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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How long did it take you to NOT suck at airbrushing? I realize everything takes practice but this seems to be way more of a hassle than using my trusty old rattle can method.

So I took the advice, picked up an Iwata Rev dual action airbrush, a Paasche compressor with regulator/moisture trap and some Vallejo Air paints.

I played around for a bit on some paper, thought I was doing ok until I tried painting the hull/engines on my Excelsior model. I got too close (blew the paint around) too far away (not enough coverage in areas) and somehow too close and/or too much paint (started to run).

I used up my first bottle of VA white, washed off my hull and tried to finish my other bits but I did such a amateurish job I still have to go over them again. (Tamiya primer is still showing through in areas.) Also it took HOURS for it to not feel "gummy" I thought acrylic dried faster?
 

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I have been using an airbrush since I was a kid and can always learn new things or refine things, but I got the basics down fairly quickly. Having said that, I hate Vallejo Model Air... it is hard to spray and not very durable (IMHO). I much prefer other brands of paints. I tried using some Model Air the other day with a new brush and it was just a pain. I switched over to Tamiya and it went on perfectly.

It is also good to practice with the kind of paint you will be using on your models. And practice on a model or something similar to what you will be painting. Spraying ink onto paper, for example, is nothing like spraying Model Air onto plastic.
 

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MLCrisis32, sounds like your psi is too high. Tone it down to 10 or 15 and see if that works. Now I use Liquitex acrylic in my airbrushes. Learned to mix it well. Now I don't know about what you are using. It could be the way you mix the paint. Make sure it's then enough to go through the airbrush with no problems.

Happy Aurora Trails!
Chinxy! :dude:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow you guys are really honest! I bet you aren't as bad as you think you are. (I need hope!)

MLCrisis32, sounds like your psi is too high. Tone it down to 10 or 15 and see if that works. Now I use Liquitex acrylic in my airbrushes. Learned to mix it well. Now I don't know about what you are using. It could be the way you mix the paint. Make sure it's then enough to go through the airbrush with no problems.

Happy Aurora Trails!
Chinxy! :dude:
That is way lower than my manual says and I wouldn't doubt if that's the problem. My Iwata guide says 25psi and it seems to blow so much air with the paint it's hitting the plastic and running away. Oh I'm using Vallejo Model Air which comes "ready" with no thinning etc. I bought these so I can learn how to do this before I worry about mixing ratios.
 

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I have been doing it for years.. I suck also.

lower the air presure. thin down the paint if it will not push the paint out.

20 should be MAX.. I run 15 psi. and use Auto Air. but thats just me.

and I use a cheap heat gun, for R/C airplanes to dry the paint.. 2 minutes tops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have been doing it for years.. I suck also.

lower the air presure. thin down the paint if it will not push the paint out.

20 should be MAX.. I run 15 psi. and use Auto Air. but thats just me.

and I use a cheap heat gun, for R/C airplanes to dry the paint.. 2 minutes tops.
Thanks for the info. It seems the consensus is lower it to 15 and max out at 20. I will try that before anything else.
 

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I haven't picked up an airbrush since I was a kid. My dad built styrene WWII planes, and also built large RC planes. He use to let me use his airbrush for my models when I was young. He gave me one years ago, and I never used it and gave it back to him. I'd buy one now, but I'm not in a place that's conducive to using one. One day......
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone! Lowering the PSI to hang out around 15 made a world of a difference. Now I've gone from, "**** THIS I HATE THIS!!" to "I'm INVINCIBLE!".

Okay not invincible but these poorly shot photos show at least some smoothness to my attempt tonight.





Sadly there's still a seam but I concede! (Spent way too much time puttying, re-scribing trying to align the grooves etc)
 

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PSI doesn't matter, paint consistency doesn't matter, new equipment doesn't matter, I just can NOT get the damn thing to behave the way I want it to.

Last night's attempts didn't make me feel any better. :freak:
 

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I have been very happy overall with my airbrushing use. I use my Iwata the most and use my Badger super fine tipped for the really tight detail work. I run between 15-20 PSI most of the time although I may go lower for the really fine work. I also really like the Vallejo model air paints myself as they go through the brush perfectly. Some of my other "airbrush ready" paints are not ready from the bottle. Tamiya paints tend to go through very good as well and recently I've sprayed Testors acrylics straight from the bottle. Now that said, I still use rattle cans frequently as well. I am doing an AMT Reliant and a Moebius Moon Bus at the moment and I did sprayed Rustoleum gray primer followed with Krylon flat and then semi-gloss white as the primary color coat. Spraying those large areas, particularly the Reliant, with white airbrush paint would have been a pain in my opinion. I paint my models with whatever seems to be the most efficient method and because I have a couple of airbrushes that doesn't mean I have to airbrush everything.
 

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Did you plug the compressor in? :hat:
Now, that made me laugh out loud!

Reminds me of the joke...
Guy walks into a hardware store, tells the clerk he has to cut down 12 medium size trees. Clerk shows him a 20" chainsaw, tells the guy it'll work like a charm. Guy buys it, comes back a day later and tells the clerk its a worthless piecs of crap, it's taking forever to cut the trees down! Clerk apologizes, tells the man he'll take a look at it. The clerk adjusts the throttle, primes it and pulls the handle. The saw immediately turn over, and the buyer says, "What's that noise?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I paint my models with whatever seems to be the most efficient method and because I have a couple of airbrushes that doesn't mean I have to airbrush everything.
I think I'm learning this too! Once I (FINALLY) get this Excelsior finished up I want to build my old ERTL Refit Enterprise. After doing what I've done so far there's no way I'm doing a primer + base coat using that thing. I'd pick up one of those automotive spray handle airbrushes with a 1/2 gallon tank first ;)

Is there an approved non-enamel paint thread here? I've always done Testors/MM rattle cans but I'd love to use something that doesn't take 2 weeks to dry. (For base coat over primer)
 

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Is there an approved non-enamel paint thread here? I've always done Testors/MM rattle cans but I'd love to use something that doesn't take 2 weeks to dry. (For base coat over primer)
As I said, I am currently building the AMT Reliant and I used Rustoleum rattle can gray primer and then I covered that with a coat of Krylon flat white followed by Krylon semi-gloss white. I find that with whites first painting over the primer with flat works better than using a semi or a gloss white. For most other colors it doesn't matter but for white that is my preferred approach. You can use Testors rattle cans but for a big project it is going to cost a bunch more than Krylon. I've used Krylon on model rockets for years and really like using it. I like the matte and semi-gloss paints in particular.
 
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