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Kittyhawk

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Looking for a little help with air brushes please.
All I want to do is to spray a bit of paint, one colour only, onto small flat pieces where a good finish is important.
I have spray painted before using rattle cans and conventional compressor spray equipment and it went OK - not great but OK.
So, is airbrushing an easy skill to master?
Can I use a conventional turps based enamel or is some special brew required?
An air brush set up runs from not very many dollars up to megabucks. Since this would be a Capex requiring head office approval I would be definitely looking at the cheaper end. Would I be OK with the cheaper end of the scale or doomed to disappointment?
Or alternatively, is there any brush on product that will give me a brush mark free pristine finish?
I should finish by saying that it's generally accepted that one is not very good at doing things that one doesn't enjoy, and I don't like painting,
 

BillK

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It might depend on the airbrush but generally you can use about any paint, I've used waterbased, nitrocellulose, 1k and 2k acrylic (car paint of old-ish), epoxy primer etc.
I'm mainly just laying small areas of colour, lucky for me that doesn't need massive skill, just a feel for the airbrush and paint. That you get with a bit of time & use.
The fine art/graphics, a mate of mine does it. The skill difference is like me painting a garden fence with a broom and him being Da Vinci..

My Iwata was about £100 at the time but I've had it 14-15 years and not regretted it. Good feel & feedback using the trigger, reliability and getting parts.
As with most kit you probably don't want the cheapest - that black box with blue liner gear that you see everywhere for £cheap, my boy got one - pretty bad. Something with a brand name to it, double action, should be good.

Mine strips right down to clean so everything lasts years and stays like new. I do strip & clean every use otherwise you can get colour bleeds next time. Like if you do red and don't strip it down, and next time you do white, you can see it get pinkish.. Easy enough though.
 

Gordon Tarling

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I agree with BillK - buy a known brand name - you'll know it's well made, will work OK and spares will be available next week/month/year when you need them. If you're just painting a 'plain' part a solid colour, then perhaps a single action one might be best, as they're cheaper and easier to operate. However, if you need to do any fading/blending, then a dual action is the one to go for. I have a Badger and an Iwata - both well made and work very well. Suggest you look at models which are capable of using either a jar or a cup - makes it a bit more versatile. What do you plan to use for the air supply?

G.
 

Kittyhawk

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What do you plan to use for the air supply?

G.
I don't have an air supply yet.
I have a sort of a Mickey Mouse duster brush cobbled together out of a lilo foot pump and hose reduced down to a length of medical oxygen tubing with a camera lens duster brush on the end that is used for blowing off dust before painting.
I figured buying a little compressor would give me a more up-market duster brush and enable the use of an air brush.
 

Ollie78

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Aztek are great, single action or double action you decide. Also many different caps and jar attachments for different amounts or types of paint and effect. They use shorter caps instead of traditional full length needles making them very versatile and user friendly.
You need an air tank of some kind for smooth air, doesn`t have to be big but something to take out the pulses of the compressors piston.


Ollie
 

sometimewoodworker

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All I want to do is to spray a bit of paint, one colour only, onto small flat pieces where a good finish is important.
I have spray painted before using rattle cans and conventional compressor spray equipment and it went OK - not great but OK.
First point, what size are the pieces? This is important as an airbrush is fantastic for really small lines and pieces, but for a larger piece a slightly larger, but still small, spray gun is a much better choice.

It sounds as if you really need much more practice as I can get a good finish with a can but a much better finish with my spray guns.

With an airbrush it’s going to be way more difficult to get a solid colour unless the pieces are really small. yes a skilled user can do it but it’s not that simple a skill to build up. The spray gun under is probably a better tool for the job you want to do.
3EC9E021-66C3-43BF-9EB5-1E0EED8C7391.jpeg
 
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Hi, Kittyhawk, I was a custom airbrush painter for just over 10 years but now retired.
All of the above is sound advice. I personally used Iwata Airbrushes which are not cheap but like with everything else you get what you pay for!
All types of spray equipment need a constant air supply and you are going to need about 50 psi to achieve good atomisation.
For small jobs I used a mini compressor like this one
1638867069102.png

It a double piston but supplies a constant flow.

Depending on the area you want to paint perhaps a gravity fed HVLP Detail (touch up) gun might be more suitable? I used the Sealey like this one, again its a good make and a real workhorse.
1638867367478.png


Hope this helps.
The one GOLDEN rule with any kind of praying is the equipment need to be scrupulously clean.
PPE is a must or you'll end up like me with goosed lungs (reason for my early retirement).
If you need any advice let me know. 👍
 

Gordon Tarling

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I don't have an air supply yet.
I have a sort of a Mickey Mouse duster brush cobbled together out of a lilo foot pump and hose reduced down to a length of medical oxygen tubing with a camera lens duster brush on the end that is used for blowing off dust before painting.
I figured buying a little compressor would give me a more up-market duster brush and enable the use of an air brush.

Yeah, a compressor is certainly the best way to go. Try and get one that has a tank and regulator - one without a tank has to run pretty much continuously and the noise can get a bit annoying after a while. Lots of variations on this on the various online sellers.

G.
 

RobinBHM

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Looking for a little help with air brushes please.
All I want to do is to spray a bit of paint, one colour only, onto small flat pieces where a good finish is important.
I have spray painted before using rattle cans and conventional compressor spray equipment and it went OK - not great but OK.
So, is airbrushing an easy skill to master?
Can I use a conventional turps based enamel or is some special brew required?
An air brush set up runs from not very many dollars up to megabucks. Since this would be a Capex requiring head office approval I would be definitely looking at the cheaper end. Would I be OK with the cheaper end of the scale or doomed to disappointment?
Or alternatively, is there any brush on product that will give me a brush mark free pristine finish?
I should finish by saying that it's generally accepted that one is not very good at doing things that one doesn't enjoy, and I don't like painting,

an airbrush only works with very low viscosity paints and mostly are used with special paints which have very fine pigments

I suggest you look at some budget mini spray guns made by ANI


some great information and advice from youtube channel Petes hobbies



bear in mind sprayguns need a half decent compressor
 

sometimewoodworker

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Yeah, a compressor is certainly the best way to go. Try and get one that has a tank and regulator - one without a tank has to run pretty much continuously and the noise can get a bit annoying after a while. Lots of variations on this on the various online sellers.

G.
That one looks OK but probably a bit limited, however with compressors you can always throttle them down but if they are too small you have to get a bigger one. For instance my current compressor is similar to this one
0A421DE8-7131-4F02-BCF3-2618CB83FF9F.jpeg

It is easily capable of running any of my spray guns all day long from one with a 4mm tip and a 6 litre pressure tank all the way down to my airbrush. But it’s certainly far more than you need or want,

F12B5974-561E-454E-887C-CC4FB7660E4F.jpeg

one like this is amazingly quiet, you can probably use one of these in any flat, a smaller single rather than this double version is probably good choice.
 
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That one looks OK but probably a bit limited, however with compressors you can always throttle them down but if they are too small you have to get a bigger one. For instance my current compressor is similar to this one View attachment 123589
It is easily capable of running any of my spray guns all day long from one with a 4mm tip and a 6 litre pressure tank all the way down to my airbrush. But it’s certainly far more than you need or want,

View attachment 123590
one like this is amazingly quiet, you can probably use one of these in any flat, a smaller single rather than this double version is probably good choice.

I couldn't agree more but I think most people maybe don't have the room or the finances for a big compressor or can't justify getting one for the odd occasional use?
This is the wonderful thing about a forum, it gives people a chance to look at lots of points of view and then make an informed decision (of course my input is the best - obviously ;)😂 ) (only joking)
 

Kittyhawk

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Thank you all for the replies.
I should have been more forthcoming about the work.
I am trying to improve the quality of the black paint job denoting the canopies on my model aircraft.
Kittyhawk 1.JPG

The area is small, generally no more than 2.5cm long X 1cm high and multi faceted ie sides, top and front. I'm pretty boring in that building little model wooden aeroplanes is all that I do with my time so in retrospect perhaps investing in an airbrush and compressor is a bit of an overkill. So I think I need to upskill in rattle can usage and in that regard I have received privately some excellent advice from a fellow forum member. Instead of pushing the button and hoping for the best the answer appears to be technique and practice.
 
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Thank you all for the replies.
I should have been more forthcoming about the work.
I am trying to improve the quality of the black paint job denoting the canopies on my model aircraft.View attachment 123619
The area is small, generally no more than 2.5cm long X 1cm high and multi faceted ie sides, top and front. I'm pretty boring in that building little model wooden aeroplanes is all that I do with my time so in retrospect perhaps investing in an airbrush and compressor is a bit of an overkill. So I think I need to upskill in rattle can usage and in that regard I have received privately some excellent advice from a fellow forum member. Instead of pushing the button and hoping for the best the answer appears to be technique and practice.
WOW, Just wow! That is a work of art :)
A friend if mine who flies Radio control models uses black shiny vinyl for the windows ...
 

Sideways

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I'll chip in with a recommendation for Sparmax air compressors. They are well established and provide compressors for other brands. Spares are available which is always nice to know.
I bought all (3) of mine second hand. The double ended ones with a finned cylinder at each end and a motor in the middle have a good strong output for an airbrush compressor.
 

Inspector

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Chris I think I might have stumbled upon a possible, maybe, could be, solution worth looking into. Portable mini rechargeable air brushes used in nail salons and for cake decorating. AliExpress has lots of different ones. Either a little cylinder that fits the hand containing a battery and compressor to a compressor that sits on the table with a hose to the airbrush. They are cheap enough to be worth a try and they won't take up a lot of space in the shop.
And just the airbrushes. 10.65US $ 31% OFF|5cc 0.2mm/0.3 Nozzles Airbrush With 11Pcs Set Cleaning Spray Gun Accessories Cake Decorating Brushes For Manicure Air Brush|Spray Guns| - AliExpress

You can explore for others on the above sites or Banggood etc. Those that are more familiar with these things can weigh in on whether that have merit for once or twice a month usage.
Pete
 

Kittyhawk

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Chris I think I might have stumbled upon a possible, maybe, could be, solution worth looking into. Portable mini rechargeable air brushes used in nail salons and for cake decorating. AliExpress has lots of different ones. Either a little cylinder that fits the hand containing a battery and compressor to a compressor that sits on the table with a hose to the airbrush. They are cheap enough to be worth a try and they won't take up a lot of space in the shop.
And just the airbrushes. 10.65US $ 31% OFF|5cc 0.2mm/0.3 Nozzles Airbrush With 11Pcs Set Cleaning Spray Gun Accessories Cake Decorating Brushes For Manicure Air Brush|Spray Guns| - AliExpress

You can explore for others on the above sites or Banggood etc. Those that are more familiar with these things can weigh in on whether that have merit for once or twice a month usage.
Pete
Thanks for the links.
To put this little paint job in perspective...
I will paint one black aeroplane canopy every 10 - 14 days. With a rattle can it will take 3 coats. There are 2 spray passes per coat, one each side of the work. Timed it, and each pass is 1 second.
So in the case of a Spray can much more of the propellant is used clearing the nozzle after use than is used blowing paint on to the workpiece. Such a miniscule little job shouldn't be the cause if so much annoyance.
 

sometimewoodworker

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Thank you all for the replies.
I should have been more forthcoming about the work.
I am trying to improve the quality of the black paint job denoting the canopies on my model aircraft.View attachment 123619
The area is small, generally no more than 2.5cm long X 1cm high and multi faceted ie sides, top and front. I'm pretty boring in that building little model wooden aeroplanes is all that I do with my time so in retrospect perhaps investing in an airbrush and compressor is a bit of an overkill. So I think I need to upskill in rattle can usage and in that regard I have received privately some excellent advice from a fellow forum member. Instead of pushing the button and hoping for the best the answer appears to be technique and practice.
Your usage is absolutely idea for airbrush use. In my opinion an airbrush will certainly give a more accurate usage of paint along with a vast reduction in overspray. How you feed the airbrush is a different case and cans of compressed air may be a good option. A rattle can is a less than ideal choice for the canopy but may do well for the whole plane.

You could also introduce some gradation into the canopy panels by under painting with a silver, the grading the black overpaint from solid at the frame to a light dusting in the centre.

it is very likely that preparation time will hugely exceed painting time. My suggestion is to mask out half a dozen A4 areas each A4 piece having maybe 20+ areas then spend a morning spraying them. If by the end you are still refining you technique then rinse and repeat until you can be perfect from sheet number 1 mask number 1 and maintain that skill to sheet number 6.

If you want to spray the whole aircraft then the kind of miniature spray gun I showed above is a far better choice for the craft but it is nowhere near as good for the fine detail.

incidentally this effect
1B2B6CA6-9383-400F-943F-CA9DE0F2CFD6.jpeg
BD7E88E1-C967-4A9F-AE6E-E38CEA6574B1.jpeg

is one I have just applied using that gun

and this was my first test piece, along with my shop helper :rolleyes:
DDA7B211-AF44-4532-8A2D-D9AB7FFDD9E7.jpeg
C9488E84-BCFB-46AF-AF7B-3DA2C28E22E6.jpeg
 

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