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DCheek

Can I practice airbrushing using thinned "Folk Art" "Americana" type paint?

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I checked out the stickied link, and it did point me at the "toothpaste tube" type acrylic.  I was wondering if I can do the same with the brands I mentioned, which I have on hand (mostly for painting terrain).   I want to try painting paper for awhile, since I've literally never done this before.  Then I'm going to break out a mini and some reaper paint from the Kickstarters I've been saving. 

 

Another question I have is, what's the difference between using acrylic medium and Pledge Floor Finish?  (Used to be called Future Floor Finish)  It's a glossy clear acrylic.  I was taught to use it by my father for thinning paints and covering minis. 

 

Also, I have a cheapo airbrush from Harbor Freight I'll be using for now.

 

Thank you!

 

Edited by DCheek

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Craft paint + Airbrush is just asking for clogs, uneven sprays, and problems. Use something that has a finer pigment.

Craft paint is not made, nor designed for airbrushing, and the pigments are far too coarse to get an even spray.

 

As for Future Floor Finish?

Think about what that's supposed to be used for.

Then think about what acrylic medium is supposed to be used for.

 

I personally don't care to expose myself to several unknown, and possibly toxic factors into my paint mix. So, I would avoid anything not specifically designed for the purpose. Future floor finish is for your floors, and it's produced through industrial chemical processes. I'd at the very least, get the MSDS sheets for it so you know what the chemicals used in the formula are, and their potential side effects.

 

Or, you can just buy some matte medium and paint.

 

I really don't get why anyone would still want to use chemical floor finishes for painting their models when so many other products specifically designed for the purpose are available. I might have suggested Future 20 years ago. But with what's available (non-toxically) today that's meant for mini painting, don't waste the time or money.

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My understanding is the craft acrylic paint uses a course ground pigment. So, while if could be thinned with an acrylic medium or airbrush thinner, the size of the pigment grains may still cause it to clog more readily.  I have only used hobby specific paint, or paint specifically mixed for an airbrush, so take the above with a grain of salt.

 

The use of Pledge floor finish has kind of a mixed following these days.  Some still sweat by it, others not.  I personally don't like the shine, so just spray with a coat of matte varnish because my models do not get handled much once finished.  If you intend to use the models on the tabletop, then a thicker spay coat would be better.

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Ok, ty for the answers.

 

I'm just trying to be cheap while practicing.  I have this stuff on hand, whereas the rest means both a trip to the store and spending more money.  I was hoping to try it out in the near future, and unfortunately, the nearest craft store or miniature store are 30 minutes away, and nowhere in the direction of work.  

 

I think I might try it out, anyways, since I went super cheap on this airbrush kit ($8 after coupons... yeah it's that cheap...)  I've also got an organic chemical gas mask, because of a home improvement project I did, so I'll just wear that and do it in my driveway, just in case...

 

Pledge Floor Finish: 
Mild Eye Irritation

Inhalation : None known.

 

Water

Modified Acrylic Copolymer
Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether

Tributyoxyethyl phosphate

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For basic airbrush control skills on paper, food colouring is good, as is cheap fountain-pen ink. They don't require any mixing and don't have large pigment particles in suspension, being dyes, and they don't require anything special in the way of cleanup — plain water will do the trick.

 

Things get a bit more complicated when you start airbrush paints, but it's useful to have those basic hand-eye control skills mastered before you start anything more ambitious.

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59 minutes ago, Ghool said:

Craft paint + Airbrush is just asking for clogs, uneven sprays, and problems. Use something that has a finer pigment.

Craft paint is not made, nor designed for airbrushing, and the pigments are far too coarse to get an even spray.

 

As for Future Floor Finish?

Think about what that's supposed to be used for.

Then think about what acrylic medium is supposed to be used for.

 

I personally don't care to expose myself to several unknown, and possibly toxic factors into my paint mix. So, I would avoid anything not specifically designed for the purpose. Future floor finish is for your floors, and it's produced through industrial chemical processes. I'd at the very least, get the MSDS sheets for it so you know what the chemicals used in the formula are, and their potential side effects.

 

Or, you can just buy some matte medium and paint.

 

I really don't get why anyone would still want to use chemical floor finishes for painting their models when so many other products specifically designed for the purpose are available. I might have suggested Future 20 years ago. But with what's available (non-toxically) today that's meant for mini painting, don't waste the time or money.

 

 

57 minutes ago, Clearman said:

My understanding is the craft acrylic paint uses a course ground pigment. So, while if could be thinned with an acrylic medium or airbrush thinner, the size of the pigment grains may still cause it to clog more readily.  I have only used hobby specific paint, or paint specifically mixed for an airbrush, so take the above with a grain of salt.

 

The use of Pledge floor finish has kind of a mixed following these days.  Some still sweat by it, others not.  I personally don't like the shine, so just spray with a coat of matte varnish because my models do not get handled much once finished.  If you intend to use the models on the tabletop, then a thicker spay coat would be better.

 

  1. Pigment grain size is a critical factor in getting specific colors, so there's no difference in pigment grain size, though that's a very popular myth. Everybody uses the same pigments.
  2. Pledge is used to paint onto a surface and provide a durable, glossy, clear coat. As opposed to Acrylic Gloss Medium, which is painted onto a surface to provide a durable, glossy, clear coat. The primary ingredient in both is acrylic gloss medium. The only concern I have is that the formula has been changed some since it was called "Future", so I'm less sanguine about using it now than previously. I don't see any issues with using it for practice. It's almost certainly better tested for safety than any hobby paint coming from a 1 or 2 person paint department.
  3. If you don't want to expose yourself to "unknown, and possibly toxic" chemicals, I'd really recommend a different hobby than miniatures painting. The vast majority of pigments haven't been extensively tested, and virtually nobody in the hobby paint industry is willing to publish the contents of their paint.
  4. Pledge is so much cheaper by volume than artists' acrylic medium, that it makes sense if it works. And it seems to work with most paints and for most painters who use it.

NB: Reaper recommends not using Future/Pledge with their paints, in part, at least, because of an unhappy customer who mixed Future into an entire MSP paint set. Take that for what you will.

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What's the nozzle diameter of that cheap airbrush?

A halfway decent airbrush is generally in the 0.35mm or narrower size.

 

If it's a larger diameter(0.5 . 1.0mm) it may be able to handle thicker paints. 

(But don't expect great results)

Is it gravity fed(cup on top) or suction(bottle underneath)?

The ones with the bottle tends to waste a lot of paint.

(The few times I've used my gravity fed model, I generally measure out 10 - 30 drops of paint... That amount will barely cover the bottom of a bottle)

 

I assume you're going to use air canisters in the beginning?

(I doubt you got a compressor with tit for that price)

A compressor, a good hose and quick disconnect is a good investment. 

 

I'd go with the food colouring or the ink. 

Then, when you get a bit more comfortable, get hold of a 2oz bottle of grey primer...

(The primer doesn't have to be a perfectly even coat after all... )

 

I find that plastic spoons are good for practice. 

(flats, curved surfaces, nooks and crannies... )

Teaspoons would be ideal for samples.

 

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58 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

 

 

  1. Pigment grain size is a critical factor in getting specific colors, so there's no difference in pigment grain size, though that's a very popular myth. Everybody uses the same pigments.
  2. Pledge is used to paint onto a surface and provide a durable, glossy, clear coat. As opposed to Acrylic Gloss Medium, which is painted onto a surface to provide a durable, glossy, clear coat. The primary ingredient in both is acrylic gloss medium. The only concern I have is that the formula has been changed some since it was called "Future", so I'm less sanguine about using it now than previously. I don't see any issues with using it for practice. It's almost certainly better tested for safety than any hobby paint coming from a 1 or 2 person paint department.
  3. If you don't want to expose yourself to "unknown, and possibly toxic" chemicals, I'd really recommend a different hobby than miniatures painting. The vast majority of pigments haven't been extensively tested, and virtually nobody in the hobby paint industry is willing to publish the contents of their paint.
  4. Pledge is so much cheaper by volume than artists' acrylic medium, that it makes sense if it works. And it seems to work with most paints and for most painters who use it.

NB: Reaper recommends not using Future/Pledge with their paints, in part, at least, because of an unhappy customer who mixed Future into an entire MSP paint set. Take that for what you will.

 

If you request the MSDS for a particular product, the producer, by law, has to provide them.

I have done-so for all of the paints I use regularly and have not been refused by any company that produces them.

So, the fact that no one publicizes what's in their paint, doesn't mean you can't find out. If you are in the hobby, it's worth your time to investigate any possible hazards and mitigate them. Nothing wrong with taking the time to make yourself as safe and toxin-free as possible. Remember at the end of every GI Joe episode?

 

I also have my reservations about putting floor wax in my paint, whether it's proven to be toxic or not.

As for the ingredients in Future...the monoethyl ether is toxic enough to be lethal when ingested. I wouldn't care to have that possibly be in my rinse cup. It's also worse when it can be inhaled, along with the phosphate, which can be carcinogenic when inhaled. I wouldn't squirt it out of your airbrush either.

Edited by Ghool
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@Ghool:

 

Water is toxic enough to be lethal when ingested. The poison, as always, is in the dose.

 

If you're using an airbrush, you should always be using a mask with filters rated for organic chemicals (and changed regularly) and a fume hood. If nothing else, spraying acrylic gloss medium into your lungs is a poor life choice. Glossy alveoli don't work especially well.

 

The SDS (the current version of the MSDS under the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) is required to list any known hazards. It is not required to list everything that is in the product nor to speculate about the toxicity of any untested substance. One of the nice things about the old Future was that its MSDS (this was before Global Harmony <_<) was remarkably simple. It didn't have lots of unknown stuff and was almost entirely water and gloss medium. The newer version has both more ingredients and more things listed without specific descriptions. (I regularly pull the SDS on chemicals I intend to use, and I've pulled both of those.) Nothing I've seen in it makes me think that more precautions would be necessary when using it than when using acrylic paint. (You'll have to make your own decision about that, of course.)

 

I have Vallejo paints right now that have Cadmium pigments that have also been proven to be toxic, though they're not listed by the EU as toxic when "used as intended" and not sprayed. There's a reasonable argument that the current method of production of the Cadmium salts involved has resulted in a chemical with a much lower bioavailablity than previous types, but there you go. I have them because they're better than the alternatives (love me some Cad Yellow and Cad Red), but I treat them the way that I treat, say, gasoline (which is much more toxic, btw).

 

You have to make the decision about what risks you're willing to take everywhere in life, and those decisions work better if you're informed. I'm comfortable with both the decisions I make wrt painting and the comments I've made here; YMMV.

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You could also practice using the inkjet refill kits, they are thin as food coloring and are quite cheap especially if you find them at the 99 cent stores. check out:

 

pretty useful information, and probably uses an airbrush similar to yours.

And stay away from Future/pledge whatever it is called now. From my understanding, it is NOT the same formula as what every used back in the day. Stay with what you get from Reaper or other hobby paint lines.

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In economics, a false economy is an action that saves money at the beginning but which, over a longer period of time, results in more money being spent or wasted than being saved. For example, it may be false economy if a city government decided to purchase the least expensive automobiles for use by city workers, as cheap automobiles have a record of needing more frequent repairs in the long term and the additional repair costs would eradicate any initial savings.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_economy

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I have airbrushed car models with craft paint. I diluted the paint until it was the required consistency for an airbrush, and really mixed it a lot. I don't recall any clogs, but it's been half a decade. Very possible I had some. And if I remember, all that dilution does mean a lot more coats. 

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13 hours ago, czebas said:

In economics, a false economy is an action that saves money at the beginning but which, over a longer period of time, results in more money being spent or wasted than being saved. For example, it may be false economy if a city government decided to purchase the least expensive automobiles for use by city workers, as cheap automobiles have a record of needing more frequent repairs in the long term and the additional repair costs would eradicate any initial savings.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_economy

 

Ooh, are we doing economics? Let's talk about Perceived Value Pricing.

 

If you want to make a point, you might do better to say what you want to say rather than bringing up a basic principle and implying that it's applicable.

 

If you want to say that craft paints and Pledge are a false economy, the easiest way to say that is, "I think that craft paints and Pledge are a false economy and this is why." There's a reasonable argument there, though I find it much less strong when practicing than when trying for best quality.

 

But I take your comment as question begging by implication, which I don't find especially compelling.

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Buying a cheap airbrush and air canisters can probably be considered a false economy by some. 

(It's a cheap way to get started, but cans are much more expensive to use than a compressor over time)

 

But this doesn't take all factors into account.  

Such as the amount of usage planned(You can prime quite a few minis with the air from just one can. And if that's the only use, it'll take ages to recoup the cost of a compressor. And in the case of priming jobs,a cheap airbrush is usually good enough. 

 

It may not even be practical to use a compressor. They're noisy, and not all that portable, really. 

(Well, not as portable as stuffing a can or two into a backack, together with the airbrush)

 

As a 'try out' option it's hard to beat the value. 

(Most people will know if it's something they're willing to put the effort into really learning by the time they've used a can or two of air)

 

In fact, the only item that one really need to buy qood quality of right off is the breathing mask. 

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I have been using a Badger Anthem 155 bottom fed dual action air brush for over 4 years with Apple Barrel and Ceramcoat paints.  Diluted properly, there are very few clogs.  I also have an Iwata, *doh* forget the model, gravity fed dual action airbrush that I use with Reaper and other "mini" paints.

 

If you properly clean the airbrush after use, and, depending on the quantity and duration of your session, sometimes mid use, then the clogs are pretty much non-existant.  However, for the first time in 4 years, I had my Badger clog up on me...  come to find out, near the end of the bottle of Apple Barrel Black, there was a string of congealed paint...  I didn't notice it going into the mix jar, and either didn't shake well enough or it was really "dried"...  The string was sucked up into the airbrush and clogged it up.  Took me over an hour to get it working again.  But, this was once in four years.  I base coat all my Hirst Arts terrain with this airbrush, so it has seen a lot of work.

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