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Airbrush versus Spray Can

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mkmilion

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I was in good ol' Walmart yesterday and saw an airbrush set up on sale. I got to wondering if it would be better than spray cans or not. I've only been using spray cans since I started in the hobby. I'm also a little nervous cause I've never used one.

If you guys could give me your experience, and some pros and cons that'd be great. Thanks.
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by mkmilion
I was in good ol' Walmart yesterday and saw an airbrush set up on sale. I got to wondering if it would be better than spray cans or not. I've only been using spray cans since I started in the hobby. I'm also a little nervous cause I've never used one.

If you guys could give me your experience, and some pros and cons that'd be great. Thanks.
Are you talkin' about the Testors airbrush setup? Jason (jetra2) and I were in Walmart last night and were discussing this very product. I think it might be useful in painting more intricate designs. In what I've seen of airbrushed items, they tend to make paint jobs such as camo and flames look far more realistic. As for this particular airbrush starter set, I'd be interested to know if anyone else has used it either. What I do like is that they have extra cans of compressed air in stock. My worry would be that I'd get hooked on the airbrush kit and then they'd de-support it. I may have to evaluate the set for myself. Very neat.
 

Stymye

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I think the testors airbrushes are a decient starter type
I have one along with a pascha dual action,one thing I like about the testors is, it's so easy to clean and change tip sizes

I don't see them as a replacement for spray cans tho
for example, you would be better off spray canning your primer coat on
and you would probably want a compressor If you planned to use the airbrush for most of your finishes

they are great for detailing,, but thats alot of paint to push thru a small nozzle to cover say a ,bt60 or 80 rocket..unless the rocket has a lot of detailing and colors..I sprayed a Custom Sam-X strictly with the airbrush and did the camo job like on the face card. The airbrush works great for the smaller rockets and plastic models

I tend to get lazy and not wanting to set up the airbrush ,thin paint ,get it spraying right and than having to clean it afterward

by that time I've long finished with the spray can
but thats just me
I mainly use my testors now for spraying Future wax It does a great job of laying on a thin gloss coat

I'm still learning how to use the dual action
 

jflis

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I wouldn't worry about them "de-supporting" it. If I recall, it is all standard air-brush fittings and those are universally available.

After getting your feet wet, you can explore and expand your tools.

If you use it a lot you definately want a compressor. Diaphram compressors are good low cost compressors that keep a nice constant pressure. Make sure you get a moisture trap for any compressor you use.

Air brushes come in "internal mix" and "external mix" types. I prefer external mix as they are easier to clean. The difference is where the paint is mixed with the air. With an EXternal mix, the paint never actually goes inside the air brush, only air does.

You also want to consider "single action" or "dual action". for the vast majority of your work, single action (cheaper) is fine. Dual action gives you much more control over the flow but is usually reserved for those neat special effects (blending, fading). If this is something you'd like to explore, then a dual action may be the tool.

If I remember right (it's been a while since i've looked at a dual action), the basic difference is single action you set the air flow to a specific level then turn it on or off whereas with a dual action, you control the air flow as you paint (much more control)

Several advantages to air brushes include:

1) much more choices of pigment. I've even used indian ink before

2) Masking is much easier. many times I would just cut out a pattern on paper and *hold* it against the model and get crisp edges while painting the pattern onto the model.

3) your paint goes further (less waste) as you have very tight control over where the paint goes.
 

Stymye

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one more thing to consider on dual vs single action
on the dual action ,depressing the button starts the air flow ,,as you pull back the button you start and increase the paint flow
these setting are all adjustable (on models I'm familiar with atleast)

with most dual action models you can set the adjustment to actually start both the paint and air when you press down ,essentially making it a single action brush,,,

so with dual action , you get the best of both worlds
 

Micromeister

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MK:
Stymye has hit the nail on the head. an airbrush is another tool in your collection helping make your hobby work more enjoyable.
An Airbrush is a fine piece of equipment and worth purchase if you are planning on doing good detail work or are planning on using a lot of colors, or custom mixing your own colors. If you can answer yes to any of those then by all means purchase an Airbrush kit. I'm not firmiliar with the Testors set-up but knowing them it is a good basic set-up. What is the air supply.. compressor or canned Air? I could write pages on the air supply alone. I'll just say canned air is not really a good way. you really need a decent compressor for really good airbrush work. Another thing is to look for a kit that supplies at least 3 needle sizes, #1 for very tiny intricate details, a #3 for general average size detail and/or base coating work, and most important a #5 or #6 for Heavy materials and/or Base coating those BT-60 body tubes Stymye was talking about. The little 1oz bottles will not do for airbrushing an entire model, you'll need a couple 3 oz bottles and caps.
I'm a Sign writer and commerical artist by training, I use spary guns, air brushes and bruses all the time at work and a home:D I currently run 3 air brushes at the house and at work. a Paasche and Badger single action airburshes for general work and basecoating and an Aztek dual action of fine artwork and super fine detail. Of the three I'd recommend the Paashe set as the best all around, and most user friendly airbrush on the market. NOTE. NO model rocketeer needs to invest the money for a dual action airbursh.. they are very difficult to learn to use and very expensive. any single action airbrush well do anything you could or would need in the hobby.
Like stymye said, you most likely will not replace all spray can paint applications, I use them as much or more than the gun or airburshes I have a my disposal. It's just quicker and easier to pick up a spray can. Not to mention you can do just as fine a detail work with a brush as you can with an airbrush. given a little practice and insturction, you CAN do intricate patterns and super fine detail with brushes and you can't tell the difference from spray paint application.
I hate to send folks to other places for MORE reading. but I did a 4 Tech-Tip series on primeing to finish painting model rockets. These are in the library section of Narhams.org web site. I think they may help you produce finished models that are as detailed as you want to make them and as smooth as glass:D look as Tech-Tips 002, 004 & 005.
Heres a 1/65 F100 PMC that was finished with spray cans and hand brush work.
Hope this helps
 

mkmilion

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You all have been more than helpful. I've always known that tools are never a waste of money. Especially in this case.
I head on down to Walmart when I get paid and purchase the Tester's starter set.
I kind of figure that I'll use it for fine paint application and stick with spray cans for the majority of my painting schemes.
Thanks again everybody.
 

Micromeister

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Excellent point Mikeyd!
these handle are Great!!! I've picked them up a several places, Micheal's, Wal-mart, even McMaster-Carr.. but don't pay more than 1.29 for them anywhere. Over 3 bucks is a rip!
 
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