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I have now decided I want to take up airbrushing models.


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The third rattle can of Model Masters from Model Roundup did nothing but air bubble when used as directed inside a paint booth tent and with the can shaken well and warmed up in a jar of hot water. I had no trouble at all with the first can of Model Masters Plum Crazy I bought at Hobby Lobby last December. This color is now discontinued in rattle cans but offered for air brushes still. I now have a couple hundred dollars invested in model kits and supplies. Airbrushing is probably more economical to boot since there is much less wasted paint. I have no problem with Testors rattle cans enamels in flat or semi-gloss colors. 

 

I'm demanding a full refund from Model Roundup lest they get a credit card chargeback. 

 

I want a good complete airbrushing kit with compressor and maintenance tools. I don't want to spend more than $100. I would also like some good tutorial videos on proper model airbrushing technique before I continue painting models any more. 

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4 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

I want a good complete airbrushing kit with compressor and maintenance tools. I don't want to spend more than $100.

No such thing exists.

Edited by Casey
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If painting bodies is your main goal, check this thread about the Donn Yost method:

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/164406-just-discovered-the-donn-yost-paint-method-one-question/

The Paasche H is a key ingredient is you ask me. It has a *rough* instead of a *fine* paint atomisation, and that's what you need for that particular purpose.

I think you can buy a Paasche H set for ~50$ in the USA, I paid 60 euros in the Netherlands. I don't think you'll find a decent compressor for the remaining money though. One model that seems to be sold everywhere and under many brand names is the 'AS18' type. I think it's a Chinese clone of a Badger original. I've worked with it, and it's reasonable. The constant on and off switching is pretty annoying, I'm used to a silent Sil-Air 20 with a buffer tank. I think you can find the AS18 for ~70$. The combination would give you a reasonable start.

Rob

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Painting semi truck trailer bodies, frames and tractor cabs, boat hulls and model airplanes, yes.  Car bodies, not so much. Ok, maybe some kind folks can share with me some of their airbrushing equipment here. 

Paasche H with the number 3 needle seems to be the magic cure for the rattle-can blister. What else do I need to buy to:

 

-clean it?

-maintain it?

-connect it to a standard homeowner compressor? 

 

Is the needle and paint/thinner ratio the same for:

 

-enamel?

-clear coats?

-lacquer?

-flat/matte?

-base gloss?

-base semi-gloss?

-base metallic?

-base non-metallic? 

-primers? 

 

I just saw the Andy X video: wow I'm impressed. He and Don Yost seem to be the promising cure to all my rattle-can troubles. I want to be able to use lacquer, primer, enamel, gloss coat, semi and flat/matte paints all. 

How does one decant paint for airbrush use from rattle cans? I have some Testors enamel and Tamiya primer in rattle cans already. Actually, the expensive Tamiya primer went on nice and smooth right out of the rattle can. 

Should I strip the botched paint right off my AMT Kenworth W-925 cab, hood, air cleaners, battery box, visor and sleeper cab with solvent and start over with an airbrush? The models I'm working on now aren't cars but a semi truck tractor and trailer, a jet plane and a helicopter. I'd probably just order Model Masters Plum Crazy lacquer paint in bottles. I want to hit my Kenworth semi-gloss black enamel frame with an airbrush to polish it off. The Testors enamel out of the rattle-can went on fairly neat but left a slight orange peel at close inspection under bright light on the flats of my frame rails. 

Can our plastic models be paint stripped with ordinary mineral sprits paint thinner without eating up the plastic? 

 

I already have a DeWalt 1-gallon compressor with a Craftsmen water filter I paid $150 for 5 years ago. It goes up to 150 psi and has a pressure regulator dial. It's for staple guns and house painting. Do I need special equipment to hook up hobby airbrushes to a standard homeowner's compressor? 

Edited by Plumcrazy Preston
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1 hour ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

Should I strip the botched paint right off my AMT Kenworth W-925 cab, hood, air cleaners, battery box, visor and sleeper cab with solvent and start over with an airbrush? The models I'm working on now aren't cars but a semi truck tractor and trailer, a jet plane and a helicopter. I'd probably just order Model Masters Plum Crazy lacquer paint in bottles. I want to hit my Kenworth semi-gloss black enamel frame with an airbrush to polish it off. The Testors enamel out of the rattle-can went on fairly neat but left a slight orange peel at close inspection under bright light on the flats of my frame rails. 

Can our plastic models be paint stripped with ordinary mineral sprits paint thinner without eating up the plastic?

Solvents could attack the plastic, be careful there, and do a test first.

I've had great success using NaOH aka lye aka caustic soda in combination with an ultrasonic cleaner. But it only works for enamel paints. See here for the full story:

https://robdebie.home.xs4all.nl/models/ultrasonic.htm

Here's a truck cab that I stripped recently, almost spotless without any effort:

transtar-02.jpg

Rob

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Here is my c.1980 H, its original cloth-covered hose, and the water trap that the friend at the hobby shop made me buy at the time. The rest is a filter, regulator, and fittings from an auto parts shop to allow me to attach it to the hose on my garage compressor and dial the pressure back.

Opening up a whole 'nother can of worms here, but IMHO you can't paint a semi-trailer or anything large with an H3 needle setup. Discussion welcome.

 

 

PXL_20210911_215454079.thumb.jpg.2994c19ee32a7b10a213ced41bcecbdb.jpg

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1 hour ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

I already have a DeWalt 1-gallon compressor with a Craftsmen water filter I paid $150 for 5 years ago. It goes up to 150 psi and has a pressure regulator dial. It's for staple guns and house painting. Do I need special equipment to hook up hobby airbrushes to a standard homeowner's compressor? 

If you can regulate it in the 15-30 psi range, it should be suitable I guess. You may need an adapter to connect the airbrush hose. My Paasche H set came with a hose that has a fairly large connector, roughly half an inch. I looked for a designation but could not find one.

Rob

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2 minutes ago, Rodent said:

Opening up a whole 'nother can of worms here, but IMHO you can't paint a semi-trailer or anything large with an H3 needle setup. Discussion welcome.

I've been working with my new Paasche H for just a few weeks, but I would not hesitate to use it for something large. In fact it would be my clear first choice from a total of four air brushes (Badger 200 and 150, Iwata HP-CS and Paasche H).

But maybe you're saying you would use the H5 needle? It came with the set I bought, but I haven't tried it - I'm still getting used to working with the H3 needle.

One thing I don't like so much is that the turning part of the needle set has no markings to show how much you opened it. As an interim solution I painted two stripes on it. For the Donn Yost method, I use -0.8 turns while applying a color coats, and then ~1.5 turns for the wet gloss coats.

Rob

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Here is a complete setup with compressor and air brush.  Don't know about the quality of the air brush but you said you want to spend no more than $100.  I use the Paasche H air brush.

https://www.harborfreight.com/1-5-hp-58-psi-compressor-and-airbrush-kit-95630.html?utm_source=go&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=shortener&cid=go_social

Edited by Zippi
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Just now, robdebie said:

But maybe you're saying you would use the H5 needle? It came with the set I bought, but I haven't tried it - I'm still getting used to working with the H3 needle.

Yes, this. My original H3 stuff had been dropped a few too many times. Someone on the Scale Auto board suggested that I buy H5 replacement parts and I did. IMHO they work better overall than the H3 on larger parts, even 1:24/25 bodies. As always, what works for me in California won't always work for folks in New Jersey, Alberta, Netherlands, Brazil, Hawaii, or even Oklahoma.

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4 minutes ago, robdebie said:

One thing I don't like so much is that the turning part of the needle set has no markings to show how much you opened it.

Rob

I scratch the tip on opposite sides and use that as a guide to how much I want to open it up. Usually one to 1 1/2 turns.

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1 minute ago, Rodent said:

Yes, this. My original H3 stuff had been dropped a few too many times. Someone on the Scale Auto board suggested that I buy H5 replacement parts and I did. IMHO they work better overall than the H3 on larger parts, even 1:24/25 bodies. As always, what works for me in California won't always work for folks in New Jersey, Alberta, Netherlands, Brazil, Hawaii, or even Oklahoma.

Very interesting! The H3 already shocked me with its paint flow, so I was almost afraid to try the H5 needle 🙂 But if your experience is so good, I must give it a try!

Rob

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2 minutes ago, Miatatom said:

I scratch the tip on opposite sides and use that as a guide to how much I want to open it up. Usually one to 1 1/2 turns.

Thanks! It seems I'm doing it the right way 🙂

Rob

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Just now, robdebie said:

Very interesting! The H3 already shocked me with its paint flow, so I was almost afraid to try the H5 needle 🙂 But if your experience is so good, I must give it a try!

Rob

In my climate, I find that the first pass paint tends to dry a bit before the second pass with the H3, and the H5 seems to help with that. Again, experiment and see what happens. Maybe I need more thinner? Honestly, I have never painted a semi-trailer with an airbrush, but a Galaxy car trailer frustrated the H. E. double hockey sticks out of me even during cooler weather.

I wish I could remember who suggested the H5. It was a long time ago, but it may have been my fellow Mazda pilot Bob Downie.

Anyway, we are getting in the weeds again.

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I use a cheap setup.

 

Aldi compressor

Hseng air brush and hose

U-Star water trap

 

I only use Lacquer’s at 15-20 psi and a ratio of 1 paint to 1.5 thinner. 
 

Works great for what I want. Which is small Gunpla stuff. I haven’t tried a car body yet but know it is capable of doing the job.

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1 hour ago, robdebie said:

Solvents could attack the plastic, be careful there, and do a test first.

I've had great success using NaOH aka lye aka caustic soda in combination with an ultrasonic cleaner. But it only works for enamel paints. See here for the full story:

https://robdebie.home.xs4all.nl/models/ultrasonic.htm

Here's a truck cab that I stripped recently, almost spotless without any effort:

transtar-02.jpg

Rob

I will probably just use old-fashioned elbow grease and wet sand the devil out of my botched lacquer to salvage the model parts. Hopefully, the Paasche H will fill in and smooth everything out like a steam roller and shovelfuls of asphalt smooth out potholes. 

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5 minutes ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

Hopefully, the Paasche H will fill in and smooth everything out like a steam roller and shovelfuls of asphalt smooth out potholes. 

That part sounds like a recipe for disappointment. Get your parts smooth by other means, before you start applying paint. Or use a fresh model.

Rob

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12 minutes ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

Can't I just get my botched model prepped by wet sanding? 

You probably can, but I was responding to the 'Hopefully, the Paasche H will fill in and smooth everything out' part - that sounded like a bad idea. But you can try! 🙂

Rob

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I'm using a Paasche H with a craftsman 3 gallon 120psi compressor, works fine. It has a regulator that I set at around 20-25psi and I installed a water trap. Someone already mentioned you can get the H kit for around 50 bucks. Harbor Freight has 3 gallon compressors for 50 and up. You could come out around 100 for a complete setup.

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2 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

like a steam roller and shovelfuls of asphalt smooth out potholes. 

And your model will look like a patched asphalt road. 

You always appear to strive perfection (and that is a good thing), but then you want to cut corners, and take the fast and easy way out. Always aim for the thinnest possible coat of paint (which is already out of scale thick).

Edited by peteski
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10 hours ago, Plumcrazy Preston said:

The third rattle can of Model Masters from Model Roundup did nothing but air bubble when used as directed inside a paint booth tent and with the can shaken well and warmed up in a jar of hot water

They recommend warming the paint in a jar of hot water? 😳

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In my opinion, and from past experience, the only way to achieve a good paint job is to start by stripping off the bad paint job. I use Super Clean to strip my projects, and it has given me good results. I think it's best to start with freshly cleaned model parts.

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David, until you have decided on what airbrush and compressor to buy, have you thought about using proper automotive acrylic primers and top coats in rattle cans instead of the dedicated modelling brands? I have got on well using these over the years.

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