Tuesday 23 October 2012

Airbrush - another try

Just a quick update about last night's second attempt at airbrushing.

It went a lot better. Far from perfect, but everytime you make progress, you should be happy.You can't expect to be a pro-airbrusher after 2 hours.

I'm now always starting with maybe a bit TOO much thinner, working my way down to a proper ratio. Better to spray something too thin than have the brush clog up again. Still practicing on paper or cardboard, since I do not want to ruin a model (even if it's only a 4 euro airplane).

Started with Vallejo white primer, thinned 50:50, which was too thin, but at least paint was coming out, (instead of saturday's fiasco). Eventually lowered the ratio to 80:20 (paint-thinner) and was able to put a nice layer of primer on the entire cardboard sheet. The layer was not covering completely, but anyone who's ever painted a wall will confirm primer may need several layers to fully cover. (Patience is an airbrusher's best friend.)

When the primer was touch-dry, a test with black paint (thinned 70:30) gave a very nice result. The coverage is multiple times better on primed cardboard, compared to painting directly (without primer). This was to be expected, but it's nice to see theory become practice.

(Normally, you would let the primer dry 4 hours, or maybe overnight, to be safe)

Important note : I often see tutorial video's where they're mixing or thinning the paint directly in the paintcup of the airbrush. This does NOT work for me.
Maybe it's because the paintcup on Revell's airbrush is rather small or maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I do not get thinner and paint mixed properly in the cup. Mixing separately in a small lid or cup gives you a better view at what you're doing and gave me a much nicer mixed paint, flowing nicely out of the brush.

Mixing separately also enables you to mix larger quantities. If you mix two colors and run out, it's nigh  impossible to reproduce the same ratio. Once I find a ratio for the primer that I'm happy with, I'll mix a big batch of it, so I can use it ready-made out of the bottle, especially handy when you have a smaller paintcup.

After this, I wanted to test a layer of clear gloss, but to keep a long story short : the tip fell of the bottle (something obstructed the tip and I squeezed too hard) and my entire workbench was covered in it. (Sticky stuff!!) Cleaned it up, used some swear words, cleaned the airbrush and called it a day.

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