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Hetstaine

Paint mix/airbrush woes.

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Hopefully this is the right spot on the forum :)  This is a 1/48 kit and my launching pad to 1/32. I just didn't want to screw up a  more expensive 1/32 model while learning.

 

I just received my Badger 100LG .25mm brush and 1/6hp 3l tank compressor...and i am really struggling to get a mix going without sputter/overspray or having to clean the tip every ten seconds. For starters i would have thought .25 would be giving me nice fine lines after some hours of practice but i am getting what i feel like is too much overspray even at the lightest touch of paint being engaged. I just finished two hours of mixing testing after much frustration and struggling for three days ...and nights, and decided i need help :) Hopefully that's where you guys come in.

To start with, this is the brush and some closeups of the tip just to show that it is centered and seems fine so i can rule that out. I've been all through Dons airbrush, youtube reviews, guides, forums etc and nothing seems to work. The gun has been stripped and cleaned, there is no gunk in it i can see and air flows out as nicely as i think one should. Yet, I am able to produce a better and more modulated finish using spray cans at the moment so something is tragically wrong with either me, my mixes or the brush.

 

Badger

 

tip1

 

tip2

 

 

I started at a 50/50 mix of paint/thinners as that seemed to be a common starting point for newbies after looking at mixes etc for a couple of weeks before purchase, 33/67 is first in the pics so it is goes in thinners/paint ratio order. All of the paints and products are Tamiya- acrylic, X20a thinners and Tamiya retarder. The products i am using are all brand new, so no old crappy paint at all.  I cleaned the tip in between every compressor psi change and you can see how the splatter happens almost immediately despite stronger and stronger thinner mixes. The brush was fully cleaned in between each mix change and i was using full air (push down) and the lightest possible paint application (pull back) that i could.

 

chart size

 

33/67 mix


50/50 mix

 

60/40 mix


70/30 mix

 

This one was the only one i used retarder in, just a whatever mix because i have tried 1 and two drops over the course of the last few days with a 50/50 mix and it doesn't seem to make a difference.

 

whatevermix


The following pic what i have managed to do in between cleaning, many many mixes and a lot of head scratching. It has been a struggle that i have not much enjoyed despite spending a long time researching mixes and newby airbrushing tips and guides over the last month and a half. I don't expect to come out swinging with home runs on my first bat.. but i also didn't expect to be fighting so hard just to get the extreme basics down.

 

FW190

 

 

 I have sharpened the picture to try and highlight the overspray and splatters as the light i am using at night is bright af and knocks around the detail and colours. The model has been undercoated, preshaded (terribly) sprayed with the colours you see then 1500 grit sanded owing to splatters and basically horrible paint work. At this stage i started respraying but gave up until i sort out what i am doing wrong.  The stand outs are the oval blue section under the front of the cockpit. Splatters and overspray. I am using the lightest possible paint pull pressure so as to avoid runs so it isn't me just gunning like mad. I am finding it near impossible to achieve any sort of neat light coat at the moment, basically spraying away from the model onto paper to avoid the initial splatters and once it is going smooth enough to paint, i move over the model. Any more pressure than an extreme light pull and too much paint is coming out meaning i have to move super quick to avoid runs or instant paint blots. I could definitely use it for 1:1 scale plane detail but for modelling i am at a loss. The thing that really throws me is the amount of overspray even a simple dot or thin line produces at the lightest possible pressure.

 

 

Is mixing really this much of a black art or am i just way off base here? Also should i not be able to get very light coats with this brush and needle without it either splattering or being so thin it runs?? A happy medium seems well beyond me at the moment and i really don't want to be that guy blaming his tools, the only thing i would like to change is a heavier spring to give me a bit of feel as it does seem horribly light. The spring adjustment does nothing to help feel in that area unfortunately.

 

It's all rather frustrating and any advice is muchly appreciated.

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That's quite unusual since most people (me included) don't seem to have such a big problem with Tamiya paints.
I usually go for 70/30 or even 80/20 to get fine lines with a 0.15mm tip but it works even with a 0.5mm tip (lots of fine tuning included).

Where do you mix your paint? Directly in the airbrush's cup?
And is the paint in its jar thoroughly stirred/shaken?

I had similar problems when my nozzle clogged.

You may try using the levelling (lacquer) thinner (Mr.Color or Tamiya), which provides the best finish possible with Tamiya paints!

Edited by Fanes

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I feel your pain brother!   I personally am no airbrush SME, but have recently gotten airbrushing to my liking, and to answer your question, no, it shouldn't be a dark art, but occasionally IS.

 

I personally have never had any luck shooting Tamiya acrylics through any of my 4 airbrushes with any consistency.  Even when I think down to 70/30 thinner/paint, and add +10 drops of retarder.  That includes trying shooting it with various forms of thinners.  Honestly I hate shooting Tamiya jar acrylics through the AB and will not do it any more with so many other better options available
 

I gave up. I now only retain Tamiyas jar acrylics for brush painting.   I've now switched over completely to MRP.   MRP is also an acrylic, but its an acrylic suspended in a lacquer medium, and shoots like a DREAM.   There is no mixing, no guessing, no thinning, no retarder and pretty much no thinking about it!

 

Just open the bottle and put some in your AB and away you go. Best results from a paint through the AB Ive ever had.     I realize Im probably not helping answer any of your questions, but I just wanted to convey you are not the only person to have issues like you are seeing.

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I shoot Tamiya and Mr Hobby (Gunze) acrylics through my airbrush and have been happy with the results overall.  Since my experience is limited and there are MANY paints available these days, there may be better paints out there than Tamiya acrylics.  However, you should be able to achieve good results with them.  I employ thinner than "normal" paint mixes due to better utilize my pre-shading routine.  For exterior schemes, I am commonly using 3:1 or 4:1 thinner to paint ratios.  I usually thin my Tamiya paints with 91% iso alcohol but have good results with Tamiya acrylic and lacquer thinners as well as Mr Leveling Thinner.

 

Based on your photos, it seems like you are getting a reduction in splatter on your 60/40 and 70/30 mixes.  There are different ways to achieve paint coverage when using an airbrush.  One good way of getting a nice smooth coat and modulating any pre-shade effects that you have laid down prior is to build up translucent coats slowly, ALWAYS keeping the brush moving to avoid pooling.  From the looks of it, it looks like you can achieve that with the 60/40 and 70/30 mixes you have shown.  The following is a sequence from a past build that is building up a light blue finish on the bottom of a 190D-9 using Tamiya acrylic thinned with iso alcohol.  You can see how translucent the paint is after the initial application and how the opacity is built up over multiple passes.  This allows me to dial in my pre-shade effects with a great degree of control.  On the flip side... it takes a while to establish a color.  You have to get away from the concept of trying to get paint coverage in one or two passes.

 

IMG_0480.jpg

 

IMG_0481.jpg

 

IMG_0482.jpg

 

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Sounds a bit odd, I only ever spray with Tamiya acrylic and always works well for me. For general purpose stuff  I spray with a 50/50 mix paint to thinners. The 50% part of the paint mix is usually 30% X22 clear and 20% paint. Always works a treat for me! Can't comment on the pressure as I just adjust the mac valve on my airbrush to suit.20190217-123000.jpg

 

Hope that helps.

 

Regards.Andy 

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I'm also very new to airbrushing, i use tamiya acrylics 50/50 mix at 10-15psi and never had issues, i recently got Mission models paints and found they work like a dream to spary, i know that doesnt help your questions....

 

However I did have spatter and clogging issues initially and couldnt  find the cause and was going to give up, until i bought a new nozzle. My one piece of advice is to clean and clean again, I carefully used the needle to skim the inside, i find a clean nozzle is the key to spraying any paints

 

Another rookie mistake i made was not emptying the moisture trap on the compressor :lol:

Edited by Robthepom

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Seems there is light at the end of my tunnel.

 

I tried dropping down to 10-12ish psi and made a 70/30 and then a roughly 65/35 mix and with very light coats was able to achieve a fairly decent result.

 

Much better than i had been doing anyway! I think the rest is now down to me practising spraying although i may step up to .35 if that helps with the dry tip issue in any way? I wasn't getting that problem anywhere near as much but was still cleaning the tip quite a bit to lessen it.

 

Thanks a ton for looking in guys, it was doing my head in yesterday and was a bit confidence shattering lol!

 

The hardest part i am finding is getting that sweet spot between just enough paint and ooops that was way too much. The line between the two is so much finer than i expected.

 

Oh and to who asked above, i am mixing first and then pouring into the cup. I am also cleaning the gun regularly and emptying the tank at the end of my sessions as well as the reg intermittently.

 

Another quick questions regards the Tamiya Retarder. Should i add a drop to a mix and will that help with dry tip? I'm unsure of what sort of amount i should use, if any.

 

My basic mix today was 6 (drops) paint, 14 thinners when i was practising and down to 12 or 13 thinners at 12psi. I kept eyeing of the retarder but was hesitant to add any.

 

Thanks again all, you've been a great help.

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Yes the retarder does improve tip drying. If you could paint 20cm line without retarder you can probably get 40-60cm with retarder. Glad to see this is going well. Airbrushing was definitely a new skill for me as well. Worth it though as once you see the results you’ll use it a ton!

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From Tamiyas website:

 

【 Smooth the Paints 】  This paint retarder will make acrylic paint dry slower, enabling a smoother finish. It can be used up to a 1:10 ratio with Tamiya Acrylic Paints. It helps to lessen the chance of painting a grainy surface on your model. Also, it is ideal for painting glossy finish surfaces. 1 bottle contains 40ml.

 

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Try the Mr Color Leveling thinner (lacquer thinner) . Totally changed my outcome with Tamiya acrylics. With X20 thinner they seem to dry as soon as they leave the airbrush. Even the Tamiya retarder didn't help me too much with alcohol-based thinners. The Mr. Color thinned paint seems to atomize better. Still, with a .25mm needle you may still have trouble with acrylics depending on the color. Pigment particles vary in sizes. I generally spray a .35 or even a .5 for primers. Tamiya metallics don't seem to work at all with my .35. My .18 SOTAR will barely spray acrylics at all. Maybe an 80/20 mix and mist coats. Lacquers are no problem.

 

I've also found that using the REGDAB needle juice cuts down on tip dry. I put a few drops in the cup when I'm done for the day and spray it through, coating the needle.

 

Edit: Just looked at your picture. Try polishing your needle! Get some auto scratch remover and a rag, put a drop on the rag and spin the needle on it. Gets rid of micro-pits and really can help with tip dry. The needle on my Badger 105 was junk before I polished it.

Edited by gwana

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I use Tamiya paint a fair amount and never have any issues with it. I thin it with Mr. Leveling Thinner, X20A, or IPA, whatever is closest at hand. All work well with no tip dry at just about any pressure. Rarely clean my airbrush other than flushing lacquer thinner through it. Many different airbrushes. I add thinner to the airbrush cup first and then add paint with a Tamiya paint stirrer, checking as I go, until it sprays how I want it to. Works every time for me. That said, I use MRP a lot now because it is just pour and spray.

 

Jay

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4 hours ago, gwana said:

Try the Mr Color Leveling thinner (lacquer thinner) . Totally changed my outcome with Tamiya acrylics. With X20 thinner they seem to dry as soon as they leave the airbrush. Even the Tamiya retarder didn't help me too much with alcohol-based thinners. The Mr. Color thinned paint seems to atomize better. Still, with a .25mm needle you may still have trouble with acrylics depending on the color. Pigment particles vary in sizes. I generally spray a .35 or even a .5 for primers. Tamiya metallics don't seem to work at all with my .35. My .18 SOTAR will barely spray acrylics at all. Maybe an 80/20 mix and mist coats. Lacquers are no problem.

 

I've also found that using the REGDAB needle juice cuts down on tip dry. I put a few drops in the cup when I'm done for the day and spray it through, coating the needle.

 

Edit: Just looked at your picture. Try polishing your needle! Get some auto scratch remover and a rag, put a drop on the rag and spin the needle on it. Gets rid of micro-pits and really can help with tip dry. The needle on my Badger 105 was junk before I polished it.

 

On it. Today the needle gets a polish!

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Tamiya has always been my favorite paint to airbrush.  I have found that either Tamiya's lacquer thinner or Gunze's Mr. Color Leveling Thinner (now my favorite) work better than the X20 thinner.  I use at least 50% thinner, and keep my pressure between 10-15 psi.  Unlike Brian (Out2Gtcha), I find Tamiya to be the WORST paint for hand-brushing.  With airbrushing, you will find that there is a learning curve with each different brand of paint you use.  It takes plenty of trial and error to find that sweet spot of the right pressure, thinner/paint ratio and the right thinner.  I remember having similar problems years ago when I was using Pollyscale paints a lot.  I loved their colors, but I had nothing but problems with paint drying at the tip and the airbrush sputtering until I started using the Pollyscale thinner.  Once I found the right combination, everything worked great.

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