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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never done this, is it easy? Advice? Good kits / set-ups? Can or compressor? Any chance of a magazine article on this issue?
 

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As far as I remember, we had a pretty good thread on airbrushing last year - I think this is it.

If it isn't I'm sure some of the participants in that one will remember the one I was thinking of.

David
 

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aah that brings back memories.

My finishes now are much better than they were back then.
I Still havent got around to trying to spray acrylic.

To answer your questions.
1. is it easy?
That really depends on you. the airbrush is a tool, just like any other in your tool box. it depends on your skill and patiance as to weather you get a good finish. I use hoenix precision paints http://www.phoenix-paints.co.uk/ and if you follow the steps they set out TO THE LETTER, then you should get a good finish that you will be very pleased with. but dont try and cut corners or you will be dissapointed.

2. Advice?
My biggist tip is KEEP IT CLEAN! Use a fresh pipette and paint pot for each colour and throw it away when your finished. this will keep contamination from dust and other particles to a minimum.
Clean your model in the strongest thing it can stand. in the case of plastic models then that will be white spirit but for metans you can use cellolose thinners or some other funky solvents.

Paint preperation is particularly important. the drying agent and the matting agents are the heaviest parts of paint and so they sink to the bottom. Dont use an old piece of wire, invest in a badger paint stirer or a coffee mixer fron a posh coffee shop. i think the are about a tenner at the moment. mix the paint for a good 5 minutes. if its less that 5 minutes then it isnt mixed properly.

3. Good kits/setups
Mine has been doing sterling service for about 3 years now and i use it alot.
My compressor was £60 from squires.


I bought a cheap airbrush with the compressor, i got it at the same show from Expo (or tools 2000 as they seem to be these days). it was made buy a company called vivaz. i thought it was complete rubbish. after about 5 minutes spraying the needle would become encrusted in dried paint. this would happen despite trying various mixtures. and it was a complete pig to clean. the next time i am having a big turn out, this brush will probably end up in the bin as its just been cluttering up the cupboard for the last 2 years.

Having been pretty disgruntled with that one i saved for a couple of months and spent £110 on a badger 155 anthem. I have been soo pleased with it. not only has it been spraying models beautifully for the last 3 years, its also dead easy to clean with the cut away handle. you just turn the thumbscrew and the needle pops out and the entire nozzle assembly is designed to be taken apart with fingers. it has a self centering nozzle which means there are fewer parts and no tiny nozzle to be adjusted with a spanner and running the risk of overtigntening. most of all the spares are available from just about any art shop. so when i dropped it and bent the needle it was back up and running again within a couple of hours.





4. Can or compressor?
compressor any day. the compressor will pay for itself many times over and you have far more control over what is going on. you do need a resevoir of some description. my compresor is a diaphram compressor as opposed to a piston compressor. but it has a very low air flow so my long braided airhose (about £15) is a big enough resevoir and i get no pulsing at the airbrush. for mee this is ideal.
If you use a more powerfull compressor then you will need a moisture trap but i have never had any problem with mine.

here are a couple of examples of my work.



If you have any more questions then please dont hesitate to ask or if you are in london some time then i would be happy to give you a demo.

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow! Comprehensive replies thank you very much! It would seem the set up photographed is superb but too expensive for my needs. I will go for brushes and squint when looking at it!
 

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Hi Guys,

I'm glad this topic has come up as I'm just on the point of taking the plunge and buying an airbrush. I have been putting it off for a while due to the veritable plethora of makes and models but have finally whittled it down to either the Badger Model 150 or the Iwata Eclipse. The latter option had a glowing review a few months ago in one of the Model Railway Mags but, being something of a cynic by nature, I am always suspicious of motives when reading such reviews. I've read the earlier thread and picked up some good pointers but was wondering if anyone had any first-hand experience of the Iwata.

I know it may sound like putting the cart before the horse but I have already purchased a Revell Gamma compressor (I happened to be in the UK and it was on special offer). It's a piston type compressor and has an output of 15 litres per minute at a maximum of 2.6 bar via a pressure reducing valve plus a 0.25 litre reservoir tank. Any comments on this spec would be appreciated.

Regards,

Expat.
 

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Hello Expat. I cant comment on the Iwata. (I have used the HP-B and its fantastic although I was using very thin inks and I did have reservations about how the very fine mechanism would cope with the thicker enamels that I spray for my models.)

For the badger, the 150 is a very good airbrush. But its also pretty old fashioned. I think the only reason they are still making them is that people keep recommending them and so people keep buying them!!

The newer generation of airbrushes have basically the same nozzle geometry as the older 150 but are a much easier to clean. The 155 Anthem (that I use) and the 3-155 are basically the same airbrush. The 155 has a double taper needle. this means that as you pull back the lever it acts as a very fine airbrush until you get to a certain point where it gives a much larger spray. Its also about the same cost as the 150 you were looking at.
The 3-155 is basically the same except that it has a single taper needle so it is purely a fine detail airbrush. This might be better for you as an N gauge modeler.
The bad news is that the 3-155 is actually pretty difficult to find. The good news is that you can buy a 155 Anthem that will give you general use and an airbrush that you can use straight away. then you can order the 3-155 nozzle and needle from the states to convert it! - 2 airbrushes for the price of 1.2!!

Either way I really wouldn't go for the 150. its a great brush. but its had its day.

Hope this is of some help.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (Expat @ 27 Mar 2008, 17:26) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... either the Badger Model 150 or the Iwata Eclipse...

...It's a piston type compressor and has an output of 15 litres per minute at a maximum of 2.6 bar via a pressure reducing valve plus a 0.25 litre reservoir tank. Any comments on this spec would be appreciated....

I was looking at a Badger a short time ago. After my research, I determined that the BADGER 155 ANTHEM was a good all rounder. There are a few on eBay. Peter paid a small fortune for his, but you can pick one up for $69. Sure shipping is extra, but it works out quite reasonable.

Your compressor sounds fine. It goes up to 37 psi. I use between 5 and 25 psi when airbrushing depending on the application.

For a while now I've been using a dual action airbrush that I bought from Axminster.co.uk. Great quality for the price. I have a pressure control on the compressor, but I use an Air Brush Filter Regulator at the table where I'm working to give fine control and to trap any condensation in the pipes.

Here is something that I painted a few weeks back.



I've also been weathering wagons and some railway buildings - more on that later.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 27 Mar 2008, 20:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Peter paid a small fortune for his, but you can pick one up for $69. Sure shipping is extra, but it works out quite reasonable.

Yep. i paid UK price! its crazy that badger's are so expensive in the UK. i dont mind paying a bit of duty but nearly 400% is just crazy.

Peter
 

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Thanks for all that advice Peter - Brian informed me yesterday that I have to learn airbrushing so that we (I?) can weather the stock on St. Laurent.

Regards
 

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hello there

The brush pictured is basically a chinese copy of either a Badger or an Iwata. personally I wouldnt touch it with a 10' barge pole.

My experience of the chinese brushes is that they are difficult to clean, spares are difficult to find and usually have to be ordered by post. The action feels like the needle is made from some kind of sandstone.
My biggest gripe about the one i have is that the tolerences in manufacturing are so poor and its been designed with virtually no knowlage of what makes a good brush.

I know they cost more, but stick with the brands you know. i saved up and invested in a really good brush and i have little doubt that it will outlive me and with care it will still be going strong in 100 years time.

There is also a certain feeling which is difficult to explain. when I am using a really good tool weather its my airbrush or my nice files or even a decent paintbrush there is a feeling i get that makes me take soo much more pride in what i am doing. i am sure a psycologist will have a posh name for it but try spending a tenner on a paintbrush instead of going to the pound shop. you will see what i mean.

Peter
 

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Hello Everybody.
Anyone know of a good book to read up on airbrushing. Precision paints do one called "The Finishin Touch". Has anyone seen or read this book ?
 

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Hello Tony

Yes i have read it and its excellent.
I do disagree with it on a few things (mainly the recommendation about which airbrush to buy, it recommends the 150 which as i have explained above is a good brush but a bit old fashioned.) but other than that its an excellent read.

Its very interesting to read why we do things. not just being told to do them but really understanding why.

Another point is that it is really a users guide to the phoenix paint system (not a bad thing by any means). and other manufacturers paints often have to be treated differently. for example i have quite a different procedure when spraying Humbrol to spraying phoenix. I find Phoenix paint works best if its allowed a few minutes to settle and really absorb the thinners into the binder as opposed to Humbrol that has to be done with the utmost haste to prevent the different pigments from separating and giving an uneven finish. this is not covered in the book.

Phoenix paints are really professional quality paints and have to be treated as such. if you follow the instructions to the letter then you will end up with a superb finish.
Humbrol paints are designed to be sold to hobbyists and so they are designed to give an acceptable finish under just about any circumstances. but it will never be as good as a really well applied phoenix finish.
Simply put, you get what you pay for.

Its well worth buying.

As far as recommending another book, you can read as many as you like but no amount of reading can compare with an afternoon spraying real paint. you can have things explained to you as much as you like but when you actually see and feel what is happening with your own eyes, its all very different.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 9 Apr 2008, 15:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello Tony

Yes i have read it and its excellent.
I do disagree with it on a few things (mainly the recommendation about which airbrush to buy, it recommends the 150 which as i have explained above is a good brush but a bit old fashioned.) but other than that its an excellent read.

Its very interesting to read why we do things. not just being told to do them but really understanding why.

Another point is that it is really a users guide to the phoenix paint system (not a bad thing by any means). and other manufacturers paints often have to be treated differently. for example i have quite a different procedure when spraying Humbrol to spraying phoenix. I find Phoenix paint works best if its allowed a few minutes to settle and really absorb the thinners into the binder as opposed to Humbrol that has to be done with the utmost haste to prevent the different pigments from separating and giving an uneven finish. this is not covered in the book.

Phoenix paints are really professional quality paints and have to be treated as such. if you follow the instructions to the letter then you will end up with a superb finish.
Humbrol paints are designed to be sold to hobbyists and so they are designed to give an acceptable finish under just about any circumstances. but it will never be as good as a really well applied phoenix finish.

Simply put, you get what you pay for.

Its well worth buying.

As far as recommending another book, you can read as many as you like but no amount of reading can compare with an afternoon spraying real paint. you can have things explained to you as much as you like but when you actually see and feel what is happening with your own eyes, its all very different.

Peter

Thanks Peter. I will look out for a copy of that book. The reason I ask is that I have just got a
Badger 360-7 from the US. I am on the lookout for a compressor for it. I am still building my layout but thought it would come in handy for scenic work etc. I have never used an airbrush before so I need to grasp the essential details. It's probably just like a big spray gun but in minature.
Have you used Railmatch paints ?
 

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Hello Tony.

The 360 is a good brush. you have made a good purchase. its basically the 155 in a fancy body but the needle and mechanism are the same. it should give you many years of good service.

I have used Railmatch paints but not for the last 4 years.
I used them because that was all i could buy while i was at university. I hated them because of the pots. after a couple of uses the lid would stick so tightly that i invariably broke either the pot or the lid trying to get it off.

I understand they have moved on alot in the last couple of years and they are now offering a good range of acrylic paints.

I am a little wary of acrylic paints because i think i am going to loose alot of control that i have gotten used to. with phoenix i can control consistency and drying time very closely buy using different measured of the 3 different speed thinners they sell (slow for varnish, medium general purpose and fast for spraying) with acrylic there is very little control over this.
I did try acrylic on the airfix 1/72nd concorde when it was first released and i was having problems with the paint running. the biggest problem was that i was spraying at too high a pressure for the acrylic and with my compressor its impossible to vary it. (i am on the lookout for a better compressor that would solve this problem!)

Having said that being able to clean them with a quick blast of water is a real bonus!

Hope this is of some help

Peter
 
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