Air brushing tips and tricks

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Air brushing tips and tricks

Post  Dana on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:56 pm

Hey every one I plan on giving my new air brush a test dive this weekend. I was hoping those of you that have used an air brush before could post up some tips, what or what not to do's.

I plan to use GW paints with the brush. what water to paint ratio would you suggest? What are the pros and cons of using a can of air vs a compressor?

Any feed would be much appreciated!

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Re: Air brushing tips and tricks

Post  Roland on Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:48 pm

What kinda airbrush?

The GW airbrush is "supposed" to be a 1:1 ratio, but I believe the overall concensus is that's too think and the gun isn't that good either. I believe Commander James has some advice on proper ratio and what guns are good.

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Re: Air brushing tips and tricks

Post  dusktiger on Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:41 pm

dont actually use water to thin it. this is a common mistake by beginners. what you wanna do is get a small bottle, about 12-16oz is good. make that 9 parts water, and 1 part alcohol, the purer the better, so hydrogen peroxyde for example. from now on, this bottle is what you'll use to thin your paints for the paint pot.

the amount is really something you'll have to learn through trial and error; few reasons i say that.
GW, P3, Reaper, each make their paints in different pigment to fluid ratios, so some will need more thinning than others.
certain colors need more thinning than others, just because of the pigment that makes that color. off the top of my head, Scorched brown is bad for this; it needs more thinning that the other paints or it'll clog your brush badly. Reds and Yellows are also colors to be aware of; these need a little more thinning than other colors usually.

i've talked with some airbrushers that do it for a living, doing commissions that average in the 1000's for cost, and out of the ones that use paints like what darren sells, most told me they believe GW's blood red is the nicest, brightest purest of the reds for airbrushing. it needs slightly more thinning than the other colors, but it has such a smoother cleaner finish than other reds do.

now onto can vs compressor;

cans are terrible. i'll say this right now. you cant airbrush well with the cans. because its a finite amount of air, the pressure will constantly change on you, making it hard to not only paint smooth and consistent, but also learn how to properly use your airbrush cause you'll never learn the sweet spots on the action lever for the degrees of detail you want to use it for. they're cheap (for the first couple cans) but you'll spend more on buying new cans than you will on investing on a compressor.

the compressors will give you an even steady supply of air, so your paint will be more even and smooth. it'll also be easier to learn how much to push and pull on the double action levers on the airbrush to get your air-paint flow ratio right for what level of detail your painting. if you decide to buy the hobbyist ones, they run between $75 to 250 for those. but they come with the moisture catch that'll keep your airbrush from spitting.

also, make sure the one you buy has a tank on it. preferably the bigger the better. the reason for this, is the motor gets hot really fast if its constantly running or refilling a little tank. a tankless compressor can run 10 minutes of steady basecoating of models like you would with a spray can. go longer and you risk burning out the motor.

i bought a little 1/4 gallon tank from hobbyworld when i started, and after a while i upgraded to a 2 gallon tank from canadian tire, and just mounted the moisture catch onto that. now i can go a few hours before the motor gets too warm.

a compressor also lets you do something else a can wont; you can set the PSI for the airflow. all good airbrushes will say in their manual what the sweet spot of PSI flow is for that model of airbrush. cans wont let you hit that sweet spot, so you get an underperforming airbrush. its like buying a ferrari and only filling the tank with regular octane instead of the premium they have to run on.

hope that helps. if you need more info, i can spot you a tutorial video from one of those commission painters i mentioned that i got, and it'll give you alot more info.

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Re: Air brushing tips and tricks

Post  System Commander on Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:29 pm

As long as the conpressor can consistently pump out and regular at about 30-40psi, the size shouldnt matter much. Of course the bigger the more it can hold before it runs again.. but the bigger it is the louder it'll be when it kicks in. MIne would be about a medium size.. and if your spraying consistently it'll prob kick in every 15-20 minutes I would estimate.

I picked up an awesome 2.5 gallon compressor from Canadian tire during their grand opening sale for $40. I havent seen it on sale again for that great of a deal.. the cheapest being $80.. but there are definitely deals out there to be had.

Your more than welcome to come pick mine up and test it out if you want to consider a compressor. Ive only used it for the airbrush but havent touched it for the last 6 months and dont anticipate Ill be using it soon.

Are you just using it to base your models or are you trying some different techniques on them?

Ive never had a problem with using water to thin my paints with my airbrush. You have to flush it good afterwards .. but you'd have to do that no matter what you used to thin it out. Like Mike said, Ive heard alchohol works good but Id be to paranoid it would dry the paint out to fast since Im pretty lazy about cleaning it regularly..

I know Stash used his to paint all of his tanks though and his titan so see what he did.

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Re: Air brushing tips and tricks

Post  ScottRadom on Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:07 am

Using water is fine. What kind of airbrush did you get Dana?

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Re: Air brushing tips and tricks

Post  Dana on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:54 pm

Thanks for all the advice so far guys. I received a badger 200 for Christmas. It's a single action internal mix bottom fed type. I should have done some research when asking for an air brush though. The top fed dual action ones seem to be where it's at.

I have a compressor at home thanks for the offer Robyn.

I don't have the proper hose or attachments to run with the air compressor yet. The brush came with a can of air so Ill give that a try for now.

I just have a rhino I want to base coat and maybe a drop pod for now. So I'm hoping the air can will get me by until I can get the proper stuff to use the air compressor.

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