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The Struggle: Episode 18, The Thinners
Knuckles
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Oregon, United States
Member Since: March 09, 2017
entire network: 525 Posts
KitMaker Network: 156 Posts
Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 09:02 PM UTC
I'm struggling with the correct thinning agents for my airbrushing. This is self-inflicted, as I have a rather eclectic paint shelf. I have Tamiya, Testor's MM, Humbrol, Gunze Sangyo, Andrea, Vallejo MC, Mig, AMMO, AK, and Floquil Aeromaster all to choose from.

As a result, I have elevtenty-seven thinners: 99% ISA, mineral spirits, odorless white spirit, Gamsol, Tamiya X-20. Tamiya X-20A, Humbrol, Testor's, Vallejo Airbrush Thinner, distilled H2O, and some good ol' fashioned turpentine.

The Struggle comes into play when I attempt to thin them for the airbrush. An example: After adding a drop of Vallejo to my test pallet, I added a drop of X-20 to it--that turned into a grainy sludge. Next try, single drop of paint and a drop of 99% ISA--nope. That got me a congealed blob. The Struggle continued...

Last night, I began a 3x5 card in which I will list all of the correct thinning agent as to the paint. I'll stick this tothe wall above the paint rack and I'm hoping this will save me some time and peace of mind when at the paint booth.

justsendit
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Colorado, United States
Member Since: February 24, 2014
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Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 11:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

... After adding a drop of Vallejo to my test pallet, I added a drop of X-20 to it--that turned into a grainy sludge. Next try, single drop of paint and a drop of 99% ISA--nope. That got me a congealed blob. The Struggle continued...


Hi Christian,

Thinner is thinner, right? … uhhh, nope! I did the same X-20 thing when I started up again. Since then, I spray Vallejo exclusively and in doing so, I’ve learned to stay “brand loyal,” i.e. use Vallejo Thinner (71.161) when spraying their acrylics. The only other thing I add is a drop of Liquitex Airbrush Medium (E) as a flow agent. … Does the trick for me. HTH.

PS: I noticed just recently that Vallejo has their own version of a flow agent: Airbrush Flow Improver (71.562), however, I haven't tried it to date.

PS, PS: I've been using Media Airbrush Cleaner (8 fl. oz.). I saved that bottle and now I refill from the large (32 fl. oz.) size.

—mike
Knuckles
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Oregon, United States
Member Since: March 09, 2017
entire network: 525 Posts
KitMaker Network: 156 Posts
Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 11:28 PM UTC
I'm convinced it's alchemy. There has GOT to be the Holy Grail of thinners that works everything...
justsendit
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Colorado, United States
Member Since: February 24, 2014
entire network: 3,033 Posts
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Posted: Monday, March 27, 2017 - 11:40 PM UTC
Ahhhh yeah, dream on. ⛅️ ... Not meaning to dash hopes.

Just sick to it, and once you've found your groove, you'll see that it all becomes second nature.

PS: No matter what you spray, I recommend investing in a good respirator.

—mike
Grauwolf
#084
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Quebec, Canada
Member Since: September 14, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:49 PM UTC
Hi Christian,

Quote

There has GOT to be the Holy Grail of thinners that works everything...

You can always give this product a try....company claims it works with all acrylics.

I plan to order some and try it.

https://www.umpretail.com/products/ultimate-airbrush-thinner

Cheers,
Joe
Knuckles
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Oregon, United States
Member Since: March 09, 2017
entire network: 525 Posts
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Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:52 PM UTC
Thanks...now I have eleventy-eight thinners
Grauwolf
#084
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Quebec, Canada
Member Since: September 14, 2005
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Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:55 PM UTC
Just call it a stash of thinners!


Cheers,
Joe
Knuckles
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Oregon, United States
Member Since: March 09, 2017
entire network: 525 Posts
KitMaker Network: 156 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 11:03 PM UTC
Glue is just as bad...I think I have more than a dozen assorted glues on my desk. Tamiya Ultra Thin is still the best I've ever used. (and yes, I have a tube o'Testor's orange left over from when I was a kid. I take a hit off of it every now and then for old time's sake)
RobinNilsson
Staff MemberDirector of Member Services
KITMAKER NETWORK
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Stockholm, Sweden
Member Since: November 29, 2006
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Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 12:16 AM UTC
One method of testing thinners (or "diluting agents")
White saucer or similar smooth and hard surface (use other colour if testing the thinner against a white paint, duh ...).
Place small drop of paint on the test surface.
Add "thinner", much more than the drop of paint.
Check the reaction.
A suitable thinner will dissolve the paint and thin it into a smooth tone.
If there is any tendency at all to form clots then it is not the correct thinner for that type of paint.

A small sheet of glass with a paper beneath can be used instead of a saucer.

/ Robin

Knuckles
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Oregon, United States
Member Since: March 09, 2017
entire network: 525 Posts
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Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 12:43 AM UTC
Thanks Robin. Sound advice. I use a 5x7 inch pane of glass for my palette. I usually just mix one to one when testing, but I'll add more. I see that it would make for an easier read on the results. Cheers!
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Member Since: March 01, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 05:09 PM UTC
Vallejo no alcohol with it.

Water or there thinner only.