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Since I made the descision to move up to LSP's I knew I would probably have to use an airbrush to get optimum results. I do have one, it's just older and I do not have the paint bottles, hose or compressor any longer. I will get what I need, just may be a bit. Can a nice finish be accomplished brush painting? What is the best technique and paint for large areas? Is Testors rattlecan okay and what about commercial rattlecan paints like Krylon Fusion for primer or solid satin finishes? How about the Rustoleum Camo colors, they come on OD, tan, brown and black? Oh, I have a shop air compressor, is there a regulator or hose attachment available to scale down to the smaller hoses used with airbrushes?

Thanks in advance for any info.

 

Chris

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Hello, Chris. You have lots of questions! I'll start and I'm sure others will jump in.

 

Flat paints brush well if they're thinned properly, semi gloss and gloss paints not so well. They tend to not level out as well as flats and can leave brush marks, at least they are more obvious. A good quality 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, soft, flat brush will work best for large areas. Can't recommend a brand of paint that works best as all that's available to me locally is Testors and Tamiya and that is what I use. In my experience, flat enamels brush on better than acrylics. Enamels take longer to dry so they have a chance to level out. Acrylics dry faster so are more likely to leave brush marks. Of course, with brush painting you can't get soft edges usually needed between camo colors.

Be careful using Krylon and Rustoleum spray cans. The lacquer based paints can craze plastic. If you must use them, hold the can away from the job and dust on the first couple of coats. Let that dry thoroughly before spraying on more. Spray cans are OK for painting large areas a single color but if your job requires multiple colors you'll need to do a complete masking of the areas you don't want painted as the spray can't be controlled like with an airbrush.

A good hobby shop or any place that sells airbrushes should have an adapter for your shop compressor. The regulator you can get from most places that sell compressors. You might want to get an inline water trap too.

 

HTH

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Airbrushing is the way to go. There is just no way to get an airbrush-smooth or soft-edged finish with brushed on paint.

 

Rattle cans are an interm alternative, but you'll have to become a master masker to get the paint laid on only where you want it.

 

All those Krylon and Rustolium colors tend to be pretty much incompatable with each other. I used to use rattle cans almost exclusively for my R/C Combat planes, and found that it was absolutely required to test each paint with the other on scrap material FIRST to avoid crazing or crackling of the finish. Even different textures within the same brand's line of paint can react adversely with each other. That said, you'll need a lot of scrap material to test the paints you intend to use.

 

Back to this:

Oh, I have a shop air compressor, is there a regulator or hose attachment available to scale down to the smaller hoses used with airbrushes?
As John states, a good hobby shop should have the adapters and parts you need to get your airbrush ready to go. If not, online retailers such as Squadron carry the stuff you'll need.

 

Keep in mind that most American home compressors use 1/2" NPT fittings. If you have a metric compressor, you might want to take it to a local hardware store and get fittings that'll adapt your hose to the outlet.

 

Inexpensive water traps and regulators are available at discount stores. Hawk brand traps and regulators usually retail for less than $10 each, and work very well.

 

I have mine set up with a quick disconnect at the regulator. A coil hose is set set up to fit that disconnect on one end, and has the aiirbrush hose adapter on the other end. I don't use a water trap because my compressor has a 33 gallon upright tank with the regulator at the top. As long as the tank is properly drained of condensation regularly, no water ever comes through the airbrush.

 

HTH,

D

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If you do want to check out hand brushing LSP's, do a search for 'Erwin' in the build sections. He is a master at brush painting aircraft.

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Thanks guys, very helpful. I'm going Saturdy to find the parts to adapt my compressor and get the AB items I need then I'll be set. Probably brush my smaller stuff but these 1/32 kits have a lot of square inches. C'ya

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If you do want to check out hand brushing LSP's, do a search for 'Erwin' in the build sections. He is a master at brush painting aircraft.

 

If I'm not mistaken, Erwin also uses a sponge to smooth the paint when he paints to remove any brush marks. I'd love to have him clarify just how he does that.

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I have to disagree with a member on forum .. Gloss and satin acrylic can be brushed without marks . I use xtracrylix and hand paint all my kits and i have never had a brush mark left , Tips : use a good quality brush and xtracrylix or lifecolour ..Tamiya is not a good paint to use if brushing and stay away from the new humbrol acrylics .. I dont use enamels for brushing ( that is my own personal opinion) .

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If I'm not mistaken, Erwin also uses a sponge to smooth the paint when he paints to remove any brush marks. I'd love to have him clarify just how he does that.

 

Hi Dave,

 

It's very simple realy.

 

I cut a small piece of sponge.The kind you use to clean pots and pans in the kitchen.

 

Add some paint onto the sponge.

 

Just after coating the model by brush go over it with the small sponge. It evens out all brushstrokes and leaves you with an airbrushed look.This way your brushpainting doesn't have to be perfect.The sponge makes it OK.

 

Try it a few times on a plasticsheet.

 

But I only use enamels.So I don't know if it works with acrylic paints too.

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I've found Gunze paints hand brush very well. Any hand brush paint must have a slow drying time. After the paint has thoroughly dried, I'll rub the surface down with a very fine grit paper (600 or better) to take down any brush stroke marks.

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I like to airbrush Tamiya acrylics thinned with rubbing alcohol onto a primed surface. I prime with Plastikote T-235 grey sandable primer - it sticks to everything (resin, styrene, vinyl) ensuring a uniform base for your acrylics. Be aware that it is a laquer based rattlecan. I have a spray booth in my studio that vents to the outside, but if you spray without a good vent, the fumes build up pretty quickly. I swear by this primer.

 

If I'm brush painting, especially figures, I like to do the heavy lifting with Vallejo paints (on primed parts, of course) as they seem to be heavily pigmented with less binder than other brands, have superior opacity/blend-ability, and "flow" well. They are acrylic based, and can be extended with retarders. I usually go over that base with a few oil-based paint passes, building up skintones or other surfaces in a glaze. I prefer to use Winsor & Newton Artist Oils for this, and will thin with either linseed oil, damar varnish, or if I'm lazy, xylene - the xylene will almost make the oil behave like an alklyd, drying in much less time, but losing some of it's glossy "depth".

 

I also "brush" with powdered pigments, but I guess that's more along the lines of weathering and not painting.

 

If you really want to see a completely alternate approach, you should see what the Japanese artist/Scale Aviation editor Kow Yokoyama does with lacquer-based paints - all brush painted 1/32nd P-40:

 

http://homepage3.nifty.com/kow/P40B01.html

 

I asked him about his methods when I was in Japan a few months ago, and he told me that he approaches a model as if it's a canvas, so you end up with a three dimensional painting. It's a very "painterly" and (to my eyes) unique approach. And man, I gotta tell you, it's hard to attempt. I tried to unlearn my personal way of painting, and try the hand-paint-everything approach on one of his non-aircraft kits. Boy, did I make a mess!

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Buy decent paints and brushes you dont see the brush marks . why ppl sand after brushing i'll never know

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Hi Chris,

 

I agree that an airbrush is probably the best way to go with models of this scale, however, they can be had painted. Someone on another website fourum was asking the same question, and below is the response (of how to handpaint a model) I posted to him, so it may also be equally useful to yourself:

 

"Here is how I approach the problem: Generally, the larger the area, the larger the brush (for 1/32 scale, as large as you can get!). I use good quality flat brushes to paint large areas. I use well thinned enamel paints (and I mean well thinned). Making sure everything is dust free, load the brush about two thirds full and squeeze out the excess paint. The direction of painting is your choice, but once you make your first pass, make the second stroke overlap the first one by approximately 30 - 40%, do this quickly. NEVER try to repaint over an area that has been recently painted and is drying - this will mar the finish - leave it to dry. Because the paint is so thin, it will dry very quickly (especially matt paints), although it shall be less opaque, which means that you shall need two or three coates to achieve full coverage. This method leaves very few brush marks (which completely disappear under a coat or two of Johnson's Klear in any case), does not obscure detail (due to the thin coates), and if the varnish is applied carefully, looks nearly as good as a sprayed paint finish (I have previously won IPMS classes with hand painted models)."

 

HTH

 

Derek

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