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AK Interactive Air Series paints


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Apologies if this has been already discussed but I've searched the forum and nothing specific came up.

 

I've got three sets of AK Interactive Air Series paints (US Modern Aircraft 1, RAF Camouflages and Luftwaffe Camouflages).  My first attempt at using the US Modern Aircraft set was not successful so straight away I thought they were terrible.  Normally if using Tamiya acrylics I thin with either X-20A or Isopropyl Alcohol with a bit of Retarder.  I tried all my thinners of IPA, X-20A, Turpentine and even AK's own Acrylic thinners.  Nothing worked as I couldn't get a good continuous, smooth flow.  Even AK's own thinners would only work for a bit and then clog up again.  Spraying neat from the bottle again worked so far at high pressure of 30-35psi which was ok for general spraying but not good for close in detail spraying.  All that aside, I may have just found the silver bullet.  If this helps anyone great, if not oh well.  The silver bullet seems to be Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner.  Yes a cleaner, not a thinner!!!  I have just used it to do some tidy up work on my current Super Hornet project and it worked a treat.  Cleaned the airbrush out too once I had finished spraying...funny that!

 

If anyone else has had this same experience with AK's Air Series and has another thinning or spraying method, please comment as other forums seem to comment on similar issues with other labels of AK paints.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Taylor

 

Sorry to hear about your issues with AK paint. I switched over to AK a short while ago and have the Modern Aircraft set.  Here are some steps that might help resolve the issue. These solutions apply to Ammo of Mig acrylic paints and Vallejo Model Air Acrylics as well. 

 

1) Shake the bottle vigorously!  If the paint is not properly mixed, it will not spray well. I purchased the bottle of steel paint ball stirs that you can add into AK bottles, Ammo bottles, and Vallejo bottles. This helps shake and mix the paint. 

(Another thing that really helps to mix the AK paints is the automatic paint mixer by Badger Airbrush. This is the best tool for mixing AK, Ammo, or Vallejo paint)

2) The paints in the Modern Aircraft set are meant to be airbrushed. So they are pre-thinned. Start off at 20 psi and see how that works. (After making damn sure the paints are mixed)

3) Now if things are not working, add in a drop or two of thinner. At this point back flush your airbrush (Let me know if you don't know what back flushing is). You want to see bubbles like those in chocolate milk. Once you see that you can increase pressure a bit to get fine lines, decrease pressure to get soft paint coverage and build it up. 

4) AK paints really work best around 15 to 25 psi range. If you're having to go up to 30 psi...something is wrong. 

5) Ensure your airbrush is clean and working properly. Use water with some food coloring and see how the spray pattern looks at 20psi. 

6)DO NOT use non AK thinner with AK paints. I also recommend getting the paint retarder as AK paints dry on the tip very very quickly.

 

 

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10 hours ago, FalconFan24 said:

Taylor

 

Sorry to hear about your issues with AK paint. I switched over to AK a short while ago and have the Modern Aircraft set.  Here are some steps that might help resolve the issue. These solutions apply to Ammo of Mig acrylic paints and Vallejo Model Air Acrylics as well. 

 

1) Shake the bottle vigorously!  If the paint is not properly mixed, it will not spray well. I purchased the bottle of steel paint ball stirs that you can add into AK bottles, Ammo bottles, and Vallejo bottles. This helps shake and mix the paint. 

(Another thing that really helps to mix the AK paints is the automatic paint mixer by Badger Airbrush. This is the best tool for mixing AK, Ammo, or Vallejo paint)

2) The paints in the Modern Aircraft set are meant to be airbrushed. So they are pre-thinned. Start off at 20 psi and see how that works. (After making damn sure the paints are mixed)

3) Now if things are not working, add in a drop or two of thinner. At this point back flush your airbrush (Let me know if you don't know what back flushing is). You want to see bubbles like those in chocolate milk. Once you see that you can increase pressure a bit to get fine lines, decrease pressure to get soft paint coverage and build it up. 

4) AK paints really work best around 15 to 25 psi range. If you're having to go up to 30 psi...something is wrong. 

5) Ensure your airbrush is clean and working properly. Use water with some food coloring and see how the spray pattern looks at 20psi. 

6)DO NOT use non AK thinner with AK paints. I also recommend getting the paint retarder as AK paints dry on the tip very very quickly.

 

 

 

Thanks for the info on the AK paints.  I suspect that perhaps I hadn’t mixed the paint properly as I’ve gad the set for a while therefore it had probably settled too much.  At the time my airbrush had just been cleaned out.  My usual and preferable spraying pressure is around 15-20psi so it would be nice to be able to spray AK at that pressure.

Funny you mention the badger mixing tool.  I do have one but have never used it.  Perhaps it’s time to dust it off and stick a battery in it. 

 

Thanks for the help.

Andrew

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Arachiac

 

Hopefully my recommendations were useful and you are able to spray the paints easily. One recommendation I forgot to add in: Get yourself a bottle of Vallejo paint flow improver. This thing is worth its weight in gold for both Vallejo, AK, and Ammo paints. Since all three manufactures use the same paint ingredients, it works well with those brands. A drop or two, and you won't need the thinner or retarder. It is now my primary go to when I want to airbrush. I will post pictures later of how effective it is. 

 

Khumar

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31 minutes ago, FalconFan24 said:

Arachiac

 

Hopefully my recommendations were useful and you are able to spray the paints easily. One recommendation I forgot to add in: Get yourself a bottle of Vallejo paint flow improver. This thing is worth its weight in gold for both Vallejo, AK, and Ammo paints. Since all three manufactures use the same paint ingredients, it works well with those brands. A drop or two, and you won't need the thinner or retarder. It is now my primary go to when I want to airbrush. I will post pictures later of how effective it is. 

 

Khumar

 

I haven’t had chance to try out any of your suggestions yet but the Vallejo fliw improver sounds like a good option.  I wondered if there was a commonality between Vallejo and AK when I tried the Vallejo airbrush cleaner in the AK paint.  It cleaned the paint right out.

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I have found that a couple drops of Vallejo's flow improver and a couple drops of water works wonders for spraying Vallejo and AK paints. Maybe more flow improver than water but those two ingredients I have found to be essential for smooth spraying. I can spray with as little as 8-12 psi with that mix. 

 

IPA, Tamiya thinners, lacquers, etc.  are too "hot" for those paints and tend to "curdle" the paint rather than thin it. 

 

Hope this helps. 

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I had the same problem spraying AK and Mig colors, even after adding flow improver to the mix, so I moved back to enamels (Model Master) and lacquers (Mr Hobby).
 

One more thing: In my very personal opinion,  Mig and AK colors are way off, specially the ones trying to replicate USAF and Navy modern colors. To me, they are great for those  pretty and overpriced European modelling magazines.

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