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How do you recreate airbrush with a hand paint brush???

6 replies
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  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Southport, North West UK
How do you recreate airbrush with a hand paint brush???
Posted by richgb on Thursday, April 6, 2006 3:40 AM

Hello fellas,

Most of you lot out there seem to paint with an airbrush but some of us can't afford one and have to use the old fashioned way of painting by hand. Is there a way of recreating the effect of an airbrush by hand so that the colours seem to fade out instead of finishing abruptly as they do with a hand brush. I've tried dabbing the edges of the camouflage with a flat brush so that they aren't as sharp. This has limited results. I've thought about building up the layers with an increasing darker shade of the colour you want, but this seems really time consuming. Any ideas?? and does anyone else out there still paint by hand?

Cheers,   Rich

...this is it folks...over the top!
  • Member since
    September 2004
  • From: Utereg
Posted by Borg R3-MC0 on Thursday, April 6, 2006 4:35 AM

There are those who say that you can achieve almost every airbrush effect with an brush, but that certainly not my opinion. I think tat when using a brush, it is impossible to achieve featherd edges and the like.

You can, however, get good results using a brush. But you must choose color scheme's that are suitable for brush painting, so no feathered edges, motteling, spagettehi lines, smoke rings etc. Choose schemes with hard separation lines, those are very suitable for brush painting.

Secondly, use weathering effects that don't require an airbrush such ase dry-brushing and washes. Those two techniques can enhance the overal appearance of your model without the use of an airbrush.

  • Member since
    March 2006
  • From: South Coast, UK
Posted by NikToo on Thursday, April 6, 2006 5:59 AM
The technique you're thinking of is called wetblending, and it can be used to great effect. The trick is to blend the shades together on the model itself by keeping the paint wet. It can be tricky to prevent it running all over the place so it takes a bit of time.

Blending should be done dark colors over light. Trying to get light colors over dark is doomed and leads to swearing, throwing things and general destruction.

I use Future to keep the paint flowing and extend drying. Here in the UK it's called Johnson's Klear, as you probably know. A few drops of a premixed 1:5 Klear to water once I've thinned the paint already seems to work for me. You want the paint really, really thin. Several washes are better than a few.

There are some cheapie airbrushes on eBay that are basically Iwata copies. I just got one and although I haven't tried it yet, it could be a cheap way of starting out with airbrushing. I just didn't want to pay hundreds of pounds and then find out I'd rather play Elder Scrolls. If I like it and get on with it I'll consider getting a proper one.
On the bench: Tamiya 1/48 Tiger I: Tamiya 1/48 Jagdpanther: Skybow 1/48 Tiger I Late:
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Southern California, USA
Posted by ABARNE on Friday, April 7, 2006 12:03 AM

An old feathered edge technique that I used to use in my pre air-brush days was to dab paint using a bit of closed-cel foam rubber.  With the paint thinned just a bit and not flooding the foam rubber with paint, one can achieve a pretty decent sprayed look to the edge.



  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Southport, North West UK
Posted by richgb on Friday, April 7, 2006 3:50 AM

Hi fellas,

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll give these techniques a whirl and see what happens.

Regards,  Rich

...this is it folks...over the top!
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Tacoma WA
Posted by gjek on Sunday, April 9, 2006 2:36 PM
Rich, put a pound a week away and you will have a nice airbrush this time next year! Sounds like forever but you will be happy when you get one.   Greg
Msgt USMC Ret M48, M60A1, M1A1
  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by Retrospect on Friday, June 25, 2021 6:03 AM

I realize this is an older post but is however still relevant to todays habby painters; both modle and table top miniature painting alike. As another fellow mentioned wet blending is a really good technique. It does however take time, patience, and a bit of a learning curve. Its a technique that even owners of an air brush in the miniature hobby still use today. A technique ranging from wet blending to two brush wet blending. With two brush wet blending basically You use one brush to lay down the paint, the second is a moistened brush to further draw the paint out into the other making a featherd appearance. For this to work both paints must remain wet. This can be accomplished by using a product called flow-aid or other such drying retardents for acrylics or thinners for testers enamel paints. 


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