End of day airbrush cleaning -- PollyScale

Hi. Today was my first airbrushing session with PollyScale acrylics after a year with ModelMaster Acryl (I like them). The PollyScale went on
beautifully, at least the one color I sprayed (interior green). I thinned with distilled water and added a couple of drops of Createx airbrush additive (retarder). Paasche VL with #1 tip.
I'm not sure how to do end-of-day airbrush cleaning for PollyScale. After my painting session, I first ran distilled water (mixed with a few drops of dishwashing liquid) through the brush, then ModelMaster Acryl airbrush cleaner. This system worked ok, but not as well as with MM paints. I have some Polly S airbrush thinner, and went back and cleaned some dried paint in the paint cup; took it right off. Should I spray Polly S through the brush rather than the MM cleaner? Somewhere I read that using Polly S with Polly Scale paints can gum up the works, and yet a number of online hobby shops suggest Polly S thinner with Polly Scale. I'm confused...
Thanks...
--

David E. Young

"For wisdom is more precious than rubies,
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I have stopped putting acrylics in my airbrush. You must clean thoroughly immediately after spraying. Once acrylic has dried in brush for several minutes, cleaning the brush is a MAJOR headache.
"David E. Young" wrote:

--
Don Stauffer in Minnesota
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Don:
    I keep a 1 gallon bucket half filled with water next to the work bench. When I am finished, I dunk the whole airbrush, still connected to the air source, in the water and push the button to cycle water through the brush. Haven't had one glued together in years.
                                Bill Shuey
Don Stauffer wrote:

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I just dump the excess paint then squirt some Createx airbrush cleaner in the cup, swab the cup with a q-tip, dump that, more cleaner, blast most through the brush, back flush, swab, repeat until the cleaner comes out clear (or clear enough if just changing colors). I find I only have to harsh and take everything down once a month or so and use acetone to do a full strip cleaning.
For an idea how well this works I built and painted a 1/350 USS Atlanta in Ms12Mod, a 1/400 Flower Class Corvette (both ships on www.modelwarships.com), a 1/35 Tiger II, a 1/48 TA-183 and a 1/48 Brewster Buffalo modified to the Finnish version and did no more than described above. I did a full strip cleaning when I sarted a 1/350 USS Hornet commission and 3/4 of the way done haven't needed to strip clean yet.
Don Stauffer wrote:

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Well, using anything but acrylics is out of the question for me. I've never had a problem with the ModelMaster acrylics, perhaps because I break the airbrush down and clean it between colors, unless I'm going right from one to the next. I have this process down to a "science" and can have the brush cleaned in under five minutes. The PollyScale cleaned up ok too, just not quite as easily as the MM. That's why I'm asking what to use for an airbrush cleaner with those paints.
Someone mentioned Createx airbrush cleaner. That works well?
Cheers,
David

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So far with Polly Scale, MM Acryl, Aeromaster, Gunze and Tamiya.
"David E. Young" wrote:

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Most of my airbrush work is Polly Scale with the VL. At end of session, I break the brush down, except for leaving the trigger in place. I use a Q-Tip soaked with Diosol to first clean the needle over it's entire length, and then I run the Q-tip (it usually takes both ends of two by the time I'm done) into the nozzle base on the body of the brush, and up the intake passage underneath, until the Q-tip does not come out dirtier than it went in. Using the Q-tips and toothpick tips soaked in Diosol, I clean the three parts of the nozzle assembly; I also use an old needle as a reamer to make sure nothing is trapped up near the tip of the tiny inner piece. Finally, I dip the back end of the needle in the Diosol bottle and slide it all the way through the airbrush, front to back, and wipe the needle clean. As long as the paper towel still shows color from the wiping, I repeat this step. From disassembly to reassembly takes five minutes. Rarely, I find I do have to remove the trigger, which can be a major hassle to reinstall. Note that I don't fuss with any of the lesser solvents or cleaners on the final cleaning, but I will run household ammonia and then distilled water through the brush between colors.
Mark Schynert
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everyone has a different method of cleaning their airbrush. most of us take really good care of them. they are not inexpensive. what bugs me is that after many trips to flea markets over the years, i see these t-shirt guys with 8 VL's lined up and paint all over the place. they do some beautifully detailed work and treat their equipment like trash. i don't know what kind of paint they use or what they clean up with, but it must be great. these guys are only around when they have work. i don't know why their stuff doesn't gum up on them. someday i'll ask!
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Lacquer thinner?
Scott G. Welch
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In actuality, the pro t-shirt artists don't really treat their airbrushes like trash, although, it may look like they do. These people use their brushes very hard. Remember, we use airbrushes to paint our model kits while they use them as tools to make a living. They might not baby their brushes like many of use do but almost all of these artists do respect their brushes. T-shirt artists are some of the most knowledgeable people where airbrushes are concerned and they know how far they can push them. We tend to make sure that our brushes sparkle while the t-shirt jockey is more concerend with the brushes' performance. If they have some paint on the outside of their brush, no matter, as long as it operates flawlessly.
Another thing they have going for them is the type of medium they use. T-shirt paints are made for porous materials while model paint is made for non-porous surfaces. The t-shirt paints are somewhat less viscous, take quite a while to dry and set on their own (you can speed it up with heat) and are pretty easy to clean. Because of these factors, the paint doesn't set up very well on the non-porous airbrush surfaces which makes cleaning that much easier.
I have used illustration and photo retouching inks in airbrushes and if you want to talk about ease of cleaning, wow. In fact, there is a technique for using inks on our models which can be a real treat.
Mike
konda24:

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MGlantzMN wrote:

Sounds like my airbrush, grungy outside but the innards are clean enough to work as designed.
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Try lacquer thinner or denatured alcohol (not isopropyl). Either will clean dried acrylics and is cheap. Curt

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