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Hi all

Even though I have been building kits on and off for decades, I do not have an airbrush.  I simply cannot afford one, and frankly cleaning them makes me nervous.

Having said that, a 1:1 Jeep guy we know mentioned the Perval sprayer system, and recently I found out they can be purchased at Home Depot for only $5!

Info can be found here ----------- >>>   https://preval.com/all-products/preval-sprayer/

A peek at the website shows they sell packs of smaller paint containers, which look better suited to model use, as the bottle that comes with the small kit is a rather large glass one (see pic).   

Has anyone here ever used this system to spray their models?  I'd like to know more about them before trying mine out.  I especially need to understand any cleaning processes, as I seriously doubt the propellant will only last for one model!

 

 

preval.jpg

preval2.jpg

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Ive used them on 1/1 parts before . but never on a model.

 

And aren't they one time use ? be kind of expensive

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If it sounds too good to be true...

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I've used them on 1:1 parts, too. Not really all that different than using a spray can. Pretty much a one time use, as you would run the propellant out trying to clean it. Only real advantage over spray cans is that you can load it with whatever color you want.

 

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Probably not the best bet for models.  You would need a lot of paint and end up wasting a lot.  No control over psi or control pattern either so this seems to be a alternative if an airbrush is out of the question.  Model car world sells a lot of factory colors in spray cans.

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I've tried using them for touchup work in the field on aircraft and race cars, as well as spraying mold-release agents, again for field repairs on composite aircraft.

Though the concept is sound, my results have been inconsistent. Pressure in the propellant can may vary widely, and as a result, atomization is never predictable. As you use up the propellant, the pressure also drops, naturally, and atomization at the end of a job is usually different from at the beginning. When there's absolutely NO alternative, they have a place in the toolbox.

Cleaning requires simply sloshing out the bottle with clean solvent, and spraying more clean solvent through the device, then finally inverting the thing and spraying to clear any liquids out of the dip-tube and valve.

But if you want to do good work, you'd be ahead of the game saving up to buy a decent entry-level airbrush and compressor. Most anyone can put aside a buck a day. In 6 months, you're set.

EDIT: And if you can build a model, you can certainly clean an airbrush. It just takes a little care and reading the instructions first. ;)

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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I tried one once, many years ago.  Never again!

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With what you'd invest over time in buying those one time use products, you would actually come out cheaper in the long run getting a decent single action airbrush by either Badger or Paasche. My Paasche single action has served me well for almost thirty years. Such things as those Preval sprayers are basically a waste of time & money most of the time.

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That would be my opinion too. The main reason modelers use spray-cans is to minimize cleanup after the painting is done (or so they say). The Preval sprayer seems to need a cleanup similar to what an airbrush would need. So why not just get an airbrush? It will allow much finer spray and full control of the air pressure and paint volume.

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But if you want to do good work, you'd be ahead of the game saving up to buy a decent entry-level airbrush and compressor. Most anyone can put aside a buck a day. In 6 months, you're set.

EDIT: And if you can build a model, you can certainly clean an airbrush. It just takes a little care and reading the instructions first

Well, I can't put aside a buck a day as I've been out of work a long time.  My interest in these sprayers isn't to save $300, it is because I can never find the colors I want in a can.  I am limited to basic colors and not 1:1 correct ones. 

My fear of cleaning is due to all the different types of thinners for different types of paint, and what is compatible with what.  For some reason that has been like math to me all these years... I just can't grasp it all.

Add in the fact that when I started to build again a few years ago, all the usual things I did with paint wasn't fool-proof anymore.  I never had so many paint problems before.  No doubt the EPA is partly to blame, but painting bodies has gone from my favorite part to least part of building a kit... and that is saying a lot...

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With what you'd invest over time in buying those one time use products, you would actually come out cheaper in the long run getting a decent single action airbrush by either Badger or Paasche. My Paasche single action has served me well for almost thirty years. Such things as those Preval sprayers are basically a waste of time & money most of the time.

BUT,  It would be a no brainer if all you had to buy was an airbrush. Problem is it also requires a compressor,  cleaners and everything else that goes with it. . Plus storage of it all.

With these prevail sprayers once done you can drop them in the trash if you want and buy another one if or when you need them again. , actually several times before your on the door step of a complete air brush costs

 

The prevail sprayers have there niche,,, Whether that's in the modeling world or not  I cant answer. But if I was limited on funds and / or space I would give one a try . Its not like every build I do where I need to drag out the air brush to paint it. I actually avoid it if I can find something close to the color I'm after in a rattle can. Last year I built maybe 12 - 13 kits, and I only had to drag the airbrush out twice. If I could have found the colors I wanted in a rattle can , It would still be there collecting dust .

 

I am well aware an airbrush can allow for a much better overall finish. But Ive seen some quality builds done with nothing but a rattle can as well .

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Ah, once again we go in search of a non-airbrush paint applicator.  I will say again what I have always said.  The magic is in the magician, not the magic wand.  If you practice and experiement you can get a great paint job using just about any method.  Early man used a very crude form of an airbrush by putting pigment in his mouth and blowing it at cave walls.  Now I don't suggest this but with time and effort any method of transferring paint to a surface can work.  The airbrush has certain advantages that other methods don't.  The main advantage is control and cost.  The control allows you to adjust the brush to various paint viscosity, drying rates and pigment sizes.  It also gives you control over spray patterns and densities.  You can adjust it to account for variations in temperature and humidity. In short it is a precised instrument if you know how to use it.  Like many tools, it has a down side.  It has a relatively high upfront cost, but long term costs almost nothing to operate other than a few cents of electricity to run a compressor.  It has a relatively flat learning curve because with adjustable comes the need to learn how to do make it work.  In short this is like using a high end DSLR camera.  Lots of control.

Having said all of that, a lot of modelers just want a perfect paint job with little or know effort.  Kind of a shoot is and you get a perfect result.  That just isn't going to happen with anything, but rattle cans are pretty close, but you still have to know how to use it to get a great finish. This would be like the smartphone camera.  Still have to know what you are doing to get a good picture, but it will work for a lot of people.  

In short, master a tool and it will work well no matter what you use, but a proper tool will challenge you to learn it, but you will get results with less work once you do. 

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Add in the fact that when I started to build again a few years ago, all the usual things I did with paint wasn't fool-proof anymore.  I never had so many paint problems before.  No doubt the EPA is partly to blame, but painting bodies has gone from my favorite part to least part of building a kit... and that is saying a lot...

I can certainly identify with that. I've got multiple builds hanging fire primarily because the real-car primers I've been using for years with 100% reliable, predictable results all seem to have been reformulated recently, and the kit plastics have become less solvent-resistant. I was always able to get first-rate finishes from rattlecans, but these days, it's hit-or-miss.

Most of my work involves a lot of custom bodywork, so if I lay down a carp paint-job, I can't just dunk the whole thing in stripper and start over...as the strippers take the fillers off too.

I haven't tried the PreVal units in several years, so the quality control may be better than I remember. And it MAY be possible to swap the nozzle for what comes on Tamiya cans. Several folks have done just that with non-Tamiya rattlecans and have achieved much better results.

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Info can be found here ----------- >>>   https://preval.com/all-products/preval-sprayer/

A peek at the website shows they sell packs of smaller paint containers, which look better suited to model use, as the bottle that comes with the small kit is a rather large glass one.

 

 

preval.jpg

preval2.jpg

The small touch-up jars you linked to interest me. The Preval sprayer is back on my radar, as I'm very airbrush averse myself.

Edited by Dodge Driver

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I have used them to spray Duracoat on a couple firearms. They worked good for that but never tried them on a model.

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Thanks for sharing - I can see how this might be an option for some modelers - especially if you consider custom paint, budget, and possibly building time.

I wanted to read more about the re-usability of it, and the link doesn't seem to work on their page for the owners manual.  I was able to find it and open the manual on the following page (no indicator, but you have to click the word 'Manual'):

https://preval.com/product-manuals/

The setup is very similar to using an actual airbrush with say a propellant can - maybe another idea to build up supplies with using an airbrush and until you can buy all the the other stuff - compressor, cleaner, etc.

 

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BUT,  It would be a no brainer if all you had to buy was an airbrush. Problem is it also requires a compressor,  cleaners and everything else that goes with it. . Plus storage of it all.

With these prevail sprayers once done you can drop them in the trash if you want and buy another one if or when you need them again. , actually several times before your on the door step of a complete air brush costs

 

The prevail sprayers have there niche,,, Whether that's in the modeling world or not  I cant answer. But if I was limited on funds and / or space I would give one a try . Its not like every build I do where I need to drag out the air brush to paint it. I actually avoid it if I can find something close to the color I'm after in a rattle can. Last year I built maybe 12 - 13 kits, and I only had to drag the airbrush out twice. If I could have found the colors I wanted in a rattle can , It would still be there collecting dust .

 

I am well aware an airbrush can allow for a much better overall finish. But Ive seen some quality builds done with nothing but a rattle can as well .

Good points & I too use both an airbrush or a rattle can. Most times the airbrush is my choice simply because of the fact that the color I need is only in a bottle, other times it's because I need/desire a finer spray than a rattle can affords. For the former, it turned out that Testors Model Master Duck Egg Blue enamel was the perfect shade for my Ohio George 33 Willys build, & it's only in the bottle, so the airbrush had to come out for that one. A note for anyone that wants to try that color, it dries flat so you'll need to apply a gloss clear coat over it. I also tend to use a lot of nail polishes on my models, which also requires an airbrush of course.

For custom painting, (& not just as to mixing custom colors, but fades, fogging & other custom techniques), an airbrush is pretty much essential. Yes, you can achieve some of that with a rattle can, & turn out spectacular paint jobs, but those do have their limitations once you get to a certain point, & that's where you need the airbrush. I also decant a lot of rattle cans into my airbrush, for thinner coats & better control. Returning to the Ohio George cars for a moment, I found that Dupli-Color's Avignon Blue Metallic, (a Honda color), was the perfect match for the primary color of his Malco Mustang, & Dupli-Color's Intense Blue Pearl, (a Mopar color), was as exact a match as there was for the darker blue pearl fogged around the wheel arches, door handles & other areas to replicate the 1/1. Now, there was no way I was going to get a fine enough spray with the latter color to replicate that with the can, so it had to be decanted & applied using the finest tip of my airbrush. I also decanted & applied the primary color with my airbrush, simply for better control.

Those Preval sprayers just don't look like they'll allow good enough control for more intricate work, & that's where the airbrush is essential. Again, over time the cost of using them is going to be wind up greater overall than the singular upfront cost of an airbrush & it's needed accessories, much like buying cans of propellant becomes higher than just buying the compressor. I understand the budgetary concerns expressed in the initial post, but sometimes it's better & smarter to save up for & budget for better equipment, rather than spend that same amount of money using what could be an inferior product & method.

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Well, I can't put aside a buck a day as I've been out of work a long time.  My interest in these sprayers isn't to save $300, it is because I can never find the colors I want in a can.  I am limited to basic colors and not 1:1 correct ones. 

My fear of cleaning is due to all the different types of thinners for different types of paint, and what is compatible with what.  For some reason that has been like math to me all these years... I just can't grasp it all.

Add in the fact that when I started to build again a few years ago, all the usual things I did with paint wasn't fool-proof anymore.  I never had so many paint problems before.  No doubt the EPA is partly to blame, but painting bodies has gone from my favorite part to least part of building a kit... and that is saying a lot...

I am in no way trying to be rude, but if you're unable to set aside money to buy the airbrush & accessories for the reason you state, how can you afford the Preval sprayers, the paint for them, rattle cans or models, not to mention the other essentials required to build them?

As to cleaning them, usually lacquer thinner works nicely on cleaning an airbrush of any/all different types of paint. The cheap stuff sold at Wal-Mart does the trick. Lacquer thinner also thins enamels for airbrushing as well as it does lacquer paints. I know, as I've used it for all the above in my airbrush. I've read that it can also be used with care to thin acrylics such as Tamiya for spraying, but you may be better off with their acrylic thinner in that case, as from what I've read using lacquer thinner with them can be tricky at first. In this case I haven't tried lacquer thinner with acrylics yet, so I can't fall back on my personal experience for that.

Edited by Bob Turner2
Typo

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I am in no way trying to be rude, but if you're unable to set aside money to buy the airbrush & accessories for the reason you state, how can you afford the Preval sprayers, the paint for them, rattle cans or models, not to mention the other essentials required to build them?

As to cleaning them, usually lacquer thinner works nicely on cleaning an airbrush of any/all different types of paint. The cheap stuff sold at Wal-Mart does the trick. Lacquer thinner also thins enamels for airbrushing as well as it does lacquer paints. I know, as I've used it for all the above in my airbrush. I've read that it can also be used with care to thin acrylics such as Tamiya for spraying, but you may be better off with their acrylic thinner in that case, as from what I've read using lacquer thinner with them can be tricky at first. In this case I haven't tried lacquer thinner with acrylics yet, so I can't fall back on my personal experience for that.

Bob, I will share a little research with you and perhaps this will help.  First of all, lacquer thinners are not all the same.  Lacquer thinner is a cocktail of about 10 different chemicals that are added in different proportions for a multiple of reasons.  They mix them so the paint arrives at the surface with enough solvent to flow out or self level and then drys at a consistent rate and adhears to the surface.  Some of the chemicals that are added also dissolve the pigments and binders.  Often times the solvents that do this are also the most expensive.  It follows that those chemicals are the ones that appear in smaller quantities in cheaper thinners.  The single cheapest chemical that appears in lacquer thinner is acetone so the cheap stuff you get at Walmart is mostly acetone.  

So, why would you care about this?  Why would you not just by the cheapest stuff you can get your hands on?  Well, here is the issue.  For cleaning cheap is not a bad idea.  In fact I use just straight acetone to clean.  It is cheap and works well.  For thinning, I use the good stuff. I do this because dissolving the pigments and binders completely makes for a smoother and harder finish, but you have to tailor the thinner  to the paint you are using.  Automotive paints like Duplicolor and touchup paints have pigments and binders that need the stronger solvents to work properly when exposed to outdoor conditions such as weather and sun. Hobby paints do not need to hold up under those conditions so they are mixed in a different manner.   Cheap thinner leads to orange peel and flat surfaces because the pigments and binders of the paint are coming out of the brush not completely dissolved.  This means that they don't flow out as intended to give a hard glossy finish.  So this is what I mean when I say tailor the thinner to the paint.  The easiest way to do this is use the thinner manufactured by the paint maker.  It is intended to balance the paint. 

 

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I want to point out something that you might not took into consideration

The size of this bottle is 1.94oz,  a can of Testors spray paint is 3oz, Tamiya is tad over 3oz's.   With 3oz spray cans,  most times I can get three bodies painted with one can, sometimes four, sometimes less( all depends on the kit), so breaking that down, thats about 1oz of paint per model kit.

At 1.94, you are only going to be able to paint one body, maybe two, then you have to buy a new spray bottle.  So you are spending roughly the same amount of money( within a few dollars) to paint less.  But, if you are only using 1:1 colors, then it may be a good option.

You can get a complete Air Brush system including a Air Brush for less than $100,  learning how to use it, learning how to clean it is not rocket science, if you can build a model, you can learn how to use a air brush and how to clean it. 

I have no idea how well this system will work,  but it is not something I would want to try.

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If you have a Harbor Freight Tools store in your area, you can go in there and and come out with both a compressor and an airbrush for about $80. After that, your only real expenses are paint and thinner. Consider that vs. the cost and the hassle of having to buy propellant refills for those Preval guns and the airbrush sure looks like the better play to me.

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If you have a Harbor Freight Tools store in your area, you can go in there and and come out with both a compressor and an airbrush for about $80. After that, your only real expenses are paint and thinner. Consider that vs. the cost and the hassle of having to buy propellant refills for those Preval guns and the airbrush sure looks like the better play to me.

http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/paint/deluxe-airbrush-kit-95810.html

I have one of these myself, and must admit, it's actually not a bad airbrush for the cost.

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(Geesh, I didn't know all these replies were here!  I didn't get any email notices...)

The subject of $$ is a touchy one with me, BobT.  We'll leave it at that.

For those who didn't catch the mention:  https://store.preval.com/collections/preval-sprayer/products/6-pack-of-2-94oz-touch-up-jars?variant=188758422  (smaller bottles)

The other day I helped out at a local auto upholstery shop and asked the boss about the sprayers.  He said "I could spray the fence next door from my desk with it!", meaning, I assumed, the thing packs a punch!  He often has to spray dye onto leather/vinyl, etc, but does not have a "hobby size" airbrush that I have ever seen, only a large air-powered "car size" sprayer.  But he has tried these, and he doesn't think it would be good for a model. 

So, that is one more opinion to add to the list here!   ;-)  

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(Geesh, I didn't know all these replies were here!  I didn't get any email notices...)

The subject of $$ is a touchy one with me, BobT.  We'll leave it at that.

For those who didn't catch the mention:  https://store.preval.com/collections/preval-sprayer/products/6-pack-of-2-94oz-touch-up-jars?variant=188758422  (smaller bottles)

The other day I helped out at a local auto upholstery shop and asked the boss about the sprayers.  He said "I could spray the fence next door from my desk with it!", meaning, I assumed, the thing packs a punch!  He often has to spray dye onto leather/vinyl, etc, but does not have a "hobby size" airbrush that I have ever seen, only a large air-powered "car size" sprayer.  But he has tried these, and he doesn't think it would be good for a model. 

So, that is one more opinion to add to the list here!   ;-)  

"The other day I helped out at a local auto upholstery shop and asked the boss about the sprayers.  He said 'I could spray the fence next door from my desk with it!', meaning, I assumed, the thing packs a punch!"

In all honesty that alone sounds like an extremely valid reason not to use such a product, (which I admittedly have no experience with), on a model car, as it sounds like you'd have even less control with one of those compared with even a rattle can. At least a modicum of control when painting something the size of a model car body is desirable, so having something that "packs a punch" sounds like it defeats the purpose. But, to each their own I suppose.

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