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I'm about to repaint all of my blood angels and to save time I'm planning on air brushing the base colour onto the models. I've never used an air brush before, does anyone have any hints and tips?
Also when air brushing models do you air brush straight onto the plastic or do you prime the model first then brush?
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Priming is always a good idea. Do it.
Many of the usual hints and tips are rather dependent on what sort of airbrush setup you're using, so that would be handy to know.
To cover the barest of essentials though...
> Obvious as it may sound, read your manuals. Airbrushes are complex tools and it's important to know how it works before you find yourself desperately trying to make some critical adjustment mid-spray as the paint is busy drying inside the workings of the airbrush!
>Practice! Practice, practice, practice! Simply tossing paint into the reservoir and spraying away is usually a perfect recipe for orange peels, caterpillars, spiders, and all sorts of other amusing names for "wrecked paintjob". Get yourself some plain paper, hold the airbrush at an appropriate distance from the paper (6-8 inches is usually good), and experiment to see what happens. You want to learn what happens with paint thinning, air pressure, nozzle settings and even technique on some nice disposable paper before you try the real deal.
>Clean the airbrush thoroughly after you use it. Like I said earlier, these are sensitive tools and they really need to be treated as such. Failure to clean your airbrush properly brings on all sorts of problems: sticking needles, clogged nozzles, gummed up valves, jammed needles, screwy spray patterns, spatters, and so much more. Cleaning may be the most boring part of the process, but it's definitely the most important.
Wraith gives some great advice there.
I would like to add;
> take your time and do multiple layers if needed don’t try go in a thick layer at once, just like painting it will make a mess, you can end up with marks where the paint dribbles. Also if you do need layer make sure that you let the first layer dry completely first.
> The consistency of your paint (how much water you add etc) will take some playing to get right in most cases, again be patient and don’t try to spray something too think or so thin it doesn't cover.
> Don’t get too close to the model with the air brush, this can again lead to the paint dribbling.
(while these last too are coved generally by wraith there worth saying twice as there very common mistakes)
> If you thinking about doing air brushing often it is worth while getting a compressor, i would suggest an oil free one makes life easier.
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If you're using foundation paints, dont bother priming, but if you're not, primer is a must. Hewever, if you're planning on getting citadel's own spraygun... I'd advise you against it. I only got mine yesterday and its already nackered up (the post is floating around in this section). The cap that connects the propelant to the gun leaks realy badly... or atleast mine did. The propelant ran out after 3 small coats over 2 models, it leaked that bad. Not to mention that the propelant mixed with the paint and made it go awfully blotchy... see my post for the full details of my bad experience, its still on the 1st page of the painting section.
In short, IMO, avoid the spraygun like the plague and go to thearmypainter.com. They sell coloured primers, so you can pick up a red one and it goes on just like GWs black and white ones. Saves a butt load of time and money.
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Foundation paints are not primer paints... I would recommend priming your figures as well. I have the GW spraygun and it works great. However I did buy a badger 1/4" adapter for my air compressure and run it like that. In the case of Malignace4 I would suggest taking the cans back to GW and explain what happened. You may have either a bad can, or possibly a back connector for the airgun. They are usually very good about exchanges. Before completely slagging it off I would attempt an exchange just to make sure that it wasn't a defect.
I have also run the foundation paints through the GW gun specifically so that I can basecoat the blood angels from the space hulk set. It worked like a charm. The GW spraygun has measure markers for their foundation paints so you can water it down correctly. I mixed mecharite red with a bit of beasty brown (VGC) to get a nice dark maroon red to use as a basecoat. Make sure they are thin enough so you don't clog your airbrush. I also strongly recommend cleaning and to add to what has already been said:
Clean it right away. Don't wait or the paint will start to dry. I would recommend spraying plain water through it after a general wipedown until it sprays completely clear. Spray it onto a napkin or paper towel until the paint is gone. I would then recommend taking a q-tip and wiping gently around the nozzle.
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