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inobu

Air Brushes 2016

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I'm to the point where it time to whip out the air brushes. There is another post that covered the starting point a few years back. I believe Martijn Meerts switched to The Infinity Harder & Steenbeck. 

and I ended up on the same path.

 

I will summarize that post and continue on with some more information.

 

In that post I went over the painting of a N scale Mi Jack. The detail can be lost depending on the thickness of the applied coat. Using a paint brushes can pretty much cover some detail completely. 

 

gallery_153_16_1357005263_790.jpg

 

When using the airbrush you need to have everything together to have success. That means having balance between that airbrush, paint and air compressor. Any one of these components being off and you can trash out the object being rendered. 

 

Last year I did a job that required an airbrush. The problem was the touch up gun was too big and one air brush wasn't working out. After some swapping back and forth I found the right combination. The right brush was a Number 5 needle on my Paasche VL. At that moment I realized that the job size also played into the equation.

 

So now the balance is between the "Job/object size", airbrush, paint and air compressor. You could position yourself to dig a hole with a spoon and after a while it will get old. So it is the adage

The right tool for the right job. We have to make sure that we do that.

 

What is Happening.

 

The air brush atomizes the paint and blows it onto the surface of the object. The atomize paint is sorta like dots of paint. The key is to get the right size dots onto the surface just enough to change the color with out losing the surface texture. The needles in the airbrush dictates how much atomized paint will pass through the nozzles.

 

sml_gallery_153_16_1357005263_791.jpg

 

 

As with everything there are limitations. You can have so much air that the paint dots are vapors that dry quickly in air and turns into spray dust. It can be so little air that the brush just spits paint onto the object. Once again it is a balancing act.

 

Air Compressor

 

This is where the air compressor and regulator comes into play. Dialing in the air is key along with the paint thickness. Note: Some paint need to be thinned. It is a good idea to use airbrush paint to avoid adding this potential variable of thinning the paint. Controlling the general air flow is controlling the availability of the paint. Getting the right air compressor is important. 

 

Infinity and Why 

 

This is the core of the post as I followed Martjin. I went from the Paasche to the H&S Infinity. I should clarify that, I added to the air brush tools. remember every brush has its place and usage. 

 

Here is the Paasch and Infinity (Top 3 brush are Paasche Bottom is Infinity Harder & Steenbeck)

 

med_gallery_153_16_589256.jpg

 

You can see the build quality but that is not the most important factor. The Infinity is a gravity fed or top fed air brush. What does this mean?

 

It means that gravity will do most of the work in providing the paint to the paint chamber. This mean lower air pressure required to atomize the paint. The Paache has the bottom or siphon feed. That means that the air has to create a vacuum to suck the paint up to the paint chamber. This creates a loss or waste of air flow/energy. The larger the paint container the higher the flow requirements are. 

 

There are a lot of other features but the main point to get out is the gravity feed aspect. Less air means better efficiency. You can turn down the air pressure and lay down finer mist of paint without the blow back from the object. 

 

Paasche makes a gravity feed but a number of people mentioned that the H&S was a better choice over all. When I get my first job done I'll post it.

 

Inobu

 

look the detail. That's nuts

 

Edited by inobu
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Thank you for this post. I've been contemplating to get an airbrush sometime soon, as I'm getting tired of the unreliable spray cans that just waste paint and spread hazardous gasses. It's a considerable investment, but it'll most probably pay off on the long run.

 

I'm looking forward hearing about your experiences!

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Thank you for this post. I've been contemplating to get an airbrush sometime soon, as I'm getting tired of the unreliable spray cans that just waste paint and spread hazardous gasses. It's a considerable investment, but it'll most probably pay off on the long run.

 

I'm looking forward hearing about your experiences!

Yes, It is the best way to go. You will be surprise in regards to the amount of paint you will save. Make sure it is the Gravity/Top feed and you will not have to worry about the compressor too much.

Because you are in Japan the Iwata may be the better bargain then H&S?. 

 

Inobu  

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The H&S Infinity was recommended to me by a specialist airbrush store. I told them what I needed the airbrush for (mainly model trains, some plastic kits), and they recommended that one at the time. Although, I didn't really 'switch' as much as I just got a decent airbrush. The one I had was more or less a no-brand piece of junk.

 

One correction on Inobu's info though, a good compressor is VERY important. Regardless of what type of airbrush you have, you'll want a compressor that can deliver a stable pressure. Best is to get one that has a little compressed air storage tank.

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I have two compressors.  A small twin piston thing that is a portable tyre inflator.  The second is you regular larger garage compressor that works hand tools etc.  Any of these any good for painting models with correct regulator and brush fitted?  Or should I look at full kits instead?

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Kato,

 

A large compressor works, but can be a bit harder to control the pressure as they tend to surge a bit more than small airbrush compressors, but with a good regulator should work fine.

 

I also use to use a 5 gal tank in the basement for small airbrush work and just fill it off the big compressor. Finally I broke down anf got a small, very quiet compressor for the basement which I can also use small air tools with.

 

I doubt the tire inflator will give a very consistent flow that you can regulate w.o a tank on it.

 

Jeff

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Thanks.  I might just roll the dice and get a full kit then.  The idea of quietness also appeals.  On top of ease of control.

Edited by katoftw

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Yeah the problem with most full size compressors is they are loud! My old one use to make me jump every time it went off in the Shop! It was so nice when i replaced it with a mcpuch much quieter one. Then got its little brother for the basement. It works fine for the airbrushes.

 

Airbrush compressors w,o tanks can be variable on how consistent their output is. Airbrush guys will debate a lot on which are crap and good! I'm sure there are some more knowledgeable folks on the forum that will have some advise on good airbrush compressors.

 

Jeff

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Nice that it has a small tank as that evens the flow. Only down side is you don have an idea of the noise if used inside. When I got my small inside compressor (actually a small 2gallon nailer compressor) that I wanted really quiet I only got the model I did as a friend had it and I got to hear it and it was super quiet for a tool compressor (you can easily talk over it in a normal volume and it's starts and stops are gentle). I know airbrush aficionados will usually fight over noise and evenness of air pressure and volume when debating air brush compressors.

 

Looks like an ok dual action brush, but again it usually is what just works best for you. My go to for simple stuff are the old cheapo harbor freight airbrushes as the do a decent job and are super cheap so if they get mucked up its no big deal. I use my nicer airbrushes when detail is needed but then I spend a bit of time making sure they are very clean after use. I also don't put craft paints thru them, but do with the cheap brush for simple things like painting walls or a building.

 

Jeff

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A tank is definitely something you want on an airbrush compressor. Not only does it even the flow, but it also helps with noise. The compressor itself will only kick on when the pressure in the tank gets too low, which takes a while if you're doing small surfaces.

 

I don't know the brand at all, but it's quite a cheap set, so definitely a good starter set. If you need/want to step up, you can still keep using this set for non-detailed work like priming or clear coating.

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Thanks.  For now all I'm doing is non detailed stuff.  Train skirts and the Greenmax houses/shops kits.

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Kato

 

This is the little guy I got for the basement

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Senco-PC1010-1-Horsepower-1-Gallon-Compressor/dp/B0000AQK78/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485654225&sr=8-1&keywords=senco+air+compressor

 

Uber quiet but umphy enough to do small air tools.

 

Do your craft stores down under do coupon deals? Many of ours have half off coupons a lot of the time and carry some nice mid range air brushes and good price at half off!

 

For that sort of stuff you don't need a super nice one. Cheap ones like I mentioned can be great or they can be crap... Dual action take a little getting use to as you are controlling two things at once! But like many thing it's mainly practice. For jsut solid painting a single action works fine. Double action is for when you want to do very detailed q applications with fades and such.

 

There were a few threads a few years back on entry to mid level air brush/compressor sets by a few members that were big time air brushers.

 

Jeff

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I think I'll shell out for an air-brush set sooner rather than later. I've never used one before. Only ever painted by brush. But I'm starting to do some modeling on my layout and I'd like it to look decent. I've got a few absolute beginner questions.

 

Is it better to buy a kit of by components separately?

What are the necessary components?

What are some recommended brands for equipment? Paints?

What are some recommended suppliers for equipment? Paints?

What are some good sites/books/videos etc for teaching basic skill?

What would be some good training projects (pun noticed) for learning to use the machine. There's a train show here soon. I could pick up some cheap hopelessly models to paint and learn from?

What are some questions I should be asking but amn't.

 

I don't need the fanciest equipment in the world. But I'd like to get a good set that will last me, and I don't have to replace later. I think I'll get a good bit of use out of it.

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Gavin,

 

tons on airbrushing on youtube.

 

an inexpensive air brush is good to start with play some and then move up in quality. Single action (oar control only) are a little easier to start with, then move to double action (air and paint flow control) which is harder to control and takes practice. Harbor freight has an inexpensive single action I've found pretty hardy for crude to medium work. Craft stores carry nicer ones and you can usually find a good coupon to help in price. Airbrushes are one of those more personal tools that tend to sing to the owners more individually. One of those things to see how you do with the tool and work up. Don't jump in the deep end first with a $250 airbrush!

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/34-oz-deluxe-airbrush-kit-69492.html

 

airbrushes need to be cleaned out well so practicing on a cheap one is good starting out if you muck them up.

 

great idea to get some cheap old structures to practice on. Of course you can't paint parts like you do with an unassembed kit, but always great to practice to see how paint covers textures and such with the airbrush.

 

Good airbrush acrylic paints can get expensive as well. Water based acrylic are a bit easier to deal with but organic solvent paints can do some thinner coats.

 

air source is also important. You can get a constant running air compressor just for airbrushes. They range $100 on up. Not all that useful outside of airbrushes. 

 

https://www.micromark.com/Whisper-Air-Compressor

 

but it's much more useful to get a full air compressor you can use for blowing stuff off and running things like brad nailers and the like (very useful model rr and carpentry tools). I have this guy for the basement (bigger guy in the shop for shop use) and it's great, quiet and has a small tank to keep it from runnig all the time. More than enough air for an airbrush and also drives nailers and the like. Having a reservoir helps keep the pressure consistent.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Senco-PC1010-1-Horsepower-1-Gallon-Compressor/dp/B0000AQK78/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512195569&sr=8-1&keywords=air+compressor+senco

 

Btw another very cheap siphon airbrush (air just flows over a nipple on paint supply to blow paint out and siphon it from the bottle) works great with cheap craft acrylic paints to do scenery painting. Benefit of the siphon airbrush is you can swap out paint colors/bottles w.o having to clean out the brush between them! Just pop on a different color bottle and go. Great to the undercoating on scenery pieces. Even can do decent part painting with cheap craft acrylics that don't do well in regular internal mix airbrushes due to larger pigment particle size.

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/quick-change-airbrush-kit-93506.html

 

a start

 

cheers

 

Jeff

jeff

 

 

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7 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

Gavin,

 

tons on airbrushing on youtube.

 

an inexpensive air brush is good to start with play some and then move up in quality. Single action (oar control only) are a little easier to start with, then move to double action (air and paint flow control) which is harder to control and takes practice. Harbor freight has an inexpensive single action I've found pretty hardy for crude to medium work. Craft stores carry nicer ones and you can usually find a good coupon to help in price. Airbrushes are one of those more personal tools that tend to sing to the owners more individually. One of those things to see how you do with the tool and work up. Don't jump in the deep end first with a $250 airbrush!

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/34-oz-deluxe-airbrush-kit-69492.html

 

airbrushes need to be cleaned out well so practicing on a cheap one is good starting out if you muck them up.

 

great idea to get some cheap old structures to practice on. Of course you can't paint parts like you do with an unassembed kit, but always great to practice to see how paint covers textures and such with the airbrush.

 

Good airbrush acrylic paints can get expensive as well. Water based acrylic are a bit easier to deal with but organic solvent paints can do some thinner coats.

 

air source is also important. You can get a constant running air compressor just for airbrushes. They range $100 on up. Not all that useful outside of airbrushes. 

 

https://www.micromark.com/Whisper-Air-Compressor

 

but it's much more useful to get a full air compressor you can use for blowing stuff off and running things like brad nailers and the like (very useful model rr and carpentry tools). I have this guy for the basement (bigger guy in the shop for shop use) and it's great, quiet and has a small tank to keep it from runnig all the time. More than enough air for an airbrush and also drives nailers and the like. Having a reservoir helps keep the pressure consistent.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Senco-PC1010-1-Horsepower-1-Gallon-Compressor/dp/B0000AQK78/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512195569&sr=8-1&keywords=air+compressor+senco

 

Btw another very cheap siphon airbrush (air just flows over a nipple on paint supply to blow paint out and siphon it from the bottle) works great with cheap craft acrylic paints to do scenery painting. Benefit of the siphon airbrush is you can swap out paint colors/bottles w.o having to clean out the brush between them! Just pop on a different color bottle and go. Great to the undercoating on scenery pieces. Even can do decent part painting with cheap craft acrylics that don't do well in regular internal mix airbrushes due to larger pigment particle size.

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/quick-change-airbrush-kit-93506.html

 

a start

 

cheers

 

Jeff

jeff

 

 

 

Thanks Jeff. That's great info. I see the compressor is the big expense. I'd definitely want the more versatile one. I'd also definitely want the siphon kit as I could see myself being a bit impatient otherwise. 

 

I've wanted to get an air brush for years actually. I think I'll pick one up in the new year.

 

I didn't know Harbor Freight was online. That'll be handy :)

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The little siphon is crude but I've been impressed with what it can do, especially where you want to play with different colors for undercoating scenery. Hard to muck these up and yo pu cna play with cheap craft acrylics. You can dilute them with latex spray thinner from home despot. Car window wash fluid also works.

 

harbor freight is usually pretty mediocre quality but for some things it's great where you don't want the medium or top shelf quality stuff. 

 

Air compressor is a good and very universal and handy tool to have around! I love the little senco, great for a couple of years now. It's not super noisy which most can be and it's compact. I use to fill a 5 gal aircan with by shop compressor to use in the basement or office rooms, but pain when it would run out in a project and troop out to the shop to fill! Senco can drive an 18g brad nailed which is super handy on the layout. 

 

Good to put a moisture trap and a finer pressure valve on it for airbrush.

 

get a cheap one and play, then move up if you enjoy it. Some find airbrushing a horrid thing, like I said it's a bit personal. I like it, but I'm no artist with it but uber handy to paint things, do scenery undercoating and some weathering and such. Compressor will be handy to have regardless, so good investment. Do you have a Michael's, ac moores or hobby lobby nearby? They usually have good coupons to move up to mid level airbrushes after you get going.

 

have fun.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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