concept of shooting a bunch of solvent into the air to flush it.  After using the H for so many years, I haven't run into a situation yet where I wished I had a different airbrush...it can do pretty much anything I need it to.  Working on the bare metal tail surfaces of my Tamiya F-4B project with it this weekend, and getting amazing results so far.  Its definitely my workhorse. Cool

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

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, January 9, 2022 1:12 PM

    Hmmm!

          I wish I could help! BUT! I packed up All my hobby Air Brush units and went back to my OLD De-Vilbiss Mk 1 and the Mk.4 commercial brushes I used years ago on actual Cars and Boats. They were definitely built to last! Both are over fifty years old! Based on what you've said, it sounds to this old engineer that you have a microscopic crack somewhere!.   

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, January 9, 2022 2:10 PM

Eaglecash867

 

 
oldermodelguy
Paasche H's are just about indestructable aren't they ? I use mine more than my Badger these days since shooting quite a lot of acrylics and enamels and after the loss of MM Metalizers. I bought it as a back up about 7-8 years ago while I upgraded my Badger 200 to the newer air caps and such..  The 200 was in need of a really good clean up after 40 years of use .  It's always good to have a back up imo. The Paasche H is a work horse, pretty inexpensive too. And it has hefty parts, large orifices etc. These days I keep the #3 tip on that and the .25 in the 200. My hands slip now and then as I'm aging, I've dropped that H on the floor twice now and it just keeps going. Not that I'm advocating doing such a thing mind you. If nothing else though, a guy could get an H and once everything is squared away with their other air brush or brushes, use the H for primers, heavy clears or whatever.

 

I use mine for everything now...had the same one for 35 years so far.  I usually use my #1 air caps and needles with it, since I like a nice, thin coat of paint.  I have 2 sets of the #1s, and 2 sets of the #3s, along with 2 color cups.  When I get done with one color, I just dump the needle, cap, and cup into my relish jar of MEK in the ultrasonic cleaner and then put the second needle/cap/cup set on the airbrush to shoot the next color.  That set also goes in the jar and everything gets a thorough cleaning for about 30 minutes while I work on other stuff.  I bought an Iwata HP-CS last year, thinking I would really like it...its still practically brand new because it was a PITA using it, and I have never liked the concept of shooting a bunch of solvent into the air to flush it.  After using the H for so many years, I haven't run into a situation yet where I wished I had a different airbrush...it can do pretty much anything I need it to.  Working on the bare metal tail surfaces of my Tamiya F-4B project with it this weekend, and getting amazing results so far.  Its definitely my workhorse. Cool

 

Ya, I used the #1 for a year straight. Then when I decided to stick mainly with the fine tip in the Badger, put the #3 back on ( I also have 2 #3 setups for it, they're cheap enough). But I found with the #3 I can still reduce flow to next to nothing if need be so now it's been about a year that way. Varnishing my wife's ceramics was another good use for that H with larger or multi bottles. I did that often with the #5 before she passed away on me back in Dec 2020. You're right though, very versatile airbrush. These days I most often use the metal side cup, actually in both the H and on the Badger. Except enamels on car bodies I use the glass jars/bottles.

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Monday, January 10, 2022 11:22 AM

If you decide to get rid of it, let me know.  I'd be willing to see what I can do with it, with no hard feeling if not fixable.

  • Member since
    May 2011
Posted by dazzjazz on Friday, January 14, 2022 10:46 PM

Well, I replaced the nozzle with a brand new one and it's still splattering paint everywhere. 
not sure what else to do, so it's time for a new airbrush. Will probably go H & S.

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