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My Love/Hate Relationship With The Airbrush

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  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
My Love/Hate Relationship With The Airbrush
Posted by Devil Dawg on Sunday, August 4, 2019 5:14 PM

I LOVE building models. Absolutely love it. And I love how an airbrush makes my models look. What I DISLIKE about airbrushing is the clean-up afterwards. Bang Head I have a Paasche VL0707 dual-action that I bought at Hobby Lobby about 10 years ago with the 40%-off coupon, and it does great for me. I had a Testor's Aztec before that, and it was ok, but it gave me some problems when spraying acrylics, such as clogging (not sure why). 

But, as with any airbrush, it's the clean-up afterwards that I dislike. It's this aspect of modeling that makes me put a model on a shelf for awhile and not want to touch it. I get to the point where I've GOTTA spray some paint, and the knowing that I've got to clean that airbrush afterwards, plus the bottles, plus the lids for the bottles, plus whatever else is gonns need cleaning, just makes me procrastinate almost endlessly for that model. I finally hafta FORCE MYSELF to get that model back out and use the airbrush on it. Once I do, I try to get all my necessary spray-painting done over the next day or three, just so I can get the airbrushing phase of the build over with (until it's time to paint the entire exterior of the model). Then, I can make some much-needed progress on my build. I think this is why I have so many builds awaiting finishing - AIRBRUSHING!! 

Anyone else have this issue??

Gary Mason

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Sunday, August 4, 2019 6:23 PM

I am the opposite.  I hate setting up.  I have to clean the patio and the table, chase away the lizards, then prep to airbrush.  It’s quite a production, and even though I have it down to a routine, it takes about 30 minutes till I’m painting.

Once in a while the big roaches in the yard throw a kegger.  They suddenly show up in large numbers, flying around and running everywhere.  They play loud music, do drugs, get liquored up, dance wildly, crash into everything (including my model parts, my face and the opening of my shirt around my neck), and have unprotected sex right out in the open.  Completely intolerable.  I had to pack it up and retreat inside twice because they stayed out longer and the DJ started playing hip hop. 

And the 30 min prep does not include prepping the model, which can take hours if fancy masking is involved.

I find cleaning my airbrush relaxing and a nice way to unwind the painting session for me.  Try thinking of it that way and it might not seem so bad.

Just don’t invite the roaches.

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Sunday, August 4, 2019 8:09 PM

Painting of any description requires a lot of clean-up afterwards. It takes longer to properly clean a paintbrush, even after applying just a single drop of paint.

I did notice that when I switched to a gravity feed airbrush, cleanup time was reduced significantly compared to my previous Badger 200. Even changing colours mid-session became much quicker and simpler. No longer did i have to wash out the bottle, dip tube assembly etc. Just flush and wipe the bowl out, spray some clean thinner through it and it's ready for fresh paint. 

I am now happy to use my airbrush for the tiniest of jobs. Just one or two drops of paint? No problem..

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, August 5, 2019 8:44 AM

Devil Dawg
Anyone else have this issue??

Yes, with my siphon feed airbrush long ago. I find gravity feed much easier to clean, and cleaning has turned into a pleasant and surprisingly relaxing ritual. I have stripdown, clean, and reassemble down to 2-3 mins on both my Iwata and H&S.

That said, siphon feed airbrushes are wonderful tools and I am not in any way trying to suggest otherwise.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, August 5, 2019 9:07 AM

I do two types of cleaning- a cleaning after each session of spraying, and a thorough cleaning between projects.  I do find one has to take extra care in cleaning, because of what stays in the pickup tube.

I have found a little trick to that session cleanup.  I take a Kleenex and fold it twice and set it on my workbench as a blotter.  I have a jar I keep filled with thinner.  I start the cleaning by backflushing, then using another piece of Kleenex to wipe off the pickup tube (after removing the paint jar, of course). Then I dip the the pickup tube into the thinner and pick up the thinner into the brush, hold it a few seconds, then tap the pickup tube on the blotter.  That will leave a spot of paint. I then repeat as needed until the spot the tapping leaves is only thinner.  The tapping seems to help overcome the capillary action and speed the removal of the paint from the tube.

I have enough paint jars to mix up all the colors I need for most projects.  Then, the thing I hate is cleaning out all those paint jars before I can start my next model project.  I do buy new jars every so often.  They are not a big cost considering the cost of kits nowadays. I find I have to buy some new jars every half dozen models or so.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    October 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Monday, August 5, 2019 11:50 AM

I wonder how you go about cleaning your airbrush.  My Badger 155 is similar to your VL.  Here's how I clean it.  It just takes a few minutes.  As for bottles and lids, I never shake or invert a bottle of paint.  I stir to mix, use a dropper to transfer paint, and the lid and bottle threads stay clean.

Don

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    July 2018
  • From: The Deep Woods
Posted by Tickmagnet on Monday, August 5, 2019 12:24 PM

Gravity feed is the only way to go man. I tried siphone feed and it was a major pain in the butt and seemed to waste a lot of paint. Gravity feed brushes clean up quickly and easily. Painting is my favorite part of the building process.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Monday, August 5, 2019 1:01 PM

Tickmagnet

Gravity feed is the only way to go man. I tried siphone feed and it was a major pain in the butt and seemed to waste a lot of paint. Gravity feed brushes clean up quickly and easily. Painting is my favorite part of the building process.

 

I agree.  I have an Iwata gravity feed with a fixed cup, and it is MUCH faster and easier to clean than my Badger siphon feed.

Although I confess to using the Badger more, since I have had it since at least 1980.  But as I has mentioned, I find cleaning it relaxing.

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by lowfly on Monday, August 5, 2019 1:38 PM

I use the Iwata NEO Trigger style AB and my clean up is super easy. Once i spray i just does the steps below and move on to the next color.

  1. Dump any remaining paint from the cup
  2. fill cup with either Thinner or IPA
  3. Using a Q Tip, i clean the inside of the cup and anything i can reach in there
  4. Spray the thinner or IPA through it until it is all gone
  5. Repeat

This makes the AB fairly clean and it allows me to move on to the next color. At the end of the session or usually when i finish a project i will power clean my AB. There are a number of videos on line that show how to power clean your AB.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, August 5, 2019 1:40 PM

Hello!

I started my airbrushing with an airbrush made in the USSR! That's right, it was a piece of commie heavy metal. It was gravity feed with needle for paint control, no air valve. To clean it you had to completely disassemble it, otherwise the paint would make many parts stick together and that could be a problem. After using it for a few years, I got a Paasche VJR from my father - in comparison to my previous airbrush it also felt like a Rolls Royce! I was shocked how much easier the cleaning of it was, mainly because how mach shorter the paint line was. I have also found, that I don't have to completely strip the whole airbrush after each colour - just between the projects, like Don wrote. This way cleaning only takes a few minutes and is no major problem. Although it is true, that when I paint, most fumes come off not when painting, but when cleaning, as I run some thinner through the airbrush in order to make sure that it's clean.

Good luck with your airbrushing and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 9:20 PM

Real G

Once in a while the big roaches in the yard throw a kegger.  They suddenly show up in large numbers, flying around and running everywhere.  They play loud music, do drugs, get liquored up, dance wildly, crash into everything (including my model parts, my face and the opening of my shirt around my neck), and have unprotected sex right out in the open.  Completely intolerable.  I had to pack it up and retreat inside twice because they stayed out longer and the DJ started playing hip hop. 

Man, that is HILARIOUS!!! Please tell me this is a metaphor for something!!

Gary Mason

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 9:23 PM

Don Stauffer

Then, the thing I hate is cleaning out all those paint jars before I can start my next model project........ 

Same here, Don. Even though I have quite a few jars, I find that I eventually have to clean them out, no matter how long I wait....

Gary Mason

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    March 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 9:26 PM

After reading the comments posted (so far), I might just hafta gits me a gravity-feed airbrush. I'm liking what I'm reading here about them, especially changing colors during the same paint session. Keep those comments coming!!

Gary Mason

 

Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Thursday, August 8, 2019 6:05 AM

Devil Dawg

After reading the comments posted (so far), I might just hafta gits me a gravity-feed airbrush. I'm liking what I'm reading here about them, especially changing colors during the same paint session. Keep those comments coming!!

Gary Mason

 

 

Gary Amazon has the Iwata NEO gravity feed for about $60. Its a great airbrush for the price. I've had mine for about 2 years and love it

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, August 8, 2019 6:18 AM

Devil Dawg

After reading the comments posted (so far), I might just hafta gits me a gravity-feed airbrush. I'm liking what I'm reading here about them, especially changing colors during the same paint session. Keep those comments coming!!

Gary Mason

Gary, maybe just get a metal side cup for your siphon feed, they're usually about $10 or so. It picks up a few drops of paint vs a bottle where it leaves several drops of paint in the bottom. I use one all the time that I swap between my Paasche H and Badger 200 if doing smaller jobs, testing paint etc.  Like today I'm shooting some Metalizer aluminum Plate, then seal coat on about half a spru tree worth of parts. It works well for that sort of thing. I use the bottles on overall priming or base coating, top coat etc. But hey, just a thought. I haven't found the need to buy into a gravity brush because the side cup covers my need, same quick color change etc........ And I use the same air pressures I use with the bottles.

But to each his own !

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, August 8, 2019 9:22 AM

Devil Dawg

After reading the comments posted (so far), I might just hafta gits me a gravity-feed airbrush. I'm liking what I'm reading here about them, especially changing colors during the same paint session. Keep those comments coming!!

Gary Mason

 

 

I use a suction feed brush.  My quick flush/clean works  fine even when changing colors, and then I just grab the bottle with the next color.  I generally only do a disassembly clean between kits, unless I am on a major long time build and I get symptoms of a dirty brush.

As I said, I find cleaning out bottles far more effort than cleaning the airbrush, even the disassembly cleaning.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, August 8, 2019 2:30 PM

I had a pass he siphon feed and I did find set up, adjustment, cleaning, reassembly to be a little tedious.

Then I had an Aztec and it was really prone to clogging. The design flaw is that the needle spring is in the paint path and gets mucked up.

Now I have a Badger 105. I really like it. With the gravity cup it is low parts count, easy to clean. I rarely disassemble it beyond drawing the needle, wiping it and flushing the body with a little LT.

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Thursday, August 8, 2019 4:31 PM

Devil Dawg

After reading the comments posted (so far), I might just hafta gits me a gravity-feed airbrush. I'm liking what I'm reading here about them, especially changing colors during the same paint session. Keep those comments coming!!

Gary Mason

 

 

Gary - As was mentioned earlier, if you are using a bottle with siphon tube for feeding the airbrush, they are a major pain in the tail. A metal cup that gets inserted in the AB intake port takes the majority of that messy process away. 

The metal cup is so easy to clean after use, about the same time and effort as cleaning the cup on a gravity feed. If you are happy with the spray results you get with your VL, you may be able to continue using it with satisfaction if you use a metal cup.

I have several metal cups remaining, I'm almost exclusively a Badger gravity feed user. If you PM me with an address, I'll be happy to send you one for free. Let me know and I'll get one headed your way.

Patrick

  • Member since
    April 2016
Posted by GlennH on Thursday, August 8, 2019 8:58 PM

Real G

I am the opposite.  I hate setting up.  I have to clean the patio and the table, chase away the lizards, then prep to airbrush.  It’s quite a production, and even though I have it down to a routine, it takes about 30 minutes till I’m painting.

Once in a while the big roaches in the yard throw a kegger.  They suddenly show up in large numbers, flying around and running everywhere.  They play loud music, do drugs, get liquored up, dance wildly, crash into everything (including my model parts, my face and the opening of my shirt around my neck), and have unprotected sex right out in the open.  Completely intolerable.  I had to pack it up and retreat inside twice because they stayed out longer and the DJ started playing hip hop. 

And the 30 min prep does not include prepping the model, which can take hours if fancy masking is involved.

I find cleaning my airbrush relaxing and a nice way to unwind the painting session for me.  Try thinking of it that way and it might not seem so bad.

Just don’t invite the roaches.

 

Hands down one of the best bits I have read in some time. Well done! And thank you.

A number Army Viet Nam scans from hundreds yet to be done:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestdreams/albums/72157621855914355

Have had the great fortune to be on every side of the howitzers.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Friday, August 9, 2019 7:52 AM

I airbrush models in many separate stages usually, even primer might be half the spru trees and another session or two for separate parts etc. But generally each session start to finish isn't more than about 15 minutes time. I clear coated some floor boards and dash parts yesterday and the whole operation was between 10 and 15 minutes, the parts are in a baggie waiting to be used now. I haven't the slightest idea what some of you are up to that has made it such work for you, I mean it sounds like hours per session. It doesn't have to be that way. Believe me, if it had to be like that I'd have gone back to spray cans 4 decades ago.

 

  • Member since
    July 2018
  • From: The Deep Woods
Posted by Tickmagnet on Saturday, August 10, 2019 12:26 PM

oldermodelguy

I airbrush models in many separate stages usually, even primer might be half the spru trees and another session or two for separate parts etc. But generally each session start to finish isn't more than about 15 minutes time. I clear coated some floor boards and dash parts yesterday and the whole operation was between 10 and 15 minutes, the parts are in a baggie waiting to be used now. I haven't the slightest idea what some of you are up to that has made it such work for you, I mean it sounds like hours per session. It doesn't have to be that way. Believe me, if it had to be like that I'd have gone back to spray cans 4 decades ago.

 

 

I'm that way too. Sometimes I just run down to paint a couple small parts. The longest time I spend airbrushing would be when I paint the overall model.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Saturday, August 10, 2019 2:55 PM

Unfortunately my embellished account is close to fact.  There is no actual booze (Hawaii drinking laws prohibit the purchasing or consumption of alcoholic beverages for anyone under the age of 21 years) and they don’t hire a DJ (maybe I was just hearing the neighbor’s kids).

But they do release a pheromone, which makes them go nuts.  The females (I THINK, as I didn’t check IDs) start running around flapping their wings in short buzzes.  The males then jump in and suddenly the patio turns into a cockroach horror movie as dozens of them just start running and clumsily flying everywhere.  And there are wild mating choo-choo conga lines.  Remember the movie “Bug”?  “We live” indeed.

I actually once sat through a swarm as I was almost done painting a model. I hate touching roaches, especially the big ones, but after several of them flew into my drying parts and started going for my neck, hair and face, I got angry and started backhanding them as they approached.  The other times when they swarmed, it just got too crazy and there were too many of them to deal with.  

And these guys are the big American Cockroaches, yes the kind you find in the garbage and sewers.  The weather here is warm all year round, so they are a backyard fixture, hiding in rock and CMU walls by day and roaming the yard at night.  We call them “B-52s”, after the famous Boeing bomber, not the 80’s new wave band.  Kate Pierson would have hated the ones that head for your hair!

As we like to say “Lucky you live Hawaii”.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, August 10, 2019 4:05 PM

Real G

Unfortunately my embellished account is close to fact.  There is no actual booze (Hawaii drinking laws prohibit the purchasing or consumption of alcoholic beverages for anyone under the age of 21 years) and they don’t hire a DJ (maybe I was just hearing the neighbor’s kids).

But they do release a pheromone, which makes them go nuts.  The females (I THINK, as I didn’t check IDs) start running around flapping their wings in short buzzes.  The males then jump in and suddenly the patio turns into a cockroach horror movie as dozens of them just start running and clumsily flying everywhere.  And there are wild mating choo-choo conga lines.  Remember the movie “Bug”?  “We live” indeed.

I actually once sat through a swarm as I was almost done painting a model. I hate touching roaches, especially the big ones, but after several of them flew into my drying parts and started going for my neck, hair and face, I got angry and started backhanding them as they approached.  The other times when they swarmed, it just got too crazy and there were too many of them to deal with.  

And these guys are the big American Cockroaches, yes the kind you find in the garbage and sewers.  The weather here is warm all year round, so they are a backyard fixture, hiding in rock and CMU walls by day and roaming the yard at night.  We call them “B-52s”, after the famous Boeing bomber, not the 80’s new wave band.  Kate Pierson would have hated the ones that head for your hair!

As we like to say “Lucky you live Hawaii”.

 

 You need a better plan, maybe a cheap backyard screen house or some such thing if you can't paint in the house.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Saturday, August 10, 2019 4:37 PM

oldermodelguy

You need a better plan, maybe a cheap backyard screen house or some such thing if you can't paint in the house.

Nah they do that only once in a while  It’s just annoying when an airbrushing session coincides with their party.  I airbrush outside at night because it’s cooler.  Daytime is just too hot and there is too much glare from the yard.  No spray painting inside - house rules.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, August 10, 2019 5:40 PM

In 60 years of modeling I painted one model outdoors when away camping one summer. I still remember it, a 39 Ford sedan, green with tan interior. First car model I used flat paint on the interior. But house rules are house rules.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Northern Nevada
Posted by HighDesertmodeler on Monday, August 12, 2019 9:23 PM

I actually enjoy the cleanup process.  I use primarily acrylics (Vallejo, MMP, Tamiya and Gunze).  It is best to clean right after your painting session due to the quick drying properties of acrylics.   As any fine instrument, when something goes array in their function, first step is to clean it thoroughly - tells you something of the importance of clean equipment.

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