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Harder en Steenbeck double action airbrush is spraying fluid when just pressing down on the trigger

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


  1. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    Today and some days ago I was practicing with my Harder en Steenbeck Evolution 2 in 1 airbrush when I noticed there is something wrong.
    Because, when I for the last time cleaning tested the airbrush if everything was working alright there was coming water out of the airbrush even when I was not pulling back on the trigger for paint.
    Today I did take my whole airbrush apart and checked everything if there was anything that I could see or thought, hmm that isn't really good.
    But, nothing that I could think of.
    After I took a look in the instructions of the airbrush, I saw one thing that I wasn't doing.
    And that was pressing down on the trigger while inserting the needle back into the airbrush.
    I'm wondering, could this be causing the problem I'm experiencing?
    Would it have caused any damage and if it did, what damage would it be? How bad might it be?
    And is there something that I can do to fix it?
    I'm in need of help and if you need anything to help me out, tell me and I will see what I can do to provide it.
  2. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    sounds to me like some thing is preventing the needle to go all the way into the nozzle and seal it the proper way this can be caused by dried up paint in the nozzle and you could try to turn the needle and move it gently back and forward and spray some cleaner trough but mind you be careful and dont use any force!
    not pressing down the trigger while inserting the needle could have damaged the needle tip but you would have noticed if the needle came in contact with the trigger .
    I just tried removing the needle from my Iwata airbrush and inserting it without pressing down the trigger and the needle came out without a problem and it went in like I was pressing the trigger down so no problem with my airbrush it just felt wrong doing it
  3. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    I will check the needle and try to spray some Mr. Airbrush Cleaner through it with the technique you are suggesting.
    That is also the technique the manual proposes when there is no paint coming out.
    I've done that a number of times now.
    I will also check if the needle is properly sitting against the nozzle to seal the thing of properly.
    I will be carefull not to apply force to the needle.
    But, talking about force, I believe I did one time feel like the needle just got stuck into the airbrush and I thought the only way to get it out was to pull it to the back of the airbrush to get it out.
    I didn't knew what to do else...
    Any suggestions what to do in that situation next time?
  4. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    your needle should clear the trigger with out any trouble there will be a slight resistance from the needle seal but not as much as you describe .
    I get the feeling dried paint is the cause of your problems and from what I read about the paint you are using alcohol should clean it out .
    I use the cheap bio ethanol from the action to clean out dried paints in my airbrushes , if I am not mistaken the H&S has drop in nozzles ( I could be wrong ) in that case you can soak the nozzle in the ethanol for an hour or so cleaning out the needle seal if there is any paint in it will be a challenge and you will need to check the manual for that
  5. nikk775

    nikk775 Double Actioner

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    I had this with my 0.2 H&S focus ages ago. i dropped the nozzle into some 99.9% iso and let it sit for about half an hour, then gently (using an old needle), scrapped out a layer of dried paint sludge. i then set about the nozzle with soft brushes and more iso till i knew it was totally clean. i also removed the needle seal (not easy at all) and gave that the same treatment. ive never had the problem since.

    P.s. i always depress the trigger when putting in the needle and i always check for damage as it tightens and sits flush to the nozzle.
  6. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

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    My guess is the same as Ron. There’s some dry paint or something else in the nozzle. Try soaking the nozzle in cleaner or alcohol and use something soft to gently work the inside of the nozzle.


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  7. Joe pulvirenti

    Joe pulvirenti Double Actioner

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    Na no damage all good youĺ be right
  8. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    Today I have checked if the needle was properly sitting against the nozzle.
    I did unscrew the clamping screw on the back of the airbrush, keeping the needle from moving when trigger is pulled back.
    Then I did pull the needle a little bit backward and then pressed the trigger down while inserting the needle.
    Applying a little bit of strength or force to it.
    Then I did go to the barn where I'm airbrushing and made all my stuff ready to airbrush.
    I did make progress, because this time no fluid came out while pressing down on the trigger for air.
    But bubbles formed into the paint cup.
    So I did read this article: https://www.airbrushmodeler.com/why-airbrush-bubble/
    After that, I decided to shoot a couple of times airbrush cleaner through the airbrush.
    Which seemed to slowly resolve the problem I had.
    The spray pattern became more stable and less hampering.
    And afterwards I checked a number of times with water spraying through the airbrush.
    And it seems a tiny bit of fluid is still coming through when the trigger is pressed down for air.
    I decided to leave it there and to get on it again when I'm going to practice or would be practicing airbrushing again.
    Because I may be shooting airbrush cleaner through multiple times and sessions, to really make sure everything is in perfect condition.

    Another issue that I'm probably experiencing a lot is Tip Dry with my airbrush.
    I'm thinking this because I did read this article: https://www.airbrushmodeler.com/what-is-airbrush-tip-dry/
    And I did recognize some of the symptoms they were describing.
    Like splattering airbrush, irregular spray pattern etc.
    So that problem must be fixed first if you ask me, because it doesn't make much sense to keep practicing while this problem is constantly
    appearing.

    Hope the update helps and makes things more clear on this situation. If I'm coming across other or multiple problems I might use this topic for them.
    Or I might be opening another topic.
    I'm also definitely going to take a look at all the other interesting learning stuff that I have spotted on this forum.
    Thank you so far for all your help.
  9. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    Tip dry is the nature off the acrylic paint and we all more or less have to deal with it , to me cleaning the needle tip on a regular base has become second nature and I always have a hairy brush and some water on hand to clean the needle when I notice the spray pattern going down hill
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  10. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

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    Unfortunately tip dry I’d just a nature pod the beast. I often think that instead of bringing out new colours and pain types, that manufacturers would be better producing an additive that is guaranteed to hugely reduce this problem. But the obvious answer is that if it was possible, then one of them would have done it by now. I have experimented with retarders and flow improvers, but none of them seemed to make much if any difference. I do believe that technique plays a big role in how quickly tip dry builds up, but that’s not much help as I don’t know where the difference lies.
    It’s based on watching a lot of professionals doing videos and demos. they don’t seem to suffer anything like as badly as I have in the past even using the same products and mixing at a very similar ratio.
    My advice would be to just keep cleaning it, play with some retarders, but don’t expect a miracle cure.


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  11. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    @SiRoxx is right the paint I use has very little tip dry but there is no alcohol in that paint and that paint cant be used for modeling and as far as techniques go there is not much difference but lower pressure will give a bit more tip dry than higher pressure .
    Needles how ever do make a difference even if it isnt much as even the most expensive needle out there for Iwata will give tip dry the difference however is that this tip dry just blows off when you pull back the trigger all the way .
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  12. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    I'm planning to buy Tamiya paint retarder, see if it actually solves the problem for me.
    Another thing I have read in an article, I believe it is this one: https://modelpaintsol.com/guides/basic-airbrushing-tips-tricks
    Is to 'don't run it dry'.
    And if I understand correctly, the idea is to leave a little bit of paint in the airbrush and always leave a little thinner or airbrush cleaner in the airbrush.
    In order to not let it dry out.
    To be honest, I don't think I'm understanding this correctly and I'm not excited to try this technique.
    I'd rather just buy the Tamiya paint retarder and see how that works.
  13. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    I am not sure what that guy is on about but leaving alcohol based thinner in the airbrush is not the most bright idea I have heard , now there is something to be said about putting some water in the cup and leave it in the cup after you have cleaned out the airbrush that is : the water will prevent any paint that escaped the clean out to dry
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  14. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Tip dry occurs when there is paint on the tip of the needle and the air coming out of the airbrush causes it to dry and semi block the paint/airflow out of the brush ..... it has nothing to do with allowing the airbrush to empty and run dry.

    When first starting with airbrushing, tip dry is a common complaint, just part of learning proper technique.
    One thing that took me a while to discover was how often was 'often' ? members regularly mentioned cleaning the tip 'often' or 'regularly' and I was never sure exactly what they meant. was it every half hour/15 minutes / 5 minutes ?
    All I can say now is that 'often' varies depending on what colour / PSI / Reduction I'm using.
    It can be as often as every 15 seconds on a bad day, but you'll learn to HEAR a difference in the sound of the spray, or notice dots appearing on your page, or bubbles in your cup if you don't have a lid on it.
    I now habitually clean it around every 30 seconds regardless.

    Once I've finished a session but don't have time to give it a good clean I will leave water in the paint channel & cup for an hour or so until I get back to it.
    cleaning out paint is a housekeeping job that needs to be done. Allowing paint to dry in your airbrush should be avoided, it causes the needle to stick to the nozzle risking damage when you remove it and makes the whole cleaning job harder than necessary
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  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    From the H & S website
    upload_2021-9-21_14-27-11.png
    upload_2021-9-21_14-28-42.png
  16. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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  17. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    Interesting to read, are you suggesting that I should only clean my tip of the needle every few seconds or so when I'm noticing paint splatters on my paper when practicing? Or when I hear a hissing sound? Because that is something I heard one time when spraying with my airbrush.
    What you are saying about factors that depends on dry tip occuring, sounds very difficult to me.
    For me it seems so simple, I just want to have fun with my airbrush and my model making.
    And just take the airbrush apart and clean it, so the next time I can happily being spraying again with my airbrush.
  18. rainfall

    rainfall Young Tutorling

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    You mean the article I linked?
  19. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Staff Member Mod Very Likeable!

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    In that case I would avoid waterbased acrylic paint. Solvent and lacquer paints will do what you want. The downside is they smell and require a suitable respirator in order to use.


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  20. Ronald art

    Ronald art Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

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    yes I did

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