Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My first spray

By TheGraveMind
So I decided I'm going to take a week or two off of gaming, and work on my army looks. For starters I have two drop pods, two land raiders, and a growing number of Rhinos that need to be painted. Once I get them all primed, I'm going to start painting them. Painting tanks is completely different from painting Monstrous creatures like I did with my tyranids, and I'll be honest, I'm struggling. So I'm cutting corners. I'm thinking of using an Airbrush.

So Sandwyrm covered his airbrush in a response to an email, back in the beginning of the year. But I've never used an airbrush before, and I ain't one of those city slickers with the compressors. I'm just a simple boy with some extra cash. So I went to the hobby store, bought a cheap airbrush set, and a can of propellant.

My main concern, is that instead of looking like I used one of these;

It will look like I used one of these;

I am assuming I use my normal paints, just mix it in the little bottle thingy-ma-bob. I'll definitely need to test this before pointing at my models, but my main concern is...since its a to I make it stop? It looks like its an all or nothing method. If it turns out well enough, I might invest in an actual compressor, but that is down the line.

Any tips for the first timer? Is she going to cry afterwords or am I? Do it out-doors or in a garage?


  1. I do my airbrushing inside, using a box I cut the side off of. The top is open to let the light in and the side is for access. I know a number of people that airbrush right at the painting table, so wherever there is space.

    On the can thing, it might depend on the can. The cans I used years and years ago on my first airbrush weren't punctured to use, they had a value thing like a spray can has (the part inside the can that the push nozzle on top presses into to free the paint). my airbrush came with a can topper that screwed onto the propellant can that the air hose attached to. this topper had a thumb screw that when screwed down pushed into the can and opened that valve, when I was done airbrushing for the day I unscrewed the thumbscrew and the can closed again.

    I hope that makes sense and is of use to you >.>

  2. This could be a good place to start:

  3. Your airbrush has a button on top of it - you push this and the air flows. You could look into getting a small valve that goes between the hose and the air brush or the hose and the can.

    Air brushes are designed for very thin paints. Acrylics (water based) paint is what we paint with and usually too thick. You'll have to water it down a whole bunch or it'll come out poorly and clog up your airbrush.
    Oil based paints like Testors are usually better and there are entire ranges designed specifically for airbrushing as well. (Michaels usually carries these and you can check other art and/or craft stores in your area)

  4. Thin half and half with windex and you should be fine. Then pure windex through for a quick clean when you switch colors. That doesn't take the place of a good cleaning, but for a quick switch it works for me.

  5. Here's my old article on how I paint my tanks:

    I actually find them to be ridiculously easy compared to any other sort of model.

  6. Congrats on getting an airbrush. Even a cheapo one is leaps and bounds better than brush painting tanks. Not only is it 10x faster, but it gives you a much more even look.

    In addition to windex, you may also want to consider Isopropyl alcohol for thinning and cleaning. A good rule of thumb for thinning is to shoot for the consistency of skim milk. thicker clogs the line and thinner paints run on the model. Also, avoid holding the nozzle too close to the model. this will also cause runs.

  7. @oniakki; well that explains what that other attachment option is, but sadly my can is the punctured kind. One time use only.

    @sonsoftaurus: thanks for the link, has some good stuff on it.

    Dave! what is a button? haha, ya I looked at it and what do you know, a button. Well that answers a lot of questions right there. Imagine an airbrush with out the button.

    @bob; just normal windex? I'll have to give that a try. thanks for the tip.

    Sandwyrm, I have your posts bookmarked right now, once I figure out what I'm doing with the actual brush, I'll be using them a lot

    And Dethtron, thanks for the support, I can only hope it is that much faster. Don't really drink skim milk, but I'll keep that in mind.

  8. There's a guy here locally that had some really good luck using alcohol inks with his airbrush. I'll have to see if he has pictures, because he's a phenomenally talented painter.


out dang bot!

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