Airbrushes and small parts


Non Rivet Counter
It's been a long time since I touched an airbrush and back then it was just Bowser boilers and Hobbytown shells that didn't move. After chasing a couple of parts across the table and halfway across the floor until I ran out of airhose, it started me wondering. How do you secure your pieces parts for spraying? Inquiring minds with paint streaks in the carpet want to know.
I'm not an airbrush pro myself, but a technique I've seen used is to place a piece of masking tape upside down on the workbench (or used double sided tape) and place the parts on that.

The other option is to use some sort of clamp or jig to hold them. If it's a new kit, consider spraying them before removing them from the spue.
I either paint them on the sprue or used tape like Bob mentioned, or in the case of small brass parts, soldered a holding wire to it. I've also drilled holes to mount a holding wire in small wooden parts. Larger parts can have a "sprue" attached with superglue or solvent. I used a 1x2 stuffed inside an engine shell more than once.

Other (probably most actually) times I've just held it with a pair of pliers and painted the 'held" part (if it needed paint) after the first coat dried, either by hand brushing or with the airbrush. And don't spray around the place where the pliers are gripping it, it will leave a hard edge that will show under the second coat.

I have one pair of needle nosed pliers that must have 30 coats of paint.....
Well painting some loco shells I've used bamboo skewers glued inside the shell, not too sucessful as the glue didn't hold with the movement.
Next a plastic sprue much the same, with the same results as above.
Then I used a piece of wood, tight fit to the inside of the body shell, that was fine.
I'll soon be painting 4 more locos, and I'll use a stick again or maybe I'll make a spring loaded ( I guess I'd call it REVERSE TONGS ) the spring would apply pressure to the two legs to hold them against the sides of the shell. A nut and screw through the legs would keep the spring in place. I saw it in a magazine quite awhile ago.

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I've seen the tongs idea too, should work fine. Seems like you could even make one, using a piece of steel or metal coat hanger or something similiar. Put some foam pad on it to reduce the chance of scratching.
Hey guy's They sell the item your looking for at Micro- Mark. Theirs is metal with foam pads, works great on locos and car bodies but it is useless on small parts!! :cool:
They sell the item your looking for at Micro- Mark
Yow! $14.18 plus almost as much again for shipping to here, I think I'll make my own, but yes that is the device, not a lot to it. Thats a great site though, bookmarked it. I'm wondering a bit about their white Decal paper. I have an ink jet printer the Krylon fixative I can purchase in town. My printer doesn't print white, so how would I print white lettering on the paper to make decals. :confused:
I figured if you looked at a picture of the tongs you could make one! I have bought alot of tools from them over the years. The white decal paper is still clear just the backing paper is white, unless they changed things since I looked last. :cool:
But how do you get white letters from an inkjet printer with it? Or am I on the wrong track altogether?

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D'uh! I'm not going to print white am I? Just the backing is white, OH! well :D

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We all have those days! :D This discussion reminded me of games we'd play over at Post a riddle, then use a font color that matches the background in the message window (either white or grey) for the answer. Users can only see it if they "mouse over."

Try it:

Edited to say: Or darn! We don't have a font color that matches!
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Willis, keep your eyes peeled for an Alps printer. They don't make them anymore (darn) but they show up used from time to time. They do print white.
:( Well I don't think I could justify the cost of an Alps printer to the finnance Dept.
But I could always buy white Decal letter sets. Cheers :)
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For holding parts I have used wrapping paper tubes stuffed into the shell. For small parts, tape. As far as white letters go, you need the white decal paper and print the color around the letters. I think that is how it is suppesed to work, I haven't actually tried it.
I'm with kjd, I use the cardboard tube from papertowels or toilet paper to hold the shell for painting. As for painting small parts, I wrap tape (sticky side out) around one of those paint stirring sticks (free at any paint store) that way I can hold the stick at any angle to get the paint were I want it.

you need the white decal paper and print the color around the letters
Ah! well I just purchased a black ink cart. for my printer, and at $39 for one tiny cart. I think I'll just purchase decal letter sets, at least I think that would be the most economical thing to do. Thanks for the information the thought is appreciated.

Cheers Willis