couple of issues

IPT

Detail Decepticon!
hey guys - I think one of my biggest issues is reducing. Sometimes I think it might be my trigger control but it just can't be because the issues are too erratic.

One, sometimes I get "skipping" in my lines. Like the AB is just not laying down the paint smoothly. What could cause this? Could it be reduction or is it something else?

The other, sometimes the AB is just not responsive. The paint flow just seems to start at different points as I pull the trigger back. I'm guessing this is due to tip dry or maybe some crud in the paint but it drives me nuts. I'll be spraying and building up a line using the same technique and then a line will start 2-3 cms later even though I'm doing the same exact thing. Not always, but sometimes if I blast some paint hard it clears. Sometimes I can see tip dry as the cause but other times I pick the tip clean and still there is a delay in paint being released. This should be a consistent point in the trigger throw right? Not something that fluctuates within the same AB?

I use HP-CS or a HP C+ (and the C+ seems to really irk me. Being that it's such a good brush I figure it must be something I'm doing!). I'm using all wicked, mostly Detail, some opaque. My mind tells me it's all in the reduction but I don't know for sure. I probably reduce 3 or 4 drops reduced (4012 I think - the newer one) to 1 drop paint. I've tried even more but then it spiders out or it's just way to transparent.
 
I get this sometimes @IPT The wicked paint is a good paint so it's unlikely to be lumps in the paint but you alway need to give any paint a good stir / shake.
It might be tip dry or a little crud in the brush ...
When it happens with me I'm usually in the flow and don't really think about how i sort it but I think I Shake the paint in the cup / bottle. ( I don't back flush because if it is crud it will end up back in the cup).
I up my PSI and with the air on I pull the needle all the back manually (not with the trigger because you can move the needle further that way)
Then este the psi and off we go.
Hope that sorts your problem.
Good luck
 
A clogged nozzle could also cause the late reaction on the trigger but from what you write reduction sounds more sensible.

I got this from the techsheet of the reducer you use:

Colors also dry faster and cure with improved film properties through air drying alone compared to reducing with W100 or 4011 Reducers.

As it say's it makes your pait dry faster when working in a cold eviroment this can be usefull but when its warmer it might cause troubles.

I'd try reducing with water (1paint-1/2 water) and see how that goes. If you have less prblems using that switch to another reducer.
 
I use Wicked and, to me, it doesn't reduce well with water. I use the 4011 reducer. The W500 is supposed to help with tip dry, but I've never used it. What has worked for me is to clean the brush between colors or every so often, pulling out the needle and wiping it off. The paint will accumulate on the needle and cause some of these issues. Before putting the needle back, I always use needle lube and wipe off the excess. Also, I read somewhere, don't know where, to use fantastic spray cleaner to soak the nozzle. It works really well to get those bits of paint your eye can't see. Be sure to rinse real well. The only other thing I can think of is to make sure your needle chuck is tight. Wicked is a finicky paint, but once you know how to make it purr, its a wonderful paint for just about everything.
 
I use Wicked paints, opaque and trans, with a HP-CS, and use W500 reducer. I don't have the HP-C+, but I think it has a smaller nozzle. If you are having similar issues with both brushes and are using the same reduction, and it is worse with the C+, then reduction issues seem likely. If you are getting a fair amount of tip dry then it seems your ratios are not quite right, lower pressure may help with this, but will then need more reduction. When you have your paint/reducer/PSI right, then you should get a silky smooth texture, free flowing paint with negligible tip dry (black seems to be the worst colour for me :)). Unfortunately there is no magic formula, and it is down to trial and error until you hit your sweet spot. I use a similar mixture to yours as a base formula, at aronnd 20 psi, (probably won't be quite the same for you depending on conditions) and adjust from there depending on weather, humidity (I use the W500 which is the same as 4012, all year round, but need more in summer) or colour etc (different colours even in the same brand can behave differently due to pigment), adding more reducer where needed, and raising or lowering pressure to suit. More reducer = less pressure.

But skipping, and unresponsive trigger, is also a sign of a dirty nozzle. A nozzle can look spotless, and you can spend a long time doing it, and yet paint can still hide. It only needs a speck to affect flow. When I clean mine until I think it's clean, I clean it again anyway just in case. You can sometimes tell by looking at the shape of the paint pattern as it comes out, if there is more on one side etc, and sometimes if you gently pull your needle you can feel any kind of resistance or slight stickiness, other times there are no signs, but it can still be the nozzle that is the cause of problems. If the reducer isn't quite right it may allow a build up in the nozzle (especially if there is already a speck in there to cling to) , a good blast now and then can help, but won't be as much of an issue if things are flowing smoothly - which again will be down to reduction. I find some colours do benefit from being filtered, while others are fine. However I have just got into the habit of filtering all of them, some stretched panty hose is fine.

So don't get too frustrated, it's just a case of getting everything dialed in. I've been exactly where you are, and now I don't even think about it. I find the HP-CS / Wicked an awesome, and versatile combination that I can use on any surface I've tried so far, and is all I use. If you are only going to be painting on board etc a more specific fine art paint like Createc illustration, Com art or E'tac may be another option if you don't find you get on with Wicked.
 
Thanks everyone for the input and suggestions.

On reduction. Is it as simple as start with a base and then add reducer drop by drop until you get the flow you want? Or Increase pressure? Is there a method to the madness? I gather if you're going to be in closer you'll want lower pressure so you don't get as much blow back. That'll require more reduction. From further back you could dial up air pressure. Is that about right?

Anyone know more specifically about the HP C+ with regards to cleaning the nozzle? I know with the HP CS I can just remove the entire brass end piece and soak it in restorer. I think that part on the HP C+ is attached/ So are my options to use the tiny wrench and remove the very tip or just have the end of the AB suspended in Restore so the entire tip is submerged?

Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge. I know others ahve said but I thinks it's worht mentioning that us newbies here appreciate you all taking the time to point us in the right direction :).
 
Thanks everyone for the input and suggestions.

On reduction. Is it as simple as start with a base and then add reducer drop by drop until you get the flow you want? Or Increase pressure? Is there a method to the madness? I gather if you're going to be in closer you'll want lower pressure so you don't get as much blow back. That'll require more reduction. From further back you could dial up air pressure. Is that about right?

Anyone know more specifically about the HP C+ with regards to cleaning the nozzle? I know with the HP CS I can just remove the entire brass end piece and soak it in restorer. I think that part on the HP C+ is attached/ So are my options to use the tiny wrench and remove the very tip or just have the end of the AB suspended in Restore so the entire tip is submerged?

Thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge. I know others ahve said but I thinks it's worht mentioning that us newbies here appreciate you all taking the time to point us in the right direction :).

With the HPC+, I'd probably start around 25psi, they don't seem to like low pressure much. Reduction wise, I'd probably start somewhere between 6:1 to 10:1 for detail work. Normal application 1:1 should be fine. There are many variables with reductions. The airbrush nozzle size, paint/reducer, painting surface(hard vs soft), psi...just to name the main ones.

As stated above, it may be a dirty nozzle. Before starting a painting, I test all my brushes with a 2:1 reduction of ETAC EFX. If I can't pull an ultra fine consistent line, I tear the brush down, clean everything and try again.

With the HPC+, do you seal the head threads with Beeswax? I've found it necessary with my HP-CH to do it. Once it's cleaned and sealed, it's consistent as gravity.
 
Before starting a painting, I test all my brushes with a 2:1 reduction of ETAC EFX. If I can't pull an ultra fine consistent line, I tear the brush down, clean everything and try again.

With the HPC+, do you seal the head threads with Beeswax? I've found it necessary with my HP-CH to do it. Once it's cleaned and sealed, it's consistent as gravity.


Thats a great idea. if I had some sort of reference test medium to use an indicator. Maybe I'll have to pick some of that up to see how it flows.

I have not sealed it up. Can you use regular old chapstick or does it literally need to be Beeswax?
 
Thats a great idea. if I had some sort of reference test medium to use an indicator. Maybe I'll have to pick some of that up to see how it flows.

I have not sealed it up. Can you use regular old chapstick or does it literally need to be Beeswax?
You don't need the ETAC. Wicked at around 10:1 is about the same in terms of spray characteristics. You can use Chapstick, I prefer beeswax because it's more dense. I only strip my brushes down when they have problems, which is every 2 months or more.

Edit: with the beeswax I have, it's really thick. I actually put it on the threads then partially thread the cap. After that I hit the cap with a torch for a second or to, it softens the wax. While it's still warm, I tighten the cap. It works really well for me.
 
so I did the 10:1 and the HP C+ was MUCH better. Then i noticed some bubbles back in to the cup. I cleaned the tip in some restorer and put some chapstick on the nozzle threads. The brush is spraying really well now.

So I think aside from the maybe a little blockage and some leaking threads, the base of my issues is my reduction. Reducing 10:1 made the paint pretty transparent but it sprayed like a dream. I can deal with the transparency sometimes and at least now I have a much better idea of what it should spray like. So if I am using less reduced paint, to get the same spray quality is the adjustment just increasing air pressure? Do most of you actually mix by drops/volume, or just do it on the fly based on feel?

I'm thinking to mix up some pre-reduced black and or white to have a good base starter point. Then i can add paint or reduced as needed for the specific project. Seems to me unless I'm laying down a solid base or backing an RC car body I will not really ever be spraying just out of the bottle striaght up.
 
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I'm thinking to mix up some pre-reduced black and or white to have a good base starter point. Then i can add paint or reduced as needed for the specific project. Seems to me unless I'm laying down a solid base or backing an RC car body I will not really ever be spraying just out of the bottle striaght up.

Be careful here. There is information out there that when you mix the reducer with the paint, you have like 48-72 hours to use it. I personally have used paint I know has been reduced sitting in bottles for probably weeks. But there very well could be something to why they say it has a limited "pot" life when reduced.

Also, just throwing this out there. But Steve Driscoll is the only one off hand I've seen that specifically said you reduce till it sprays how you need it to.. 50:1 if that's what it takes. These formulas of 2:1 and so on, have never ever worked for me.
 
Edit again. I also believe it takes time for that reducer to.. Reduce... and burn in. So reducing and spraying right away isn't the best idea. Give it time to activate and do it's thing. With some Wicked paints you can ad the HP reducer and just watch it almost like an alka selzter tablet. It's doing something serious on a chemical level.

Huh.. it split my post.
 
Bossman - didn't know about the Potlife thing. I knew about it for many other paints but haven't seen it about the Wicked. Good to know. I'm aware about the need to let paint sit for a while to "reduce". I usually don't but after reading it the way you wrote it, it makes perfect sense. However, if that was the sole issue I'd expect the brush to spray better as the session went on and that usually doesn't happen. Thanks for sharing, good input.
 
Bossman - didn't know about the Potlife thing. I knew about it for many other paints but haven't seen it about the Wicked. Good to know. I'm aware about the need to let paint sit for a while to "reduce". I usually don't but after reading it the way you wrote it, it makes perfect sense. However, if that was the sole issue I'd expect the brush to spray better as the session went on and that usually doesn't happen. Thanks for sharing, good input.

Hey I use microns for most of my work and I have become very aware of what I am now calling "false cleaning". I honest to God have no idea how people can say they only clean their brush once a couple months or even weeks. I do it in hours.
First of all, you need to get in "TUNE" with your brush. You need to know how every part interacts with the next part by feel and sound. So even the slightest difference you can start to say.. ahh something is not right.

I am very good at cleaning, using cleaning agents and all that between colors. I even use some serious solvents when I feel something weird is going on. I call it false cleaning, because despite all that, I will still get performance crushing buildup of paint in places that make it not function properly.. mainly the nozzle. I like detail and fine lines. So when my gun goes from great to crap, I know it's usually from paint buildup. When I do break down and clean my Micron nozzle head assembly, I can pull out 2-3, sometimes 4 different colors. All of which survived water, alcohol, "airbrush cleaner", and solvent. All backflushed like crazy. Didn't matter, the paint still builds up inside that nozzle and around where the needle seals against the nozzle.

So get yourself some laquer thinner, and make a paper towel micro spear and clean the inside of the nozzle. You might be surprised.
 
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So get yourself some laquer thinner, and make a paper towel micro spear and clean the inside of the nozzle. You might be surprised.

Thanks man. I've seen it recommended and have used the little dental pics. Short little pointy do-dads. I have some solvent I used when I did a Basecoat/Clear coat with some PPG. It that actually stronger then the Createx Restorer? I know when i went to the Getaway one of the Iwata guys recomended using the dental do-dads or spinning some cotton on the end of an old needle. He also said no lube was required on needle and I've seen the effects of not using that so that always left a tinge of doubt in my mind regarding his recommendations.
 
Thanks man. I've seen it recommended and have used the little dental pics. Short little pointy do-dads. I have some solvent I used when I did a Basecoat/Clear coat with some PPG. It that actually stronger then the Createx Restorer? I know when i went to the Getaway one of the Iwata guys recomended using the dental do-dads or spinning some cotton on the end of an old needle. He also said no lube was required on needle and I've seen the effects of not using that so that always left a tinge of doubt in my mind regarding his recommendations.

I like the solvent better than Restorer. Restorer is plain nasty nasty. It works, but if you don't get 100% of all residue cleaned up, it will turn your fresh paint into tar sludge in an instant. And cleaning that out of your brush is a NIGHTMARE.
I've never used the dental pics. I've had pretty good luck with rolling paper towel into spears and then rolling my nozzle on those spears.
I've never given the lube too much thought. I know I've seen a video where they lubed the end, but I have a real thing about those lube chemicals mixing with the paint. Maybe it doesn't matter, but.....
 
Hey I use microns for most of my work and I have become very aware of what I am now calling "false cleaning". I honest to God have no idea how people can say they only clean their brush once a couple months or even weeks. I do it in hours.
First of all, you need to get in "TUNE" with your brush. You need to know how every part interacts with the next part by feel and sound. So even the slightest difference you can start to say.. ahh something is not right.

My Micron has been had the head assembly taken off one time in the past year to have the nozzle cleaned. Maybe the difference is that mine gets used for nothing but ETAC EFX.

I follow the same rule that if something is not right, then I fix it. I was over cleaning my brushes for a while, but not anymore. If any of my brushes start to skip a beat, that's when I tear it down.
 
My Micron has been had the head assembly taken off one time in the past year to have the nozzle cleaned. Maybe the difference is that mine gets used for nothing but ETAC EFX.

I follow the same rule that if something is not right, then I fix it. I was over cleaning my brushes for a while, but not anymore. If any of my brushes start to skip a beat, that's when I tear it down.
I have to agree with @jagardn If it aint broke don't fix it. I go days with only back flushing with water and I often leave my ABs overnight with paint in the cups with no adverse affect.
The Skipping that was mentioned earlier may be caused by the PSI being too low .....
 
@IPT How long are your sessions of continual spraying good for now? Has the reduction change done what you needed?

E'tac is probably second in line for popularity. The EFX line is AWESOME. For me, the best white Ever.... I haven't tried every white made though. The E'tac PS series is also very good.
Think about ordering some up when you get a chance and a few spare bucks. Using a paint that doesn't fight back can rejuvenate your interest in airbrushing.
 
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