Vallejo Model Air

bobwallison
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Vallejo Model Air

Postby bobwallison » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:02 pm

Now that I have finally got round to using the airbrush I bought many years ago, attention is turning to the fleet of kit- and scratch-built wagons for my BR layout set in 1964 +/- 3 years.

Has anyone used Vallejo Model Air for painting rolling stock and can they recommend colour matches for:-
BR unfitted wagon grey (pre and post 1964 when the shade changed)
BR fitted wagon bauxite
any other BR colours of the same period that may be useful.

I have reviewed Vallejo's colour charts, of course, but I know from my track painting trials that they can be misleading when viewed on a PC monitor.

Thanks in advance,
Bob

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Guy Rixon » Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:32 pm

I've used Vallejo Model Air several times unsuccessfully and once with moderate success. It's a rather dense paint and my airbrush doesn't like it neat; it spits and clogs, even at higher pressure than I'd normally use for acrylics. I had better results with a mix of eight parts paint to two parts Vallejo thinners and two parts Vallejo flow improver.

bobwallison
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby bobwallison » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:39 am

Thanks for the warning Guy.

nigelcliffe
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby nigelcliffe » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:22 am

Conversely, I (and several others I know) use Vallejo Model Air paints as our default choice. Works fine, doesn't clog up.

In my case I'm spraying very small amounts - a few drops into the top of an air brush. There is a Vallejo chemical to improve flow which I use if spraying 10 drops or more of paint. Clean out immediately with water, and then clean with acrylic cleaner, brush is dismantled for cleaning at end of session (cleaned with water in ultrasonic bath, because I have a cheap ultrasonic bath for cleaning up after soldering).


- Nigel

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JackBlack
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby JackBlack » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:24 am

I like Vallejo paints, I don't differentiate really between Air and the normal paint, you need to thin both of them. The big problem with acrylic paint is that it dries quickly and so will dry on the end of your airbrush needle and clog the brush. It took me a while to get used to this and it can be really frustrating. You need to use a retarder medium, and Vallejo Flow Improver is very good for that. I like my paint to be applied very thin, low pressure and not at all opaque, I normally thin about 50% and I thin with a mixture of Vallejo Airbrush Thinner and Flow Improver, so for example 8 drops of paint, four drops of airbrush thinner and four drops of flow improver. But the best thing is to practice and practice and practice and you'll find a way that works for you.

With regard to the colours, I only have matches for GWR colours, but I'm sure someone else will have found matches for the colours you want, maybe have a look over at RMWeb.

Hope that helps! Nick

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Penrhos1920
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Penrhos1920 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:27 am

Nick, I’d be interested in your GWR equivalents please.

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Mike Garwood » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:33 am

You might find this useful.

Mike

VMA-to-Hum paint list.jpg
Paint list

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LesGros
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby LesGros » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:51 am

Mike,
Could you post a link to the original location of the paint list please.
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Mike Garwood » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:07 pm

Les

This isn't the list off RM web that I found years ago - I can't find that. But this list from the Humbrol site may be just as useful.

https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/media/ ... lChart.pdf

https://scaleworld.webs.com/Colour%20Ch ... /Hum-V.png

- this is the original chart I found

Mike
(edited to add)
Last edited by Mike Garwood on Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JackBlack
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby JackBlack » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:12 pm

Penrhos1920 wrote:Nick, I’d be interested in your GWR equivalents please.


There's a topic here where it's discussed and a link to a spreadsheet to download: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/108209-gwr-1927-non-corridor-bow-end-stock/page/5/.

I've only tried the loco green, and I used Vallejo 71.022 Hellgrun slightly darkened with a couple of drops of black, and I've been very happy with the result. I have been discussing this with another S4 member and he's recommending 71.324 BS Dark Green as well.

I spray over Halfords grey primer with some areas shaded darker and some areas shaded lighter, to introduce some variation in the colour.

I've not tried the others, so I would be interested to know results. The great think about Vallejo paints is that it's easy to mix fairly accurately with those dropper bottles.

Cheers, Nick

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JackBlack
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby JackBlack » Wed Jan 13, 2021 12:15 pm

Mike Garwood wrote:Les

This isn't the list off RM web that I found years ago - I can't find that. But this list from the Humbrol site may be just as useful.

https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/media/ ... lChart.pdf

Mike


There's a full list of available Vallejo colours here: https://acrylicosvallejo.com/en/hobby-color-charts/.

They do make some railway colours actually. I wonder if they could be persuaded to do some UK railway colours if enough people hassled them about it!

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Guy Rixon » Wed Jan 13, 2021 1:57 pm

Discussing the mechanics of acrylic paint with my wife, who paints pictures in acrylics, it turns out that there are two modifiers in play. Retarders slow the drying time, and flow improvers reduce the surface tension. They are different chemicals and sometimes sold separately.

I speculate that Vallejo paint thinned with water sometimes has problems in an airbrush because of the surface tension fighting the needle valve; the flow improver fixes this. It's a separate problem to the paint drying in the nozzle, and in my experience can happen from the start of spraying, before the paint has time to dry. Alchohol-thinned acrylics don't seem to have the surface-tension problem.

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JackBlack
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby JackBlack » Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:11 pm

According to Vallejo about the flow improver: "Airbrush Flow Improver is a medium to improve the flow & delay the drying of paint on the needle. We recommend adding 1-2 drops Flow Improver to 10 drops of paint in the cup of the airbrush."

I used to use Golden Airbrush Medium as a retarder for acrylic paint, which I don't need anymore. But having said that I've never been able to get the same flow and long drying time that you get with enamels. I guess it's a trade-off between the smell and clean-up of enamels and the inconvenience of the different additives and practice needed to get comfortable with acrylics.

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CDGFife
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby CDGFife » Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:30 pm

I'm with Nigel here. I use Vallejo Model Air straight from the bottle in loads of cases. Just today I was weathering some track with their US Earth Brown. Sometimes I need to add a drop of "thinner" (see below) into an airbrush cup full but up to 15 drops I never bother, and to me it seems temperature sensitive. I've never had spitting from it but occasionally (particularly in the colder months) the flow does not feel quite as free so I add a drop or two of the thinner then. Using an Iwata Revolution CR with (from memory) a 0.5mm needle at no more than 20 psi and as low as 10psi.

My "thinner" is the home brew stuff made up in 1L batches of 1/3 IPA, 2/3 STILL mineral water (Lidl's at present!) and a few drops each of Windsor & Newton Flow Improver and Fluid Retarder. I also use this thinner when brush painting craft acrylics (landform etc) and to clean up everything except the airbrush. For that I have a bottle of Medea airbrush cleaner and as a matter of habit blow a cup full of that through the airbrush after every paint change and before a full cup refill.

I've used Model Air Bronze Green 71.250 for SR Maunsell Loco green regularly. It does go on matt and is very flat but I do get a nice even coat. Once varnished it looks fine and even better when "metalled up" sprayed with a mix of AlcladII Transparent Medium with a touch of their Gunmetal mixed in (in place of the varnish coat).

Personally I like the short drying time of acrylics, not least because there's less time for me to have to remember I've just painted it and therefore not pick it up whilst wet! ;)

I'd also be interested to see anyone else's stock colour matches.

Cheers

Chris

bobwallison
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby bobwallison » Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:51 pm

Plenty to chew on there so thankyou everyone, especially to Mike for the comparison charts.

ScottW
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby ScottW » Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:28 pm

I've never used acrylic paint in my airbrush but I'm very interested by some of the comments posted here and tempted to have a go. One thing I would like to know is what people use to clean their airbrush with after putting acrylic paint through it?

Scott

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby grovenor-2685 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:35 pm

Chris explained that in some detail just 2 posts back. :)
Regards
Keith
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Paul Willis
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Jan 30, 2021 8:46 am

grovenor-2685 wrote:Chris explained that in some detail just 2 posts back. :)


Keith,

I'm not a user of acrylics myself, yet I suspect that the old adage also applies: "A 5 litre can of cellulose thinners cures many ills"...

;-)
Paul
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Will L
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Will L » Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:40 am

Paul Willis wrote:
grovenor-2685 wrote:Chris explained that in some detail just 2 posts back. :)


Keith,

I'm not a user of acrylics myself, yet I suspect that the old adage also applies: "A 5 litre can of cellulose thinners cures many ills"...

;-)
Paul

Possibly including any remaining symptoms of life in it owner?

Philip Hall
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Philip Hall » Sat Jan 30, 2021 11:00 am

Well said, Will. A very long time ago, I tried acrylics, thinned with water, through an airbrush. It clogged eventually so I went to clean it out and tried a number of things but the only thing that touched it, and even then not very well, was some stuff called ‘Spray Away’. Halfway through the process I began to have breathing problems. I hadn’t had a window open because the paint was being thinned with water, and started the cleaning still with the window shut - hadn’t given it a thought. I then discovered that this evil stuff contained Xylene...

Despite treatment, the problem stayed with me for about ten years and still returns occasionally, and as a result I now always carry an inhaler. I haven’t used an airbrush since and only use spray cans out in the garden and open windows whenever I use something smelly. I think I was very lucky.

Philip

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CDGFife
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby CDGFife » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:15 pm

As I said in the earlier post, I use Medea Airbrush Cleaner between every fill of the airbrush paint pot - 1/3 of the paint pot quantity just sprayed through. I also use this to clean out the airbrush at the end of a spraying session.

I also have small spray can of water based Premi-Air Foaming Airbrush Cleaner which I use when giving the airbrush a "service clean" around every couple of months or more frequently depending on how much use it's had.

For use in-extremis I have some Premi-Air Liquid Reamer. This is nasty stuff with Xylene in it and it definitely needs ventilation. In 10 years I have probably had to resort to it three times to clear dried in paint. One of those was when the door went just as I'd finished some enamel spraying and I clean forgot about cleaning the airbrush and only realised about 2 weeks later when I came to do some spraying and found the paint cup with a small amount of dried enamel still in the bottom! Unbelievably after a night spent with the parts soaking in this stuff the airbrush is still going strong several years later. I was well pleased as I'd expected to be ordering a new airbrush!

To pick up on Phil's post - it's actually a good idea to have ventilation in place even when spraying with water-based paint as although less harmful than xylene, or I suspect thinned enamels, airborne acrylic paint (even diluted with much water) could still do much damage if copiously inhaled.

Cheers

Chris

ScottW
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby ScottW » Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:08 pm

grovenor-2685 wrote:Chris explained that in some detail just 2 posts back. :)


Either my memory has deteriorated quite significantly during lockdown or, more likely, I should have read the post properly. :|

But thanks for a more detailed explanation, Chris.

Scott

Carlos
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Re: Vallejo Model Air

Postby Carlos » Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:47 pm

I haven't hold an airbrush for more than 16 years now, but I successfully used Vallejo Air since the day they introduced it. It was for plastic modelling, and I never used water to dilute, since the paint coat is less strong and got easily scratched. Both Model Color and Air thinners worked well, and usually just a bit was needed with Air (and half a tonne with Model Color).

As for cleaning, I always used water, liters of it, after each application or refill. I had a jam pot with a couple of holes on the cap, to spray the cleaning water with paint residue. After every painting session, I always disassembled the airbrush and mechanically cleaned it up with some very small, conical tooth brushes. I know, the hard way, that alcohols "clean" very well Vallejo acrylics when dried, so this may be another option.


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