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HELP! My first airbrush session ever a total fail!!

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  • Member since
    February 2016
HELP! My first airbrush session ever a total fail!!
Posted by JonBailey on Saturday, December 4, 2021 6:06 PM

I royally goofed. I should have practiced on plastic cups first. This is the inside of the hood of my amt Kenworth W-925 truck. Look at the uneven paint and where it puddled up under the fenders. I was using the Paasche H #3 and my compressor on 30 PSI. The plastic was NOT primed, just light sanded. I used Testors Grape Gloss Enamel I bought online at amazon.com along with Testors Universal Enamel Thinner. 3 parts paint, 2 parts thinner. I was trying to paint in the manner of AndyX in this video but he was using 1:1 Testors red enamel with laquer thinner.

Passche H Airbrush - The Scale Model workhorse ! - YouTube

 

Does the lacquer thinner help the paint sprea evenly withoutrunning? Does it keep pigment mixed thoroughly so there are no color blotches? Should my work be primed? AndyX looked like he does this car body with no primer. Now, how am I going to recover my model parts from the bad paint? Strip off paint once enamle has dried? Wet sand down smooth? If using testors enamel with testors enamel thinner, does paint have to be applied one thin coat at a time, cured, wets anded, then one thin coat following another? I was gun shy about using lacquer thinner thinking it would damage my plastic. I did shake the paint mixture in the jar for about two minutes with a tiny hex nut inside as an agitator. Can crappy or outdated paint simply cause fails like this? Are some paint colors troublesome like purple? AndyX did that simple 10-minute paint session on what appears to be an unprimed car body and made it look like a real automobile thatw as factory painted. Does lacquer thinner make all the difference when using this modified Donn Yost method? Does the "hot" lacquer thinner bite into the plastic so the paint quickly gets a foothold so it can't run or blotch up? Does using primer make all the difference? 

 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Saturday, December 4, 2021 6:24 PM

Inside curves and corners are always tricky.  Every airbrush/paint is different, but 30psi is a lot for close up and inside. With thinned enamel or lacquer, I'd start around 15.

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Saturday, December 4, 2021 6:28 PM

  Breathe, this boo boo is not the end of the world.

1: try a lower air pressure, 30 psi is pretty high.

2: are you thinning the paint? Yes I read that my bad.

3: try light coats instead of one huge blast, this will allow the paint to self level, tack up a bit, and give better control of build up.

Priming is an option, not always required. Did you clean the plastic after the light sanding?

  Practice as you said is also your best friend, be patient, experiment, and keep asking for help if needed. Good luck.

   BTW nice color choice for your truckBig Smile

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Saturday, December 4, 2021 7:32 PM

I managed to get my failed painted parts cleaned up nicely with enamel thinner before the enamel got hard so my model is salvaged this time. 

 

I did try light coats it was almost if the paint wasn't coming out. I then had to slow down to get the color to start to show on the parts. I'm not getting a large heavy cloud of atomized paint as shown in the Andy-X film. My Paasche H could be defective? Bad needle? What Andy was doing was staring with a lighter coat, going around the body then sloweing down and laying it on heavy. He's using 35 PSI but he's also using LACQUER thinner. Andy just sprays a pass over the body then keeps going over and over again. He doesn't seem to allow coats to dry between passes. 

 

I know one thing, I will have to master painting plastic cups before I ever lay the airbrush on my model again. I'm also using an expensive LED-lit indoor paint booth with window ventilation hose. 

 

Yes, after sanding the parts were washed in warm soapy water, rinsed and air dried for several days. 

 

I have to diagnose the initial airbrush goof.

 

1. Should the paint be warmed up before shooting?

2. My living room was about 70 degrees with under 40 humidity.

3. Does the testors enamel with ENAMEL thinnner specifically like to go down on a primed surface?

3. What primers are recommended for the airbrush? I already have a rattle can of Tamayia gray primer. It could be decanted for the airbrush, maybe? I can't use aerosol rattle-cans with the paint booth because of fire/explosion hazards. It's not feasible to spray outside my apartment in windy/dusty Oklahoma and my landlord won't let me use my paint booth tent outside

4. spraying inside hollow/concave/deep parts like the underside conventional truck tractor hoods and the interior of cabs is especially hard

5. should I try a test session with the 1:1 mix of tetsor's enamel with LACQUER thinner on plastic cups to see if things improve using Andy's one-session method? 

6. should I try a Number 5 needle? 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Saturday, December 4, 2021 7:41 PM

Haven't used enamel in modeling, but on 1:1 cars.

Try thin coats and let them tack up, then another light coat. Do until you get coverage.  With a metallic, I will use a cross hatch pattern on the last coat.  One as usual, the cross hatch at 90* for the 2nd pass.  Do the cross hatch as one coat, using the amount in each pass as you did before.

Strip with one of the methods discussed in other threads, such as purple stuff, 401.  Was me, I'd prime and lightly scuff with a grey scotchbrite pad.  Can get at most auto paint stores or big parts stores like Napa.

Spray a plastic cup or spoon the same way and the same time as the model.  When sticky to the touch, lay down the next coat.

Doubt it's the ab.  If you are going to wash parts, do it first thing.  When you sand first, if there is any mold release or contaminates, you're grinding into the plastic.

Your temp and humidity sound okay.  If you can spray with laquer thinner and enamel thinner in that booth, no reason you can't use a rattle can in it, as long as your overspray goes in.

Don't take videos as gospel, you have to practice, and find the thinning ratio, pressure and speed that suits your style.  We're all different in that regard.

Best of luck, and stay with it.

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, December 4, 2021 7:48 PM

Testing is always wise.  I've always used laquer thinner with enamels.  Try adjusting the paint flow with the tip.  I do 99% of my stuff with the Paasche H and the #3 tip at 17PSI.

 

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Saturday, December 4, 2021 7:55 PM

Look how fast Andy gets a heavy uniform coat on that car body at 35 psi with enamel/lacquer thinner mix. He doesn't seem to be doing the tack coat thing. I'm jealous of this man! Also I'm using a DeWalt 1-gallon compressor with the built-in regulator gauge which might not be terribly accurate.  

Andy can't be faking that video. He has something up his sleeve. No runs, drips or errors for sure! 

I was mixing my enamel with enamel thinner at 3 parts paint/2 parts thinner as the label on the can directed. Testors Universal Enamel Thinner in 8 oz. can. 

Because I'm trying to paint INSIDE the tight confines of a hollow part like a cab and truck hood, I can't do those straight, fast uniform brush strokes like Andy does on the body exterior. Does anybody here have trouble airbrushing inside hollow/enclosed parts? 

 

Passche H Airbrush - The Scale Model workhorse ! - YouTube

 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Saturday, December 4, 2021 8:07 PM

I tried the tip adjustsment already. At about 1/2 turn. Nothing was hardly coming out. I can't seem to get a big wide dense fan pattern like Andy does in the video. I've tried cranking the pressure up from 20 to 30 but not a good heavy pattern still. 

 

Practicing with cups, should get all the adjustment fiddling ironed out eventually. How does one gauge adjusting the cone? Counting threads? 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Saturday, December 4, 2021 8:13 PM

Sounded like he opened the paint flow about half way, not a half turn, to get the last few coats

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Saturday, December 4, 2021 8:14 PM

What is "half-way" on a Paasche H? 

 

I really have to learn how to gauge things properly in airbrushing. Consistency is the key. Like sighting in and shooting a gun at the range, if things aren't kept consistent, I don't ever expect to hit the side of a barn with a bass fiddle. 

 

I want to get to know that Paasche like a master pianist knows his scales and arpeggios. 

 

Putting on my jeweler's loupe, I can count betwen one and 5 exposed threads of the adjustment cone. My Paasche H has an adjustment range of between one and 5 threads. Each thread is a full turn. 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Saturday, December 4, 2021 8:19 PM

I'll let the Paasche guys take that one.  Iwata double action guy here.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Sunday, December 5, 2021 6:03 AM

I always use decanted Tamiya primer before paint of any kind goes on a model.  It helps keep the fresh paint from being pushed around on the model while you're airbrushing.

Here is the mess free, relatively fume free method I use for decanting it indoors...I live in Colorado where both wind and cold have made doing any painting outside something that can be done...but only on rare occasions.  I have a few posts in the thread in this link that go into detail of how to do it, along with pictures of the steps.

https://cs.finescale.com/fsm/tools_techniques_and_reference_materials/f/18/t/189063.aspx

I also use a Paasche H, and when your paint is thinned properly, you should be spraying at no more than 20 PSI.  With that said, you definitely have the right plan for practicing on plastic cups (I use plastic spoons for when I want to try a new brand of paint I haven't shot before, or when I want to see what a color will actually look like when its cured on a piece of plastic).  Try not to get too hung up on the techniques of guys on YouTube.  One thing about those videos is that you, as a viewer, can't actually see much detail...nor do you know what the video maker thinks is a "good paintjob".  I've seen plenty of close-ups of "good paintjobs" posted in various places on the internet, and a lot of them look to me like they were painted in a sandstorm...usually in a fuzz-covered paint booth.  What's important is to gather as much info as you can from various sources, practice on spoons, and see what works best for you.  Personally, I cringe when I watch those videos where the guy gets complete coverage on one or two passes...they are shooting WAY TOO MUCH PAINT in my opinion.

As for how much to open up your air cap on the Paasche H, every paint brand and type is going to be different.  Even the individual colors and sheens in a paint brand are going to be slightly different in how they lay down.  So, you can't really use a "number of turns" method to adjust that.  What I use at every painting session is a pad of sticky notes.  I just shoot some paint onto that and adjust until I get the flow and coverage that I want before moving to the model.

With Testors enamels, I have tried both Testors thinner and lacquer thinner.  What I have found is that I like the Testors thinner better.  The end result just looks better to me, and you don't have to worry about any long-term adverse chemical reactions if you return the unused, thinned paint to the jar.  When using their thinner, you do have to allow more drying/curing time.  With Model Master gloss paint, I give it a minimum of 7 days before handling it at all.  On a primed surface, shooting at 20 PSI (or 10 PSI for shooting the insides of curved parts), my first pass over the entire model is a mist coat that leaves lots of primer showing through.  With each pass I get progressively closer and slower on my passes.  The key is to slowly build up the color, so it isn't pooling, running, or sagging...and most of all, DON'T HOVER, KEEP MOVING.  I haven't found that I have to allow any "drying time", as the previous pass will have already tacked up sufficiently to accept more paint on the next pass.

Just practice on spoons, and try to take YouTube videos with a grain of salt...it all comes down to what works best for you and produces the results that you're happy with.  Cool

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Sunday, December 5, 2021 9:45 AM

Eaglecash867
Just practice on spoons, and try to take YouTube videos with a grain of salt...it all comes down to what works best for you and produces the results that you're happy with.

Ditto

Don't overthink this, airbrushing is not that hard. I started with a Paasche years ago. It takes practice and getting to know your equipment.

I still mess up even after 40 years. Just clean it up and try again. Your first picture looks like the paint may have been too thin and you tried to cover it too fast. Gloss paint will spray diffrently than flat. You need to spray in thinner coats and allow the lower surface to dry before spraying another. Also, yes you can use lacqure thinner with enamel but I would recomend the manufactures thinner instead. Also, also, diffrent paints spray diffrently. Enamel sprays diffrent then lacquer which sprays diffrently than acrylic. Manufactures spray diffrently as well. Valleco sprays diffrently than Mission Models, Tamiya diffrently that MRP. You will learn, just practice.

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
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, December 5, 2021 10:04 AM

I don't have that brush but I can make a few observations and/or comments:

1. Don't panic when you have a botched paint job because all is not lost. The worst case is that you soak the piece in a paint stripper and then you start over. The least case is you spray another coat after cure and see if that fixes the problem. Even things like dust can be lightly sanded followed by another application of paint.

2. Lacquer thinner behaves differently than enamel thinner and Andy used lacquer. When using lacquer thinner to cut enamel, it accelerates curing, and in my experience, it does so dramatically. Andy is spraying heavy coats and he is pushing the envelope where one could easily get pooling and sags. I suspect he is getting away with it because of the lacquer thinner. The thinner holds the paint in place better because the thinner is accelerating the cure. You might consider trying lacquer thinner.

3. I didn't care for Andys method of mixing. Andy added thinner to the enamel, covered the paint jar, he shakes it a few times, and calls it good. Personally, I'd want to mix it a little better than that and there is a whole debate about shaking. But for this conversation, the latter is less important. Probably, more important than the enamel/paint mixing... you need to make dang sure the enamel or whatever paint you are using is mixed thoroughly before cutting it with thinner. Paints and their components settle in paint jars and it's imperative that paint is mixed thoroughly. That is critical. If you don't have one, I'd recommend getting a battery operated mixer. Badger sells one for around $12, I think.

4. As mentioned by others, with the piece you are working with that has recesses, it is difficult to spray in heavy volume. I would fully expect pooling if you sprayed a heavy application. As others advised, try applying lighter coats until you get even coverage, then  go heavier after that to draw out the gloss. 

5. Yes, practice first. You need to learn the brush before you spray a model. Even after you learn the brush and before spraying a piece, I always test spray on a spoon or whatever to make sure that the paint/thinner mix is correct, and/or, that there are no AB issues. You will learn that there is no set formula that will give you consistent results, all the time. Variations in paint formulas, thinners, air temps, humidity, and a dirty airbrush, all affect how the spray behaves. Though, experience will get you much closer to the goal. Doing that test spray will save you from many headaches because you catch problems before adding them to your model.

Probably more info than you needed to hear. 

  • Member since
    January 2020
Posted by Space Ranger on Sunday, December 5, 2021 10:39 AM

When I first started airbrushing, the most important lesson I learned is: PATIENCE! Don't try to completly cover the model (or parts of it) with one pass. Many light coats are better than one heavy coat. Prime, then spray a very light coat of color. And by "very light," I mean so light you can barely see it. Allow it to dry/cure, then continue with light coats, allowing each to dry before spraying the next, building up the color density until you get a full, even color.

I don't know if this will help, but I use enamels almost exclusively, thinned with a 50-50 mix of mineral spirits and lacquer thinner. However, some paint brands require the proprietary thinner for best results.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Sunday, December 5, 2021 5:31 PM

What Andy does I may have been one of the first here to post that video, I been doing the same thing for decades. As has Donn Yost. It's great for getting that high gloss exterior finish on cars/vehicles. But I wouldn't do that on interior parts, because I just wouldn't is all. And by the way, decanted Rustoleum 2X gloss cut a little extra with LT sprays every bit as nice as Testors or the now discontinued Testors Model Master.

Here is the deal, first it's not the only way to get a great finish, it's one way. I also use the H and #3, to bomb the paint like that I uindeed use around 30psi and your ratio you used up to 50-50. I don't use Testors thinner, haven't used it since about 1976 but a couple of other blends. LT is also just one way of thinning but it's in all my blends. Have to finish this tomorrow. But hope this much may help.

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Sunday, December 5, 2021 5:37 PM

I have watched some more airbrushing videos. Some guys are adamant that only DAWN dish soap should be used. I want to make the plastic to be painted as uncontaminated as possible. It could be that lacquer thinner as in Andy's video emulsifies enamel better. Keeps the pigment in suspension and holds it in place. The hotter lacquer thinner might bite the plastic rapidly to hold the pigment in place. I will definitely try an Andy video test on a plastic cup, starting with an unprimed one first. A fancy mixer/stirrer/paint shaker might not be needed because hot lacquer thinner dissolves the paint so well. I gather there is a lot of chemistry and physics in painting. 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    February 2021
Posted by MJY65 on Sunday, December 5, 2021 5:54 PM

JonBailey
Some guys are adamant that only DAWN dish soap should be used. I want to make the plastic to be painted as uncontaminated as possible.

 

Since I started priming/painting with lacquer I have never washed my models.   I think the solvent burns right through any oils that might be on the surface.  Acrylics are a different story.

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Sunday, December 5, 2021 11:31 PM

Does the plastic in different brand model kits react badly to certain paints and/or thinners? Are AMT models especially hard to paint?

 

 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by JonBailey on Sunday, December 5, 2021 11:41 PM

I'm trying to paint a diesel TRUCK, not a car. This is an older pre-1974 heavy commercial vehicle. I do want the cab interior (ceiling, pillars and window posts) to match the exterior color. The underside of the commercial truck hood also has to match the exterior. I had a 1995 Ford F-150 truck with red interior sheet metal on the ceiling of the cab that matched the body. The truck had no headliner. It is common on trucks, especially older ones, to have bare interior sheet metal matching exteriors. Many older automobiles had interior sheet metal parts that matched exteriors. My Kenworth tractor model will have an interior bucket that goes inside the cab which will be white but I want the upper cab interior to match the exterior, Testors Grape. 

Current Model Worked On; 1/25 AMT Kenworth W-925 Tractor Kit, Future Models; 1/25 AMT Wilson Cattle Trailer, 1/96 Atlantis Boeing 727, 1/48 AMT Bell 205 Helicopter

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, December 6, 2021 2:17 AM

Try a  50:50 mix laquer thiner to enamel @ 17PSI.  Play around with the flow control.  As others have said - experiment and be patient.  You will learn to love your Paasche.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Monday, December 6, 2021 5:00 AM

I worked on and painted 1/1 commercial trucks and pickups for 46 years so I know exactly what you mean. But my interior spraying technique on a model would not be that full soak method you refer to, which I likely would use on the exterior. You're looking for answers right ? Well on those interior pillars and such I'd do something different than a full on bombing of paint.

The only way you will know the difference in using LT is go buy a can and try it. I happen to like it but I also make up other blends too. A subject for another time.

JonBailey

I'm trying to paint a diesel TRUCK, not a car. This is an older pre-1974 heavy commercial vehicle. I do want the cab interior (ceiling, pillars and window posts) to match the exterior color. The underside of the commercial truck hood also has to match the exterior. I had a 1995 Ford F-150 truck with red interior sheet metal on the ceiling of the cab that matched the body. The truck had no headliner. It is common on trucks, especially older ones, to have bare interior sheet metal matching exteriors. Many older automobiles had interior sheet metal parts that matched exteriors. My Kenworth tractor model will have an interior bucket that goes inside the cab which will be white but I want the upper cab interior to match the exterior, Testors Grape. 

 

  • Member since
    September 2021
Posted by DooeyPyle67 on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 8:04 PM

When I first wanted to learn the basics of airbrushing, I watched a couple of videos just to get the gist of paint to thinner ratio. Some youtubers will suggest one ratio, another suggests another, and so on. Confusing? Sure it is because you have to ask yourself who's right? FWIW... it's not rocket science and stop overthnking their methods.

Listen... experiment first and figure out what ratio works for YOU. I have the exact Paashe airbrush as yours. My go-to thinner is usually lacquer thinner except when I'm working with Tamiya acrylics (I use their brand thinner).

I follow these simple rules:

The best way to find your ratio, is have your paint have the consistency of skim milk. 

DO NOT return any unused paint back to the bottle. I don't care what AndyX or who the heck his name is. No way I'm going to taint a perfectly good bottle of paint returning thinned paint from an airbrushing session. Toss it. Use whatever amount you need for your airbrush session.

Always prime!!!!! There's no need to lightly sandpaper prior to airbrushing. It serves no purpose unless you assume it helps paint bite on the surface. DON'T sandpaper anything! That's what primer is for.

As far as soaking sprues with Dawn before painting, I rarely do that anymore. 

Most importantly... when airbrushing, paint in several light coats. Let the paint build up slowly as you paint. It won't be long before you get a nice coverage throughout the model. That Andy guy mentioned doing it in 2 heavy passes to good coverage. Why the rush? Is it worth losing the fine details? No.

Now your paint session pics. Take a deep breath. It's not the end of the world. Soak it in some sort of paint stripping bath. I use Easy Off Oven cleaner in yellow cap. Some use other products other than Easy Off.

Again, I rarely have a need to strip a bad paint job. 

Good luck.

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 6:11 AM

I use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and a cheap electric toothbrush any time I need to strip paint.  Its much quicker and much safer for the plastic than other methods, and strips any paint or primer down to the bare plastic, no matter how long the paint has been on it.  Usually takes about a 20 minute soak, and maybe 5-10 minutes of scrubbing with the electric toothbrush.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

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