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I have been building plastic models for quite some time, but i just got a new airbrush and compressor, and and have no idea of how to paint this way. What are the best ready made paints to use for plastics, especially my J2 from Moebius. How much pressure do I need to paint. Does it splatter, or can i use it on my wife's kitchen table. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Helpful advice is very much needed.
 

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HI i am also new at this but can tell you there is no set psi it will change from .1 brand of brush to the next i use testors or tamiya paint use the same brand of thinner as you do paint depending on the color and brand you may or may not have to thin i thin more of the tamiya then i do testers both of these are acrylic you also have brands like golden and lifetones hope this helps a bit.
 

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The Moebius kit calls out Testors paints so you might as well use those. Testors makes Airbrush Thinner for them, although I use hardware store lacquer thinner myself. You shouldn't airbrush indoors. There is quite a bit of overspray, especially when painting large parts like the Jupiter 2. If you want to spray indoors, there are ventillated spray booths, etc... I usually spray at somewhere around 12-15 psi under load. Meaning when you set your compressor, set it somewhere around 15-20 psi. It will drop when you spray to the "under load" pressure.
 

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Mastering airbrushing requires only three simple steps:

1) Practice.
2) Experiment.
3) Goto 1.

Fortunately, it's so much fun that it never really becomes tedius.

-Neil
 

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I am hardly any expert at air brushing but have found some paints formulated for air brushes right out of the bottle. One of those is the Free Style brand from Kit Builders magazine. They are in squeeze bottles and most don't required any thinner. I find most of the other brands (and I use Tamiya, Testors Model Masters, Gunze Sanygo, Vallejo, etc.) require thinner. I just mixed up a batch of Liquitex tube acrylics for spraying a brick wall from the Superman model and used Liquitex air brush thinner so I could spray it. It actually worked rather well. If I am using just a little paint I will put it in my air brush cup and put a drop or two of thinner in and mix with a stick just to make it easy. It may not work as good but seems to work.

I usually brush at between about 5 to 10 psi but may go up higher for large areas. I still have a lot to learn on doing the fine things like shadowing and highlighting but am getting better at it. As the others said, practice makes you better.

Finally is keeping the brush clean, a real pain. I have used only acrylics and there are two very good articles on cleaning and upkeep in the very last two issues of Kitbuilders magazine. I used some of his tips. I bought two large containers of Windsor and Newton Brush Cleaner and Restorer at Michael's Crafts. They are over $20 a bottle but I had a 50% off coupon for one I picked up the other day. The stuff works wonders and I put a few drops in my top feed cup on the Iwata and use a small brush to clean the bottom and spray the excess out the brush. It has worked wonders on keeping the brush clean but every once in a while I still disassemble it and drop the nozzle in some of the brush cleaner over night. Lately I am trying a new trick of leaving a few drops in the brush between uses and hoping that might keep the nozzle cleaner over time. I just spray it out prior to adding the paint.

But you just have to try it now as the other said. The cleaning part was the most frustrating for me but as you learn the tricks it all gets easier. And the results can be amazing.
 
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