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Sparmax airbrushes and Mig/AK/Revell acrylics


armored76
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Hey,

 

While I love my H&S Evolution Silverline it is just not delivering the kind of "user experience" I had with my cheap no-name airbrush when using water-based acrylics(?) like thos from Ammo of Mig, AK or Revell. I tried IPA, water, original thinner but the paint drying on the tip after just a few seconds and some paints just cloging the 0.2 mm nozzle are a real problem.

 

In an attempt to solve this problem I had a look on the market and got hooked on the Sparmax line of brushes as these seem to be rather low price but solid constructions. Especially the DH-103 looks like it would be a great fit.

 

Now, the question remains if this or another one from their product line would work any better with the kind of paints mentioned above? Did anyone of you masters had this in their hands and might even have used both a Sparmax and Evolution?

 

Again, I'm interested in experience with the paint brands above. I know that Tamiya acrylics or other alcohol-based (?) acrylics will act differently.

 

Many-many thanks in advance for your help!

Cristian

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Hi Cristian

 

I'm definitely no 'master' but have used the Evolution with Revell Aqua Colour, Vallejo and Ammo of Mig and just couldn't get on with them at all, regardless as to whether I used water, IPA, Ultimate or the manufacturer's 'official' thinners or flow improving products. The best results I had were from my cheap (c. £20) Paasche copy but even this still proved troublesome. I loved the Aqua Colour in particular due to both the shades on offer and the 'friendliness' (health wise) of the product but it was still a nightmare to achieve consistency. I gave up on all of my Acrylics in the end (they're all sat lonely in a box along with unused packs of Vallejo and Ammo of Mig colours that I just use for colour reference now) and went 'old school', switching back to enamel in the form of AK Xtreme Metals and Alclad Mil Spec. They have the same issues as enamels always have (smell, particles, health issues etc.) but they shoot beautifully from the bottle 'every time' and from every one of my airbrushes (H&S, Paasche, Badger and Iwata). I guess it's a case of trial and error and also what your budget can tolerate. I've been tempted to try acrylics once more through a Sparmax SP-20 because I want to get back into T-Shirt design and acrylics worked better for this. For me £50 is a far safer bet than £150+ for other products while having the quality and endurance that my cheaper version simply didn't. That said, I might get shouted at if I buy 'another' airbrush 😔

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Hi Nocoolname,

 

Thanks for your thoughts on this! It's reassuring to hear I might not be doing things all that wrong as I went through exactly what you describe with the exceptions that I'm not willing to switch to enamels, mainly because of their smell and (higher) unfriendliness, health-wise. I'd rather struggle longer with safer paints then have the unsafe ones spread in my hobby room we are also using as an office.

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Your experience might be a result of the "not really accurate" no-name nozzles. When I picked up my Ultra I was very much surprised to the difference between a no-name 0.2 nozzle and the 0.2 nozzle in the German airbrush. It was visible to the naked eye, which might explain why certain paints flow better through the Chinese one. TBH I save the 0.2 nozzle for lacquers, the 0.4 one works great with everything else. If you want something in between perhaps pick an airbrush with a 0.3 nozzle.

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I have the 0.2 and 0.4 on the Ultra. I use the 0.4 for the stuff that usually give me headaches (Aqua, Green Stuff's chameleon paints, some metalics) and if it's small areas and the 0.2 for the paints that agree with it.

On the Chinese I had the 0.2 but found that the 0.3 was better (I converted the Chinese one to airbrush strictly primer) for quick jobs.

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I use the H&S airbrush with a 0.2 mm nozzle to painting with Vallejo and AK acrylic paints without major problems. I'm diluted paint in the ratio of 70-80: 30-20 in favor of the thinner. Painting takes longer because the layers are translucent, you need to apply more of them, but this allows you to get interesting effects.
Vallejo uses H&S Evolution with a 0.4 mm nozzle in his instructional videos.

Regards,

Paul

Edited by O_Pablo
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Thanks, Paul! I find the 70-30 , thinner-paint ration simply too thin... It's probably me, but I end up building up puddles, no matter how careful I am. Plus, even in these cases, there is some tip drying which probably annoys me the most.

 

I was also wondering if a 0.4 or 0.6 needle might work better but then for only a few coins more, I can buy a Sparmax airbrush (admittedly, with just as much of an incertitude if it's working or not).

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Of course, with such a large paint dilution, the pressure should also be reduced. I use about 1 bar pressure.
I think that if you are not happy with the effects when painting with a 0.2 mm nozzle you can try to buy a 0.4 mm nozzle/needle set, I suggest a newer type without this perforated housing (unless you have a 2 in 1 set, in which it was located such a nozzle). In addition to H&S Evolution Silverline, I also have Iwata HP-BH, where the paint structure is similar at a dilution of 50:50 as for H&S Silverline 70:30. Unfortunately, painting with acrylic is not easy. Two days ago I tried to paint a semi-matte black Tamiya and only using Mr. Gunze Color Leveling Thinner obtained a satisfying effect both with H&S and Iwata.

Edited by O_Pablo
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Well that would most likely explain it. The larger nozzle was a lot more forgiving with the mix. TBH unless you're highly restricted by house rules in regards to paint smells I think you should entirely switch to solvent based paints. Mr. Color and Leveling thinners? Forget about it....you'll be painting for hours without experiencing issues. MRP lacquers? Same thing (just make slight adjustments to the technique since those have a watery consistence and can easily flood surfaces and etch hard into plastic).

If you really need to stick to lovely smelling paint stick to Tamiya and Gunze's acrylics. But if I was you I'd take the money you're considering investing into a new airbrush and make/get a spray booth so you can switch to lacquers.

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The spray booth was another option I considered but I'm kind of lacking the space for it plus it would have to be a really long hose not to mention open windows in the winter.

 

I guess, easiest will be to buy the brush and see how that works out :)

 

Thank you all for your help and time!

Edited by armored76
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