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Airbrushing liquitex varnish?


R2ED
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Having recently joined the airbrush crowd, I'm discovering how much i love blasting paint through it.  Saving so so so so much time on my zenithal priming groups of minis.  

 

Now that I've got the priming and ink through it, I'm curious about another medium going through - varnish. 

 

I own satin and gloss varnish from liquitex. I've used them as brush on, which isn't my favorite.  I want to know: 

 

1.  Has anyone used this in an airbrush? 

2.  If yes, how did you thin it?  Did you use airbrush thinner or something else? 

3.  Does it require different means to clean after using? 

 

I'm super paranoid about clogging or ruining this new tool of mine.  I found out Stynylrez primer wasn't just pour in and go.  Made for a fun clean up with my first go at priming.  

 

There's a ton of stuff I'm seeing on testors dullcote from the bottle and mixing it with their thinner, but I'm hoping to use what i have if it's possible.  

 

I'm not asking what you use as much as I'm seeking specifically "has anyone used liquitex varnish in their airbrush? "

 

And... any pictures of your results? 

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If you're using an acrylic based varnish, it's pretty much the same thing as the paint.  There are some differences, but it's still an acrylic resin base.  These differences will be brand specific of course.

 

That said, can usually spray varnishes through your airbrush and thin with just water.  Personally, I have used both Reapers Matte Sealer and Gloss Varnish and Vallejos Mecha Matte Varnish in my airbrush with no ill effect.  Just clean as normal.

 

4 hours ago, R2ED said:

I found out Stynylrez primer wasn't just pour in and go

 

What pressure do you run your compressor at?  When airbrushing, there is a direct relationship between the compressor pressure and how thin your paint needs to be.  Stynylrez will spay un-thinned if you with high enough pressure.  I'm of the Aaron Lovejoy school and spray at 40 lbs.  It does take practice to control, but it makes life so much easier when thinning paint.

 

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I had psi set at 30 at first. Then dropped to 20.  The issue wasn't the coverage or model results.  The issue was it dried fast.  Very fast.  Clogged the end and also made the feeder cup all primed. Cleaning the needle, front assembly, and cup was not planned after a 5 minute use.   Granted the spray time was 5 minutes, but I'd say getting set up and moving from mini to mini was about 12 minutes total. 

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I think you'll have better results at 30 psi.  Airbrush paint should dry relatively fast due to the amount of air that is mixed with the paint.  Unfortunately, you will get some accumulation on the tip of the needle (dry tip) that block flow.  There are lubricants that will help reduce this, but I've not heard of any way to eliminate it completely.  It's just something you get use to checking as you get better with the airbrush.  Also, white pigment tend to stick more that others, so you will get dry-tipping more frequently, especially if you're priming white.

 

I find that spaying in small short bursts (instead of going full blast) gives me better control and gives me more opportunity to assess the flow.  When things start to slow, I then do a full-back spay onto a piece of paper.  This can usually clear the accumulation on the tip.  I'll also just wipe the needle tip with my finger.

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Impromptu airbrush disassembly and cleaning are part of airbrushing. :)

 

Add some flow improver (like 1 drop) to your varnish to help with needle tip drying.

 

As for drying in the cup, I've not experienced that myself yet.  If/when I do, I'd probably add some water to thin the mix some more.  If that didn't work well enough, I'd look at getting some drying retarder agents.

 

Rhonda Bender had a great class on additives this past weekend at RVE.  I expect it should be up on youtube soon(tm) (weeks).  If you look at the RVE site, you should be able to find the handout still.  Yep, there it is: https://images.reapermini.com/static/reapercon/class_pdfs/RVSU0414.pdf

 

 

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@ClearmanI should have totally have thought about that in looking at their website and product specs.  I'd still like to see someone who's done it and know what the results were with that versus something like Dullcote spray on and Dullcote through an airbrush.

 

That leads me to my second thing is I never really put two and two together on the acrylic varnish versus whatever dullcote and some of the other spray on primers are.  Are there any hardness/application benefits to one or the other?

 

@mikem91Thanks for that.  I am super excited to see those videos get uploaded to YouTube.  I missed so many I wanted to see and participate in over the weekend with RVE, but there's only so much time and waking hours.  I cannot wait to see them come to accessible to watch at my leisure.  

 

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Dullcote, at least the original, is lacquer based, current permutations may be enamel based. I don’t know of anyway to measure the “hardness” except by experimenting. Dullcote is popular because it provided a good matte finish just about every time. Just be sure you have shaken it thoroughly then shake it some more. I have used liquitex matte and gloss coat without any issues. I thin with water and I tend to spray at low pressures (10-12 psi).  I find that any varnish needs to be cleaned out immediately, my issues with clogging is mostly after I have varnished and didn’t clean thoroughly. I honestly can’t show you examples of models coated with liquitex since I can’t tell the difference.

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I have used both Stynylrez and Liquitex (though not at the same time) and both worked. I did cut the Liquitex with a bit of airbrush thinner, but I don't recall the ratio.  As for pics... only one that I'm sure of and it was a cork base. Liquitex gloss followed by matte.

 

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