Tuesday, July 10, 2012

O'Shashar's Misadventures With His Airbrush - Starting Out

Good evening and thank you for joining me once again in the Cupboard of Nurgle. Today I would like to talk to you about starting out with airbrushing and depending how much I learn as I go along this may become a regular series of tips. Now I am new to airbrushing so my tips will really only be good for people who have just started or are thinking about starting out.

Firstly I would recommend you ask yourself why you want an airbrush, it seems to be a bit of a stupid question but by asking myself this I had put this purchase off for a long time based on the knowledge that most of the painting I would do could be achieved with a paint brush. Personally I got an airbrush as I wanted to paint a large amount of terrain and vehicles as well as apply base coats in batches.

Once you have decided this is something you want to invest in it is time to either ask someone who knows about airbrushing miniatures at your local game club or search the internet for information. I went the internet route as I know a lot of people interested in airbrushing but like me have held off. The internet is full of useful information and differing points of view so try to read as much as you can to get an overall view of what's out there.

After my research I decided I would need the following:
  • Airbrush ( To start I got a cheap double action one to test with before I get the higher quality one I have my eye on purely so if this went badly I wouldn't have sunk too much money into it)
  • Compressor with an air tank ( to prevent pulsation in the air pressure and over heating )
  • Airbrush Holder ( I got a combined Airbrush holder & cleaning jar and has served me well )
  • Cleaning Tools
  • Cleaning Fluid
  • Moisture Trap
  • Respirator ( Acrylics are not toxic by nature and without the chemicals of propellant they are not as bad for you but I don't think breathing in something that is a nightmare to get off your hands is a good idea )
This is by no means a comprehensiveness list and if you find anything you feel will make your experience better go for it. You will also need to think of where you plan to spray as it will need to be well ventilated and spray booths to buy or build can be found online. A lot of people recommend buying a second needle for the brush as they are quite delicate and even a small bend can render them useless, I would like to add to this they are sharp enough so you won't feel them go stick in until you hit something solid.

So now you have your set up and are eager to get started you should stop and read the instructions for all the equipment you bought, now I know this goes against everyone's favourite method of trial and error but keep in mind that you have just spent a fair amount of money on equipment you haven't used before and there is a good chance something is going to go wrong.

Once you are familiar with the instructions you want to disassemble and reassemble your airbrush a few times to make yourself comfortable with doing this for cleaning. I did not do this and while using my airbrush I took the needle out to clean it causing me to flood it all with paint. Due to this I had to disassemble it, coated in paint and with no idea how it went back together I do not recommend that to anyone.

Next time I will be talking about using your Airbrush for the first time, paint choices and all the fun and failures I have experienced so far.

Until then keep spreading his gifts to all you encounter in your travels through the warp.


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