Danny, I hear ya on the cost of paint in a can. Airbrushing may be a big outlay up front, but the costs per kit after are massively reduced. My Mossie and R2 used a whole can of Tamiya Fine primer between them, and 4 Tie fighters that I built used 3 500ml cans of automotive primer. It's the same with varnish, R2 consumed 2 cans of Tamiya Semi-Gloss, and the Mossie a can and a bit of Tamiya Matt. I get the automotive primer cheap in bulk, but The tamiya cans are £7 each. The trouble with spray cans is that most of the volume evaporates or goes on the paper around the thing you're painting
The Thunderbirds Pilots, Is the first kit I've done without any spray cans. The Primer is Vallejo Poly, think I used between 5 - 10ml (200ml = £11.99). The main colour is Vallejo Game Air, about 5ml used (17ml = £2.40) The five vehicles were about 1-2 ml each of various Vallejo colours. (all pre thinned too) Varnish was 10ml of Vallejo Satin (500ml = £11.99) and 10ml of Vallejo Gloss (500ml = £11.99) Only the varnishes needed thinning, which was done with De-ionised water £2 for a Litre bottle, probably consumed about 8ml so far.
The most expensive part of the airbrushing was cleaning the thing, I probably used around 50ml of airbrush cleaner (200ml = £7.99) and 30ml of Airbrush thinner (200ml = £9.99)
So while I spent more to get all of that than you did on the bus, I'm left with almost full bottles of everything, that I will use on the next kit and the next kit and so on.
Colour shift paints are available for airbrush at only a small increase on the cost of regular ones. the Green stuff Chameleons work out around £3 for 17ml, and Vallejo also do a small range at £4 for 17ml. from what i've seen, coverage per kit would be about the same as the regular paints, although I've also had to buy Vallejo Gloss Black primer as a base.
The trouble is, you have to repeat all the ancillary fluids if you use a different type of paint - Tamiya Acrylics need a different thinner, which is about the same price as Vallejo thinner, and 99.9% IPA for cleanup (which is double the price at the moment thanks to CV19), but they can be varnished with Vallejo, and can also go over Vallejo primer. The Alclad I've bought needs a whole other set of Primers, thinners, cleaners and varnish.
Whatever you do, initial outlay is going to be high, but once you're set up, airbrushes consume very little. Unless you are trying to paint something with Tamiya White, that stuff just doesn't cover, I keep a stock of at least 3 10ml bottles at all times in case I decide I want to paint something white.
6. June, 03:07