Author Topic: I really want to like Vallejo paints  (Read 8882 times)

Offline f2k

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #15 on: Tue Feb, 23, 2016, 02:55:PM »
I've had much the same issues with Vallejo paints.

For example, I've lately been painting some Ultramarines for Epic 40.000. And I pretty much have to take my airbrush completely apart and run it though my ultrasonic cleaner after every cup of Ultramarine paint.

Doesn't seem to matter much what pressure I use or how much I thin the paint, it still clogs the nozzle within seconds.

I started by thinning the paint with distilled water. Lately I've been experimenting with adding flow aid and drying retarder agents as well. The drying retarder in particular seems to help with the buildup of paint on the needle and within the nozzle.

Still clogs before I can get through a single cup though...  :'(

I'm wondering if it's not just down to the varying thickness of each paint (sometimes even from bottle to bottle), but also somehow tied to the size of the pigment in the paint. I've noticed that some paints are much worse than others in this regard.


Which line of paint? Model Color and Game Color while can be thinned to be airbrushed, there is no hard and fast rule as to how much to thin them as each bottle of paint has a different consistency due to the amount of pigments needed to be used to create the color.

Model Air, or Game Air, they are all pretty much the same from bottle to bottle as they are designed from the outset to be airbrushed.

If you have to use a color from the Model Color or Game Color range, I suggest a starting thinning ratio of 5 parts thinner to 1 part paint, and go from there.

As far as distilled water goes, ditch it. Cheap yes, but will give you nothing but problems. Use the thinner designed for the paint (which there is a picture above) and your airbrushing sessions will be more enjoyable.

Sorry... Me bad... Should have mentioned that it's Vallejo Model Color.

I've started buying some Model Air paints, hoping that it will make it easier to do a proper job on my FoW Germans.

As for thinner... Well... Truth to be told, I'm not convinced. The few times I've tried it, it didn't seem to be much better at keeping the paint from clogging the nozzle than distilled water. And it's WAY more expensive.

Might have to give it another shot though, 'cause this is driving me quite insane.  :'(

Last night I gave it another shot - I need those Ultramarines painted... Well... Ultramarine...

The Ultramarine paint was really thick. And I do mean REALLY thick. Almost like the consistency of a heavy duty wall paint.

I added quite a bit of water, trying to thin it down. Then a few drops of retarder to stop it from drying too quickly. And yet, the nozzle started clogging almost immediately.

It was really obvious how less and less paint was coming through. And the spray-cone got smaller and smaller. In the end, I had to hold my airbrush within half an inch of the models in order to get any kind of paint on them.

After half a cup I was forced to stop, empty the cup, and take the whole thing apart.

Interestingly enough, the tip wasn't that bad. But the inside of the nozzle was full of really thick blue gunk, as was the channel leading up to the cup as well as the edge around the area where the air comes through. There must have been a fair bit of back-pressure from the nozzle, because I had blue paint, already starting to dry, all the way up to the trigger.

I got to spray for less than five minutes, but it took me almost half an hour stripping the airbrush down and getting the paint out of it.

It's as if the paint starts drying really quickly and then adheres to the the airbrush, quickly building up and clogging the nozzle. Because the gunk in the nozzle was quite a bit thicker than what I had in the cup.

Offline Elm City Hobbies

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #16 on: Tue Feb, 23, 2016, 11:43:PM »
I've had much the same issues with Vallejo paints.

For example, I've lately been painting some Ultramarines for Epic 40.000. And I pretty much have to take my airbrush completely apart and run it though my ultrasonic cleaner after every cup of Ultramarine paint.

Doesn't seem to matter much what pressure I use or how much I thin the paint, it still clogs the nozzle within seconds.

I started by thinning the paint with distilled water. Lately I've been experimenting with adding flow aid and drying retarder agents as well. The drying retarder in particular seems to help with the buildup of paint on the needle and within the nozzle.

Still clogs before I can get through a single cup though...  :'(

I'm wondering if it's not just down to the varying thickness of each paint (sometimes even from bottle to bottle), but also somehow tied to the size of the pigment in the paint. I've noticed that some paints are much worse than others in this regard.


Which line of paint? Model Color and Game Color while can be thinned to be airbrushed, there is no hard and fast rule as to how much to thin them as each bottle of paint has a different consistency due to the amount of pigments needed to be used to create the color.

Model Air, or Game Air, they are all pretty much the same from bottle to bottle as they are designed from the outset to be airbrushed.

If you have to use a color from the Model Color or Game Color range, I suggest a starting thinning ratio of 5 parts thinner to 1 part paint, and go from there.

As far as distilled water goes, ditch it. Cheap yes, but will give you nothing but problems. Use the thinner designed for the paint (which there is a picture above) and your airbrushing sessions will be more enjoyable.

Sorry... Me bad... Should have mentioned that it's Vallejo Model Color.

I've started buying some Model Air paints, hoping that it will make it easier to do a proper job on my FoW Germans.

As for thinner... Well... Truth to be told, I'm not convinced. The few times I've tried it, it didn't seem to be much better at keeping the paint from clogging the nozzle than distilled water. And it's WAY more expensive.

Might have to give it another shot though, 'cause this is driving me quite insane.  :'(

Last night I gave it another shot - I need those Ultramarines painted... Well... Ultramarine...

The Ultramarine paint was really thick. And I do mean REALLY thick. Almost like the consistency of a heavy duty wall paint.

I added quite a bit of water, trying to thin it down. Then a few drops of retarder to stop it from drying too quickly. And yet, the nozzle started clogging almost immediately.

It was really obvious how less and less paint was coming through. And the spray-cone got smaller and smaller. In the end, I had to hold my airbrush within half an inch of the models in order to get any kind of paint on them.

After half a cup I was forced to stop, empty the cup, and take the whole thing apart.

Interestingly enough, the tip wasn't that bad. But the inside of the nozzle was full of really thick blue gunk, as was the channel leading up to the cup as well as the edge around the area where the air comes through. There must have been a fair bit of back-pressure from the nozzle, because I had blue paint, already starting to dry, all the way up to the trigger.

I got to spray for less than five minutes, but it took me almost half an hour stripping the airbrush down and getting the paint out of it.

It's as if the paint starts drying really quickly and then adheres to the the airbrush, quickly building up and clogging the nozzle. Because the gunk in the nozzle was quite a bit thicker than what I had in the cup.

Yeah, it is because of the distilled water. It just doesn't have the ability to break the paint down properly to be able to atomize it to spray. With water, you are literally just diluting the paint, rather than thinning the paint. That may seem like semantics, but chemically, the airbrush thinner will mix with and break the paint down, so it sprays better than water that just dilutes the mixture. The AB thinner also has retarder in it to keep the paint from drying on the needle as much.

You probably won't find an Ultramarine color in the Model Air line, but would probably find something close enough. The Game Air line I believe either has a normal color that is ultramarine, or an ultramarine primer, for some reason I believe it is the latter as they added 2 new colors to the primer line when they released the Game Air line, that and silver I believe. Just too lazy to go check the catalog.

Offline JMac

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #17 on: Wed Feb, 24, 2016, 03:05:PM »
I've been using Vallejo Model Colours and Model Air paints exclusively for about 5 or 6 years now. I'm allergic to Tamiya paints, and since I share my modelling space with my families rec room, the "no smell" nature of Vallejos paints worked out perfect.

They do have a bit of a learning curve; but just to echo some of the advice that works for me (most of these points have already been mentioned by ECH, who gave me a ton of support when I first started out with VMC and VMA) - and the list below is in no particular order;

1. Use Vallejos thinners, (at least until you can get it spraying to your satisfaction). I thin all of my Vallejo paints using Vallejos thinners only. The ratio I use is 3 thinner : 1 Model Colour. For Model Air I use it straight out of the bottle, or slightly thinned, say 1 thinner: 4 or 5 paint.

2. Paint using low pressure (under 15 psi or 1 Bar). I usually set my regulator just under 15 psi.  As mentioned earlier in the thread, some of the colours will have more or less viscosity when thinned, so I slightly bump up or down the pressure (usually down). I've never gone lower than say 10 psi. By keeping the thinning ratio the same and adjusting only the pressure I find I'm limiting the number of variables I need to worry about.

3. Light coats. Build up colours slowly on the surface. Wet coats will give you grief.

4. Allow for at least 24 hours to dry/cure. I typically wait 48 hrs before masking the next colour. That being said I will typically remove masking as soon as I possibly can, seems to reduce the chance of tearing.

5. Make sure your paint is really well mixed / agitated.

6. Make sure your surfaces are clean, free of dust / oils and have been primed prior to painting. Give your primer enough time to dry or cure. If anything is going to ruin my paint finishes it's that I sometimes cut corners and rush the pre-paint prep and clean work.

7. I usually keep a saliva moist cotton bud in my mouth while painting, if the needle starts to get some dry paint build up on it I clean it right away. In the case of my JU 88, I could almost paint an entire wing a single colour before having to clean the needle;



8. If some paint does tear upon removing a mask, let it sit until fully cured (wait a couple days at least), then DRY sand the affected area with a very fine grit sanding stick and light pressure to feather the edges. when you're satisfied re-paint just that local spot.

Finally, I found the following video by Scratchmod very helpful;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RA4fWXm5cIs

I'm a fan of these great paints, but in the end you have to go with what works for you...

Jason
« Last Edit: Wed Feb, 24, 2016, 03:15:PM by JMac »

Offline Ken Abrams

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #18 on: Thu Feb, 25, 2016, 01:56:PM »
I made this video for a person on a facebook group but it will work here as well, just ignore the names etc.

I show how I spray Model Color with their Airbrush Thinner with no problems whatsoever.


 
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Offline Julien

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #19 on: Fri Feb, 26, 2016, 03:18:AM »
Agreed with everything that was said, but I would add :

- Add a few drops of paint retarder and flow improver with the Vallejo thinner. I rarely have a dry-tip since I started doing that.

- If you need to mask your model/figure, best to do a clear coat first, that will prevent the paint from peeling up...

- Sometimes, a bit of dried paint can goes through in you airbrush, that will cause your ab to clog directly, so be careful...

- Nothing wrong with preferring tamiya paint. They do airbrush nicely and smoothly. The only drawbacks are that they are lacquer-based, so be careful when using them, and you can't use them for brush work...

Offline Cave_Dweller

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #20 on: Mon Mar, 14, 2016, 10:37:AM »
I do like the finish of Vallejo paints, but they have given me a lot of troubles too recently.  To the point where I don't want to use them.

1. Tearing off of primered surfaces when I mask.  I use automotive primer, which usually works great, but sometimes when I do a mask, the tape will tear the vallejo paint beneath it.  Maybe I need longer curing time for the paint?  I usually give it 12 hrs or so.  24 hrs?  48 hrs?

2. EXTREME problems with paint drying in the needle.  Like, constantly, infuriatingly fast tip drying.  I've tried vallejo thinner, purified water, nothing really helps.  This paint just dries too fast to work with sometimes.  I have to keep a toothbrush handy to constantly clean off the paint that oozes out around the tip of the needle  I've found that I can't use the pre-thinned vallejo air without adding additional thinner, or it will clog my brush every single time.

Also, using this paint seems to require a full brush breakdown if I'm using a lot of the paint, say more than 2 cup fulls.  I won't be able to reliably switch to another color without cleaning my brush thoroughly.

What airpressure are you running? The Vallejo thinner has some retarder/flow improver in it, but they also make a flow improver for adding to the paint to keep it from drying.

For the Model Air paints, I add a touch of thinner (maybe 1 drop of thinner to 5 drops of paint), not so much to thin it, but the thinner breaks the surface tension of the paint, and helps it flow much better.

12hrs, not enough cure time. 24-48hrs is better.

I don't have an issue switching colors, dump and clean what is left of paint in the cup, and run AB cleaner through until it is mostly running clear. Put in new color and go. Can do a color change in about 30secs usually.

I rarely ever break my airbrush down to fully clean it, unless I am using Vallejo Primer, and you almost have to. End of the day or the week, I might take out the needle and take the nozzle off and run a brush through it soaked in AB Cleaner. Only time I have broken it down more than that was to change the needle seal.

I usually run around 30 PSI +/- 5.  Any lower and I get spattering problems.  I recently got some vallejo retarder/flow improver and it does seem to help.  I'm just frustrated that the paint specifically formulated for airbrushes still requires additives to be usable.

Offline LrdSatyr8

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #21 on: Mon Mar, 14, 2016, 05:04:PM »
I just got my first real metal airbrush set with compressor.  I've been using the old Testor's airbrush (with variable tips) and box compressor, but really wanted something that would last longer.  I keep seeing all these work benches with basically an entire supply of paints on prebuilt shelves and want some of my own.  I too have been debating on Tamiya, Vallejo and Aztec paints.  The set I got came with 10 bottles of Master Airbrush paints in the primary colors.  They appear to be water based and I'll probably play around with them a bit to get the hang of these new brushes before committing to anything more permanent.  Am working on building a spray booth out of foam board right now in prep for my Falcon painting.  But I really appreciate all the information here... am adding this info to my references for sure!
I'm almost back to full capacity... still waiting on parts  to be delivered!

Offline sunsanvil

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #22 on: Thu Mar, 17, 2016, 08:22:AM »
- Sometimes, a bit of dried paint can goes through in you airbrush, that will cause your ab to clog directly, so be careful...

This.  So very much this.

Like most of us here I've been using, and helping others use, the entire Vallejo line for about a decade now... and out of that experience I would say that better than 9 in 10 complaints related to airbrushing issues are not the thinning, not the pressure, not the alignment of planets, but rather a simple (but TINY) lump of pigment plugging up the paint tip.  I mean, come on folks: this is a vinylic formula paint which we are sucking through an opening about 0.03mm2 (based on a .2mm nozzle....wide open mind you... most of the time the aperture is considerably smaller still).  All it takes is the smallest of clumps and you think you have a thinning issue, or a pressure issue, etc.   Certain colors in particular (and pigments thereof) will be worse in this regard that others, and the eye drop dispenser, genius as it is, tends to acquire dried bits in and on it which find their way into the airbrush if care is not taken.

Simply stated, you need to make dam sure the contents of that bottle are homogenized, and that eye dropper is spotless, before loading the AB.   And if you DO run into a clog, just start over.  And I don't mean dump it out, flush it, and load it again...that will just land you in the same situation (as where there is one lump...there is bound to be others).  You need to dump, flush.... and sake the living heck out of that bottle....better still get a BB, or even an old airbrush needle, into that paint bottle and really make sure its broken up...and while the eyedropper is off, why not hold it under a running tap of hot water (you'll be amazed at how clean that will get it).  Then and only then reload your airbrush and try again.

Offline the Baron

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Re: I really want to like Vallejo paints
« Reply #23 on: Thu Mar, 17, 2016, 09:39:AM »

Honestly, instead of monkeying around with a bunch of other thinner types, go buy a bottle of the stuff that is designed to work with the paint....


That's an excellent piece of general advice.  I learned this through trial and error, working with Tamiya acrylics.  I started out by indulging my Dutchy senses, trying to save money, and using substitutes for Tamiya's proprietary thinner.  Water, isopropyl--neither worked well.  Paint clumped, it didn't dry or cure properly, so new coats lifted the previous coats.

I finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a bottle of their thinner, and when I did, I wished I had years before.  I finally got the results I saw in the magazines and online, whether airbrushing or applying the paint by hand.

So, if I were to start using another maker's product, I would first try all of the components, and then look for alternatives, if I couldn't get something to work.
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