PDA

View Full Version : Anybody use an airbrush?



Wittpilot
January 11th, 2009, 13:44
I got the little blue Testors air compressor for Christmas for an old airbrush that was a hand-me-down... well no air comes out the airbrush...so... I think I need to invest in a new airbrush... Anyone here use one aand have any ideas for a beginner? I don't want to spend too much and don't need anything fancy... hopefully $50 or less...

-Witt

Cazzie
January 11th, 2009, 14:33
Witt,

I have two Aztecs, 1 Paache, and 1 Thayer & Chandler.

I would advise to go with something like the Testors Aztec airbrushes.

They are far from the best, but they has the most available outlets and replacement spray nozzles are inexpensive and readily available. All are dual-action and relatively easy to use.

The real trick when using an airbrush is getting the paint properly thinned, enamels have more leeway than acrylics. You will probably tire of that little Testors compressor, I have never like any compressors, they often give uneven airflow, need water traps, and are noisy. I use compressed Nitrogen, but compressed COČ is just as good. Both are better than compressed air as both are very dry and will not condense, so no moisture filters are required. And a compressed tank with a good regulator will give even press with nothing but a slight hiss, no compressor noise.

Always clean any airbrush good after each session, one of the chief casualties for early airbrush users are clogged needle valbes and tips.

Learn small, get some artboard and have a spray fest. Learn how to use a dual-control airbrush that allow one to control both airflow and paint flow. Write your name, do some circle, just familierize your self with the airbrush, because it is a tottaly new medium from brushes. Once can do marvels with an airbrush, they will shoot anything for lacquers to inks. But as I said thin properly.

A good rule of thumb is to get your paint thinned to the consistance of milk. I always stir my paint when thinning and slide my stirring stick up the sides of the paint cup. If the paint flows back transluscent, it is too thin. if the paint slide back slow, it is too think. if it slides back even and opaque, you're there. Even when thinned properly, learn the proper distance to shoot for best results; too close and you're likely to get runs, too far back and the paint will semi-dry before it hits the medium and be powdery.

It is not a long curve, but like anything else, you cannot win if you do not play, so practice, practice, practice, No book is ever going to teach you how to use an airbrush like good old first-hand experience and learning mistakes by the old-school method.

Shoot away Witt, if you built plastic models, you will wonder how in the world you ever did with out and airbrush.

Caz

stansdds
January 12th, 2009, 02:54
Your old airbrush may have dried paint blocking the flow of air, so a good cleaning might restore its function. If not, then I agree, the Aztec is a good "jack of all trades" and easy to use airbrush.

Snuffy
January 12th, 2009, 04:55
I haven't used one in a while ... bet mine is clogged too! :help: :wavey:

wombat666
January 12th, 2009, 05:57
Do NOT buy a double action.
Sorry Caz, never ever been happy with them.

An airbrush is designed to work with 'ink' as opposed to 'paint'.
'Ink' is dye in solution.
'Paint' is pigment in suspension.

I've used a Paasche H for (Himmel!! 25 years!!) ages and it's almost bullet proof!
Well, the tips aren't great of you drop your airbrush onto a concrete floor but nothing's perfect!

:173go1:

Helldiver
January 12th, 2009, 06:41
Get some nail polish remover or acetone. Disaasemble your air brush very carefully protecting the sharp needle valve. If it's bent then It's too late. Soak the parts of the airbrush for about 15 minutes. Carefully reassemble the parts of the gun. Then take your paint, I prefer latex, and thin it to a like ink consistency. Then use a blank piece of paper, try some test sprays. Practice with settings and see what effects they have. Try to get a fine line with it. Try spraying a broad line. Learn to shut off the gun after each sweep of the gun. If using Latex after spraying paint, I run some soapy water through the gun to keep it clean. If regular paint, you can run nail polish remover or acetone through it. This is kind of dangerous if your smoking or near an open flame.

Lionheart
January 12th, 2009, 11:15
HellDiver is on it big time.. Some awesome advice there.

I ran a Pasche'. Tons of cleaning is required. The slightest debris and you are out of action. A thousand to one says you are simply clogged up at the tip or at the needle shaft air entry zone.

Its best to buy a airbrush that you can totally disassemble. This way, it lasts forever, (so long as the needle never gets bent.

Every time I would work with the airbrush, I would always take it fully apart afterwards, (every time), and it would still have paints in it afterwards, lol.. arrghhh.. Thank the Lord for Adobe Photoshop. (I used my AB for 2D design work, multi-media design/art).

Wombat, I loved my dual action Pasche. With low pressure, you could do 'spatter' for mud and things. Dual action is wild, but its sophisticated, so you have to be able to adapt to it. It also has more moving parts though, so beware.

By the way, to help keep the needle 'sticky free', rub your nose good with your fingers and rub the needle. This transfers the nose skin grease to the needle surface, and acts like a wild, good 'non stick' material. (I think some soaps can do this too, like running it on a bar of certain soap brands, but I never trusted that method).

Also, I was taught to use a clipping of panty hose (dont laugh Henry) to strain the paint that you pour into the AB bottle or cup. This is good for water based paints (which I used tons of, they thicken up too soon and can be a major clogging agent big time).

Get a 'big' bottle of desolvent to clean that thing with. Maybe find a glass you can 'have' to always use as a cleaning tank. One with a cap (like a jar from Alfredo sauce) will work awesome as you can reuse it and keep fumes to a minimum.

I would expect to buy one for $200.00 USD if you plan on quality work. But for play, that testers is the way to go. You will probably buy a ton of parts for it over the years, but it will be inexpensive in short runs..



Bill

Baywing
January 12th, 2009, 11:36
Paasche H here. I've gone thru lots of tips, but the basic gun has lasted many years. I have an almost new dual action, but prefer the H. I have custom built pick-ups for various paint bottles, several screens, water trap, compressor etc. Haven't used it in a few years.
The biggest thing, as has been said, keep it clean. I take mine apart after every use. I'm using mostly water based so cleaning is a little easier and less smelly.

Moparmike
January 12th, 2009, 15:23
Yup, I've got a Paasche H here too. Got a good assortment of tips but mainly stick with the larger ones for paint. I want to say #3 but I'm not positive.

If I'm doing enamels, I take the needle/cap (tip assembly) out after every use and soak it in thinner for a few hours.
If I'm using acrylics, I'll do the same but with just water.

Man...I haven't touched that thing in a couple of years now! It's about time to break into the model closet again!

Wittpilot
January 13th, 2009, 17:39
Thanks a lot everybody... I think I am leaning towards the Paasche H model.... I can get it at the local Hobby Lobby the next time they offer the 40% off coupon for about $54 plus tax... or I can get it on ebay for about $55 with free shipping... the thing is I have $60 left after I did a price adjustment on the little blue air compressor I got for Christmas... So I think that is what I am going to do...


One more model question people... I'd like to know how the model builders here mask their models...especially windows... I have two B-17's waiting to be built and this time around I would like to put them together, putty the seams and sand, and then paint... but that means inserting the glass and then painting....any suggestions? anybody use liquid masks? or does a simple masking tape job work okay??

*we don't have a plastic modeling forum here do we? ...perhaps I should have checked that out before posting all this stuff.......hmmmpff......:faint:

-witt

AckAck
January 13th, 2009, 18:51
Masking tape works well, if you have a steady hand and a really sharp blade - and thin masking tape helps too. I used to just mask a panel, trim the canopy and remove the tape, than move on the the next panel and do it all again. If you do the panels separately, even the compound curve on a heavily framed canopy (B-29?) is easy, if tedious. I used liquid masks on a lot of canopies too, but the edges weren't as sharp as I liked, especially in the corners. That being said, it is great for the more modern canopies with multiple curves but no framing.

However, on an aircraft with more flat (flatter) windows like the B-17, I think the masking tape would work better - just make sure the edges seal well.

Brian

Collin
January 13th, 2009, 18:56
*we don't have a plastic modeling forum here do we? ...perhaps I should have checked that out before posting all this stuff.......hmmmpff......:faint:

-witt

Of course we do...

http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/forumdisplay.php?f=52

regards Collin:woot:

Lionheart
January 13th, 2009, 18:58
In the Graphics industry, we use;

* Friscket film, which is cut with an X-acto blade, very precarious on 3D objects, made of a soft plastic film with adhesive on one side.

* Liquid Frisket; painted on orange rubbery substance, dries after a while.. Great for aircraft canopies.. Paint on the fluid over the glass area, airbrush the canopy structure, peel off the frisket film when dry. (great stuff, but consumes brushes like crazy, ruins them).

* Drafting Tape, wont tare paper (wont hopefully not lift paint either). A trick in the trade, is to adhere masking tape once to your pants, then lift, and its adhesiveness is reduced almost 50%, making it better for delicate projects..



:d




Bill

mrogers
January 13th, 2009, 22:13
Wow, what a goldmine of information! Thank you for sharing! I'm another modeller, but I haven't built for quite some time now. Still got quite a few kitsets stacked in the wardrobe gathering dust(!) until I hopefully will one day return to building again...

wombat666
January 14th, 2009, 00:00
Yup, I've got a Paasche H here too. Got a good assortment of tips but mainly stick with the larger ones for paint. I want to say #3 but I'm not positive.

I use the #3 tip for 90% of my work, but I have a different approach to most people.
My paints are not thinned as much as Caz suggested, but I use a much higher pressure.
It works for me ......... :kilroy:
Masking is another one of 'what suits you', I really like the 'Tamiya Modelling Tape' and a brand new scalpel blade, I've used most of the other methods mentioned but found the 'TMT' suits me.
One tip, do NOT use the 'Pre-Cut' masks that seem to have appeared from all over, they never really work IMHO.
Best approach (I find) is to lay your tape into position, buff it down with a cotton swab and mark the panel lines out with a very sharp hard pencil.
One can remove the tape and cut it on a sheet of glass, or trim it in situ using the pencil lines as a guide.
Not that I have time to do much plastic aircraft modelling these days, most of my model building is confined to one off scratch built large scale cars and bikes or (the opposite end of the spectrum) 1:43rd metal and resin cars!
:focus:

Helldiver
January 14th, 2009, 02:33
Frisket paper is the way to go. I've tried liquid masks and Masking tape and Frisket always give you a nice clean line. Liquid masks requires a much steadier hand than mine.
I'd do some practicing with the Testors before graduating to a Paache.
The secret to good airbrushing requires practice, practice, practice.

Lionheart
January 14th, 2009, 03:47
HD is on it... So is Wombat.


I find Airbrushing to be both extremely satisfying, and terribly undependable. I have had huge amounts of mishaps with airbrushing, such as a spat that shoots out onto the work (clog that jettisons) and spattering (thick paint turning into drops instead of a fine mist), and other mishaps (paint spilling out of the fill cap onto the art, arrghhh!!!). But, if all goes well, it is so cool how airbrushing can effect something.. so wild how it is so subtle and all..

It can really be worth it.. So long as you dont spill paint on your work, spatter, etc.. Good preparation is 99% of it.. Clean clean clean...



Bill

Moparmike
January 14th, 2009, 06:31
Yuppers on the frisket mask. Works good on models.
My prefered scalpel is exactly that...those cheap disposable medical scalpels. I got a bunch of em a long time ago from a hobby shop that bought em up as outdated medical supplies. Beats the heck out of those Exacto #11 blades (I swear they don't make anything like they used to!) and each blade comes with its own handle to boot.

Another thing I use a lot when I'm airbrushing on cars, bikes, & sleds (full-size, not scale plastic) of is just plain old 3M automotive pinstriping tape. I've always got a bunch of it laying around in oddball colors left-over from past projects so it gets put to use as masking tape.

Like wombat, I use a fairly high pressure and I don't thin it as much as what most people recommend either.
My car kits (and full-size vehicles) are almost always painted with automotive touchup paint from the little brush bottles & cut with reducer, but sometimes I use the Testor's Model Master metallics too.
I mostly use the Testor's acrylics for my A/C kits...mainly because that's all that my local hobby shops carry anymore for flat paints. I still prefer how enamels spray compared to that pesky water-based stuff.

I'll move this down to the Other Hobbies forum for ya too. Some good info in this thread!

wombat666
January 14th, 2009, 07:27
I'll confess to one (or more) 'Mortal Sin' when it comes to painting all manner of car models!
FWIW this gives me a laugh into the bargain when one of those 'serious' modellers ask a question about a paint job
I have been known to use 'Automotive Aerosols' on styrene and often spray in chilly weather ..... one of my friends only paints on warm days.
There is a knack to it, but like everything, as HD says, practice, practice and more practice.
Auto 'Etch Primer' is a great barrier coat on styrene, and is a must on resin and metal, while the range of 'Duplicolour' and 'PPG' colours are just perfect for model cars ..............................:kilroy:
Mike, one of the great advantages of being married to a Surgeon is the range of 'Modellers Supplies' available in medical institutions.:whistle:

Baywing
January 14th, 2009, 09:44
Thanks a lot everybody... I think I am leaning towards the Paasche H model.... I can get it at the local Hobby Lobby the next time they offer the 40% off coupon for about $54 plus tax... or I can get it on ebay for about $55 with free shipping... the thing is I have $60 left after I did a price adjustment on the little blue air compressor I got for Christmas... So I think that is what I am going to do...


One more model question people... I'd like to know how the model builders here mask their models...especially windows... I have two B-17's waiting to be built and this time around I would like to put them together, putty the seams and sand, and then paint... but that means inserting the glass and then painting....any suggestions? anybody use liquid masks? or does a simple masking tape job work okay??

*we don't have a plastic modeling forum here do we? ...perhaps I should have checked that out before posting all this stuff.......hmmmpff......:faint:

-witt

I've used both the liquid mask and vinyl electrical tape. I like the liquid mask if it is going to stay on for a while. If I'm just masking, shooting and pulling the mask off, I prefer the tape. I use the vinyl electrical tape for several reasons. First, it doesn't soak up paint like masking tape, next, it conforms to rivet and other details and is flexible enough to do curves and lastly, it doesn't leave adhesive residue if removed within a few days.

Wittpilot
January 14th, 2009, 17:08
Thanks for moving this thread... I will definitely be posting here more now!!!!

Wozza
January 17th, 2009, 19:16
Thanks a lot everybody... I think I am leaning towards the Paasche H model.... I can get it at the local Hobby Lobby the next time they offer the 40% off coupon for about $54 plus tax... or I can get it on ebay for about $55 with free shipping... the thing is I have $60 left after I did a price adjustment on the little blue air compressor I got for Christmas... So I think that is what I am going to do...




-witt
Hi
Check your compressors max sustained air pressure,If its around 25psi or less then dont get a suction feed brush(Paasche H model),use a gravity feed type brush as these work best on the low pressure hobby compressors
Cheers
Wozza

Wittpilot
January 19th, 2009, 16:29
I checked that out Wozza... the compressor has a max psi of 35.... they have the 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby this week, so I think I will go get that airbrush this week sometime...

Bushpounder
January 27th, 2009, 19:18
I bought my Paasche H back in 1981. With proper cleaning and care, it has the potential to outlast you.

Don :ernae:

strikehawk
March 12th, 2009, 18:51
I bought my Paasche H back in 1981. With proper cleaning and care, it has the potential to outlast you.

Don :ernae:
I have a Binks Wren that I got in 1977, I've kept it maintained as best that I can over the years but with the lack of parts it's good for priming these days. I use an two Aztek double actions when I paint now one is for solvent based paint the other for water/alcohol thinned colors and washes.

One of the cardinal rules I break regularly is using lacquer thinner for ALL my solvent based paint. I use a slightly higher air pressure so the paint is almost dry when it hit's the surface I'm working and the first coats burn themselves into the plastic. I've yet to melt a model but it's taken years to know how much air and how far away I have to be in order to shoot the paint.

Lacquer thinner also makes cleaning between colors easy too, swap pots blow thinner until it's clear and go to the next color. At the end of a paint session blow the brush with thinner, break down and scrub the parts with Q-Tips and pipe cleaners. Just take care you don't damage the tip or needle.

wombat666
March 13th, 2009, 02:50
I bought my Paasche H back in 1981. With proper cleaning and care, it has the potential to outlast you. Don :ernae:

Same here, 1982 and as good as new.
I bought half a dozen of each tip and still have most of them unused.
:jump:

sky pilot
September 14th, 2010, 00:43
Get some nail polish remover or acetone. Disaasemble your air brush very carefully protecting the sharp needle valve. If it's bent then It's too late. Soak the parts of the airbrush for about 15 minutes. Carefully reassemble the parts of the gun. Then take your paint, I prefer latex, and thin it to a like ink consistency. Then use a blank piece of paper, try some test sprays. Practice with settings and see what effects they have. Try to get a fine line with it. Try spraying a broad line. Learn to shut off the gun after each sweep of the gun. If using Latex after spraying paint, I run some soapy water through the gun to keep it clean. If regular paint, you can run nail polish remover or acetone through it. This is kind of dangerous if your smoking or near an open flame.
I use latex for my rc models also and not any trouble yet and just clean with water when done,
sky pilot