Airbrush Help

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by prem895, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    I find I really need to get myself an airbrush. I would like some advice as to what I should get. I find this thing confusing. The brush over larger areas just does not cut it any more.
     
  2. destrozas

    destrozas Well-Known Member

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    Since if you can be more precise in your questions you could be given a more concrete help.
    what if I can say that an airbrush is one of the best tools we have a modeler, takes time and practice to become accurate with it and what is more important to me to have the time of adaptation, the know how you respond and how to respond to such acts, that will give it time, but I still have to learn a lot is just my appreciation.
     
  3. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    To be more precise, what nozzle diameter do I need. What should I buy for say,camo, large areas and fine detail. I don't have all the money in the world,I guess if I did I would just buy the real planes themselves
     
  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    I think it was Wayne who told me he has one he spent about 35 bucks for and is happy with the results from it. And looking at his posts...
    Needle sets are pretty inexpensive, large and small area coverage. You will find tho, one may do it all for you.

    You will need a compressor for it tho, and these are confusing as well in price range. The only consideration is a about 15/20 constant PSI pressure. So a tank is a must. This prevents pulsing from the piston in the motor providing the pressure.

    I don't think you will find either of these difficult to come by in China.

    Let's see if Wayne can give you the source for his airbrush.
     
  5. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    This helps. Tank and 15/20 constant psi. Now I help with a gun.
     
  6. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    For the last two years I have been using Testors Aztec dual action air brush along with Testor's compressor. Both have worked flawlessly over that entire period. You can easily find them on Ebay or direct from Testors web site. As to what the various nozzles do, this is from the Testors web site. All are interchangeable and easily screw in and out even in the middle of spraying. It takes practice but it is the best thing I ever bought for modeling and is only topped by the excellent, knowledgable, and helpful people on this site
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Maybe clarity is needed about the tank. As an example, that Testors compressor that Mike posted above is a complete unit and does a great job. I have a similar unit made by Paasche and there's no obvious sign of a tank, unless it's built in.

    Fundamental airbrush decisions: dual vs single action and gravity vs syphon feed. I like dual and gravity.

    I bought my Iwata HP-C here Chicago Airbrush Supply | Airbrush Supplies | Airbrushes for Sale and was happy with price and service.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree with the guys. I use an inexpensive, fine-line, dual-action, gravity feed 'brush, with an inexpensive, mini-compressor, which provides a constant 15 psi and no more!
    The 'brush cost me £28 (approx $40) and the compressor about £40 (approx $60), and I've used both, without problem, for around four years.
     
  9. dneid

    dneid Active Member

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    Hey, prem,
    I have been using Paasches for years and I am very happy with them all. I have a single action (Paasche H) that is 30+ yrs old and works great to this day. I have a dual action (Paasche VL or VLM) that is about 20 years old and I love it as well. Late last year I bought a dual action, gravity fed Paasche (Paasche Talon) that I am enjoying a great deal. I am still getting used to what thinning/air pressure combinations is prefers, but it is damned nice brush. I have all 3 tips/needles for the H and the VL/VLM. I find that I keep the xtra fine tip/needle in the VL/VLM and I can get just about all I need from that. I can do large area coverage (I build almost exclusively quarter) and still get down around 1mm lines when needed. I find the Talon will go a tad finer, but I have yet to completely master that brush.
    I do agree with everyone that a tanked compressor is MUST. And, be sure to get a moisture trap as well. I grabbed a TPC-88 from TCPGLOBAL that is a decent compressor. I did have to send it back to get the regulator(s) replaced, but they backed up the product completely and that problem is solved.
    One last note, when you get whatever brush/compressor you decide on, be sure to practice, practice, practice. It takes a awhile to get a feel for thinning versus air pressure. For example, on the '51 I finishing, I thinned the OD and Neutral Grey about 20-30% and shot it at 12 psi. I did a test run on a Luftwaffe pattern (one with all those damned lines on the fuse sides). I shot those fine lines at 50% thinned and around 5psi. They came out rather nicely on the scrap styrene I used.
    I am sure you understand the differences in a single action versus a dual action brush. If not, just ask, we will be glad to help you out.
    Dale
     
  10. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    Thank you all, I am now understanding what I will need to get things up and running. Single and dual?
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    In simple terms, single action means that pressing the trigger works the air and the paint together, with no further control apart from regulating airflow at the compressor only. The flow of paint has to be pre-set at the nozzle, to the desired spray pattern area.
    Dual action has much more precise control - pressing the trigger works the air, and pulling back the trigger controls the paint flow. The further back the trigger is pulled, means more paint will flow, and therefore a wider pattern.
    The single action brushes are really more of a mini spray gun, and although perhaps a little limited, can still meet many needs, depending on the size of the nozzle/jet. They are particularly good for covering larger areas, or overall single colour or clear coat work, and are normally syphon, or suction feed, from a jar below the actual brush.
    Dual action are more precision instruments, true airbrushes, and in general, are capable of finer detail work which, depending on the nozzle type, and distance from the work being done, can be a pencil-thin line if required. In most cases, they are gravity fed, meaning there's a cup or reservoir mounted on top, or on the side, of the brush body.
    If you have a look at web-sites specialising in airbrushes, you should find that the specification details will show things such as the range of operating pressure, and the range of spray pattern. For example, the latter might be something like 'From 0.5mm to 15mm'.
    As for compressors, whilst it's true that a compressor with a tank is desirable, for the reasons stated in the previous posts, it's not absolutely essential in most modelling jobs. The reason for this is, that, generally, the actual time of each 'burst' when spraying a model (depending on size of model of course - might differ with very large scale stuff) is relatively short, and in most cases well within the capacity of piston or reciprocating compressors.
    That said, as with any other tool, it's generally a good idea to buy the best you can afford (given the specs are suitable), which doesn't have to be the most expensive.
    Traditionally, most airbrushes and compressors were designed and built for art, or graphic arts studio work, where they'd be banging away virtually all day, every day, 5 or 6 days a week, which of course meant that high standards of quality and engineering were required, and a higher price tag because of this.
    However, in modelling, the demands on the equipment is nowhere near as harsh, and the average set up is way over what is actually needed.
    Nowadays, due to the uses of airbrushes and compressors in such diverse areas as modelling to beauty salons, the range of choice in brushes and compressors is much larger, and prices much lower, than they were even 10 or 15 years ago, so it's worth spending some time looking around, learning a bit about the specs from published info at various sales outlets, and comparing prices, especially package deals.
    I don't have any info handy on sales outlets in the USA, but a quick look at the UK based site below might be a good intro or looking at specs and so on.
    Have a look at The Spraygun Company Ltd
    This is the place I got my current 'brushes from (their own AB brand, which are excellent, especially for the price).
    Hope this helps.
     
  12. prem895

    prem895 Active Member

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    AF,your explanation of it's working and various set-ups is invaluable as always,the same goes with your introduction to brush painting. Great info as always. You are making me a better modeler. Thanks again to you all.
     
  13. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Terry, excellent post. IMHO starting out dual action is best and easiest to learn. The first Aztec I bought was single and I had a difficult time trying to get the spray I wanted every time. To little and I'd pull back too far and get a blob.
     
  14. dneid

    dneid Active Member

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    #14 dneid, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
    I would agree with Mike that I would go dual action from the get go. I started with the single action H. I did get good with, but once I had my VL (dual action), my skills moved up considerably after spending time learning the brush.
    As far as US based suppliers, look at Air Compressors. They carry a wide array of airbrushes by the major brands and their prices are usually very good and they often bundle brushes and compressors together at good prices. Their customer service is damned good as well.
    Dale
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I am one of the least experienced modellers here. I find a dual action is a must....gives more control over the air pressure and amount of paint. But I have found my cheap ($60 aus) fine nozle from China and my small modelling ccompressor (also from China $150 Au) more than adequate. The weak link is the mug behind the gun, so to speak.

    Singler action though is not a good choice. I have several of them, and hardly ever use them. The chinese one works just fine....
     
  16. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    I would simply emphasize in the strongest terms: practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. It is a skill and an art and even becoming just OK takes time.
    I started spraying plain water on paper and boxes. Learning to control spray pattern, pressure, paint volume, etc. Then I added some food coloring to the water and practiced coloing paper, writing my name, etc. Finally, I bought some cheap model paint (acrylic initially, easier to clean up than enamels or lacquers). Using those free restaurant styrofoam boxes, I practiced painting them, outside curves, inside curves, flat surfaces. Last a cheap snap-together model plane painted in various colors and patterns. It was about a month or longer before I tried spraying a "going to keep" model
     
  17. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, Mike's got that right, Practice is the key.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I agree fully, practice, practice, practice, and then loads more practice.
    What worries me though, is that Doctors 'practice' .............
     
  19. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Then there are the ones that got C's in med school, but they can bury their mistakesso it's all good
     
  20. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    That's why I self medicate as much as possible.
     
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