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Differences between airbrushing for model making?

Discussion in 'Beginners help' started by rainfall, Sep 18, 2021.


  1. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    I'm wondering, what might be differences between airbrushing for model making and other airbrushing practices?
    Because I'm sometimes searching for tutorials and other information about airbrushing.
    But I'm specifically typing the words 'military model making' or similair terms in, to avoid results that I think will not be relevant for what I'm doing.
    Are there a lot of same things or are there a lot of differences between these airbrush 'practices' perhaps?
  2. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I never painted any models but I had to touch up a small saint Mary figure and all I can say there is not that much difference other than the fact a model does change the air flow a bit as it isnt a flat surface like I normally airbrush on .
    I didnt use any model paint but a paint that can be used on a hard surface and the 0.2 Iwata HP SB+ with low pressure .
    Having said this I realize that model paint tends to need bigger nozzle sizes and more pressure so that could be a big difference but the spray techniques imo should be the same
  3. AndreZA

    AndreZA Love this place! Forum Supporter Very Likeable!

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    Except for using primers, I use what I've learned in picture painting on models as well. The basics like "if the paint is too thick, you thin it" is applicable to both. What I've seen among model builders is that they are very fixed on manufacturer recommendations. What the lable says is what they do and they don't try fix it if it does not work. They also follow the instruction of who ever their model idle is to the tee and if it does not work, they don't figure out why.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
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  4. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    Interesting to read this, so there is some overlapping with other forms of airbrushing and model making airbrushing...
  5. 2Diverse

    2Diverse Needle-chuck Ninja

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    They can overlap. I build scale models although I prefer automotive subjects, cars, trucks, semis, motorcycles. I also do t-shirts and the like. Models I spray in lacquer. I usually use a single action on models but am planning to shift to double action. I spray water base on shirts and stuff. I use a different airbrush for each paint type. I used a Paasche VL for a long time. I'm trying to pick the one from my collection I plan to go with moving forward.

    And AndreZA gave some good advice on having whatever material you plan to spray able to spray.
  6. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    the basics of airbrushing would apply regardless of what you are painting on. However, the paint you use, the prep needed would differ.
    here we have modellers, t-shirt artists, vehicle painters and fine artists. we all share info, tips tricks etc.

    pick your paint and learn it. As Andre has pointed out, its not an exact science, what works for one person may not be ideal for another.
    twood likes this.
  7. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    You are spraying lacquer paints, do you were a face mask with that? And what face mask?
    I'm planning to buy a mask because I'm trying to airbrush more and more through the week.
    And especially the airbrush cleaner I use smells a lot.
    And I'm thinking it gives me headaches and neckaches.
    So I'm thinking it would be a good decision to do this.
  8. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    I got it, it is good to try things out as well.
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  9. Maple Art

    Maple Art Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    I have many customers who are scale modellers. The first thing I always say is "think outside the box" The techniques used to paint a model is the same techniques used when airbrushing a panel. Triggering is key along with proper reductions. You need to Prep/prime/base-coat/clear. Some of the terminology is "different"
    Thinner = Reducer
    Flow Improver=Retarder etc.

    There are many different types of model paints some of the more popular brands (water-based) AK Interactive, 3rd Gen; Mission Models (made by createx) . Real Colors (Solvent) Find a good paint that is available locally and use the manufacture recommend products.

    Products that have a harsh smell are usually solvents/enamels have you tried water-based? All airbrush paints you should protect your-self with a mask however solvents/enamel you should be using a good respirator and have an extraction fan/spray booth you should also consider wearing safety glasses.
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  10. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    Luckily I'm planning on buying a respirator mask for my airbrushing, the spray booth I already got. I'm already having glasses, but I can wear goggles.
    Currently I'm using Tamiya Acrylic paints for my airbrushing, which is Alcohol based.
    I'm not finding it smell very badly.
    Let's say I'am interested in Vallejo paints, but I still have to many other paints to really go ahead and buy such stuff.
    Plus, I already planned to switch from Revell enamel paints to Tamiya and Mr. Hobby Acrylic paints.
    Thanks for the suggestion
    Maple Art likes this.

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