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Airbrushing - I need convincing


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I used aircans when I first started airbrushing and they can be a real disincentive as they run out quickly, give you little control, and cost an arm and a leg over time.

Getting a compressor made all the difference to my airbrushing, allowing me to practise my technique without fear of running out of air.

Karl

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  • 1 year later...

I can only agree with the above having come back to modelling like most, I bought cheep. (AS type and the blue foam airbrushes). I sadly sit with three airbrushes and a Tank compressor. I am too embarrassed to sell them or even give them away to anyone because I would hate for anyone to go through what I did. I nearly gave up on the idea and the hobby. I picked up an Iawata compressor at a good price and I started with the H & S Evo. What a difference. I then accidentally landed up with a Aztek 777 (Metal body) I haven't used my H & S in months. For me the one major thing was finding an airbrush that strips down and is easy to put back together. The Evolution has the triger and rocker in one so its a doddle. I cant speak about other types. The Aztek v other airbrushes is ongoing and has been dealt with elsewhere. They arre expensive but if you look around you can pick up a bargain on Ebay if you keep looking. I like that I can hot-swop paint cups and its on the side. Cleaning is as simple as dropping the plastic cup and nozzle in some Tesco all purpose cleaner.

Paint is going to be where it is all at. It took a little while and some practice to learn how and when to thin paints. I have found Tamiya and Mr Hobby work for me with X-20A as a reducer.I also like using Vallejo with there reducer. However their pre-packages sets RAF Desert etc. are usually the wrong shade so I wrote to them and got a colour chart. Now I ignore what they label the colour as and choose the shade I want.

Here is a few tips.

1. Enjoy it. Once you get the hang of it, you will find you use your airbush for even the small jobs.

2, Use acrylic - if you mess up just soak the bits in Tesco all purpose cleaner (Purple and white bottle). Acrylic comes off and your are back to bare plastic and then have another go.

3. I have read this in so many places, but ignored it until I do it as standard now. Prime your model. Different plastic and paints react differently. I find that some kind of plastic primer (Haldfords) or Tamiya are a must. This allows me to put down thin coats that stick and don't run.

I hope that helps from someone who considers themselves a novice air-brusher

Regards

Sean

I do want to give those of you an update.

I sill use my Aztec, but its for Future only.

I discovered the Grex TG ) Pistol grip double action and was so impressed bough a second one when I was in the States in November. To me its the las word on an Airbrush. You the control is superb and I know do things free hand that I though were not possible (by me at any rate). Sadly Paul no longer imports Grex but Chicago Airbrush are happy to ship and at $209 USD you can't go wrong. I did try put the Sparmax equivalent and well its chalk and cheese. You get what you pay for.

http://grexusa.com/grexairbrush/products.php5?id=Tritium.TG

m_Tritium.TG.jpg

used with the permission of Grex

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Some thoughts from a novice airbrush user:

• It is NECESSARY to use a spray booth for venting out the fumes!

• Airbrush cleaner liquid, smells like crap, and is perhaps the one type of fume I don't want to inhale.

Imo, it will be necessary to still use a dust mask even with ventilation, if the ventilation solution is mediocre.

• I see that even popular spray booths are not recommended for industrial use (such spray booths are probably somewhat unsafe for prolonged use, even though they apparently work as advertised).

• Acrylic paint from Vallejo is great fun to use. I am happily surprised.

• Better use a brush soaked with airbrush cleaning fluid to repeatedly wipe the needle tip clean, often, to avoid paint drying on the needle tip!

• Cleaning an airbrush is quick and easy, assuming you don't allow the paint to dry inside the airbrush.

• Apparently, cleaning the needle is all I need to do these days. Not having to take the airbrush apart each time I use it.

• Presumably, there is a risk of having paint/fumes going back at your face when using a spray booth, so best use a respirator for stronger paints, or at least a dust mask for water based paints.

• I built my own spray booth, but it is a mediocre solution. Ideally I should get a stronger fan.

• Airbrushing with quick drying acrylic paint, is great fun, because you can airbrush on color onto the model in one end, and after a short while, you can grab the painted area and complete the rest of the paintjob.

Edited by Housesparrow
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The elephant in the room here is the paint that you use. If the only acrylic that you can get is humbrol then I wouldn't bother trying to airbrush. I've never come across anything less airbrush friendly; it's like trying to paint with treacle.

TRY Grex TG5 .5mm any goes through that

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In a word the AS 186 is a piece of junk. After 3 month you have to start a regime of cleaning the diaphragm. It gets hot and does not cut out as it is supposed to. I went down this road and ended up in tears. These things come out of china in the 1000's. If you are looking for a affordable alternative talk to Paul at Little-Cars.

I have been running one of these for the best part of 8 years now and I can honestly say it has given me faultless performance. I brought it off Ebay from a reputable English dealer, so if it had of gone wrong I would have sent it back under the terms of the guarantee.

Over the years I have brought a lot of machinery and power tools, and they do say you only get what you pay for, but I have had name brands as well go wrong on me. Looking at it now it is a well made bit of kit, if it packs up tomorrow I will have no hesitation buying another..

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  • 2 weeks later...

In a word the AS 186 is a piece of junk. After 3 month you have to start a regime of cleaning the diaphragm. It gets hot and does not cut out as it is supposed to. I went down this road and ended up in tears. These things come out of china in the 1000's. If you are looking for a affordable alternative talk to Paul at Little-Cars.

What a load of tripe. Used an AS186 for five years now, virtually daily and never had an issue. And it's never been apart either. Sometimes you get a dud, but you can't tar everything with the same brush.

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What a load of tripe. Used an AS186 for five years now, virtually daily and never had an issue. And it's never been apart either. Sometimes you get a dud, but you can't tar everything with the same brush.

Totally agree.I have had my cheapie setup for ages,and its never gone wrong.When I was doing commission work I had an iwata hp_c fine line.I sold that and bought a cheap setup from ebay. I used that 10 quid copy for years and really abused it. It worked fine.Now I have a really good low price airbrush a Neo and that does me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I suggest getting some cheap dental stuff from Ebay (paper points), to clean the nozzle from the start. I think the proper way is to insert the paper point dry, but without damaging the delicate nozzle opening, and then add a drop of airbrush cleaner. I tried ISO 40, but those were too large, so I ordered some size 20, that I think will do.

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I have a Sparmax compressor, looks like a AS186... it's superb now it's rigged up to a tank. Getting a booth this weekend, so I'm really excited to have a proper set up at last. :)

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