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Airbrushing thin camo lines

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  • Member since
    December 2013
Airbrushing thin camo lines
Posted by CodyJ on Sunday, January 11, 2015 6:34 AM

Hi there.  I have been using a Dual action Iwata for a few years now.   I mainly used it for Auto but have branched off into armor lately.  I have had great success and have been happy with the camo jobs I have done so far.  That is until this one.  This one has me a bit perplexed.  

The Tank is a 1/72 Maus.  Being 1/72 its small quite small.  To add a bit more difficulty the camo on this tank I am building has thin squiggle lines for its camo.  Not unlike the the Japanese Zero's you see sometimes.  

I gave it a try but the pattern was a bit too wide.  So I got closer.  Then the paint was wanting to disperse because of the high air pressure.  Ok so I backed down the Pressure.  This time it was too low to the point it wasn't siphoning as well.   The edges didn't look as crisp as I wanted either (edges had over spray so it appeared to look like the lines were faded or feathered in).

I do think the mixture was a bit too thin but not by much.  I was using Acrylics.   Anyone have any tips for thin profile lines that still cover enough?

Thank you!

Cody

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, January 11, 2015 8:26 AM

Sounds like the paint was too thin. What airbrush? What type of paints? Some paint brands are easier than others for this kind of work. All I can really say is just practice on a scrap piece until you find the right thinning ratio/psi/distance that works for you. I really don't thin my paint that much for this kind of work. Usually only thin enough to build up the camo lines in 2 or three passes at the most, and hold the airbrush about 10- 15mm off the surface.

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Sunday, January 11, 2015 5:28 PM

Thanks for your response.   Its an Iwata Revolution dual action and I was using Acrylics.  I plan trying enamel maybe.  Seems like those tend to "stick" better.  

I guess I am also really interested in knowing what psi and technique people tend to use as well.

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, January 11, 2015 5:54 PM

The Revolution is a good general purpose airbrush, but with a .5mm tip, its getting a bit big for what you're trying to do. I understand you can't just get up and drop a hundred or more bucks on a new airbrush right away, but its gonna be a bit tough. What Brand of acrylics?? Most acrylics will do just fine with fine lines, it just takes practice. I'd say Gunze and Tamiya acrylics would be the most friendly to fine lines.

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Sunday, January 11, 2015 6:40 PM

Cody,

I usually use around 5 psi or so for that kind of work, I also use a 3mm nozzle. Like Nathan said I don't typically thin, and I spray at 10 - 15mm away. I test the pattern and adjust the needle and air pressure until I get just the faintest line without pulling the trigger back, on a test piece or paper towel.

I rather use enamels as the acrylics tend to dry up at the nozzle.

Here's the results on 1/72.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Sunday, January 11, 2015 8:58 PM

Thank you both!  I think you both are very right.  After talking to a few people they also said the tip was probably too big for 1/72.  Fine for 1/35 camo & paint jobs.   I was trying to use Modelmaster Acrylics because that's the only Olivegrun I had.  I usually like Tamiya's paints much more.  

I did go back to the hobby shop and get a bottle of enamel.  After a lot of testing here is what I was able to get.  Not happy with it but I suppose it will do... maybe.  I am going to lightly sand the overspray to see if I can get rid of it.  Then dullcoat it.

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Sunday, January 11, 2015 9:22 PM

Are you using the 5mm tip? if so that's why you have that much overspray. I even get a little with my 3mm tip. Another thing you do is drybrush the yellow between the lines. that will tone down the overspray, but someone else may have a better suggestion.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: MN
Posted by Nathan T on Sunday, January 11, 2015 11:10 PM

Thats not too far off from the photo you posted Cody. Try some Micro mesh sanding pads or 2000-12000 grit sand paper and see what it looks like. More practice and I you'll be able to get finer lines than that without the overspray, even with the Revolution.

 

 

  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Monday, January 12, 2015 2:51 AM

The .5 is all the Revolution comes with so I had to use it.   Unfortunately I will definitely need a smaller one.  With this large of one its simply not possible to avoid the over spray :/   I will give a bit of light sanding a try though.  Thanks guys!.  

  • Member since
    August 2012
Posted by AndrewW on Monday, January 12, 2015 6:27 AM

In the future, Cody, what about masking with blu-tack or silly putty worms?  They usually allow a very slightly soft edge while giving a lot of control to the mask, and conform over surfaces nicely.  Just a thought, I don't know if it would work for you in this application.  When I'm doing fine lines or mottles with acrylics, I have my pressure at 7 psi, my Vallejo acrylics thinned about 50 / 50, a .3 nozzle in my Aztek and I just build slow, though there still is a lot of overspray without some form of mask.

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne.


  • Member since
    December 2011
Posted by Chrisk-k on Monday, January 12, 2015 1:49 PM

Cody,

You mentioned that your Revolution didn't *siphon* well with low air pressure.  Are you using a BCR?  It's much easier to spray narrow lines with a gravity-feed AB like the Revolution CR.

Iwata HP-CS | Iwata HP-CR | Iwata HP-M2 | H&S Evolution | Iwata Smart Jet + Sparmax Tank

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, January 12, 2015 5:55 PM

HI, Cody -

1. I agree that the .5 tip will be problematic in the smaller scale.

2. Even with a smaller tip, you'll find that LOT'S of practice and experimenting with pressures, thinning ratios and distance from the subject, will pretty much determine how you go about it.

3. In my experience, (fairly limited,) acrylic can be a bit touchy. But when I found the right thinning ratio and the type of retarder that reduced tip dry, I found that I like it as well as enamel. I do think the advantage for acrylic is the tougher finish.

I found myself in the same boat as you, what got me comfortable was practice and lot's of it. I know paint is pricey, but the satisfaction of being comfortable and proficient at camo painting, makes the investment of time and $$$$ spent on materials well worth it.

I'm not familiar enough with the Iwata brand to know if you can simply change the tip and needle, to utilize a .25 or .30 model. If so that would be a good place to start, likely you would find the smaller size to give much more precise control.

Check Don Wheelers website, (Don's Airbrush Tips,) he may well have an explanation as to the possibility of a modification of the A/B. I wish you good results.

Patrick

  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 2:39 AM

Thanks guys!   I am going to redo it.  It bugs me too much.  

I think the silly putty option may be the best way to go until I can get a smaller tip.  Or a gravity fed airbrush with a smaller tip.

  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 5:14 AM

Andrew-  Im sitting here at 3am watching Tv and about to fall asleep when I relize what you meant about the silly putty.   Paint it green.  Put the lines of putty on.  Then shoot the yellow.   Viola!  Not sure why it didn't click before!?!?   Thanks!  

I will most likely be getting a new Airbrush soon.  I have always wanted one with a trigger action (not a deal breaker) & gravity feed.   I want to finish off builing up my 870 but that can wait.   Probably hobby lobby it w a 40% coupon!

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 7:09 PM

 Take a look at Grex air brushes; they have the needle sizes, "castle" magnetic tips  and  trigger. Good solid working unit and good customer service too.  

http://www.grexusa.com/grexairbrush/prod_type.php5?prod_type=Airbrushes 

Steve

Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    December 2013
Posted by CodyJ on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 7:38 PM

Thanks for the link!  I actually got one today though. I still will have a look, for future purchase ideas! I have heard about Grex but totally forgot about them.  The one I got was a Iwata gravity feed w/ a .3mm tip.  Will do some testing soon.  I have always been very impressed with Iwata and their products.   Easy to clean and very very tight and quality is top notch.  They make airbrush and spray guns.  They go from aroud $80-$700+.  I had a nice hobby lobby coupon and couldnt resist.   

  • Member since
    August 2012
Posted by JMorgan on Friday, January 23, 2015 2:22 PM

Is the Paasche Talon  any good for this kind of camouflage?

  • Member since
    June 2010
Posted by 5-high on Friday, January 23, 2015 10:22 PM
JMorgan ..i have four airbrushes in use on my brench two of witch are paasche.s . One H singel and one double action VL both siphon feed ..both are exellent for a wide range of finnishes . Easy cleanup ..and the price is easy tooo!!
  • Member since
    June 2010
Posted by 5-high on Friday, January 23, 2015 10:40 PM
Sorry pushed post early ..oops . The paasch talon TG-2L..is the third on that i use when i do camo patterns like werm lines ..dots ..molts all kinds of camo..interior detale shading
  • Member since
    July 2021
Posted by PureEuro on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:22 AM

A thing I've heard a lot of people do is use tamiya paints with gloss varnish to help them spray better as well as using Tamiya laquer thinner with drying retarder or adding it your self

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