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I don't know if this is a topic we have discussed before however it seems like a good idea to bring any thoughts, hints and tips on the subject together in one thread.

Several thin coats are much better than one or two thick coats and a priming coat is always a good idea no matter which material is being painted.

It is a good idea to obtain a large card box and create a spray room within it with a turntable upon which you can place the subject. This keeps the paint within a contained area and being able to turn the model rather than you having to work your way around a static model makes airbrushing more manageable.

Why don't a few of you give it a go on an old loco body that is a bit tired?


You may be able to create that loco that you have always wanted but which the manufacturers always seem to overlook!


And of course airbrushing works well for scenic backdrops, buildings and other model railway subjects. You can practice on a cheap Dapol kit before progressing to something more expensive.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Now we have this thread i will do some photo step by step articles when i get a chance.

one of my biggest pieces of advice is that you dont need an expensive compressor. you gan get a very cheap diaphram compressor and use a decent hose. the large bore of the hose acts like a small resevoir.

and an for moisture filters!! all compressors will start producing moisture but only after about 20 minutes of continuous running. how long does it take to spray a coach side!!

For the airbrush itsself i have 2. my first brush was a cheap one for about £25. it was a double action internal mix aribrush and it was total crap. the paint actually formed a scale on the needle and after about 5 minutes it was totally unusable. you had to strip it down, clean it and rebuild it!
after that fiasco i was so fed up i decided to splash out and i got a badger 155 anthem. it was fantastic. evrything is finger tight. it has a self centering nozzle and a cutaway handle to make the needle easy to remove.
i will take pictures after work and post them tomorrow morning.
it is a pleasure to use and gives excellent results. it was about £100. Buy the best you can afford. it does make a difference.

My last thing (for now!!) is to turn cleaning into a small religion.

This thread is very exciting. (at least i think so!!)
Peter
 

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This is one of my latest projects. the coach was built then the whole thing sprayed with a white undercoat.

then the post office red then sprayed in gloss varnish.

Then the transfers were put on and its waiting for the numbering.

I have 4 of these but its the only picture i have with me!



Peter
 

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Because the HST's are 30 years old, I've bought the "Model Rail", and it gives lots of information about model railway's; how to change things on trains, and how to use a aurbrush.

At www.model-rail.com --> model rail --> video clips, I've find some little movies, one of it is 'how to use an airbrush'. It should be handy.


In the October edition of 'Model rail' is Alan Banks working on a Hornby Class 56 from FastLine. He repaints the whole body, including the white/yellow strippes on each side of the loco. He shows every step (this project has got 16 steps), including a picture of every step.
The model now looks amazing!! He must be proud on it!


Should be a airbrush useful to paint your tracks? Because I'll need to paint more than 50 peaces of track.


Ryan

I'll hope you understand my text.
 

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I never weather my rolling stock. i dont build a mini real world, i build a mini utopia!
But it shouldnt be too difficult. but really you barely need an airbrush to do it. too many people fall into this trap. particularly with steam loco's chalks and pastels are far more convincing.
Spray a light coat off satin varnish and then drybrush chalks into the apropriate places.
The most important thing when weathering is to have plenty of pictures when you are doing it. i am yet to see a factory weathered loco that looks anything like real weathering. most of the time they just blast it with an airbrush and it looks dreadfull.

I took some pictures last night.

My airbrush equipment. compressor hose and airbrush.


The airbrush itself. a badger 155 anthem. although it dosent get recommended for modeling work (i believe on account of its slightly higher price) it is a very good airbrush.


Note the cutaway handle for easy needle removal. especially important as the paints we use are far thicker and stickey than the inks that airbrushes are designed for.


It has a double tapered needle (the guts are shared with the badger 360) that enables a huge range of line widths. ideal for us as it means that we can do anything from very fine 4mm grafiti to large scenery work. note also the self centering nozzle. there is no screw thread on the nozzle. it is simply held inplace by the airbrush head. i really love this feature as it means there are no stripped threads like on the 150 and the 200. there is no wrench evrything is finger tight. a wonderfull invention.


Peter
 

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Compressor £60
Hose £20
Airbrush £120
all the other odds and ends you need like some jars and pipettes and various thinners (fast medium and slow) come to about £40

total about £240 (it sounds like alot when you say it like that!)

I never mind spending money on tools. I figure that I have 50 years of modelling ahead of me so I would rather get the decent ones to start with and use them for my whole life.

Peter
 

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QUOTE I never mind spending money on tools. I figure that I have 50 years of modelling ahead of me so I would rather get the decent ones to start with and use them for my whole life.

Thats a sound strategy. As long as you now you will get the use out of the tools, and it certainly looks like you do, it's an investment.
I have quite a lot of small scale tools which I have spent a bit of money on but they get the use. I also model wooden sailing boats and they get used there as well as on my train stuff. I guess you have to make a choice whther you want to get seriously into this kind of modelling or not. I can see all sorts of benefits of using this set up for painting, for scenery and buildings as well as model trains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those who may be interested in experimenting with airbrushing probably won't wish to spend too much money initially however the thinking behind tool investment over a lifetime is sound.

Appreciating that low cost (low pressure?) systems clog up and may not perform as well as the top end kits would those in the know have any ideas on good starter sets?

And where would paint and transfers be sourced from?

There is Fox and another company whose name I cannot remember right now (they probably advertise in the mags) that supply transfers but how about paint?

And what sort of paint volumes are offered/required and at what sort of prices?

Its these practical questions and answers that make entry into the world of airbrushing relatively straightforward. I've got one or two old and very playworn Dublo locos and other bits and pieces that I would like to renovate and have been thinking about this airbrushing thing for a long time.

I have up until now been using Halfords spray paints on car models however railway colours are not the same as those used by Ford and Vauxhall or in those TV house makeover programmes. Although there may be some who would love to have a TV house makeover with a BR blue and yellow theme using Mk1 Coach seats for TV viewing in the lounge!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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first of all the mst important item is the brush itself. Single action airbrushes in my opinion are a waste of time. they are ok for covering large areas but you have no control over the spray. if you are doing scenic work then thats fine you can just blast it. dut forget doing detail work. it just cant handle it. single action airbrushes are basically on/of.

So you need a double action. che cheapest double action (apart fromt he piece of junk i started with) is the badger 150 at around £50-60. give squires a call.

the only method of air supply i recommend is the compressor. the tyre conversions cannot handle the higher pressures required, so forget them.
then theres the cans you buy at hobby stores. they are ok for very short periods of spraying because they get very cold very quickly. this dosent sound major but pint works best when its slightly warm (i leave mine on the back of the telly for 10 minutes before using it) and having a very cold supply ruins that. also bear in mind how much you are going to be doing. i use my set up alot but you ight not so a can for £5 that lasts 10 minutes might keep you going for a year. but the costs add up.

there are 2 types of compressor. the diaphram type (that i use) and the piston type. diaphram compressors dont tend to come with a resevoir but they are very small and cheap (i picked up mine for about £60.

Piston compressors are the type you see at car garages. they usually have a resevoir so you can run a nail gun or drill from them. they are larger and slightly more expensive (around £100 from machine mart) they can be noisy and you need to check this before you buy it.

hoses depend on the type of compressor you buy. all compressors produce air in pulses but the resevoir absorbes this. just like the silencer on your car does. if you are going to be running nailguns and drills from your compressor then you need a resevoir because the piston or diaphram cant compress the air fast enough to keep up with demand from the tool. but an airbrush only uses about 0.6 cubic feet of air per minute. so in theory you cont need a resevoir. BUT you do need to get rid of that pulsing action. you want to spray your paint not blast it!

You can either use a seperate air resevoir or a larger hose. i use a larger hose. its braided and about 15 ft long and about 8mm in diameter. the hose itself acts like a small resevoir. it dosent store enough air to be usefull but it does get rid of that pulsing.
mine was about £20
but if you buy a more expensive compressor with a resevoir you can use the crappy nylon hose that comes with most sets. its swings and roundabouts.

Paint. i always use phoenix precision paints. i do have question marks about a couple of their colours but mostly they are very good. they are a very technical paint in that if you dont do it right then the results look crap.
its about £1.95 for a 14ml tinlet or about £4.95 for a larger tin. i always buy the larger tins but its up to you. its available in bigger tins but unless you are modelling in 1:1 then you wont use it.

If you are going to put transfers over the top then you need gloss varnish to go on before the transfers and satin (or matt if you are that way inclined!)to go on afterwards. to spray varnish you need to use a much slower drying thinner. this is difficult to explain but you need the varnish to be a wet sheet on the model in order to get a good finish. when you try this you will understand what i mean. practice on a very old model you dont want frst.
To spray paint you need a quick drying thinner so the paint dosent run. this is especially important on 3 dimensional surfaces - such as models!
again i get my thinners from phoenix. about £5 a can.

there are a couple of other people producing paints like railmatch. railmatch used to do enamals but recently they have turned to acrylics and i dont have much sucess in spraying them so i will leave that for someone else.

Transfers-or decals, yes fox are the biggest firm. they are the only ones i have use but i am making a few coaches at the moment that will need transfers from HMRS. a few other firms do them too. my royal train is lined with transfers from hurst models.

there are some costs you just cant get aroung like spending at least £50 on the brush and whichever way you do it around £80 on the compressor/hose.

You will need a few tins of paint and thinners. about £20 and pipesses and cleaners and other bits and bobs. about another tenner if you are carefull.

Look out for deals. at a decent show there are usually a couple of good deals. tools 2000 usually have a good deal. but the vivaz airbrushes they sell was the first one i had and i have already made my feelings on that clear.
you can walk into most hobby shops and get spares for a badger (even my 155 that is one of the rarer brushes)

Spray booth. i use a box on its side and it works ok for me.

i think if you are carefull you can get a good set up for about £150.

Peter
 

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Ryan - re your post #4 - I believe most people paint their track with a rust colour paint using a small paint-brush along the sides of the track. It is done this way to avoid getting rust paint on the sleepers, which would happen if you used an air-brush. The colour of dirty sleepers is due to oil drips etc from passing trains and much darker than rust.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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I would guess that if you airbrush the track you simply use a track rubber or fine sandpaper to remove the very thin coat of spray from the top of the rail. Care might be needed around points. However if you seperately wire the point blades to the main rails from under so that you are not relying on the point rail itself to conduct power then this is not an issue.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I never weather my rolling stock.
But it shouldnt be too difficult. but really you barely need an airbrush to do it. too many people fall into this trap. particularly with steam loco's chalks and pastels are far more convincing.

Unfortunately the above statements are largely misleading. I do a great deal of weathering, and the addition of an airbrush to a 'weatherer' makes the task far easier and gives more realistic results overall. The airbrush give very fine control over paint application, this is crucial if you are building up layers of grime like brake dust on a diesel. For steam locos there is no better way to apply the sooty deposits that fall quite evenly along the top of the locomotive. However there is no realistic way you will replicate grease and oil creep stains with chalk or pastel, you need paint for that, pure and simple. I use artists pastels for a lot of my 'powder' work rather than weathering powders. The reason for this is that they do not have the greasy finish that some weathering powders do.
http://greengoscalerail.fotopic.net/p32472601.html
This is a standard Bachmann WD, the only additional work it has had is that it has been weathered from the pristine factory finish.
From the general toning down there is quite an amount of work replicating both grime, oils and liquids that cause weathering, and there are numerous techniques that work including application by airbrush. Theres no easy answer to what I do to a model with an airbrush if asked to weather one, as it depends on the finish of the individual loco, just as theres no hard and fast rule on if a satin/matt gloss coat is required to work on. Going from first hand knowledge and images is the best way to weather items, working from actual examples.
http://greengoscalerail.fotopic.net/p11213351.html
To do work like this without an airbrush is almost impossible
 

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papamikepapa
Try spraying a very thin layer of satin varnish with an aerosol can and then using a very soft makeup brush with some pastels. its possible to get just as good a finish as with the airbrush especially when used in conjnction with some varnish. but i rarely see glossy weathering. i have some boxcars that were weathered in this fasion. now if only i could find them. i will have another look tonight.

For oil stains and leaks i agree use paint. although once again ground up black pastel mixed in with a bit of gloss varnish looks very good.

The WD looks great but i'm not convinced buy the 37. sorry. but then as i said i like all my stock spotless. so mabye i am biased.

Peter
 

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There is an airbrush expert at Warley MRC who spent a good hour with me last night providing tips and pointers. He recommended a twin action gravity/suction Aztec airbrushing set for about £99 which comes with 6 heads and several reservoir sizes
and with suggestions of where these can be purchased in the local area. He said to mention his name and Warley MRC and I might get good discounts!

He claims that these are the easiest of airbrushes to clean as the nozzle is a screw fit and due to its mode of operation only the nozzle (not the jet) has to be cleaned which is a dip in thinners so dead easy. A reasonably quiet compressor with an air chamber to smooth out airflow giving about 30-50psi might be another £70 but again well worth it apparently.

He said to forget Revell and other low cost hobby brushes as you would quickly loose interest in airbrushing as a result of the relatively cumbersome design and prolonged cleaning required.

And he said the only way of getting Hornby like paintjobs is to use an airbrush. There is absolutely no other way in his opinion. For masking best to use selotape. Standard masking tape is too thick and leaves an edge. Take the "stick" off the tape by taping it to and pulling it off cotton material a few times.

Wifey is talking about birthday presents!

However could she mean a role of selotape?


Happy modelling
Gary
 

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i totally agree with evrything you said except the aztec. i tried one (admitidly about 4 years ago) and it just felt like a plastic toy. i know they do a metal handle one but i not keen. i thought they were a bit of a gimmick.

Also the plastic parts? are they suceptable to the solvents that we use in our hobby. remember they were designed for graphic designers not model makers.

"For masking best to use selotape. Standard masking tape is too thick and leaves an edge. Take the "stick" off the tape by taping it to and pulling it off cotton material a few times." noooooooooooooo the last thing you want near a paint job is bits of fluff!!!

I have little doubt it will be good to start with but i wonder what it will be like in a year or 2.

Peter
 
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