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"Agitators for Velllejo - What Size" Topic


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566 hits since 24 Apr 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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AC196324 Apr 2018 11:18 a.m. PST

Firstly, please don't make this a discussion about rust – I am aware of the alternatives, glass, lava etc. but I like the weight of steel, and the ones I currently have are 316 marine stainless steel and I tested them for a month in salt water before using – no rust.

My question is about size and shape.

The ones I have at the moment are 1/4" or 6.35mm.

They are in Vallejo Model Color and Game Color.

Too me they don't seem to have enough umph or it may be I'm just lazy and out of condition. If the paint has been stood a while, I find it takes a lot of effort to get them going so I can hear the ball clacking in the bottle.

So wondering whether big balls (ooh err) are the answer – seen some advice to use 8mm. I've also seen advice to use nuts instead (nuts and balls, double entendres incoming) as their angles make for better mixing and reduce the chance of the agitator blocking the nozzle.

So wonder what you use and opinions.

AC196324 Apr 2018 11:26 a.m. PST

Sorry the TMP server went extremely slow when I posted and something weird has happened. Clearly I hit submit a couple of time after quite a few minutes of nothing happening so I get why there are three thread. What I don't get is why each of those three threads has three posts.

Seems to be sorting out now at least I don't have three duplicate threads any more.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

Balls. You don't need them.
auction

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

I picked up some 3/16" stainless steel nail polish mixing balls on Amazon, and they seemed to work fairly well (some Vallejo game colors are more difficult than others). I then picked up this: link
and immediately gave up on the agitator balls. No comparison.

AC196324 Apr 2018 2:22 p.m. PST

Robart shaker for what ever reason you can't buy it in the UK. Don't know why, because you can get other Robart stuff but not the shaker.

(I'm going to guess it is because the AC powered version cannot be used in the UK because of the wrong voltage. There is the battery version but I imagine that is not as desirable, plus may come with instructions saying that you can buy part xxx AC power adapter which is not true if you are in the UK).

You can find people selling imported ones but at silly prices the equivalent of $120 USD or more.

Nail Varnish shakers seen cheap ones on eBay but sceptical whether they are robust enough for two reasons (1) they are usually cheap chinese generics and I wonder how long they will last with nail varnish (2) mixing lacquer based nail varnish is a lot easier than thick seperated acrylic. Plus the one linked, which looks quite good, sells for the equivalent of $130 USD or more in the UK (eBay prices which are about as cheap as you will find). There are cheaper ones, about $30 USD, but they look much flimsier.

I've also seen a video review of the Robart shaker where it didn't deal with a bottle of acrylic paint that had been stood for some time so that the medium and solvent had totally separated.

So if I was in the US I would buy the Robart but not a viable option in the UK. The nail varnish shakers are reasonably priced but do they work, are they up to the job and are they robust enough to last.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 3:16 p.m. PST

The other thing I really appreciate about the shaker that I linked is that there's no gush of paint when you take off the top (I'm guessing because it twists as it shakes), whereas I generally get that if I shake hard with the agitator.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP24 Apr 2018 4:46 p.m. PST

Robart shaker for what ever reason you can't buy it in the UK. Don't know why, because you can get other Robart stuff but not the shaker.

EBay? The Robart one is reputedly the best on the market.

"Accept no substitutes…."

AC196325 Apr 2018 6:17 a.m. PST

Cheapest I have found on eBay is $80 USD for the battery powered version.

Bit pricey even if it works well, but given a number of reviews that show it is not that good when the acyclic medium has seperated into a thick layer at the bottom. Reports I have read is that it is great when paint is incompletely mixed but not so great when the paint has been stood for some time and seperated.

If it were $30 USD-40 I might take a chance but $80 USD is too much for something that might not work in the way I want.

BCantwell25 Apr 2018 6:38 a.m. PST

I throw all of the various extra sprue bits from metal miniatures into a container and when I need paint agitators, I just chop a couple of bits off one of those and throw them in the bottle. I've not noticed and appreciable oxidation of them, they are sufficiently dense to move well in the paint, and the irregular shape mixes well… plus free

ScoutJock25 Apr 2018 7:16 a.m. PST

These work well:

link

Although instead of buying a dedicated paint mixer, if you have a reciprocating saw, tape the paint jar to the saw blade using duct tape and let 'er rip for about 5 seconds.

AC196325 Apr 2018 8:02 a.m. PST

Thanks,

The Mig ones are 5mm balls, I already use 1/4" (6.35mm) so I'm assumming there is little point getting the Mig ones.

My question is that when the paint has stood for some while, the ball becomes embedded in the thick medium and it takses some shaking before it breaks free and I can hear it moving about. I can then shake for quite a while and outwardly it looks mixed but if I take the cap off and probe with a mixing stick I still find that there is a good amount of firm sludge at the bottom.

It takes some work with the stirring stick to mix into the paint.

So what I'm asking is whether there is a better way. Would heavier balls work better. Putting two bearing in rather than one. Using more irregular agitators work better.

NideosmI have seen with the Robart shaker in action show that it can't deals with well separated acrylic.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2018 9:00 a.m. PST

My question is that when the paint has stood for some while, the ball becomes embedded in the thick medium and it takses some shaking before it breaks free and I can hear it moving about. I can then shake for quite a while and outwardly it looks mixed but if I take the cap off and probe with a mixing stick I still find that there is a good amount of firm sludge at the bottom.

Hate to say it but that combination of shaking and using a fine stir stick may be the best way after all. I would just add that if you cannot dislodge your steel ball with vigorous shaking on it's own, then you probably need to add some liquid acrylic medium into your paint. Add a few drops, stir it around, dislodge the sludge and shake away.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2018 1:32 p.m. PST

I cut a piece of steel rod and made a hook on one end then attached it to my dremel and mixed the paint.

AC196325 Apr 2018 2:56 p.m. PST

That's an idea. I have an electric paint stirrer, think it is a trumpeter one but they all seem to be the same thing rebadged, but the end is just too big for the vallejo bottles.

ScoutJock25 Apr 2018 5:12 p.m. PST

I have a badger battery powered paint stirrer where the end is slightly too large for Vallejo bottles as well. Get a good file and you can file down the corners so it fits. It is a bit of work but it does the trick.

But I'm telling you the saw works. There is YouTube video out there where a German guy made special jig out of thin plywood and a spring loaded mechanism to hold the bottle in place and used it with a jig saw. But duct tape works just fine to hold the bottle. Depending on the model, the blade travel is probably an inch or two but it does it at 400 700 rpm. Any paint that isn't mixed after a couple of seconds with the saw is probably is too far gone to use anyway and should be replaced.i

Added YouTube
https://youtu.be/K8hTi0z6ZZ8

PeterH29 Apr 2018 5:31 p.m. PST

i bought a cheap jig saw and stuck a clamp in the spot where the saw blades go – had to file the clamp end a little to get it to fit but it was not difficult – works excellent! really old vallejo paints like new and works on all paint types. compared to the robart the cost was the same or maybe slightly less for the jig saw. my robart doesn't hold a candle to the jig – jig much quicker results.

per ardua02 May 2018 11:31 a.m. PST

I use M5 or M4 sized stainless steel nuts from screwfix in the UK. They just fit in the top of a vallejo bottle and cost about £1.00 GBP for 100.

AC196306 May 2018 8:08 a.m. PST

I bought one of those cheap nail polish shakers you see on eBay for about £20.00 GBP I actually got mine from Aliexpress for about £11.00 GBP I wasn't expecting much but for £11.00 GBP felt it wasn't much risk.

Must say I'm pleasantly surprised. Only tried it with Vallejo bottles which have a 1/4" ball inside, but 30 secs but so far so good. I can pick up a bottle which has settled so much that the ball is buried in the thick pigment so much so that it takes some really vigorous hand shaking to release it. But instead, 30 second on the nail polish shaker leaves the paint really nicely mixed.

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