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Honest answer please

Discussion in 'Forum Ideas!' started by NewbieSteve59, May 11, 2016.


  1. NewbieSteve59

    NewbieSteve59 Young Tutorling

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    Picture1.jpg Hi Basic Newbie Question, but..

    Can you draw a fine line with an airbrush?

    I have done a lot of fine detail painting with a brush and I fancied a go at airbrushing. Bought a Badger 150 airbrush and a Badger BA1100 compressor. I use the finest needle and nozzle supplied.

    I have been trying for about a week and my results are illustrated in the pic. I spend a couple of minutes mixing the paint, set the pressure, depress the trigger for air, pull back slowly until paint comes out and then without changing the position of the trigger I move the airbrush to the right. I get morse code, if I'm lucky, and no line. I mostly just get a thick dot. I then spend an hour or so stripping and cleaning the airbrush.

    One night I try 15 psi, then 20 the next, then 25 the one after that, then 30, 35 , 40.

    I could be missing a fundamental point but could someone tell me if it should be possible to draw a pencil line with the kit I have?
    [​IMG]
    Alternatively, does anyone want to buy and airbrush and compressor?
  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Yes you can but there is no short cut... you gotta do the time to draw the line... practice, practice then some more practice. Check out the Airbrushtutor website for some great exercises... then start practicing... Mr Miyagi style... dots and daggers... https://www.airbrushtutor.com/tutorials

    Being a newbie here it is also helpful to us if you let us know a bit about yourself, where you live? Experience, what you want to do, etc. Here is the link http://www.airbrushforum.org/introductions.

    Also read the nettiquette page (in the introductions...) it explains a bit more about who we are!
    NewbieSteve59 likes this.
  3. NewbieSteve59

    NewbieSteve59 Young Tutorling

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    Thank you I will fill in the introduction. Not sure if airbrushing is for me though.
    Read the tutorials and the results look great but I cannot get paint to flow consistently at anything other than trigger fully back, and I can use a rattle can for that.
    I just want a little paint to consistently flow then I could practice and improve. I'll probably give it another week before it all goes in the bin.
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  4. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    OK so starter questions... what sort of paint are you using...? They all act differently...
  5. NewbieSteve59

    NewbieSteve59 Young Tutorling

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    Ratios are Paint:Thinner

    1 Citadel: 6 Water Shop I bought the paint from
    1 Citadel: 6 Windex From a Web tutorial (milky texture)
    1 Citadel: 1 Citadel Medium A different shop

    1 Tamiya Acrylic: 6 Water
    1 Tamiya Acrylic: 6 Windex
    1 Tamiya Acrylic: 1 Citadel Medium

    I have also used both paints neat, that took some cleaning afterwards.
  6. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Hmmm, I don't know citadel paint and I suspect Tamiya is designed for models rather than fine detail. First rule (general) don't mix different media and reduction agents... eg if you mix Citadel with Tamiya there may be a reaction. AND ALWAYS READ THE MANUFACTURERS RECOMMENDATIONS. Now are these paints specifically for airbrush? Airbrush paint has a VERY fine pigment. And what are you painting?
  7. NewbieSteve59

    NewbieSteve59 Young Tutorling

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    I hoped ultimately to paint on plastic models but I am just practising on paper at the minute.
    They were sold to me as airbrush paints.
  8. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    Hmm, I couldn't see anything on the citadel info that said they were designed for airbrush... you can put anything through an airbrush that you can atomize. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. The paint in the picture looks very thin pigment wise. An opaque will give better coverage than that. Other than getting a good AB paint, apply the 3 P's, Practice Patience and Practice... the AB is a tool that requires time...
  9. NewbieSteve59

    NewbieSteve59 Young Tutorling

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    Thank you for looking.
    Could you recommend a paint? I just want a constant flow so I can start practicing.
  10. markjthomson

    markjthomson Very happy! Staff Member Mod

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    What part of the world are you in...? I do illustration work. Golden High Flow is what I use. Createx illustration is good, don't get the straight createx, it's for fabric. Com-art is really good as well and I think liquitex make an airbrush paint. Then there are automotive type paints, wicked, trident are a couple that spring to mind. Avoid urethanes... great paints but evil chemicals! They need specialized spray gear you are unlikely to have access too. We each have our favorite paint and you get to know the characteristics of that paint... then grumble about others when you spray them.
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  11. musicmacd

    musicmacd Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Citidel paint is good airbrush paint in the fantasy model world, i have some as that was all I could get and Valieo. I wouldnt be stressing about fine lines if you are going to be painting models, you mask up any lines you would need. Airbrush will be good for large areas and blends of paint. I have been practicing for a year and am only just getting the knowledge and skill to paint a clean thin line. A few more years to go :)
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  12. NewbieSteve59

    NewbieSteve59 Young Tutorling

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    Thank you. I live in t'Leeds I will try and find and art shop and some new paints.
    Any line would do me as a starter for 10 as something to build on and practice. :) with no paint coming out it is rather frustrating though.
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  13. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    a quick web search..
    As Mark has stated, I would suggest you're using the wrong product to reduce. using Water / windex will be like oil and water and definitely will gum up your airbrush when mixed. you should also use the appropriate product to clean your brush, again water wont do it from my understanding of the 'Citadel Air' range, you'll need specific cleaner, which is expensive by all accounts. There was also a video where he mentioned that the paint dried really quickly in the cup after only using a drop or two in the cup, which also tells me there is a fair amount of thinner (not water) in there.

    water / windex are used for water based paint.
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  14. Melbee

    Melbee Detail Decepticon!

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    Paint thinning is very important with airbrushing and for beginners I always recommend Com-art Set G which has 5 x Transparents and 5 x Opaques which are waterbased acrylic paints. You can spray them straight from the bottle or add a few drops of water if needed. I'd try the Transparents first because they are nice and thin and should spray the easiest. Avoid the Opaque Black and White because they are difficult to spray and will probably put you off. There is also Com-art Medium which I use a lot which will help once you are further down the line but for now just start getting paint onto paper with the Com-art Transparents. Com-art paints are a reasonable price and I've read that modellers use them. You can buy them here in the UK https://airbrushes.com/product_info.php?cPath=400_4_429_25_363&products_id=729 or if you live near Harrogate http://www.graphicair.co.uk/product...-and-Opaque-Colours-28ml.html?setCurrencyId=1

    Next; it looks like you might have an air leak somewhere which is why you are getting speradic spray patterns. It could be as simple as the needle not being pushed into the nozzle completely but don't use strength, be very careful it is very easy to damage your nozzle. Push gently until the needle fits snuggly against the nozzle and tighten the Chuck. It might be that the needle and nozzle caps are not sealed enough, you could try a little plummers tape on the threads before screwing them on and see if that makes a difference. This is something that is fixable so be patient. Try things that people suggest, if that doesn't work come back and ask again. Don't give up yet......it's way too soon and we all have had our problems starting out with airbrushing.
    Cheers Mel
  15. Melbee

    Melbee Detail Decepticon!

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    I've just seen that you live in Leeds, I used to live in York ;)
  16. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    That is symptomatic of a blockage or inadequate pressure. I'm leaning toward the blockage if you're using the wrong reducer.
  17. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Another thing that it might be is the compressor pulsing air .do you have an airtank on the compresser? that helps with the pulsing
  18. Melbee

    Melbee Detail Decepticon!

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    You could of course make it even cheaper and buy one bottle of Com-art Transparent paint like Trans. Smoke or a Blue or Purple but I again wouldn't recommend the Trans. Black at this point. http://www.graphicair.co.uk/products/Com-Art-Transparent-Smoke.html

    As JackEb and basepaint said it could also be a clog blockage, the pulsing from the compressor, an air leak or a combination!!
  19. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Ok, make sure it definitely is airbrush specific paint, then make sure you are using the correct reducer as mentioned above. As there seems to be some doubt, and also, even if paint is correct, as a newbie its likely that you haven't got your air/paint/pressure ratio down yet which has caused a blockage. This is often what stops people thinking they can't AB, but is a common problem. I would say a conservative estimate of 90% of newbie issues is down to dirty nozzles and paint reduction. If you are having to pull the trigger back farther and farther before paint comes out, or having to keep upping the pressure without changing the paint mix, or if you are getting nothing then everything, or the needle feels spongy when you gently push it in, then there is a blockage in the nozzle.

    The tricky part is cleaning it. Soaking it in restorer (watching out for any rubber seals) is probably the safest bet as you won't flare or damage it. Then flushing through with reducer (specific to your paint brand) However, just because it looks clean doesnt mean it is, and it only takes the tiniest amount to stop the needle seating properly and causing problems. Rule number one, when you think its clean - clean it again. You may need to do this a few times until you get your paint mix right, but once you have that down, blockages are a rarity.

    There is no magic formula for paint reduction. Its a trial and error thing. Rule of thumb, more reduction = less air. Many people say skimmed milk consistancy, not always a truely accurate statement but a starting point. Add reucer drop by drop and tweak the air until you get good, even flow. This becomes your base mix which you can then adjust as needed depending on temperature, humidity, and even colours having more or less pigment. The more you reduce, the more passes you will need for colour density, so you will have to experiment and find what works best for you if you want more colour per pass.

    Once you have this sorted, actually learning technique and strokes etc, is much much easier as you can give it all your attention without having to coax the airbrush into performing.
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  20. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    The badger 150 is a beginners style brush, but one that can paint to a very high standard and finesse, but being a siphon a bit more of a challenge..I would suggests its likely more a paint thing and havent used that brand but lots of advice it seems above on it, if its an enamel style like many modellers seem to use I would personally avoid it and try a different brand..It may be great for smooth blends but maybe not great at detail..The badger you have will pull a very fine detail line with the fine needle in but don't reduce too much (I often don't reduce past 1-1 initially (Will for more detailed work go to about 4-1 but essentially all i'm doing is darkening whats already on the canvas or work, modellers kind of need at times to get full intensity in one or two lines so reduction in that case isn't something you may want to over do) and try those higher pressures of 30+ PSI..Speed is a bit of a key to line work, as is leapfrogging but that can be hard on a 3d model compared to canvas, especially when using a siphon so a need to mask may be required a little more on a model..A gravity may suit you better if fine detail work is your brushes main requirement as then lower pressures will be easier attainable..or mix it up, use the airbrush to base and blend and use a hairy brush to detail...
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