Monday, June 14

New Airbrush Compressor


AirBrush Booth
Originally uploaded by inrepose

Had some fun trying my new airbrush compressor out today. HobbyCraft in the UK have changed their range, so all the old stock is now half-price, so this was a bargain. It is 10x better than using compressed air in a can, if only because you are not pushing propellent into the atmosphere. It was smooth delivery with the compressor which is really quiet and pumps up to 60-80psi. I found I was using less paint with the air compressor compared to the air cans and it did non "spatter" paint in chugs.

Using an airbrush requires a lot of prep and tidy up patience. You need to make sure the subject is well primed, you can't spray colour onto a base model, the result would look poor.

You then need to thin the paints in the mixing pots with thinner, I use Tamiya thinners and Tamiya paints which I think are about the best.

Once thinned you attach the bottle (two in the picture above) to the side of the airbrush.

After spraying you need to clean up the airbrush nozzle or it will become clogged by spraying airbrush cleaner through it. Then disconnect the nozzle into a pot of cleaner to soak. I have an Aztek airbrush, so you don't need to take it all apart to clean it, just remove the nozzle which is very handy.

Then clean out the little glass pots or store the paint you have mixed. You need several of the glass jars because you find yourself mixing paints and thinning them, then deciding to keep it if you don't use it and the Tamiya paint is not cheap so you don't want to waste it.

The advantage is you can cover a huge area quickly with a thin even coat, which looks great on larger models. I have a ton of japanese plastic buildings and terrain for my FWC summer project and the airbrush will be perfect for it.

In summary air brushes are tons of fun to use, very fast to cover large areas but you have to do clean up work which feels like a chore but is not as painful as having to paint a 6mm skyscraper which would look crappy if hand painted and take ages.

In the photo there are two wheelie garbage bins which only took 3 mins to cover in a fine yellow. Just need to spend some time weathering them for a very sharp result and minimal time spent base coating them.