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Needed: Airbrush Equipment Basics and Recommendations


Girot
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I would look to see if you can find a pressure regulator to put inline in your hose so that you know what pressure you are using.  I think most people tend to use about 20 PSI on their compressor.  Perhaps more if you're having problems.

 

I'd also see about getting a water trap near the end of the hose where the air brush is.  You're not going to like water from the compressor getting into the airbrush.  The results will be bad and it's going to happen!  The one I use is from iwata and screws in right at the base of the airbrush and gives it more of a pistol grip feel.  I find it more comfortable that way.  But not sure if it would work with your air brush.  I've also seen hoses with an inline water trap near the airbrush end as well.

 

And I believe the Vallejo thinner is designed to thin out the paint without diluting it like water would.  Keeps the "chemistry" of the paint more like it is originally but makes it thinner.  I'll let someone with more experience speak to that here!  I know many use just water.   Or even a mix of water and alcohol.

 

 

They showed me a water trap from this brand, and I am thinking about getting it (unless I get one with the compressor, when my wife allows me to buy the nice compressor). What is the rationale, the explanation, for the "water is bad in the line"? Water droplets ejecting too big? Focalised ultra-dillution?

 

The thing about the Thinner (that is exactly what it says on the label, BTW) is... what is the difference with the Acrylic Medium then? I mean, it is definitely not the same. And it helps "break" some of the plasticity of the Scale75 paints, for example...

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I would look to see if you can find a pressure regulator to put inline in your hose so that you know what pressure you are using.  I think most people tend to use about 20 PSI on their compressor.  Perhaps more if you're having problems.

 

I'd also see about getting a water trap near the end of the hose where the air brush is.  You're not going to like water from the compressor getting into the airbrush.  The results will be bad and it's going to happen!  The one I use is from iwata and screws in right at the base of the airbrush and gives it more of a pistol grip feel.  I find it more comfortable that way.  But not sure if it would work with your air brush.  I've also seen hoses with an inline water trap near the airbrush end as well.

 

And I believe the Vallejo thinner is designed to thin out the paint without diluting it like water would.  Keeps the "chemistry" of the paint more like it is originally but makes it thinner.  I'll let someone with more experience speak to that here!  I know many use just water.   Or even a mix of water and alcohol.

 

 

They showed me a water trap from this brand, and I am thinking about getting it (unless I get one with the compressor, when my wife allows me to buy the nice compressor). What is the rationale, the explanation, for the "water is bad in the line"? Water droplets ejecting too big? Focalised ultra-dillution?

 

The thing about the Thinner (that is exactly what it says on the label, BTW) is... what is the difference with the Acrylic Medium then? I mean, it is definitely not the same. And it helps "break" some of the plasticity of the Scale75 paints, for example...

 

 

If you get water in the line then you won't get a clean flow of air.  You'll get a mixture of air and water.  This will cause paint splatters you won't like I am sure.  The compressor having a water trap itself is not good enough as water vapor can form in the hose going to the air brush.  So having the water trap close to the air brush is the best case.  My compressor DOES have a water trap and I still ended up having some problems until I get a water trap close to the air brush.

 

As for thinner differences, I have no idea!  I have seen formulas online that use matte medium with water and some flow improver.  Liquitex makes an air brush thinner.  Scale 75 makes a thinner.  You mentioned the Vallejo version.  So many people make specific thinners.  I'm still learning the air brush myself (taking the class at Reaper Con) and experimenting with different thinner liquids.  I'm sure they all work, just a matter of finding out what works best for you!  And I'd start with the cheaper methods as if they work then you are all set.

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This is the regulator/trap i was looking at getting: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00171BFKK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=PW2YRP6CYVEU&coliid=I1223P44LV1OL8.

 

Looks like it will do he job I need.  I'm gonna pick up the hose and other pieces at AC Moore as I can swing by each day on the way home from work to utilize my 50% off coupons effectively.

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This is the regulator/trap i was looking at getting: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00171BFKK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=PW2YRP6CYVEU&coliid=I1223P44LV1OL8.

 

Looks like it will do he job I need.  I'm gonna pick up the hose and other pieces at AC Moore as I can swing by each day on the way home from work to utilize my 50% off coupons effectively.

 

The only problem I see with that water trap is that it won't be near the air brush.  Looks like it connects at the compressor?  I found (and have been told by others with much more experience) that you need a water trap near the air brush as the moisture can still turn up in the hose.

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This is the regulator/trap i was looking at getting: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00171BFKK/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=PW2YRP6CYVEU&coliid=I1223P44LV1OL8.

 

Looks like it will do he job I need.  I'm gonna pick up the hose and other pieces at AC Moore as I can swing by each day on the way home from work to utilize my 50% off coupons effectively.

 

The only problem I see with that water trap is that it won't be near the air brush.  Looks like it connects at the compressor?  I found (and have been told by others with much more experience) that you need a water trap near the air brush as the moisture can still turn up in the hose.

 

You could connect the the water trap to the compressor with a hose. and then attach the trap to your desk or airbrush holder so it it close at hand. This will make it easier to be able to change the air pressure and will give the air from the compressor time to cool off before it gets to the water trap. Only problem is that you will need 2 air hoses to do this.

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Ohh yeah I also got this water trap http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KNAHE2/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 It is slightly cheaper then the one that Dilvish posted, just doesnt have the airbrush manual, which I already have a copy of and isnt that great anyway.

 

Here is a hose with the trap built in near one end (where you'd be close to the air brush):

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-BRAIDED-AIRBRUSH-HOSE-w-INLINE-FILTER-Water-Trap-1-8-Ends-Fit-Iwata-Master-/190767172432?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c6a9c0b50

 

And I like and use this one actually as it kinda gives the air brush a pistol grip feel and seems more comfortable to me:

 

http://www.chicagoairbrushsupply.com/iwpifi.html

 

Links just for reference, I'm sure you can poke around the internet and find better prices.

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Definitely get the moisture trap, as stated, air and water in the line make for an irregular air flow which will cause splotches. I have a moisture trap on mine although I probably don't need it since it never has any water in it. The advantage of living in a high altitude, dry climate.

 

The compressor itself can cause this, definitely get a pressure regulator, that will give a smooth continuous supply of air. I suspect that, like most compressors, your's is driven by a piston, this causes surges in the air as it goes through the hose resulting in an uneven supply of air at the brush, resulting in splatters. The regulator will help stop this, its also why many of us favor compressors with air tanks, the compressor is filling the tank and the tank in turn cushions the airbrush from the effects of the piston and giving us a nice smooth flow of air.

 

Thinning is more art than science. Yes, the skim milk consistency is bandied about quite a bit and overall it works, go buy a pint of milk and get an idea of what it looks like. That being said its only a guideline. Vallejo model air can be used straight from the bottle, for the most part, but I usually add just a little bit of distilled water to it anyway. In general, if you start at 1:1 paint to water (except for airbrush paints) you will be in the ballpark. Some colors have heavier pigments and just take more thinning than others. Blues and a lot of greens tend to need more thinning, reds and yellows not so much. Badger air brush paints work great straight from the bottle.

 

While I have thinned with a lot of different stuff over the years, for the vast majority of my work I just thin with distilled water or with airbrush thinner. I don't use alcohol (especially at altitude) because it causes the paint to dry very quickly, and on the tip of the needle in particular, and atomized alcohol even mixed with water can be really bad for you. I have used windex and its works as well, although it can cause rubber seals to break down. Always, Always, Always were a full respirator type mask when you are airbrushing indoors, even with a paint booth. While acrylic paint may be listed as non-toxic, atomized acrylic paint in your lungs is still considered a bad thing. Harbor Freight has a good mask at a good price.

 

I highly recommend chicago airbrush supply, you are actually unlikely to find much better prices on the internet. (Its certainly possible, but they really do have good prices and I don't want to spend a lot of time scouring the internet and after a number of transactions with them, they have my trust, YMMV).

 

Edit: A word about cleaning tools. Before you buy into a set of cleaning tools for your airbrush, please read your warranty and don't buy something that has the potential to void the warranty of your equipment. In theory if you are doing everything right airbrush cleaner sprayed through at the end of your session is often all the cleaning your airbrush will need. If you let paint dry inside, then you have some work in front of you.

Edited by Heisler
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My kids gave me my airbrush on Sunday for my birthday.  I finally got everything set up and connected last night.  Thanks to this thread and the other airbrush one it wasn't too difficult.  Luckily I had all of the adapters and connectors that I needed in the kit that came with my compressor (I already had a 3 gal Porter-Cable compressor).

 

I've got no leaks and the tank holds quite a bit of pressure even after running air through the brush for several minutes.  I still need to set up a make shift spray booth and run some paint through it to practice.  all in all it seams good, now just to get a feel for things.  i also have to sit down and watch all of the tutorial videos recommended above (feel free to link any others you like).

 

I'm debating bring my brush with me to ReaperCon and seeing if I can get some tips there.  I didn't manage to get one of the airbrush classes (wasn't sure I'd have an airbrush when I registered) but am not sure if there will be openings.  I'll ask in one of the R-Con threads.

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My kids got me a beginners airbrush and compressor kit for Christmas last year, and despite having set it up a while back, I used it to put paint on a mini for the first time last night, following a paper test earlier in the week.

 

I must say I really like it, and for my first attempt I'm really happy with the results. I did pick a larger mini as a guinea pig, so I wasn't as worried about small details, but I can see it would work just as well for large areas on smaller minis too.

 

The biggest issue I found was figuring out the right consistency for the paint. I didn't thin it enough last night, and the brush did clog a few times as a result. Thanks to the advice in the 1.5 hour video linked earlier though, I had no trouble unclogging it very quickly each time (as in 5-10 seconds tops).

 

And there's a Nethyrmaul waiting on my shelf that I now plan to tackle quite differently. ^_^

 

For the record, the airbrush I got was a cheap no-brand one from TradeMe (NZ site - like eBay but WAY prettier) which seems perfect for learning. I would like to get a better name-brand airbrush eventually, but I'll see how far this one gets me first. The whole kit, which included airbrush, compressor and hoses was about NZ$140 (~US$120 at todays rates). The compressor is surprisingly quiet, which is great because my office is directly underneath one of my daughters bedrooms.

 

post-8353-0-50884500-1397175688.jpg

I got a braided hose instead of the springy one.

 

Things I've learned in the two sessions I've had trying it out:

 

- It takes a LOT less paint than I expected, which is going to be great on larger minis.

- Figuring out correct mixes for thinning the paint is going to take some time, but generally thinner than I expected.

- A cardboard box makes a perfectly good spray booth for now, though I need to move my lighting.

- It's really easy to spray too much too quickly, which makes the paint run with the air blowing on it.

- I'm really glad I got a good respirator face mask.

 

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You know, I see a lot about only needing a box for a spray booth. I thought the same. Then I bought a super cheap one from ebay, and was amazed how much darker the filer was after a 30 minute session. I'm glad I was wearing a respirator before. I'm even more glad I have the booth now. Even if all you do is add a box fan and a home air filter from the hardware store to your cardboard box, you'll still be doing your lungs and your home a big favor.

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You know, I see a lot about only needing a box for a spray booth. I thought the same. Then I bought a super cheap one from ebay, and was amazed how much darker the filer was after a 30 minute session. I'm glad I was wearing a respirator before. I'm even more glad I have the booth now. Even if all you do is add a box fan and a home air filter from the hardware store to your cardboard box, you'll still be doing your lungs and your home a big favor.

 

:blink: Hmm, thanks for that. It's something I'll think about then.

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