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tips on nozzle size?


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Hello all 

 

I've recently started airbrushing I must admit its a great piece of kit and I wish Id had one now when painting space marine armies in my younger days.

 

However now I'm painting 1/72 WW2 armour.

 

I got a Vallejo model air camo set with a Harder and Steinbeck ultra 0.2mm airbrush. However I also paid a bit extra when buying a compressor to get a 2nd cheap airbrush, its a Fengda 0.4mm.

 

All good except I'm finding myself often getting better results with the cheap 0.4 mm airbrush with the Vallejo paints, it definitely sprays the Vallejo primers with less hassle.

 

Have watched a lot of youtube videos however vey few discus the effect of nozzle size, I assumed the 0.2 would give me better detail work but I'm no where near at the level to be freehanding camo patterns in 1/72. I did see one video that suggested Vallejo paints spray better through a .4mm which leaves me wondering why they sell the set with a .2mm nozzle. 

 

So I'm thinking about getting a .4mm nozzle set for the H&S but then I suspect more options is slowing my improvement.

 

Any thoughts, hints or tips

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In theory, finer nozzle = finer spray = better precision & control. But the medium used has a lot to do with it. Don't forget, airbrushes are designed for use with a variety of media - not all of which is compatible with the finest nozzles. I'm not a Vallejo user, but I have found that the finer the nozzle the more you need to thin the paint (and lower air pressure). I use a .15 nozzle with enamels, but this requires highly thinned paint to work well. 

 

I also have a .4mm cheapo Chinese brush which I use for primer - works fine and its easier to switch airbrushes than change nozzles or needles.

 

I think you need to experiment with thinning the Vallejo paint, though if you want really fine detail you may find you need to switch to lacquer or enamel based paints to get the results you want.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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I'm an adherent to the 0.2mm nozzle, although I do have a 0.18mm nozzle in my Gunze PS-770, which is an awesome brush, and pretty much identical to the Iwata Custom Micro spanky top-of-the-line airbrush at roughly half the price :coolio:

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I use a 0.18mm nozzle in my Iwata Custom Micron and I use this brush for everything, currently doing a 1/32 project, this nozzle size has made all my other airbrushes almost redundant including my 0.2mm Efbe's and my Iwata Hi-Line HP-CH 0.3mm nozzle. I do have a 0.5mm Creos Procon Boy PS 290 for those odd occasions when I need to hose on the paint in short order.

 

I think more people should consider the smaller nozzles as they are almost designed for our hobby and are no more difficult to use than any other airbrush in my experience spaying my chosen enamels with aplomb as well as the odd lacquers and Tamiya "acrylics".

 

As has been said the Procon Boy airbrushes are excellent value, although not half the price of a comparable Custom Micron, my CM-B was £80 more than the Procon Boy PS-771, both have the shiny finish. The reasons I went for the Iwata was that it is a smaller airbrush sans the MAC valve so better ergonomics for me but when It comes to performance I have no doubt that the Procon Boy deloivers as well as the Iwata.

 

For me small is beautiful when it comes to airbrush nozzle/needles.

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Forgot to add that the Procon Boy nozzles and needles are a tad cheaper to replace than the Iwata ones, however it is unlikely that you will need to replace them due wear. User abuse is the most common fault methinks.

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4 hours ago, ckw said:

In theory, finer nozzle = finer spray = better precision & control. But the medium used has a lot to do with it. Don't forget, airbrushes are designed for use with a variety of media - not all of which is compatible with the finest nozzles. I'm not a Vallejo user, but I have found that the finer the nozzle the more you need to thin the paint (and lower air pressure). I use a .15 nozzle with enamels, but this requires highly thinned paint to work well. 

 

I also have a .4mm cheapo Chinese brush which I use for primer - works fine and its easier to switch airbrushes than change nozzles or needles.

 

I think you need to experiment with thinning the Vallejo paint, though if you want really fine detail you may find you need to switch to lacquer or enamel based paints to get the results you want.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

 

I think you are right, more practice is required, right constancy of paint, correct pressure, spray distance etc. But good to know that a .2 nozzle shouldn't be an issue.

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In theory you could use the 0.15 nozzle if you wanted, but IMHO they're best left for certain types of paints. It's not just about how much you thin the paint, it also has to do with the pigment size and especially metallic flake (when you're using metallics). The larger nozzle will be far more forgiving in that regard and it will allow more than adequate control for most jobs. Freehanded camo is best done with a smaller nozzle (just an example), but for most stuff the 0.4 nozzle will save you time and provide you with a good finish.

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Certain types and makes of paint do perform better through 0.4 nozzles.  I find spraying certain colours of AK Extreme metal and other metal paint work better through 0.4 due to pigment size , the same for some ture water based acrylics and primers especially Stynylrez/UMP and micro fillers or Mr surfacer 100.  I also find the 0.4 great for armour and larger scale aircraft coverage, that said I've got really good results doing fine work with an 0.4, just takes practice.   

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I have found that my Harder & Steenbeck Infinity with a 4.0 nozzle great for priming when using Badger's Stynylrez (which is my general go-to these days). I set my compressor at 25psi for this medium. For spraying Tamiya acrylics that are thinned with their X-20, a switch to a 2.0 nozzle and needle set is fine for all of the models I've so far shot. Works great for pre-shading too. I have yet to try the H&S .15mm setup. I've read that this needle size is quite fragile.

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On 07/01/2021 at 13:42, dromia said:

Forgot to add that the Procon Boy nozzles and needles are a tad cheaper to replace than the Iwata ones, however it is unlikely that you will need to replace them due wear. User abuse is the most common fault methinks.

They're interchangeable too :)

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Years ago I spent much time fussing over tip size for my Paasche VL airbrush, so much so that I sometimes felt I was spending more time fussing and fighting with the airbrush that I was building and painting models. 

 

I had somehow convinced myself that I absolutely need to use the fine tip and needle ( #1 in Paasche speak ) in order to get fine lines and detail.

 

One day it dawned on me that it really wasn't the tip size that let me paint fine lines details but rather it was how close the tip of the airbrush was to what I was painting and fine paint flow control by controlling air flow by setting pressure and movement of the finger trigger.  I suddenly realized the reason I often read about artists using their airbrushes with the aircap removed - it was so they get closer to their work and get finer lines and details.

 

Since then I have used nothing but a Paasche medium needle and tip ( #3 in Paasche speak ) in my VL airbrush and can easily and consistently paint lines to near 1/32" wide but I need to take the aircap off and get up close and personal with the work piece.

 

Tip size is really related to the medium you are trying to spray.  Thicker, heavier paints with larger pigments need a larger tip size ( for example, some enamels and primers ) whereas thin mediums like ink or well diluted lacquers, acrylics, and enamels can be used with smaller tips sizes.

 

Incidentally, the Paasche #1 tip is 0.55mm and the #3 is 0.75mm. Paasche also has a #5 which is 1.05mm 

 

My Paasche Talon TS has a #3 needle  / tip setup where the #3 tip size for the Talon airbrushes is 0.66mm

 

I don't use Vallejo paints so I couldn't comment on the relative difference between the .2 and .4 tip sizes but it seems that if you are having trouble with the small tip then you will likely be much happier with the larger tip size.

 

cheers, Graham 

 

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I meant to post this link with my last post but forgot:

 

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

 

Don's Airbrush Tips

 

Lots of good down to earth information from a long time model builder.

 

cheers, Graham

 

Edited by GrahamCC
trying to figure out how to properly add a link
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Small nozzles are fine as long as the paint is thin enough and more importantly, the pigment grain is small enough.

 

Some paint has coarser pigment and will block small nozzles more frequently.  This applies to some makes and ranges but also more generally to primers and metallics. The badger (UMP is the same stuff) primer actually specifies a nozzle of 0.4mm or greater on the label.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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