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Enamel paints in airbrushes


Lightning1968
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That would be a good starter, then adjust as you see what the results look like. Use a mule (old model) for your initial trials, and don't attempt anything too ambitious at first. If you've bought it to do wave mirror on a Ju88, you've a way to go, but you should be able to manage simple mottles quite quickly.

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Hi Mark, I only use enamels in my airbrush, usually I thin 50:50 and strip clean my airbrush after each use, make sure that you mix the paint well before thinning and putting it in your airbrush, I usually stir my paint tin for 2 minutes with a battery stirrer then using a pipette I measure out the paint and thinners into a small jar which I them mix with the pipette before loading up into my airbrush. My normal air pressure is between 15 and 20 psi.

Cheers

Dennis

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I usually start 2 parts paint to 1 part thinners - it's cheaper and faster to add more thinners than pour in the rest of the paint.

Enamels are absolutely fine in airbrushes and IMHO work better - they don't dry in the nozzle, don't need any flow improver additional liquids added to the cocktail, are fairly forgiving of getting the paint/thinner ratio a bit off and the thinners do a good job of cleaning the airbrush out well (i.e. you don't need separate, more aggressive cleaners than thinners to do it).

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Just a wee bit about thinners. If you don't have a hobby store nearby or they don't happen to have Humbrol thinners. You don't have to get Humbrol's own thinners. You can use Cigarette lighter petrol (The liquid not the gas :winkgrin: ) which is the same stuff as Humbrol sell as thinners (A petroleum distillate referred to as Naptha). You can also use White spirit/Turps substitute or my personal favourite pure natural turpentine.

Genuine Turpentine is probably the most expensive option but for me it seems to make the paint flow better and I like the smell though a lot of people can find it unpleasant/ irritant.

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Hello

before, I only used Humbrols.

lat year I swapped for Gunze acrylics because they have lower odor, require less stirring, threaded cap, better conservation, faster drying, easy airbrush cleaning

I regret some Humbrol features such as:

- low drying: it was easier to rework camo edges with a brush

- I find I had less "sputtering" with enamels

- enamels are tougher when dry

- color range

But the main reason I now use Gunze was the untimely obstruction of the nozzle.

Enamels have bigger particules that stay blocked in the nozzle.

Especially with the fine 0,15mm one.

Hope it helps

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I would buy some special enamel airbrush cleaner. Clean with thinners first and then give the nozzle a quick blast with the airbrush cleaner, even when the airbrush looks clean there is still a little bit of paint left behind that can not be seen and which will build up after each use. Airbrush cleaner is about the only thing that will shift the last traces of enamel paint.

With the H&S 2 in 1 I have learnt to thin the paint much more than with other airbrushes, better to give the model two thin coats than one heavy one.

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Thanks guys for all the amazing comments and tips. Very helpful to me indeed. Just an absolute newbie to airbrushing and want to get things right. I have a bottle of Vallejo airbrush thinners and the same in cleaner. I presume this will be fine for enamels ?

Thanks again all much appreciated,

Mark.

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... I have a bottle of Vallejo airbrush thinners and the same in cleaner. I presume this will be fine for enamels ?...

Unfortunately not Mark. Vallejo's thinners and cleaner are intended for use with their (or others') water-based acrylics, not enamels. Do not use them in conjunction with enamel paints; the clean-up required would be horribly time-consuming. Beardie's suggestions of naptha, white spirit or turps will work very well for you.

regards,

Andrew.

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Mark if you take my advise ,I would put all the enamel away,and buy some acrylic either Vallejo, Tamiya or Gunze .

I say this because when I started out with an airbrush about 8 years ago is all I had was humrol a revell enamels and I got into nothing but problems. It was not until i went out and brought some Tamiya that things started going right.

I also smelt a rat when you mentioned the Vallejo thinners but Andrew has already mentioned that.

Don't worry if you first couple of models dont turn out quite the way you expected, it is always good to look back at those in years to come so you can see how you have progressed, you can practice mottling effects etc on old plastic bottles etc with the left over bits of paint, and in that way learn for yourself the best thinner/ pressure works best for you., . then as you progress you can try the virtues of enamel and other finishes.,

Wish you all the best with your new airbrush.

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Hi Stuck.

Great advice thank you. I have a couple of F6 Lightnings to build i have all the correct humbrol enamels for them but have just got my new airbrush so now am stuck with a lot of enamels. Is their a Humbrol / Tamiya paint chart equivlent about incase i decide to go for some Tamiya as the paint instructions are only for Humbrol paints.

Regards,

Mark.

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I use this, doubt if its 100% for the purists, but it does help.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pulgadas.hobbycolorconverter&hl=en

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I also moved away from enamels fairly early in my airbrushing 'career' to Gunze acrylics and have had great results. I have never got on with Vallejo acrylic though, they clog up and tip dry too easily, a problem I never have with Gunze, and they rarely survive masking and handling before the paint has started to fall off (and yes I do clean and prime all my models before painting).

Enamels are great to get started with but I found the drying time was way too long. I second Old Thumper's suggestion of giving your airbrush a blast through with a dedicated airbrush cleaner after the initial cleaning with your thinners as this was exactly what was recommended to me by the Technician at the Airbrush Company after he had serviced my clogged airbrush many years ago. The thinners does just that, it thins but it does't completely remove the traces of paint that will gradually build up unless you use a dedicated cleaner too.

Duncan B

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Old thumper... can I just ask the reason why you thin the paint much more with the h&s ultra 2in1 than with other airbrushes?

Cheers,

Mark.

I think or rather guess that it is because the h&s nozzle is smaller than my old airbrush.

Enamels work fine with the h&s airbrush. The problem with some airbrushes is that they have rubber seals that perish when exposed to enamel paint, Also the nozzle screws into the body of most airbrushes, with the h&s 2 in 1 the nozzle is loose and drops out whenever the spray cap is taken off making it much easier to clean and the durable ptfe seal much easier to replace. Also the nozzle seals are cheap and readily available as spares, about 50p compared to about a fiver for a tiny rubber seal for my old neo.

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As for cleaning your airbrush, I always clean mine after every session, initially with white spirits, all was well but the BOSS did not like the smell, so I switched to pure Turps which was a lot better, she even liked the smell, but I started to get problems with a sticking air valve, just as a trial I bought some Badger Airbrush cleaner which works a treat and the sticking air valve has gone away. And I find that I use so little of the Badger stuff that it does not create a smell, a win win situation. So to clean out my airbrush I use airbrush cleaner, simples really.

Cheers

Dennjis

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Some excellent tips and advice. Thanks again to you all for taking your time to answer my question. Plenty of options for me to think about. It's just a little daunting when starting out with an airbrush but I'm sure it will be worth it when I get used to it. Again thanks all for your amazing help.

Cheers,

Mark.

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