Water base paint question

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flying_silverad

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For those of you that use water based paints for your rockets, can you achieve any kind of gloss?

Or, can you clear coat the model when it's done? If so, what do you clear coat it with?


[The reaon I'm asking is I'm thinking of getting an airbruch and doing some water based only painting this winter]
 

Stymye

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the water base A/b paints dry to a flat finish, you have to clear coat them for gloss.

also you have to change your thinking process from spray can painting ,

spray in very light coats. the paint drys very quick so at first you may think you're creating a bad finish because you have tiny spots of paint spread out over the surface with space between them.

don't worry it's designed to work that way ,spray annother light coat,and annother ,and so on untill the surface fills in level. never spray a "wet coat" it will take forever to dry and will either orange peel ,run, or both.just keep spraying light coat untill you have a solid coverage.

the proper result will almost resemble a flourescent paint type finish
the clear coat will not only fill in the surface and actually link with the basecoat because of the flat finish "tooth". but causes the basecoat to show it's depth of color, it will almost suprise you the first time you try it . good luck with it
 

stevem

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on my Delta III I could not find any spray paint in the teal blue color for the lower half of the rocket. I wound up buying a .99cent bottle of acrylic craft paint and got the airbrush out of mothballs.

After I had the acrylic sprayed I coated it with Krylon 1301 clear and it worked fine. I am seriously thinking about doing a lot more with the airbrush now. I do hate the cleaning part tho.
 

Stymye

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yep,almost any clear coat will work

if your doing a painting "session" the water base paints are great because you can change colors right away... to clean during a "session" spray some water thru the brush.. and set the brush in a can of water .. you can go for days that way and don't have to break the airbrush down untill you are ready to store it for a while.. also buy a small bottle of A/B cleaner you add a few drops to a bottle of water and spray thru it helps lubricate the internals and needle as well.
 

Stymye

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I sprayed this rocket yesterday afternoon (including primer)

this was my first attempt at making a mask(the yellow jacket)
you can't tell from the picture but I even added a gold tint to the fin area and the stinger. you can't do this with a can in one afternoon ! the rocket has not been clearcoated yet
 

stevem

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great looking rocket stymye! and thanks for the a/b cleaning tips
 

flying_silverad

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Styme...2 questions. 1- When you said earlier that while painting, you set the airbrush in a can of water, you mean submerge it? 2- do you use a water base primer as well?

PS- The rocket looks very cool!
 

Stymye

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yep,spray some water thru the brush first than remove the bottle and hose and submerge it,( if you think you won't paint again for a few days I would go ahead and thouroghly clean it)

when you are ready to spray again,just give it a few test shots on some cardboard first.

you can use your favorite can primer, or you can use an acrylic basecoat (or both) I'm not sure how high build the waterbase(acrylic) paints are so I just use regular sandable primer

but you can hit it with white basecoat on top of the primer thru the airbrush before you start painting to have a bright white surface to apply your colors onto.

I have done that as well
 

Micromeister

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Yeap you can throw the whole airbursh in the water if you like, I use a metal bucket. remove the bottle or cup and stick it right in the water, push the button a few times to force water thur the needle, then spary on a paper towel or newspaper to make sure you've gotten most of the previous color out. If your using a cup you can mix one color to another right in the cup so the color changes before your eyes ...but that's another technique.
I use the "dunk" system with oil base paints also but that involves an open container of thinner beside the airbursh stand. here I use a quart size short fat pot.. if I'm don't a large sign or batch of models i'll sometimes just leave the brush in the thinner overnight between back to back sessions, instead of tearing the bursh down for a good cleaning.
Back to water based paints....
All the Craft type acrylic paints are just great for airbrushing, I've used nearly every type and brand Micheal's and the ceramic craft stores have right along with testors, pactra, sherwin williams, on the same project wet. Like syteme mentioned you can do things with water based acrylics that are pretty difficult to do in oils, at least until your really comfortable with your airbrush.
Flyin.. to date I have not found a clear that will not work over acrylics. some care must be taken with clear lacquers but even they didn't lift acrylics like a suspected they would. Nasty old Krylon 1301 works as well as any.

I don't know about other's but I always stick with the cheapest, automotive primeres I can find. oil or water base paints really has very little to do with your primer. I found water base primers tend to make a mess of the models paper components. .something to keep in mind.
Fisheye and other oil related problems can be avioded by using seperate airbrushes for each.
hope this helps.
 

Cajunman06

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Not sure exactly what you mean with the term "water based" but if acrylic fits in, then you certainly can get some good gloss finishes with them. I almost hate to admit it, but the Testors Acryl line of paints has worked excellent for me in the past shooting from an airbrush. While I wouldn't really advise thinning with water, I use alcohol and it works great.
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by Cajunman06
Not sure exactly what you mean with the term "water based" but if acrylic fits in, then you certainly can get some good gloss finishes with them. I almost hate to admit it, but the Testors Acryl line of paints has worked excellent for me in the past shooting from an airbrush. While I wouldn't really advise thinning with water, I use alcohol and it works great.
Is there a specific ratio of alcohol to water that you use?
 

Cajunman06

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Now you got me. I can't even begin to guess what the ratio is, and I would bet that it varies a lot from the paint:thinner ratio for enamels and laquers but I always use the old tried and true method of slowing mixing in small amounts until the liquid is about the consistency of milk. I learned that from my interest in plastic model building.
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by Cajunman06
Now you got me. I can't even begin to guess what the ratio is, and I would bet that it varies a lot from the paint:thinner ratio for enamels and laquers but I always use the old tried and true method of slowing mixing in small amounts until the liquid is about the consistency of milk. I learned that from my interest in plastic model building.
I always use the old tried and true method of slowing mixing in small amounts until the liquid is about the consistency of milk.

That's the ticket! I was looking for exactly that type of description so you've been more help than you know. Is that the consistency that you look for withALL paint types?
 

Cajunman06

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Yeh, that's what I have always followed. It seems to work better than just saying use a 2:1 ratio since some paints, like enamels are much thicker than the acrylics. What I have found is that the Testors line is pretty thin to begin. I know some who build military models who shoot it straight from the bottle. That works pretty good, but what you have to remember is that they use almost all flat/matte paints. Flat colors tend to go on smoother with a broader range of error than gloss paint does. To get a real deep gloss shine, you can usually plan on more than one or two "mist coats" and then one or more "wet coats".

C
 

limd21

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Consistency of milk is a good target, but even a bit thicker e.g. "half-and-half" still shoots well if you use a bit more flow and/or pressure. This makes covering large areas go a bit faster.
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by Cajunman06
Yeh, that's what I have always followed. It seems to work better than just saying use a 2:1 ratio since some paints, like enamels are much thicker than the acrylics. What I have found is that the Testors line is pretty thin to begin. I know some who build military models who shoot it straight from the bottle. That works pretty good, but what you have to remember is that they use almost all flat/matte paints. Flat colors tend to go on smoother with a broader range of error than gloss paint does. To get a real deep gloss shine, you can usually plan on more than one or two "mist coats" and then one or more "wet coats".

C
Okay, makes perfect sense. Now, let me switch gears here. Have you ever tried using an acrylic, that might be flat or matte in finish, then tried to "gloos" it using Future floor polish?

Extra credit: have you ever used Future through an air-brush, or is it not practical?
 

Stymye

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heres my philosophy, and only my opinion from trying alot of different paints,I do not disagree with anyones opinion on paints results may vary and it's good to try everything out to see what works best for you, I am still learning alot about it myself
but hopefully I can save someone a little trouble.

the testers is great for small models and is good paint ,but keep in mind at 2 to 3 dollars for a 1/2oz of testers acrylic paint, you will go broke painting a midsize rocket.
with a #5 needle you will spray 1/2 oz in about 5-10 seconds

you can buy top of the line airbrush paint and get 2 to 4 oz for the same price, and these paints have completely revolutionised the business in the last few years.
the reason people add alcohol rather than water is to keep the paint from coagulating because it has to be thinned so much. In this day and age,If you have to play with the mixture that much,your just making it hard on yourself

the quality airbrush paints(such as createx, golden,auto air,)require no thinning , at the most a few drops of water are all that is needed for the darker pigments.
the brands I mentioned are the most advanced airbrush paints on the market, almost all of your custom graffics people(cars,choppers,helmets,boats ect...)are using it
plus these paints are extreemly forgiving, you have to work hard to get bad results

you won't see Nub Grafix(american chopper)using craft paints ,house paint or model car paint, the results are obvious if you have ever watched shows like American Chopper.the paint jobs are amazing(Nub uses Auto Air from createx btw)whats cool is you don't have to be an artist to get the same finish and depth of color.

my thoughts are,why not get the best you can for the same money, ofcourse you can get good results with the others , but usually with a lot of mixing,guessing, and trial and error.

why make an investment in a compressor and brush just to cut corners with some cheap watered down mixture ? get the good stuff, even hobby lobby carries it now. you will be glad you did

you can always experiment with other paints , take my word for it you will see the difference first hand. It won't make your rocket fly any better, but it sure is an easy way to get that jaw dropping finish that alot of people work hard to achieve.and you will get the same results every time you spray it.
 

Cajunman06

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Yes to both of those questions. You can shoot a gloss coat over a flat coat. I would wait until it's dry though. (I know that may be obvious, but I know of people who shoot a gloss clear coat over a gloss color immediately after to get it to blend in). As for shooting Future in the airbrush, it is very possible and I have done it lots, but then I found out that you can wipe the stuff on with a paper towel and that sure beats having to clean the airbrush. The bad part about shooting ANY clear through an airbrush is the cleaning part. Its difficult to determine when the thing is really clean. Unless you have lots of money to waste, you really don't want to find out that you forgot to get all of the Future out when you go to use it again.
 

Cajunman06

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Thanks, Stymie! I know what I'll be trying in the near future. I've always seen those brands in various places, but never even thought to give them a shot. Now I know they are a superior product and will probably use them on a project soon.
 

limd21

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I won't argue with Stymie's comments that getting into the newer school of airbrush graphics specific paints is the most direct path to a good product. In the end, they're not *that* expensive and they are designed to do the job right.

That said, a major part of the fun I find in painting rockets is to try all sorts of different, unconventional things. I'm an engineer, and like to see what I can do to make things "work". I would bet I'm not alone here.

Commercial work in the custom car and motorcycle world has completely different demands than those placed on us here in the modeling world. Especially those of us flying rockets where the likelihood of a crash or lost rocket is significant. Customers there are routinely spending 4-5 digit sums on paint jobs alone and expect fuel/weather-proof durability and artistic perfection. 2-pack urethane isocyanate clear coats are the norm and thought I'm equipped to use this technology, it's an exceedingly rare rocket I'm prepared to go to this level to paint.

Craft paints work. House paints work. Modeling paints work. Most all can work surprisingly well. Heck, the general rule in airbrush media is if you can thin it, you can shoot it. The results I've had with craft and housepaints easily matches and often exceeds what you can do with a the typical Krylon rattle can - which is about the midline "standard" for model rocketry.
 

Stymye

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I honestly recommend trying different paints, this is only from my results, If you look at the American V2 thread you can see the results ... I just poured the color into the bottle and sprayed
I didnt touch or sand anything the finish was very flat
a couple days later I sprayed some clearcoat , the colors are so deep and vibrant as you can tell I'm obviously sold on the stuff..it takes all the hassle away and lets you concentrate on just spraying. keep trying different things, I'm only suggesting as you start out , the new paints will make the learning curve a snap. once you get good results you can better mix and try all the other paints and know how to make them work for you
 

dtomko

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When using Future over acrylics, just ,ake sure the base is really dry. Future can lift acrylics that are not cured; it can also lift decals if not completely set. I like using an airbrush because you can get a more even coat. Although Future "levels" really nicely, it can pool if put on too thick. Windex cleans the airbrush pretty easily after Future. i also use the paper towel method
 

Stymye

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I have a very cheap airbrush that I spray future thru, because like the others have mentioned it is self leveling, you can almost sputter it on and it will smooth out ,,very forgiving
I also use windshield fluid , windex, and even alcohol to clean the brush

you really have to make sure its clean, it can gum up your airbrush in a heartbeat, so I would suggest a cheap second airbrush just for that purpose. or a foam brush or rag even works
 

stevem

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this has been a great thread guys! lots of good info - got me fired up to start airbrushing again!!
 

flying_silverad

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I am this close (><) to buying an airbrush! Great info as always....keep it going! All those great paints in the craft stores heee Haaww
 

Stewart32

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What can I shoot with an airbrush to get a gloss finish over acrylic color?
 

Cajunman06

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Future will shoot thru an airbrush straight out of the bottle, but you wanna make absolutely sure you get it cleaned real good. One thing bad about shooting clear through an airbrush is making sure you get it cleaned out after.

However, there really is no need to bother with the airbrush and Future. Just brush it on. I use one of those cheap sponge brushes and it looks great.

C
 

Stymye

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you can mix future >with< the paint,, it will thin the thicker paints and leave a very nice gloss..I haven't tried every brand so results may vary..ofcourse you can try the airbrush specific acrylic clear coats but none I have found are very good..you can also use spraycan clear , like krylon over acrylics .. lots of options.
 

dr wogz

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While I plan to pull out my old airbruish, I am pleased to have found this thread. Very informative!!

(I'm in that transitionary period, from spray can to brush. [Again] realising the limits to 'spray can painting', and the limited colours )

Some additional questions for you all:

Do you paint your rocket from tip to tail (along the axis) or from left to right (right to left)?

Do you employ any special jigs, like a turntable? (To keep the rocket upright & easily rotated while painting)

Krylon primer & 'flat white' an OK surface to start with for acrylics? I assume so, but looking for 'been there, done that'.


Styme, you have some excellent hints & tips! Thanks for sharing!
 
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