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First attempt at airbrushing today - Not good


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I bought an Iwata Eclipse a couple years ago and today was my first time using it. I was using Mr Color Light gray to paint 767 wings and roots. I poured some of the paint into the cup, bubbled it with a couple drops of Mr Thinner and turned up to about 25 psi.  I got really weak flow, blotchy uneven finish and little speckles on the surface.

 

Any suggestions on how to make the process smoother? Seemed I couldn't get a nice uniform flow going unless I turned psi way up to around 30 and even then the stream just did not seem wide enough for an even cover.

 

Thanks for any tips!

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Hi I’m no expert but I’d say you are using way too little thinner . Couple drops of thinner specially for mr hobby is not enough. I generally mix 50% levelling thinner to 50% paint which would result in the paint being the consistency of skimmed milk and airbrush around 18-20 psi

 

Like you I did struggle with the same issues and I found my paint was not being thinned enough. And mr color / mr hobby paint I find is quite thick out of the bottle and hence needs a lot of thinner 

Edited by Sturm
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Yep, as Sturm said, it sounds like you need to thin your paint quite a bit more.  It's hard to tell you how much, after some practice you get a feel for how much thinner to add and what setting work best for you.  50-50 is generally a good starting point.  You can buy disposable pipets on ebay so you have total control of your paint and thinner ratios.

 

It's also not a good idea to mix your paint in the airbrush cup.  I buy inexpensive tattoo ink cups on ebay or amazon.  Those make great little cups for mixing paint and thinner.  Medicine cups also work for larger amounts.  Once mixed in your disposable cup, then pour your thinned paint into your a-b cup and you are good to go!

 

Good luck and have fun with it.

 

-Derek

Edited by viking73
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We've all been there, believe it or not! I found that adding paint to the thinner worked best for me, putting some thinner into my airbrush cup and then adding a few drops of paint. Spray to see if I've got the ratio correct, if not, add a little more paint using a pipette to mix. As you can see by the above posts, we all have our own methods. It's sort of like cooking, you can add more salt, but you can't take it out! Hope that makes some sense and is of help. The key is to experiment!

Andy

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21 hours ago, 320 Driver said:

I was using Mr Color Light gray

 

Any lacquer paint that's not already pre-thinned for direct airbrush use, such as Mr. Color, AK Real Colors, and Hataka Orange Line, will require around 50:50 paint to lacquer thinner ratio for proper spraying.  Depending on the color, sometimes a little more thinner is needed.  For example, 5 drops of paint to 6 drops of thinner.

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11 minutes ago, RichardL said:

 

Any lacquer paint that's not already pre-thinned for direct airbrush use, such as Mr. Color, AK Real Colors, and Hataka Orange Line, will require around 50:50 paint to lacquer thinner ratio for proper spraying.  Depending on the color, sometimes a little more thinner is needed.  For example, 5 drops of paint to 6 drops of thinner.

I thought Mr Color was a synthetic acrylic?  

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IMO your first mistake was attempting to paint a model with no practice or testing.  Test your thinning ratios and air pressure settings on a "paint target" (a cheap crappy kit from your shelf of doom) or at least an empty plastic soda/water bottle. Practice practice practice THEN aim your airbrush at your latest build.

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I use the Mr Airbrush PS270 brush and general painting for overall surface painting I mix 60/40 thinner/paint mix with most paints that require reduction. If I am going to free hand feathering a camo scheme I go to 80/20 mix and adjusting air as required...depth from the subject to tip of airbrush as well. Typically this is done with a good primer so the paint does not splatter all over the place when looking to get that fine edge.

 

I'll be providing a review in the next couple days of an airbrush and compressor showing the results.

 

MTF

 

Cheers

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On 10/21/2020 at 9:42 AM, AlienFrogModeller said:

I use the Mr Airbrush PS270 brush and general painting for overall surface painting I mix 60/40 thinner/paint mix with most paints that require reduction. If I am going to free hand feathering a camo scheme I go to 80/20 mix and adjusting air as required...depth from the subject to tip of airbrush as well. Typically this is done with a good primer so the paint does not splatter all over the place when looking to get that fine edge.

 

I'll be providing a review in the next couple days of an airbrush and compressor showing the results.

 

MTF

 

Cheers

 

I concur with this as a first attempt to address your airbrush woes.  I have found that you can never thin your paint too much, well, within reason, and that reason is a feeling you get after painting with an airbrush for a while.  I have the same airbrush as this poster discusses, the Mr. AIrbrush/Gunze PS-270.  In addition to helping you get to an appropriate paint consistency, this should also help you to be able to thoroughly clean your airbrush, without having to tear it down after each use.  My past terrible experiences with airbrushes were always, in retrospect, due to improper paint thinning.  Just this week, I used this exact airbrush to do super-thin lines, what I would call pencil line thin.  With REALLY thin paint (about 20-80%, paint to thinner, using Tamiya paint). 

Edited by Curt B
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As everyone else has said 50:50 ratio, especially with the Iwata eclipse and its 0.35 needle. PSI can be airbrush independent, meaning some need more to atomize paint, Iwata's are great at lower pressures so the 15-20 is a good call.

Also make sure everything is 'seated' properly. if the needle isn't seated against the nozzle properly the airbrush won't atomize the paint and you'll get a drippy/splatter result. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/19/2020 at 2:56 PM, viking73 said:

I buy inexpensive tattoo ink cups on ebay or amazon.  Those make great little cups for mixing paint and thinner.

 

I use a small stainless sealing wax melting spoon for mixing paint and thinner.  It has a round bottom similar to the AB cup and a handy pour spout:

 

wax_seal_spoon.jpg.3d5fc7d2e42cfa023b196010d069c1cf.jpg

 

The spoon can be cleaned easily and reused indefinitely.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/7/2020 at 7:32 PM, RichardL said:

 

I use a small stainless sealing wax melting spoon for mixing paint and thinner.  It has a round bottom similar to the AB cup and a handy pour spout:

 

wax_seal_spoon.jpg.3d5fc7d2e42cfa023b196010d069c1cf.jpg

 

The spoon can be cleaned easily and reused indefinitely.

OMG, what a brilliant idea! Will get some from Amazon right now.

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On 10/19/2020 at 4:02 PM, 320 Driver said:

I bought an Iwata Eclipse a couple years ago and today was my first time using it. I was using Mr Color Light gray to paint 767 wings and roots. I poured some of the paint into the cup, bubbled it with a couple drops of Mr Thinner and turned up to about 25 psi.  I got really weak flow, blotchy uneven finish and little speckles on the surface.

 

Any suggestions on how to make the process smoother? Seemed I couldn't get a nice uniform flow going unless I turned psi way up to around 30 and even then the stream just did not seem wide enough for an even cover.

 

Thanks for any tips!

I learned a long time ago to NOT mix Mr colors and thinner inside the airbrush cup. The paint is more dense and will clog the AB. Try mixing  in a separate cup. I use Aztec gravity feed cups with a toothpick inserted in the tip of the siphon tube.  Mix the paint/thinner, remove the toothpick and pour on the AB.

DTAu8ME.jpg

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16 minutes ago, nachjager said:

OMG, what a brilliant idea! Will get some from Amazon right now.

 

I paid $7 for three from there a while back.  Unfortunately, I no longer see them being offered at that price.

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On top of the sage advice from the above folks, I use the following:

1:     https://www.midwestairbrush.com/paintmixer.html  This paint mixer really has saved my wrists from all the bottle shaking I used to do.

 

2.a  https://www.iwata-airbrush.com/pistol-grip-moisture-filter.html

       and

2.b  https://www.iwata-airbrush.com/moisture-filter-with-regulator-and-gauge.html  or similar (less expensive alternatives are available)

       After trying to spray on a hot humid day here in PA a few years back, and experiencing paint splatter I went with two moisture traps.  Some may say this is overkill, but my supply air is now really dry!  I even have the QD connector on top of the the pistol grip trap, so I can easily disconnect and clean my eclipse.  

Edited by ytsejam87
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36 minutes ago, nachjager said:

I learned a long time ago to NOT mix Mr colors and thinner inside the airbrush cup. The paint is more dense and will clog the AB. 

 

The chance of clogging the airbrush will also increase if one tries to mix Mr. Surfacer in the airbrush cup.  Since Mr. Surfacer is a primer, it will stick to everything if one is not careful.

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55 minutes ago, RichardL said:

 

I paid $7 for three from there a while back.  Unfortunately, I no longer see them being offered at that price.

 

Just got a set of 3 for $9.99 free shipping from Amazon (Prime of course, 😉).

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How tipsy are the wax melting spoons? Will it remain stable enough sitting on a work surface to add paint and thinners or must it be held in one hand? I got some tattoo ink cups to try, but chose poorly, getting the small ones that turned out to be too small for me to easily use.

 

For years I have just mixed the paint and thinner in the airbrush cup. That worked great with suction feed brushes, but not so well with gravity feed. 

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The wax melting spoons are not tipsy but can rock back and forth due to their round bottom.  However, they are self leveling and will return back to their steady upright position.  You can add paint and thinners to them while they are sitting on the work surface.  You can also mix paint in them without holding them in one hand.

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By the way, the spoon will become more stable once paint and thinner are added to it due to the extra weight at the bottom.  You can also file a flat at the end of the handle to keep it from rolling back and forth, but I don't think this is necessary.

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