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Hey all, 

So I'm having some trouble with airbrushing. First, I have a Paasche single action model H and use a harbor freight air compressor. I typically spray at about 25psi. 

I am having some trouble getting a smooth finish. I just sprayed my current project and it came out horrible. I used Testors Aztek pearl blue acrylic. I would like to stay using acrylics for the sake of having less orders then enamels. Should I switch to using enamels and laquer thinner for better results? What at are some techniques you use to get great finishes? 

Thank you! 

- Steve 

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Firstly I would turn down the pressure to 20 p.s.i, and to me, it looks like you need to thin the paint a little more, I would practice on some scrap plastic or even plastic spoons before trying on car bodies, I use the same airbrush, why # tip are you using ?

Edited by GeeBee

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ok, ill try turning the pressure down after I strip this body. With the testors aztek I was told that you did not need to thin it down? I believe I use the #3 tip.

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ok, ill try turning the pressure down after I strip this body. With the testors aztek I was told that you did not need to thin it down? I believe I use the #3 tip.

The # 3 tip should be fine, sometimes I use the # 5 when using cellulose lacquer, I've never used Testors Aztek paints although I use a lot of their Model Master enamels, you shouldn't have to thin it too much, but try to get the consistency of the paint to the same as semi skimmed milk

Edited by GeeBee

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ok, ill try turning the pressure down after I strip this body. With the testors aztek I was told that you did not need to thin it down? I believe I use the #3 tip.

Actually, if you think the "airbrushables" you're using are a little thick for your particular needle/nozzle, turning down the pressure will only make it more difficult to push through the airbrush. Do you get a good flow at your current settings? I ask because it looks to me as if you're applying too much paint. You should always use mist coats in the beginning, and allow some drying in between. Then, one wetter coat at the end. Aztek's Pearls are very nice paints, and you should give them a fair try before moving on to something else.

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I usually get good flow at around 20psi. I stripped the model today and watched some videos on painting. I saw a video on YouTube of someone spraying a 1:1 ratio of the small testors bottles of enamels, with laquer thinner. The results looked great. Has anyone tried this method? 

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I usually get good flow at around 20psi. I stripped the model today and watched some videos on painting. I saw a video on YouTube of someone spraying a 1:1 ratio of the small testors bottles of enamels, with laquer thinner. The results looked great. Has anyone tried this method?

I routinely thin Testor/MM enamels 1:1 (sometimes even more, depending) with lacquer thinner. Been doing it for 30 years.

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If I'm airbrushing enamel paint I always thin it with lacquer thinner

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Hi all --

I was just talking to a guy at the hobby shop today about getting my first air brush.  That picture at the top of this post is pretty much the reason I've stayed with rattle cans for 25 years.  I know -- wrong reason.  But I've seen so many models painted with an air brush that either look like a dry sandy finish or the orange peel that I figured "man, it must be really really hard to use an air brush".

So... I'm thinking about getting one now because some of what I want to paint with isn't available in rattle cans.

Is the Paasche "H" a good one for a first-timer  ?   Or is there a better choice ?

I need one that is easy to use, and that it will be easy for me to lay down those nice wet smooth finishes.

Thx

 

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Most people start with a single-action. Push the button and paint comes out. If you want to go all in, go ahead and get a double action - it takes two movements to control air and paint. I picked the latter, and picked up how to do it pretty quick.

My first airbrush was a Paasche, but it was gifted by a bud and not real reliable. Not much longer after, I picked up an Iwata Revolution and I love it (I have a BR and a CR now).

People are funny about their choice of brands - everyone will declare that this brand or that is the bestest ever - but it really comes down to how comfortable you are with it. Go to a shop where they'll let you handle them, and maybe show you how to take them apart. See what feels good to you.

The big question, and the hardest thing for me to resolve early, was what is your air source? If you already have a compressor, all good. But if you don't, you'll probably spend more time hunting down that than your airbrush. I eventually spent the coin for an Iwata Power Jet Pro and don't regret the money. Before it, I went through several other types and brands. The Iwata should last me as long as I live, and well, since I'm all for Iwata airbrushes, well....

But go to a shop and play around with what they have, or see if you have a local bud who will let you try out his gear. Feel is everything with airbrushes.

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I routinely thin Testor/MM enamels 1:1 (sometimes even more, depending) with lacquer thinner. Been doing it for 30 years.

great, going to give it a try later today. thanks!

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I have both the paasche H and VL series airbrushes. I use the H for large areas and the VL for the smaller stuff. I have always wanted a Iwata but haven't pushed the button yet. I am not real crazy about the 2 I have but they work. I use water based paint only and they do a good job. Since I haven't used any other brand, I won't comment about each brand. It takes a little while to get the right pressure and how thin the paint is to get good results. Practice, practice and then practice some more until you get it to flow right. Good luck on your venture.

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I have both the paasche H and VL series airbrushes. I use the H for large areas and the VL for the smaller stuff. I have always wanted a Iwata but haven't pushed the button yet. I am not real crazy about the 2 I have but they work. I use water based paint only and they do a good job. Since I haven't used any other brand, I won't comment about each brand. It takes a little while to get the right pressure and how thin the paint is to get good results. Practice, practice and then practice some more until you get it to flow right. Good luck on your venture.

Don't bother with Iwata - the largest needle/nozzle they currently have installed in their cheaper airbrushes is .5mm. You can get a Badger Anthem with a .75mm installed, or a Patriot and a .75mm accessory needle/nozzle, and you'll be all set for spraying acrylics. The smaller the n/n, the more pressure or the thinner acrylics have to be to get proper atomization.

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Don't bother with Iwata - the largest needle/nozzle they currently have installed in their cheaper airbrushes is .5mm. You can get a Badger Anthem with a .75mm installed, or a Patriot and a .75mm accessory needle/nozzle, and you'll be all set for spraying acrylics. The smaller the n/n, the more pressure or the thinner acrylics have to be to get proper atomization.

Hey Frank, I have never tried the Badger airbrushes. On the paasche H, I use the #5 (1.067mm setup) and I like it better than the VL. On the VL I use the #3 (0.73 setup) and it works very good on small parts. The only thing about both that I don't like is the cup hangs on the side. I'll check out the Badger stuff and see how it looks. I guess it all depends on what you have and get used to using. I started out years ago with the VL and just last year bought the H. I used to paint with lacquer and even tried the rattle cans from the auto supply stores but last year I changed over to only acrylic since I spray into a booth inside the house now. I use only Apple Barrel acrylic thinned with auto washer fluid and then Future for the final gloss. Can't say they are color correct for models but I don't try to match year colors anyway. 

Thanks

Richard

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image.thumb.jpeg.1a7647dc23ff4b4f7218394Gave the testors enamel and laquer thinner a try today (ratio 1:1) and After stripping the car twice I can settle for where it's at. Being new to airbrushing I'm still trying to dial in settings, but I can see how people get great results with this. What clear coat do most of you use with good results?  There are a couple dust particles that made there way on to the body. Just to make sure, I would have to spray the clear and then sand them out correct? 

 

Thank you for all your help! 

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If this were my car, and since this is a solid color, it really needs no clear coat. There's enough hardener in the paint that it should rub out and polish without needing it. Metallics on the other hand, you should always clear as rubbing them out disturbs the metal flakes and lends itself to a swirly, mottled appearance.

The dust particles should come out as you're rubbing out and polishing the body.

Hope this helps!

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Hey all quick question. As you may have already read I am spraying testors enamel 50:50 with laquer thinner and was fairly happy with the results. I can see how a nice smooth paint job can derive from this method. My questions is, what clear coat do some of you use who use a 50:50 testors/MM enamel method. I have heard using Testors gloss coat will work however it does yellow over time. Are there any other options out there that work for clear coating over this mix?

Thank you!

- Steve

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I've had good luck with Testors "Gloss Clear Lacquer" (in bottles). It works fine over their enamels. It's pricey, but if you do a good job sanding the color coat, it doesn't take much clear to get a nice shine. I haven't seen any sign of yellowing so far.

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So I gave the Aztek series a try again. I did not prime the body. I started spraying on the plastic with a .3mm tip on my Paasche H at about 20psi. Once again the finish was not smooth. I was not spraying to far away but for some reason I can not get a smooth gloss finish for the life of me and it's taking all the enjoyment out of modeling. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated! 

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So I gave the Aztek series a try again. I did not prime the body. I started spraying on the plastic with a .3mm tip on my Paasche H at about 20psi. Once again the finish was not smooth. I was not spraying to far away but for some reason I can not get a smooth gloss finish for the life of me and it's taking all the enjoyment out of modeling. Any help or advice is greatly appreciated! 

If you want slick pain't you may want to try my method. It's simple, cheap and doesn't stink the place up. I use acrylic craft paints from hobby lobby and Walmart. You can get these for less than two dollars a bottle and one bottle will paint at least ten bodies. These now come in pearl and metal flake colors as well.

My spray formula is any single or dual action airbrush with #3 or #5 needle will work as long as the airbrush is clean and operating properly. I use a Paasche talon dual action.

Air pressure needs to be adjusted to each batch of paint. I spray anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds depending on my paint and what I'm spraying.

Thinning paint. I always mix my paint half paint and half Pledge floor finish so you end up with a fifty fifty mix.

Turn your airbrush down until you get the flow you want and spray light coats making several passes around the body. You can practice spraying on  plastic spoons to get use to it and tell how its going to look. No need for clear because the clear has already been added to the paint. If you want s super high gloss finish you can spray straight Pledge floor finish over the body after paint has cured.

The draw back to using acrylics. They dry very fast so you will need to wipe the dried paint from the end of the needle from time to time if you notice your spray pattern changing or if there is a lack of spray.

Here's one I sprayed a few weeks ago and it has no clear on it. I sprayed straight onto plastic with no primer.

 

IMG_20160126_203546.jpg

IMG_20160126_202907.jpg

IMG_20160126_203229.jpg

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If you want slick pain't you may want to try my method. It's simple, cheap and doesn't stink the place up. I use acrylic craft paints from hobby lobby and Walmart. You can get these for less than two dollars a bottle and one bottle will paint at least ten bodies. These now come in pearl and metal flake colors as well.

My spray formula is any single or dual action airbrush with #3 or #5 needle will work as long as the airbrush is clean and operating properly. I use a Paasche talon dual action.

Air pressure needs to be adjusted to each batch of paint. I spray anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds depending on my paint and what I'm spraying.

Thinning paint. I always mix my paint half paint and half Pledge floor finish so you end up with a fifty fifty mix.

Turn your airbrush down until you get the flow you want and spray light coats making several passes around the body. You can practice spraying on  plastic spoons to get use to it and tell how its going to look. No need for clear because the clear has already been added to the paint. If you want s super high gloss finish you can spray straight Pledge floor finish over the body after paint has cured.

The draw back to using acrylics. They dry very fast so you will need to wipe the dried paint from the end of the needle from time to time if you notice your spray pattern changing or if there is a lack of spray.

Here's one I sprayed a few weeks ago and it has no clear on it. I sprayed straight onto plastic with no primer.

 

IMG_20160126_203546.jpg

IMG_20160126_202907.jpg

IMG_20160126_203229.jpg

Tommy, thank your taking the time to do this write up, it is greatly appreciated. I'll have to give it a try on a scrap body. Does the paint brand matter or will most craft acrylics work? I've always heard bad things about mixing and spraying craft acrylics compared to testors, tamiya, etc. and that future for clear doesn't last as long as some other brands? I have a bottle of future but hesitate using it because of this reason. 

Also, do you ever have to sand the body down to polish? I tried buffing out paint that did not have a clear coat before and it did not end as well as expected. Started with 4,000 then 6, 8, 10, and 12. Did a 3 step polish with McGuires scratch x, Polish, and carnuba wax and didn't see great results either. I'm assuming the paint under it had to much orange peel to fix? Not to sure but I assume laying a smooth coat of paint down and then adding clear before doing this process would help. 

I also just bought a ton of testors enamels and the Aztek paints (huge sale at a Michaels near me) so I would like to utilize those as well. But I will give this method a try, hopefully later on tonight. Thank you! 

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I use mainly cheap craft paint since theyve added so many great colors lately but I also use other acrylics like vallego, model master and testors but they are usually much thinner From the factory and require less Pledge to thin down.

If I need a super gloss shine I usually spray a few light coats of Pledge and after it cures good I buff it with a used dryer sheet " not a new sheet" A new sheet is to rough to buff with.

If you dont feel comfortable mixing your own paint you can buy testors pre thinned acrylic. There's a guy on eBay selling (24) quarter ounce assorted bottles of the factory pre thinned for $18.00

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I use mainly cheap craft paint since theyve added so many great colors lately but I also use other acrylics like vallego, model master and testors but they are usually much thinner From the factory and require less Pledge to thin down.

If I need a super gloss shine I usually spray a few light coats of Pledge and after it cures good I buff it with a used dryer sheet " not a new sheet" A new sheet is to rough to buff with.

If you dont feel comfortable mixing your own paint you can buy testors pre thinned acrylic. There's a guy on eBay selling (24) quarter ounce assorted bottles of the factory pre thinned for $18.00

I'll give the craft acrylics a try tonight. Hopefully they work well but I also want to figure out how to use the azteks and the enamels (50/50 mix with laquer thinner). Thanks for your input! 

Any other advice out there?

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I'll give the craft acrylics a try tonight. Hopefully they work well but I also want to figure out how to use the azteks and the enamels (50/50 mix with laquer thinner). Thanks for your input! 

Any other advice out there?

Yes - I'd like you to change your mind on "enamels", because you may not like the stink... lacquers smell much less offensive, and you can thin them with impunity and you'll still get great coverage.

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