Vallejo Model Color general airbrushing questions

So im going to try and AB some Vallejo Model Color. Up to now ive only brushed it. Can those who have airbrushed it, looking for some tips please.

  1. tip size to use ? I have a .5 ive been using. My scale is a 1:380 so I think ill be fine with the .5
  2. thinning necessary? What with and what ratio? I see some use water. I have the usual , IPA, Lacquer thinner, Mr Color leveling thinner…
    3). PSI to use?

I also have AV Airbrush Flow improver but have never used it… Just follow bottle directions??

Tks much for any tips and guidance.

Model Color must be thinned for airbrushing

10 drops paint
2 drops thinner 71.161
2 drops Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver 71.562

For smaller amounts I have gone 5-1-1

I go between 15-20 psi

I have had absolutely no problems using this.

Iwata HP-CS with a .35 needle


How crucial is the flow improver? Might pick some up. I have a couple colors like brass I use enough that brushing can be tedious

For me, it made all the difference.


So I don’t have they’re thinner. Any substitutes? Tks much!

Not for me,but im sure others have tried other stuff

Sorry, forgot - what to clean AB with afterwards??

Lacquer thinner??

Whatever you do don’t use alcohol around vallejo. It gets super gummy. I imagine lacquer thinner would cut right through it

I’ve been using Windsor and Newton acrylic flow improver and find it works really well with Vallejo acrylics. Also good for thinning Revells acrylics too.
If you shop around you might be able to find it cheaper than Vallejo’s own branded thinner.
For cleaning I use their own airbrush cleaner. I shoot a 50:50 mix of water and cleaner first. When it’s spraying clear I switch to a few drops of neat cleaner. Of course, everything’s taken apart and wiped at the end to remove the last traces of paint. At the moment I’m still using an Aztek and a couple of El Cheapo knock offs, but they spray Vallejo no problem.
I’ve not attempted to use any other kind of thinner as I’m wary of any bad reaction. As Mead says above, they don’t like alcohol!

I will sometimes use their paint retarder also.

For clean up I use generic windex window cleaner, then alcohol to clean my airbrush. I do this with Vallejo and Tamiya paints.

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I do have that. So, sorry… about how much do you use, ratio wise? Tks much! gonna be doing this soon to try it.

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Just a few drops at a time until you get something that’s the right consistency to spray. I usually add a drop or two of water as well to the regular Model Colour bottles. I have a couple that can be a bit thicker than others from time to time, so there’s no exact ratio I’ve worked out. The Modelair I usually add a couple of drops of the flow improver as it’s already quite thin.

A little vague sorry, but hope it helps.

So far so good - at least for me… This is where I am now. Appreciate all the tips and help and while we each have “our own” way that works, this is what I did for the deck. All the input really helped as I probably would have used IPA seeing as im out of practice!!

VMC hull red. Shot a little LT through the cup, added paint, drop or 2 of their retarder and a little distilled water - paint was a little gooey even though I mixed well on centrifugal mixer. Patriot extreme with .33 tip at about ~ 20psi.

I had to do 3 batches as I did decking of cabin structure too and mixed at different proportions. Cleaned the AB with water, then LT…


For cleanup w Vallejo I’ve had great success w SuperGreen which Iickup at the hatdware store and typically dilute w distilled water to stretch it. For thinning I do stick w their thinner and I second the flow retarder. I live in Montana and even though we get a lot of snow we really have low humidity, plus I run a space heater during the winter so I find it really helps against tip drying. I guesstimate but the ratios mentioned above I reckon are close to what I end up. Psi right around 20 both for Model Color and Valkejo Air.