Questions for Airbrush artists - newbies ask questions!

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Gigatron

Sr Member
Hey gang,
I've been considering getting into airbrushing for a while, and all the recent topics have put me closer to getting one.

I'm strongly leaning towards an Iwata HP-BCS (I prefer a bottle feed to a gravity feed because I tend to forget the top is open), but I was wondering what type of paint to use for painting resin or sculpy.

If I wanted to paint a bust or some other resin props that I have laying around, what brands and types are recommended? I've read about transparent paints (I'm assuming multiple layers would do well to represent skin tones) and acrylics, but I'm wondering what you guys - people who actually do this stuff - recommend.

Also, if anyone could recommend books/videos on painting resin (most airbrush stuff I found is graphic artist type stuff, signs, portaits, etc.), that would be great.

Or, if the more talented/experienced painters wanted to share some tips, I (and I'm sure other beginners) would really appreciate it.

-Fred

And Mods, if this is on the wrong board, feel free to move it.
 

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division 6

Master Member
First off you should check out Air Brush Action and Amazing Figure Modeler magazines.
They have lot's of How-To's from professional artists that include listings of types of paints.

AFM is really good for painting resin kit's with diffirent media.

Don't try to stick to one type of paint, you may find diffirent paints will work better for some projects but not others.
Plus there is the reactions of paints and your base it's going over.

D6
 

Peace Hunter

Well-Known Member
The gravity feed ones have a cover just for the reason that you stated. So if that is your only concern then I would go with the gravity feed one. I can't stress how much easier a gravity feed brush than any other brush.

And ditto on what division 6 said. Use a variety of paints. I tend to stick to acrylic paints. They clean up better and go on nice and smooth.

Robert
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
Hey guys,
Well it looks like I'm getting the BCS (it fit better in my budget).

D6, I checked out the AFM web site, there are some really great tips there, thanks! I may subscirbe to magazine or get the videos, not sure which yet. I'm going to see if I can pick up that other book locally.

And if anyone else has anything to add, feel free.

-Fred
 

Raygun

Well-Known Member
I've been thinking about getting the BCS too...I have the HPC and I love it, but there are times when I'm switching colors a lot for one kit, and a bottom feeder is faster for that. AFM is good, Airbrush Action is great.

As for paints, I usually stick to acrylics for easy clean up and quick stripping of mistakes. Golden airbush paints are great to work with. They're spendy, but a little goes a long way. One of my favorite paints is still Citidel brand from Games Workshop. I mix them 1:1 with Golden Airbrush Medium for spraying. They have a high pigment content, so they don't lose much with that mix ratio and they go on extremely smooth and have a tough scratch resistant finish. Tamiya paints are great for the flat military look. I cut them 1:1 with rubbing alcohol for spraying and they dry super fast with great results. Don't waste your money on their thinner though...it's basically rubbing alcohol.

Media Airbrush Cleaner is the sh*t for cleaning your brush. I take my brushes apart and soak them in it overnight to get out the dried on stuff that builds up. I have one bottle of clean Media for between strippings and one dirty bottle that I filter back into the bottle with a coffee filter that I use for soaking the brushes in.

If you can swing it, I'd suggest grabbing an HPC too...maybe not right now, but in the future. It's a great all around brush. I'm still hoping to get a Micron eventually. I hate masking, and I've pretty much got it down to where I almost never have to mask, so I think with the Micron I can get away from masking all but the sharpest lines.

The only paints I'd recommend staying away from are the Badger paints. Even though AFM pimps them and Modeler's Resource used to push them, they're just not worth the extra work to make them spray right. They clog your brush and dry on the needle constantly. Most guys I know won't touch them and the die hards insist that they're great....if you cut them with a retarder. I still have the 2 sets I got from MR when I was writing for them and they have some great colors, but they pretty much suck to use.

Don't pass up the cheap paints either. Apple Barrel and other acrylic craft paints are pretty good, and most of them cost under $1.50. Walmart was selling them for .65 cents a bottle at one point. All of the ones I've used thin well with Windex and about half of them thin down great with straight rubbing alcohol. And Golden airbrush thinner works with any of them if you don't like the smell of Windex.

Hope this helps some.

Raygun
 

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Gigatron

Sr Member
Hey Raygun,
That's the kind of info I've been looking for
! Thanks for the input.

Does every airbrush paint need to be cut with a thinner, or just certain brands. I was reading the TIPS section at the AFM site, and he only mentions cutting when he's doing a wash.

What about that Dr. Phil Martins stuff at dixieart? Can that be used straight, or does it need to be mixed with something else?

I used to airbrush a looooong time ago, when the only affordable option to a kid were those badger sets you got at TRU for $15. They had either a bottle feed or a top feed, a can of air and like 4 colors. I tried both types of brushes and prefered the bottle feed for the same reason as you, quicker color changes.

And Tamiya acrylic paint thinner (X-20A) which sells for $5 for 250ml, is no better than...Mineral Spirits (which also cleans up enamels) and I get that for $2.89 a quart at the hardware store.

Thanks again for input here guys, and if anyone wants to share info, or any newbies have any questions themselves feel free to post.

-Fred
 

Peace Hunter

Well-Known Member
I guess it is just a matter of preference between a bottle feed and gravity feed airbrush. If I'm switching colors a lot I just use a tiny bit of the color so when I ready for the switch I just shot some water in there and clear it out real quick. Works faster than the bottles for me.

As far as thinning out the paints I think Creatix is the only one that you can shoot right out of the bottle. All the others including Tamiya needs to be thinned out a bit.



Robert
 

darthgoat

Well-Known Member
I know for sure that Floquil paints need to thinned as do Testors, and Citadel paints. You can shoot some Floquil straight outta the bottle but the result will be crummy and you might get some clogs which is no fun. Some of the testors acrylics say they need a thinner but I've found they shoot fine directly from the bottle.

One thing I learned is to strain you paints. If there is any debris or clumping your paints will clog the brush and as I said earlier, that's no fun.

I do have a question though. I've got some paint build up in the back of the chamber of my HP-C. Clerval recommended a Windsor and Newton's AB cleaner but I can't seem to find it anymore. Can anyone recommend a good cleaner to soak this in? OR a better method to get rid of that nasty build up?
 

masterjedi322

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I got an airbrush last year, but I only started recently using it with Alclad paints. They do NOT need to be thinned, per their instructions. So far I've used the primer and gloss black, both of which worked very nicely. I'm hoping to paint a layer of the chrome soon, so we'll see how it goes.


Keep up the tips though!

Sean
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
I think I'm going to go with Golden. They have a pretty decent color selection, and I just found a place that sells them for $2.43/oz www.artsupply.com.

Other places seemed to be almost triple the price, so for colors you would use more often, you can get larger sizes without going broke. It works out to under $83, for 1 of each color in 1oz size.

But what do can I use to cut Golden with, is there something specific or some home equivalent?

And what is recommended for a liquid mask? Any particular brands anyone prefers?

-Fred
 

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Raygun

Well-Known Member
Not all of them need to be thinned. The Golden AIRBRUSH paints are already thinned. The tube paints need to be thinned. Some of the Golden colors are kind of shiny, but Testors Acryl clear flat can be mixed in to take the shine off. I mix it 3:1 paint to flat coat. Depending on the humidity where you live, the Golden paints can be slow drying...especially the Carbon Black, but the flat coat seems to accelerate the drying. Golden is also extremely thin, so it rubs off pretty easy before sealing it. It's a good and bad thing, since it's easy to remove if you screw up, but you have to be really careful while you're working.

You don't have to cut the Golden airbrush paints with anything. They work straight from the bottle. The transparent line needs a matte coat sprayed on to the surface you're painting before you use them though. They bead up otherwise. Even the opaque colors are extremely thin. It takes some practice with your air pressure and paint flow settings to get to where you're not blasting it too hard. I bought a flow control handle for mine so I can find the setting I want for air pressure and not have to worry about hitting the same mark by feel every time. It works great.

Raygun
 

division 6

Master Member
If your masking figures just use latex, as in liquid latex.
it costs a lot less than say liquid frisk.

Media (brand) Air brush cleaner is what you want to get.

D6
 

Raygun

Well-Known Member
What about that Dr. Phil Martins stuff at dixieart? Can that be used straight, or does it need to be mixed with something else?

Dr Martin's inks don't need to be thinnned, but those and the Windsor and Newton's inks have some colors that will bleed through the next layers of paint depending on the brands of paint you use afterward. A friend of mine introduced me to FW inks and I like those better than Dr Martin's and W&N. W&N are great for washes etc, but stay away from the reds...they bleed really bad.

Somewhere I have a lead miniature from like 1986 that I tried to paint over W&N Crimson ink. Now it's a shapeless blob encased in pink tinted primer. It must have 20 layers of primer on it


Raygun
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
Cool info gang
!

Ok, a few more questions:

1)Is there a color brand as good as Golden but "easier" for a beginner to use?

2)Raygun, what is this flow control handle you mentioned?

3)D6, can I get liquid latex (or a particular brand name) at Michaels or is it more of a specialty item?

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure I, or someone else, will come up with some more questions soon.

-Fred
 

Raygun

Well-Known Member
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Gigatron wrote:
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Cool info gang
!

Ok, a few more questions:

1)Is there a color brand as good as Golden but "easier" for a beginner to use?

Golden aren't hard to use....just pointing out some of the things to watch out for. Think of them as Tamiya paints that dry slower.

2)Raygun, what is this flow control handle you mentioned?

Ok, you have your double action button; up/down is air, forward/back is paint. The flow control handle replaces the back half of the body on the brush...the tube that screws off so you can access the needle to replace it. It has a knob on the end that when you screw it in only allows you to pull back so far. The further in you screw it the less paint you get, the further out, the more paint you get. Basically, you control the paint flow by setting the screw so that when the button is pulled back the needle hits it and can't open any further. It's great for when you need a consistant flow of paint for fine detail etc. I think they run about $25.

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Raygun

Well-Known Member
My Passche VL has the flow control built right in if that helps.

Sean


http://www.arttalk.com/iwata/iwatapromo.htm#IWATA%20HP-CPlus

I haven't used a Passche in years, so I can't remember what the layout was for it. The link above shows pictures of the HP-series of brushes. The knob on the back of the brush is what I'm talking about. All it does is stop you from pulling back too far and splattering paint. It's handy when you need a consistant flow of paint. You still have to control the air pressure with your finger unless you set it low/high at the compressor's regulator. I run mine at about 80 psi, but then again, I'm usually running two brushes, since my wife paints too. If I want to use really thin paints or inks I crank it down to about 20 psi and if I'm only running one brush I leave it at about 60-65 psi, which seems to work for most paints.

Raygun
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
Ok guys, I thought of a few more questions...

1) can I really clean the brush between colors with regular blue windshield washer fluid?

2)Can I use Golden acrylics to paint a latex casting? There's a piece on ebay I'm watching and it's made from latex, and I don't want to end up purchasing the wrong paint for the job.

3)Can I use tamiya acrylic thinner (X-20A) to thin down a color to use as a wash, or is there something else?

Thanks again,
Fred
 

dropshipbob

Sr Member
Do I have to fully take apart my airbrush in between different colors? I've been doing this as a precaution..so that paint doesn't clog the thing up, and I have to do more work later.

Also, I hear about people putting their brush or parts of it in solvent to loosen up dried paint. What kind of solvent would one use? Doesn't it depend on weather it's enamel or acrylic paint? Will one solvent rule them all?
 

Aegis159

Sr Member
</SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
Gigatron wrote:
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Ok guys, I thought of a few more questions...

1) can I really clean the brush between colors with regular blue windshield washer fluid?

2)Can I use Golden acrylics to paint a latex casting? There's a piece on ebay I'm watching and it's made from latex, and I don't want to end up purchasing the wrong paint for the job.

3)Can I use tamiya acrylic thinner (X-20A) to thin down a color to use as a wash, or is there something else?

Thanks again,
Fred


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1. It all depends on what type of paint you're using. About the only type I could see the windshield fluid working on would be acrylics, and honestly the aribrush thinner you would have for the acrylics would work just as well.

2. The thing to keep in mind is that the paint will need to be flexible when painting latex. I've used polycarbonate paints for latex before and had no adverse effects that I saw (although I do not have the piece any longer so I don't know how it fares today). I'm not familiar with the Golden line of paints (there are so many out there any more) but there should be something in their documentation either at the mfg's website or in-store that should tell you whether it's usable on latex or not. No oil-based paints basically.

3. Absolutely you can use the Tamiya thinner to thin down tamiya paints to be used as a wash. The Tamiya line of paints are really a special blend unto themselves though ( they're actually a type of acrylic enamel rather than a pure acrylic. Open up a bottle and the smell from the fumes of the special drying agent is a tell-tale sign) so I don't recommend mixing any Tamiya paints with any other acrylics. Although strickly sticking to the thinner, it could be used to thin other acrylic brands.
For washes though Citadel has a line of paints specifically created to be used as washes. Just look for the bottles with the white caps.... it also says wash on the label, hehehe!
Personally, I've always mixed my own washes. Just a bit of paint, some airbrush thinner to help it dry faster and some clean water.

Hehehe yes I'm almost exclusively acrylics when it comes to airbrushing. They're far easier to clean up and a brush can be flushed and the paint switched within a few minutes. Oh and forget bottles unless you plan on mixing and using alot of the same color. paint cups is the way to go!
 

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