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For the love of _____. Help me figure out airbushing

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I have been on here lately looking up past threads on airbrushing. everybody has their own method that they use and I have been trying a couple of them.

Tonight I decided to paint some interior parts of my Jeep with Model Master enamel in gloss black.I thinned it down with Testors enamel thinner and brush cleaner to a ratio that seem to be about 2% milk. At first I could get anything to come out with my regulator set to 23-25psi. I thinned it down more and then it was just too thin. I finally cleaned out that mess and tried again and mixed some to a ration of no clue, and sprayed that back over it. Coverage seems fine now

I decanted some testors lacquer and had no problem at all working with that.

I'm looking for what people's rations are and with what paint. I have a Paasche H set and a 3 gallon compressor with reg.

I've recently been switching to Tamiya acrylics and have yet to use those yet as I've seen people use water and lacquer thinner. Please post here or message me to help lead in the right direction.

Thanks in advance.

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Thinning jar paints and getting that milk thing right drove me nuts. I decant Tamiya or Testors lacquer and everything is fine. I have an Iwata Revolution and spray at around 15-20 psi. Do a YouTube search on airbrush painting and spend a few hours practicing. Dr. Cranky has good stuff. Get some water based ink from a craft or art supply store and shoot it at paper. A lot...

Dale

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I like the idea of small paints for mixing colors and cost. Decanting is just so easy that it makes me want to go that route. I've watched the Dr cranky stuff. Didn't seem to help me understand a whole lot

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Testors bottle paint comes in an enamel and acrylic based format. Most times people pick up a bottle and thin with lacquer and have problems as acrylic needs to be thinned with plain tap water or future (pledge) acrylic floor wax. If it is an enamel based the best thing to mix it with will be cheap lacquer thinner from Walmart. It comes in a gold and blue can. The mix ratio is usually 50/50 with both acrylic and enamel. The Testers brush cleaner / thinner does not work as well as the lacquer thinner. I do not know why. Once you get it mixed spray at 22-25 psi and clean tip often as it will clog up there. Especially the acrylic water based paints. The way I do it is I hold the body eight inches from the air brush and move the body around allowing a light mist to show. I keep moving it back and forth and up and down and twist and turn while it lightly mists the body slowly getting thicker and thicker. It will start out dull looking once you get a god coverage. The more of this misting you do the shinier it will become. You keep spraying this way until you have a nice smooth glossy finish on it. If it is acrylic paint I use a hair dryer to dry it then let it sit over night. If it is enamel I put mine into a dehydrator over night or twelve hours. If no dehydrator it can take 4-7 days to fully cure. (bad side of enamels). Go and make sure you did not get an acrylic paint mixed up with an enamel. It will say on the front of the bottle. Unfortunately when they display on the racks they tend to mix the two together so it is easy to grab the wrong type of paint. I use the same painting method to apply clear coat (Future or pledge) on all my builds. Painting is done with enamel, acrylic and lacquer paint with this process and it works great for me. I hope this helps you.

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It was definitely an enamel that I was using. So far everything being mentioned helps a lot. Thank you.

I have some regular lacquer thinner that I got from Lowes, that I will now be using instead of the testers thinner

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I appreciate it. I easily watched 2 hours worth of videos on youtube last night and so far, for enamels, it appears that a ration of 2:1 or 3:2 is what people use

any other experience/input is helpful

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I actually put 2% milk in a mixing cup and studied how it looked and reacted when I swirled it around. The best results I got from mixing came when I mixed it thinner than I thought was thin. Confusing practice. Resist the urge to use the regulator valve as a crutch. Keep it at a constant pressure until you figure out how to thin the paint. One variable at a time. Don't give up.

Dale

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I agree wholeheartedly about lacquer thinner in Testors and Humbrol enamels. Dries faster and more level, and thins out the paint better, so you can get more paint in the bottle and actually get the job done.

I have an H with a medium tip, and do about 50/50-60/40, depending on how thick the paint is, or if it has known strange characteristics (for example, I always thin Testors blacks- any of them, a little more, because they take forever to dry. The lacquer thinner really gives it a kick in the pants.)

Charlie Larkin

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As they say Stupid is as stupid does, and I am in this case. Would someone explain decanting paint.

Much appreciated.

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Basic concept of decanting Tamiya or Testors spray laquers. Glue a straw (Bendable if you have one) to the nozzle of the spray can. spray the contents of the can into a jar and shoot it through your airbrush. If you find the color you want in a spray can, this is the way to go. Dr Cranky has a video of how to do it. This way, the paint is already thinned and ready to go. You get the color you can only find in a spray can and you apply it with the control of an airbrush.

Best thing for airbrushing is practice, practice, practice. Change one variable at a time and take notes. It will get better the more you practice.

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I'm just learning to airbrush too, and have found that with my particular unit, I need to adjust the cone-shaped tip until I get the right flow for small detail spray. Air-brushing is challenging when first starting, but I plan to conquer it! Good luck Rob!

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I feel your pain. Even after years of practice, I still get stumped. Airbrushing is like playing golf. Some days, everything works. Some days, nothing works. And you feel like you're doing everything the same. What helped me recently is using more thinner and less pressure. Also helping me has been mixing the paint with thinner before I put it into the cup. I normally use Tamiya acrylics because they give the fewest amount of headaches. I've had no luck with Vallejo. Model Master acrylics are pretty easy to use. I never ever airbrush enamels. Maybe that's my problem. :)

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