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Thewifey

wife here to help my husband get back into the thing he loves most

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Hello! I'm here looking for help, I built a few models a lifetime ago with my stepdad but that's it. I was about 5 so I have no idea what we used or what we needed. My husband built models as a kid up into his teenage years but when life got busy he didn't have the time to keep doing it and lost all his stuff over the years. He likes models he has to pain. I want to get him everything he needs to start back buolding with for Christmas but I have no idea where to start. I at least want to get the basics and then I can get him the "fancy" stuff that's just nice to have for other gifts. 

My question is what are the basics? He mentioned air brushing and small air compressors in conversation but I didn't want to press much I want it to be a surprise. Also, what's the best place to buy equipment and supplies from? Including build kits? What kind of paint do I need to get for airbrushing? 

 

I know I don't know the lingo here but this is something I really want to do for my hard working husband. I craft, sew, and cut vinyl so I want to give him a section of my art room for his art too ❤️ Thanks in advance for your help!

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Welcome to the forum. It's cool you want to do this. For basics he will need an X-Acto knife (or similar) with at least a #11 blade (a kit would be better but I do not know your budget), Testors sells two different containers of liquid cement, one is a brush on bottle the other is in a black container and has a long neck/applicator, do not use tube glue, sandpaper-I'd recommend wet or dry for painting, at least 600 to 1200 grit (should be able to find a variety pack at any auto parts store), masking tape, a variety of small clamps (clothes-pins work), small paint brushes, maybe a small set of files, depending on his age and eye sight, a magnifier ( I use a head piece but I'm old), a good light to see with, small drill bits, decal solvents, at least a 6" ruler (I use a small square as it can be used as a straight edge).

As far as an airbrush goes, there are two types. Single action and double action. Single action is like a can of spray paint, you push down on the trigger and get paint and air. Double action is when you push straight down on the lever and get only air. When you pull the trigger back it sprays the material. The further back, the more material. Double action is a bit harder to use until you get used to it. I would recommend auto paint and primer. I prefer Dupli-Color. It comes in a LOT of colors (any auto parts store also). Whatever you choose try to make sure the primer, base coat and clear coat are from the same MFG or he may run into compatibility issues. I've had good success spraying from the can. A small compressor that (in my opinion) has at least 35 psi should be good (with a regulator). Look for one with auto- shutoff. He will need a good place to paint. The fumes from lacquer or enamel can be strong. Water based paint not so much. A small paint booth directed outside would help.

Most of the non auto parts store related items should be available at any hobby store or places like Hobby Lobby, Michael's. Walmart, etc.

I'm sure there are things I've over looked and others here will help.

Edited by DPNM

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Welcome to the forum. It's cool you want to do this. For basics he will need an X-Acto knife (or similar) with at least a #11 blade (a kit would be better but I do not know your budget), Testors sells two different containers of liquid cement, one is a brush on bottle the other is in a black container and has a long neck/applicator, do not use tube glue, sandpaper-I'd recommend wet or dry for painting, at least 600 to 1200 grit (should be able to find a variety pack at any auto parts store), masking tape, a variety of small clamps (clothes-pins work), small paint brushes, maybe a small set of files, depending on his age and eye sight, a magnifier ( I use a head piece but I'm old), a good light to see with, small drill bits, decal solvents, at least a 6" ruler (I use a small square as it can be used as a straight edge).

As far as an airbrush goes, there are two types. Single action and double action. Single action is like a can of spray paint, you push down on the trigger and get paint and air. Double action is when you push straight down on the lever and get only air. When you pull the trigger back it sprays the material. The further back, the more material. Double action is a bit harder to use until you get used to it. I would recommend auto paint and primer. I prefer Dupli-Color. It comes in a LOT of colors (any auto parts store also). Whatever you choose try to make sure the primer, base coat and clear coat are from the same MFG or he may run into compatibility issues. I've had good success spraying from the can. A small compressor that (in my opinion) has at least 35 psi should be good (with a regulator). Look for one with auto- shutoff. He will need a good place to paint. The fumes from lacquer or enamel can be strong. Water based paint not so much. A small paint booth directed outside would help.

Most of the non auto parts store related items should be available at any hobby store or places like Hobby Lobby, Michael's. Walmart, etc.

I'm sure there are things I've over looked and others here will help.

thank you! I've seen some airbrush kits that come with the compressor, hose, gun (I don't know what it's really called but that's what I call the part that the paint comes out of) and a few paints. Usually around $150. Are those worth it or are they low quality?

 

also I know the #1 car that he wants to build but I can only find it on amazon. Is amazon an ok place for these kinds of things?

Edited by Thewifey

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Depending on the make,BADGER do airbrushers,and compressors,most stores will advise you if you explain what your aim is,good luck,all the guys will help you on here.

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If you have a Micheal's or Hobby Lobby in your area, remember to make use of the 40% or (if you're lucky) 50% off coupons to get modelling supplies, both stores sell model building supplies and model kits.

It seems that Hobby Lobby actually has better selection of model kits and building supplies/tools that Micheal's does.

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You should be able to find an airbrush/compressor in that price range depending on what it is. I would suggest buying a name brand. Badger (as mentioned), Paasche, Iwata are a few that come to mind. I use a Binks Wren (single action). Name brands being better when he needs to buy spare/replacement parts. Determine which to buy, single or double action. Single action should be less expensive.

Amazon is Ok if you don't have a local hobby store or other place I mentioned. I do not know which kit interests him. As an aside, I assumed him to be auto related. If he wants to do planes or military  (and ships too probably) he will need to buy flat (not gloss) paint.

You may also find airbrushes (used and new) on your local craigslist.

My suggestion of small drill bits, he would need a good pin-vice also.

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Couple other things, he can use SuperGlue also. It's available in tube and brush-on. It will work gluing painted pieces. He has to be careful putting them together though as it dries fast. To use the model cement I mentioned he has to scrape the paint/plating from the pieces to get the pieces to bond.

Not as strong a hold but I would suggest Elmers white glue (or similar) for gluing clear pieces (windshields/glass). It dries clear and will not mar the piece. Excess can be cleaned up with water, on a Q-Tip etc while it is still wet.

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More about airbrushes: there are 3 different styles. Siphon feed, gravity feed and side feed. Siphon feed has the paint bottle under the airbrush, gravity feed has the paint in the top and side feed has the jar on the side (go figure). I would suggest either a siphon feed or gravity feed. Most side feeds I am aware of are more for inks not higher viscosity material like auto paint.

I own quite a few airbrushes. I collect them. I have one gravity feed but I've never used it so I have no experience to tell you on them. He may have to learn to look "around" the gravity feed jar so I've heard.

Guide:

Single action/siphon feed:

Paasche H1

Badger 200 series

Binks Wren

Double action/siphon feed:

Paasche VL series

Badger 150

Iwata BCS

Double action/gravity feed:

Paasche TG series

Badger 100 series

Iwata HP-CS

All these company's offer lower and higher quality airbrushes. What I listed should be considered about the middle of the road.

Also, when you look for a compressor try to find one that is somewhat quiet. You will be glad you did.

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GIVE HIM A     $$$$$$$$$$$$$ GIFT CARD TO HOBBY LOBBY AND LET HIM GET WHAT HE WAN'TS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I CAN SEE WHY HE MARRIED YOU .ANY WIFE THAT GIVES UP HER SPACE FOR HIM TO BUILD MODELS IS AN AWESOME GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT WILL BE A HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN THAT HOUSEHOLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Even more about airbrushes:

The double actions usually have three needle choices. Paasche offers 1,3 and 5 I believe. Go with the 5 as it is the largest and will spray higher viscosity fluids. I am most familiar with the Paasche, the other brands should be similarly numbered. Some airbrush kits have the different sizes included.

Also, if he should make a mistake and have to strip the paint I use Purple Power. It doesn't work on flat black (at least for me) but it is fairly (somewhat, sorta kinda) safe. I do wear latex gloves and eye protection. One thing on latex gloves, some may leave a residue on the model. It's best to wash any contaminates off with the gloves on then wash again with your (his) bare hands. You (he) have to wash your hands first as the oil from your skin may contaminate to item to be painted.

Actually the painting part is the easiest. It's prepping the item that is more difficult.

Your original post says he's mentioned airbrushes. Has he been specific? I would shop online to find the best price on an airbrush and compressor although you may be running out of time.

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their are so many places you can get supply's and kits from..Hobby Lobby has great prices with a discount coupon on their web site ..eBay u can find just about anything that u can think of..just do a search for what ever u are looking for ..tools ,kits, air brush, glue's etc..i buy most all what i need their.. every builder has their one ideals on the best place's to buy ..some may cost more than others..remember just because it may be a cheaper brand doesn't mean its not a great product..you can also check micro mart out that will give you some ideals...https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjP2aiWhuPQAhXCfiwKHRaHBr8QFgggMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.micromark.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNHSIyUrwW2wYO1cdzDIUx2arMs3Dw&sig2=KfHa-5NvKPtIk406MfK3yg

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their are so many places you can get supply's and kits from..Hobby Lobby has great prices with a discount coupon on their web site ..eBay u can find just about anything that u can think of..just do a search for what ever u are looking for ..tools ,kits, air brush, glue's etc..i buy most all what i need their.. every builder has their one ideals on the best place's to buy ..some may cost more than others..remember just because it may be a cheaper brand doesn't mean its not a great product..you can also check micro mart out that will give you some ideals...https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjP2aiWhuPQAhXCfiwKHRaHBr8QFgggMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.micromark.com%2F&usg=AFQjCNHSIyUrwW2wYO1cdzDIUx2arMs3Dw&sig2=KfHa-5NvKPtIk406MfK3yg

this is a great place to find airbrush and compressors, water traps , regulators ,fittings, hose,etc.. u can buy complete set ups here also....TCPGlobal | eBay Stores

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I usually don't get involved in a "what's the best stuff for a beginner" posts because usually those asking for help end up getting inundated with info....most of it good, some of it not.  You (and your husband) will find that there are an overwhelming number of things that have value to a model builder and most of it depends on personal preference, skill level, cost and dedication.  The reason I am responding is that I am impressed you are trying to do something to help your husband get into a hobby starting from scratch.

I am 75 years old and built models as a kid and teenager, quit the hobby until about 15 years ago when I got back into it and since have bought and built about 50 models (cars, trucks, trailers, etc.).  I have about 20 more kits in various stages of build that I try to finish whenever I get "the bug"

I tried various airbrushes and a couple of compressors in the beginning and after about a year I settled on the Aztek A4709 for airbrushing.  It is a dual action that is relatively easy to learn how to use and I like it because you can control the amount of paint, avoiding runs.  You can buy the A4709 in a complete kit that will include everything you need to get started, the "gun" as you call it, feed bottles, various tips for different paints and applications, air hose for connecting to the compressor and an instruction booklet and video.  I did a google search and found that you can buy this kit for $150 brand new.  It also has a lifetime guarantee from Testors the mfr.  After trying a couple of models of air compressors I settled on a Paasche Model D3000R compressor, it comes with everything you need....pressure regulator, air trap with manual bleed and is a very quiet compact unit.

Just a couple of other things I have "settled" on is glue, I use Model Master Liquid cement #8872.  It come in a little black container with a long thin tube for feeding the glue to control where you apply the glue, and I absolutely recommend Model Car World automotive lacquer paints for spraying (you can get them at mcwfinishes@ssnet.com)  I did discover that you can get a "starter set" of spray paints (13 2oz bottles) from Testors Aztek for $65.

I will close this longer than intended post with my last bit of advice....you can find everything a beginning model builder needs at www.micromark.com.  They have a wide range of tools at reasonable prices and deliver pretty quickly.

I have been using these products and sources for probably the last 13-14 years and have great success with them.  I wish you much success in your endeavor and your husband is a very lucky guy to have a thoughtful wife like you.

If you have any questions you can PM me.

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Welcome aboard, and you are a good man Jim Sulli van for so much information, your a good man.

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Thank you DumpyDan. I tried to offer what I thought would be useful. I had the day off so I had the time. Don't know if I'd do it again though.

When someone mentions airbrushes I perk up. It kind of turned into Airbrush 101.

It doesn't seem like the OP has been back since. I did want her to know that modelling should be his second love. A wife willing to help a guy with his hobby is special.

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Jamie, congratulation to your Hubby for marrying a wonderful partner!  It is great to see someone encouraging their partner in our hobby.  A lot of good suggestions here and I agree with most of them.  I think I might have been a bit like the husband.  Like many here and your husband, I came back to the hobby after many years of family raising.  I have made my share of mistakes with airbrushes.  I have purchased and discarded a few cheap airbrushes and have four that I have kept and use all the time.  

  If I were to suggest a starter kit it would be my old work horse a Badger Crescendo 175.  I have had mine for well over 20 years and it taught me more about airbrushing than I can possible share.  The important thing here is that it gives you a lot of stuff to experiment with to find out how to use it.  Most importantly, it comes with three size tips.  Different size tips are required for different types and manufacturers of paint.  This one can handle all of them.  Most of the other suggested brushes are single tip, so you are stuck with a single size tip and if hubby decides to try a different paint, it may not work of it.  The quality of this brush is good but not top of the line and has one thing missing that would be nice to have.  That is an adjustable stop for the needle, but that is something you don't absolutely need. 

  As I said, this is my old work horse and I have a lot of respect for it.  I have used the heck out of it and have had it recently rebuilt.  I am going to suggest a site for you to go to as they are local to me here in SoCal.  That is Coast Air Brush.  They specialize in airbrushes and did the rebuild on my brush and got it back to great working condition. I am not suggesting that they are the only place to buy, but I have been acquainted with them for years and they have never treated me poorly.   

 This is the link to the brush I suggest and they have a very reasonable price on it.  http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=Badger_175_Crescendo_Airbrush_Set  When you order it, I would also suggest a set of cleaner brushes. http://www.coastairbrush.com/proddetail.asp?prod=5_Piece_Brush_Cleaning_Set  These are only a few dollars and are necessary to keep the brush in good working condition.   If you call one of the airbrush companies like Coast Airbrush I would also have them add a small tube of needle lube.  This keeps the seal in good condition.

  I will not suggest a compressor because there are a ton of options.  Everything from a high end professional  to canned air.  There are even people that have an adapter that hooks up to a spare tire from a car.  I would not suggest those but hubby will need to get something that fits both the room and your budget so I will leave that up to him.  

  One last thought.  You mentioned that you wanted to give him part of your art room.  Airbrushing in a closed room is not recommended especially if you have other crafts in the room.  Airbrushing can put some seriously toxic fumes in the air and over spray can get dust on things you don't want it on.  Painting with this will need to be done in a garage or outdoors.  The assembly and prep work can be done in the room with you but the spraying needs to be somewhere else, unless you are prepared to spend money on a spray booth, which for someone getting back into the hobby is probably too much of a commitment. 

Good luck and I hope the husband appreciates what you are doing for him!

Edited by Pete J.

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These guys have pretty much covered it all. Wow. I will say this Jaime, you are an awesome person. He's a lucky guy it sounds like. Merry Christmas to both of you, Joe

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Jamie...Welcome..!   You are a awesome wife hes lucky to have you.  I hope you both nothing but the best.  Good advise here from all the group....me I just use spray can paints and bottle or brush paints on mine.  Good things to have are...

You already probably have these but they also are great for building...fingernail emery boards...I use them all the time.

Small plastic spring clamps for holding things.

Tweezers.

A modeling tool called a Sprue cutter...looks like a small pair of pliers but for cutting plastic parts.

A good work light maybe one even with a magnifier lens in it.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask...were all glad to be of any help.  

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If you  have a Sally's Beauty supply around you they carry a few useful things. Sanding sticks ( my mom called them emery boards) a few different grits would help. 

 

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These guys have just about everything covered although I disagree with the recommendation to avoid tube glue.  Depending on what best suits the application, I use the thin liquid cement for styrene, as well as 5-minute epoxy, CA (super glue), MicroScale liquid tape, white "school" glue, etc.  

The glue I probably use most often, though, is Testor's Model Cement for Plastic Models:  tube glue.  I find it very handy when I need a part to be held in place or need time to position a part.  Yes, you need to remove paint or chrome plating to ensure proper adhesion, but I do that when using all of the other types of glue, anyway.  Your husband will be familiar with it, I'm sure.

And, I have been using a Testor's Aztec airbrush and compressor for over twenty years, without fail.

Just my 2 cents.  You're husband's a lucky fellow.  My wife HATES that I have a hobby, be it in 1/25 scale or 1/1 scale!  Merry Christmas!

PB.

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