Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Technical, Techniques, Hints, and Tips => Painting, Finishing and Care. => Topic started by: bobk on December 01, 2011, 04:21:39 PM

Title: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 01, 2011, 04:21:39 PM
I am hoping fellow Mayhemers can help me decide which technique, or techniques, to use to paint a ship. 
I like the idea of an airbrush, and have read the excellent tutorial by ‘Oldiron’, but have never seen one used
The only demo videos online appear to be for stencil painting, car bodies or T shirts.

I am used to fine detailing with good quality brushes, and have used spray cans for car repairs.  The later gives a good finish over a large area but no good to do detail work.  Airbrushes appear more controllable, but still spray a broad swath a like on PhotoShop on computer (but without 'undo').  Infinite successive masking, airbrush cleaning, wait a couple of days, remask and repeat for next bit.

Anyone know of a good video clip on YouTube showing airbrushing models and model parts?  I am tempted to buy one, but uncertain if all it will really do is paint the basic hull and basecoat the upperworks.  If that is the case I might as well use spray cans and leave the rest to sable brushes.

The question is:  What can you actually do with airbrushes for a 1/96 ship?  Are they worth the hassle and expense?
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: nemesis on December 01, 2011, 04:37:46 PM
Hello, Air brush every time, more control. superior finish. Even the basic spray jar is better than the brush. Spray cans, ok, for large areas but far too dear. Of course it all depends on your prep, regardless of which method you decide to use,  Nemesis
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on December 01, 2011, 04:50:40 PM
 I spray paint and airbrush subs, excluding my Type VII, which I have been brush painting, but will airbrush on the final weathering. The last two classic sailing boats I built were brush painted with the intention of duplicating, in miniature, the tar brush effect of the originals. The CHANT tanker finished this summer was brush painted, then weathered with a combination of airbrushing and drybrushing and washes. Stingray was painted entirely with automotive sprays. R2D2 was painted with a full size spray gun and 2 1/2 litres of concrete primer paint followed by 2 pack metallics. It all depends on the prototype. For your 1/96 model I would mostly airbrush, but possibly hand paint below the waterline.
However,in the end it comes down to what you are most confident with yourself.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: pugwash on December 01, 2011, 05:21:07 PM
Bob personally after the last hull and superstructure I did it will be airbrush every time for me.
I bought an airbrush and carefully read the instructions then mixed up a load of paint intending to practise on an old sheet of melamine.
I got half way through the practise session and realised if you stick to to simple rules regarding correct pressure, starting to spray before you
get to the hull and not stopping spraying to after you passed the other end and keeping the airbrush a constant distant from the hull you
should not have to many problems. As the hull was masked up ready I went straight onto it on the assumption that if it was horrible I could
wet'n'dry it down and start again.  The results were far better than my expectations. As for the underside - as I can get a good match
colourwise I use a rattle can for the red and the black boot topping.
Definitely vote for the airbrush.

Geoff
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: JB on December 01, 2011, 05:57:59 PM
Airbrush every time for me also, you will want to consider single or double action, I have a double action and its not difficult to control, the finish is far better than anything I've brush painted in the past, you will need some practice with getting the paint/thinner mix right for different paints but again not difficult, a compressor is a must in my opinion.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 01, 2011, 06:08:44 PM
Thanks guys.  It's just I've never seen one used, there being no demo videos I can find, and apparent limitations of painting in one inch wide swathes.  Not much above the deck line is that big.  To get a good airbrush with compressor is a big investment for just doing hulls and overall basecoats.  I am sure I am missing something obvious here. 
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: knoby on December 01, 2011, 06:22:10 PM
The fan size on good airbrushes is variable. you can have it as thin as a pencil line if you want, or adjust it out to around 1 inch.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on December 01, 2011, 06:42:15 PM
Thanks guys.  It's just I've never seen one used, there being no demo videos I can find, and apparent limitations of painting in one inch wide swathes.  Not much above the deck line is that big.  To get a good airbrush with compressor is a big investment for just doing hulls and overall basecoats.  I am sure I am missing something obvious here. 


You can overcome the 1" swathes problem by using a simple external mix airbrush like the Badger 350 or one of the many cheap chinese knock offs floating about, dont but too cheap though. I found this type of brush overcame a problem I encountered with dry edges developing, almost a sandpaper finish. The External mix brush blatts the paint on in a less controlled manner to internal mix brushes, but is far better in my opinion, for large areas.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 01, 2011, 08:13:03 PM
You can hit me over the head with a bonsai tree, but I am trying to visualise how you would paint a model ship with an airbrush.  eg:  Fit as much of the deck and superstructure that is the same colour as the hull, spray it all, then spray other component parts or sub assemblies of different colours individually before fitting them, then finish off smaller areas and detail with brushes where you need accurate edges?  Otherwise the amount of successive masking seems daunting.
Sorry, I know the methodology must be blindingly obvious to those who know.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldiron on December 01, 2011, 08:28:56 PM
You can hit me over the head with a bonsai tree, but I am trying to visualise how you would paint a model ship with an airbrush.  eg:  Fit as much of the deck and superstructure that is the same colour as the hull, spray it all, then spray other component parts or sub assemblies of different colours individually before fitting them, then finish off smaller areas and detail with brushes where you need accurate edges?  Otherwise the amount of successive masking seems daunting.
Sorry, I know the methodology must be blindingly obvious to those who know.

  You're correct to break the model into sub assemblies. Especially those that are the same colour. They are much easier to prep and paint and reduce the amount of masking required. You seem to have a fear of huge amounts of masking. That's not the case if you plan your painting with your build. Plan out where you colours are going to be and paint dissimilar colours as you build. You may need minor touch ups with a brush when done, to look after any chipping or scratches in the build, but you will come up with a cleaner crisper looking model.
  An air brush is heads and shoulders better than any other form of applying paint. You worry about spraying over large areas with an air brush, its true, you can, however, you can also spray fine mists (for weathering) and fine lines. An airbrush gives phenomenal control over where you put the paint, how much and in what pattern. Don't forget, you can get different tip and needle sizes for your brush.
 As was pointed out, the 2 stage brush gives you the biggest range of control.
 Here are some videos, on Youtube about airbrushing models. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyVshLI9_9U
 Don't forget your fear of trying it is the biggest thing you have to overcome. Go for it.

John
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 01, 2011, 09:15:18 PM
John:  Thank you so much for your advice. That video clip was far more useful than the flat artwork ones I found.  I am halfway into a build, thinking about painting before I add much more above decks.  Even for a warship there are a lot of colours, even across the decks, but as you say planning the build with painting in mind is the key.  Figuring out drying time to be able mask up for the next step will be trial and error.
I think I need to invest in a good airbrush and give it a go.  Appreciation for your excellent tutorial series, I am sure much more of it will become clearer re-reading after actually using an airbrush.  
I am used to painting up to edges accurately and fine detail work with a brush, this is what made the concept of broader spray airbrushes daunting.  Stanchions and railings, bollards on planked decking etc.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 02, 2011, 12:48:10 AM
Just a thought.  Looking again at that video, although the paint jet can be directed to a relatively limited area, the surrounding cloud of spray mist beyond the target area looks quite extensive.  I guess if I am painting a small area on the ship I should mask out the rest of boat, maybe with tape and baking foil rather than newspaper which is absorbant.    The warnings about wearing a mask indicate the spray droplets spread out a long way.  If I splatter the nice new indoors workshop with paint particles SWMBO will condemn the airbrush to the garden.
How messy is this stuff?
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldiron on December 02, 2011, 03:20:22 AM
Just a thought.  Looking again at that video, although the paint jet can be directed to a relatively limited area, the surrounding cloud of spray mist beyond the target area looks quite extensive.  I guess if I am painting a small area on the ship I should mask out the rest of boat, maybe with tape and baking foil rather than newspaper which is absorbant.    The warnings about wearing a mask indicate the spray droplets spread out a long way.  If I splatter the nice new indoors workshop with paint particles SWMBO will condemn the airbrush to the garden.
How messy is this stuff?

  if you're spraying small parts, areas or tight corners you'll have your brush adjusted for a minimum paint output. They are very controllable if you get a good one. As in any air spraying equipment there will be a certain amount of over spray that should be contained. I use plain brown paper for masking rather than foil. Cheaper and easier to work with. I've even used paper towels on occasion. Many times its not necessary to do a major masking job just to account for paint descending from the air. Simple lay paper over the major portion of the area to protect it against airborne particulate.
 As far as a mask is concerned, you should make a practice of wearing one at any time, also ensure you have good ventilation. Water base paints are not too bad, but if you use cellulose based paints or enamels the fumes aren't good to breath in.
 With regards to "splatter"'. If the paint is coming out of the airbrush at that rate you've got too much paint coming out. Can't say as I've ever "splattered" paint around the house.


(http://s12.postimage.org/e6hryxdyx/air_brush_result_4.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/e6hryxdyx/)

This picture should give you some idea of the variety of control you have over the spray from a brush. The blue stripe shows runs, an indication of too much paint, or too slow a pass over th work.



(http://s11.postimage.org/jea7pddkf/CPR_2802_small.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/jea7pddkf/)


(http://s9.postimage.org/adyv76ax7/Athearn_CP_5415_small.jpg) (http://postimage.org/image/adyv76ax7/)

The locomotives (HO scale) in this picture were all painted by air brushing. They took some judicious masking, but the same finish couldn't have been attained with a brush.

John
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 02, 2011, 10:39:50 AM
Thank you John, I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions.  I think I'll make up a thin ply folding booth for the workbench to allay concerns of the good lady here, wear a mask and keep the windows open when spraying.  I will also re-read your series now having a better understanding of the basic methodology.   :-))
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldiron on December 02, 2011, 03:11:14 PM
Thank you John, I appreciate your taking the time to answer my questions.  I think I'll make up a thin ply folding booth for the workbench to allay concerns of the good lady here, wear a mask and keep the windows open when spraying.  I will also re-read your series now having a better understanding of the basic methodology.   :-))

Let us know how you make out. I'd like to see some of your work.

John
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 03, 2011, 10:45:53 AM
OK.  I am trying the airbrush route. Browsing around, and talking to a local model shop, it appears that to do a reasonable job with capacity to do the art justice I will need a top cup double action airbrush plus a compressor, preferably with a reservoir chamber to keep air pressure constant.  Well, that's going to set me back £120 to £180 with airline and other bits.
Possibly I could go for a cheapo with gas can to try it, but feedback on these is not too good.  I could end up wasting money.

So, with good surface preparation I can expect to get a good finish in the basic overall warship grey. Masking to do the lower hull 'oxide brown/red' no problem, or even masking and spraying the black waterline stripe.  That would take me a long way.  But detailing?

Does this sound a reasonable build plan: ?
Fit individual planking in sub assemblies afterwards. Spray bollards plus resin & cast deck fittings individually, Bluetacked to wooden strip, then fit to deck.  After this it seems like I am back to small brushes for detail as I can't figure out how you could mask-seperate finer detail, especially where it has to be built up in situ as sub assemblies.

I guess the ultimate challenge would be to figure out how to airbrush stanchions (black) with soldered wire rails (white) without building them as sub assemblies, spraying white, then micro-masking all the rails in 2 mm spiral wrapped tape. Using adhesive after painting will require manual touch up with brushes anyway.  At 1/96 the 3 rail railings are only 10 mm high.

Just trying to figure out what can be airbrushed and what should be left to fine brushwork
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldiron on December 03, 2011, 11:09:20 AM
OK.  I am trying the airbrush route. Browsing around, and talking to a local model shop, it appears that to do a reasonable job with capacity to do the art justice I will need a top cup double action airbrush plus a compressor, preferably with a reservoir chamber to keep air pressure constant.  Well, that's going to set me back £120 to £180 with airline and other bits.
Possibly I could go for a cheapo with gas can to try it, but feedback on these is not too good.  I could end up wasting money.

So, with good surface preparation I can expect to get a good finish in the basic overall warship grey. Masking to do the lower hull 'oxide brown/red' no problem, or even masking and spraying the black waterline stripe.  That would take me a long way.  But detailing?

Does this sound a reasonable build plan: ?
Fit individual planking in sub assemblies afterwards. Spray bollards plus resin & cast deck fittings individually, Bluetacked to wooden strip, then fit to deck.  After this it seems like I am back to small brushes for detail as I can't figure out how you could mask-seperate finer detail, especially where it has to be built up in situ as sub assemblies.

I guess the ultimate challenge would be to figure out how to airbrush stanchions (black) with soldered wire rails (white) without building them as sub assemblies, spraying white, then micro-masking all the rails in 2 mm spiral wrapped tape. Using adhesive after painting will require manual touch up with brushes anyway.  At 1/96 the 3 rail railings are only 10 mm high.

Just trying to figure out what can be airbrushed and what should be left to fine brushwork

  The question about the air brush - in my write up I suggested the gravity feed cup was designed for applications where a smaller quantity of paint would be used and the brush would always be used in an upright position (tip the brush and the paint runs out). In the case of painting a boat hull and superstructure, I think you'll find the gravity cup to be low on paint volume and tending to spill as you go around the job. This is where the suction bottle of the bottom of the brush works best. It gives you the volume , for larger areas, and reduces your chances of spilling paint.
  The gravity cup can be good for lite applications such as weathering, painting a number of small parts (e.g. bollards, fair leads, winches etc) placed together on a board and sprayed on mass. here the paint quantity is minimal and the direction of spray will, mostly keep the cup upright. The small parts can then be removed from the "spray board" and applied to the model. If the parts need a small touch of paint for, say, hand wheels and the like, a brush would be best to handle these small bits.
  I generally make my handrails in panels that can be removed. That way I can wash and prep them properly after soldering, or gluing, together. At this point I prime and paint them, then reinstall the railings gluing the railing posts into the deck. If small bits such as the balls on the posts or some other small bit needs a different color, I touch that up with a brush then do the reassembly.
  if you look at the photo of the steam engine, above, for example, I painted the handrails with a brush after every thing else was complete. I also picked out the whistle and bell with a brush too.
 AS to when you air brush and when you paint brush is a decision you have to make based on the amount and difficulty of masking you have to do to get a job done. There is no hard and fast rule, its what you feel comfortable with.
  I can't speak to the cost of equipment in Britain.  During the writing of the article there were individuals who found some good prices on the type of equipment you're looking for. Perhaps a review of their sources would be helpful
good luck.

John
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Subculture on December 03, 2011, 12:22:55 PM
My Dad bought several inexpensive airbrushes available on ebay.

These were being sold for use by nail artists, and the average cost was about £15-20 per airbrush. They look nicely finished although spares availability may be problem (will this be an issue for the average modeller though?)

A modeller who is very experienced with airbrushing gave them a trial and was impressed with the results.

I recommend Ian Peacocks book on model airbrushing.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0852428022/ref=dp_olp_new/279-0369543-6516048?ie=UTF8&condition=new

It's an older publication but still as relevant as when it was first published, and it is aimed at modelmakers rather than artists.
One of the chapters deals with compressed air source, and details how a converted fridge compressor makes an inexpensive source of air. Nice and quiet too. If converting one of those seems like a lot of hassle, there are plenty of cheap compressors available on ebay. You don't need a lot of pressure between 10-30psi is enough, but a model with some sort of reservoir is worthwhile to ensure a smooth supply of air.



Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: dougal99 on December 03, 2011, 12:25:18 PM
Bob

Take a look at http://www.everythingairbrush.com/index.html

You might get a better idea of what's available

HTH

Doug

No connection - my aiirbrush came from my neighbours daughter in law's now defunct tanning salon business  8)
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 03, 2011, 04:32:10 PM
Many thanks everyone.  Bear in mind I not only have never used an airbrush, but never seen one used, so advice is appreciated from experienced modellers.  Knowing what is the right ‘dockyard’ tool for the model ships . . .

I did wonder about the top cup versions, looking as if they had to be kept fairly upright and could only hold a small amount of paint.  OK, a suction fed ‘bottom jar’ type sounds the way to go. 
I have over 200 stanchions to fit, so breaking them down into panels sounds manageable. 
John:  I did wonder how you did the black handrails on that lovely loco !

The book quoted looks useful, and is cheap, so that is on order. I did like the idea of converting a fridge pump as the compressor can be a large proportion of the cost, providing the pressure is suitable.  I will check out ‘everythingairbrush.com’, although will search E-Bay now I have a better idea of what I need.  Understanding what features are best for what I am painting really helps.

Thank you  O0   :-))
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Subculture on December 03, 2011, 05:41:31 PM
I do wonder sometimes just how many airbrushes are purchased, but end up getting tucked away in dark, workshop drawers.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: JB on December 03, 2011, 07:16:39 PM
bobk

Here's a pic of my brush and compressor and first attempt at a warship, I've used basic spray guns like Badger's in the past..I remember coating the kitchen at home with fine red dust when I were a lad...I hadn't noticed as I sprayed the 1/8th scale Monogram E Type Jaguar...mum did though when they came back from holiday >>:-(   {-)

I don't know why I waited so long to finally get an airbrush with compressor, bought mine a month ago and its just great to use, once you find your feet its easy...total cost for my gear was £148 and I got 10% discount at the local model shop, the same compressor is on the website link above ...I've paid about the same...

JB.

Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 03, 2011, 08:40:11 PM
I do wonder sometimes just how many airbrushes are purchased, but end up getting tucked away in dark, workshop drawers.
As I am going to invest in one it will get used.  However, I have wondered out of the many ship kits that are bought how many progress beyond the first few days of building, let alone survive long enough to get their hulls wet.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: JB on December 03, 2011, 09:36:14 PM
Bob, Its the same with all 'modellers'...many kits and even ready built models never sail or fly..I'm an R/C aircraft addict too ok2 have been for almost 45 years  %%

If you are a serious modeller the airbrush will be used and you find other jobs for it too...almost as essential as your paint brushes ok2

JB.

 
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 05, 2011, 10:55:48 AM
Based on the appreciated advice given I have purchased this airbrush kit:
(http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/bobkiralfy/airbrush.jpg)
Compressor, top gravity cup and bottom suction cup double action airbrushes, plus air hose and six spare bottles.  £68 on E-Bay.  Hopefully this should cover both hull spraying and finer work, and was half the price I was quoted before.
Thinking more about containing residual paint mist spread, I may try rigging an old sheet from a curtain rail formed into a 'D' shape with the bottom of the sheet covering the work bench.  Based on the video clip I will make up a piece of A4 ply with a dowel handle underneath for spraying small parts.

Well, I have bitten the bullet and am about to give it a go  O0
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: nemesis on December 05, 2011, 11:00:17 AM
Hello, I use a set of discarded shower curtains to form a cubicle on the bench, good luck, practise makes perfect, Nemesis
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: derekwarner on December 05, 2011, 11:05:04 AM
Hullo Bob.....looks like a reasonable purchase there  :-))

One thing to remember is that standard tablet bottles from the pharmacy have the same thread size & form as the original airbrush bottles.......... O0 so never throw away your old medicine bottles  >>:-(

This gives you the advantage of using larger volume bottles for larger paint applictions without refilling the little jars.......  %)

Good luck........Derek O0
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldflyer2 on December 05, 2011, 11:05:50 AM
Here is a link to all you ever wanted to know about air brushes and much more ... http://theairbrushforum.com/oldindex.php

Very useful wee gadgets.

Cheers
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 05, 2011, 02:19:46 PM
I have re-read the excellent tutorial by 'oldiron' which I now understand much better.  I admit I previously got a bit lost amongst the comparative technicalities whilst seeking what could an airbrush do compared to regular brushes I have been used to.

If I may please ask some further (maybe 'dumb') questions:

a)   Comparisons of paint types are well explained, but what can and cannot be used in combination.  ie: Can I prepare prime and do the basic main areas in acrylics, then when fully dry use Humbol enamels for fine detail work?  Acrylics sound easier to work with and to clean the airbrush with water afterwards, but a very limited range of colours compared to Humbrol for the detail stuff.

b) For a warship, should I paint in either matt or gloss, then spray semi-gloss varnish, to get a realistic finish that is handleable for weekly sailing at the lake.  I have heard gloss paint with semi gloss varnish works well.  In which case what type of varnish and thinners would be best?

c)  What general order of drying times should one allow between stages?  As a guide are we talking hours or days?  Remember I am used to Humbrol tinlets and brushes,
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Martin [Admin] on December 05, 2011, 02:58:15 PM

 Hi Bob, how quiet / noisy is the compressor?
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 05, 2011, 03:59:23 PM
Not too bad Martin, about the same as my electric type pump (I considered adapting that - but no PSI control).  It has rubber cup feet and is sitting on a carpeted floor.  The real dB test will be when I try to use it when my wife is watching TV in the other room  :embarrassed:
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldiron on December 05, 2011, 04:15:49 PM
Not too bad Martin, about the same as my electric type pump (I considered adapting that - but no PSI control).  It has rubber cup feet and is sitting on a carpeted floor.  The real dB test will be when I try to use it when my wife is watching TV in the other room  :embarrassed:

  Try putting the compressor on a scrap piece of carpet on top of a firm, solid surface such as a work bench. You don't want anything that's going to to drum while the compressor runs. If you have some rubber under padding to put under the carpet scrap it'll stop the compressor from wandering.

John
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 05, 2011, 04:32:13 PM
John:  It is on a fully carpetted solid floor, no floor boards. The Workshop is a room that was converted from a garage years ago, concrete underneath. 
Could you please help with my paint types question earlier today.  Sorry to be a pest, but I would like to get some paint next and am unsure as to which types can be used in combination.
Cheers !
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Tug-Kenny on December 05, 2011, 04:50:50 PM

The noise will stop when the pressure is up so it won't be on continuously.   (one consolation  %) )


Ken

Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on December 05, 2011, 05:33:42 PM

I have re-read the excellent tutorial by 'oldiron' which I now understand much better.  I admit I previously got a bit lost amongst the comparative technicalities whilst seeking what could an airbrush do compared to regular brushes I have been used to.

If I may please ask some further (maybe 'dumb') questions:

a)   Comparisons of paint types are well explained, but what can and cannot be used in combination.  ie: Can I prepare prime and do the basic main areas in acrylics, then when fully dry use Humbol enamels for fine detail work?  Acrylics sound easier to work with and to clean the airbrush with water afterwards, but a very limited range of colours compared to Humbrol for the detail stuff.

b) For a warship, should I paint in either matt or gloss, then spray semi-gloss varnish, to get a realistic finish that is handleable for weekly sailing at the lake.  I have heard gloss paint with semi gloss varnish works well.  In which case what type of varnish and thinners would be best?

c)  What general order of drying times should one allow between stages?  As a guide are we talking hours or days?  Remember I am used to Humbrol tinlets and brushes,

a) You can use enamel paints for detail work on top of your acrylic base finishes, but not acrylics on top of enamels, it seems to have trouble bonding to the base colour and will often craze.
b) I would use the gloss colour as a base finish and dull down with varnish afterwards, the gloss finishes will take longer to dry and by my way of thinking, should provide a better bond to the model because of it. If you are airbrushing the varnish on, I would use the Humbrol Satin Cote or Matt Cote with a suitable thinner. Humbrol recommend White Spirits to thin, I usually use a dedicated airbrush thinner for the job  ( we sell one! ). Try a small sample coat first as some members have had problems in the past using this product, however, I have never encountered any problems...draw your own conclusions :-)
C) Drying times, I have recoated as soon as the job becomes touch dry, sometimes three or four coats. However, this will then need at least a couple of days to go off due to the solvents in the multiple layers needing to escape. Best advice would be to allow four to six hours between coats and a couple of days before applying varnish. Make sure you are in a warm dry environment for the varnish, moisture in the air will ruin a varnish coat quicker than that.
 Take your time.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 05, 2011, 06:12:37 PM
Thank you for your detailed reply.  I now know what to get to use in my nice new airbrush.  I will practice first on A4 card, then a sacrificial rigid plastic box, before moving the destroyer into the (shower curtained) fitting out basin.   %)
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: RaaArtyGunner on December 05, 2011, 10:44:28 PM
Not too bad Martin, about the same as my electric type pump (I considered adapting that - but no PSI control).  It has rubber cup feet and is sitting on a carpeted floor.  The real dB test will be when I try to use it when my wife is watching TV in the other room  :embarrassed:

Buy her a you beaut remote with auto volume control  O0 O0 {-) {-)
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Norseman on December 05, 2011, 10:56:00 PM
Hi Bob

Was the ebay seller a one off or did they have more?

Lol - try and recoup some money buy offering fake tan spraying O0 {-)

Dave
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 05, 2011, 11:53:46 PM
Was the ebay seller a one off or did they have more?

Not a one off, they say 10 available.  Search "airbrush compressor kit" on E-Bay, and click the one marked £68.
"fake tan spraying ":  Only battleship grey available, but masking up could be interesting   {-)
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: funtimefrankie on December 09, 2011, 01:17:26 PM
Lol - try and recoup some money buy offering fake tan spraying O0 {-)

Dave

The wife vetoed that :embarrassed:
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Norseman on December 09, 2011, 08:39:54 PM
Hello, I use a set of discarded shower curtains to form a cubicle on the bench, good luck, practise makes perfect, Nemesis

Hi all

I have to say that I am very moved by the plight of Nemesis. The weather in North Shields must be awful just now, and there he is sheltering behind an old shower curtain on a park bench, but there he is still offering encouragement to other Mayhemmers.  {-)

You are very welcome to stay with me over the x'mas hols Nemesis and I am sure the lads will have a whip round too.

Regards Dave
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: irishcarguy on December 14, 2011, 07:46:14 PM
Hi Bob, I have just asked about buying an Air Brush kit & how to use it on here in an another thread, have a look at it, I have had some very positive answers, Mick B.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: essex2visuvesi on December 14, 2011, 08:01:28 PM
with regards to "feet" on a compressor I managed to quieten mine down considerably by adding some stick on rubber feet followed by the stick on felt discs you put on the bottom off chairs etc to protect laminate flooring from scratches/marks
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on December 14, 2011, 08:38:13 PM
Yes Mick B, I have been reading that thread with interest.  With this art - to the uninitiated discussion of, say, Scuba Diving - benefits and limits of swimming under water should be covered before going into the fine technicalities of different regulators and rebreathers.  Previous experience should not be assumed.

Essex2visuvesi:  My new compressor has large rubber cup feet, and on a carpet floor it is fairly quiet.  At least quiet enough not to disturb the Other Half in the next room.  It is an AS18K piston type of 1/6 HP.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on January 02, 2012, 03:36:37 PM
After having spent time preparing parts and sub assemblies for airbrushing, mounting on card or wood blocks etc, I finally got to fire up the new airbrush to try it out, but with mixed results.
I had built a spray booth from rail mounted shower curtains, plus read everything I could online.  Mixed 40% Tamiya Acrylic with 60% Tamiya X20A thinner, and had a session creating dots and lines on a big sheet of card.  OK, but the double action spray pattern was much finer than I expected, about 1cm wide max, and hyper critical on distance.  2” almost no paint goes on, 1” paint runs.

I am sure there should be some other adjustments other than pressing the button for air, and pulling back for amount of paint?  See photo:  The front parts only unscrew for cleaning, and have ‘O’ rings.  The rear plastic sleeve also unscrews, but whether the needle mounting is adjustable I don’t know.  No instructions.

(http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/bobkiralfy/airbrush1.jpg)
So far I have used two bottles of paint, not even covering the grey primer yet.  Cleaning, as expected, is a lengthy process.

I am sure there is something very obvious I am missing here
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: oldiron on January 02, 2012, 05:44:16 PM
After having spent time preparing parts and sub assemblies for airbrushing, mounting on card or wood blocks etc, I finally got to fire up the new airbrush to try it out, but with mixed results.
I had built a spray booth from rail mounted shower curtains, plus read everything I could online.  Mixed 40% Tamiya Acrylic with 60% Tamiya X20A thinner, and had a session creating dots and lines on a big sheet of card.  OK, but the double action spray pattern was much finer than I expected, about 1cm wide max, and hyper critical on distance.  2” almost no paint goes on, 1” paint runs.

I am sure there should be some other adjustments other than pressing the button for air, and pulling back for amount of paint?  See photo:  The front parts only unscrew for cleaning, and have ‘O’ rings.  The rear plastic sleeve also unscrews, but whether the needle mounting is adjustable I don’t know.  No instructions.

(http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/bobkiralfy/airbrush1.jpg)
So far I have used two bottles of paint, not even covering the grey primer yet.  Cleaning, as expected, is a lengthy process.

I am sure there is something very obvious I am missing here


Bob:

 If you go back to my article on air brushing I believe I cover adjustment on the air brush. In your picture, you have the black tail of the brush removed. You can see a knurled nut holding the needle in place. This nut can be loosened to remove the needle for replacement or to give you a bit more opening at the nozzle of the brush.
 Also air brushes have different types of tips and nozzles available. You can have them for very fine work, right up to very course work. It appears you have a fine needle/nozzle combination installed, try one of the higher flow pair and see how you make out.
  For cleaning, I don't normally pull the brush apart. I run solvent, for the paint I've used, through the nozzle until the spray runs clear. Move the needle in and out while you're doing it to create some disturbance internal to the brush. At the end hold a rag snuggly over the nozzle and blow into the rag. This will cause the brush to blow back and clear any solvent out of the brush.

John
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on January 02, 2012, 08:27:40 PM
John,

Thank you.  I will try that tomorrow after I’ve got more paint.  That knurled nut inside the black plastic handle looked like it was to secure the needle assembly.  I will try that.  I have two airbrushes, one 7cc gravity cup and one 22cc suction bottle.  Neither have alternative tips/nozzles, and fittings not appear interchangeable between units.
Looking online the closest photo match is Aerograph.
I will also try the gravity cup one, which does have a knurled nut at the end of the plastic handle, and maybe try a slightly thicker mix of acrylic to thinner. ie:  50/50

Bob
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: dougal99 on January 03, 2012, 03:24:48 PM
Bob,

in my (limited) experience I have found tha I did not need to thin Tamiya acrylics for spraying. When I did I had runs as you have found.

HTH

Doug
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Subculture on January 03, 2012, 04:40:36 PM
Perhaps worth practising with some cheaper paint/thinners until you get the knack of controlling the gun, as I know Tamiya stuff isn't cheap.

The advice I as always given was to thin the paint to the consistency of milk, and keep the pressure low, 10-20psi, depending on the brush and the paint being sprayed.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on January 03, 2012, 06:05:54 PM
Many thanks everyone, really appreciated.  Perhaps, as mentioned, it might have been better if I’d started off with more than quarter of an hour practicing on a big sheet of card before squirting my nice new model.  As you say Tamiya is not cheap, but if I have understood correctly then I will be able to add fine detail by brush in enamel over well dried acrylic, but not the other way round. Hence acrylic which I have never used before, only brushes & enamels.

Some success today !    With my compressor I bought both a top gravity style airbrush as well as a suction jar type one.  The later has a big adjuster knob at the end of the handle.  I used that instead today and it appeared more controllable in terms of spread / distance etc, although it meant mixing the paint first then keep topping up the pot.  I guess I thought the bottom bottle one would be easier, more tippable, and less refilling.  However the gravity version seemed far better for doing larger areas. 

The other difference today was that I only added 3ml of Tamiya thinner to each 10ml Tamiya paint pot, despite Tamiya’s advice of 60% to 40% paint.  Much better !  You guys are correct in that it does not need much thinning. 

(http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/bobkiralfy/painting2.jpg)
At least it looks OK, although will need another 4 pots of paint to give it a solid finish. I intend spraying satin varnish over the matt paint later. 
PS:  I did clean it as suggested above, but also strip cleaned it too just to be sure.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: justboatonic on January 05, 2012, 09:00:48 PM
Based on the appreciated advice given I have purchased this airbrush kit:
(http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/bobkiralfy/airbrush.jpg)
Compressor, top gravity cup and bottom suction cup double action airbrushes, plus air hose and six spare bottles.  £68 on E-Bay.  Hopefully this should cover both hull spraying and finer work, and was half the price I was quoted before.
Thinking more about containing residual paint mist spread, I may try rigging an old sheet from a curtain rail formed into a 'D' shape with the bottom of the sheet covering the work bench.  Based on the video clip I will make up a piece of A4 ply with a dowel handle underneath for spraying small parts.

Well, I have bitten the bullet and am about to give it a go  O0

I've been looking at one very similar on fleabay. They look good quality and for the price, well, even a couple of kiwk cote rattle cans start to look expensive.

Please let me know how you get on with it.
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: Norseman on January 05, 2012, 10:49:05 PM
Like you Boatonic I'm still thinking too but wondering if JB's type  in post 21 wouldn't be better as it has a reservoir.
Without a reservoir won't the pump be continuously cycling? But maybe not as I haven't used one before...... but if
it is cycling continuously it will be noisy for longer too. er um?

Dave
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: justboatonic on January 06, 2012, 02:06:42 PM
Like you Boatonic I'm still thinking too but wondering if JB's type  in post 21 wouldn't be better as it has a reservoir.
Without a reservoir won't the pump be continuously cycling? But maybe not as I haven't used one before...... but if
it is cycling continuously it will be noisy for longer too. er um?

Dave

I've watched a youtube vid of these compressors. I wouldnt say they were that noisey. Yes, the guy who was doing the video had to speak in a louder voice when it was running but he wasnt shouting either. Compressors similar to the one shown above with a ressie and two ab's are a lot more expensive at around £300 (or at least the ones I've seen from the same supplier are).

Im not certain if the one bought by the poster is an auto start \ stop so this will cut the time of any noise down and also result in compnents lasting longer since the compressor isnt always on. The ones I was looking at also had a 3 metre hose so you dont need the compressor right next to you which would mean any noise at the operators ears would be less than if you were stood right next to it.

This is one of the 'kits' I have been looking at on fleabay. Not sure it is the same company as the poster as I have seen another company selling very similar.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350356284520?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649 (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350356284520?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649)
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on January 06, 2012, 03:19:30 PM
The AS18 unit I bought on EBay, with two airbrushes (see photo above) is a lot quieter than I was expecting after watching videos.  It is a piston type which I understand is a lot less noisy than a diaphragm unit.  Yes, my wife can hear it in the other room when I have the door and windows open, but does not disturb her TV viewing.  I have seen the same unit in a local model shop costing a lot more - even without the two airbrushes and 1m of air pipe.
Turn it on and it pumps up to 100psi then cut out, holding that pressure even if turned off overnight.  Start spraying and the pressure drops rapidly to what you have set (ie 20psi) which stays fairly constant provided you don't hold the air button down constantly.  In practice I release the button briefly after each spray pass.  No point in wasting paint.  With practice I can get a reasonably constant 20psi when passing the brush across the model.
As stated before, I am brand new to airbrushing, and I am sure that as my experience with this grows I will gradually get better with what I want to achieve.
Bob K
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: NigelW on February 27, 2012, 01:04:08 PM
Hi Bob,

I've read your posts with interest as I'm thinking of investing in an airbrush. As it's been a while since your last post, I was wondering how you're getting on with it and whether you'd recommend that particular kit?

I already have a compressor in the workshop but not sure whether I'd be better off buying a dedicated one as part of the kit.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

Nigel
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on February 27, 2012, 01:41:48 PM
Hi Nigel,

Using the kit I quoted above, it came out very well.  I used Tamiya acrylics, thinned with 10mL of Tamiya thinner per pot, but did quite a bit of practice on card and old plastic containers first.  Oddly, I found the top cup airbrush seemed to work best, although had to refill it from the mixed paint pot fairly often.

For the under hull red oxide I ended up using a Halfords acrylic rattle can, mainly because I could not get a colour match in Tamiya or Humbrol.   All main areas sprayed, then added decking and fine details were brush-painted using Humbrol enamels.   On completion I used two lightish coats of Plasticote interior satin varnish spray.  Zero reaction to acrylic or enamel, and a nice looking protective finish.

Photo from my HMS Amazon 1906 build log on Mayhem
(http://i1143.photobucket.com/albums/n626/bobkiralfy/HMS%20Amazon/HMSAmazon5.jpg)
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: NigelW on February 27, 2012, 02:07:15 PM
Hi Bob, thanks for the quick reply. Lovely looking paint job and pleased to hear the chosen kit is working out for you.

I spotted this at lunchtime, which could in theory run off my workshop compressor and might fix the problem of having to regularly refill the pot, since it comes with both a gravity fed pot and a bottle, either of which are fitted to the side.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350453587181?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_1073wt_916

It's an unknown quantity to me at least, and a bit of a gamble on the brush quality so it would be good to know if anyone has experience of this item.

Thanks again,

Nigel
Title: Re: Brush vs Spray Can vs Airbrush
Post by: bobk on February 27, 2012, 03:24:39 PM
Hi Nigel,

That was my first airbrush attempt.  I really should let one of our airbrush experts answer this, but as you already have a compressor this has both the gravity and suction bottle options, apprears to have adjustable flow rate, and looks well made.  I assume hose connection should be standard.

Bob K