ok I have lurked quite a while now but I have to put a rant down on this one.
I have painted nearly all of my rockets with an airbrush and have none of the issues mentioned.
I can easily spray at the volume(and more) of a spraycan
watercleanup in a few minutes(just spray water thru)
no bad fumes
no issues with blushing, cold weather ,humidity,heat
can mix colors to an exact match( for scale models)
no layering of paint dust on everything
I have to really go crazy to get a run in the finish
quality airbrush paint color is designed to be deep and brilliant under clearcoat
unlimited supply of colors
acrylics can handle just about any brand or type of clear, no compatabillity issues
acrylics can go over nearly any brand or type of paint ,no compatability issues
with Createx I have never had to mix one drop of thinner, not in 4 years of airbrushing , it sprays perfect strait from the bottle . no thinning
usually I plug right into the bottle the other end into the compressor and spray
I can mask and spray several colors in one session.
I use the color cup for small amounts , the bottle for large amounts and have sprayed 4" dia rockets (including extensive masking, decals and clearcoat) in one session
I can create finishes that one can only dream of with a spraycan
my rockets have won beauty and scale contests, and fly just as well as spraycan models
did it take some trail and error and practices ?-yes
was it worth the effort ?-absolutely !
I don't look down on people for using spraycans.
I take pride in my building, I give the same effort to my finishing.
all I can ask here is...don't knock it just because you can't or don't want to airbrush a rocket, it's not an instant gratification thing but It works and it does the job very well.
I have a garage full of rockets to prove it
I have read post after post on many forums over the years about problems with painting rockets.
I can say that for me airbrushing has eliminated 99% of them
if I'm just going for overall coverage like a spraycan I run mine at 35-45psi -#5 or large tip.
the large tips are in the range of a spraycan orifice.
I think that one of the biggest mistakes people make with airbrushing is using the wrong tip.
for the job.
if the tip is too small than it sputters and clogs , turning up the pressure makes it spit out too much paint.
so a person will typically resort to thinning the paint down.or way too much
now it's spraying a drippy thin paint. and just becomes a nightmare. your fighting a losing battle
going to larger tips was like a eureka moment for me , it changed everything.
small tips are great for thin paint and fine details at low pressure.
I get the most use from mine in large tip spraycan mode. the only difference is much better control and a much finer spray than the typical can.I rarely ever get bleed thru. because the paint begins to dry almost instantly
once you have the spraycan mode working than it's much easier to start tightening down the tip size , thinning and high detail work.
the bottles of airbrush paint might be $2-3 but due to the thin layers you can spray ..alot of rockets can be painted with the added bonus of less weight.
I have found it to be far more economical than spraycans
a bottle of AB paint goes a long way due to the high color content
Annother thing that will help is don't go to scale model airplane sites and try to follow those guidelines. it's a different world.
rocketeers generaly like large areas of solid color with the occasional flame, stripes, fades ect..
plastic modelers are using minute amounts of paint , in very light patterns.
most plasic modelers are using paints that require heavy thinning and messy cleanup.
it would take a month to paint a midpower rocket like that and it would not be very pretty.
go out and buy one bottle of AB paint like Createx(just try it), install a large tip, crank up to 35 psi.
apply the paint in several light layers. air dry each layer with a hair dryer(it only takes a couple minutes) do not spray a thick heavy layer or several wet layers, it will take 2 weeks to dry.
even by spraying light layers and drying inbetween it will be done faster and cured much faster than a spraycan paint. as I mentioned I can complete multipule maskings and sprayings in one session.
sorry one more thing.
if you do try acrylics like createx, understand that the paint drys to a matte finish.
acrylics have to be clearcoated they are fragile by themselves.
the reason they go on matte is because the matte finish will capture and reflect more light under a clearcoat than a gloss paint. this brings out a depth and brilliance to the color that you can't achieve with a spraycan.
look at the auto painting process for example...the paints are not super glossy because of the paint infact they are typically not glossy at all. it's the clearcoat that provides the gloss
the awesome colors on cars these days are largely due to using this technique of the paintcoat being more light reflective
you can mix Future with acrylics to try and get a more gloss finish but I've found it to be inferior to simply spraying a glosscote(or future ) after the color.
I apologise for creating a thread takeover, would it be ok to just start a new thread and people can discuss airbrushing, ask questions, help others out? is there enough interest?
Scalenut, your last few posts need to be stickied in the Techniques section! Scott, what do you think?
BTW, I bought a couple of airbrushes when Badger had the big clearance sale a year or so ago, but I haven't gotten around to learning to use them. I got two thinking that I might buy a can of automotive lacquer primer and dedicate one to that use.
I agree; this information is very helpful. I have thought from time to time about going to airbrushing, but I didn't know where to even begin.
Question: can you paint fine details, like stripes and roll patterns, with it? If so, do you need a particular kind of airbrush for that? From the little that I have read about it, I got the idea that some brands and models of airbrushes were best for fine detail work, while other brands and models worked best for covering broad areas.
I asked Buzz to do this when he got a chance.
Just remember if you use your airbrush with solvent based anything, don't try to go back to waterbased materials. you'll have fisheye and oil based problems beyond belief.
The better 2/3rds and I have 5 or 6 air brushes between us, both with a couple decided for oil based products and others for acrylics, water and bulletin colors. Last year we both got a detail gravity feed gun that has idled just about all our bulk color airbursh use. these things are Wonderful for basecoating and all kinds of Model rocket work.
Hope this helps a little
airbrushes come in lots of flavors ,some do certain things better than others.
the good thing is you don't need a high dollar precision instrument to paint rockets
I have 4 airbrushes ,(I also went crazy at the Badger blowout and grabbed 2 really nice ones.)
however,I hardly use them because they are geared to really fine work. and I mostly paint rockets not graphic illustration, touch up photos, or build 1/72 scale luftwaffe aircraft
my workhorse is a Passche H, single action . it's more a multipurpose and cheap.
they can be picked up for roughly $25 on the internet or a craft/hobby store.
I also use a Passche vl ,it does the same but is also good for small detail and it sprays a little better, smoother. the downside is I have to take it apart to "deep clean" it.
the single action only has a tip to remove to clean when necessary
both can accept a color cup or plug in a bottle.
airbrushing stripes and roll patterns are no different than when using a spraycan.
they will have to be masked off than sprayed as usual.unless it's a pattern where you want a fuzzy or faded line, like a camo effect.
there are benefits actually , you don't have to mask off everything. I often paint seperate areas with no more than a couple strips of masking tape because the airbrush can be dialed down to spray within a very small area yet cover nicely. overspray is not a big issue.
annother benefit is because AB paint goes on in such a fine thin mist, tape bleed is a rarity.
my suggestion is to look for airbrushes that have siphon feed(bottles).
you can empty a little color cup really fast.
the models that accept both are even better .you can do some amazing color fades with the little cup.
I agree with Micro, a touch up gun is a good step up, when you get to the 4"
dia range, you can really lay down some paint.
OK,something about basecoating/primer.
I don't use an airbrush to prime or basecoat an entire rocket.
this is where spraycans work great.
primer is too high in solids and size of pigment to be airbrush friendly
automotive primer is superior to any airbrush primer, you won't find much airbrush sandable primer ( I haven't seen any)
plus I'm not worried about the finish of primer because I am going to sand it .
canned primer is the choice for me
I always basecoat my rockets with a spray of (krylon) gloss white (or black)
it shows every imperfection if I want to go anal on the finish
it provides a smooth clean white(or) black canvas to paint and nothing brings out colors like a white basecoat.
also if you like to wetsand ...paint is the best surface. wetsanding primer is often a waste of time unless you are capable of spraying a perfect coat of paint from a can with zero flaws or blushing on top of it. plus primer is absorbent...it 's risky to get it wet over a paper substrate.. if it's a fibergalss tube .. no problem.
I let spraycans do the "grunt work"
than hook up the airbrush.
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