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Old 04-09-2014, 11:35 PM
paulmackie paulmackie is offline
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Air Brush Painting

I was thinking to paint the paper model Westerstein and diorama I am building and was wondering what is involved in airbrush painting; or is hand painting better?

What equipment and cost is needed to airbrush paint, and is there any good books for model ship airbrush painting?

My Westerstein and Hamburg harbor is a long term project for me, and I really want to get as much detail in as possible, so am following this post: TS Travestein

I'm in no hurry to paint, but want the model to look as realistic as possible and was thinking airbrushing would be more accurate and detailed.

I have never airbrushed before
Thanks for any guidance and comments with this.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:43 AM
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KCStephens KCStephens is offline
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Air brushing requires a whole new skill set that is only learned after lots and lots of practice. That why I like paper models so much - the painting and finishing takes a back seat to the building - Personally I prefer brush painting any day of the week over airbrushing (but that's just my two cents) I feel I can get equal or better results brush painting over airbrushing - but keep in mind I mostly build military vehicles, not glossy - hi-finished sports cars or airplanes.
If you like, Harbor freight has a very reasonably price airbrush and compressor that's worth every penny to start experimenting with. Good luck and Have fun!
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:54 AM
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paper hollywood paper hollywood is offline
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One of the great advantages of paper modeling is that you usually don't have to paint anything-- or you can do it in the computer. I've got one, but I've never really become functional with it. These days the easiest way to learn anything like that is to watch a few YouTube videos. There seem to be thousands on airbrushing. Check this search link:
airbrushing site:www.youtube.com - Google Search
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:03 AM
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paper hollywood paper hollywood is offline
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Here's another YT search with some interesting model ship vids:
airbrushing model ship site:www.youtube.com - Google Search
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:55 PM
paulmackie paulmackie is offline
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Thanks for the replies.
Harbor frieght is a great deal, but it looks like they only ship in the States; I am in Canada.
I will check out some of the videos.

I have done some by hand weathering on wood and plastic ship models I have built, and was thinking it would be easier with an airbrush and maybe a better finish on a paper model?
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:15 PM
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a380 a380 is offline
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i scratch build primarily with card and paper. print in black & white and then build and paint my models. use brushes for small intricate parts and an airbrush for large areas. one thing to be aware of is paint bleed. test your paper/card stock before starting the paint job. i seal all my paper parts with thin ca glue so bleed is not an issue. hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:50 AM
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Bluenoser Bluenoser is offline
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Check out your local Princess Auto for an air brush (Calgary has two locations). They start at $15.99 for a basic one and go up from there.

I have the following air brushes from them:
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/Pain...-Kit/8430050.p
http://www.princessauto.com/pal/Pain...rush/8527491.p

Both are pretty decent and work very nicely.

I haven't air brushed any paper models though.

Last edited by Bluenoser; 04-11-2014 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:36 AM
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airdave airdave is offline
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Sorry, but don't waste money on a cheap airbrush (and cheap equipment).
It just makes it harder to learn properly, and you give up much quicker.
If you are serious about learning to airbrush it will benefit you to invest in
better tools and equipment.

Kevin (KCStephens) said it all!
I have yet to airbrush (or paint) any paper model.
But I can see the benefits of using paint on some Ship models.

where in Canada are you?
I teach airbrushing.

Dave's Designs Airbrush
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:21 AM
Hathaway Veteran Hathaway Veteran is offline
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Another answer is that airbrushing can improve painting significantly over hand brushing especially on paper. Airbrushes were originally developed to apply ink, but they are equally good for water color and acrylics – all which work well on paper.

Airbrushes come essentially in two types: single action and double action. Single action means the air flow only is controlled by depressing the trigger pad on the top. Paint volume adjustment is done separately. These are easy to use tools.

Double action airbrushes, which are used by many artists mean that depressing the trigger pad on top controls both air and paint flow. These require patience and practice. Historically they have had open top paint cups on the side of the nozzle, making for a steady hand to not spill the contents. More recently and depending on brand, these cups come with lids. A relatively new invention for these is a large external trigger grip allowing more control of painting and simplifying manipulation of the trigger tab. The Iwata brand of airbrushes pioneers this. However, these airbrushes tend to be expensive.

Just about any compressor is good, but noise can be an issue so try and look for low cost piston-driven models (Sears or Campbell Hausfeld) although hobby specific models from Badger will also work. Be advised that you may wish to consider a water vapor trap, which sits in-line between the compressor air connection and the airbrush hose. Depending on moisture in the air wherever one is, small nodules of water can pass through the airline through the airbrush and paint making for a mess on the surface of what you are painting.

I am not aware of any specific guides for airbrushing ships. There are numerous books available (do a Google or Amazon search) and also try how-to’s on Fine Scale Modeler (Kalmbach Publications). FSM should be available in hobby shops in Canada.

Airbrush brands to consider are Binks, Badger, Paasche, Iwata, but be advised some of these can be very expensive. Try your local hobby shop, art store and the Internet. Most people starting out try simple to lower cost models to practice using before spending several hundred dollars on more advanced models.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:58 PM
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airdave airdave is offline
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I didn't want to turn this into an airbrush instruction thread
(thats why my first post was compact)
but, sorry...way too much I disagree with in that last post.

Another answer is that airbrushing can improve painting significantly over hand brushing especially on paper.
Not sure DaVinci would have agreed with this...seems to me brush painting does fine on its own.

Airbrushes were originally developed to apply ink, but they are equally good for water color and acrylics – all which work well on paper.
First mechanical airbrushes were widely used in the photo retouching industry applying Inks and gauches.
There are specific airbrushes designed for use with specific types of "paints". Not all are "good" for everything.

Airbrushes come essentially in two types: single action and double action. Single action means the air flow only is controlled by depressing the trigger pad on the top. Paint volume adjustment is done separately. These are easy to use tools.
Single action means the operating device (the trigger) controls one action...usually the air flow.
Double action means the trigger controls two actions...air and paint flow.
Single action airbrushes are not any easier than double action airbrushes, since you have to control both air and paint flow with both.
If anything, I'd say double action triggers simplify the control and operation.

Double action airbrushes, which are used by many artists mean that depressing the trigger pad on top controls both air and paint flow. These require patience and practice. Historically they have had open top paint cups on the side of the nozzle, making for a steady hand to not spill the contents. More recently and depending on brand, these cups come with lids. A relatively new invention for these is a large external trigger grip allowing more control of painting and simplifying manipulation of the trigger tab. The Iwata brand of airbrushes pioneers this. However, these airbrushes tend to be expensive.
Double action airbrushes are used by 99.9% of airbrush users, which includes graphic and fine artists, sculptors, modellers, cake decorators, body painters and tattooists, spray tanners, sign painters and autobody technicians.
Double action airbrushes require no more patience or practice to master than single action.
Paint jars with lids have been around longer than open top paint cups, and paint cups have had lids as long as they have existed. Some of the very first Paasche airbrushes had (and still have) built in reservoirs to receive very small amounts of ink and gauche.
A steady hand is not necessarily required when using open top paint cups, its usually just a case of overfilling your paint cup that causes spills.
Ergonomic designed airbrushes are not that new, and are no less or more complicated to use. Many ergonomic "guns" are intended as smaller capacity versions of large spray guns, designed for large coverage areas that a "regular" airbrush can't handle.

Just about any compressor is good, but noise can be an issue so try and look for low cost piston-driven models (Sears or Campbell Hausfeld) although hobby specific models from Badger will also work.
Piston air compressors are generally noisy. Silent Compressors are generally Diaphragm compressors.
Both types can be expensive and inexpensive depending on their quality and intended applications.

Be advised that you may wish to consider a water vapor trap, which sits in-line between the compressor air connection and the airbrush hose. Depending on moisture in the air wherever one is, small nodules of water can pass through the airline through the airbrush and paint making for a mess on the surface of what you are painting.
Choice of compressor is as important as choosing the right airbrush...not just any compressor will do. CFM is just as important as noise level and portability.
Yes, a good quality Moisture trap is a well considered option if your compressor does not already come with one. But ambient humidity accounts for very little...Compressed Air is what an air compressor produces (air under pressure)...pressure equals temperature...compression and temperature equal condensation. A byproduct of compressed air is liquid (water/moisture). And this is the moisture you are really trying to trap.
Water in your paint flow can be an issue, but its primarily a problem for those using solvent based painting products.

I am not aware of any specific guides for airbrushing ships. There are numerous books available (do a Google or Amazon search) and also try how-to’s on Fine Scale Modeler (Kalmbach Publications). FSM should be available in hobby shops in Canada.

Agreed.

Airbrush brands to consider are Binks, Badger, Paasche, Iwata, but be advised some of these can be very expensive. Try your local hobby shop, art store and the Internet. Most people starting out try simple to lower cost models to practice using before spending several hundred dollars on more advanced models.

And as an instructor, I have dealt with many frustrated airbrushers whos problems arise from low quality inferior tools.
You can buy a cheap harmonica to learn the basics...but a cheap airbrush can affect how well and how quickly you learn the basics. You can spend more time dealing with clogs, spits and sputters than time spent getting better at airbrushing. One of the biggest things to learn is how and why your airbrush isn't working. So an airbrush that just won't spray a consistent line is useless for learning anything.

Badger, Paasche and Iwata are top three airbrush companies producing a wide array of airbrushes and equipment for artists and modellers. their products range in prices from the budget end to the "expensive" end. You get what you pay for, and in that respect, all three of these companies produce affordable but quality products. Iwata has a very affordable line of airbrushes called the Eclipse...which includes about two dozen different versions covering different uses, applications and price ranges.

The difference between an inferior airbrush and one worth buying is about $75-100.
I'd say its money well spent.
Good, brand name Airbrushes also retain their resale value.
So if you fail at airbrushing, you can sell your stuff and usually recover a large portion of your investment, if you invest in better stuff.

...
okay, I'm done bitchin'
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