1. Skiff's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2011
    Jan 17, 2014, 6:52 AM - Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #1

    Hey all.

    Was curious if anyone could help me out in regards to how much actual paint is needed to airbrush a typical helmet.
    My wife bought me an airbrush to paint my helmet but as I haven't used it yet I wasn't sure on how much volume I'll need.

    Also, acrylic or enamel paint. I'm thinking enamel for durability.

    All advice is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

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  3. Jayvee's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2010
    Jan 17, 2014, 7:12 AM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #2

    Really depends on what type of paint you are using bud. I go for humbrol enamels, as well as some floquil colours, and like the application and finish of the enamels. But others like Eric (Superjedi), has amazing results with acrylics. So that can mainly be a personal preference. In my experience, I find the solvent based enamels shoot very easily through the airbrush, and have a really great finish. Acrylics can still be applied with a nice finish, and have an easier clean up, so it really is up to you..

    As for amounts, the Humbrol tins are only 14mL tins, so I generally find 2-3 tins for large coverage areas, and 1-2 tins for areas with less coverage. This allows me to have some leftover, or a little excess if I mix something not quite right, as well as allowing for extra paint for touch ups etc.. Do remember though, if you have never tried the paints before, you are better erring on the side of more paint, which will just give you the freedom to experiment with the best ratios of paint to thinner, which can vary a little depending on your climate etc..

    The floquil bottles are much bigger though, and 1 bottle per needed colour will suffice easily. Overall, for a quality ROTJ paint job, you will have to spend a good amount on paint, and may often need to go back to the store at times. It will of course depend exactly on your level of detail added, but if you end up being like me, your paint kit will resemble the amount of tins you almost see in a hobby store, and your local hobby store worker will know you by your first name..

    Good luck bud, don't hesitate if you have any questions
  4. Skiff's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2011
    Jan 17, 2014, 8:04 AM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #3

    Thanks Jayvee. Another quick one. What sort of thinning ratio should I use and are the humbrols fine to use straight from the can or should I filter the paint. My airbrush has a gravity feed 7ml cup.
  5. Jayvee's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 2010
    Jan 17, 2014, 8:19 AM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #4

    Again, it will depend a little on your climate - In Brissie, it can often be humid, so the paint may be slightly more viscous, particularly if its been sitting around for a while. Make sure you shake and stir the tins well, then, I usually aim for a 3:1 paint to thinner ratio. If you find that works, keep it there, and if you think it flows better with a drop or two more of thinner, then you can adjust. Of course, the other factor is the psi you put through the compressor to your airbrush, which once again will come down to testing and personal preference, and this can also determine your paint to thinner ratio. I like it a bit lighter on at about 15 psi on the gauge, and use several fine coats, rather than try to cover it all in a couple of passes. Seems to leave a much more neat and consistent application..
  6. DeathProof's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2013
    Jan 17, 2014, 9:40 AM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #5

    Good info. I've never used an airbrush before and had no idea thinner was even necessary!
  7. Jan 17, 2014, 12:53 PM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #6

    I too used Humbrol enamel, which I would personally recommend. They dry pretty quick and look very nice
  8. superjedi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    Jan 17, 2014, 3:12 PM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #7

    It can also depend on how you use your airbrush. If it's a "nice" model, with adjustable
    air flow and spray pattern, a tighter spray pattern with lower pressure will use less paint.

    If you turn up the air pressure and spray with the nozzle wide open, you'll use significantly
    more paint.

    Like Jayvee said, different brands of paint come in different size containers, so that will
    also impact how much paint you have to buy. Floquil/Polly Scale paints come in 1 oz. bottles.
    For doing a single helmet, 1 oz. of a particular color is more than enough. Those little 14 ml
    Humbrol tins equal .47 ounces, so one bottle of Floquil is just over 2 tins of Humbrol.
  9. Skiff's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2011
    Jan 17, 2014, 4:05 PM - Re: Question about airbrushing rotj bucket. #8

    My airbrush is a sparmax dh103. 3mm needle. Dual action so I can really control the paint flow (once I practice).

    Thanks heaps for all the replies people.

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