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Trouble with my airbrush setup.


TM1985
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Hello everyone. Been a fan of this site for a while, now compelled to post as I'm at my wits end with my airbrush setup.

Years ago (2006?) I bought my first compressor, a Sparmax AC-27. I used it with an old Badger airbrush until its needle bent. After moving house, the Sparmax sat in the shed until six months ago, when I returned to modelling and bought an Iwata Revolution. 

 

For a while, everything was fine. I did my research, cared for the brush and learnt a great deal in a short time. However, all of this fell apart in the last two weeks.

 

The initial problems were solved through cleaning. But recently things have become much worse, with heavy, intermittent splattering, or paint congealing on the needle and dripping off. Paint will often spur from the needle after returning the trigger to its resting position. Often I am not getting any pressure coming through the nozzle. My paints are all properly thinned and I have attempted to spray with Vallejo, Gunze and Citadel paints.

 

I'm tearing my hair out. I do not think the airbrush is at fault as I have disassembled it numerous times and thoroughly cleaned it. 

 

Am I right in suspecting the long neglected compressor? Air is still coming through the hose, alongside some water. As far as I can tell, it has no leaking air. Another possible sign of internal damage is the compressor will cut out if I go above 25 psi.

 

Sorry for the lengthy post but I've tried to be as informative as possible regarding details. If anyone can help it would be much appreciated. Many thanks!

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Simple thing to do is to try it on a different compressor, or a different airbrush on  your compressor.

 

You mention you are using  Vallejo, Gunze and Citadel paints.

 

Which cleaners, thinners, retarders are you using and what is your cleaning routing ?

 

Paul

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I have Mr Levelling and Tamiya thinners, but have yet to pick up a retarder.

 

I clean with Vallejo Airbrush cleaner, and usually scrub with wire brushes too, after plenty of flushing.

 

I think you're right about trying another compressor; I don't want to shell out on a new one only to find I have a faulty Iwata.

 

Thanks for the response.

 

 

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There is a known incompatibility between  Vallejo and Tamiya/Gunze paints, that can cause a lot of strange problems.

 

Tamiya/Gunze are IPA based, this over time can thicken little bits of Vallejo paints, causing little  blobs of paint in the paint nozzle.

As these move around they can block the nozzle, or hold the needle back from the nozzle causing a gap causing paint to seep through the nozzle, or randomly clogging the nozzle.

 

I suspect this is at least part, if not all of the problem here.

 

Paul

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That's interesting, but it seems unlikely as I've paid particular attention to the nozzle with each disassembly. I really like(d) how Gunze and Tamiya sprayed.

I figured that with a lengthy soak in cleaner and a careful scrape/scrub the entire front end of the brush would be spotless. 

 

I'll make a note of that though; I'd be happy to stick solely with Gunze and Tamiya in the future if it reduced the threat to my airbrush.

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5 hours ago, TM1985 said:

usually scrub with wire brushes too, after plenty of flushing.

 

 

Umm... what? By the sound of that, it's quite possible that something's damaged. Airbrushes are fragile, and wire brushes shouldn't be anywhere near them. I'd suggest having a squizz at the nozzles, to make sure they're still the proper shape.

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30 minutes ago, Rob G said:

 

Umm... what? By the sound of that, it's quite possible that something's damaged. Airbrushes are fragile, and wire brushes shouldn't be anywhere near them. I'd suggest having a squizz at the nozzles, to make sure they're still the proper shape.

 

No, it was one of those 5-piece kits that comes on a keyring. A pipe cleaner is a better description.

 

Nozzle looks fine, no tapering or flaring.

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As Paul says, it probably is the interaction of paint with leftover traces of incompatible thinner.

Cleaning after Tamiya/Gunze with Valleyo airbrush cleaner is not good. Use cellulose/lacquer thinner or Mr.Color thinner.

 

But, from your other descriptions, something is not quite right with your needle/nozzle/head assembly.

When you pull the needle back, is it centered in the nozzle opening? Is the nozzle centered in the opening of the head cover?

Did you overtighten the nozzle/head?

Does the head leak air on the joins? Put some beeswax or vaseline (lip balm) on the threads and try again.

 

Regarding cleaning kits, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsW-vN0_lHw

 

Scroll to 1h 21min

 

Edited by dragonlanceHR
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