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Airbrush + Irrational Fear = Help Needed

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I need help.

 

I bought an airbrush - Badger Patriot 105.  Bought an appropriate compressor, inline moisture trap, paint, cleaning supplies, etc.  I set up a dedicated area to use it and contain any over-spray.

 

But there it sits.  Unused.

 

Not for a lack of want.  But I've certainly been avoiding it.  I watch videos, but the more I watch the more I get psyched out.  I know I just need to pick it up and put some paint through it, but I can't figure out how to break though.

 

Advice would be appreciated.

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Actually the best way to get started with it is to just pick out a dozen miniatures or so and shoot some primer through it. You really can't mess that up and that will give you some confidence using it. 

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32 minutes ago, Heisler said:

Actually the best way to get started with it is to just pick out a dozen miniatures or so and shoot some primer through it. You really can't mess that up and that will give you some confidence using it. 

 

Even before that, pick a darker color you don't use much, and some thick white paper, and play around with it.  Try some spray brush exercises -- they might be in the instruction booklet.  Try broad spray, try thin lines.  Try signing your name.  Try adjusting the paint to thinner ratio.  Try cutting some shapes out of paper and using them as spray masks.  Get a feel for the brush.

 

After you get comfortable, try it all again on a non-porous surface, because that's different from paper and a little less forgiving of over spray.

 

It's best to feel comfortable with the tool before you try doing something serious with it.

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1 hour ago, Heisler said:

Actually the best way to get started with it is to just pick out a dozen miniatures or so and shoot some primer through it. You really can't mess that up and that will give you some confidence using it. 

When I got my first airbrush, I sprayed water and or windex through it the way GCB mentioned...

Then I finally broke down and did some base coating....

(I prime with rattle cans)

But spraying primer is a great way to start!

 

MSP Grey Liner I cut 50% with a water and flow improver mix. for use on Bones...

Badger Stylnrez cut 50%, also with flow improver water mix, for spraying foam board.

Tamiya paints I cut 50% with Tamiya thinner X-20A

Scale Colors with Scale airbrush thinner, 50% to start...

WC, MSP, VMC, and GW 50%, all with the water flow improver mix....

To thin is much better than to thick!!!!

 

Also, when I mix paint for the air brush, I do it in 30ml dropper bottles. (I mistakenly ordered 100 of them...:blink:)

I wrap a piece of masking tape around the bottle and LABEL IT using a sharpie.

Paint name & Company, and what ratio it is thinned..., and what thinner....

This is especially useful if you know you be using this color again....

So primers especially are a good candidate for this

 

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Get some disposable plastic spoons and shoot primer on those. 

They're already clean so no washing needed, they have flat and curved areas, even sharp corners.  

 

They cost almost nothing, so it doesn't matter if you mess them up, and any that you manage a decent primer coat on can later be used to test base colours on.

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Thanks for the advice.  

 

I just put some water through to get a sense of the spray.  Wasn't too bad.  I think I just needed the reassurance.  May still put some primer through yet this evening, but I like the idea of using spoons for practice. 

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Trying adding some food coloring to the water & then take a sheet of paper & doodle with the 'brush. It's help yah get a feel for control & such.

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Accept the possibility that the first time or two might be a little frustrating, then just go at it. I had a similar fear. The worst part of the first few sessions was figuring out how to deal with problems. Once you get familiar with taking it apart and putting it back together, it's much less annoying.

 

Apart from that, it's kind of the same as brush paint - you can always paint over mistakes or just strip paint off completely, nothing's irrevocable !

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All of these suggestions are great. I have two I'd like to add.

  1. Thin your paints. Thin them way more than you think you need to. Even 'Air Brush' paint needs to be thinned.
  2. Check out these Twitch Channels. The painters there are talented and they paint in real time. When they make a mistake they don't get to edit it out in 'Post Production'. Instead, they fix it right there in front of you. They are friendly and will respond to questions in chat with specific examples/answers.
  3. Slow Fuse Gaming
  4. Next Level Painting

Both of the streams are NSFW and somewhat 'monetized' but they are super helpful and very good painters and they will interact with you in real time.

 

They helped me a lot. I am not affiliated with them in any way except as a Patreon supporter.

 

Oh, I thought of one more. You appear to be from Austin Texas go to Reaper Con. The artist there are STUPID good and very helpful. Plus you're likely to meet Ken from Badger Airbrushes and he may know a thing or two about your Patriot. :)

 

J--

 

 

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Was able to prime some spare bits last night.  Didn't turn out too bad, but definitely need more practice.  I'm not very good on the trigger, the double action isn't very natural.  I also misjudged how much primer to mix and ran out.

 

The good news is that the brush did seem to clean up well.

 

11 hours ago, jsalyers said:

A. You appear to be from Austin Texas go to Reaper Con. The artist there are STUPID good and very helpful. Plus you're likely to meet Ken from Badger Airbrushes and he may know a thing or two about your Patriot. :)

 

I did attend ReaperCon in 2016.  Ken is the reason I'm down this road to begin with...  :mellow:

Edited by hdclearman
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Estimating correctly how much paint or primer that is needed is an advanced topic... 

 

I just mix it up in micro-sized sample tubes (2 - 5ml. Pour paint and whatever you use to thin it into the tube, close the lid and shake it)

Anything left over in the tube will stay fresh for a while as long as I keep the lid closed. 

 

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2 hours ago, Doug's Workshop said:

As I am about to pull the trigger on an airbrush purchase, I appreciate the help and insights.

What kind are you planning on? ??

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Timely topic!  I'm hoping to get my airbrush setup in the new paint room in the next few weeks (so it could be a year....) and actually start using it.

 

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3 hours ago, knarthex said:

What kind are you planning on? ??

 

The Iwata Neo.  I had thought about one of the knock-off brands, but I figured if my first experience with an airbrush was any indication, I actually want something that's halfway decent.  The kit seems decently priced, even if the compressor is a bit small.  

 

Years ago, I bought the basic Testor's airbrush.  The plastic thing (single action siphon feed) that used canned propellant.  I think I got through the first can and decided I never needed to use an airbrush again. 

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