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I would suggest a double-action for control.

 

Gravity feed, for several reasons: 1) needs less air pressure, 2) generally holds less paint, so less waste, 3) easier clean-up.

 

Internal Mix is easier to learn and use.

 

Compressor needs to output at least 30 psi.

 

A friend purchased a compressor/airbrush combo from Model Expo that was well within your price and was an excellent value.  You won't need a higher-level airbrush (Badger, Iwata) to start out.  ME has a sale on right now (code MAD13), and is offering a nice compressor/airbrush combo for $115.

 

http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=AS176K

 

Here's a link to a site that gives good airbrush lessons:

 

http://howtoairbrush.com/airbrush-lessons/

 

Frank

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WOW, heck of a deal, used code and go the lower price. Ordered cleaner station also. Now to find some paint.

Thank You Mahuna.

 

PS, Where is and what is the best kind of paint for wood and or plastic?

Edited by wthilgen
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I use Liquitex acrylic in the airbrush, thinned with their airbrush thinner.  I've used the Liquitex for years on bird carvings - the only problem I've had is that the paint can develop a low sheen after several coats.  This can be fixed by mixing in a little Flat Medium.

 

Another good acrylic is Jo Sonja.

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If you can rig a good exhaust from the booth (why I suggested the fan and hoses, rigged to draw air from the back of the booth) you really don't need it. At the model railway club I belong to, we have a proper set up, but just the same I've never needed a mask. All the overspray and most of the fumes are exhausted away.

 

Andy

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I agree with Andy. Great advice. I spent a good part of my life custom painting Harleys. The paint went from lacquer to urethanes, and finally to water based acrylic. As I just couldn't tolerate wearing a mask, working in a booth [due to the size of the parts I needed a walk in booth], or wearing my air fed hood when airbrushing all day [actually all night] I'm a bit toasted. I ended up pretty sick. After 5 years away from the paints and living off the land out in the country I'm recovering well.

 

Don't breath it in man! Although the water based acrylic will mainly be a problem as a dust. Just blow yer' nose after a good session at the brush! WOW ! Technicolor!

 

Von Stetina

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  • 3 weeks later...

Von, I appreciate that when someone does this kind of painting for a living or doing some major jobs that a spray booth is important. But for the typical small jobs we are talking about in model building, I wonder if some decent ventilation, care to keep your nose clean, and using acrylic (instead of solvent based) paints while wearing a mask is not really all you need.
 

I have done some small work with the unit I have in my garage with the door wide open and have not noticed any bad effects. I grant  you that all it involved was painting three masts and a few spars (at different times, no less). 

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Jay,

 

It's not just for the health... it's a lot cleaner working with a booth. The overspray is controlled, especially from things you don't want painted. It's amazing, at my club you can tell if someone has painted something outside the booth (mostly because it was too large)... there's paint "dust" everywhere... very sticky paint dust.

 

Andy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jay,

 

It's not just for the health... it's a lot cleaner working with a booth. The overspray is controlled, especially from things you don't want painted. It's amazing, at my club you can tell if someone has painted something outside the booth (mostly because it was too large)... there's paint "dust" everywhere... very sticky paint dust.

 

Andy

I can see that happening, Andy. If I had a booth I certainly would be using it.

What I found is that for the small parts I am dealing with, the overspray is pretty much taken care of by using paper towels behind the part and keeping the part up and away as much as possible.

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For larger work, get a square fan and attach a furnace filter in front of it, so the air goes through the filter before the fan.  The over spray is drawn to the fan and sticks to the filter.  I’ve seen this used successfully in a kitchen.

 

Bob

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I am interested in learning how to air brush. Does anyone have info. How big a compressor, top/bottom feed, single/double action, etc. I will have to buy everything new, I'd like to stay under $200.00

Bill, you have seen lots of good ideas here. Let me make a couple more suggestions.

A good airbrush 'gun' is important, but don't forget that you also need a compressor and perhaps a couple other add-ons.

 

I am using a compressor that I bought at Home Depot for less than $100. It is small, can be carried around, yet has a reservoir (not big, but big enough for general use). I can control the outlet pressure from zero up to 110 psig. It is good for checking tire pressure, blowing dust from small machines, etc. It just is not big enough to handle large spray guns. It works very well with an airbrush like mine. I think this is a lot more of a compressor than the little guys that are intended only for airbrush applications.

 

The airbrush I have is the Badger 105 Patriot. It is easy to use after some practice. The paint viscosity is important and requires some experimentation, but the little rascal works great. I use it primarily with acrylic paints, but you can use it with solvent based paints or finishes. The problem with the latter is that the cleanup is more time consuming and important.  Also, for solvent based paints you should have a water trap. The compressor puts out ambient air and in the process compresses humidity which turns into water. That should be 'trapped' with a unit that you can buy at an automotive outfit.

 

Is it worth $200? Not, for casual use in modeling ships, in my opinion. It does a nice job for the occasional use, but many thin coats of paint by hand can give similar results. The airbrush is just a nice way to do it quicker and more smoothly. The cleanup afterwards is a definite negative.

Here is one example of where I used it.

post-246-0-77192000-1365995353.jpg

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Use of an airbrush is rather subjective. I've had good results for both brush painting and airbrush painting. As for a moisture trap, it's an important thing to have, regardless of the type of paint you are using.

 

We have a fairly substantial compressor down at the railway club (with a mositure trap built in to the unit), if I'm not mistaken, for painting we're usually down in the 20 PSI range. 40 if we're using the sandblasting unit (yeah... we have one of those too).

 

One thing to watch out for with brush painting multiple coats is filleting in inside corners, where the paint gets trapped and builds up.

 

Generally speaking, with wood, I agree that an airbrush is not always needed.

 

Andy

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