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abandoning the airbrush and going back to the can? anyone?

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imagine trying to stop a bout of dysentery by cutting a cork from top to bottom and only inserting one half.</span>

Wow... some people will be offended, but I just passed coffee through my nose. Thanks for &^%$%^& up my laptop! th_6534819-coffeespit.gifI've done both and to be honest, ONCE YOUR SET UP AND PREPARED, air brushing is the way to go, especially for those small parts that can become ruined with a heavy coat of rattle can/brush painting. I keep clean-up jars ready to go and have the luxury of a dedicated spray booth. Like anything else, once you incorporate it into your building, it's easier. 3257214-ozpainter.gif

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Airbrushing does take a learning curve. I teach classes at my local Hobby shop and the #1 problem that I see when it comes to painting with the AB is that the paint is not thinned properly. I started long ago with using a AB and thought that I was never going to use my airbrush again after the first couple of times but with more experience it came easier and my avatar is a good example of what I am able to do now.

Just Dont Give UP!!!



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For me, I prefer to use Tamiya lacquer sprays when doing car bodies as they lay down Really good glosses compared to what I can do with my airbrush. But, I am still learning how to do glosses with the airbrush and there will come a time when the AB is the best way to go if I can't find exactly the color I need in spray.

The airbrush though to me has helped put the fun into sub-assembly building as I can lay down colors rather quickly with it compared to brush painting. So I can get a chassis and engine block base coated in almost no time compared to brush painting. Brush painting still has its uses, don't get me wrong (such as trim and detail painting. But I am always in favor of speeding up a portion of the build.

As with anything else, Airbrushes and spray cans are both just tools of the arsenal. They aren't necessarily mutually exclusive as each can do things better than the other.

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On an economical note, I just sprayed three bodies, one chassis, a hood, and a radiator support with one 1/4 oz jar of Testors flat black. I put the paint in a 1/2 oz jar and one 1/4 oz jar of enamel reducer and mixed it up and sprayed. Now, the jar of paint was $1.29 and the reducer was some that I already had from years ago. If I was to use the same price it would have been $1.29 for the reducer. That's $2.60 and some odd cents for all three bodies and stuff. One body was a 65 Grand Prix, a Frankenstude and a 51 Buick custom body plus all the other stuff I mentioned. Now I use Testors 1/4 oz jars for most of my painting with an airbrush and brush painting. I haven't used many acrylics as of yet. I have used Tamiya's transparent paints for lights and window tinting by brush and airbrush. I do have some paint in cans but I mostly decant them and spray through an airbrush. :) Dan

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I don't understand the statement?

To "abandon" means to leave it behind and never return. Seems silly since it is just a "tool" in the arsenal that's available to the modeler just like an Xacto saw or a Dremel.

For me, the rattle can and the airbrush are used depending on the paint, temp and application. Sometimes a rattle can is more effective, sometimes the airbrush is. To have both in your "tool box" is a win-win.

However, if you are having problems or can't get a hang of it. That is a whole different thing. You see, the airbrush is not something you can just pick up and use without learning how it works, how to clean it correctly and proper technique. The best way to do that is to use it!

I started out with my first airbrush in highschool. It was a Binks Wren and I ran out of those pressurized cans pretty quick before seeking out a compressor. I also learned about water traps the hard way and about failure to clean the airbrush completely. (spitting sucks) I am now 53 and I still have lots of learn but it's an excellent tool for me and I would never ever consider giving it up.

Maybe you should practice more?

Edited by Jairus
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I went over to airbrushing everything decades ago. I use automotive primers/ clearcoats and Zero colors or decanted Tamiya rattle can colors. I could write a book about the issues cans have caused me.

I've always looked on the rattle can as the devils own, just waiting to poke me in the eye.

I must say though, I am impressed at the paint jobs some of the members here are turning out using rattlle cans.

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  • 3 weeks later...

there seems to be a lot of Testors bashing here and i want to mention that thier lacquer lines IMO are awesome. i also really like and use quite a bit of the Metalizer spray cans from them as well.

as far as the enamel spray cans, i have NO love for those at all, but the lacquer line is great. once the Tamiya lacquer sprays become more readily available again i'll be using more of those too.

i totally agree with you on this. metalizers are some of my most used paints and the testors lacquers arent too bad. but the enamels are for the most part horrible.

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Rattlecans are Great------------ for painting lawn furniture.B

My favorite part of Customizing or Model Building is laying down a multi layered complex paintjob of airbrushed basecoats, candies and pearl powders.

This is where I see the transformation from a raw casting to a colorful finish. The object comes to life with paint and then screams, "Look at me" once the Urethane Clear is laid down.

I don't look for a quick or easy way to build things and find the longer I work with my Hobby the more steps I gladly add on to reach the results I require.

It only takes a minute to crank up the airbrush, another couple of minutes to mix the paint and then another minute or so to clean up after painting.

Once I've put the time into all the other steps of Building I like to use the absolute best methods and products to complete it with paint.

I understand that some are anxious to get a piece assembled and finished and this may intimidate them from airbrushing,


Airbrushing gives me total control over all aspects of painting and allows me to add a very important skill to my talents.

By all means, Build to suit yourself, unless you sell what you make as I do, but, give airbrushing a try.


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I got my first airbrush when I was 9yrs old, 56 years ago, and I have used one ever since. There are just a lot of things you can only do with one. I also use spay cans, for some of my painting, like spraying primers. They both have their uses.

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