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musclecarfan
Bill Newcomer (musclecarfan)
US
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Airbrushing: Time to step up my game

After dealing with 20 year old paint cans spitting paint and seeing such beautiful paint jobs from others, I have committed to moving up to airbrushing.

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7 | 22. August, 02:24
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Bill Newcomer
After seeing such great paint jobs from others, I decided to dive into airbrushing with both feet (and my wallet). I watched a bunch of Youtube videos and observed some of the handy items other guys have to make things easier. Now that I have everything, tomorrow will be my first flight. Wish me luck. :)
22. August, 02:37
JD
Piece of cake Bill, just be sure you have adequate ventilation. You're already an expert, decanting your own paints and all. I use mineral spirits to thin my enamels, and lacquer thinner for lacquers, although they do sometimes cross over. Mineral spirits seems to be the most styrene friendly to me, and I use it for enamels, oils, and some lacquers. :)
22. August, 03:31
Bill Newcomer
JD, Good to know. I see a lot of Youtube guys use lacquer thinner with enamels. I have heard some other thinners turn unused enamels into jello.
22. August, 05:07
JD
Good idea to keep a log. I'm always experimenting, and taking notes, and that while most Testors enamels thin well with MS, some metallics very much pref LT. ie Silver Metallic. I find that above all, MS based mediums perform well, over acrylic base coats/underpainting, and vice/versa :). (wow, I finally have something to offer) ;( :D
22. August, 05:42
Bill Newcomer
Hi all, I got to use 2 of my airbrushes today. I definitely like the results. WAY better than rattle cans.
23. August, 03:47
Stephan H.
All the best of luck with the airbrush. The "test" pieces look like you start at a very high level ;) . I own a very similar compressor but with a tank. This gives you a way more uniform airflow if spraying for a longer period of time. I test sprayed without the tank connected a few years ago and had the feeling I could feel the air flow coming out of the brush oscillating with the frequency of the compressor. Never tried it with paint though. Looking forward to see whats coming after the tests
23. August, 14:14
JD
I'm curious about your custom decanting piercer... how did you dream that up? I glue a straw to the rattlecan nozzle, and decant that way, but found out the hard way that you definitely need glass jars with metal lids, because plastic lids can explode on you...literally ALL OVER :P
Great first results, btw. :)
23. August, 18:57
Bill Newcomer
JD, I went looking for a can piercer after seen a Youtube video of some one poking a can with an icepick. That looked potentially messy to me. I first started looking for water valves that pierce copper pipes for refrigerator ice makers. None of them were big enough to grab a small can let alone a big one. I then remembered I had a R134a injector tool in my garage. It modified it to work on cans. I have learned not to rush the process on full cans.
24. August, 01:03
JD
I'm fascinated. Question, why pierce the can at all? Does more product come out vs. decanting using just the nozzle? Also, do you just drain the paint out like you're doing an oil change? Here's how I do it. I just decant do it. | Album by Mithran’dir
24. August, 01:22
Bill Newcomer
JD, When the can is very old and/or used. SOMETIMES there is not enough pressure left to get all of the paint out. It also lets you see the inside of the can to determine if you got all the pigment out of it.
24. August, 01:26
JD
Ah, now I see. That's very innovative! 8)
24. August, 01:33
Chaz Gordon
I started with one of the cheap kits from Amazon, results were good for the double action I got, but the trigger one is not so great. Christmas 2018 delivered an Iwata TR0, which is like painting with your mind, Soo smooth, and it does exactly what you want it to, as soon as you think about it. The only thing I will say is that Varnish is nots o great through it, the 0.2 needle is too small for Varnish finishing, and clogs quickly. But basecoat painting is a breeze and Vallejo or Tamiya goes on in one or two coats depending on the opacity of the colour.
This last last birthday brought a Paashe Talon Gravity set with all three needles and nozzles. I'll mainly use the .63 for Varnishes, but I'm looking forward to trying the different options and the Fan Air cap.
Vallejo acrylics spray nicely without extraction, with barely any odour, at least they do for me, maybe I should say "don't try this at home". I love the no mix, straight out of the bottle of the Model Air range, and a tiny amount of paint goes a very long way
Tamiya acrylics spray nicely, but you'll use a lot.
Whatever brand you go for, I cannot emphasise enough that you should buy the thinner and airbrush cleaner or that Brand to keep your brush in tip top condition. I spray through a couple of ml of thinner after stirring in the cup with a pipe cleaner, then when that is empty, I spray another couple of ml through, then a spray through with airbrush cleaner.
Tamiya Acrylics don't have an airbrush cleaner in the range, but 99.9% Isopropanol is the perfect cleaner. (don't ever use that with Vallejo though)
26. August, 16:46
JD
I have the Paasche Talon too! It's very different from the Iwata Neo, which is what I started with and is still my main weapon of choice, mainly because It works for me, and replacement needles and parts are sold at Hobby Lobby at 40% off. I use Vallejo air too, airbrush ready to go. I can get good results from cheap acrylics like Apple barrel too, thinned with Vallejo airbrush thinner plus a couple drops of flow improver. I've just recently began spraying enamels and lacquers although my current spray booth can't handle the fumes.
26. August, 18:48
Bill Newcomer
Thanks guys. I have a pretty good inventory of enamels and lacquers to go through before I start buying acrylics. My paint booth handles open jars of lacquer thinner no problem.
27. August, 00:27
Bill Newcomer
I noticed that if I ran my air compressor for awhile that the body gets finger-blister hot. I bought a 120v complete muffin fan kit off ebay for $16.99 (free shipping). Took the factory grille off, scrounged up some slightly longer screws and attached the fan with no issues. The air blows both into and across the motor body. It runs MUCH cooler now.
7. September, 23:10
JD
I now see that your can piercing rig is ingenious. I just had a need to decant some rattlecans and went about it caveman style, with a sharp screw and hammer. And that cooling fan upgrade to your air compressor is an elegant solution. I have a compressor with a tank, which is good for acrylics, at 20-30 psi, but gets hot when I spray lacquers and enamels around 40-50 psi.
8. September, 02:12
Bill Newcomer
I have heard many recommendations to have a tank with the compressor under the premise that without one the air supply pulses. I have not actually experienced said pulsing. Then again, I am painting bodies for good coverage not fine artistic lines or camouflage. I am surprised you need so much pressure for solvent based paint. It sounds like you need to thin the paint more unless you have a siphon airbrush.
8. September, 04:35
Rui S
Genius compressor treatment do you conect the fan via USB?
8. September, 20:40
Tom ...
Wow impressive, Bill!
8. September, 20:53
Bill Newcomer
Rui, No it is 120vac. It makes powering is so much simpler. Though I do now need a 6 way power strip. Between this and the paint booth, I am officially out of receptacles.
8. September, 23:30
Rui S
Thx Bill.
Can you show photos of the other side of the fan and the power conections?
9. September, 10:12
Bill Newcomer
The other side of the fan looks the same. The fan has its own 120vac power cord. While I could have gone to the effort to wire it into the compressor's internal harness, I wanted the privilege to be able to run the fan even with the compressor off.
9. September, 18:14
Gary Dahlström
Bill - good thinking! I have that same HF compressor and, yes, it will shut down when it gets too hot. I had to run it longer than usual to paint my BoP base, and when it wouldn't keep pressure it freaked me out because that had never happened before. I salute your ingenuity, sir. I will be duplicating your mod.
9. September, 18:31
Bill Newcomer
Gary, Cheap and easy. Just need slightly longer screws and small washers to hold the 1st grille to the body. After that, just assemble the fan kit normally.
10. September, 04:24
Chaz Gordon
I keep toying with the idea of getting a small tank compressor with auto shut off, but we're planning to move in the next couple of years, and I plan to hook up to my workshop compressor then, so I don't get one. The trouble is the auto shutoff compressors only run up to about 40psi, which doesn't really store much reservoir between shutoffs, where a workshop compressor could run an airbrush all day on a single tank at 150 psi.
12. September, 09:53
Bill Newcomer
Chaz, The compressor I have above runs continuously because the regulator bleeds off to my desired pressure. It only shuts off if I crank the pressure setting high enough to actually trigger the pressure shut off switch assuming I am not using any air.

12. September, 18:16
Treehugger
Some tips from a novice like me:
1) If you mix colors with thinner or whatever in a color cup on your table, you can use a large soft brush to siphon the liquid onto the brush and "wipe" off the paint into your airbrush cup, that way you don't have to use a mixing jar for very small paint jobs.
2) A substitute to using an airbrush for fixing things, I recommend Tamiya's tiny tiny brushes.
3) Vallejo primer paint, may/will flake off and clog your airbrush, so I always sift the primer paint into my mixing jar. Previous problem of clogging was theb 100% solved after that. :)
4) Best result when airbrushing, and to avoid orange skin effect, is to airbrush on thin layers of paint, such that the paint dries, as opposed to staying wet and deforming when putting on too much paint onto the surface when airbrushing.
5) Always a good idea to test your spray on a scrap model, especially varnish which may or may not be what you expected (e.g matte/satin).
6) Maybe a good idea to keep a tidy and somewhat clean table, and go easy with arm/hand movements or risk knocking something off the table, or bumping your model or whatever.

7) Basic rule = lower pressure for close up work, may require thinning the paint a little more perhaps
8) Maybe avoid airbrushing at high psi. I get good results it seems with 20-25 psi.
9) Always use an effective air extractor, or risk the paint being blown back at your face/room. And always make sure your filter in the extractor isn't clogged, else the machine won't suck out enough air. Mine clogged up 98% after airbrushing a lot in one sitting, with higher psi, that was scary. If you light an incense stick, you can get an idea how the extractor sucks out air, if it works or not.
10) For airbrushing on a gloss coat, I use Humbrol Clear liquid (acrylic) and I make sure to keep psi at low setting 7-8 psi. I also make sure to NEVER contaminate the bottle of gloss coat, or risk being all annoying never knowing if your liquid is clean or not. Also, any pipette used must be dust free obviously. I keep mine in a bag, and I throw it in the bin if I accidentally drop a clean pipette onto the floor, as I will assume it has become contaminated with dust.
11) I like using acrylic paint, just Vallejo, and it is totall ok, despite what other's say. If airbrushing on a gloss coat, you might want to let all the layers get time to dry, or risk some paint layer at the bottom end up with tiny cracking patterns. Unsure if this is because of primer paint layer, color layer or any of the gloss coat layers cracking up.
12. September, 19:04
Bill Newcomer
1) Have not done any "small" jobs yet. Good tip.
2) Have not painted enough to try fix anything. If I get a 98% result, I quit while I am ahead.
3) Sifting, hmmm...
4) I have gotten better results with the longer, dryer continuous method.
5) I always shoot the (protected) floor of my booth on the 1st shot.
6) I plan well and have lots of elbow room.
7) Still experimenting with pressure. 20-25 for gravity feed guns. 30-35 with siphon feed.
8) Ditto
9) I have LOTS of cfm and a pretty big filter. It would last through 7-8 rattle cans before it looked bad.
10) I have not shot ANY clear yet. Though, clear acrylics (Future) have much, much lower risk of issues.
11) I have a lot of lacquers and enamels to decant and consume before I make the switch to acrylics.
13. September, 07:27
René "Bilbo" Bartholemy
I'll try the sifting idea. Big fan of Vallejo Air and primers, but sometimes it does get clogged.
13. September, 08:36

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