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Help me getting a smooth surface with airbrush...!


Luc
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Hi to you,

 

hope all fo you are doing good, such great furom you have!

 

So here is my problem,  I'm trying to do my first camouflage on a Harrier  and I'm struggling to get a smooth surface with my badger 150 (and crappy Passche Talon too).

 

I'm using Vallejo model air mostly and when I'm doing a camouflage patern I can achieve a good contour but when trying to fill the inner space I'm doing many passes and I got some "mirror" effect and rought surface.  So my question is:   should I use more Airflow Improver than Thinner?   Which have the greater impact of surface quality?   And what about the PSI?

 

Here is my setups: 

I'm shooting mainly at 13-15 PSI.   

With my badger: 0,35mm needle 10 drops of paint, 2 drops of Improver, 1 drops of Thinner

With my Paasche: 0.21mm needle, 10 drops of paint, 2 drops of Improver, 3 drops of Thinner

 

My Paasche Talon GF seems to get better results but I have to struggle with nozzle/aircap  and seem to be more tricky with dilution.  (really disapointed by this product... especially with nozzle air Aircaps...)

 

Thanks for your help.

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Eyeball your mix in a cup of some sort (I use plastic shot glasses) and listen to your airbrush - as long as it's thin enough, (most people use milk as an example) and your airbrush isn't sounding like it's having difficulty spraying it (compare how it sounds to spraying water) then you're golden.

 

However, you mention a rough surface.  Try getting closer to the model.  With that low a psi the paint could be drying before it reaches the model, thus giving you the rough surface in places.  Or increase your psi (and watch out for spider webbing). 

 

I spray Vallejo Model Air and spray at about 20-25psi, only reducing it via the mac valve on my airbrush when I need to get up close.  I generally don't thin Vallejo Model Air paints, or add extra flow improver.  Only very occasionally do you get a bottle that needs it.  Most are OK (after a thorough shake).  Although I've had a white and yellow that were too thin.

Edited by RobL
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All my surface texture problems when away when I started using MRP. I can't explain why, but I have never been able to shoot any Vallejo product. My two go-tos are MRP for lacquer and Tamiya thinned with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner or their acrylic thinner (X-20A?).

 

Just a few days ago I tried Tamiya LP-# (silver, I don't recall the number) and it was amazing. In that same session I also tried Mig Ammo (or is it Ammo by Mig?) thinned with their thinner, water, and neat. Worked great too.

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Another vote for MRP. At all events, keep the paint thin, keep the pressure low and don't spray too far from your model.

Q

Who is still learning just like everybody else.

PS ..... MRP! Brilliant stuff!

 

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MRP  seems to be great product but I can't get it in canada.   I can  get Mig products and  I will give it a try for sure.  For now I've tested AK primers and paints and I'm very pleased...  But I definitively try lacquers after, maybe I will switch to this as I have many vallejo and AK in stock.  Thanks to you guys I will try playing with pressure and distance.  

 

Your help was great!

 

And for camouflage I saw a guy using blue mastic to delimitate the pattern, seems to be intresting as I don't have to be precise and too close to the model so more pressure will help me getting better surface...!

 

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Try Gunze, Tamiya, MRP or Hataka, some of these paints must be available in Canada.. Like others said, if you continue trying with Vallejo, or AK... you're only making life hard for yourself.

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I really don't think it's a case of switching paints.  The suggested paints are probably great, but there is nothing inherently wrong with Vallejo either.  I wouldn't expect to spray it straight from the bottle without issues though, especially in warmer weather.  I usually thin it with about 30% thinners (ie 3 drops thinners to 7 drops paint) and sometimes more for certain types of application and generally get a good surface finish.  If ever I don't, it's usually because I've gone wrong somewhere, not because of the paint.

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I guess it is all down to preferences. I really like Vallejo, but only for brush-painting (Vallejo model Color). For airbrushing, mr Color or Tamiya lacquer paints are so much easier to airbrush provided their thinned with their brand levelling thinners. MRP would probably be the same. I do use the proper mask & Filter cartridges. As a base mr surfacer or tamiya fine primer from the spray can - light sanding of the primer coat  before applying the lacquer paint and that works for me. For airbrushing metal finish AK xtreme metal anytime. 

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Vallejo is vary convenient and is water based, but can be finicky to airbrush. I think you may be happier with a bit more thinner, but every color is different.

Like you, I like to build up my paint coat slowly, but this can lead to 'orange peel' where bits of atomized paint dry in the air before hitting the plastic. You can mitigate this with a little with more thinner, flow improver or some retarder, or wait for cooler more humid conditions to spray in. You could also go for a thicker 'wet' coat, but you run the risk of flooding the surface and getting runs and pooling, so it takes practice too. This dilemma is present for all paints, but is especially pronounced with water based acrylics like Vallejo.

 

Here are a couple podcast episodes that may help if you have the time:

 

https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/754676/7474723-plastic-model-mojo-episode-30-dr-strangebrush

 

https://www.plasticmodelmojo.com/754676/8475404-plastic-model-mojo-episode-37-return-of-dr-strangebrush

 

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Vallejo is really nice and smooth if used with W&N Flow Improver.

It does need a good key though, or it can rub off until fully sealed.

I avoid MRP as it's like gnats pee and doesn't cover well. I know that may raise a few hackles, just my own experience with a 1/35 tank.

It's fine if airbrushed over a similar colour Tamiya (that's thinned with lacquer thinner). But then you may as well just use Tamiya....

 

Rick.

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