Airbrush or rattlecans?

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by _Lee_, May 29, 2015.

  1. _Lee_

    _Lee_ Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I just thought id ask this question :)

    What is the preference of people here for modeling/prop painting etc? I myself like to use rattlecans, and after using an airbrush for the first time today, im glad i do!!! I spent a good hour trying to unblock 2 airbrushes today after getting problems with paint distribution etc. Now,im gonna pursue with it and read up a lot more, but i really feel it will take a long time to get used to. Ive heard people say that airbrushing is better for detail work etc, but ive seen many props painted by hand and will rattlecans, even down to weathering.

    So whats your take on this guys?
  2. Chrgr440RT

    Chrgr440RT New Member

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    They both have their strengths. The key is to know when to use each one. I use rattle cans whenever I have a big area to cover and I'm not worried about mottling, fading or the other artsy-ish things that tend to get me in over my head. I love my airbrushes for the control they give me. But I still have issues thinning paint to the right consistency. I get it right a whole bunch of times and then get cocky and muck it up something fierce.

    They key is to practice. Get scrap cardboard, styrene, and even better a junk model to practice your control and paint mixing.
    swgeek likes this.
  3. Randy13

    Randy13 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like your paint might have been too thick. It has to be as thin as milk. If you mix the paint up in a glass jar, watch how it runs down the sides. You can put milk in the jar first, shake it up and watch what it does. Your paint should do the same. It's also always good to thin the paint with thinner made by the same company who made the paint. I use Tamiya paint with Tamiya thinner when I airbrush. There are also other paints available which are already thinned for airbrush which you can use right out of the bottle. It's also important to keep that airbrush clean. It takes me more time cleaning and preparing the airbrush than actually painting with it. I use a rattle can first when ever possible but use airbrush for small details or when I can't find the color I want in a rattle can. You'll also need to watch your air pressure. I leaned a lot from YouTube tutorial videos. The more you use it, the more you'll learn.
  4. Clerval

    Clerval Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I decant paint from spray cans and run through an airbrush about 80% of the time (if the finish is crucial), else I prep the can well, but it's gotta be a pretty inconsequential area or one that will receive a lot of treatment after the base color....
  5. crackerjazz

    crackerjazz Sr Member

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    Detail painting / camouflage painting is a breeze with airbrushes. One thing I don't enjoy, though, is cleaning it out every color change. Sometimes I get lazy that I just run some Windex to clear out the last color and put it down in a corner that when I come back to it a week after the needle's glued right onto the nozzle opening -- don't be like me. They say one of the secrets to the ILM bunch's painting prowess is not cleaning their airbrushes - I wish that were true. Or maybe they used airbrushes that didn't clog as much.
  6. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    I do rattle cans only because i'm too cheap to buy a nice airbrush and compressor for how little it would ever get used. Finding a good primer is always an issue, i bought a ton of walmart's stuff when it was on clearance as the gray and red work good for gray and red paint as well as primer. I got some true value brand yellow primer that's amazing too.
  7. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    Rattle cans for primer and base coat. Airbrush for weathering.
  8. kruleworld

    kruleworld Well-Known Member

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    Spray cans: quick, cheap, easy to use, heavy spray.
    airbrush: precise, custom colors, effects, needs cleaning often.

    I use spray cans for basic colors like black, red, white, primer, etc. and use the airbrush for custom mix colours or where a soft touch is needed. Using an airbrush is fairly easy once you learn how to set it up and can troubleshoot problems.
  9. RogueTrooper

    RogueTrooper Well-Known Member

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    Spray can for large surfaces and props, airbrush for anything small. The best paint for airbrushing is acrylic lacquer. Dries fast, good adhesion to most surfaces, doesn't clog.
  10. retiredadguy

    retiredadguy Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    rattle cans only.

    Having spent almost 30 yrs as a professional illustrator, YOU have to PAY me to pick up an air brush.

    And I can get as good or better look with rattle cans, no mixing, cleaning, ect. I use several Iawata air brushes on PAIED jobs.:)

    Ive found on models (UNLESS It is a LARGE scale) you can't tell the difference most of the time any way

    hope this helps.

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