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Airbrush questions....

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Airbrush questions....
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 15, 2003 6:30 PM
I've got Paasche VL double action airbrush, its my first, and I have a couple of questions:

1. I have been spraying with acrylics and while I am getting the hang of it, the paint is clogging the brush after about 5 I not thinning properly?

2. What is the correct pressure to spray at?

3. The spatter and overspray are killing me!

Like I said, I am geting the hang of it, but need a litle help to get me over these few hurdles...thanks in advance!
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Sunday, June 15, 2003 7:10 PM
Try to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

1) You should thin your acrylics to the consistency of milk.

2) I spray at 20 p.s.i.

3) Splatter may be caused by moisture getting into your lines, do you have a moisture trap on your compressor (assuming you have one). Overspray can be controlled but not totally eliminated, that's the advantage of an airbrush. You can create soft camo lines with the overspray, it just takes practice. If you are trying to achieve a hard line, you have to mask the area off.

Hope this helps a bit.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by eaglecentral on Sunday, June 15, 2003 9:46 PM
Acrylics never did work for me. I consistently get the same results you're getting. Thats why I pitched them out and and paint enamels only. I'm sure there are people out there who can make acrylics work, but it ain't me, and I've been painting with an airbrush for nearly 20 years! I send you this response only so that you won't get discouraged and think the problem is you or your airbrush. From my perspective, the problem is ACRYLICS!

Good Luck,
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by RonUSMC on Sunday, June 15, 2003 11:23 PM
I use only acrylics. I love them.

You are thinning your paint too much. It dries on the tip almost instantly leaving a residue...... that residue then creates splatters and overspray...... that happens until the tip clogs up completely.

Thin your paints less.... try a 50/50 mix.

I mix 50/50 water/alcohol.... then mix that with 50/50 paint.. works great. The only problem is when I thin it more than that. Then I have to clean the tip every few minutes because of what is happening to you. I have to thin it that much because my Aztek can't handle the hairline lines I like to make.... hence why I just bought a Sotar 20/20 and it should be here in a few days, :)

All of your problems come from thinning your paint too much. On some colors... even 50/50 is a bit more than you need. Try adding your alcohol/water mix to the paint cup first.... then add your paint... watch how far it rises up from the bottom, then mix... thats what I do.

And dont thin Future. Active Kits: 1/48 AM Avenger 1/35 Sd.Kfz 251 Ausf C
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 15, 2003 11:49 PM
I think I ought to clarify...

I've got a compressor that I fill a 5 gal. tank with that has a trap and pressure regulator. Nice and quite that way.

I'm using testors model master acryilics..the "airbrush ready" variety. I tried thinning about 50/50, although I probably had it closer to 60/40 in the favor of the paint. Talk about thin coats!

So, thinned or not, it still clogs after a bit.

Maybe the pressure is where I'm going wrong. I've been spraying at 10psi or less. the paint cloud is reduced that way, and it seems to be more controllable.

Mind you, the 1/48 me109 I'm trying to 3 color camo is only my second real attempt, so maybe I bit off more than I can chew when it comes to the paint. I do have a 1/48 ju52 that turned out really well, IMHO, considering it was my first.

Oh well, thanks for the responses so far guys! Keep em' coming!
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Monday, June 16, 2003 12:06 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by b4after53b

I think I ought to clarify...

So, thinned or not, it still clogs after a bit.

Maybe the pressure is where I'm going wrong. I've been spraying at 10psi or less. the paint cloud is reduced that way, and it seems to be more controllable.

What you are describing is called "tip-dry" and is common for airbrushes. The paint dries on the tip of the needle and causes the paint to not flow smoothly out of the airbrush and down the needle. What us T-shirt airbrush artists do is constantly pick the paint off of the needle with our index finger and thumb nails to keep it clean.
I probably pick the paint off the needle once every minute or so as a habit when I airbrush with the acrylics that I use for T-shirt work and I find myself doing that with all paints I use. You can minimize tip dry by using a product called Super Lube which is a teflon-based lubricant that you put on the front-half of the airbrush and it slows down tip-dry as well as keeps paint from sticking in the airbrush. I would also try spraying with a bit more pressure in the 15-25 lb range and see how that works. Acrylics tend to be a bit thicker than enamels and need a higher pressure to get them to consistantly flow well through the airbrush. I spray at 55-60 psi with the Createx and Aqua Flow brand paints I use for T-shirt airbrushing and they are about the consistancy of milk or slightly thicker.

I hope this helps.


Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon


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