Just getting started with an airbrush

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Littlefoot14

Active Member
...and id like to know the absolute "must dos/haves" before i do something and have some kind of catastrophic disaster.

I think ill go with enamel or acrylic paints, but how much thinner?

Any specific thinner?

What does "double action" mean? Im assuming its nothing like a double action handgun?

What PSI should i set it to, or is that something that will be in the instructions and im just missing it?

How do i determine how much paint i need. Most of the bottles i see are .5oz, how far will this get me with a locomotive or frieght car?

That all i have for now,
Thanks
LF
 
well, for starters, acrylics are thinned by water (or alcohol for faster drying). Enamels are thinned by mineral spirits (or paint thinner, a cheaper, less refined version). Some use lacquer thinner as well.

If you Google airbrush you can get all kinds of info.

Double-action means the control button will release only air when you depress it and add fluid (paint) as you pull it rearward. It's better but takes practice.

Practice is the key. It doesn't take long to figure out once you get started. Cleaning the brush is vital to long term success.

Most media (acrylics, enamels, lacquer) require from 10-30 lbs air pressure. I have a compressor with a regulator and moisture trap.

When I first started I got a Badger 350 (single action) and used the cans of air for propellant. Later added a diaphragm compressor. Still later using my shop compressor with external regulator to drop from 100 lbs to 20 or so. It's better all around as there is constant pressure to the brush. The diaphragm compressor I used to use caused spurting of the media.

Too much to tell you in one reply. Best advice I can give is Google, as I mentioned previously.
 

Scordicus

Member
For the specifics of 'How to' have a look at http://www.howtoairbrush.com/ although this is more about airbrush art as opposed to respraying equipment, you should find it a useful resource, also take a look on YouTube for techniques etc..

If you can afford it, you will want double action brushes as they are much more controllable when it comes to flow of both air and paint, they can be very expensive but that said, when it comes to airbrushing, you do get what you pay for I feel..

If your unsure if it's for you (not everyone can get on with it) then buy a cheap Badger starter kit with a canister of air before you go splashing out on a compressor (unless you already have!) lol, and more expensive brushes..

Practicing on cheap printer paper is the key really to get the hang of it, and remember, make sure your working in a ventilated area and with a face mask of some sort as you will get lots of fine particles that you won't even see..
 

Littlefoot14

Active Member
Thanks for the help,

The airbrush i have is Double Action, and i do have a compressor. I guess i need to go find some paint and thinner and well be all set to start practicing :D
 

fast_ian

Member
The airbrush i have is Double Action, and i do have a compressor.

Very good!

Dunno how big your compressor is, but make sure it's outlet pressure is turned down to ~20lbs *before* connecting the airbrush - The little hoses don't much like the usual 80psi ;)

Also, if you haven't already, put a moisture/oil trap somewhere in the line.

The paint wants to be the consistency of skimmed milk, and with the double action you should be able to spray onto paper such that it barely gets wet - The paint is dry pretty much as it lands.

FWIW, and I know many disagree, I only use acrylics (water based clean up) thru mine - Start with clean water to feel how it's behaving. Then paint (after testing/blowing out the water onto scrap). Then spray water thru again when done. *Then* sit back and enjoy your handiwork!

Good luck, cheers,
Ian
 

Scordicus

Member
FWIW, and I know many disagree, I only use acrylics (water based clean up) thru mine

I'm the same, I can't justify wasting shed loads of thinners to clean the brushes after using enamels..

I do however use a rattle can for my primer, either a model acrylic one or an auto primer, as it provides a good key for the acrylic..

The Tamiya spray stand is also a real handy piece of kit!
http://www.etamiya.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=9809
 
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Dortoh1

Member
Another great addition is an in the bottle filter screen, Badger makes one that works great. You would be amazed at all the little surprises floating around in paint sometimes, even worse when its been sitting around awhile.
I'm a Scalecoat II user myself, but that's just a mater of personal preference. As a professional automotive painter for over 30 years I like my finishes slick and shiny before I dullcote and weather them, haha.
 

fast_ian

Member
I'm the same, I can't justify wasting shed loads of thinners to clean the brushes after using enamels..

+1

I do however use a rattle can for my primer, either a model acrylic one or an auto primer, as it provides a good key for the acrylic..

+1 Tamiya "fine surface primer" rattle cans in either grey or white are my primers of choice - Lays down well and almost dry on contact.

The Tamiya spray stand is also a real handy piece of kit!

Yet another +1!

In the US I've occasionally seen 'em in the LHS, or it's available from Micromark: http://www.micromark.com/Tamiya-Spray-Work-Painting-Stand-Set,8491.html

Cheers,
Ian
 




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