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Hi all, I just got some paints for my 1:200 Trumpeter Bismark. They come in 22ml bottles  from Lifecolor. My question is, how much will these small bottles cover if airbrushed? I am yet to get an airbrush (soon though) but at 22ml, its not much paint to cover a beast like Bismark. Should I get more? Oh, I am talking about the red color below the waterline.





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I have no idea how much paint it will take to cover your specific application, but I would expect a single bottle to cover the painting of the red on even a 1:200 scale model.


My general experience (keep in mind, that isn't a lot) is that you will get more coverage out of a given amount of paint using an airbrush than you will using a brush.


This is of course if you don't waste a bunch by putting too much into the airbrush each time and don't recover it back to the bottle when done.

Your mileage may vary of course, but my experience says you should have no problem.  


Easy approach would be to simply do your first coat and see how much paint you've used, and guestimate from there whether you have enough depending on how many coats you expect to do.

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Hi Chris,


My experience with airbrushing is limited (I am relatively new to the whole airbrushing thing), but the area of paint applied will be directly dependant on whether or not you thin the paint. I'd suggest reading around and finding out the best thinning ratios for the paint that you are using and then buy an extra pot of the paint to test your thinning ratios. I've been thinning Gloss White with 2 drops of White to 8 drops of thinner. This makes a very wet paint that is applied, but dries very quickly and then can be re-coated fairly soon afterwards. If you buy a cheap plastic model (best to work on something similar to your final project) you can see how the mix ratios then react with rounded surfaces such as the tumblehome of a hull.




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It has been a while since I used an airbrush.  One thing I still do - even if using burshes only - is the following:


I first paint a 'basic coat' - usually a matt gray - to highlight any imperfections.  Repair, then repaint.


Once I no longer have any imperfections I paint a 'base colour' in an easily found and not too expensive brand (can be the regular DIY paint, as long as it does not attack the model material (particularly important when dealing with plastics)).  This 'base colour' is of a shade as close as I can get to the eventually desired colour, and heavily diluted so I can apply very thin layers at the time while allowing each layer to dry completely.  I do this until I have an even coverage across the specified area.

Only then will I use the (relatively expensive) model paint it in the exact shade.


So for your red I would chose a DIY paint in a medium red shade (not too dark, but not too bright either) so you have an even coverage.  Then - usually in one or two diluted layers - I would use the model paint to obtain the exact shade.


It is a technique I picked up from figure painting (i.e. model 'tin soldiers' aka Pegaso or Andrea Models).  1st base coat, then the medium tones, then improve the 3D experience by painting shadows and highligths.


Hopes this is of use to you



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They come in 22ml bottles  from Lifecolor. My question is, how much will these small bottles cover if airbrushed?


More than you'd think, as long as you're not wasteful.  Airbrushing, despite the overspray, is actually a very efficient application of paint.  That said, a 1:200 Bis has a lot of area to paint.  A 22ml bottle of unthinned paint might just do you for the hull red but in terms of primer and other greys I'm guessing you are going to need more.


Only reference I can give is that of a 18ml bottle of pr-thinned Valejo ModelAir lasting me three 1:35 tanks or 1:32 aircraft.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Les here. If you don't have a lot of experience with airbrushing, this may not be your best choice as a product. It sprays very thin and tends to clog up at the tip. even at a 50, 50 ratio it is still problematic. I have been airbrushing for more than 20 years and my go to water based acrylics are still Tamiya or Vallejo. Go online to see the reviews of Lifecolor products. Good luck.

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