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My first build. Part I: My battle with the airbrush.

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  • Member since
    February 2020
My first build. Part I: My battle with the airbrush.
Posted by Manifoldhead on Friday, March 6, 2020 10:23 PM

 

Hello all,
 
Since I’m new here and new to the hobby I thought I would document my first attempt at a detailed (for me!) scale model car. Hopefully it will provide some entertainment for all of you as I stumble my way through this first build and provide education for me from you good people having pity on me and helping me through the interesting problems I encounter.
 
I built  models as kid, and about 30 years ago I attempted a more detailed one. Detailed to me meant using a spray can and not getting glue all over the place! Then about 15 years ago I decided to make a really nice model. I bought an airbrush and everything! I got the raised letter on the tires done a few parts put together, then life got in the way.
 
Fast forward to my retirement.
 
I’m ready to make this a serious hobby. I broke out the old kit. It’s a monogram 1970 Superbird.  I broke out the airbrush….and Badger 200 basic unit.
 
After perusing the internet, I got so much information I’m almost frozen in place. Holy crap! There is lot of techniques for building a model!
 
OK so here we go!!!!
 
After cleaning the model and making sure all the pieces are still there, I went ahead and cleaned the pieces and made sure all the pieces are there. I had painted the exhaust system
And the underside of the car flat black and hand brushed the mufflers and exhaust pipes
 
I decided I needed to prime the body and most of the other parts. I thought this would also be a good time to practice with the airbrush. The airbrush came with a small can of air, but since I have a small compressor with a regulator I bought a filter and some fittings to make it work.
I hooked up the airbrush, set  the compressor for 30psi and lo and behold, the airbrush didn’t work. Bummer. After some troubleshooting I decided it was the needle valve and ordered a new part. I installed part and the brush worked. Yay! I overcame my first modeling problem.
 
I bought Tamiya grey primer and thinned it 50/50 with laquer thinner, set myself up in my well ventilated garage, filled up the cup on brush and…………didn’t stick it in far enough and splat! The cup fell onto the work table. Nice start. I cleaned up the mess and decided to use the bottle with built in siphon hose.  I sprayed the model………and when it dried it felt kind of like sandpaper.  This is when I decided a couple of things:
 

1.     A big part of learning this hobby will be mistake recovery, and

2.     This first model is a completely expendable training tool. and

3.     I really need a paint booth for those fumes.

 
Doing a little research, I decided that it was probably a little cold when I sprayed and I probably held the brush too far away and the paint dried before it hit the model.
 
It wasn’t too bad, though, I was able to sand it down pretty smooth. I used a spray can for the second coat. I’m not sure the mess and hassle of the airbrush is worth it for priming. I’m not giving up on the airbrush as I think it will be more versatile once I learn to us it.
 
Well, that’s it for my first installment. Next up  will be the paint booth build.

 

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by Painted Black on Saturday, March 7, 2020 6:47 AM

As far as I know, we have all been there, just keep at it, it will get easier as you go..

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by Manifoldhead on Saturday, March 7, 2020 8:12 AM

Painted Black

As far as I know, we have all been there, just keep at it, it will get easier as you go..

 

 

Thanks. It's obvious the learnnig curve is steep. Writing this helps me have a sense of humor about it and hopefully some some good advice with come my way as well!

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Saturday, March 7, 2020 8:50 AM

Here is a partial education for you.  Thin your paint to the consistancy of milk and "splash" some against the side of your spray jar to check this consistancy.  Lower your air pressure to about 20 PSI and hold your airbrush about 10-12 inches away from your model and start the spraying just before your model and stop spraying just after the model. 

The sandpaper finish that you feel on your model is the paint drying too soon as it comes out of your airbrush.  Don't panic as this can be corrected with some wet sanding and some sandpaper.  Start with the course sand paper working in one direction only.  Use a finer sandpaper and wetsand in the opposite direction.  The idea is to remove the "damage" from the original sandpaper.  Keep working until you have gone through all the grits from course to fine.  

Depending upon your learning curve, some of this may take some time and a few kits to get an excellent looking model.  Don't let your lack of experience stop you from trying harder the next time around.  When you do things correctly, you'll get a better model.  Your first model shouldn't be a showstopper, just a good looking model.  The more you build, the better you can get.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Saturday, March 7, 2020 9:21 AM

Add a respirator to your list for your next painting session, it will help in the long run, believe me. I've had a couple of air brushes and compressor but never really "got into it" and my preffered method of painting is "shake 'n spray" and it works for me and the results are good.........................

DSC01141

High octane

  • Member since
    January 2004
  • From: Rochester NY
Posted by Unglued on Saturday, March 7, 2020 10:03 AM

Well welcome back to the greatest hobby, and congratulations on your retirement. Mine is coming in a few years, I can see the light and the model kits coming. LOL. Try lowering the air pressure somewhere between 10 and 18 psi. I use that range for all the different types of paint. Also my go to primer is the .99cent flat paint I get from Home Depot (black,gray,white) I decant it right from the spray can into the airbrush bottle using no thinning. White seems to come out the smoothest for some reason.You should wet sand between coats anyways,primer and paint for best results. And remember mistakes will happen, it's how you recover for them that counts. It is a hobby, and yes sometimes frustrating, but the end result is rewarding. You make what you want. Hope this helps. I've been building pretty much constant since 1995. Most turn out pretty good I think, others have a flaw or two. It is still better than punching a 9-5 clock. "ENJOY"

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Saturday, March 7, 2020 1:12 PM

Was your air brushed Tamiya primer decanted from a spray can? If so, it likely didn't need thinning. As suggested above, sounds like your primer drying as it hit the model, and that would be one reason why. 

Another potential reason, also suggested, is your pressure sounds a bit high. Something closer to 20 psi (give or take a few) might work better. 

If your primer is from a spray can, just apply light coats with that, at least for now. Tamiya primer is good stuff, and I shoot it from the can. Cans lay paint down pretty heavy, so apply lightly. 

The Badger 200 is a good work horse. Until this past January it was my sole airbrush for 39 years. Airbrushing has a steep learning curve, but with a little experience it begins to make much more sense. Try painting a few plastic water bottles for practice. Experiment with air pressure, spraying distance, paint flow (needle adjustments), the speed of your sweep, etc. You will also find that lacquer, enamel, and acrylic each have their own spraying behaviours. 

It can seem overwhelming when first jumping in. There is a tonne of information out there, and some of it will be contradictory. This is because over the years everyone has drveloped their own methods and techniques that work for them, but the basics are actually quite simple. As you go along you'll develop your own techniques, made up from bits and pieces you pick up on the forum that work for you ( or perhaps more correctly, the ones that make sense to you). This goes for all aspects of model building, not just painting. 

Good luck, and keep us posted. 

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by Manifoldhead on Saturday, March 7, 2020 8:13 PM

mrmike

Here is a partial education for you.  Thin your paint to the consistancy of milk and "splash" some against the side of your spray jar to check this consistancy.  Lower your air pressure to about 20 PSI and hold your airbrush about 10-12 inches away from your model and start the spraying just before your model and stop spraying just after the model. 

The sandpaper finish that you feel on your model is the paint drying too soon as it comes out of your airbrush.  Don't panic as this can be corrected with some wet sanding and some sandpaper.  Start with the course sand paper working in one direction only.  Use a finer sandpaper and wetsand in the opposite direction.  The idea is to remove the "damage" from the original sandpaper.  Keep working until you have gone through all the grits from course to fine.  

Depending upon your learning curve, some of this may take some time and a few kits to get an excellent looking model.  Don't let your lack of experience stop you from trying harder the next time around.  When you do things correctly, you'll get a better model.  Your first model shouldn't be a showstopper, just a good looking model.  The more you build, the better you can get.

 

 

Thanks. I will try your ideas for next time. When you say from course to fine, what grits are you talking about? All the way to 2000? 3000? What incriments do you suggest?

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by Manifoldhead on Saturday, March 7, 2020 8:20 PM

High octane

Add a respirator to your list for your next painting session, it will help in the long run, believe me. I've had a couple of air brushes and compressor but never really "got into it" and my preffered method of painting is "shake 'n spray" and it works for me and the results are good.........................

DSC01141

 

 

That's really nice. The cans do seem to be a lot more convenient. I'll be giving them a try as well.

  • Member since
    February 2020
Posted by Manifoldhead on Saturday, March 7, 2020 8:27 PM

Bainford

Was your air brushed Tamiya primer decanted from a spray can? If so, it likely didn't need thinning. As suggested above, sounds like your primer drying as it hit the model, and that would be one reason why. 

Another potential reason, also suggested, is your pressure sounds a bit high. Something closer to 20 psi (give or take a few) might work better. 

If your primer is from a spray can, just apply light coats with that, at least for now. Tamiya primer is good stuff, and I shoot it from the can. Cans lay paint down pretty heavy, so apply lightly. 

The Badger 200 is a good work horse. Until this past January it was my sole airbrush for 39 years. Airbrushing has a steep learning curve, but with a little experience it begins to make much more sense. Try painting a few plastic water bottles for practice. Experiment with air pressure, spraying distance, paint flow (needle adjustments), the speed of your sweep, etc. You will also find that lacquer, enamel, and acrylic each have their own spraying behaviours. 

It can seem overwhelming when first jumping in. There is a tonne of information out there, and some of it will be contradictory. This is because over the years everyone has drveloped their own methods and techniques that work for them, but the basics are actually quite simple. As you go along you'll develop your own techniques, made up from bits and pieces you pick up on the forum that work for you ( or perhaps more correctly, the ones that make sense to you). This goes for all aspects of model building, not just painting. 

Good luck, and keep us posted. 

 

 

Thank you. The primer was not from a a can, I bought a can later. I havn't decanted anything yet. that will be a new adventure for me. Thanks your tips!

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