Official Airbrush Thread

  • Thread starter Migrate from As You Wish
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Migrate from As You Wish

I have been wanting to get an airbrush for some time, but i don't know anything about them. Whats the difference between dual action and single? what should i look for in an airbrush? any recommendations?
Well, for starters, single action is easier to use for beginners. Usually an external mix, single action sprays the paint when the button is pushed. dual action is usually an internal mix, and allows air flow when the button is pushed, then paint as it is pulled back. After getting the feel for it, the dual action will give finer detail and better control.
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I hear good things about the Aztek A470. Can't say I've used it, but it is both double action and internal mix. Plus, it is pretty cheap for everything you get- lots of nozzles for fine detail.

But I am no expert on airbrushes--looking into one myself.
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Does anyone or has anyone used an airbrush to paint their armor? Would it be ideal for the weathering? I am considering getting one and I would love to hera what you think. Is it worth it?

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Most definitely!!!! :)

I used regular spray paint for the "base coat" (Rust-O-Leum "Spruce Green" is great). Then I sponged on Testors enamel (Yellow Zinc Chromate for the "primer" color and Steel for the "metal" color). After that, I used acrylic Mars Black, airbrushed on for carbon scoring effects and to give it that all-around "grunge" look. ;)

I have since used my airbrush for my Blastech EE-3, my Westar... it is VERY useful and adds a dimension you really can't get any other way. :)

My $.02... :D
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From what I hear it's down right necessary to really nail things with the mixing of greens to get a "proper" green.

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I to airbrushed mine.. and it works like a charm.. depending on how you use the brush.. and if you know how to really get dirty with the brush is another story. I have seen some jobs done of airbrushers... and some of them just look like a back yard airbrusher did it.. and it shows.. if you know someone that has some good skills.. they can really make the weather look insane... with not just a over spray look but all the way down to a scratch and such... But sure.. its your best bet for doing the armor.. I used charcol on the fabric.. shaved it off of the sticks with a xacto knife.. and rubbed it all in... looks very real doing it like that.. Good luck
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Another useful technique is to water down black acrylic paint (sometimes called "black water") and to paint it on and let it run into the nooks and crannies, then blot up the excess. You have to do it a few times, but you eventually get a really neat look.

To add carbon scoring to my shoulder bells, I rubbed on used charcoal from my grill. Believe it or not, it was quite effective. I kinda ground it into the silver paint... It looks a *bit* more "used" than the real deal, but I think it's more realistic too. Anything that hit the armor and was strong enough to remove paint, primer, and a chunk of metal is going to leave behind evidence. ;)

But to get back on topic, BUY AN AIRBRUSH. You can get one for next to nothing, if you look around. ;)
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Folks, thanks for the greta advice. An arts and crafts store near me (A.C. Moore) has them for around $30 and comes with a can of air (not a compressor). I have a 40-50% coupon so it works out great!

The big question...any of you have any pics of your airbrushed work? :rolleyes

I would really appreciate seeing them to give me some sort of direction.

Thanks again. I knew I could count on my bounty brothers to come through.
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I bought a Badger airbrush at Michael's (national arts & crafts chain) for $21.99.

This is the SAME airbrush (looks identical to me, anyway) that I bought. The difference in price makes me sick...

Cans of the Badger Propel propellant are about $11.00 for the large cans. I've already used 2 in no time. You end up using a lot of air to "clean" the airbrush out after you're done using it after a session (clearing the siphon tube, etc.)

My next purchase will be something like this:
or this:

A couple of cans of air will pay for a nice little compressor. :)

Sure none of these products are exactly "top of the line", but then I'm not doing this for a living either, where something a little more "professional" would be needed.

I've had no problems with my airbrush, and it works just fine. It's really a "low-tech" device, if you think about it. If you spend more, you're really not getting much more than better looks and a "big name". ;)

I could post some digital pics of my work, but no one wants that! ;) Seriously, my digital camera is pretty old, and only does 640x480 resolution, so I need to take pics with my 24mm and then scan and post them. Maybe I can use up the 25 pictures on a roll of film... ;)

I need to take some pics of a few new projects I'm doing, so I'll try to have some up by this weekend. :)
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Jedi-Bob wrote:
Folks, thanks for the greta advice.

HEHE My wife's name is GRETA! She gives me advice all the time! ;)

Actually, she keeps me sane, and tolerates my obsessions. What more could I ask for? :)

When she starts her Boushh costume, she'll be just as obsessed! ;)
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Well, like I said, tell Greta I said thanks for letting you answer my post. lol :lol:

Man, it's late. Don't mind me.
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If you can afford a small air compressor.. I would suggest on getting one.. as you may save money in the long run if you ever us or plan on doing airbrushing again. I took it up as a hobby years ago.. and since I had all the gear when it came time to do a Fett it all paid off..

Anyway.. I use Pache (Spelling??) airbrushes... I have a few badgers as well.. and feel the PAche's are easier to handle and just all round work better.. just my preferance of course.

Dry brushing is a good technic as well.. and with my Fett.. I used a few types of mediums.. airbrush / carcoal / garden dirt / hand painting... All tied into one looks really convincing.... and I'm sure you want to try and create that sort of effect.

You can check out some of my airbrushing work and see what type of detailing you can do with a brush and go to the illustration part of the site:

There you will see a ALIEN painting all done by airbrush... and you can basically get a good look at what a little airbrush can do for you.

Good luck my friend.. I shall have some Fett images of my mannequin for you to see detail as well by the end of this weekend..
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How much painting time do you get out of a can of air for your airbrushes? Just wondering if it's worth my money picking up a compressor when all I plan on doing is making the fett costume. If I'm only going to use two cans of air, not much point in going for a compressor.

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Not to sure on the amount of air in a can.. but with my own compressor.. I know it fills up all the time when I'm doing airbrushing... I mean you want to keep a steady flow or air.. and I wonder on a can if you have the freedom to set the air flow.. I mean that is important depending on the amount of paint you want coming out of that brush.

I set mine to about 30 pounds of pressure and it gives a good paint spray.. and if I want a splattered look of paint.. I set it lower and adjust my brush.. and it comes out all splatter...

Anyway... I have never used a can.. but I'm sure you'll need more then 2 cans... but that is just a guess.. I think you can get a small compressor probably used at a local or airbrush shop around your town...probably pretty cheap to.. especially if they are used.

I know my local shop (Canada) sells them...

Another thing you might want to consider... over a can.. is a thing I think is called a "PIG".. its a red cylinder that is used to pump up your car tires.. .it sits in the back of your car when you need it. Its a great little thing... All you have to do is fill it up at a gas station (FREE) where you do your own tires.. Airbrushes fit right on its hose.. and your set to start sprayin'

This can isn't very big.. but holds alot of air.. and is really light.. It has a gage on it.. so set the air flow and stuff like that.. but I would figure I paid $40 bucks for it... that would be frigin' worth it if you are just planning on doing fett.. then you can put it in your trunk for emergencys....

Give that a try...
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With the 2 large cans (they sell smaller cans in the $6.00 - $7.00 range) of Badger "Propel" propellant that I've bought, I've managed to do my chest armor, shoulder bells, EE-3 blaster (TWICE), my Westar, a Kamino sabredart, and several other things. I'm just now hitting the bottom of the 2nd can. I'll probably buy a small compressor soon, since I still have plans to use acrylic paint and my airbrush to weather my jumpsuit, cape, etc.

As far as the pressure, the airbrush that I bought (as well as the $3.00 I listed above) both have a regulator on the cap that screws onto the air can/compressor. You regulate the airflow by adjusting a thumb screw. The airbrush spray pattern is also adjustable (from hairline to 3/4"). Playing around with the airflow and the spray pattern will get you a wide range of effects.

As far as the air tank goes, I know what you're talking about. I think WalMart sells them in the auto section. There are some on eBay.

This one has a bad gauge, but you can't beat the price. Just be careful filling it up! ;)

Here's one with a working gauge, for a little more than a few large cans of air... :)

If you look around, you can get a small compressor for about the same price AND you never have to refill it! ;) This one is JUST a compressor, and has no tank to hold excess air in. Those cost a little bit more...

If you search for one, you can include "nail" in your search to return a list of compressors that are quieter than regular ones. Nail salons use airbrushes to paint nails sometimes, and they tend to like the quieter compressors so the person doing the nails can talk to their client without shouting over the noise of a loud compressor. ;)

Hope this is useful to someone! :)
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As promised, here are some new pics of my (mediocre) airbrushing... :)

Here are 2 pictures of my re-painted "SpideyBlaster©". The first colors were way too bright. I dulled them down a bit thanks to my airbrush and a generous amount of Mars Black. ;)



And finally, here's a pic of my (almost) completed armor. The airbrush was great for details. I can't imagine painting without it!

And about my armor... it's all scratch built from 3mm Sintra (thicker than 1/8" and hard as #@$% to form!!!). I thought about buying armor from various people, but in the end, I knew I'd appreciate it more if I made it myself. Is it perfect? Nope. Do I care? NOPE! It works for me, it's custom-made to fit *me*, and I LIKE IT. I'll probably get ribbed for "this angle" being too acute, or "that curve" being too wide, or "that" being "this". Like I said, it's what makes *YOU* happy when it's all said and done. :D

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Airbrush topics [merged]

OK, I bought an airbrush, but when I test spray, I get dots instead of a consistant color. What am I doing wrong???

I am using caned air (for now), does it make a difference?
If you have an external mix airbrush, you probably need to adjust the siphon nozzle that points upward at the front of the air nozzle. Turn it clockwise to lower it until the spray is even and fine.
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