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Having problem airbrushing

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  • Member since
    March, 2017
Having problem airbrushing
Posted by JimmyWethington on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 3:33 PM

OK just started learning to use an airbrush.  I bought a Passche H single action to begin with.  I thought when I got use to this, I would go to a dual action brush.  I'm having a horrible time learning to thin the paints correctly.  I've used testors enamel, Createx acrylics and Vellejo acrylics along with some of the cheaper craft acrylics.  The best results I've gotten so far are with the Vellejo but even it has been hit or miss.  I've watched tons of youtube videos and used the mixtures some of those guys suggested.  Is there any paint that is ready to spray without having to thin.  Or is there a magic formula for thinning these paints?  I'm not looking for show model paint jobs, I just want it to look nice with as little orange peel as possible.

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 3:41 PM

There are a lot of aftermarket companies that sell prethinned airbrush paints.

MCW, (Model Car World) are the ones that I use, but there are many others.

I don't adhere to any formulas when I do mix paints for airbrushing.

A little bit thicker than milk is my general rule of thumb, & then test.

If need be, it can be thinned a little more at a time until it sprays well.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Thursday, April 13, 2017 8:52 AM

Yes, as Steve said there is no secret to thinning. I start with a 50/50 mix, or 1:1 if you prefer, of paint and thinner. Don't worry if it is not exact. Anything close to this will spray well, but get out a scrap body, or just some use plastic pop bottles, and experiment with thinner and thicker mixtures and see what happens. For experimentation purposes, don't be afraid to go to extremes. It's all a learning experience.

Also, your single action Paasche is capable of doing an excellent paint job. It is not necessary to go to a dual action airbrush.

Now, I am not the best to give advice. I have been painting (airbrushing) for decades and my paint generally sucks. I definately adhere to the method of; If you can't paint, get good at polishing. As such I won't give specific tips on painting technique lest I should steer you wrong, but I want to say that there are other parameters that effect paint job quality other then thinning. Important factors include air pressure, spraying distance from the model, speed at which you move the airbrush, the method in which the coats of paint are laid down (starting with mist coats, etc), and airbrush maintenance & condition. Experiment with these parameters, or at least seek/heed the advice that good painters suggest on these elements.

Youtube vids are a good place to start. There is a model paint DVD by Don Yost that many modellers claim has helped them to learn how to apply good paint (I have not seen it myself). And despite your success in mastering the airbrush, I will still encourage you to develope polishing skills for excellent results.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by JimmyWethington on Thursday, April 13, 2017 10:01 AM

Thanks fellas.  What I'm getting is that I need to practice.  I'll have to find me some scrap plastic to use. 

  • Member since
    December, 2015
Posted by streetmach1987 on Thursday, April 13, 2017 10:22 AM

I have the same airbrush and all i do is, use the 50/50 mix when working with enamel and lacquer.use a cheap lacquer thinner. air pressure is about 22-28. i use # 5 air nozzle and needle. SANDING I GO ALL THE WAY UP TO 12000 GRIT then i spray a very light mist coat, 3 coats or until  its coverd  then i  lay down a wet coat(heavyer coat) but becareful not to go to heavy to avoid runs. im in no way the best at this but,, this works for me, and i dont use primer, as a so called primer i use testors buffing metalizer very lite coat. it will show any spots that need more fine sanding.( 12,000 grit) then respray if needed. I hope this helps.

427Yes

  • Member since
    April, 2017
Posted by FoxThre3 on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 2:16 PM
The only time you should look at buying "ready to shoot" paints are if you absolutely need that particular color and cannot find it anywhere else. Part of the steep learning curve is learning how to control not only viscosity of paint, but pressure volume as well. Don't let anyone ever tell you that the two aren't directly connected, because they very much are, and it took me MONTHS before I finally got the light bulb to come on in my head. As a general rule of thumb, you'll have better luck with some paints than others. I started out with model masters enamels, because I liked that they had the FS paint line, and I could cheat and get close colors without all the paint matching. However, they're terrible to try to do really fine work with, and they don't play too well when you try to spray them in transparent filter layers. I eventually switched over to Tamiya paints exclusively because they spray like an absolute dream, and even though they're advertised as "acrylics", they carry many of the very same traits as lacquers, and they perform like them so well. It's really nice to work with them, and I can control them very well. Stay away from model master acrylics, as they'll just trash an airbrush. Vallejo paints mixed with water are hit and miss, and the Vallejo "air" paints are even marginal at best. Just play around with various paints and mixtures. If you're getting a lot of spitting, then the paint is too thick, or your pressure is too low. If you're getting flooding, runs or sags, you're either way too thin, or way to high on pressure. Just keep playing around with things until you feel comfortable.
  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by JimmyWethington on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 2:27 PM

Thanks.  I'm finding out what works with one paint doesn't always work with the other or even the same paint the next day.  Trial and error but I finally and happy with the 71 Charger I painted jet black.  After painting it and stripping it down 3 times.

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by JimmyWethington on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 8:18 AM

I had time to play around some last night and I used some Createx on a '37 Ford Coup and some Vellejo on a '69 Charge and I got them were they both look great.  I used Windex and a drop of Createx reducer and then just added a little more windex until it got thin enough.  I was using too low of air pressure also.  For some reason, my compressor, probably because it is a cheap one, drops way down in pressure when I start spraying paint.   When I first got it, it didn't drop as much as it does now.  So now a new compressor is on my list to buy.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 10:39 AM

Sounds good Jimmy. Sounds like you are getting the hang of it. Airbrushing is one of those things that become a life long learning experience. Very few people actually master it, but with practice anyone can be good at it.

I have my airbrush compressor plumbed into a 7 gal. air pig which helps to eliminate temporary pressure drops, and makes the regulator more effective as well. If your current compressor is capable of reaching sufficiently high pressure, plumbing it to a tank might be a cheaper option to replacement.

Power matters in the straights.
Lightness matters everywhere. - Colin Chapman

Trevor

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