Beginner airbrush tips

  1. #1
    mixmastermace's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2007
    From
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    123

    Beginner airbrush tips

    Hello again. I asked a question like this last summer as I had never spraypainted (rattlecan) before, and had a helmet and jet pack to do. This year, i've moved up to airbrush use and after a few hours of experimenting, I'm looking for some tips from the experienced.

    I'm asking for beginner tips on airbrush use both in general and for RotJ helmet, armor, and gauntlet painting. (No info will be considered too basic) Any words of wisdom or hard learned lessons are welcome.

    (FYI: I'll be using the RS list and am a little nervous about mixing the paints with thinner. Testors.com says I'll typically need 3 parts paint to every one part thinner. So tips on this process are also extremely appreciated.)

    Thanks guys! I know you'll come through.

  2. #2
    superjedi's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2003
    From
    Newport News, VA
    Posts
    4,137

    Re: Beginner airbrush tips

    OK, well unlike the spray paints, DON'T shake your airbrush once you're ready to paint!

    The biggest thing I can recommend is practice first. Take some scrap plastic and test out your colors/spray pattern for a bit before going to town on your props.
    You'll just need to experiment a little to find the best paint-to-thinner ratio. It'll vary depending on the brands of paint you're using. Some will require a little less than the "recommended" amount, some a little more.

    Thin your paints in a separate container. Grab a couple of empty jars and thin your paint in those, then transfer the mixture into your airbrush's container. Some plastic pipettes will come in very handy.

    When you're done using it, make sure to take a few minutes to clean your airbrush well. I enjoy shooting acrylics because you can usually just use plain water to clean the airbrush. Less smelly too!

    I'm sure others will add more tips/suggestions. Have fun with the new brush!

  3. #3
    BLUERAM's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Pekin, IL
    Posts
    143

    Re: Beginner airbrush tips

    RS said somewhere that he doesn't thin his paints. Talked about the foquil paints doing well with out it... I didn't thin any of the foquil brand either and had good results.

  4. #4

    Re: Beginner airbrush tips

    What does thining do? Im a newbie also.

  5. #5

    Re: Beginner airbrush tips

    Interestingly, while being a personal fan of rattlecans, I've been airbrushing on and off for about 15 years now (gah, being able to say I've done ANYTHING for 15 years makes me feel REALLY old!!!)

    Most airbrushes come with a bunch of exercises. They look lame, but they are really good. They teach you common movements... a lot of airbrush painting is muscle memory. Being able to do smooth curves, good gradients, etc...

  6. #6
    BLUERAM's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2005
    From
    Pekin, IL
    Posts
    143

    Re: Beginner airbrush tips

    gbeef said: View Post
    What does thining do? Im a newbie also.
    Helps the paint flow through the gun. If the paint is too thick it will clog in the gun or produce a poor finish

  7. #7
    mixmastermace's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2007
    From
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    123

    Re: Beginner airbrush tips

    So the general consensus around here is that Floquil doesn't need to be thinned. Does Pollyscale (which I hear is basically the same brand) need to be thinned?

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