Author Topic: Firing up the Airbrush  (Read 4837 times)

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wm3798

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Firing up the Airbrush
« on: March 29, 2009, 05:28:24 PM »
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Okay.  So.  I've picked up some Testors Model Master acrylics.  I aim to turn this...


Into something more along the lines of this...
http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/wm/wm53abn.jpg

The last time I used an airbrush I shot Floquil solvent based paint, so I had their thinner and cleaning fluid handy.  This will be the first time with acrylics, so I have a few questions.

I spent some time reviewing some searched airbrush topics, and I picked up a few pointers.  First, I see I need to get a moisture filter, since I'll be working off of a compressor.  Is this something I can expect to pick up at a hardware or auto parts store?  I'm assuming it's a fitting that goes on the air line, and not on the brush itself...

Second, I see where its a good idea to keep a pan of cleaning water handy.  Should this be soapy water?  Does windshield washer fluid worK?

The hobby shop (Hobby Town USA) didn't have the recommended thinner in stock for the Model Master paints.. Is there something else I should use if I need it?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions as I lurch ever closer to actually airbrushing something.  Thanks in advance for your generous and thoughtful replies.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

amato1969

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 06:59:28 PM »
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Lee, I can recommend Liquitex airbrush medium as thinner.  I've used alcohol and Windex in the past, but the airbrush medium gives better results for me.

I use the Michaels 40% off coupon in the newspaper when I run low.

  Frank

Bob Bufkin

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 07:06:25 PM »
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Where was you planning on getting the correct horns?


diezmon

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2009, 04:00:10 PM »
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I spent some time reviewing some searched airbrush topics, and I picked up a few pointers.  First, I see I need to get a moisture filter, since I'll be working off of a compressor.  Is this something I can expect to pick up at a hardware or auto parts store?  I'm assuming it's a fitting that goes on the air line, and not on the brush itself...

Second, I see where its a good idea to keep a pan of cleaning water handy.  Should this be soapy water?  Does windshield washer fluid worK?

The hobby shop (Hobby Town USA) didn't have the recommended thinner in stock for the Model Master paints.. Is there something else I should use if I need it?

I'm sure I'll think of more questions as I lurch ever closer to actually airbrushing something.  Thanks in advance for your generous and thoughtful replies.

Lee

by compressor, I assume you mean with a tank?  That's usually why you need the moisture filter.. as moisture can build up in the tank.

I've always had good luck using plain 'ol distilled water for thinner.  I'm not sure about these "thinners", since the paint is water based.  Seems like a marketing thing to me.. just my opinion.  :)  You can't spray the MM paint right from the bottle?

I keep a little bottle of soapy water on hand, to spray/clean between uses in a session.  Then when I'm ALL done I take the whole thing apart and clean it out.

wm3798

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2009, 05:03:56 PM »
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Thanks...

I tried a little experimentation last night.  I wanted to mess around with a little weathering, so I didn't use the Testors paint.  I took some cheapy craft acrylics, and mixed up a good dusty dirt color.  I added some matte medium, and some water, although right from the tap, and probably too much.

The result was the paint tended to bead up on the plastic model (that's why I think I used too much water).

So I'm thinking, if I blend some distilled water with some matte medium, would that give me a good thinner?  Would a drop or two of alcohol or windshield washer fluid give me better adhesion than water?

Mr. Question Man.
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

amato1969

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2009, 10:48:06 PM »
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If your paint is beading up, you have definitely thinned too much.  I have thinned Model Master 1:1 with thinner with nice results.  The thicker craft paint needs more thinner...

Alcohol/windex may work better, but these will reduce adhesion.  That's where the airbrush medium helps level the paint for a smooth, tough finish:

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

  Frank

up1950s

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2009, 09:38:17 AM »
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Whats with the horn section and the WM ? Why did the WM drum up so much extra money for all those horns ? Were there an inordinate amount of grade crossings and accidents ? Was the route more noisy than other routes ?

wm3798

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2009, 01:13:56 PM »
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Nah.  They just looked cool, and sounded cooler!

I've heard recordings of some of their steam whistles, which were multi-chime and quite impressive.  After the C&O B&O influence started to be felt, all the second generation engines had those standard 3 chimes.  Although, after the first gen stuff started to get retired, the old 5 chimes started showing up on GP-40's...  Someone in the back shops must have really like them!

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

wm3798

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2009, 11:15:01 PM »
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Okay.  If you just ate, you might want to avert your eyes.


This isn't an easy paint scheme, especially for the old dog trying out the new airbrush trick. The nose decal is an ancient Northeast Decals set, which has an oversize herald and fat lines. The red and white are Testors Master Acrylics, which are semi gloss, and therefore too thick. The black is actually cheap acrylic craft paint, thinned with windshield washer fluid and a bit of matte medium. It turned out the best.  Sort of looks like I used a gravy ladle on the rest of it.



Once I finish detailing it with horns and glass, mu cables and some weathering, it'll pass the three feet away rule. I guess I'll have to wait till Intermountain does this scheme to get a nice looking one. 

Incidentally, it does run very nicely, and I have a black B unit mated to it.  If I ever get around to finishing the art so I can get some decals made, maybe I'll strip it and try again with a little more practice under my belt.

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

71jeep

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 05:15:05 AM »
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I dont know Lee looks perty darn good to me its going to look great on that beautiful layout.



Allen.....

wm3798

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 08:34:05 AM »
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You're too kind.  I can point out a million things that could be better, and I'm sure some here could point out a million and one.

I don't like the way the shell details got almost completely obliterated.  I don't think I'll be using Testors paints for this kind of work.  It just never flattened out.  It's worse than some of the spray bomb jobs I've done.



I'm not going to strip it and start over until I get some better decals done.  It's still pretty passable for regular layout viewing.  But definitely not a candidate for close up photography.

Lee
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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 10:30:45 AM »
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Okay.  If you just ate, you might want to avert your eyes.


This isn't an easy paint scheme, especially for the old dog trying out the new airbrush trick. The nose decal is an ancient Northeast Decals set, which has an oversize herald and fat lines. The red and white are Testors Master Acrylics, which are semi gloss, and therefore too thick. The black is actually cheap acrylic craft paint, thinned with windshield washer fluid and a bit of matte medium. It turned out the best.  Sort of looks like I used a gravy ladle on the rest of it.



Once I finish detailing it with horns and glass, mu cables and some weathering, it'll pass the three feet away rule. I guess I'll have to wait till Intermountain does this scheme to get a nice looking one. 

Incidentally, it does run very nicely, and I have a black B unit mated to it.  If I ever get around to finishing the art so I can get some decals made, maybe I'll strip it and try again with a little more practice under my belt.

Lee


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Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 10:51:41 AM »
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I've always admired Lee's ability to just jump in on stuff like this.

If it had been me, I'd have sat around, thought about how best to do it, tried it on a ton of stuff and wasted a bunch of time.

I might've gotten less "fuzz" on the separation lines, but more than likely I'd just not have gotten it ever done.

Well done my friend. And, if someday down the road, you want to subject it to the 3" rule, instead of the 3' one, you can always strip 'er down.

Ryan87

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 11:36:33 AM »
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Model Master Acryls are a little tricky... depending on the colour they don't cover worth S***...

My biggest suggestion would be try really thin layers (even if it takes four or five for some colours) that would help you avoid the puddles...

the mask lines are actually pretty good (not much bleeding) What are you using for masking tape? perhaps try Tamiya's tape or scotch tape (they should give sharper lines)

Can't wait to  see the next one!  :)
Swimming in a sea of Action Red...

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Re: Firing up the Airbrush
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 12:11:03 PM »
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Another trick to get good color separation is to cut a new, clean edge, rather than relying on the factory edge of the tape.  I have also stuck the tape to a piece of glass before applying to the shell to remove some of the stickiness and minimizing the pulling of paint.  Also, at the risk of paint build-up, spraying another coat of the masked color after masking, seals the tape and may prevent the subsequent paint from bleeding underneath.

Ed, like you, I also procrastinate on subjects that are out of my comfort zone.  That's why there is no weathering, for example, on my layout... yet.  That said, I did finally make a reasonable attempt at scenery on my current layout (a real first for me), so I can overcome these fears.  It just takes time.  Baby steps, perhaps.

Hope this helps,
Dave

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