Model Boat Mayhem

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => Painting, Finishing and Care. => Topic started by: wombat on July 29, 2006, 05:09:14 PM

Title: Airbrush
Post by: wombat on July 29, 2006, 05:09:14 PM
Hi All,

How useful is an airbrush for painting both large and small areas of by tub?

What do I need to pay for a decent one without going OTT? I would like to spray large areas rather than brushing, also if possible use it for fine details.

Help and advice appreciated - like whether or not it is worth doing and what models I should look at if it is worth doing

Tim the Wombat
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: dougal99 on July 29, 2006, 06:25:24 PM
Hi Tim

I use a Badger 350, Squires do it for 30 (other suppliers are available). It normally comes with a medium spray head which give a spray width of 1/4" to 1 and a 1/2". Fine and large spray heads are available. If you intend to use it a lot you need to consider buying a compressor say 60 up. For small jobs, fittings and such, the canned air is OK but I find it soon runs out of puff on big jobs.

On any hull over say 18" I would prefer an aerosol to an air brush, but it all depends on whether you can get the colour you want.

I find mixing paint to get the right consistency a bit of a pain and I've had some bad experiences with Acrylics. However, practice makes perfect (or so I'm told) :(

HTH

Cheers

Doug
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Doc on July 29, 2006, 08:25:26 PM
Tim,
A lot depends on how much time and effort you are willing to devote to learning how to use the things.  Airbrushes are 3 dimensional thingys, distance between brush and surface, how fast you move the brush, and where you move the brush.  On some airbrushes you have control of how much air is used as well as the amount of paint (variable according to 'trigger' position, called 'double-action').  Some are 'set', no variations (called 'single action') but you do control the 'amount' of paint being sprayed.  How you do 'dat?  Practice.
Large areas to be painted using small 'tips' take a long time.  Small areas using large 'tips' mean lots of over spray and cleaning up the goofs.  But the one aspect of using airbrushes that is the absolute most 'fun' is learning how to mix the @#$ paint!  Unless you buy pre-mixed paint... visit bank before buying.
Sound like it isn't exactly what you though it was going to be and that maybe you like regular brushes anyway?  Oooo, but when you 'get there' and do it right the first time, it has paid for it's self!  Don't expect 'sharp' edges when airbrushing, ain't gonna happen.  But that's what masking tape is for.
 - 'Doc

PS - I am NOT trying to discourage you!  Just telling some of the 'secrets' all airbrushers find out the hard way.  Oh, one last suggestion.  'Testor' and I'm sure others make el'cheap'o airbrushes for the less wealthy modelers, even includes a compressor.  They are NOT as much of a bargain as they want you to believe! 
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: wombat on July 29, 2006, 09:23:46 PM
Cheers Guys,

The impression I get is that once you have mastered it then the results are much better than brushing, but the learning curve is steep. Question then, is how far down the line do I wait before developing it.

Useful to know there are limits on the area to paint for convenience.

I will have to think some, though any more comments will be welcome

Tim the Wombat
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Shipmate60 on July 29, 2006, 09:57:18 PM
Wombat,
I would recommend starting on smaller bits than try and start on full hull.
Yes id does take some time to master ( I havent yet!! ), but I started on a 10 ft hull, I thought ir would be as easy as aerosols, oh how wrong I was.
Just giving you the benefit of my first disapointment.
Start slowly and work up.

Bob
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: magpie on July 30, 2006, 03:26:43 AM
Yes I use an old spray gun for large areas and airbrush for fine work and small jobs. Things like stencilled detail are eassier to do with the AB as you don't need to mask as much around the work. The spray is more contained than with the spray gun or can.
Jason
(http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/635/skiboat20apr064rb3.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
(http://img100.imageshack.us/img100/7738/skiboat20apr067zx8.jpg) (http://imageshack.us)
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Voyager on July 30, 2006, 10:03:32 AM
Take the jump and get one, once you have mastered it you'll never look back!

If you do decide to get one, buy a double action airbrush with an assortment of needles. The Badger 360 (With built in cup) is my recommended choice, as the cup rotates 360degrees, so it can be used as a bottom feeder for attaching the glass jars, or rotate it to the top for  fine detail work. Then there is the Badger 150 box set with fine, medium, large needles and don't waste your time with air cannisters (The pressure is never constant and they don't last five minutes!..not to mention expensive.) Buy a well known compressor like Sil-Air, Revell, try to get one with a reserve tank, moisture trap, adjustable psi, and if your going to be using it alot, then make sure it's silent running (The above makes usualy are.) You can buy how to books on airbrushing by Badger, but the instructions you get with all Badger airbrushes should give you a start.

I use my equipment every day as i'm a proffesional model sprayer, i spray 00 Gauge trains for a living. The equipment i use is a Sil-Air Compressor, 2X Badger 150's, 1X Badger 360.
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Pointy on July 30, 2006, 10:24:10 AM
I used the Halfords Acrylic aerosoles for big areas and undercoats, then for fine work and decks an airbrush rocks! Never go back to a brush unless for "touching up" and really small details. The difference between an airbrushed area and a paint brushed area in overall appearance and quality is huge, well to a novice like me anyway. I also find I use less paint if I air brush.
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: ambernblu on July 30, 2006, 10:36:25 AM

.... Wayne - I've got an excellent RES PCV from interespray - they did a mega job - looks excellent at the end of my RES GUV rake! It wasn't you then???  ;D

I've recently purchased an airbrush (a sprint jet IS-800 - any good??) a compressor and a small spray booth (not the expensive (600) ones) which (hopefully!) will suck out the fumes so I can use in the spare back bedroom (its not set up fully as yet, but hope to have it up and running this winter!) Any large areas (a hull etc) I've taken out into the dusty(!) garage and used aerosols.

By the way, I'm picking up a Revell Sub kit on Tuesday - got it for 40 and I've ordered the book too!

Cheers, Brian
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Voyager on July 30, 2006, 11:29:22 AM
Hi Brian,


That's not a bad price for that kit, you did alright! Tried emailing the guy in america about the dive units, but he's not responding to any emails, just wondering if he's still making them? Not heard of your airbrush, but so long as it does what it's suppose to and you can get spares, and your happy with it....who cares...right!
And not that was not me.... ;D
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: ambernblu on July 30, 2006, 11:46:34 AM

.... Hi Wayne... I can send you a PM with the guys email address if you are interested....?

As I've said on another board about this Revell kit, we all need to know which conversion offers best value - the US or the German one. Any guidance along those lines would be extremely helpful to all and sundry! I think if anything, the German system seemed more expensive but there is the question of postage from the USA and the question 'does the conversion kit include absolutely everything you need for the job!?!'

Not so good if you haven't heard of my airbrush - I bought it from www.airbrushes.com along with the other bits and the compressor I mentioned. Hope its OK??

What sort of models are you airbrushing for a living then? - it sounds like a good job!  ;D

Cheers, Brian
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Voyager on July 30, 2006, 06:14:17 PM
Hi Brian,


Yes it's a good job, but because i'm modelling every day, i tend to go off the idea at times on working on my own boats. The work i do is just spraying, there is another guy who does the building.

Check out: www.marcmodels.co.uk for more info, most of the models you see on the site have been painted by someone else, but he no longer works for marcmodels.

Anyway must get on, i have another order of trains to complete....and then i'm going to get some Zzzzzz's.


Regards:voyager
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: rats on July 31, 2006, 11:45:05 AM
 could anyone recomend the best brand of paints to use with an airbrush - have tried using Humbrol enamels ( with Humbrol thinners ) and made a total pigs ear of the job !
   
        cheers rats
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: barriew on July 31, 2006, 12:02:21 PM
I have just ordered some Revell Air Brush Enamels - ready thinned for airbrushing. Will let you know how I get on with them.

Barrie
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: rats on July 31, 2006, 12:19:35 PM
        Thanks Barrie would appreciate it
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: boatmadman on July 31, 2006, 09:44:35 PM
I have used humbrol thinned 50/50 with white spirit and got good results.

Ian
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Tug on July 31, 2006, 11:45:55 PM
Perfect results are not possibal the first few times,
practice on the table leg,
or on pieces of hardboard,
remember many light coats make a much better [read flatter] finish than the one thick one
 with runs, or orange peel. [unless this is the effect you want?]
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: dougal99 on August 01, 2006, 12:36:48 PM
I've used Humbrol enamels with enamel thinners (not Humbrol) 50-50 and got good results. However, as Tug says it took a fair good attempts and each time I have to persuade myself that its worth the bother. :o  In my experience you have to get the paint quite a bit thinner than you'd think was required.

I know I should practice more but I always seem to have other boats to build :)

Cheers

Doug
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: barriew on August 10, 2006, 04:54:42 PM
I have just ordered some Revell Air Brush Enamels - ready thinned for airbrushing. Will let you know how I get on with them.

Barrie

Well, either I have just got lots better at using an airbrush or the Revell paints are very good ;)
They also seem more economical than thinned Humbrol. Based on previous experience with Humbrol enamels and Tamiya Acrylics, I ordered two bottles of the Revell, and used only half of one. They also appear to dry quicker!

Barrie
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: wombat on August 11, 2006, 06:53:00 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice and info.

I am now the proud owner of a Badger 200 Airbrush. All I gotta do is learn how to use it.

Tim the Wombat
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: wombat on August 26, 2006, 08:10:07 PM
Been playing with the airbrush - starting to get the hang of using it for coverage, after a shaky start.

After getting through two areosol power packs, I'm thinking a compressor would be a good move - has anyone got any suggestions?

Does it have to be a dedicated compressor, or can I get a general purpose one to run a spray gun and other air tools?

Tim the Wombat
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Colin Bishop on August 26, 2006, 09:35:57 PM
Some people used to take a middle course and used a car inner tube as an air reservoir. Not sure how practical that is these days. Still, if you could find the space for a JCB tyre you could probably redecorate the entire outside of your house...
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Voyager on August 26, 2006, 10:50:45 PM
Silar or Revell are the two brands i would highly recommend, dont buy a cheap one as these are limited and very noisy, go for a silent model, pressure adjustment, moisture trap, and reserve tank.
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: dougal99 on August 27, 2006, 09:50:25 AM
Very much agree with the moisture trap - the air gets very blue when a splat of water hits the hull just as you are finishing :(

The noise is also a very important factor - I have to use mine outside during the day - no early or late work as it disturbs the neighbours.

Doug
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Shipmate60 on August 27, 2006, 11:44:45 AM
I used to use a tractor inner tube.
Still didnt last that long.
I got my compressor from ebay, but was used for applying TANNING to people.
Can get it cheaper to see if you like the airbrush.

Bob
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: cbr900 on August 27, 2006, 02:44:55 PM
I use my full sized compressor with the reducer fitting for the airbrush, But my shed is pretty big and we are just out of town so we can make all the noise we like...

Roy
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Doc on August 27, 2006, 02:47:23 PM
Bob,
'Tanning'?  Really?  As in a 'sun tan' kind'a thing?  What'a'ya know, never thought of that.  I originally got the idea for an airbrush from seeing some of the 'body painting' done.  Thought I'd REALLY like doing that!  Found out that using an airbrush wasn't as easy as it looked, so decided to do 'body painting' with finger paint instead.  Not much demand for it around here, but I'm certainly ready!
 - 'Doc
 :-\

(I also realize that this is sort of off topic so I'll quit.)
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Stavros on August 27, 2006, 11:13:23 PM
Just a thought go down to Argos and buy the compressor and nail gun they sell for around 80 Good value for money and ideal for an airbrush,got one and it copes with a develbis JGA professional gun well enough to spray a 48ins yaught
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Shipmate60 on August 28, 2006, 11:34:00 AM
Much cheaper than cans.
Pays for itself very quickly.

Bob
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: cbr900 on August 28, 2006, 01:10:57 PM
Stavros

what do you do with the nail gun, nail the hull to the bench for easier painting...

Roy
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Stavros on August 28, 2006, 06:17:41 PM
Came in very handy to repair some chairs etc and to fire at the speeding bloody bikers passing my house
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: colin-stevens on August 28, 2006, 08:25:57 PM
tip. dig in to youre hanbag, borrow the make up mirror. mix youre paint. let a dribble drip onto the mirror. if it runs smoothly you are all but there. if you have a pressure valve then this can be altered depending on what you is splaying.lots of pressure then the thicker the paint, less pressure means thinner paint.
the key is practice, practise and experiment. there is no right or wrong, what works for you may not for someone else. incidentlly i use Tamyia a lot, no problem.
have fun
colin
Title: Re: Airbrush
Post by: Roger in France on September 10, 2006, 05:12:20 PM
I agree that "wet air" is a no no. So is noise. The advantage of a medium or larger storage vessel is that once full the motor (the source of the noise) stops.

In my new, enlarged workshop I have created a small, "clean room" with a homemade sprayhood and extractor fan. The compressor and tank are in the main workshop and the air passes through a hose which is sealed into the partition.

I know a "clean room" is a luxury but I can keep my radio gear and other delicate stuff in there. It will also provide a nice warm hide in the winter. Having no windows and a solid door means, "What? No, I didn't hear you call, dear".

Roger in France.