Airbrush guidance for fine details
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Thread: Airbrush guidance for fine details

  1. #1

    Default Airbrush guidance for fine details

    Hi guys, I own the Iwata Eclipce HP CS (0.35mm needle) and have had success creating cool blends and stuff. I did have some difficulty doing small cape highlights though, as the spray was too big / not easy to control. So I ended up having not just the top sections highlighted but a bit around it as well. Anyways, I am now thinking to get an airbrush that I can use for finer details like the Iwata custom micron C plusv2 or the PS-770 and thanks to the 0.2 or smaller needle and the ability to preselect at the end of the airbrush should make doing finer details much easier.

    Do you guys think my hopes are just too high and its a waste of money and time? Or will I really see a difference between the needle sizes and functionality of the airbrush?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member CyAniDe's Avatar
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    Hmm smaller needle/nozzle size doesn't automatically equals finer lines/spray pattern.

    You can spray pretty fine line with your HP-CS (own it myself and it's my favorite gun).

    For fine detail there are a lot of factors playing together.

    1. Distance to the piece -> You have to go really close with your airbrush to get a small dot, the further you move away, the bigger but more diffused the dot gets.

    2. Amount of paint -> You only need very few amounts of paint.

    These two factors have consequences:

    Since you work close and open the nozzle only a tiny bit you need very thin paint to make it flow. Working close with very thin paint also requires lower pressure since otherwise you'll get "spidering". I'ld also recomment using alcohol based acrylics/thinners for that since they dry faster on the surface.
    Don't go too low with the air pressure though since the airbrush might start spitting with too low pressure.

    You'll also face tipdry quite frequently so you might want to remove the needle protection. You can then access the needletip much easier and the cap doesn't block your vision on what you're spraying.

    As soon as you notice that the gun stops spraying/ or starts to "stutter" you might want to spray out a bit more paint into a paper towel. The paint starts building up inside the nozzle and around the needle causing it to block. That's why I'm not a real fan of these regulators. Also trigger control needs some practice.

    Important is also not to cut off the air before you cut off the paint. Means don't stop pushing the trigger for air before you moved the trigger foward. Otherwise you'll have even more buildup paint around the needle that dries up and clocks the brush.

    The HP-CS is very responsive on the trigger (that's why I love her) and very reliable. Some of my other brushes tend to have a kind of "deadzone", you pull the trigger a bit and nothing comes, a bit furhter still nothing and then suddenly it sprays. Not so with the CS.

    So in my opinion you already got a pretty decent gun. Another gun I could recomment would be the Iwata HP-BH. Micron of course is super top notch. Don't own one myself yet though. But if I should buy another airbrush it would probably be a micron.


    Another tip: spraying highlights is much harder then shadows! For detailing shading down is much easier since tiny shakes aren't that prominent. Further folds and other recesses are much easier to follow then spraying highlights on top a fold.
    Maybe you should try the other way around. Start bright and shade down.

  3. #3

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    thanks alot for the feedback! Good tips all around.

    I'll definitely try again with shadowing vs highlighting, might be easier indeed.

    I think I also haven't tried thinning my paints more and user lower PSI to get better 'control' while being closer.

    My trigger control isn't that great yet, lots of times i'll not see any paint come out so I pull a little harder and WAM tons of paint just spits out everywhere.

    I do want to try a micron type though and see if the need adjustment to set paint flow limits makes wonders or not for someone like me who is a noob to airbrushing and isn't great at trigger control...

    Here is a finished mini done only with airbrushing (appart from base):

    Name:  IMG_E0187.JPG
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CyAniDe's Avatar
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    Looks pretty good so far. These models are really like crying to be painted with airbrush

    I do want to try a micron type though and see if the need adjustment to set paint flow limits makes wonders or not for someone like me who is a noob to airbrushing and isn't great at trigger control...
    You'll probably do nothing wrong with a micron but if you can try it out before buying one then even better. The thing with the regulator is that the dilution/air pressure have to be spot on as well. So you might experience the same problem of pulling back and nothing comes out if the paint is still too thick or pressure to low.

    For the start I'ld recommend Mr. Hobby or Tamiya paints. They are in my opinion much easier to work with then waterbased paints like Model Color, GW and so on.
    With dilution you can go really thin. Ratios like 1:5 paint/thinner up to 1:10 or even thinner. It's a lot of try and error in the beginning. I'ld also recomment to mix the paints in a seperate jar before filling it into the airbrush. That way you can judge the consitency and flow of the paint way better. If you mix directly in the airbrush always start with thinner and than add the paint. If you put in the paint first it will crouch into the nozzle and covers the inside of the nozzle and the needle.

  5. #5

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    as CyAniDe said what matters:
    - distance: try removing the needle cap and go closer, but be careful not to bend the needle
    - dilution/pressure: you have to try out, but as you go lower in pressure, you need more dilution. For really fine details the pressure can go as low as 5-10 psi. But you really need to thin the paint by that time or it clogs it really fast.

    A finer AB (for example the HnS Infinity with the .15mm needle) can help, but... they are not magic tools, there is a point where they are not good anymore.


    Also don't forget, that there are details that are too small for an AB. Like the faces of 30mm (for example from GW) figures. You can do a general shading, but the AB is not fine enough for it unless you mask a lot. To the point where painting the detail with a brush is both faster and better looking.
    Forgot, that it works again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    as CyAniDe said what matters:
    - distance: try removing the needle cap and go closer, but be careful not to bend the needle
    - dilution/pressure: you have to try out, but as you go lower in pressure, you need more dilution. For really fine details the pressure can go as low as 5-10 psi. But you really need to thin the paint by that time or it clogs it really fast.

    A finer AB (for example the HnS Infinity with the .15mm needle) can help, but... they are not magic tools, there is a point where they are not good anymore.


    Also don't forget, that there are details that are too small for an AB.
    Exactly what MAXXxxx has said, getting the pressure/dilution right is crucial. Practise on cardboard or something you can afford to strip later.
    My airbrush has been a serious boon for me getting items ready for competition at Euro.
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