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newbie: help with airbrushing

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  • Member since
    November 2005
newbie: help with airbrushing
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, April 28, 2003 10:27 AM
I have recently been bought an Aztek A470 airbrush as a present (I have been handpainting for a while). I am learning the ropes with it on cheap M1A2 model using some Tamiya acrylics which were recommended to me.
My main problem I think is getting the paint/thinner mix right. Some say 50% thinner, others 25% - but my best results seem to be with very little thinner, however I dont think this is doing the brushes internals any good as I now have persistant splatter.
Any tips or advice appreciated!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by naplak on Monday, April 28, 2003 10:36 AM
It can vary... it partly depends on the pressure of your compressor, and your personal preference. I used an Aztek, and thinned Tamiya paints about 30-40%...

Using the White or Black nozzles this worked very well. With the other finer nozzles (like the gray or tan) I thinned with about 50-60% thinner. I also used Tamiya thinner -- buy the larger bottle.

The splatter is probably an indication of not enough thinning.

With the Aztek, I had extra nozzles so I could drop one in water, while using the others, then go clean them all at once. ... a free site for modelers ... a nice Modeling Forum
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by RonUSMC on Monday, April 28, 2003 1:30 PM
I am in this same boat.

I have a new Aztek 470 and am currently testing out paint mixtures for the best result. I am using all acrylics, and either Tamiya or Model Masters. The Tamiya seems thicker but I thin them the same when going into the airbrush.

I pre mix a water bottle full of 50% Rubbing Alcohol/50% Water. Then from that bottle I mix 50/50 with the paint... or there abouts. I haven't had any real problems with it that much.

I definately recommend this article about airbrushing. It is extremely informative about spidering.. too much air... too much thinner, etc.

Go there and read the airbrush guide. It is written by a guy that really knows what he is talking about. The problem is.. he doesn't give a straight answer.. he says just mess around with the mixture until you are happy with the results. He does have a bunch of tell tale signs with examples of what it looks like when you have errors and what the problem is. Its very informative. Active Kits: 1/48 AM Avenger 1/35 Sd.Kfz 251 Ausf C
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: USA
Posted by naplak on Monday, April 28, 2003 1:36 PM
Yes... I found that Model Master Acryl paints need less thinning... 20-30% or so.

I did not mention that I airbrush acrylics at about 16-18psi in a gravity feed, and 20-22 in a syphon feed. But lower for thinner paints like metalics.

And even lower for Lacquers like Alclad -- about 9-10psi. ... a free site for modelers ... a nice Modeling Forum
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by shermanfreak on Monday, April 28, 2003 8:41 PM
You can even have variances in the same line of paint. I find that some Tamiya colours do not need to be thinned at all before airbrushing. ie flat black.
Happy Modelling and God Bless Robert
  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by garyfo on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 8:28 AM
Myself, I've gotten pretty lucky using far.

However, what about enamels? I'm thinking the thinning ratio would be higher?
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 9:58 PM
With Model Master enamels I thin it 2:1; 2 parts paint to 1 part thinner at about 20 psi through a T&C Vega 1000 gravity feed airbrush with the #1 tip and needle.


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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