Need advise on using an air brush

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Dom, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Dom

    Dom New Member

    Feb 12, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I've never used an air brush before, but I see it's the way to go to paint (DPM) structures.
    So, I purchased a single action air brush from Harbor Fright and have played with it on some cardboard.
    The problem I'm having is the paint seems to be too thick to flow out of the airbrush correctly.
    I'm using acrylic paints I got at a local crafts store. I 've used this paint before with a regular brush and it went on great.
    What is the correct paint to thinner mixture? I'm using Windex as a thinner, it seem to mix better then water.
  2. csxengineer

    csxengineer Member

    May 16, 2003
    Likes Received:
    me too

    I suck at it, but was recently given advice:

    mix 50% floquil paint with 90%rubbing alcohol. Don't try for a 1 coat paint. use multiple light coats with a few minutes in between. Alcohol will make paint dry quicker. Prime too, with any good primer first.
  3. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    Likes Received:
    First, be sure to wash all the parts in water with a bit of dish detergent using an old toothbrush. Rinse with clear water and let the parts dry.
    This is necessary because during the plastic injection process , the mold is coated with oil to facilitate the extraction of the parts out of the mold.

    About thinner: Some acrylic paints require thinner and some don't.
    So far I tried the following brand.
    Tamiya , Badger Model flex and Polly Scale.
    The most popular brand for model railroad is Polly Scale. I use 2/3 paint and 1/3 rubbing alcohol ( 70% ). I use the same ratio with Tamiya paint.
    Badger Model Flex doesn't require any thinner but I was not completely satisfied with the result ( paint too thin , even with no thinner ))

    Hold the airbrush about 6" far from the model , The paint should stay wet when hitting the model, but with no pooling.
    Move the airbrush with a steady motion parallel to the model. Start to spray before the model and stop spraying when airbrush is past the model.

    Here is a pic of an N scale Walthers modular building painted with Polly Scale Boxcar Red.