Airbrushing

The airbrush is a popular choice for painting craft and hobby projects. This tool is versatile enough to paint plastic models, rc airplanes, t-shirts, nails, and other items.

Equipment and Materials: A single action airbrush is the simplest design. It is easier to learn to handle, and economical as well. So it makes a great beginner's airbrush. However, the double action airbrush gives you much greater control over the paint process.

Your best air source is a good compressor. Disposable air cans are a good introductory air source, but these will become costly in the long run.

Use the manufacturer's recommended thinner, and thin the paint to the recommended ratio.

How to Airbrush:

1) Prepare the work area. Lay down plastic sheets to protect the area from over-spray, if necessary.

2) Prepare the work piece. Use gloves to handle it.

3) Prepare the equipment. Turn on the compressor and set the spray pressure. Assemble the needle and nozzle into the airbrush if necessary. Attach a color cup or bottle as appropriate.

4) Mix the paint, following the maker's directions. Use plastic droppers to dispense paint and thinner into a small mixing container. Mix the paint with a toothpick or similar.

5) Test spray! Make this a part of your routine. You never know how the initial spray will come out of the nozzle, it will sometimes make a big mess. If possible, spray on something similar to your actual subject; that way you can test for color and chemical compatibility, as well as spray pattern.

6) Now that you've test sprayed, time for the real thing. Always start and stop the spray off or away from the work piece. This will result in even paint coverage, and alert you to any spray issues.

7) Hold the airbrush at an angle to the work piece (vertical is not practical), about 6 to 18 inches away. The distance will depend on the size of the part and the volume of the spray.

8) Apply Multiple Coats. Your first coat will be just a light dusting. For this first coat, make several passes but do not attempt to cover completely with color. Follow the manufacturer's recommendation on length of time between coats. Expect to take at least 3-4 coats to get good even color coverage.

9) Clean Up. Do not omit this step! Do the recommended cleaning when changing colors, and when you're done for the day. Many airbrush problems are caused by improper cleaning methods; dried paint can result in clogs that make it difficult to achieve proper performance.

Visit the RC Airplane Advisor for more information about How to Airbrush.

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Copyright©2005 RC Airplane Advisor

Andre is a regular contributor to the RC Airplane Advisor: http://www.rc-airplane-advisor.com

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