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Airbrushing Duplicolor?


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I've searched everywhere for and answer without any luck, so I'll just ask.  A little background.  I've sprayed Duplicolor from the can and got pretty good results.  Then I noticed that some where decanting the rattle cans, and airbrushing it.  So I tried it.  That stuff goes on bone dry, and dusty.  I'm using an Iwata Eclipses, with a .3 needle(thinking of going to the .5), at different pressures between 20 and 30 psi.  I tried adding a bit more thinner, and it covers better, but still dry.  I've been in and out of this hobby mostly because I've developed a real dislike for painting, but I'm back to try it again.  If I could paint, I'd be having a great time building the 50 some odd models I've collected.  Small collection I know, but more that enough for now.

I bought Donns DVD, and will give the enamel a try, but holy BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH that stuff is expensive.  In the mean time there must be a way to get this Duplicolor to go on right.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Bill

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Enamel is expensive?  Any paint sold as a hobby paint is rather pricey, but Testors enamels are not all that pricey (if you can find them).  But paint does not need to be an enamel to go on smoothly.  Painting technique is the key.

If it goes on too dry, you either holding the airbrush too far from the model, the paint is not thin enough, the air pressure is too high, or the nozzle is too small.  Or a combination of those things.  In my experience the air pressure you use is good, so I would say it is the other things I mentioned. I'm always surprised  how many modelers have problems like this (paint too dry or orange peel).  Modelers have to have enough balls and spray the paint heavy and wet.  Sort of like it comes out of a spray can, but using airbrush allows more control of the process.

I use a basic Badger 200 airbrush and I rarely have any problems.  The "secret" is to keep the paint volume high enough for the solvent not to evaporate while traveling from the nozzle to the model.  Open up that needle and let the pain flow.  I do admit that it is a fine line between a smooth wet coat, and getting runs in the paint. That is where experience comes in.  Experiment on plastic spoons, empty soda bottles or Speed Shapes until you get the hang of laying down a smooth coat (without runs).  First coat or two  can be sprayed on lighter and drier (to build up a paint on the surface for the subsequent wet layers.  Again, practice is the key.

Edited by peteski
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Dry and dusty like pebbly look means it's drying before it hits the surface or it's bouncing off another surface.  I own that brush and have both .34 and .5 needle set up, and 20 is way more than enough for color coats. I do 18 with .5 in my eclipse.  What did you thin it with? How close are you shooting? Are you using the right primer for a hot lacquer? Some paints like to go on wet. Use white test spoons to figure out the issue, before using a kit. 

Edited by Dpate
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Why don’t you just spray it from the can? You said you got pretty good results. Why try to reinvent the wheel? It’s way easier and less messy. Shake the can really good for at least two minutes and heat the can with some hot water. The hot water helps increase the pressure in the can and helps it spray better. I have three air brushes but I rarely ever use them, the only time I break it out is when I use the Testors bottles. Good luck big guy! You can do it. 

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I'm with Tony on this one.  I've used Duplicolor rattle can paints for a long time and swear by them.  So why decant them?  They are very fine pigmented and go on smoothly.  They do need several coats to bring out the particular color but that is the beauty of them.  Letting them dry well between first coats will allow for some light sanding and prep work.  And in my opinion never need to be clear coated to look natural.  The only problem?  Less color selection and lack of availability of that nice gray sandable primer.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replies.  Where to begin?  You are right about just shooting the Duplicolor from the can, and will probably do so going forward  This one had a nozzle I couldn't get clear so I thought 'why not'.  I didn't thin it with anything, just used it as is.  I used Duplicolor primer, and I sprayed at varying distances.  When I got close it went on wet, but the spray pattern was like 3/8-1/2" stripes, still not very smooth, and I couldn't get a even application.  Of course, a lot of this is just my complete lack of experience with an airbrush.  I'm going to buy some actual hobby lacquer, and see if I get better results.  Probably should learn to paint before experimenting.  I suppose the cheapskate in me thought I could mix the Duplicolor and make my own custom colors, but I guess I was really getting ahead of myself.😄

I'm going to try the MCW line of enamels and lacquers.  I would like to apply the Donn Yost method I got from his DVD.  Now that Testor will be more and more difficult to find, I want to use a  paint that will be around awhile: I hope.

Sorry for the totally novice question about the Duplicolor.  I've got 400 spoons, and will continue to practice.

Edited by Duncan4114
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4 hours ago, Duncan4114 said:

Thanks for the replies.  Where to begin?  You are right about just shooting the Duplicolor from the can, and will probably do so going forward  This one had a nozzle I couldn't get clear so I thought 'why not'.  I didn't thin it with anything, just used it as is.  I used Duplicolor primer, and I sprayed at varying distances.  When I got close it went on wet, but the spray pattern was like 3/8-1/2" stripes, still not very smooth, and I couldn't get a even application.  Of course, a lot of this is just my complete lack of experience with an airbrush.  I'm going to buy some actual hobby lacquer, and see if I get better results.  Probably should learn to paint before experimenting.  I suppose the cheapskate in me thought I could mix the Duplicolor and make my own custom colors, but I guess I was really getting ahead of myself.😄

I'm going to try the MCW line of enamels and lacquers.  I would like to apply the Donn Yost method I got from his DVD.  Now that Testor will be more and more difficult to find, I want to use a  paint that will be around awhile: I hope.

Sorry for the totally novice question about the Duplicolor.  I've got 400 spoons, and will continue to practice.

If you want to decant something Get Rustoleum 2x , thin it an extra 10% or a bit more with lacquer thinner. Use the Yost method with that, it's sprays like any other enamel, comes out great and you get 12oz for about 5-6 bucks right at your hardware store. Airbrushes great, done it many times.

For Lacquer I'd go with Tamiya Lp lacquers in the little bottles thinned with Mr Leveling thinner. I shot this in black and it came out awesome. Look for a Barbados Rex video on you tube for using that product. He did about a 40 minute video on it if I remember right.

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Oh man Dave your killing me!  Just hit my cheapskate button.😁  Just so happens I have a nearly full can of Rust-oleum 2X Gloss Apple Red that was destine for the hazardous waste site next month.  Thanks for the suggestion. 

I ordered some MCW enamel to try, with my limited experience I need to eliminate as many variables as I can.  I took too big a bite of the sandwich with that Duplicolor experiment, and feel properly humbled.  I will definitely try the rust-oleum once I gain some confidence with the airbrush.

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9 hours ago, Duncan4114 said:

I suppose the cheapskate in me thought I could mix the Duplicolor and make my own custom colors, but I guess I was really getting ahead of myself.😄

Bill, we are talking about your hobby here: Building and painting model car kits. Something you really enjoy (or you wouldn't be doing it).  Why not splurge a bit or the activity you enjoy?  Other's spend lots of money on much more expensive hobbies like golf, boating, or car racing.  Our hobbies cost fraction of what those people spend on theirs.  There are likely plenty of other things you could be a cheapskate about.

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1 hour ago, Duncan4114 said:

Oh man Dave your killing me!  Just hit my cheapskate button.😁  Just so happens I have a nearly full can of Rust-oleum 2X Gloss Apple Red that was destine for the hazardous waste site next month.  Thanks for the suggestion. 

I ordered some MCW enamel to try, with my limited experience I need to eliminate as many variables as I can.  I took too big a bite of the sandwich with that Duplicolor experiment, and feel properly humbled.  I will definitely try the rust-oleum once I gain some confidence with the airbrush.

Im a airbrush guy so i cant really help any further with too much. But yeah the LP line up from tamiya is nice its basically there can version of lacquer paint just airbrush version.  MCW is good stuff even though I'm not to fond of there gloss lacquer, but there semi gloss interior paints are top notch.  Scalefinish is another great source for automotive paint.  Mr hobby has a great line up of paint as well as there fantastic primer.  Use quality mr hobby leveling thinner for tamiya LP and there own line up even other brands, and there rapid thinner for metallics, flats, and primer.  Tamiya primer is amazing as well, and ammo by migs titan hobby primer is amazing too.  Those are the only two brands i will shoot out of a can just because of how amazing the finish is.  I didn't say mr surfacer because i use it in the bottle version, but i heard there can version is equally as good.  I'd only use cheap thinners from big box store for cleaning my brushes and stuff not for thinning my paint, but to each there own. 

When i started in the hobby i started with airbrushing and learning how to thin paints and how to use a double action brush.  I guess you could say i started the hard way, but it's easier to learn now than later.  It's like gaming on a console(Spray cans), and than switching to PC gaming(airbrush).  Can take awhile to adjust and learn depending on the person.  Eventually you're able to do all of it.  But lot of us will decant paint to minimize a lot of waste, and it's not messy to decant paint.  If it's messy than you're doing it wrong lol.  I just never understood why folks would use $4 can of paint that's made for furniture on a $30+ kit, but whatever works works i suppose. I guess at the end of the day if you get great results and you're happy than that's all that matters.

Sorry for my long paragraphs and small rant lol

Edited by Dpate
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1 hour ago, peteski said:

There are likely plenty of other things you could be a cheapskate about.  
 

Well, yeah! that's a fact.  I'm hopping for some good results with the new paint.  Once I see that I'll probably be a convert. 

Rant away Dave.  I actually learned a lot today.  I spent a few hours going over several 'Paint' threads.  I'm certainly not alone.   I appreciate all the help, and will take all the advice shared.

Thanks all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That 2x red should shoot awesome through an airbrush. I've shot it straight from the can and it turned out great but the can gives a hose job to where a single coat is about it on a model. That's all I'll say except through an airbrush it should come out as nice as the other of the 2x line.. I stick with MCW or Scale Finishes only when I want an exact match but usually close enough is good enough for me and enamels work best for me because I've been shooting them since 1960. Also add that acrylics with a clear coat work well too in some cases.

I don't like MCW lacquer, tried  and the thinner he uses is too fast in the auto paints for me. I'd rather thin it myself, ended up with tons of polishing but the color is correct. And it's already too thin to add retarder so that option is out the window. I won't buy it again anyway where he has the enamel line out now..

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11 hours ago, Dave G. said:

That 2x red should shoot awesome through an airbrush. I've shot it straight from the can and it turned out great but the can gives a hose job to where a single coat is about it on a model. That's all I'll say except through an airbrush it should come out as nice as the other of the 2x line.. I stick with MCW or Scale Finishes only when I want an exact match but usually close enough is good enough for me and enamels work best for me because I've been shooting them since 1960. Also add that acrylics with a clear coat work well too in some cases.

I don't like MCW lacquer, tried  and the thinner he uses is too fast in the auto paints for me. I'd rather thin it myself, ended up with tons of polishing but the color is correct. And it's already too thin to add retarder so that option is out the window. I won't buy it again anyway where he has the enamel line out now..

Yeah i don't like his gloss lacquer, but his interior lacquer colors are great. 

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