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Completely new to airbrushing....

Discussion in 'Introductions!' started by mejmea, Feb 19, 2019.


  1. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    "Guys" is a generic term, if this forum starts getting all politically correct I'm out of here !!
  2. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Depends on how many paint colours you get....
    Illustration full set is actually 70 (new griselle range is illustration) which includes the opaques/bloodline / lifeline & Griselle
    Wicked is 18
    Wicked Detail is 28
    Wicked pearls/fluorescents 26

    Then we can count the Auto Air, Trident, Etac. . . . . . . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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  3. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Don’t say that. Once you get your first airbrush you will hate yourself for limiting yourself to only 17.
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  4. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    ^ True that !

    AAD is highly contagious
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  5. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    I appreciate the understanding but my apologies nonetheless JackEB!

    Too-much-infor-mation.....in a good way!
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  6. Jurien72

    Jurien72 Have Airbrush - Will Travel! Very Likeable!

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    It was the way he called you "Jack" that made me think some clarification was in order. ;)

    And yeah, why limit yourself to 17 brushes. I have about 12-13 (lost count actually) so hopefully one is up and running when I want to paint!
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  7. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Just for the record, I appreciated the clarification. I may be an unintentional idiot sometimes but I'd prefer not to be an intentional one!

    Also, thanks for the additional thoughts Jurien.
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  8. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Why ? I answer to Jack, Jax, Jackster and occasionally I even get called Jackie :p
  9. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    Cool, I’m glad my rambling made some degree of sense lol. The smaller compressor for the basement is a great idea. I started with a cheap little compressor with a 3l tank and it worked great. I had to add a small desk fan to help cool it, but once that was there I could paint all day on summer with no problems.


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  10. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Upon "due and serious deliberation" regarding all of the great advice here I've decided I'm in the market for an Eclipse CS and a PS-290. It's not quite the recommended 17 brush minimum but it's a start. ;) I'm still debating whether a 0.5 nozzle/needle/nozzle cap set for the Eclipse would be worth the money in terms of perhaps being initially more forgiving of rookie mistakes/incompetence or not.

    I've created an initial shopping list below and would appreciate any thoughts re critical things I might be missing or, alternatively "What the heck are you buying that for?"

    - Eclipse CS (source to be determined, Hobby Lobby has a "combo" with a pistol grip water separator, a small bottle of cleaner, and a couple of paint colors for $149USD and offers instant gratification as there is one about a mile from my house, need to look at other sources/deals.)
    - PS-290 - Spraygunner
    - compressor (considering either the No-Name brand "Skyline" or "Tooty" from Spraygunner, 1st smaller, 2nd with a larger tank, both rated for same flow capacity)
    - air hose - leaning towards braided vs. coiled, can see advantages/disadvantages to both. (PS-290 comes with a hose but I am assuming it is fairly low end)
    - Quick connects (not essential but handy) - both the Eclipse and PS-290 seem to have the same 1/8" male thread on the inlet from what I can tell(?)
    - Cleaning pot
    - airbrush(es) holder
    - airbrush cleaner (any clear cut "best brand" or does it totally depend on what paint you choose and best to match with that?)
    - Color wheel/mixing guide of some sort (I told you I have a limited number of artistic genes!)

    Separately, is there a "best" medium for a complete newbie to practice with initially? I know in the bigger picture I need to pick a type of paint and learn how to set things properly for its specific characteristics but just for starters, what would be a relatively easy-to-learn-the-basics/inexpensive medium to try? Food coloring?

    And lastly, as my "inguneering" brain is having a hard time with this concept, I see paint manufacturers have "opaque" and "transparent" colors. Opaque I get, but what does a "transparent" color actually mean? It seems a bit of an oxymoron to me.... I assume that means that the base color will "show through" in a fashion and affect the final color perception? Like a tinted window? a heavily tinted window? depends on how much paint you lay down (which would be the same for an opaque it seems)?
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  11. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    If you’re getting the 290 as well, I would stick with the .35 setup on the Eclipse. You can always buy the extra parts at a later date, but .35 is pretty forgiving for beginners. The .35 CS was my first brush and it behaves fantastically well. Just my 2c’s worth. Shopping list looks sensible, regarding the cleaner, there are paint specific cleaners, but generally any water based cleaner will be fine for water based paints. Your assumption regarding the Transparent issue is correct. They take a lot more coats to reach Opacity.
    As far as I’m aware it’s only Candy paints that are truly transparent, the Transparent paints are more “Semi Opaque”. But don’t quote me on that, just vaguely remember reading something that explained it that way.


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  12. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    - air hose - as long as it fits and doesnt leak it will be fine..... airbrushes dont use high PSI so the chances of splitting a hose just from normal use is unlikely. The coiled "cobra" style hoses definately work well and they have the added bonus that they wont get stuck under your chair wheel and have you scratching your head as to why your air pressure has suddenly dropped to almost nothing and spend 15 minutes trying to figure out why (Dont ask)

    - Quick connects - borderline essential if you plan on having more than one airbrush in use and dont want 5 hoses getting all tangled up. One female quick connect - and you may as well get one with a Mac Valve because you will likely use that as you get more practise.

    - Cleaning pot - lidded icecream container with a hole in the side will suffice for now...... cut a small hole in the lid and stick some sort of filter material over the top.

    - airbrush(es) holder. essential......I highly recommend the most recent holders from Iwata, they hold the brush really snug so if you do happen to trip over the hose then there is less chance of your brush ending up with the business end impaled into the floorboards. as a bonus the holder will also sit on the side of the Iwata clean out pot....... everything all in one nice neat area.

    - airbrush cleaner . There are a 1001 cleaners that you can use, just make sure you dont spray and breath it in and rinse the brush thoroughly with water.

    - Color wheel/mixing guide of some sort. Source this book. Its been super helpful, even though its designed for traditional paints it will get you headed in the right direction. you simply find the color that you want, it will then give you a 'recipe' for it..... you may need to tweak slightly but once you've done a few recipes it gets easier to know where to tweak. Utilise google and try color matching/ color theory...... just move all sharp objects out of reach and have a good supply of headache tablets handy. It can get soooooo confusing and make no sense what so ever but it does get easier.
    upload_2019-2-21_8-25-16.png

    Transparent vs opaque........
    opaque will hide what is underneath a lot easier than a transparent paint. With an airbrush you will still need multiple layers to obtain full opacity though.
    Transparent are great for mixing colour on your paper........ spray some yellow down, then spray some blue over it..... whammo.... you now have green lol

    Your first few months will likely incur some cursing, hair pulling and foot stamping...... if it does then you know your new obsession has started because only the most dedicated will battle on and see the light at the end of the tunnel
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  13. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Good looking list. I would recommend a compressor with a tank. Especially for the ps-290. So not the Skyline. I participated in a contest on Spraygunner’s Facebook page to name their new “no name” compressors. The Tooty, Rooty Tooty, and Master Blaster were my entries they chose. Fun fact of the day :) But you could even go a step up and find a good deal on a California Air Tools compressors. They are affordable and fairly quiet.

    The local Eclipse deal is about the best deal you can get. Yes, both brushes are 1/8”. Quick connects are the way to go. Choose a paint system and learn it. Cheap paint sucks.
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  14. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Auto Air / Createx have a bit of a steep learning curve for the complete newbie so be warned :whistling:
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  15. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Thanks SiRoxx - I'll hold off on the 0.5 set up for the Eclipse then. I saw the question/your answer in the other thread re the fan cap from the 290 (not) fitting the Eclipse so that was helpful too.

    JackEB, lol - Ok, I won't ask but good suggestion on the cobra hose and I will add a MAC valve to the list in some form. Since I'm not familiar with what is new vs. old from Iwata, do you mean this holder? I will definitely search for the reference you recommended (more drinking through a firehose!). As for pulling my hair out, well, I'll have to find an alternative as the good Lord has mostly taken care of that for me already! If Auto Air/Createx are tough to start with, what would be better? I already have some Model Master acrylics which are what I've been using with a brush, would that be any better? I know that if I go the Createx route in the long run I'll need to learn "how too", but perhaps something else would get me part way up the curve before hitting the "steeper" part of the hill, or does it not work that way...?

    Very cool J000seph - I hope they rewarded your clever names appropriately! Good call on the California compressor. Looks like I can get a 1P1060s which is slightly larger but much more capable than the Tooty for only a few dollars more and can get it through the local box store.

    Got it on the Transparent paint - make total sense.

    Off to the local Hobby Lobby then to see if I can grab a CS. I'll only be able to stare and drool until I get the rest of the stuff but it will still be fun.

    Thanks all!
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  16. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    From Hobby Lobby.
    The Eclipse 'kit' includes some Com-art paint which is newbie friendly. It will give you a good feel for how the brush should work. Once you're comfortable with how its performing then you can venture out into the createx mine field (dont get me wrong, the createx are great paints but the learning curve as a newbie gave me many headaches, I was never sure if my problems were brush/paint/user related lol )

    upload_2019-2-21_11-50-33.png

    I did notice hobby lobby also do the 'sparmax' spray out pot, it will likely fit the universal holder, I have some ebay generic ones that are identical to the Iwata but without the price tag.

    external MAC quick connect:
    I do NOT recommend the Iwata mac valves..... they're not a Quick connect for starters and I have 3 here that I could cheerfully bin (but figured they may be useful somewhere along the way)
    you will need the male connectors for your airbrush,
    Grex (mine included 1 x male connector for the airbrush)
    https://www.amazon.com/Grex-G-MAC-Valve-Connect-Coupler/dp/B002XQ2K84

    or the Harder & Steenbeck version -
    the dial is significantly smaller but works just as well as the Grex model above... I have both of these valves attached to Iwata brushes without a problem

    upload_2019-2-21_12-7-35.png
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  17. basepaint

    basepaint Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    If you get it at
    If you get it at Hobby lobby bring your cell phone and use the hobby lobby coupon good for a few less in cash!
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  18. mejmea

    mejmea Triple Actioner

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    Perfect JackEB, thanks! Soooo... do the com-art paints need reducing or are they air-brush ready? They don't say.

    I was hoping basepaint - unfortunately they don't take any coupons on the CS - I had the 40% off one ready to go on the phone but didn't really have an expectation unless someone was feeling very generous (or mistake-prone!)
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  19. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    With the CS you will probably be good to go, however if you drop the air pressure down to 15psi and it seems to thick you can reduce it with water.
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  20. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    I haven’t tried a huge range of different paints, but often “Airbrush Ready” means they’re ready for some people and will need reducing for others. I seem to prefer to work with super thin paint that’s almost on the verge of breaking because it’s so reduced. I’ve never got in with anything straight from the bottle, but I know lots of folks do. Reduction is a very personal thing that will take a while to figure out, but it comes with practice. So what I’m saying is pay attention to application guides, drying times etc, but Reduction suggestions are exactly that... Suggestions.


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