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Old Sep 27, 2014, 08:53 PM
AMA 97737
ltc's Avatar
United States, MA, Mendon
Joined Mar 2010
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Learning to airbrush

What is the best way to learn how to airbrush?
Are there books, classes, tutorials, videos?

I am looking to learn what I need to buy (or not buy) so I can start airbrushing my Depron flat foamies (.currently all I can do is use canned Testors Model Enamel paints)

Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 29, 2014, 01:12 AM
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Joined Oct 2003
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If you want to give it a real go, then my suggestion would be dont take any shortcuts.

If your going to start with a single airbrush pick a dual action with a 1oz top/front mounted cup similar to the Iwata HP-CS. One of the biggest benefits here is cleaning is a dream as you can get your finger in there to help flush it through. If your budget doesnt spread to an Iwata there are many similar clones on ebay that should let you get a taste.

You also don't have to clean it in between colors if you are moving between say lighter colours to darker, just add paint blow a bit through then continue painting.

For paint choice, i use the auto air range of acrylics, in general these are ready to airbrush with no further diluting and offer excellent coverage.

Don't expect to get your colors full strength on the first pass, if working with masks or masking tape, I will generally start with a dust coat and heat seal that with a hairdryer then a second slightly heavier coat, again heat sealed and then the final pass. Too much paint and it will bleed under the tape.

Now ofc there are many choices out there for your airbrush budget, the biggest thing you must get which is free is a large dose of patience
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Old Sep 30, 2014, 06:38 AM
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United States, TX, Tyler
Joined Sep 2009
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What kind of painting will you do?

If you just want to lay down a base color and a few stripes then you don't need a dual action brush, a single action is the way to go. Plus a 1 oz cup is way too small to paint base coats on larger pieces like a wing, but perfect for detail work like in Stwwilkie's beautiful designs above.

Dual action brushes are designed for fine detail work where trigger control of both air and paint flow is desired. However this extra control is harder to master and if you don't get a lot of practice you probably never will master it.

A single action brush is much easier to learn to use, cheaper, simpler, easier to maintain and clean. Fewer parts. But you can only control the flow of air with the trigger. They are best for simple designs.

I prefer smaller RC planes and have been airbrushing them for years. I just paint simple designs with stripes, arrows and things like that.

I started with a dual action Paasche VL brush but never really liked it because the brush was hard to use , It offered much more control than what I really needed plus it was a pain to clean and maintain. It was WAY more brush than what I needed considering what I was trying to do.

I bought a Paasche H single action brush and threw the VL in the trash after painting with the H model the first time. Simple to use, simple to clean and not as many little parts. It is perfect for what I do. The right tool for the job!

So the brush you need depends on what you want it to do. Nothing wrong with having 2 screwdrivers so you may eventually have several air brushes that you like for different jobs.

Bear in mind that an airbrush usually paints a smaller pattern than an aerosol paint can so you will usually have to make many passes to paint the base coat on a wing or fuselage. A touch up gun is usually the best choice here.

Don't forget a compressor. A cheap hardware store compressor will work OK but they are noisy. Air brush compressors often don't put out enough air for large jobs plus they are much more expensive . They are very quiet though.

Check this web site for some good info: https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/
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Last edited by 049flyer; Sep 30, 2014 at 06:49 AM.
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