Friday 21 August 2020

Airbrushing update - Mister Paint

I tend to "occasionally" grumble about airbrushing not going the way I want it, but it's been a long time since I truly updated on any change or progress.

Thinner = better!

For the last few sessions, I had to thin the paint really heavily so I could mist on fine layers of paint to build up to a certain effect. I experienced less issues than normal, except for one NEW problem. (keep reading)

Now, you know I mainly use Vallejo Model Air (which is already frowned upon by many) and I thought I was already thinning the paint enough (who really knows the consistency of 2% milk anyway), but clearly thinner than usual was better. (By no means, I hold any credence to spraying this from the bottle as some seem to be able)

With the paint this thin, I could paint for almost half an hour, during which I did 3 colour switches. Only after the 4th colour (yellow), I could clearly see that it was contaminated with the previous (black) colour, so something went wrong.

Thinner = leaky?

It was at this point - stepping away from the model -  that I noticed my fingers were also black and - as a matter of fact - the entire airbrush was black.

I took it apart, cleaned it thoroughly and set up for the next session, which followed roughly the same pattern. The Aztek paintbrush leaks with this superthin paint, just when I though I had found the correct consistency of said paint.

If I remove the nozzle, the thread is not painted, so that's not where the paint is getting through. I can only deduce that the paint is finding it's way through the "plunger"-thingie that moves the needle (Aztek has a very unique design) and into the body of the brush. Since the body consists of 2 halves just press-fitting together, the paint leaks out through the seam. (see picture where the paint oozes out ever so slowly).

Maybe I'm missing a seal somewhere ...

Friendly advice

I went on a rant on Facebook, finally convinced that I needed a new and better airbrush. The reason I hadn't taken that step until now is because the Aztek was "good enough", I didn't want to spend the bucks on it and a major factor may also have been analysis paralysis, not even knowing which one I should choose anyway.

The group helped to calm my tense nerves and convinced me not only to buy a new Airbrush, but also to try out a different paint, because "I would not regret it". The choice here seemed to unanimously go towards MRP or Mister Paint.

Mister paint = awesome!

I found MRP available in 1 online shop that is relatively close, so I bough just 2 colours, to try it out on the Challenger.

They arrived quickly. I noticed the hyper-thinned state of it and gave it a try. IT MAKES A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!

It sprays fantastic. I do not need to worry about overthinning the paint so it isn't paint anymore. I feared it would take longer to dry and would take a gazillion of layers to fully cover a subject, but the paint dries in front of your eyes, just by the flow of the airbrush. The thinner evaporates within seconds, so I can go over it for a second and third layer and so on.

The only drawback I can figure - if really forced to - is that a bottle of highly thinned paint runs out a lot quicker than a bottle of a thicker paint that you need to thin yourself. Strictly speaking, that means you get less surface covered for the same price, making MRP more expensive. But it's totally worth it.
Also - to put it in perspective - I used the better half of the OD (olive drab) bottle on a complete 1/35 tank. It's not like I needed an extra bottle.

Of course, the Aztek is still a leaky bucket, but I know that's not the paint's fault.

New airbrush coming in 5, 4, 3, 2 ... 1 week.