Monday 12 November 2012

Airbrush - some success!

Armed with some new confirmation about airbrush behaviour, I decided to give it another go.

  • Air will bubble in the cup if the nozzle is not fitting well in the airbrush body. 
"Fingertight" on the nozzle cap did not quite cut it in my case. I screwed it on tighter (with the provided mini-wrench) while the compressor was on and immediately noticed the bubbles becoming smaller. One more slight turn and the paintcup was bubble-free.

1 - 0 (my first victory).
  • The main reason for no paint coming out is "tip-dry".
    (Another reason might be the paint not being thinned enough)
This can be fixed by regularly cleaning the tip of the needle with a small cotton swab dipped in cleaner.
  • Dark paints appear to be a lot easier to paint than lighter ones.

The main reason I started building the submarine is because it needs to be painted black. I thinned the Vallejo black primer about 1:1 with Vallejo thinner (stick to the same brand, just for safety).
I started out with the 8 wheels for the Puma (seen below on toothpicks) to test the flow, which came out fine. I had to clean the needle after 4 wheels, then the rest went ok.

A little overzealous, I immediately started painting the sub, which went rather well actually. I did have to clean the tip 4 or 5 times, but it becomes a habit and isn't really that much work. I managed to do 3/4 of the sub before the needle had to be removed for more throrough cleaning. I ran out of place to hold it anyway, so better quit while I'm ahead. A few spots will need a second layer, but better wait and add more later, then spray too much at once and cause runs, which are harder to clean up.

2 - 0 (we're on a roll!)

Feeling good about my first success, I cleaned the brush for a colour change and filled with grey primer. The Jaguar is now also completely primed, but still this paint is fighting me for every inch. I can barely paint the top of this mini-model before it stops doing anything, cleaning the tip or not (compare this to at least half of the submarine in one go)

2 - 1 (time to call it quits and maybe call the shop for more ideas)

Is the difference between paints really THIS much? If the lighter paints are such a hassle, I am NOT looking forward to completely painting the Enterprise with white primer. To be continued ....

(The paintcup on this Revell airbrush is rather small, so painting a complete kit will take several refills)


  1. Whould it be better to thin out the lighter paint more? Or does this cause other side effects?

  2. It already looks like water, but I'll certainly give it a try.

    If you add too much, the paint doesn't stay on the model and starts to run, but I haven't reached that point yet. Guess I have to find the right balance.