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Author Topic: Airbrush advice needed  (Read 1507 times)
Miss Groves
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« on: February 05, 2010, 08:52:31 pm »

i finally had a little cash to get a compressor.
It's only a small one that provides a pulse rather than constant stream of air.
I'm needing a little general advice on using the airbrush.
I have a new one on the way and 3 actual brushes left over from realtives.

Paint:
how thin should i make my acrylic paint?
Should i use water or a mixture of flow release and water?
Do i have to use specialist textile paint for fabric or will acrylic do after heat setting?

Materials:
On wood is it possible to make a rusted metal effect with pearlised acrylics for shiny brass?
Would i need to do many layers?
What would be best for finishing off wood? general varnish?
Would acrylic on plastic require sealing?

Cheers in advance
Maggs
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The Rocketeer
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 01:03:11 am »

Hello Miss Groves,

I've used an airbrush on & off for art & model making, a few points

If using acrylic use a breathing mask as it is not that healthy, same goes for most sprayed substances that get in your lungs.

Mixing the paint is a bit of trial & error. Too thin & it is runny & can mess up the medium your spraying on to. It also messes up any masking film (Frisket film) you may want to use.

Too thick & it goes all "splattery", though you can use this as an effect. I used Tamiya model paints thinned with water which worked on medium paper for pictures and also on plastic models. The water was used mainly because it was cheap (free). I've also used enamels & acrylic on wood coated with varnish which seems to be fairly durable, though a fair few coats were used.

Don't get impatient & lay on heavy coats of paint as ths will probably mess things up. You can speed up drying with a hair drier.

I use Gouache now for pictures, mainly because I find it nicer to work with on paper, though that may be a personal thing.

Air pressure is also important, again you have to see what works best for you. Too little & it won't draw the paint out, two much & it goes everywhere.

Most important though is practice, practice & a bit more practice before you do it "live" on something that's taken a lot of time.

I taught myself using the book "The New Encyclopedia of Airbrush Techniques" by Michael E. Leek, Published by Headline, ISBN0-7472-7805-9.

Don't leave masking film on for two long, i.e. more than a couple of days as the low tack adhesive gets a bit more sticky & you can ruin your work. 

Oh & remember to flush the airbrush through at the end. Wink

Good luck
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H. MacHinery
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United States United States


« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2010, 04:26:57 am »

I've read that the 'sputtery' pulse air stream can mess up painting.  Suggestions were to either find a tank with 2 valves (in/out) to buffer it, or to use the compressor to
fill a large tire tube for steady airflow.
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Miss Groves
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


running out of steam


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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2010, 12:47:00 pm »

thanks guys, much appreciated.
I read loads yesterday on the internet and some of it was contradictory. I prefer to get personal accounts and experiences.
Respirator goes without saying, use one when sanding my resin dolls as i'm pretty sensitive to breathed in things regardless.

What a fantastic idea to bump up the airflow, a tyre/tire tube, vewwy interwestink.
I'm only using the airbrush on small items so a constant flow isn't really important currently, but later i might want to alter that as i progress.

i might just pick up that book too, always handy for reference.
Cheers
Maggs
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The Rocketeer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2010, 10:03:09 am »

Tried the tyre approach, unfortunately it doesn't last long for the space it takes up, also makes the place smell of rubber ! I ended up buying a compressor from machinemart like this -

 http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/product/details/tiger/path/airmaster-2

Unfortunately It shakes the house apart when charging up & makes a neighbour annoying din, though one tank full usually lasts an evening.  I now have a diaphragm compressor for use in the early hours of the morning if it runs out (I have small children now).
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 10:15:46 am by The Rocketeer » Logged
Otto Von Pifka
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2010, 03:06:15 pm »

hmm, children used as compressors.....

sound idea to get around those pesky labor laws!

anyways, pulsing air is not the way to go, any sort of airtank will mitigate the pulsing, as long as the air fittings into and out are big enough. you can even buy a premade airline designed for big shop copressors and add line adapters to hook the thin gun line and compressor to the big line. the bigger line will act as an air reservoir and dampen the pulses. if its the sort of air compressor that maxes out the pressure at a relatively low amount, without burning up the pump, you can just put the pump in another room and run the hose to where you are working. a line regulator can adjust the final pressure to the gun.
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Miss Groves
Zeppelin Captain
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


running out of steam


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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2010, 04:19:29 pm »

would such a regualtor work on the 50psi teeny compressor i have?
It's literally just a bit bigger than the size of a bag of sugar.
My air line is about 6ft.
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The Rocketeer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2010, 08:19:07 pm »

Otto Von Pifka's correct about the airline, I have a 10ft line & it dampens out the pulses fairly well on my diaphragm compressor (no reservoir) to the point where I haven't bothered making a reservoir for it.
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Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2010, 11:36:11 pm »

your airline is 6 feet but it's very skinny, right? you would get the dampening effect by using a fatter airline to get a volume of extra air to work with.
a regulator is used to lower and stabilize the air pressure so you have a constant number to adjust the airbrush to.
it can't make the pressure any higher than the pressure going into it, and it will drop if the pressure goes below what you have it set for. having the air regulated makes dialing in the airbrush much easier, the less variables to deal with.

it should work with your little compressor but only if you use less cubic feet per minute (or a metric measure equivalent) than the airbrush does. usually a higher quality airbrush uses less cfm than a cheap one. airbrushes as a whole use alot less air than bigger paint guns and other air powered tools.

google airbrush air regulator to see what they look like. most have a moisture trap but you probably won't have much problems with moisture except in the middle of summer. usually its got two fittings for air in and out, a knob to adjust the pressure, and a gauge to see your pressure.

balancing paint viscocity and air pressure with the adjustments to the airbrush is something you learn over time. then you throw in stuff like dual action and gravity feed or siphon and it's a steep learning curve. I tried a dual action airbrush for a while, I was a total spaz with it. not that I can use an airbrush at all anyways, I gave up trying years ago.
still, give it a try, some people take to it like a duck to water! you won't know until you try, and be patient.there are plenty of how-to books and tapes out there, use them.
make sure you always clean the airbrush good! wet paint cleans out much easier than dried paint! why am I yelling?!? Cheesy have the proper solvents and containers on hand to do a good job of cleaning and reserve enough time to clean it properly. an airbrush full of dried paint is basically an expensive paperweight.
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Miss Groves
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


running out of steam


WWW
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2010, 11:50:44 pm »

the three brushes i've been using are all single action, 2 cheap, one expensive, i have a dual action one on the way to play with.
Currently i'm working on very small areas so the varying pressure isn't a 'problem'

It's all food for thought and i've been spraying 1/3 scale heads easily, each coat is light enough to remove if needs be but heavy enough for coverage, so i think that i've cracked the viscosity.

moisture will def be something to look out for, i'm moving my kit into the garage room where i can have some space and i have a dehumidifier in there anyhow.

A guage will be the most useful thing i can keep my eye open for.
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