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Harry_the_Spider

Airbrushing white paint. How to stop messing it up?

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I’ve tried Tamiya acrylic and made a mess of it.

I’ve tried Humbrol acrylic and made a mess of it.

I’ve tried white primer with Tamiya over the top and have no idea if I made a mess of it, but suspect that the coverage wasn’t great as it got very dirty very quickly necessitating a brushed touch up*.

 

What is the secret?

I’ve got a Sea Vixen and a Victor that will need significant white areas that I’m loathed to start for fear of messing them up, but I’ve got a Hawk “Test Pig” that is primed and lined up for abuse.

 

*which I made a mess of.

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What exactly do you mean by "made a mess"? 

Without knowing the symptoms we could not recommend solutions

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Poor coverage.

 

It looks like white wash, which when touched up with a brush looks like Tippex.

Edited by Harry_the_Spider

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Ok with white I use Alclad white primer as it is great to airbrush directly from the bottle. I then uses Tamiya white - get a new bottle shake it and then add thinners to top it up to the ridge - good shake and bobs your uncle

chris 

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Ok. There is a golden rule of painting - you should put dark colours over bright ones. I.e. if you paint something white then white must come first, then you mask it and paint other colours.

You may need several layers, to have good coverage, don't try to achieve good coverage at one go. Put one layer, let it dry, put another, let it dry etc. etc. 

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Or just use aerosol s Halfords white primer and then appliance white.

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Halfords Appliance White is a good paint indeed. 

Personally I prefer not to use spray but to bleed the paint into a jar and paint with airbrush afterwards. 

You will still need several layers

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1 hour ago, Skyhunter66 said:

Ok with white I use Alclad white primer as it is great to airbrush directly from the bottle. I then uses Tamiya white

I also use Alclad White Primer, but I don't really bother with putting any more white over it, as it's white already :coolio: A few thin coats, followed by a thicker one to give the relevant areas a more white look, most of which can be achieved in one sitting.  The only thing I really use white paint for these days is to modulate the base colour of camo and such :) As was mentioned in this and other posts, if you're going to use white paint, do shake it like your life depends on it to get all those pesky little pigments floating about in the carrier medium.  It's the same as with yellow, orange, red and matt varnish.  They're heavily reliant on good mixing, as well as the colour of the surface you're spraying them onto.  If your model's like a patchwork quilt beforehand, it'll probably be the same way after.  Primer.... perhaps a white primer?  Maybe just use the white primer and be done with it ^_^

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Black basing is a "thing".

 

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Different paints behave in different ways, but a good way to go is to go for minimal paint flow and dust it on close in, using the air flow to blow-dry it as you go. Gradual build up of paint-film and thus pigment is the way to go and it's surprisingly fast. The above was done it 15 minutes.

 

There is a temptation with light colours to try to apply as much as possible per pass without getting paint runs. This leads to pooling and transluscence usually, and a general dissatisfaction with the results.

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2 hours ago, Paul J said:

Or just use aerosol s Halfords white primer and then appliance white.

Bombproof. I wouldn't go any other way now.

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I hate white. I sprayed a 48 scale F16 all white because it is from the thunderbirds which are all WHITE! no matter how many layers you spray it never seems to build up. then it begins to run because you have too many layers on..

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I don't use a rattle can because it feels like I have nearly zero control over it.

 

The key to a good gloss white coat is to first use thin coats of flat white to build full coverage, that is, to get a solid white finish. Once you have coverage, apply a thin coat of gloss white followed by a final wet gloss coat. That's it. Same process works for yellow.

 

It can all be done with gloss white or gloss yellow but it will take more coats to get coverage. The key is to always work on full coverage with thin coats before you even think about that final wet gloss coat.

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On 07/11/2018 at 19:45, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

It's as easy as any other colour once the light bulb comes on and you stop trying to go on wet.

Jamie is 100% correct. It's not so difficult to get the result if you follow his advice. Myself I use Zero paints Pure White, or Mr Color, or Tamiya TS Pure White. Spray it on dry in light coats and it will cover very fast. Allow it to dry for 15-20 mins, then a wetter coat or two and I'm done. If I want it glossy, I either use a gloss paint or clear coat it..

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My 'As near to idiot proof as you can get TM' system is as follows:

 

Games Workshop Corax White aerosol.  It has a creamy appearance and covers really well, as simple to use as Halfords grey primer.

Dust this on lightly, as said before you will not cover it all in one pass.  For the Valiant & Victor I held the nose and dusted over the wings and the tail top and bottom, then later held the tail and dusted the nose and the wings.  Repeated this about 3 times to get the even thin cover seen here.

 

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Next up a light dusting with Halfords White Primer (seen here on my Valiant build).  This is done to 1) build depth of cover 2) to alleviate any concerns I had about Games Workshop vs Halfords gloss paint reactions.  I have experimented with going straight to plastic with the Halfords white but it does not take to the plastic as well as grey primer or the Corax White.  I have also tried basing with grey primer, but you need more paint to cover.

 

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Then Halfords appliance white.  I only use enough of this to put a sheen on. Remember the 'whiteness' is from the easy to handle primer not the runny gloss. Also you don't want a super gloss finish to be convincing in scale, so again it's wise to dust on in multiple passes until it's all covered.

 

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Di-Electric panels on my Victor were left primer and masked.

 

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I know this seems to be a bit laborious and will take a couple of days but it's worth it!

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The problem with white, yellow and red is you need lots of coats to get the colour you desire.

 

I found that to spray lots of coats very quickly if I thinned just with IPA then I could continuously spray without having to wait for the paint to dry as it dries almost instantly. The finish isn’t great and can be a touch dusty so a rub down with an old cloth and a few top coats of white thinned with mr color levelling thinner makes it all good. This is over black too. 

 

I use either Gunze or tamiya paints. 

 

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My favourite white used to be Tamiya's flat white, very easy to airbrush and very well covering.

Today I've switched to Vallejo's Premium Airbrush Color, it's prethinned for use in an airbrush, covers very well and dries quickly. I've sprayed this over Tamiya's grey primer and other paints and never had any problem with it

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As there is loads of really good advice in this thread already I'm not sure how much extra I can add but I thought I would share my own 'Eureka!' moment when trying to airbrush white, flat or gloss.

 

99.9% isopropyl alcohol, or IPA.

 

Before I found this I had tried most of the manufacturers own thinners and always got fine results with any colour, except white. Couldn't get it to stick, would always pool and flood the surface however I tried mixing it, tried light coats but it would never cover. But, now white really isn't a worry and has just become another colour that I don't fret over.

 

I've found it works really well with tamiya and gunze acrylics, but word of warning don't let it near revell aqua or humbrol acrylics as it will just curdle them. 

Edited by DannyB

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