There are many modelers out there who have spoken ill of Vallejo Model Air (hereinafter “VMA”), to put it politely. More often I hear, less politely, that the stuff sucks.
How is this? I never have had a problem spraying VMA.
Either a Badger 105 Patriot with an “F” tip or a Grex XGi with a a 0.3 mm nozzle. My compressor is a $90 one from the Wuhan Compressor Factory. The gauge on it says the pressure I like is between 15 and 20 psi (but who knows if it really is?). It is my second one. The other one wore out. They both serve and served my needs.
My Location – Arizona
I live in the southeast corner of The East Valley, which is the vast suburban expanse of Phoenix extending east to the Superstition Mountains. It is also known as the Sonoran Desert.
It is dry out here. In high summer, it is not unusual to have humidity as low as 8%, and people start commenting on how humid it is when the humidity skyrockets to 30% around monsoon season. It is just amazing how fast things dry here. For instance, I can wash one of my baseball hats and leave it soaking wet on the patio (in the shade) and it will be dry as a bone is less than an hour.
When I lived in New England, I had issues in the summer with the air hose getting moisture in it now and then, and I had to remember to empty the moisture collection attachment on the compressor. Not out here.
I buy Vallejo Airbrush Thinner (71.161) in the 200 ml. size. I also use Liquitex Flo-Aid. I mix 6 parts of Vallejo thinner with 1 part of Flo-Aid.
Then I put about 4 parts of my thinner and 6 parts of VMA in my airbrush, and off I go. Mostly I am making 1/72 and 1/48 aircraft and 1/35 armor. That is, I am not spraying huge models. But even though I live is an arid climate, I get little or no buildup of paint on the exposed needle. If I do, I have a Q-tip dipped in lacquer thinner handy to clean it right off.
I prime almost everything with either Tamiya Surface Primer (rattle can) or Badger Stynylrez which I airbrush as above described. I mask for the most part with Tamiya tape, and I have no trouble with the VMA lifting.
I run a few bowls of Lysol Clean and Fresh multi-surface cleaner through the airbrush followed by hardware store lacquer thinner. I usually pull the needle and wipe it with a bit of paper towel with lacquer thinner on it.
A Final Point
I really like the eye dropper bottles VMA comes in. But the only reasonable way to store these bottles in a drawer is standing ip. And then finding the color I want is a nuisance. I found a solution. Each bottle get a drop of the paint it contains. So, if I am looking for a green, I only pull the bottle with the green mark on the cap to look at the label to confirm which color I have pulled, and so forth. It is very handy.
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Thank you for reading and visiting my blog. It has been a few weeks since I posted anything, but the Holiday Season tends to get in the way, does it not? Happy 2023 to everyone!
4 thoughts on “Three Cheers for Vallejo Model Air!”
I have been addicted to VMA.
That is good news, Pierre. Thank you. It is great stuff. And, I don’t seem to have trouble finding the colors I need.
Thanks for the info and tutorial, Matt.
Glad you found it of interest!