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Old 01-24-2008, 12:19 AM
Evan August Evan August is offline
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Relative noob to airbrushing looks for pointers

Hey guys,
Over the summer I purchased a Tamiya HG SF brush and an Iwata smart jet compressor. For a variety of reasons I have not yet used either. After a few years of reading mags and sites like this one, I feel relatively familiar with some techniques in theory, but am still anxious to practice them. One of my biggest concerns is cleaning.
With Model Master acrylics, is it possible to clean it efficiently by following the instructions and shooting water through the brush and then wiping down the nozzle. Similar concern with Vallejos. For Tamiya paints, is water acceptable, or should I use their thinner?
How often should the brush recieve a thorough cleaning? Meaning stripping and cleaning the components?

Vallejo paints. I have a huge stock from the days when I thought I could achieve results like Jaume Ortiz on my figures. Haven't painted one in 3 years now. Shows how well that worked out. THese are the standard paints, not the model air variety. Are they still acceptable for airbrushing?

It's probably funny to some of the more skilled painters here, but I have held off on doing any painting for fear of f*cking up my expensive tool on the first attempt.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:09 AM
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RickLawler RickLawler is offline
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Hey Evan...lets paint.
Quote:
With Model Master acrylics, is it possible to clean it efficiently by following the instructions and shooting water through the brush and then wiping down the nozzle. Similar concern with Vallejos. For Tamiya paints, is water acceptable, or should I use their thinner?
Water works to clean the colors from the brush during a session, but at the end I run Windex through and it does a really nice job of cleaning...alchohol works also.

Quote:
How often should the brush recieve a thorough cleaning? Meaning stripping and cleaning the components?
I do it whenever I'm forced to!!! If I'm good about the daily maintenece then it's not necessary to really take it apart that often.

Quote:
THese are the standard paints, not the model air variety. Are they still acceptable for airbrushing?
Yep, that's what I use. I've thinned them with water, windex, and alchohol. I'm finding that the alchohol works best for me lately. I do it by feel...the ratio is probably something like 4:1 paint to thinner - start there and get a feel for them.

good luck,
rick
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:34 AM
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lquah lquah is offline
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Evan

Following on what Rick said, here are my comments.

Quote:
With Model Master acrylics, is it possible to clean it efficiently by following the instructions and shooting water through the brush and then wiping down the nozzle. Similar concern with Vallejos. For Tamiya paints, is water acceptable, or should I use their thinner?
I use Gunze's Mr Tool Cleaner to clean my airbrush. It's pretty good stuff and dried paint dissolves immediately. I have even restored an old brush caked with paint for the past ten years! The large tin lasts a long time. Here's a pic of the 450mL tin. There's a smaller bottle at 250mL.

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10016844

I usually use Tamiya thinners for Tamiya paints since they are readily available and inexpensive. I have heard modelers using isopropyl alcohol with good results as well.

Quote:
How often should the brush recieve a thorough cleaning? Meaning stripping and cleaning the components?
I am pretty lazy in cleaning my airbrush and only strip clean occassionally. But that Mr Tool Cleaner just gets in there and makes the brush look brand new!

Quote:
THese are the standard paints, not the model air variety. Are they still acceptable for airbrushing?
For sure you can. Most people will thin the paint with a few drops of water. I find that I can get away with spraying straight from the bottle. The only thing to be aware of is that Vallejo paints have a higher tendency to clog up the airbrush. I don't have this problem as my airbrush has a separate adjustment for air flow.

There's a airbrushing guide on Vallejo's website. I can't link to the exact page since the site doesn't allow for it. Just look under Model Air and click on "Model Air use guide"

Quote:
It's probably funny to some of the more skilled painters here, but I have held off on doing any painting for fear of f*cking up my expensive tool on the first attempt.
Airbrushes are quite hardy except for the needle. You have to be really careful and not bend/damage the tip.

Best thing to do is to practice on an old kit and have fun!

LQ
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Last edited by lquah; 01-24-2008 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:52 AM
Evan August Evan August is offline
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Thanks guys! I live down the street from the grocery store, might see if I can pick up some windex or rubbing alcohol tomorrow.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:15 AM
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greybeard greybeard is offline
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I use enamels and not acrylics, so I can't help with thinners and such, except to add that distilled water is prefereable. For enamels, I've used automotive lacquer thinner for years.

What I can say, is practice, practice, practice! It may seem obvious, but the more you spray, the more comfortable you are using the airbrush. Grab a couple of junk models and have a blast (bad pun).

The secret to success is knowing how to find the magic balance between air pressure and paint consistency. For very fine lines (maximum control), lower pressure and really runny paint is teh key. For large areas, you can use lots of paint and air, because you don't care if the paint goes everywhere. And it will! so plan for it by covering your tabletop well and removing anything you don't want overspray to get on.

Many modellers build a spray booth. This can be something elaborate, like a hermetically sealed climate-controlled room that has an air extraction system venting air outside to a simple cardboard box with a small fan. That's what I use — four sides of a cardboard box about 24" wide by 18" high / deep, with a couple of old computer fans (12V) venting into old nylon stockings.

Lawrence mentioned paint clogging the airbrush. This is a common problem with some paints, particularly cheaper brands that use large particles of pigment or paint that's been sitting for a while. This can also be caused by using "hot" thinners, i.e. thinners that dry very quickly, almost before the paint leaves the airbrush. With acrylics, I can see this happening with alcohol, so if it does, try substituting water. Also, keep an eyedropper handy (I use a large glass syringe) and a dish of clean thinner. If the paint starts to blotch, remove the paint cup and run a couple of drops of thinner through the brush to clear it out.

Strictly speaking, it's not necessary to clean the brush completely between colours. It's enough to run thinner through it until it runs clear, before switching colours. It is absolutely necessary to clean the brush thoroughly once you're done. Be careful how you handle the nozzle and the needle. Clean it well and store it dry and it will last many years.

You'll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Cheers
Scott Fraser
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:08 AM
Evan August Evan August is offline
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Thanks Scott, might be awhile before I can try anything else because I got slammed with research projects on the first day of class. Damn seminar.
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:31 AM
Evan August Evan August is offline
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OK, this might seem dumb but...
I was going to play around with it tonight, figured I would run some water through just to get a feel for it, then experiment a little with paint. However, after filling the cup 1/2 full with some water I found that nothing would come out. Air was coming out the nozzle, but no water. Any ideas?
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Old 02-22-2008, 02:51 AM
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James Tainton James Tainton is offline
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Maybe there is a hole in the bottom of the paint cup?
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:25 AM
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James Tainton James Tainton is offline
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Here is a result for a search on youtube for airbrush. It's good to ask questions about using an airbrush but really you just have to dive in and play with it till you get the hang of it.

http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...h&search_type=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcPYlO3TYqo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFsO06Z-Gkg

http://www.youtube.com/profile_video...ylafiel&page=1
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Last edited by James Tainton; 02-22-2008 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:28 AM
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Kreighshoer Kreighshoer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan August View Post
OK, this might seem dumb but...
I was going to play around with it tonight, figured I would run some water through just to get a feel for it, then experiment a little with paint. However, after filling the cup 1/2 full with some water I found that nothing would come out. Air was coming out the nozzle, but no water. Any ideas?
this sounds like the nozzle is clogged - the easiest method of cleaning would be if you get yourself a bottle of "createx restorer" and lay the complete head in a bath of it for a few hours. or you can dip a brush in turpentine and carefully try to clean the nozzle with it ...

in any way it's an annoying but not too hard problem ...

concerning thinning: get yourself a gallon of distilled water (this should last a modellers lifetime ) and at the drogist as pure as possible isopropanol ... thin your tamiya paints with the isoprop in a ratio of 3xpaint and 2xiso (i often mix in a 4:2 ratio) and for instant cleaning run a cup of iso through the ab and after that distilled water ... your vallejos can be thinned with distilled water ...

hope that helps ...

cheers
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