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Curt Schilling14/02/2018 02:49:37
183 forum posts
242 photos

Talk to me about fundamentals in mixing for airbrushing. I use Vallejo and AK and others, and I know for the most part I need to dilute to some degree. My problems are twofold.

1) What the heck can I mix in that's SMALL enough so I don't waste paint in a big mixing jar and

2) What's the right method for determining consistency BEFORE you put the paint through the airbrush.

I gotta tell you the 1/16 Mark IV I am working on is getting me into airbrushing to a degree I didn't know possible. With some of my brushes I now really believe i can use an airbrush to base coat SMALL things, like figures and what not. Which would be preferable given how awesome a good airbrush coat looks.

SimonT14/02/2018 07:58:13
11640 forum posts
9479 photos

Hi Curt,

Have a look on ebay for medicine cups - they make great mixing pots for paint or casting resin



John Race14/02/2018 08:09:24
6885 forum posts
1477 photos

Morning all .


I use milk bottle /orange juice tops, having cleaned them first of course, for small amounts.

John .

Richard Foenander14/02/2018 09:58:54
3857 forum posts
4633 photos

Hi Curt,

For smaller amounts I use vinyl stoppers found on small pharmaceutical bottles holding mineral spirits or liquids.

If you want even smaller, bubble tablet packing can be a palette as well for mixing.



Phil Burnworth16/02/2018 12:00:16
3 forum posts

Hi there. Lurker here. Saw that you didn’t really get all of your questions answered. Thought I would chime in with what I have learned with Vallejo paint. I love them. Let your primer cure for at least two days if you use Vallejo primers.

Vallejo Flow Improver is critical. I use it + a drop or two of DI water for thinning the paint and I do almost all of my mixing and thinning right in the airbrush paint cup. Other mixing is done in Poland Springs water bottle caps. Cheap. I like really thin paint, thinner than the skimmist Oakhurst skim milk. More flow improver and/or water than paint. Test it with your mixing brush on paper and it should flow away from the brush freely. Put it on in thin layers, waiting between coats to dry.

I learned a lot from a guy on YouTube “NextLevel Painting-airbrush hacks”. Kenny has a mouth on him but the man can airbrush!

Good luck!


Curt Schilling16/02/2018 22:14:41
183 forum posts
242 photos

Outstanding Phil! Thank you and all of you others that chimed in! Much appreciated.

Marcello Tontodonati17/02/2018 06:00:17
299 forum posts
430 photos

Hi Curt,

since you are using Vallejo, AK and others, I may focus on the others (Tamiya MrHobby mainly). I use small pots found in a craft store to dilute he paints. My choice of thinner goes to MrHobby levelling thinner, but occasionally I use Tamiya's lacquer thinner (I have one single bottle and it not easily available in the UK). I start with a dilution factor of 1:1 but really depends on the object to paint. I double the ratio for fine work or smooth transitions. I check the consistency of the diluted paint spreading the colour on the side of the pots with a brush and if it is transparent enough, I am ready to spray it. I guess this will translated more technically similar to the consistency of fully skimmed milk. The other important components which will determine the correct ratio of paint:thinner, are airbrush and pressure. but I will leave it to more experts to have a go with it. I adjust my setting on the fly based on how I like the result on a piece of plastic before shooting on models


Phil Burnworth17/02/2018 12:53:33
3 forum posts

One of the hardest things for me has been getting over the idea of dumping a airbrush pot of perfectly good paint. Seems wasteful after a youth spent collecting pennies to buy a bottle of Pactra paint for twenty-five cents, but, dumping paint is part of airbrushing. Also, if I have some paint still in the cup after I finish the session on the model, I waste it on an index card practicing technique, which beats skill every time.

The local Hobby Lobby sells 1/4 ounce dropper bottles in the artist paints section that are perfect for mixing/storing large amounts of paint or thinner mixes.

Hope the ankle leaves you alone!

Phil Burnworth17/02/2018 13:12:02
3 forum posts

Correction: 1/2 oz squeeze bottles

Kevin Cole 117/02/2018 17:27:55
247 forum posts
51 photos

If it's a commonly used color you're dumping, consider buying some bottles for storage, then label the bottle with the mix you used.

It's great for primer, base coat colors, etc. which you know you'll spray again later.

I hate to waste anything.

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