Author Topic: I need to overcome my fear of...  (Read 3278 times)

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wm3798

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I need to overcome my fear of...
« on: September 21, 2007, 10:15:10 PM »
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Air brushes. 

Years ago I got to use one to shoot some Conrail Blue, and I really liked the results, but I was using Floquil solvent based paints, and I hated the fumes and clean up.  I have an air brush kit, not terribly sophisticated.  It's a testors set with the spray propellent in a can.  Looks like a nice enough rig for weathering etc., but I just can't get past those old experiences.

I'd be interested in a step by step refresher and some pointers for using water base, easy to clean up paints.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Diesel

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2007, 07:49:19 PM »
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Just jump in and start to spray, there is no need to fear this
acrylics are very easy to use just get yourself the new universal
thinner from Testors to thin the paint and some Windex to clean out the brush.
Practice a few times on scrap and you will amaze yourself.

amato1969

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2007, 10:31:08 PM »
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Lee, you're right on about spraying solvent paints  >:(.  I spray acrylics only and love the way most behave -- Tamiya, ModelFlex, and PollyScale are my favorites.

Anyway, my only "secret" is using stuff called airbrush medium to thin the paint with.  I've tried plain water, windshield fluid, Windex, blah blah blah, but nothing beats airbrush medium IMO.  It really helps to lay down a smooth coat of paint.  Here's the brand I get -- usually at Michael's with a 50% coupon from the Sunday paper:

http://www.liquitex.com/Products/fluidmedairbrush.cfm

I find that acrylics spray best when it's not too humid -- high humidity messes with the drying time.  Grab an old car and shoot some paint and let us know how it works out!

  Frank
« Last Edit: September 23, 2007, 10:35:01 PM by amato1969 »

tom mann

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2007, 07:14:19 AM »
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Lee, stick with acrylics and dump the can of air as soon as you can.  Either way, you'll need a moisture trap.

ednadolski

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2007, 08:52:50 AM »
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I'm still very much an apprentice with the airbrush but I have developed some confidence.  I like the Model Master acrylics in addition to the ones you mention.  A thinned mix of MM Sand/Light Gray makes a very nice 'fade' coat for weathering.  I use distilled water to thin the paint.

I use one of those Home Depot compressors with the 6-gallon tank.  It takes just a few minutes to charge the tank to 125 PSI, then I can paint for a while in peace. I had one of the little compressors but could only paint while it was running -- not terribly quiet.

I upgraded my spray booth (Paasche HSSB) with an 850 CFM Dayton blower. It can almost suck out a lit candle.  Sounds like overkill, but with the original blower I still sometimes got noticeable blowback from painting, which you don't want even with acrylics.

For lighting in the booth I added one of those small kitchen-cabinet sized fluorescent bar lights with the 'daylight' 5000K bulbs.  I was surprised at how much better that was than the regular, low CRI bulbs.

I have to get more conscientious about cleanup.  I occasionally leave jars of mixed, unused paint sitting around and forget about them until they congeal.  Then I have to replace 'em   :-[


tom mann

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2007, 09:13:54 AM »
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Lee, stick with acrylics and dump the can of air as soon as you can.  Either way, you'll need a moisture trap.

Oh, and I just remembered that I have the Iwata Silver Jet for sale.   ;D

amato1969

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2007, 10:06:15 AM »
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Oh, almost forgot -- lose the propellant can and buy a small compressor or an air tank like Ed describes.  The cans don't provide constant pressure as they cool down.  You physics guys remember pv=nrt, right?

GonzoCRFan

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2007, 03:26:43 AM »
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I've always kinda liked the smell of solvent based paints...

But, anyway. I primarily use Polly Scale and Scalecoat paints, depending on which manufacturer makes the color I want. For clean-up, I use the same stuff regardless of acrylic or solvent-based paints. I went to Home Depot and bought a gallon jug of Zep orange cleaner concentrate. The only type of paint I wasn't able to clean with the stuff is Accu-paint, which needed acetone. But the orange cleaner is a safe, cheap alternative to thinner or mineral spirits. I've even been able to strip paint with the stuff.

Ditch the propellant cans ASAP. In the long run, you'll spend more on them than you will on a compressor, and the last thing you want is a can dying on you when you're halfway through a pass with the airbrush, splattering paint instead of giving a nice, even coat. I went to Harbor Freight and got a $80 compressor with a 2-gallon air tank. Cheaper than the specialized airbrush compressors, and much more effective.

I no longer use my Gonzo-bilt spray booth. I have a small outside porch that I never use, so I have my airbrush rig set up by my sliding glass door. I simply open the door, park my a$$ in a chair in the doorway, and spray out onto the porch.

As far as technique, there's not much to it. I hold the model 6-8" away and let my airbrush rip with full air and full paint.
Sean

Mark5

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 12:36:04 PM »
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good thread, as I too am working on my phobia ...   :P

engineshop

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2007, 12:38:35 PM »
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All you need to know about airbrushing with Polly Scale, acrylic paint.

http://www.trainboard.com/grapevine/showthread.php?t=77908

It improved my skills by 100%.

Chris333

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2007, 01:39:11 PM »
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If you want to go all out get something like a 13 gallon compressor for around $200. Keep it in the garage and run a airline to where you need it.  You can also use it to fill the car tires and run some air powered tools.

I know there are very small compressors just for air burshes that cost the same amount.

ednadolski

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 02:54:25 PM »
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My compressor with the 6-gal tank was around $150, less than some hobby compressors w/o a tank.  Also small enough not to need an air line.  See what your local Home Depot, Lowes, etc. currently has.

Nice to know I can run a nailer too (if I ever get one)  :)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 02:56:07 PM by ednadolski »

asciibaron

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2007, 03:03:11 PM »
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last year i picked up a Badger 150 set and can of air and used it to paint the rails of my N-Trak module last Decemeber.  it hasn't been used since.  what would be a decent compressor? i have plenty of junk HO cars to play with (gotta love the early days in the hobby Athearn fleet).  i am looking to hone my skills so i can start expanding my fleet with cheap freight cars that fit my era but are painted in modern schemes...

-steve
« Last Edit: October 16, 2007, 03:07:12 PM by asciibaron »
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GonzoCRFan

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2007, 08:22:52 AM »
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what would be a decent compressor?

If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, they have several compressors with air tanks that are suitable for airbrushing. Mine was $70 or $80 and came with a 2-gallon tank, has auto-shutoff when the tank reaches 100 PSI (so I can blast heavy metal while I blast paint), and a built-in regulator. Don't forget to buy a moisture trap.
Sean

tom mann

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Re: I need to overcome my fear of...
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2007, 08:30:19 AM »
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I have an Iwata Silver Jet for sale... ;)

I use the Badger 180 oilless, and it's working out well for me.  I would like to upgrade to one with a tank, but that isn't a priority now.  The Badger runs only when needed, so it's silent when you let go of the trigger.

I picked up the Badger spray booth from MicroMark for $200 and I'm happy with it.

Sean, what is the brand and model of your compressor?

And I agree, a moisture trip is necessary, especially in MD.