Vallejo Thinner and Model Color question


cut. glue. paint. repeat.
May 24, 2009
I've been happily using Vallejos Model Color paints for a few years now. In the past I've used the milky white thinner with MC, and had very good results - the main issue was the tip of my airbrush would dry, and need to frequently be cleaned. I've read that the tip dry issue is less pronounced with the new clear thinner.

Until this morning I've never tried the newer clear Vallejo airbrush thinner with Model Color - and thought I would give it a go.

Turned out to be a complete horror show; paint runs, dry spatter, paint coverage issues, flow and then airbrush upchuck. The dry spatter was by far the worst symptom.

I did try it with two colours (medium grey, and sand); I thought the issues might have been pigment related. I tried a variety of paint to thinner ratios (started at 1:2, ended up at 1:4). At the lower ratio (1:2) I ran more pressure, maybe 25 psi - at the higher ratio (1:4) I was running about 15 psi. Each time I mixed the paint and thinner together by first dropping the thinner in the airbrush cup, then the paint, Finally I used a back flush of air to mix the thinner and the paint for 45 seconds(isn).

I believe I'm doing something wrong here, but I'm not sure what. I can salvage the model with some gentle, gentle spot sanding, and reverting back to my old stand by milky white thinner. As I think it's an operator error, I'm looking for comments, feed back and advice.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
With the new thinner, thinning Model Color, I start with 3 parts thinner to 1 part paint, and go from there.

Some colors need a slight more thinned (any with heavy pigments), but 3to1 thinner to paint is a good start. Air pressure normal about 15-20psi.

Has never given me a problem using it this way, but I have been using more and more of the Vallejo air when airbrush, just simple drop it in your airbrush and go.

As well, if you are mixing in your airbrush, put your thinner in first, that way the thick paint isn't sitting down on the tip of your needle, which will never get mixed, and clog up your AB. I generally go thinner, then paint, and then back flush to mix.
I had similar experiences. I now have an old brush that I use to thoroughly "mix" the paint/thinner once it's in the paint cup. I usually add thinner first, then paint. I don't measure ratios, but I would bet it's on pay with Elm Street's advice, 3-1.

I've also found that adding Future or Golden Airbrush Medium helps as well, particularly for fine lines.
Thanks for the advice, I'll give it another try when my modeling mojo returns.

Oh wow i just posted a similar problem to this, but im still using the old white thinner and game color. I was trying a 50/50 mix but im total newb and paint mixing. Thanks for the advice maybe it'll help me too.

Good luck.


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