May 22, 2013

Floquil No More? No problem.

There has been a lot of chatter on the internet recently about the demise of Floquil and Polly-Scale paints. This will not be a big issue for me because I have already made the switch to Vallejo Acrylics. I never used Floquil due to the health hazards associated with its solvent. I found Polly Scale acrylics impossible to airbrush. They would clog all my airbrushes immediately, including Azek, Badger Crescendo and my favorite, the Iwata Eclipse SC. The latter is supposed designed specifically for acrylics, but Polly-Scale still clogged it.

Home-made paint rack holding Vallejo Airbrush paints
Vallejo Acrylics offer a complete line of acrylic paints including primer, brush, airbrush, airbrush thinner, and clear coats. Their airbrush thinner is based on the same formulation as their base paints. This allows one to thin the paint to the point where a very low airbrush pressure will still spray a fine mist. With low pressure one reduces over spray and makes infinite shading with no discernible droplets possible.

Being acrylic the paints pose less health hazard than nastier solvent based paints. Still, I wear my respirator and use my booth when spraying.

The Vallejo line is oriented toward military and figure painters, but they offer so many colors it is not hard to find ones to match the color you want. For example, their Israeli Sand Gray is perfect for concrete.

I still use craft acrylics for scenery and backdrops. But for painting models and figures, Vallejo is my preferred route.  Since few local shops carry Vallejo, I order my on-line from Squadron Shop.

4 comments:

  1. I regularly use Vallejo Acrylics in my airbrush both Model Color and Model Air. The airbrush thinners from Liquitex and Golden work fine with the Vallejo paints and can be found at both Hobby Lobby or Michaels. Another alternative acrylic paint is from Reaper Miniatures, their Master Series Paint line. It provides a brighter range of colors than the Vallejo line as its geared towards fantasy miniature painters. It requires more thinning than Model Air but less than Model Color. An alternative source for Vallejo paints online is the warstore (www.thewarstore.com). Reaper paints are available direct from Reaper at www.reapermini.com.

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  2. Bernie,

    As a dyed in the wool Floquil user, I'm now looking at acrylic options. Have you ever used Badger's Model Flex paints, and if so, how would you compare them to Vallejo's line?

    Thanks,

    Tom Patterson

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  3. Yes, i have used Model Flex, but not for 10 years or more. It also had airbrush clogging problems. Plus the paint tended to dry in the jars once you broke the seal.

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  4. I've recently started using Vallejo for my model airplanes, switching from Testor's Acryl line. I like how they behave in the airbrush and so far, they've stood up to every kind of tape I've tested them with.

    They also make a line of weathering powders, washes and scenery and water effects, but I have not tried any of these products.

    I get them from Scalehobbyist.com which usually has them at better prices than Squadron.

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