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gavino200

Airbrushing Techniques

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gavino200

I've recently acquired an airbrush setup, and have started to play with it. There's already a good thread in "The toolshed" on choosing and buying an airbrush and compressor. There's also a ton of material online on the basics of airbrushing. Most are geared toward 2D art or miscellaneous model and figure painting. I'm working my way through these. But I'm looking for recommendations for sites and videos that are train specific, and maybe even N-scale specific.

 

Things I'm interested in mainly, are:

 

1. Rolling stock painting techniques - masking, marking, layering etc.

2. Weathering, trains and buildings 

3. Scenery painting.

4. Anything else that I may not be aware of.

 

Thanks. If anyone is interested I'll post links to the videos that I've found most useful, so far.

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gavino200
Posted (edited)

Below are the best of the videos that I'm finding. You need to copy/past the addresses. 

 

Loco shell prepping and spraying

 

Loco painting: Masking and spraying. Excellent step by step, video of a complex multi-layer loco shell spray.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-VqIkRqEfk

 

This one is much more basic, but it gives are great description of how to prep a loco shell, before painting

www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7sGcfOc_70

 

This one shows the process of making curved and complex masking.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Asc_gQPqXJY

 

This is really a continuation of the video above. It covers decal placement

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPkQZL_isVY

 

Not really a video, but a series of stills showing the steps in spraying a loco with a complex curved paint layer.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWwh22OjPJQ

 

Timelapse video of a loco spray with awful club music.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuNUGPko8AE&t=51s

Edited by gavino200
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gavino200

Excellent video on applying primer. Just a few of the tips and tricks in this video.

 

1. Use flow enhancer for regular paint. Never thinner

2. Used thinner for surface primer.

3. Two coats of primar. The second MUCH more thinned out than the first. You're going for the nooks and crannies that didn't get covered with the first coat.

4. Completely break down the airbrush anytime it touches primer.

5. He uses a shot glass of something similar to Lysol to steep the parts in overnight. Looks like everything just fits. Saves solvent.

6. He leaves the needle cap off and uses a toothbrush to keep prevent clogging during use.

 

 

 

This video explains the difference between flow enhancer and retarder, which where a bit confused in the first video. It also explains the use of water with flow enhancer which was shown but not explained in the first video. In a nutshell you use mostly water with a tiny drop of enhancer. From a modeling point of view, I think flow enhancer is the more important of the two. Retardant appears to be more important for fine art projects, but it can help with decreasing nozzle clogging.

 

 

 

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I know know what happens if you mistakenly buy solvent based paint instead of latex paint, then add flow enhancer and water to the cup. Let's just say I no longer fear "someday" badly clogging my airbrush. It was gunked up solid, and took a while to get it clear, but all's well again. 

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cteno4

Always use the sniff test! Usually can whiff the difference! 

 

Jeff

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

Always use the sniff test! Usually can whiff the difference! 

 

Jeff

 

I totally didn’t notice. I can’t smell a thing in my giant respirator mask.

 

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gavino200

Paint mixing tips from kiha66 in a different thread (on page 10)

 

 

 

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Adding this link to a discussion of making custom decals. Sort of goes with painting I think.

 

 

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Clear coating 

 

Two excellent videos on applying clear coat.  The first deals with gloss finish. The second with matt and satin finish.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQuY0sDlPoU

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRkCgqRPzgw&t=398s

 

 

Basic technique give for creating a "satin" finish.

Mix 80% gloss with 20% matt coat

20%  airbrush medium (thinner?)

a drop of retardant

Low flow

 

then a thick coat

Spray it wet, just like with gloss coat.

 

Edited by gavino200
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Regarding the "Satin" clear coat in the above video. If you are using Tamiya clear coat you'll need a slightly different mix ratio of gloss and matt. I used the ratio ins the video and the result was just less than pure gloss. I added matt to the mixture bit by bit until I got an acceptable satin finish.

 

What worked was 4 pipettes gloss to 3 pipettes matt

I'm fairly happy with my satin finish but you could probably go even a little more in the matt direction. Also, I got a better finish with mid flow/mid range than low flow/close range as suggested in the video.

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"Lightproofing" plastic structures with an airbrush.

 

I'm talking about a building (Tomytec in this case) that you want to illuminated with interior LEDs. For most structures if you don't pain the interior the whole structure glows. What I have always used is the thickest black paint that my local art store carries, followed by the thickest white paint to make the interior reflective and natural looking. To do this by hand is extremely tedious. 

 

I've wanted to do this with an airbrush for a while but I couldn't figure out how to mask the painted surfaces of the building. If you just use masking tape then the window frame interiors get painted and it looks bad. I came up with a solution today. I'm sure I just "re-invented the wheel" and came up myself with something common. I used a product called "Magic modelling clay" - a cheap kid's arts'n'crafts clay that we have in the house. But I'd imagine any kind of clay would work. 

 

Just apply the clay to the painted surface in windowed areas. Push the clay into the windows. It actually helps if you allow the clay to pouch in a bit. Then mask off the non-window parts. 

 

It's much simpler than hand painting. This way I can set up, sort of a production line and do a bunch at once. I also realized it's easy to remove the window "glass" plastic on the Tomytec models to make this possible. 

 

Will add more pictures later

 

EyX0tIs.jpg

 

 

For the black layer I used Vallejo black primer. One coat "force dried" with air from the airbrush, followed by a second coat. Then left to cure for 24 hours.

 

a5RqBRI.jpg

 

 

.And a coat of white Vallejo primer. (In the case below, there are two coats, but since then I've just used one, as it's not important for the inside to be super white)

 

 

GvkEz6f.jpg

 

 

The method work well. However tiny windows, such as the tiny slat windows on the Pachinko building above can be a bit problematic. A small amount of clay/paint. Is left behind to obstruct them. Fortunately it's not difficult to clear them. I tried a few different methods. The easiest, quickest and best method is to use a the sides of a pointy forceps (tweezers) to loosen the obstruction. The brush with a new toothbrush in much the same manner that you clean your teeth. 

 

 

0hQjdhu.jpg?1

 

 

I'm happy with the result. This is just a test here. The structure isn't glued and the joints aren't lightproofed. I actually planning on using colored lights for at least the main hall of the Pachinko Parlor. Also the LEDs are deliberately brighter than they need to be.

 

udKWj84.jpg

 

d7UQORZ.jpg

 

This is the clay product I used. I used it just because I had it in the house. But as I look at it more it may be ideal for this. It's a mass market product for kids so it's cheap. It's formulated to stay clumped but not stick to hands (in this case model structures). And it's non-toxic in case you eat some by accident (j/k). I bought some more today and found that it comes in small individual pacts too, which would be ideal for this kind of work. The regular stuff stays fresh indefinitely though, if you wrap it up well. I'm only tried the non-colored/white kind. I don't know if the colored variety would leave pigment behind. I doubt it but don't feel like taking the chance

 

 

u0CrXGO.jpg

 

 

Another useful product. I've taken to using E6000 glue for putting structures together. The drying time give a few minutes to get parts in place but is quite fast. It dries quite strong, but is weak enough that the structure can be easily reopened later if necessary. And it's easy to completely remove with no damage to the structure. I just found that it's sold also in white and black colors. Both are quite opaque and are ideal for lightproofing corners and joints. Sort of a "two birds with one stone" thing.

 

kW2PXEt.jpg?1

Edited by gavino200
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Kiha66

Brilliant idea!  Thanks for sharing.

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cteno4

Brilliant!

 

jeff

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gavino200

Buying an airbrush setup

 

I thought I'd add this to keep everything together/linked. There's already a thread in "The Toolshed" that has all the discussion and information to get started. That thread is linked below.

 

I just want to add my perspective in brief. I was quite afraid of messing with an airbrush. It seemed very complicated. Also, it looks hard and I imagined I would just end up ruining a lot of models. However, with YouTube tutorials and practice I progressed quite well. And I haven't ruined anything yet. Also, the airbrush is more natural to use than I thought. I was up an running with less practice than I expected.

 

My main point here is about which airbrush to choose. I wanted to start with the most basic and progress. So I bought a two very simple Harbor freight brushes. I still haven't used them but I think they'll be handy for big jobs like layout painting. After watching a bunch of YouTube videos I had a hunch that I'd be able to handle what is basically the standard type of airbrush - a gravity fed, double action airbrush. Also, a lot of videos recommended the Iwata Neo as a good beginner airbrush. So I bought one. I'm glad I did. It's simple, easy to use, and easy to clean. To anyone thinking of starting, I'd say go ahead. And just go straight to something like this. I just love it, and I doubt that I'll ever need anything fancier.

 

Also below is the compressor I use. Recommended by Jeff. Thanks! Its easy to use cheap and quiet. Technically it can be used for other things too, but I don't have any other uses for it yet. 

 

LEIZJ3a.jpg?2

 

8IrCPFb.jpg?2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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Kiha66

Man, those are really nice!  Jealous of that compressor, I really need to upgrade mine at some point.

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cteno4

The little senco is a nice multi purpose one but really quiet and small footprint and easy to lug around. I got it for the basement workshop use as I got tired of taking the 5 gal air can out to be filled by the big compressor in the garage (Murphy made it usually run empty if really cold outside or right in the middle of using air). I had to use it last month when the big compressor finally died (those times I left it on whenit got really cold finally burned enough of the motor coils to kill it...) to do brad and pin nailing with great results. You are not going to drive a framing nailer but fine for some brad and pin nailing. We will have Gavin nailing his phalanges to something eventually wirh a pin nailer (just kidding you would need to be an idiot to do this)!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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Methods for holding small parts during painting

 

The video below is nice as it brings together pretty much all the common methods used for holding parts during airbrushing. He mentions using plasticene but warns that it leaves an oily residue behind. I discovered you can avoid that problem by using adhesive putty instead of plasticine. I started researching this again as I ran into a new problem. All these methods rely on holding the item by "a part that id not being painted". Ah, but sometimes every surface of an item needs to be painted. What then?

 

My jerry rigged solution is to use the crocodile clips as they give the strongest grip with the smallest footprint. Then paint in two coats using a different grip point for each coat. Working well so far.

 

XRtNedf.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by gavino200
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Knowing when to airbrush and when to brush

 

An interesting discussion with some nifty techniques

 

 

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cteno4

these guys are nice for smaller bits that the toothed alligator clips may be too big or rough on

 

https://www.amazon.com/Toothless-Alligator-Copper-Plated-Microscopic/dp/B0187MIUU4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1544067967&sr=8-3&keywords=micro+alligator+clips

 

you can sand them down to points if you want on the belt sander.

 

they use to be 20 for $4 at radioshack but now they are gone they are much more expensive!

 

these guys are also cheap at your dollar store and good for more delicate bits as gentle hold. you can also file the tips to different needs. just epoxy a stick on

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/U-pick-45mm-Silver-Metal-Alligator-Prong-Hair-Clip-Craft-Wedding-Party-F108/320902121440?hash=item4ab741c7e0%3Am%3Amcq3hAs_UWV6gTbOdSphnUg&LH_BIN=1

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-Blank-Metal-Double-Prong-Alligator-Clips-Hair-Bow-Accessories-DIY-45mm/123507853662?hash=item1cc1a4495e%3Ag%3AypsAAOSwEOJcBEEt&LH_BIN=1

 

also the alligator clips are great for soldering. you just connect the alligator clip to a 6" piece of 12g solid core wire (ie hunk out of some romex house wire). then you can insert the other end in a hunk of plywood you drilled a bunch of holes in just the size of the wire. you can then set up a few of them and bend them around as needed to do hold wires while soldering. you can buy contraptions like this for $20 or build your own for a few bucks thats actually more versatile.

 

cheers

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5 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

these guys are nice for smaller bits that the toothed alligator clips may be too big or rough on

 

https://www.amazon.com/Toothless-Alligator-Copper-Plated-Microscopic/dp/B0187MIUU4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1544067967&sr=8-3&keywords=micro+alligator+clips

 

you can sand them down to points if you want on the belt sander.

 

they use to be 20 for $4 at radioshack but now they are gone they are much more expensive!

 

these guys are also cheap at your dollar store and good for more delicate bits as gentle hold. you can also file the tips to different needs. just epoxy a stick on

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/U-pick-45mm-Silver-Metal-Alligator-Prong-Hair-Clip-Craft-Wedding-Party-F108/320902121440?hash=item4ab741c7e0%3Am%3Amcq3hAs_UWV6gTbOdSphnUg&LH_BIN=1

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-Blank-Metal-Double-Prong-Alligator-Clips-Hair-Bow-Accessories-DIY-45mm/123507853662?hash=item1cc1a4495e%3Ag%3AypsAAOSwEOJcBEEt&LH_BIN=1

 

also the alligator clips are great for soldering. you just connect the alligator clip to a 6" piece of 12g solid core wire (ie hunk out of some romex house wire). then you can insert the other end in a hunk of plywood you drilled a bunch of holes in just the size of the wire. you can then set up a few of them and bend them around as needed to do hold wires while soldering. you can buy contraptions like this for $20 or build your own for a few bucks thats actually more versatile.

 

cheers

 

Ah, yes. I already have a bunch of those little clips. Your recommendation. Haven't had a chance to use them yet. But they'll on hand for when I need them.

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