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Wanting to start airbrushing...suggestions?

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Jamski

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I don't have a workshop per se, just a room set aside for model building, and I don't have a lot of $$$. Anyone have any suggestions on how to get into this without a major outlay of green, and perhaps how to set up a (very) small painting area?
 

FatBoy

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Just like you I don't have any workspace, plus I didn't want to spend a lot either. So here is how I got into airbrushing: I bought a Badger 155 Anthem (dual action, internal mix) set at Michaels Craft store using a 50% off coupon. I got a used Badger Cyclone II compressor (which I think sells new for about $130) from ebay for about $30.

I live in an apartment so when I paint I just set up 2 or 3 large pieces of cardboard or an old bed sheet in the kitchen. I use water-based acrylic paint (mostly Createx brand) so I don't need much for ventilation. The nice thing about airbrushing is you don't get a lot of overspray going everywhere.

Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.
 

AKPilot

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From viewing his work up close and personal, Fatboy is the man on this topic. His work has been on the front cover of Sport Rocketry. He's also helped me start out.

I too waited for a couple of Michaels 50% off coupons. I got the same brush as him by chance. And I picked up my compressor from them as well. I did get a spray booth as a birthday present, although as Fatboy said it's not necessary using Creatix paints - which are waterbased (acrylic) and premixed.
 

RandyM

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I agree with Fatboy on the Badger 155, in fact I really like their brushes and have 5 of them now. Check out their garage sale page:

http://www.badgerairbrush.com/Garage_Sale.asp

The 155 is only $35 there. I've bought from the garage sale before and it may take a couple of weeks to ship, but for the savings was well worth it.
 

FatBoy

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From viewing his work up close and personal, Fatboy is the man on this topic. His work has been on the front cover of Sport Rocketry...
Wow! Thanks, Troy. But I am by no means the man on this topic. Although I have had mine for about 3 years now I still consider myself very new to airbrushing since I have really had very little time to play with it and learn it.

Here are a few rockets I have done with Createx Pearl airbrush paint (I've also done some flames, but I don't have any pictures of them on this computer)....

SS1.jpg
 

o1d_dude

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I'd have to check but I think one of my "good" airbrushes is Badger 200 single action internal mix bottom feed that works just fine. Bought it in connection with a small 1/2 hp hobby type compressor from Sears many years ago.

Okay, I did check and the information above is correct.

In the process of checking, I found my other "good" airbrush: A brand spanking new Paasche H or HS kit that was purchased many years ago but somehow never got around to breaking it out of the packaging. I was rather surprised to find to discover this.

Also have a couple of cheapies (single action, external mix, bottom feed) that work equally well and are far easier to clean. I accidentally ran over one of the cheapies with my truck and it still works! These are the ones that see the most use.

I don't use the hobby compressor any more since I bought a small Campbell Hausfield portable compressor with adjustable pressure output. You can use canned airbrush propellant or one of those portable air cans or even a spare tire to drive their brushes.

Check out the Badger airbrush line at www.badgerairbrush.com but be prepared some sticker shock. The 200 lists at $81 and even the mini-sprayguns clock in at $27 and up.

Check out the Paasche goods at www.paascheairbrush.com. Again not cheap...the H set that I have lists at $89 and the HS is a bit more.

Not trying to scare you with the prices but these are precision airbrushes. The cheapies may be all you really need for something you're blast off and may never find again if it all goes south on you.
 

bsexton

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What about spraying bigger projects - 4" diameter and above? Would your recommendations be any different?
 

Gillard

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i'm just about to move onto airbrushing. got an oldish compressor (for free) and an air brush, but now i need a bleed hole valve for the compressor, can't find on in the local shops, and the nearest airbrush shop is miles away - does anyone know if a bleed hole valve has another name? or anyone in the UK now where to get one through the post (cheaply)?
 

luke strawwalker

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i'm just about to move onto airbrushing. got an oldish compressor (for free) and an air brush, but now i need a bleed hole valve for the compressor, can't find on in the local shops, and the nearest airbrush shop is miles away - does anyone know if a bleed hole valve has another name? or anyone in the UK now where to get one through the post (cheaply)?
Bleed hole valve?? I know a lot about compressors but not sure I know what you're talking about... where is it on the compressor and what does it do??

The only thing remotely close to a 'bleed hole valve" that I can think of is the unloader check valve installed where the compressed air line enters the tank from the compressor pump itself... usually there is a copper line coming from the compressor head that takes the compressed (and very hot!) air from the head down to the tank, through this check valve, and into the tank itself. When the compressor shuts down, this valve snaps shut trapping all the compressed air in the tank, and opens a small 'bleed port' on the side of the line to bleed off the pressurized air in the line back to the head, relieving the pressure in the line and compressor head so the compressor can start again easily when the pressure switch turns it on again. Is this the part you're talking about??

If it is, check at either TSC farm stores, Big R, Rural King, or any local industrial supply or welding supply stores you may have nearby. If they can't get it for you or a suitable 'will fit' replacement, they can probably point you in the right direction. Be sure to take the valve with you so they can get one with the right thread size and stuff to fit what you have.

Push come to shove, you can probably take the two halves apart and clean or rebuild the valve if you have to, or run the compressor without it, which will work, it just won't hold air pressure when it turns off. I had one with a bad valve like that, and ran it that way a pretty long time, but just for 'immediate air' use; it wouldn't hold air in the tank when you turned it off--it bled back through the outlet and inlet check valves in the head...

Hope this helps! OL JR :)
 

Gillard

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just checked the compressor (micon), it says it needs a "bleed hole adaptor" for use with an air brush. talking to a friend of mine, what he says its for is that the compressor will keep pushing air (ie its job), when you are spraying then there is no pressure build up, but when you stop, there's nowhere for the air to escape, so the pressure will continue to build. the bleed hole adaptor allows the air to escape when the air brush is not in use but the compressor is running.

but can i find a bleed hole adaptor:(, i was wondering if it had another name?
 

Gillard

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and within a minute on ebay, i've found one, in america so shipping will cost more than the part, but at least i know it exists and i can get one.

TRF solves another problem - thanks.
 

CharlaineC

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you can make a very good spray booth for cheep. all you need is some 1/4-1/2 ply

the base is 3'L x 2'W
back is 3'L x 2'H
sides are 2' x 2'

one of the side you drill a hole in for a spindel and baring assembly. the spindal is used to hold and spin the rocket. it could be even be hooked up to a moter and transmission for slow turning while you paint. the plans used to be in the handbook of model rocketry.
 

Micromeister

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I'll also throw the Passhe HS or H single action workhorse airbrush in as a great beginning tool. add a couple stem mounted paint straining screens and a few extra bottles, in-line air regulator and moisture trap you should be good to go.
I've used Passhe-H brushes for both Oil based and waterbased mediums for ages. Used to make my living with them as a matter of fact.
Your air supply is another matter that's really going to depend on exactly what you are planning on doing with your finishing. A big garage type air compressor or a simple diaphram pump type..it's up to you. Regulating and providing a constant, even air pressure to the brush can make a big difference, again depending on how detailed your trying to be.

Buying or building a booth is another choice that can range for less then 50 bucks to more then 600 bucks for some of the "Hobby Booths" or more...all depends on exactly what, and where your doing your airbrushing and with what type material ie water or solvent based media.

If your building a "booth" the blower will be the most expensive and hardest to find part. Much has been written about CFM needed and sizes required for the most efficent exhausting of fumes. Personally i've been using a 4" squirrel cage blowers in both large (3'x3'x7') and small (12" x12" x22") booths in my basement for more then 3 decades.
hope this helps a bit.

Passhe-a1_Single Action utility airbrush type HS_12-06-06.JPG


Passhe-a2-sm_Backroom Airbrush set-up drawer_12-06-06.jpg


D_Large Booth 4pic page_06-07-04.jpg
 
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Micromeister

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If your mainly looking to paint entire models, don't forget to consider one of the many Detail Spray guns available for several sources.
the Better 2/3rd and I recently started using a great little light weight Detail gun we picked up from Harbor Freight for 10 bucks awhile ago, I just saw them listed in a current flyer for 15.00 bucks. They've proven to be a great way to paint models and a vast aray of other craft based objects.

We've been using them on both the diaphram and regular air compressor at 30-45psi with fine results.

Detail Sparygun-a-sm_4oz cap. cup_10-07.JPG
 
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Stymye

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The passche H single action is a great starter.I wouldn't consider a double action as a necessity.Do get the different needles/tips what ever you buy.
that's probably one of the most important "tips" I can think of
 

MarkM

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What about spraying bigger projects - 4" diameter and above? Would your recommendations be any different?
For my HPR projects, I use mini HVLP automotive spray guns (1. Dura-block 7400 for clears and 2. Sharpe Finex 1000 for primer and color) with a 125 psi Coleman 27 gallon compressor. Works great. I've painted 12" projects with this system. The guns are about $100 a piece and the compressor ~ $300. You can't use a compressor much smaller because these guns (even the minis) move a lot of air.
 
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bsexton

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For my HPR projects, I use mini HVLP automotive spray guns (1. Dura-block 7400 for clears and 2. Sharpe Finex 1000 for primer and color) with a 125 psi Coleman 27 gallon compressor. Works great. I've painted 12" projects with this system. The guns are about $100 a piece and the compressor ~ $300. You can't use a compressor much smaller because these guns (even the minis) move a lot of air.
Mark - what type of paint do you use? I believe most airbrush users are spraying some brand of acrylic paint like Createx.
 

MarkM

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Mark - what type of paint do you use? I believe most airbrush users are spraying some brand of acrylic paint like Createx.

Bruce -
I use automotive urethanes from either House of Kolor or PPG Shopline. The clear is High Performance Clear from NAPA. Primer is a NAPA gray primer. I could very well use Createx, but like the finish of the automotive stuff. I tried the water-bourne stuff once and didn't like the finish or coverage, but that's probably due to my inexperience with this type of paint.
 

Micromeister

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Hope your also using a supplied air resperator with those urethane paint Mark.
Isocyonates build up in the body over time and are Deadly. NO joke, no kidding. we've lost two good Painters because they thought it was a bunch of hoowee. IF your spraying Automotive finishes Ya better darn sight heed the warnings on the cans.
 

bsexton

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I've been looking at some air compressors and the following are within my budget but I don't want to buy anything that isn't going to do the job. I'm not looking to get into big automotive spray guns but I might use a small detail gun in addition to standard airbrushes.

Campbell Hausfeld 2 Gal. FP2048 for about $65
Campbell Hausfeld Twin Stack 2 Gal. FP2095 for $79
Northern Tool Twin Cylinder Compressor for $89

What do you think?

CH_FP2048.jpg


CH_FP2095.jpg


NT_TwinCylinder.gif
 

troj

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I've been looking at some air compressors and the following are within my budget but I don't want to buy anything that isn't going to do the job. I'm not looking to get into big automotive spray guns but I might use a small detail gun in addition to standard airbrushes.

Campbell Hausfeld 2 Gal. FP2048 for about $65
Campbell Hausfeld Twin Stack 2 Gal. FP2095 for $79
Northern Tool Twin Cylinder Compressor for $89

What do you think?
If you're looking at using spray guns, you'll find that a 2 gallon compressor won't cut it. Painting a 7.5" rocket, I found that even a 20 gallon compressor cycles on more than I wish it would -- those sprayers use a lot of air!

As far as guns go, I have an inexpensive ($45) spray gun I bought online somewhere that I've been very pleased with. I've never had any problems with it.

I also spent $10 on a touchup gun from Harbor Freight, and tossed it in the trash. About all it was good for was leaking paint all over the place.

I may eventually invest in another touchup gun, but if I do, I'll spend a few bucks more and at least get something I have a reasonable degree of confidence will work.

....of course, I won't be spraying anywhere near the house anytime, soon. I've learned that even with doors and windows closed, some of the fumes make it into the house, and my son would be most unhappy if I killed his bird!

-Kevin
 

bsexton

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....of course, I won't be spraying anywhere near the house anytime, soon. I've learned that even with doors and windows closed, some of the fumes make it into the house, and my son would be most unhappy if I killed his bird!

-Kevin
Spoken like a man who may have some experience in that area...:eek:
 

Ford Prefect

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When your buying a larger set up to paint with I have a couple of Pieces of advice.

1 HVLP GUNS ROCK (Much more paint on target Much less overspray)
You can get one on amazon for as little as $25. Rockler dot com sells one I love for $39, its a chrome detail gun.

2 Make sure your compressor and gun CFM match well. The smaller compressors will work as long as your putting out enough CFM to run your gun (check your specs with your gun). A little more is preferable. The bigger guns burn through air quick so its hard to paint large kits on a 2gallon tank.

I currently use a Neiko 1.5 tip HVLP gun (amazon $35-$50) and a Harbor Freight 8 gallon 5.9 cfm compressor ($99). The Compressor will actually refill the tank while I am spraying with no lose of pressure.

The nice thing about a larger compressor is you can run your airbrush on the tank only, and your guns with the compressor running.

I can really recommend Harbor freight if you watch their sales you can get decent gear, cheap and it doesn't hurt as much if you happen to burn it out. They'll have almost everything you need to spray large projects (watch their guns though you may get a lemon) from guns and comps to Plumbing and Hoses (I use the goodyear hoses)

PS if your spraying water based make sure your gun has a stainless steel needle or it may may Corode also A moisture trap is essential. I use 2 one a valve type and the other a Dessicant filter just behind the gun.

Cj
 
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troj

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Spoken like a man who may have some experience in that area...:eek:
Not the bird, but guinea pigs. We're pretty sure fumes from painting the Redstone got into the house, and did them in. :(

Birds are very sensitive, and since my 10 yr old got a cockatiel for Christmas, we'll be playing it paranoid.

-Kevin
 

BsSmith

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I'm trying to find a spraygun that I can paint larger rockets with, working on a Talon 3 now. I can't afford higher quality spray guns. I want something that I can use metalflake with, and spray evenly. Does anybody have a link of where to go to find something, or should I just send the rocket into the body shop?
 
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