Air Brush Maintenance

Painting methods, display options and general tweaks.
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Tesral
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Air Brush Maintenance

Post by Tesral » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:27 am

They need to be cleaned, I get that. Aggressively even.

The question is what do people prefer as a cleaning medium? Is there a good commonly available stuff that is not specialized and costs and arm and a leg? Both acrylic and solvent based paints please, it does not have to be the same stuff.
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Del
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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by Del » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:43 pm

I would suggest whatever thinner you're using. I spray pretty much just Tamiya brand acrylics, which take isopropyl alcohol very well as a thinner, but other acrylics tend to curdle so know what works for the paint you use. When I break down my airbrush, which is an Aztek model that most folks don't actually like (but I'm weird anyway), I use the alcohol to set and soak into any built up paint, and then remove with cotton swabs, toothpicks, or almost anything that will get the job done.

Sometimes it takes a little effort if it's been a long day of painting. There's usually lots of little places where the paint likes to accumulate, and every airbrush is different. Someone here once mentioned that it's like breaking down and cleaning a firearm, so if you're familiar with that then you're good. Some trial and error is usually the best teacher. You'll probably figure out what works best after a few days of use. Then a couple of months later you'll realize there's a better way to do it. And a year after that, you'll finally see just what it takes. Even with the input you get here, the best answers will come from experience.
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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by MEATLOAFr » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:37 pm

Del wrote:I would suggest whatever thinner you're using. I spray pretty much just Tamiya brand acrylics, which take isopropyl alcohol very well as a thinner, but other acrylics tend to curdle so know what works for the paint you use. When I break down my airbrush, which is an Aztek model that most folks don't actually like (but I'm weird anyway), I use the alcohol to set and soak into any built up paint, and then remove with cotton swabs, toothpicks, or almost anything that will get the job done.

Sometimes it takes a little effort if it's been a long day of painting. There's usually lots of little places where the paint likes to accumulate, and every airbrush is different. Someone here once mentioned that it's like breaking down and cleaning a firearm, so if you're familiar with that then you're good. Some trial and error is usually the best teacher. You'll probably figure out what works best after a few days of use. Then a couple of months later you'll realize there's a better way to do it. And a year after that, you'll finally see just what it takes. Even with the input you get here, the best answers will come from experience.
Agreed, and expect to break/loose a part when cleaning :cry:
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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by trekriffic » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:06 pm

I don't really spray acrylics much but isopropyl alcohol works well. I've also used Windex. I like to use pipecleaners and those long handled q-tips they sell at Frys. For enamel paints I use regular paint thinner, or lacquer thinner for really stubborn dried enamel. I always clean my airbrush after each use though which means much less effort for me.
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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by Greyryder » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:37 am

I avoid solvent based paints like the plague. I use Model Master, almost exclusively, with the occasional Tamiya or craft paint (Folk Art metallic antique copper is an awesome color). I use the Createx airbrush cleaner, and water. The Createx has minimal odor. Then, I'll use some isopropyl alcohol to get any last stubborn bits, the build up on the end of the nozzle, and any spillage.

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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by Tesral » Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:59 am

This stuff?
cleanewr.png
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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by TonyG2 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:03 pm

Also tend to work with mainly Tamiya acrylics and some Revell and Humbrol. Mainly because Mr Colour, Gunze Sangyo are almost impossible to find in the UK. I generally thin with Tamiya own brand acrylic thinner.

I usually shoot a blast of thinners through the brush after each use and before changing colours and then an extra shot followed by Windex or similar when I am done for the day. Maybe dismantle the brush after two or three days regular use and soak the parts, wipe down etc.

Also as I generally seem to be spaying neutral colours (greys etc) if I have to use something like hull red I will give the brush a thorough cleaning afterwards. Too often forgot to do that and found a white/light grey comes out pink......

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Re: Air Brush Maintenance

Post by Tesral » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:30 pm

That makes sense. You wash out the paint brush between colors. Pink-grey. Operation Petticoat comes to mind.
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