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Author Topic: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial  (Read 140077 times)

oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #150 on: February 10, 2011, 12:34:54 PM »

I have tried thinning Acrylics with water but have had problems with surface tension ie the paint tends to form drops on the plastic surface ( I had previously cleaned the surface with surgical spirit). I tried thinning using car windscreen wash, with some some success, but plain water gave me problems. I have always used Tamiya thinners with their paint. Unfortunately, for my current project I couldn't get the colour I wanted so had to use Revell, which is not acrylic.

  Using acrylics directly on plastics can lead to the "beading" problem. Certainly cleanliness is the first consideration, however, that is not always a cure as you've found out. A lot has to do with "tooth" on the working surface. Styrene in its virgin (ie. unsanded or roughened) will contribute to the problem greatly. Try using a plastic compatible primer on your surface first. When dry it will provide a gripping surface for your acrylic that will prevent the beading effect. Without primer this same problem can been seen with enamels on plastic. This usually shows its self as "fish eye's". The condition can also be brought on by oil on the working surface, but an ultra smooth surface will also promote the condition. Here again primer will save the day. Lacquers don't' usually exhibit this problem as they etch the plastic surface (destroy it in extreme conditions) and provide its on tooth to grip the work surface.
  I'm just in the middle of writing the section on surface prep, primers and brush handling and spraying right now. I'm going to try and get it posted today.

John
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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #151 on: February 10, 2011, 09:50:44 PM »

Spraying with an airbrush

  Iím sure this is the part most viewers have been waiting, the proper use of an air brush for best results. We shall assume youíve selected the type of air brush you want to use based on our previous talks.
  In the discussion on the types of air brushes Iíd talked about paint cups versus bottles. I havenít normally used a paint cup rather preferring bottles for the job. This time I went out and bought a cup to use for the demonstration work to follow. I just discovered one reason why I havenít normally used them. In the course of setting up this demonstration painting for pictures I used the paint cup. When I started to spray, the brush nozzle was blocked. The result was the air backing into the paint cup and depositing the enclosed paint all over my hands and work area. A bottle doesnít present this particular problem. Iím still wearing a rather daring shade of black on my finger nails.
  That aside, the first stage in painting of any type is surface preparation. As modelers we tend to use a wide range of materials from brass to plastic, that all require a little different preparation for best results. As Iíve mentioned before, cleanliness is next godliness. Sometimes this isnít always enough though.
  Styrene, fiberglass (GRP?) and ABS can be somewhat particular in how they need to be prepped. In each of these case a good soap and warm water wash is needed, however, fiberglass and GRP often have a mold release still adhering to them that even soap and water wonít dislodge. It is usually made of a special wax or polyvinyl alcohol. A mixture of Tri sodium phosphate (TSP) and hot water can make an effective cleaner to remove this mold release. Iíve also used silicone wax remover (usually available at auto parts stores dealing in auto paint) as a cleaner for the surface.
  Once you are satisfied the surface is clean, go over it with a tack rag. These are generally available at DIY stores and are used for taking any last minute dust particles from the work surface prior to painting.




 This is a cleaner designed for removing various silicone based materials from a prepared paint surface.

  Now prime the surface to be painted. With styrene surfaces you want something that is compatible with this type of plastic. Fiberglass and GRP are much more forgiving when it comes to primer. Prime the whole surface to be painted with light coats of primer enough to provide a smooth even surface over the model. The colour of primer used can have a direct effect on the shade of the colour applied over it. A darker primer will produce a darker shade of the applied colour, something to think about when priming. The technique used in spraying will be covered shortly. Allow time for the primer to fully set up before spraying colour. To get a good finish, the primer can be lightly sanded with a 400 or 500 grit sand paper and then tack ragged again before final colour. This will make a considerably smoother surface. This procedure may be difficult to do on wheel houses etc, but is ideal for hulls.
  Metal parts can be treated a bit differently. Do the same cleaning procedure as above. However, the priming can be a little different. Iíve had success with etching primer. Used on metal surfaces, it etches slightly into the metal and provides phenomenal holding ability for the paint applies to it.
  Another primer I like, that can be used on most any surface, is high build primer. It goes on relatively thick and the thickness provides excellent scratch and wood grain filling abilities. When the primer is sprayed then allowed to dry, it provides a good base for touch up sanding to out take minor low and high spots on the work surface. Itís great for smoothing the wood grain on many of our kits.




 A selection of primers I typically use. The Duplicolor can contains the etch primer. The resulting primer is green. When applied correctly its very tough.




  This tender frame of a steam loco I'm building shows the etch primer in place.

  With our surface prepped we can now turn to the colour to be applied. We covered a number of different paints in a previous issue. Although itís best to look to the paint manufacturer on tips about thinning, I found we can usually do a bit of fine tuning ourselves. Most paints can use a starting point of two parts paint to one part thinner for air brushing. The paint I used for this demonstration is from Trueline. Itís an acrylic paint that the manufacturer specifies, on the bottle, can be air brushed right from the bottle. I tried it and found it to be a little on the thick side. To thin it to my liking I used a bit of methyl hydrate (alcohol). How do I know what is the right consistency? Since I use jars for my air brush, I put the paint into the jar, then swirl the jar around in a tight circle in such a fashion that the paint will wave up against the inside of the jar. When I stop the paint will run down the side of the jar again to regain its static level inside the jar. When it does, I watch the effect of the paint on the side of the jar. If the paint runs off quickly, the paint is too thin. If it sticks up on the side of the jar, the paint is too thick. It needs to run down the side at a rate that will leave the side of the jar clear in about 10 seconds or so. Itís all very precise and scientificÖÖÖÖ.not. But itís a system that works well for me.
  The next step is to set up an airbrush jar of clean solvent to have at the ready to clean your airbrush when your job is done, or your brush becomes plugged. Also, if you think youíre going to use more pain than can fit into one jar, have another jar of prepared paint at the ready when the first one runs out.





 True Line acrylic paint used in this demonstration




  A tip on pouring paint from a bottle into a small container

  Unless itís a large object such as a hull, I use various bought and home made holders and clamps to hold my work while painting. Iíve never got on to using turntables. I find my models usually need paint under edges and lips and things. Having a model sitting on a turntable greatly restricts your ability to get under such protrusions with paint. I much prefer to hold the item up so I can turn it around to get under and about it easily.




  Various clamps on devices for holding onto items to be painted.

  Some basic pointers when applying paint.
-   When spraying any surface move the air brush across the face of the surface, while doing so press the air control button down before the air brush starts to pass over the surface. Hold the button down until the air brush has passed the painted surface, the release. This prevents the build up of paint at the end of the brush stroke. This build up appears as a large blob of paint that will run. On the return stroke follow the same procedure. Once you are used to it, it provides a smooth rhythm that makes painting easy.
-   On each pass move the air brush down slightly so that the new pass slightly overlaps the previous pass. This will ensure coverage with looking like fence rails of paint across a model.




  -   Move the air brush across the painted surface at a consistent distance. This will ensure even coverage over the length of the pass.

 

-   Make your first layer of paint very light. Donít try and paint the model in one pass. If you do you will get runs. The first light coat will add tooth for successive build up coats.
-   On a piece with inside corners, paint the inside corners first. Again, donít do the full paint build up, but start by painting the inner corners first then finish off the coat by painting the easier to get at sections. This means the hardest part is painted first. If you paint these afterward, you will get too much paint on neighbouring flat surface while trying to get enough paint into the corner for coverage.



-   When finishing, add a couple of extra coats to the outside corners. These tend to be inherently thin and subject to wear. Extra paint build up will make them less likely to wear through the paint in the short term.
-   Watch the paint as you apply it. You will notice flecks of paint being applied to the work surface as your brush passes over the surface. As you make successive passes these flecks will merge together to form an almost orange peal appearing surface. This is where you have to be careful. Make one more pass and you should she the orange peal melt away as the paint flows into a level surface. Too much paint (either a slow pass or the air brush adjusted to rich in paint) will result in paint sag and a run. This is a critical point that will be aided greatly by observation and experience.





 The large blobs of paint can be seen at the end of a pass when the air valve isn't closed, but held open for the next pass.

 The following picture gives a comparison of the texture of paint from a Tamiya rattle can (blue) and the fine texture from my air brush with the True Line paint (black). Not a reflection on Tamyia quality so much as the difference achievable from an air brush to a rattle can.





  Now youíve got your surface painted, set the object to one side to dry and we can clean the airbrush. Hereís where the paint jar comes in handy versus the cup. If you use a cup, dump out the remaining paint into a suitable container. If a paint jar, leave it attached for the moment. Place a cloth over the nozzle of the airbrush and pull the trigger. The air will flow and blow back through the paint side of the air brush. This gets rid of the bulk of paint trapped inside the air brush and pick up pipe. Remove the paint jar and set it to one side. Install the jar with the clean solvent, and blow the solvent through the gun against a clean sheet of paper. This way you can see when the effluent from the gun is blowing clean. As you pull the trigger, move the needle in and out in the brush. This will aid in dislodging any held up paint inside the brush. When you are satisfied the air brush discharge is blowing clean, hold you rag over the nozzle of the brush and pull the trigger again. This will clear any let over solvent out of the brush and it will be ready for future use. Dispose of the left over solvent and paint as your see fit.



Blowing back an air brush




The pulsating effect of the bottom paint line is what you will find if the internal air/paint seal around the needle leaks air to the paint side of the gun. I referred to this in one of the earlier talks. I removed the needle and put a touch of light grease on the needle then re installed it. the brush worked satisfactorily.




 A quickly made air brush and cup holder. Saves them bouncing around the work table.

  That does it for the minute. Iíll talk about masking and boot toppings and such next.

John




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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #152 on: February 11, 2011, 03:30:57 AM »

 For those who may be concerned as to the size of vessel one could expect to paint with an air brush, I offer this example of one I painted. Its completely done with an air brush using techniques highlighted in this tutorial. I built it about 20 years ago and its still holding up.

John
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tbone

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #153 on: February 11, 2011, 05:08:02 AM »

I was at one of the local hobby shops today and found they carry tamiya, testers and humbrol paints.
I did find out something interesting though.  I was thinking of a single action air brush for simplicity but he told me that the dual action could be like a single action as the initial needle position could be set and the button just used to open the air but not move the air.  Makes sense, just never thought it would work that way; might start with a dual action in that case.  For what it's worth he recommended Iwata brand airbrushes, gravity feed vs bottle and Tamiya paint thinned with windex(of course most of this is personal preference).

On another note I just bought a Graupner Neptun I will be building and I believe the hull is abs.  Have you ever used the Krylon Fusion paint as a primer on plastic?  Walmart sells it and it's designed for plastic.

Tbone
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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #154 on: February 11, 2011, 10:33:20 AM »

I was at one of the local hobby shops today and found they carry tamiya, testers and humbrol paints.
I did find out something interesting though.  I was thinking of a single action air brush for simplicity but he told me that the dual action could be like a single action as the initial needle position could be set and the button just used to open the air but not move the air.  Makes sense, just never thought it would work that way; might start with a dual action in that case.  For what it's worth he recommended Iwata brand airbrushes, gravity feed vs bottle and Tamiya paint thinned with windex(of course most of this is personal preference).

On another note I just bought a Graupner Neptun I will be building and I believe the hull is abs.  Have you ever used the Krylon Fusion paint as a primer on plastic?  Walmart sells it and it's designed for plastic.

Tbone

 Tbone:
 Yes you can get dual action airbrushes that allow you to put a fixed setting on the needle position by turning a locking mechanism. If you look at my earlier tutorial on air brushes you'll see a picture of a black Devilbis gun. It has the needle locking feature on it. Its a very handy feature that gives flexibility to your brush.
 I've mentioned my thoughts on cups, which is what a gravity feed will lead you to. For doing models I think you'll find it very restrictive with little latitude for physically moving the brush around as you paint. The Iwata is a fine brand, and the brush you suggest is certainly beyond the starter level........for poster art sort of applications. Also consider availability of parts. Badger parts are available almost anywhere, I'm not so sure about Iwata. Also consider the types of paints you'll put through it. If the Iwata is of plastic construction, you will be restricted if you decide to use lacquer based paints.
 You have to consider your current, and possible, future applications for the brush. If they are satisfied, then maybe its the right one for you.
  As to Krylon primers, if its designed for plastics it should be OK. Don't forget, the spray nozzles and the size of the pigment in these paints weren't designed for the fine work on models. Its fine for its application, but you may find it a bit heavy for models, particularly where a lot of detail work is included.

John
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #155 on: February 11, 2011, 12:23:04 PM »


... I've mentioned my thoughts on cups, which is what a gravity feed will lead you to. For doing models I think you'll find it very restrictive with little latitude for physically moving the brush around as you paint. The Iwata is a fine brand, and the brush you suggest is certainly beyond the starter level........for poster art sort of applications. Also consider availability of parts....


I have an old Aerograph cup brush, as well as some of the cheap chinese-made brushes. I was going to wait until I understood how to use them before writing a review, but my uneducated impression is that it is hard to beat the chinese models for value. They are certainly less well finished than my Aerograph - internal screw threads are left with rough edges, for instance, but they seem to perform ok, and they will cost between 15 and 30 Canadian dollars. I suspect you won't get an Iwata hose for that price...

I second Oldiron's thoughts on the paint containers - cup only airbrushes are of limited use to a boat modeller. We are likely to want to spray large hull surfaces, and we need the paint capacity that a bottle gives us. I think my most useful brush is a Chinese dual gravity/suction one: it has a side mounted bottle which can be exchanged for a cup. If you look for one of these, note that the ebay adverts for Chinese airbrushes include a side-mounted cup model which cannot have a bottle attached - only go for the brushes which have both....
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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #156 on: February 28, 2011, 12:38:37 AM »

How and when to mask the object to be sprayed, types of masking, how to make them, tips and techniques.


 Before any painting is done on a model, or anything else, some planning is best done ahead of time. This can include;
ē   Is it better to paint modules before assembly? Ė It may be, since some parts can be very hard to mask after they are installed on a model. This can due to the delicate nature of the part, or the awkwardness of getting masking tape in tight areas.
ē   What colours am I going to paint the model? Ė Its much easier to cover a lighter colour with a darker colour than the other way around. It can be easier to paint and spray the underwater portion of the hull before you spray the freeboard portion of the hull (masking the water side is easier).

  With the planning done as to where and when and what type of paint you are going to use, its time to get to business. We will assume youíve already primed and applied your first colour of paint. Now you have to mask that colour for your next application. What are you going to use?
 Many suggestions have been made with regard to the type of masking tape to use. Some use the green household interior masking tape. Iíve tried this and found it can be low in tack. Some may find this fine, but Iíve found it leaves me prone to getting paint blow under the tape. This entails a cleanup of the previously painted surface that takes time and may have variable results when done over a large area.
 Some use Scotch cello tape. I steer away from it use. It tends to be rather stiff and high tack and leaves a sticky residue behind. When going around corners, you want a tape that is very flexible and can be pressed into a corner without fear of it buckling or bridging the corner. I found cello tape has a habit of doing the worst of both.
  Iíve used a cheap white general purpose masking tape for virtually all my painting. It has the right amount of tack, bends easily, because its thin and comes in varying widths.
  For boot top lines Iíve used the pin striping tape available in auto parts stores. It has a sharp edge and is of consistent dimension. If it is removed right after painting it comes off satisfactorily and leaves a nice stripe.




  This the striping tape I used as a mask to spray a boot top line.

  To begin masking, acquire a piece of glass plate, something about 12 to 18Ē long by about 6Ē works well.  I lay a strip of masking tap across the length of the glass. Smooth it out, but donít press it in hard. Using a straight edge and a sharp knife, cut the outside 1/32 to 1/16Ē off the tape. This removes the rough edge left from the forming of the tape roll and the handling itís received in its life.



  Glass surface with my choice of masking tape.

  Cut the tape to a length that is handelable in proportion to the surface to be taped. If you are tapping a flat surface, place one end of the tape, with the fresh cut side to the paint line, down onto the work. With one finger holding this end of the tape to the work, pull the other end snuggly away so the tape is taught, and lay the tape onto the work. If youíre looking for a straight line, eyeball down the length of the edge of the tape to look for deviations. Lift and reset the tape as required to get a straight line. There is no use using a straight edge for this work. Your eyeball sighting the length will give you a more accurate indication of the straightness of the line being masked. When you are satisfied as to the accuracy of the line, press the tape down onto the work firmly. Then use a burnishing tool to run along the edge of the tape, next to the new paint, to be sure it is set against the previous colour of paint. This will minimize, and possibly eliminate, the chance of seepage under the tape of the new paint.
  When laying the tape over a raised or depressed surface on your work, do as above by gently setting the tape against your work to begin with. Then, using your burnishing tool, press the tape into the corners of the raised surface until you are satisfied a tight seal is made. Continue as above.



  Adding a colour defining mask to the side of a model. This car is be two toned with no dividing line to hide the colour separation. Therefore the edge has to be exact first time.



  The masking and cover up added for the remainder of the model ready for the next layer of paint. Notice I've painted the whole model in the yellow. This is because it will act as a base for the next layer of paint and as such affects the tonal level of the next layer. In order not to show a tonal difference due to lack of uniform coverage of the first coat, the whole model has been painted the same undercoat.

  For boot toppings, paint the boot top colour first. With a soft pencil, mark your water line on the boot top paint. Use automotive pin stripe tape, of the appropriate width, to mask over the pencil marking for the water line. Use the technique described above to seal the tape. Now paint the water side colour, but donít remove the tape before your freeboard colour is painted.



Boot top mask added to the white surface, to get a white boot top line. Then the whole was sprayed black.

  Using some newsprint or other paper of appropriate size, run masking tape along the edge of the paper for the length of your hull, or length of paper, which ever comes first. Overlap the masking tape on the edge of the paper so you have enough to stick your new mask to the boot top line. Lay the masking tape onto the existing pinstripe tape on your boot top line. Continue until the paper forms a curtain around your already painted water side of the hull.(see the box car model above)
   Now paint the freeboard side of the hull. When youíve cleaned your airbrush, begin by removing the paper curtain. Then remove the pin stripping tape.
  There is a technique to removing masking tape of any kind from a painted surface. Pick the end of the tape that is most easily accessible. Pull it back, into the direction you are removing the tape, at a very sharp angle to the work. This will remove the stress on the paint that can lead to paint lifting as you remove the masking tape. The pull should be even and gentle at a slow speed. Donít pull it fast as if youíre pulling a plaster from a wound. Continue until all your tape is removed.



Removing the mask to reveal the boot top line. Notice the sharp back angle with which the tape is being removed. this reduces the chance of paint removal along with mask removal.



Doing the same thing on our railway car model. This reveals the two tone paint job and the sharp line defining both colours.

  You will, undoubtedly, get a little bit of overspray here and there. This is not unusual and should not be cause for panic. One method of correcting it is to paint over the errant overspray with the appropriate colour. Another method is to use a little Varsol, or similar, on a small paint brush. Moisten the brush with the thinner and gently work the brush against the overspray until it is removed. This should be done right after your masking is removed and before the paint is set up.  Iíve used a bit of lacquer thinner on stubborn areas. However, 95% of the time I donít have to touch up paint and you canít see where the correction has been made.



Removing over spray with Varsol

  You may come, from time to time, a situation where a straight tape line isnít required. You may need some fancy shape to do the job. To do this make a heavy paper shape of the paint edge pattern you want. Cut this pattern out with scissors or a sharp knife. Lay some wide masking tape onto your glass panel and trace the paper shape onto the masking tape. Cut out the masking tape while it is still on the glass. Remove the masking tape and apply to your work as described above.
  If youíre free handing curves, the paper pattern can be used to check the consistency of the shape you are masking. Also use much narrower tape to make it easier to go around corners without kinking of the tape.

Our next talk will be on decaling and finishing your model.

John

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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #157 on: March 07, 2011, 12:23:46 PM »

Decaling a model for best effect

 Over the years various methods of lettering our models have been available. Some are still with us, some passed by the wayside for good reason. The most common lettering methods still generally in use are water slide transfers or decals, dry transfer lettering (eg.Letraset), vinyl backed lettering, or custom made vinyl lettering. Iíve used all these forms on my various models. Each has its own plusís and negatives.



Water slide decals:

  On this side of the pond, wet transfer decals are by far the most common lettering system available. They consist of a paper covered with glue. That is in turn covered with a varnish material that is then printed with the designs wanted. There is another layer of varnish sometimes put over the print to seal it. Usually the varnish application forms a constant thickness over the entire decal sheet. Some of the better quality water slide decals have the print done on areas of a specific size to match the lettering. The varnish tapers away from the lettering to zero thickness. This means the decal can be applied to the model and leave no discernible edge. With proper application, the decal varnish is invisible and the lettering appears to be painted on the models surface. These are ideal.



  To start this project, your finish paint on the area to be lettered should take on a glossy appearance. This provides a very smooth surface for the decals to properly seat to. A matte surface has millions of tiny projections upwards that form microscopic hills and valleys on the paint surface. This is what gives the matte appearance to the paint. If a decal is applied to this surface air remains trapped under the decal that shows up as white blotches under the decal film after the decal has dried. If the area to be decaled is not glossy, spray on a clear glass coat such as that offered by Testors and similar suppliers.
  Our tools for this job are a sharp knife, a hard surface to back the decal when we cut it, tweezers, and fine paint brush and a decal solvent such as Waltherís Solvaset, and a dish of tepid water, some clean tissue.




  Begin by trimming out the portion of decal you are about to use with the knife. Make the cuts as close as you can to the lettering. Except where the varnish film is manufactured to be close to the letters, the final result will be much better the closer you can trim the decal to the lettering. You can trim out several pieces at a time.
 Place the trimmed decals into the dish of water and let them sit. How long? Until the decal film raises off the paper backing. This is contrary to all decal instructions; however, the following steps will more than make up for the loss of glue. I donít want any glue left on the back of the decal, just the varnish film and its printing.




  With the tweezers, remove the decal from the water bath very carefully. The film is quite fragile and wonít take a lot of beating. Place it on the model with a liberal coating of water under it. Slide the decal around until it is where you want it. With your tissue placed against the edge of the decal, siphon off the excess moisture.
 Now comes the Solvaset part. This liquid is designed to dissolve the decal film and make it part of the paint surface itís on. It doesnít work as well on bare metal or styrene, but is superb on painted surfaces. Using the small paint brush (not the one included in the bottle) apply Solvaset to the periphery of the decal. There will still be moisture under the decal and that will aid siphoning the Solvaset under the decal.. Then leave the decal. At first it will appear to shrivel and youíll think youíve ruined the decal. DONíT TOUCH IT!!. As the decal dries out it will pull taught and snuggle down to the surface.






  This process works ideally on uneven surfaces. That is, surfaces that go up and down, such as over doors and hatches and rivets and such. The decal will snuggle down over these surfaces just as if they were painted.
  When the decal has mostly dried and appears to have snuggled down, look at it carefully. Has it completely snuggled down over any unevenness (tenting of the decal)? Is there any white (trapped air) showing through the decalĒ. If you answer yes to any of these, go back over the decal with a little more Solvaset. Areas, such as trapped air, can be more stubborn. Using the sharp knife slice the decal film and apply more Solvaset onto the slice. You should see it rapidly siphon into the white are. When this is done the decal will set down fully. Tenting can be sorted the same way. Slice through the ďtentĒ and apply a little Solvaset with your small paint brush.



  This shows the effect after the first application of Solvaset. Another light application will draw the decal film down around the rivets




This is the effect of air under the decal. The decal hasn't properly set down and sealed to the model in these areas. This condition is aggravated by applying decals to a matte surface




This is how the finished decal application should look

  Leave the decal over night for all your decaling to dry out an set up. Then using a damp cloth remove any water drops and stains from the surface over and around the decal. Then use your favourite dull coat, or whatever, as a spray over the decal. This will serve to seal the deal surface and take away the sheen of the decal. The result will be very hard to distinguish from a painted lettering job. The same is done with pin stripes.



 This is a finished model done with water slide decals and a satin finish coat sprayed over everything.

  Blank water slide transfer deal sheet can be purchased that opens up other avenues for creativity. If you have some ornate striping or picture to do on the surface of your model that is over a curved or hard to get at surface you can make your own decal. Iíve done this by making a stencil of the pattern I want to make, then spraying my favourite model paint through the stencil held against the decal sheet. When the stencil is removed the paint pattern remains. The decal sheet is cut out and the decal applied as above.






Credit this photograph to Ebay
I painted this New York Central electric model for a customer, back in the eighties. It appeared on Ebay from Germany last fall. Funny how some models get around. Anyway, the cats whiskers stripes on the front of the cab were done using the mask shown above. As described the mask was held against the decal paper , then the decal applied as usual.

Dry Transfer Lettering

  Various manufacturers have marketed this product over the years. Letraset was probably the best known product on the market. It is still available, but probably not as common no that computer printing is available.
  Dry transfer lettering comes on a wax paper like sheet with all the lettering in vinyl affixed to the sheet. It may come as alphabets or pre made designs. The back of the vinyl has a pressure sensitive coating that sticks the lettering to the model. Matte finish paint is best for this type of lettering because it provides tooth for the lettering to hold to.
 Begin by deciding where you want the lettering to be. Draw a faint pencil line across the model where the base of the lettering is to be. Place the semi transparent sheet over the model with the base of the letter on the pencil line. Using a ball point pen begin rubbing the letter to until you have covered the whole letter. Hold the wax paper to the model with one or more fingers. Gently pull the paper back to reveal the letter and to be sure it has properly transferred. If not place the paper back down again and give the letter a few more rubs in the area it is lifting.
  This can be a tedious job that is very difficult to do well. The letters tend not to be evenly spaced nor even on the pencil line, or the surface of the model is variable and it makes it hard to get the lettering on smoothly. An alternative is to look back to our waterslide transfer decal. Using the blank decal sheet, place it on a firm surface (desk top). Mark a faint pencil line on the decal sheet as before. Now transfer the lettering to the decal sheet. The pencil line on a white paper background is much easier to see through the semi transparent carrier material. You are working on a flat easy to use surface with good light. The result can come out much better. This is applied as the water slide decal above. Itís also beneficial for getting lettering over uneven surfaces, something almost impossible to do by using the direct transfer method.










blank water slide decal material being used to accept dry transfer lettering



Vinyl backed lettering

  This seems to be a popular item in Britain from what Iíve seen. The products from BECC are certainly nice. They are not as common over here.
  Here lettering is printed on a vinyl film. The film makes up the whole sheet of lettering. As in the water slide decals cut the vinyl decal out as close to the printing as possible. Remove it from the surface of the backing and apply to the model. Its much quicker than the water slide method, however, it leaves the raised vinyl edge that it is visible after application, plus the vinyl sheen of the decal. In order to attempt to reduce the effects of both these drawbacks Iíve applied Testors dull coat over the decal after application. It works reasonably well in blending the decal into the back ground.
  Iíve applied this decal over a matte surface. It worked fine, but I suspect it would improve with application over a glossy surface.






The depth markings are a BECC product



The Smit herald was placed on the stack



  Another form of vinyl lettering is available through sign makers these days. The image is computer generated, then cut out of a vinyl material that is back with a protective paper and a clear wax paper material on the outside or top of the lettering. This is good because you can have just about any shape cut out of vinyl, and in various colours, that the computer is capable of generating. Iíve found the cost to be reasonable too.
  To apply them, tape one end of the decal top paper to the model. Being sure the decal is in line with where you want it to go, slowly remove the backing paper from the decal and press the letters down as you go. By the time you have all the backing paper removed the letters should be set into place. Go over the top covering to ensure all the lettering is pressed down completely, and then remove the top paper. Pull it back slowly at a sharp angle to the model. This will reduce the strain on the letters and reduce the chances of them being lifted from the model.
  If you feel you will want to move the lettering around , as you apply it, to get it in the correct place, cover the application are with soapy water. Remove the backing paper from the decal and place on the are to receive the lettering. Donít press down, but slide the decal around until youíre happy. Then press the lettering down to the surface with a plastic squeegee or similar. Remove the top paper and clean up. Job done

Hopefully this will give you some ideas on making your model lettering a bit easier.

John







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bbdave

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #158 on: April 13, 2011, 10:17:18 PM »

Great tips on here can i just add a couple of problems i get when spraying

How much should i thin Tamiya acrylics to spray as i have used them to spray orange on a lifeboat and it took a huge amount of coats to get a good solid colour.

How do i reduce the ridge of paint when masking is removed? or is that down to getting good colour depth with a thin coat

Dave
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #159 on: April 13, 2011, 11:32:41 PM »

Great tips on here can i just add a couple of problems i get when spraying

How much should i thin Tamiya acrylics to spray as i have used them to spray orange on a lifeboat and it took a huge amount of coats to get a good solid colour.

How do i reduce the ridge of paint when masking is removed? or is that down to getting good colour depth with a thin coat

Dave

  I've tried spraying Tamiya acrylics and run into the same problem as yourself. They have to be thinned so far that you loose opaqueness in the paint (i.e. the paint becomes moderately transparent). This means you have to apply more paint to get the colour opaque. For this reason I've never been fond of spraying Tamiya acrylics. They are great to brush with, but not great for spraying based on my experience, and yours too by the sounds of it. Another thing to try is to go to the most course needle/tip combination for your type of brush and raise the air pressure a little. It will help getting the thicker paint through the brush's tip and atomizing it at the same time.
  As to the paint ridge, you're in a catch 22 situation with the amount of paint you have to apply to get your colour also creating a build up to give you a ridge.To help reduce the ridge when the masking is lifted, remove the masking tape when the paint is still soft, that is right after you've finished the last colour to the tape. It will aid in allowing the edge of the paint to settle back down onto the previously painted surface. Also, when removing the tape pull it back at as sharp and angle as possible to the painted surface. This will help in reducing the lift on the paint over the tape.
 You may try switching to another brand of water based paint. There are those out there with a finer pigment and freer flowing.
 Hope this helps.

John
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tbone

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #160 on: April 14, 2011, 12:57:58 AM »

Although I haven't tried yet I was planning to try Tamiya acrylic's as I like the idea of windex to thin and for easy cleanup.
Now it doesn't sound like the best choice.

Tbone
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bbdave

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #161 on: April 14, 2011, 06:45:17 PM »

Hi thanks for the great reply

 Tbone i used a huge amount of paint on my atlantic 21 i enjoyed the easy clean up of water based acrylic but spent alot on Tamiya paint the grey was ok but the orange a nightmare.

What other water based paints are out there any recomendations Oldiron? or i could just go the Halfords rattle can acrylic option

Dave
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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #162 on: April 14, 2011, 07:05:57 PM »

Hi thanks for the great reply

 Tbone i used a huge amount of paint on my atlantic 21 i enjoyed the easy clean up of water based acrylic but spent alot on Tamiya paint the grey was ok but the orange a nightmare.

What other water based paints are out there any recomendations Oldiron? or i could just go the Halfords rattle can acrylic option

Dave

  I like True Line Train paint (  http://www.truelinetrains.ca/paint-accessories  ). Its acrylic, air brush ready ( that said, I've found it works better with just a touch of solvent to thin it a little)  and water cleanup. Look at Morency orange. I think its pretty close to RNLI orange. This is the colour Canadian National Railways used to paint their cabooses.
  If you're using rattle can paint, decant some of it into your air brush jar. Hold the nozzle into a larger jar than you use for your air brush. And spray the paint into the jar. Leave it sit in the jar for a few minutes to let the aerosol gases release from the paint. Then pour it into your airbrush jar and paint. You get much more control from your air brush than with a rattle can.

John
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bbdave

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #163 on: April 14, 2011, 08:17:28 PM »

Thanks again John my current project is fairly big and only requires 3 colours so i think rattle cans will be good.

Has anyone any experience of Vallejo paint?  http://www.vallejopaints.co.uk/

Dave
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #164 on: April 17, 2011, 05:15:00 PM »

Hello Dave very much a newbie but have used Vallejo paints, can't compare with too many others but am well pleased with my first efforts using both an airbrush and these paints. They are held in high regard by many modellers and have a very good reputation for quality.A lot more info here, http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/gb/index.html     look at the videos and read some of the blogs, found them very informative and compliments well with John's tutorial.

        Hope this helps, regards, Tony.

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #165 on: April 21, 2011, 06:18:53 PM »

I assume your tutorial is now complete John other than questions or queries that may arise. I'll take this opportunity then to thank you very much for the extensive time and effort you have no doubt had to generate to present such a commendable and complete tutorial on our behalf. I have thoroughly enjoyed it all and have learned much from your most knowledgeable presentation , as have many others no doubt.
          I realise the presentation was based on your personal experience and opinion, your results speak for themselves, therefore I've taken on board some of the things that work for you. Recently purchased a Badger 200 internal mix airbrush to compliment my Paasche external mix, what an improvement! £42.50 including delivery - am well pleased. My winter " Build" project was converting the rear of my garage workshop into a modelling room leaving the conservatory for the dog  {-) I have incorporated a little spray booth with an led strip light and bottom feed extraction,  (see - I was listening! {-) {-)) Have posted a few pics for those interested

         Anyway, thanks again John I really do appreciate your efforts and hope to show they weren't left in the archives!   O0 {-)    kind regards, Tony.  :-))























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pugwash

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #166 on: April 21, 2011, 07:28:35 PM »

tony that is far too neat to be a model boat workshop

Geoff
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oldiron

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #167 on: April 21, 2011, 07:41:58 PM »

  Tony:

 Thanks very much for the kind comments. I'm pleased you found it helpful. As you say, what I've written is based on my experience, hence, what has worked for me and what hasn't.
 I was trying to think of something else to add to the tutorial, but areas such as weathering have been done by others, such as Voyageur, so much better that i felt it was hollow redundancy to cover the same ground. In that case, yes, this is the end of the tutorial as far as I'm concerned. I'm more than happy to answer any questions that come along, and I may add the odd tid bit here and there if I see something worth mentioning..

  I like your new workshop, especially the fact you have a window with nice light right along side your work table. Mine is in the basement and not conducive to working on models on a nice summer day. How does your downdraft fume hood work?

thanks agian

John
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #168 on: April 21, 2011, 11:25:47 PM »

 {:-{ :(( >:-o >>:-( <*< ...Tony ...I think there are many members world wide that are GREEN with envy in looking at such a workshop........ :-)) ....Derek
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #169 on: April 22, 2011, 04:14:52 PM »

Hello Geoff, yes it looks a bit clean and clinical at the moment but that'll soon change I'm sure! used up a lot of spare white paint but it helps a lot with the lighting, Will do most of my mucky stuff in the other half and try to keep it a bit tidy for the cleaner work. It's nice and cosy and doesn't need much heating.
         Thanks for the comment Derek, had picked up a lot of ideas from this forum, at the end of the day it's nice to have a good tool so as to speak, but will I be good enough to get the best out of it!  {-)  I've seen many a marvel made on here with far less, time may tell.

Hi John, by "how does it work?" I assume you mean the effectivity of the unit, well I've not yet tried it out in anger as they say, but the motor pulls approx. 253 cu. mtrs. an hour and vented in a very short run through the outside wall. It certainly works well with a smoke test and If the acrylic doors are left closed they get pulled well in by the suction!!  Am very aware that the idea is to put the paint on the job not down the vent but can always fit a speed controller if needs be.  I've fitted a plenum before the fan and used synthetic filter material within if only to save painting the impellers.  Have a vent yet to be fitted in the dividing door to ensure adequate air supply from the main workshop, this may help in the winter when the outside air is much colder.

           Just got to practice now and improve my skills in the art of making models  {-)

                                                                   Kind regards to all, Tony. :-))

       



           
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RaaArtyGunner

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #170 on: April 22, 2011, 10:51:48 PM »

{:-{ :(( >:-o >>:-( <*< ...Tony ...I think there are many members world wide that are GREEN with envy in looking at such a workshop........ :-)) ....Derek

Your'e right Derek it almost cries out to be censored, reminds me of the comment "tidy desk tidy mind" O0 O0
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sunworksco

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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #171 on: April 23, 2011, 06:51:47 AM »

I'm going to build a paint booth just like that!
Thanks Tony !
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #172 on: April 23, 2011, 12:14:08 PM »

Tried it out yesterday, purposely used black paint to see more clearly how it performed - worked an absolute treat and was really pleased.

         Hello again John, (oldiron), can you advise on the following? - started using my new badger with Vallejo acrylic paint thinned firstly with water and then with Vallejo's own thinners, I was practicing blowing in the corners of some little cardboard boxes I made up trying to use fine misty type strokes close in, all went very well for several passes but then the paint supply dried up although air pressure was maintained, I had to keep opening the needle to allow a more coarser spray pattern to generate paint flow and then tune back down to a fine spray only for the problem to consistently repeat itself. I 'think' the paint was thinned to maximum and varied the tank pressure from half to two bar and everything in between but still could not achieve more than several fine passes. Am I getting paint build up and or drying at the tip do you think?  the coarser spray strokes were very good and consistent but obviously it's the finer line spray technique I'd like to achieve. Sounds daft I know but it works well with coloured water!!  {:-{ {:-{
                 Would be grateful for any input or advice from yourself or indeed any interested members, thanks and kind regards, Tony.
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #173 on: April 23, 2011, 12:18:09 PM »

Oh forgot to mention when cleaning and using the 'blow back' technique you outlined, I used the protective cap that came with the brush rather than cloth at the needle tip - worked a dream!  cheers.
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Re: Oldiron's Airbrush Tutorial
« Reply #174 on: April 23, 2011, 01:27:07 PM »

  Tony:

 Sorry to hear you're having problems. It sounds, to me, like the paint rather than your technique. Another thing I'm wondering, is it "lumps" of paint coming into the tip and clogging? I've had the happen before. It doesn't take much when you've got the tip closed right down for very fine painting. Just to be sure, try filtering the paint through a proper paper paint filter, after you've mixed it, but before you spray it. Paper filters are available at auto parts supply merchants and quite cheap.
  Some brands of paints can dry rather rapidly. If this turns out to be the case you may have to switch to a different brand.
Hope this helps.

John
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