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Airbrushing



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Airbrushing produces a very good finish when done well. It is a skill that needs to be learned. Don’t expect to get a good finish first time. My first experience with an air brush was a 14 Revell starter air brush which consisted of a very cheap crude air brush with a length of tubing and a small can of butane gas which is used in stead of the air compressor.


My experience: 

So I have built my model and I am eager to use the airbrush. I have read the instructions and connected it all up. I put the colour of paint that I wanted in to the jar and what a surprise it didn’t work. With some adjustment it suddenly burst into life. Half way through the painting it starts to splutter larger drops on to the model ruining the look. If only I stopped before that. What I didn’t know was that the paint was too thick. All the thin paint had came out leaving all the thick stuff. At this point I stopped. I poured the paint back in the tin losing loads and then started to clean the air brush. This was a nightmare paint got everywhere. I now own a green airbrush. So I putt it away for ages, before having the bright idea of bringing it out again only to find that it can’t be adjusted because the paint has stuck it solid. I had to brake it to be able to put it into a vice to then work it lose and glue it back together. It now works again. Then I tried the Revell paint especially for airbrushes and it works great.


So my advice is as follows:

1.  Use air brush paint or thin the paint with thinners, to make a more watery consistency.

2.  Buying a cheep airbrush is a good idea to see if you like it, but you will have less problems with a more expensive models. I have read in forums of experienced modellers trying air brushing and then putting it away never to use it again.

3.  Only use in a well ventilated area. This is a must when using the butane power cans.

4.  Build up the layers slowly for the best effect. The finish should be flawless.

5.  Masking is essential as the airbrush is difficult to use precisely. Also best to build a spray box to avoid painting the whole area behind your model. See below

6.  Use a large box and cut off the top and one side.

7.  Cleaning the airbrush is very important. Clean it immediately after use. 5 minutes is too long as I found out. After cleaning it is best to keep all the parts separate so if there is any paint left it will not glue them together like it did on mine.

8.  I can’t say this enough read the instructions they should be a great help.


Main Airbrush Uses

1.  Airbrushes are ideally used for large areas. For example spraying your baseboard or a large model.

2.  Airbrushing produces a brush stroke free flawless finish. So if this kind of finish is required it is the only way to go. Brush strokes on a model can look awful if you have used too much paint and in scale terms could be 10cm high.

3. Because of the small amount of paint (vaporised) that comes out of an airbrush it is good at creating weathered effects. I would not try this on your expensive models until you have had some practice. Best to practice on buildings that you have built yourself. 

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