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My how to airbrush "Vallejo Model Air Color" instructional guide


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The other day, I posted on Plane Trading my entire Vallejo paint lot for sale as I am moving across the county. I mentioned that I had a fantastic thinner mixture to prevent tip dry. I had several modellers reach out to me regarding what that mixture is and how I get good results with Vallejo paints.

I should mention that I use to HATE Vallejo model air. When I first got them,  I tried their mixture formula for preventing tip dry from their videos, I tried several recommendations, etc. Nothing worked at all, after 15 secs tip dry. It was just so frustrating.  I got rid of them immediately the first time. But I live with roommates so eventually I decided to give them another try.

Vallejo has some good things going for it: very little to no smell, easily available, comes in sets you don't have to buy individual bottles ( i think they were the first major company to do this), and a fantastic range of colors. So I did some tests and found a mixture for airbrushing that is fantastic.

What you need:
-Vallejo thinner
-Vallejo flow improver
-Vallejo retarder

I use an empty vallejo 17 ml bottle for this. The mixture is 70% flow improver, 30% thinner, 10 drops of retarder. Then shake the hell out of the bottle.

For airbrushing I use 50/60 mixture to 50/40 paint at 18 to 20psi. THIS IS KEY! Add the thinner mixture into your airbrush first! It helps lube the airbrush needle. Also, a little goes a long way. For this example, I added in 6 drops mixture to 5 drops paint. I had so much paint leftover even after the sheet and the test piece.

As you can see from the pictures, I can get fine lines with no tip drying issues. I sprayed on that white sheet for about 5 mins no issues at all. Coverage is great...but you must use a primer. I added some pictures of old models airbrushes with Vallejo model air.


Hope this helps! If you have any questions, let me know.
Khumar

 

PS: couldn't add the images so I am linking back to my original article that includes pics:https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/hyperscale/my-how-to-airbrush-vallejo-model-air-color-instruc-t516417.html

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Thanks, I do basically the same, Just to clarify, the Vallejo retarder, is the really sticky goopy stuff? I have used thattoo, but I find using MIG's thinner works real well, bet it is exactly the formula you just mentioned...

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1 hour ago, Winnie said:

Thanks, I do basically the same, Just to clarify, the Vallejo retarder, is the really sticky goopy stuff? I have used thattoo, but I find using MIG's thinner works real well, bet it is exactly the formula you just mentioned...

Winnie

Yes, it is the really goopy vallejo retarder. I find Mig's thinner to be more expensive. Though I do agree, It's probably the same thing as Vallejo thinner. I read once that  Ammo and Vallejo paints are made in the same factory.

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1 hour ago, BraggPeak said:

There is a different airbrush retarder from the premium line, is there any difference with the old sticky retarder medium ?

Yep, the retarder I am using is different that the premium line. I think the small bottle I am using is the old sticky stuff. But I am not sure. 

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4 hours ago, FalconFan24 said:

Winnie

Yes, it is the really goopy vallejo retarder. I find Mig's thinner to be more expensive. Though I do agree, It's probably the same thing as Vallejo thinner. I read once that  Ammo and Vallejo paints are made in the same factory.

I believe they split up in Mig's nasty divorce... I agree about the cost, I got the large bottle of flow improver and have been using about half and half with thinner lately, but as soon as my next bottle is empty I'll make a batch like you say! Can't wait!

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5 hours ago, martin_sam_2000 said:

 I will for sure try this out. I love Vallejjo, but I have always had issues with the quality when airbrushing. Worth checking out.

 

Sean

Sean

 

Feel free to email me if you have any questions on airbrushing vallejo. 

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OK. I followed your instructions implicitly and they're brilliant. :thumbsup: I get very fine lines and full coverage without any tip drying. I have put the paint on thick or thin and I'm getting a very nice finish. Smooth & silky. I'm spraying at 20psi. Also I'm getting what I want with my Badger Anthem and not even using my Patriot. How you figured it out is beyond me but it works. :banana:

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So I made a bottle of "mix" but unfortunately I had to head back to work early and thus never had a chance to play! But I have "Mix" ready for the future. I shall now always refer to this blend as Mix.

 

Cheers!

Harald

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On 7/16/2020 at 5:35 PM, airmechaja said:

OK. I followed your instructions implicitly and they're brilliant. :thumbsup: I get very fine lines and full coverage without any tip drying. I have put the paint on thick or thin and I'm getting a very nice finish. Smooth & silky. I'm spraying at 20psi. Also I'm getting what I want with my Badger Anthem and not even using my Patriot. How you figured it out is beyond me but it works. :banana:

Glad I could help! Post your build pics.

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On 7/8/2020 at 7:52 PM, FalconFan24 said:

I read once that  Ammo and Vallejo paints are made in the same factory.

 

Ammo and Vallejo paints have never been made in the same factory, as Acrylicos Vallejo doesn't make products for any other brand.

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18 hours ago, Ade H said:

 

Ammo and Vallejo paints have never been made in the same factory, as Acrylicos Vallejo doesn't make products for any other brand.

Ade

 

From the article I read, my understanding is that Ammo and Vallejo paints are made by a producer for them and their brand. I would love to know if anyone has more information AK, Ammo, and Vallejo. I am curious what the situation is now for all these companies. Do they make their own paint or use a paint producer? I believe all 3 companies are from Spain. 

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That article must have been poorly researched. Acrylicos Vallejo has its own factory and it states that it does not sell products to be rebranded. It was started in the 1970s, then started making Model Color in 1992 (according to its FAQ). It is by all accounts (I work in the arts sector) a state-of-the-art facility. All of its paint products (art and modelling) are developed and made in-house.

 

I recall Mig Jimenez mentioning in a video (at some point in the last year or two) that Ammo's factory had been expanded considerably. However, it almost certainly does not make 100% of its own products: the One Shot primer, for example, states "made in USA" from which we can infer what it probably is. And if we want to speculate further, we can imagine that some of the recent non-paint products may be bought in, which would just make sound business sense. Even Tamiya does that.

 

Mig Jimenez was, as is stated on Ammo's website, involved in creating Mig Productions and AK Interactive before parting ways with AK to set up Ammo. There was also supposedly someone by the name of Vallejo who has or had something to do with AK but was by all accounts no relation to the founders of Acrylicos Vallejo. It's a common enough surname. It is this mix of facts, errors, and scuttlebutt which prompt people to think that they may all be inter-related companies. And I do wonder whether, if they were all U.S. or Japanese companies, people would form the same impression.

 

Edited by Ade H
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I tried this recipe and had some interesting results. Since I don't have the retarder medium (70.597), I replaced it with the retarder from the premium line and mixed with model air paint with 50/50 ratio at 20 psi as suggested

It works very well with my PS770 0.18mm airbrush, still have some tip dry, but the line is very fine and crispy. I usually remove the cap when doing the detail work, a damp cotton swap by the side is a easy fix. I guess I should increase the ratio of retarder to fully get rid of the tip dry ? Do I need to add a bit more thinner as well ?

I tried the same mix on PS289 0.3mm airbrush, however the result is not as good with lots of spattering. It seems like the paint is not thinned enough (I usually have paint vs thinner at 1:0.5, with this receipt paint vs thinner is roughly at 1:0.3).  Since the nozzle is larger I was actually expecting some improvements over the results with PS770, perhaps it has something to do with the design of cavity in the nozzle and how the airflow mixed with the paint within it.

 

Just some interesting findings I would like to share. Again thanks for sharing the receipt, at least I can use my PS770 with acrylic paint now.

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I just mix it with little Future and some drops of plain water.  Beware that the finish is somewhat glossy but its more resistance to scratches that just using  thinner.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 7/27/2020 at 3:38 PM, BraggPeak said:

I tried this recipe and had some interesting results. Since I don't have the retarder medium (70.597), I replaced it with the retarder from the premium line and mixed with model air paint with 50/50 ratio at 20 psi as suggested

It works very well with my PS770 0.18mm airbrush, still have some tip dry, but the line is very fine and crispy. I usually remove the cap when doing the detail work, a damp cotton swap by the side is a easy fix. I guess I should increase the ratio of retarder to fully get rid of the tip dry ? Do I need to add a bit more thinner as well ?

I tried the same mix on PS289 0.3mm airbrush, however the result is not as good with lots of spattering. It seems like the paint is not thinned enough (I usually have paint vs thinner at 1:0.5, with this receipt paint vs thinner is roughly at 1:0.3).  Since the nozzle is larger I was actually expecting some improvements over the results with PS770, perhaps it has something to do with the design of cavity in the nozzle and how the airflow mixed with the paint within it.

 

Just some interesting findings I would like to share. Again thanks for sharing the receipt, at least I can use my PS770 with acrylic paint now.

Bragg

 

I tried various mixtures using different thinners/retarders. I think your issue might be that Vallejo products are formulated to work with each other. The non-vallejo stuff might be good but may not be the best mixture. I tried the mixture using Vallejo thinner, liquitex flow improver, and flow aid. I was not getting the best results. I think you might need to try with the actual vallejo retarder. As far as .18mm and .3mm....not sure what to say there. I get great results from my airbrush .2mm and .4mm. 

 

Try the mixture with the vallejo retarder and let me know what happens. 

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So, I tried this out today..and it worked good.

 

 In the end, I found your ratio of paint to thinner a little off..I ended up going  70/30 or 80/20 paint to mixture to get enough colour coverage, but the paint went down nice and level and there was no splattering or build up on the airbrush tip.

 

 overall, thumbs up!!

 

 Sean

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On 8/16/2020 at 7:54 PM, martin_sam_2000 said:

So, I tried this out today..and it worked good.

 

 In the end, I found your ratio of paint to thinner a little off..I ended up going  70/30 or 80/20 paint to mixture to get enough colour coverage, but the paint went down nice and level and there was no splattering or build up on the airbrush tip.

 

 overall, thumbs up!!

 

 Sean

Sean

Glad you liked it overall. I think I mentioned I use a 50/50 or 60/40 mix because of the weather here in VA. I noticed in the summer I need a watery mixture to airbrush smoothly.  I noticed your profile says you are located in Canada. During winter here I noticed I didn't need as much thinner to paint. I am curious if other modelers are noticing the same thing or not.

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