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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After more than 50 years in the modeling hobby, I am finally thinking the an Air Brush might be handy for weathering. I have used chalks and washes forever to weather and they have worked out great for me. Lately, I have watched some videos on weathering and of course the guy used and air brush and I could see where they provide a very definite help, when doing very light weathering. It seems a little late in my modeling career to venture into this aspect of model finishing, as I am turning 70. I'd like to hear what folks have to say and recommend for this. Thanks in advance!
 

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an airbrush can be had for very little, especially a single action ... what is relatively expensive is a small, quiet air compressor ..
 

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IMO they're a pain in the butt to clean with enamel paints. Acrylics are fine. It takes a bit to get the hang of it - mostly just figuring out the flow rate that works for you. I like it for weathering because I can blow the wash around and force it into places it otherwise wouldn't run.

I got this compressor... https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-QUI...le-Electric-Hot-Dog-Air-Compressor/1001014016

It's overkill for an airbrush, but cheaper that one marketed as an "airbrush compressor". And it's quiet.

I use this brush... HS5 with an inline moisture trap and flow regulator.
 

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I use a little 3 gal compressor from Harbor freight I got on sale for around $30-40. It's noisey, but I fill it in the shed and carry to the train room. For air brush hardly use more than a tank of air.
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While the fumes are not as potent, it's still not a good idea to breath in the paint fumes. A box with a fan and a filter in front of the fan is probably enough. It will give you a place to add extra lighting to make painting easier. I am lucky enough to live in FL so I just use a big box and paint outdoors.
 

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I jumped and bought on the airbrush bandwagon. I'm working on setting aside some space so I can't report in actually doing anything with it yet -- my expectations are pretty high .. I read some online reviews and purchased solid I think but fairly basic one from hobby lobby. As for a compressor I got a badger but that had more to do with stumbling on a good deal.
 

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one imagines a compressor is a compressor, but maybe not. the badger which is in a box next to me as i write this unopened, is this model:

The Aspire Pro TC910

Compressors (bottom)

I don't know that I would have specifically bought it, although it gets (mostly) good reviews. I'd have probably started with something much more basic. maybe even a can or two of compressed air. I just happened to stumble on it in a close out scenario and decided to get it.
 

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If using Acrylics, do I need a spray booth?
It's the tiny little droplets in the air that you don't want to inhale. You don't need to exhaust the air outside, but something with a fan to pull the overspray in and filter it out is a good idea. Or wear an N95 respirator...if you can find one right now.
 

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My take on an airbrush. A great tool to have in your arsenal. Takes a little practice to get good at it, but worth it.

I use an Aztek (Testors) A470 with a Microlux compressor for Micromark, and use acrylic paints (Vallejo, almost exclusively). The interchangeable paint cups make changing colors easy. Paint one color, run a paint cup of soapy water through the brush, paint second color. Clean up requires nothing more than soapy water (although I clean the tips in Windex with ammonia).and an old toothbrush.

Not everyone will like the ergonomics of the Aztek though. You hold it like a pencil. Other airbrushed have a pistol grip. I've used both kinds; I prefer the pencil grip.

The Aztek will take a gravity feed cup or a siphon tube. It comes with both, and you can buy these separately. The connection for the cup or tube can be made on either side (a small plastic plug is used in the hole on the opposite side). This is a key feature for me, being left-handed. So is my wife. Our kids are all right handed (go figure); they can use it too, by switching the feed to the opposite side (takes 15 seconds). A cup or siphon mounted on the centerline of the airbrush would work just as well.

Double action vs single action. Double allows you to control airflow and paint flow with the same lever. Harder to learn, but MUCH better control once you master it. I'd go for a double action.

Many models out there are essentially the same as the Aztek. Your choice, really, you can't REALLY know which features you prefer without trying one.
 

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I was doing some housework (ongoing) and just have that and n95. The latter is practically impossible to breath through for more than a few minutes at a time. Probably best bet. I like fan ideas also and outside. Certainly acrylics seem better for you...than the others. I'd be very very tempted to buy a full face mask with some kind of breather.. just for convenience and total safety but I have no idea what would be good without being overkill. I suspect these will be hard to find for awhile....so I'm in no rush. Just an idea.
 

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I purchased an air brush a few years ago. I air brush in the basement so I use acrylics....the cheap Walmart kind. It does take practice to get the paint the right consistency (thinned) and the air pressure adjusted on the air brush. A good water trap is a must. I would purchase a good number of plastic cups to practice on. It is a great way to practice getting things right (paint thin, air pressure) before using the airbrush on layout structures and rolling stock. The other issue I dealt with is the fact that it is not an easy thing to get out for the weathering of one box car or painting one structure. In other words, try and set up your air brush in a place where you can leave it set up without having to take everything down and pack it away after a particular project. I am sure others have a much better set up, but this is what I have in the basement.

540048
 

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In another thread I was asking about air brushes. I never tried air brushing but have wanted to for a while now.
Well now that I have the time I been in my basement finding things I didn't know I had or forgot I had.
I found 2 air brushes, a Badger 350 air brush and a Badger 250 basic model.
So now I have something to try out, but knowing me I will most likely buy a new and better one.
I have a big compressor in my garage that I bought to replace a smaller one.
All I need is a water trap and I think a new regulator on the smaller one.
But like Cole (?) said, I also have a big portable air tank that I could fill and paint off of that, but I guess I would need a water trap for that too?
I think the air brush guns were my nephews and he threw them in when I took all his N scale.
He also tossed in a lot of other stuff I am coming across.
MAN.........it is so nice to have the time to play now. :)
 

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Ya'll got me interested now!
I do have a mini 1/8hp comp' laying around somewhere, with I think, 1/4" tubing attached.
I also have an emglo 3/4hp comp' with 2or4 gal attached tank with air dryer and regulator attachments that I used for all my pneumatic nail guns/staplers/etc. I swear I have a spare 4or5 gal tank as well. May have lent that out though.
Anyone use airbrush for weathering rails and ties prior to or after ballasting? How'd thatbwork out?
All that said: I'm now mildly inspired to start researching the info that has been shared here. Thanks guys.
 

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When you want to weather rail and ties, its nice to have a quiet portable compressor, with maybe a long hose between the compressor and brush. But quiet is what I found to be worth it. Next to the layout, on of those pancake compressor will drive you out of the room!
 

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Lemonhawk,
Yep. Those pancake comps' are absolutely too loud! Quick recovery yes but. My 1992 emglo is suprisingly quiet. I did do proper maintanence of it over the years so still very quiet and can be in the room if needed. However, as you said, A good idea to place it elsewhere with a long hose. My intent once I get t that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
What is a good-average price for a compressor, airbrush and ancillary stuff to get an air brush up and running. I already have a respirator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't see where I can edit my post on this forum. Is editing not a feature available on the Model Train Forum?
 

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I don't see where I can edit my post on this forum. Is editing not a feature available on the Model Train Forum?
When your replying look in the box where your replying, you will see 3 dots, click and pick edit.

Edit, matter of fact just look in the reply box now.
The 3 dots are there all the time.
 
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