Switch Theme:

Airbrush, overspray, spray booth  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
Author Message

Forum adverts like this one are shown to any user who is not logged in. Join us by filling out a tiny 3 field form and you will get your own, free, dakka user account which gives a good range of benefits to you:
  • No adverts like this in the forums anymore.
  • Times and dates in your local timezone.
  • Full tracking of what you have read so you can skip to your first unread post, easily see what has changed since you last logged in, and easily see what is new at a glance.
  • Email notifications for threads you want to watch closely.
  • Being a part of the oldest wargaming community on the net.
If you are already a member then feel free to login now.

Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User

I'm new to airbrushing and even after watching ton of videos, I still have problem with control and subsequent overspray causing too much mess. This is bit unstructured, since I'm not sure if some of my problems are normal and what I need to change.

I got myself Infinity H&S Infinity CRPlus 2 in 1 and Sparmax TC-610H Plus for Christmas. I currently use it mostly for priming, zenital, varnish and sometimes for the single color base coat. I'm trying to thin my paints to milk like consistency but I think I sometimes thin too much and set my compressor to 20 psi. I'm still using 0.4 needle although I also have 0.2 needle.

As mentioned, my main issue is spray control. I always feel like not enough paint is going out or there is too much pain going out - I didn't figure out what I need to change to have more control as I pull trigger back. I would like to phase it more along as I press trigger back but right now it is more like nothing, nothing, nothing, far too little, bang too much.

Because of the spray control I have to keep the airbrush quite far away from my miniature (15-20 cm) to not be bothered by spraying to much. It is not a problem for what I use the airbrush for now but it does not allow me trying anything else or building the paint opacity more gradually. It also causes a lot of overspray. When I spend half a day of priming with black primer or zenital highlighting with white ink, my room looks like there is a mist and I need to clean whole room next day because everywhere is paint dust. I also don't enjoy sitting there whole the time with the painting respirator but there is no other option with aerosol going everywhere.

Up until recently, I used a card box without front and top as my "spray booth" but I recently bought a "proper" Aircom 38 Watt spray booth with inner circulation hoping that it would at least solve the room cleaning part but it is complete fail. It really does not help. Suction seems to be too low and this particular model has tons of other things I don't like. When it comes to respirator, I now also feel I will need to wear protective googles because the way how the spray booth is built and because of its low suction, it just directs all remaining aerosol directly to my face.

My main question probably comes to paint dust and general messiness of airbrushing since even if I improve my spray control, my current approach still feels to be good for priming or bigger models where I want to get the job done quickly. Is it normal? What can I improve?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/05/04 13:43:13

Made in us
Stealthy Grot Snipa

Atlanta, GA

I would like to phase it more along as I press trigger back but right now it is more like nothing, nothing, nothing, far too little, bang too much.

This sounds like you may need more practice thinning your paints to the right consistency. Note that "right consistency" is going to vary by paint brand, paint color, paint batch, and a bunch of other variables. There's not really a hard and fast rule, it's something you need to learn more by feel than anything else.

What are you using to thin your paints? Are you using water, thinner, flow improver? What ratios are you using these in? Example: 10 drops thinner to 5 drops paint.

I'd suggest practicing on a piece of cardboard, or scraps of plastic sprue for a little while until you get a feel for things.

You may also have a bit of a clog somewhere in the tip of the airbrush, especially with your description that I quoted above. Are you cleaning your airbrush thoroughly between uses? Are you making sure to wipe down the tip of your needle while airbrushing to get rid of any dried paint on the tip?

Ideally you should be able to pull the trigger on your airbrush back gently to get a smaller amount of paint and a more controlled spray, increasing to larger amounts as the trigger gets pulled farther back.

Paint dust over your entire room even with a spray booth is not normal.

Try tackling these issues one at a time, starting with a thorough cleaning of your airbrush to remove any possible clogs or bits of dried paint that may be stuck in there. From there, try airbrushing with just one color using various ratios of thinner/water/flow improver.
Made in gb
Fresh-Faced New User

I use Vallejo Airbrush Thinner mostly for thinning over deionized water. I mix my paint (GW, Vallejo model and Vallejo Air Metal ranges) with thinner in small metal pots before transferring it to airbrush. I don't have any exact ratio - at the beginning I tried to go exact 1:1 but some paints are much thinner out of bottle so I started doing it more by feeling.

I try to clean my airbrush every time I run out of paint by going with deionized water first followed by Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner. If I'm changing color, I also clean the cup and sometimes nozzle and needle. I don't wipe the tip of the airbrush though without cleaning whole needle. I do proper cleaning with disassembling when I'm done with spraying. I mostly use isoprophyl alcohol for final cleaning. When I'm done, my airbrush looks like new.

I have a bottle of Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver but so far I didn't find usage for that.

Made in ca
Speed Drybrushing


The Infinity CR+ is a very precisely machined piece of hardware, which means that it's pieces are designed to fit perfectly together. While the quality of the thing is phenomenal (It's my main go-to, 0.2mm and 0.4mm needles, mk2), it's precision also means that the slightest bit of gunk or damage can throw the entire thing off.

Take apart the entire airbrush, including the end cap at the back and the gold cap + triple o-ring bit in the center, and check your seals. I doubt it's anything behind the paint-cup, but it can't hurt.

Then thoroughly clean the internals of the nozzle, nozzle cap, and the central chamber. I'd recommend picking up H&S's airbrush cleaning kit, especially for the little pick used to clean the nozzle, and then the pipe cleaners to help scrub.

With the front pieces off, visually check the front of the airbrush too; H&S has an off-cut to the bottom right (if you're looking directly down the barrel of the exposed airbrush chamber) where the air channel is; get a toothpick or something super-thin and clean out whatever gunk you can there if any, to make sure your air flow isn't blocked.

And then finally, visually inspect your o-rings and seals for cracks, and check your nozzle for any wear and tear, warpage, breaks, etc.

Also, and I doubt this is an issue but it's just a thing you want to be aware of, make sure the back of the Infinity CR+ isn't depressed to limit the pull of your trigger. Untwist (I believe it's counter-clockwise?) and pull the gold bit to release the trigger stop to ensure you have full range of motion on your trigger.

If I'm understanding how you're describing the problem, when you push the trigger, you get air. When you pull back the trigger, it's nothing but air until it's been pulled back quite a bit, then it's a little paint, then a lot of paint.

If the airbrush is perfectly clean and your paint is thoroughly and evenly mixed, this shouldn't be a problem. You should be able to get paint immediately when you pull back the trigger, so most likely you either have a paint clog that's severely restricting paint flow (most likely in your nozzle or nozzle cap) that's requiring the needle to be pulled into full open position to even squeeze paint through,

Or you're not thoroughly mixing your paints, and you're putting chunky paint and paint debris into your airbrush every time. My recommendation here is to ensure thorough mix of your paint + water. I would recommend 1-2 drops of airbrush flow improver for every half cup (the big one) of paint you're pouring in. Mix this thoroughly with your paint mix before pouring it all into the airbrush; it helps the paint flow through without drying as quickly.

If it's not the mix, it's probably a clog and you're not thoroughly cleaning the thing (even if it "looks" new, you're probably missing something.)

Insofar as spray booth, I've found that depending on the quantity of airbrushing you do in a session, no non-industrial spray booth is able to keep up with the amount of paint you're pushing through, even if the spray booth has a brand new filter. Those fans just aren't strong enough to help entirely. I've found spray booths are most useful if you're doing light airbrushing or quick little sessions. If you're priming an entire unit or army at a time, yea, you're dusting that paint everywhere.

That said, I think a large part of your issue with dust is due to the fact that you're having these spray control issues. 15-20 cm is quite far to be holding the airbrush from the model, honestly. I hold it around the 5 cm distance almost at most when I'm priming or basecoating, so most of what I'm spraying ends up on the model and nowhere else. When you're holding it that far back, paint has to travel farther, meaning it has more time to dry in the air (meaning less sticks to your model) and a lot more intervening air flow to interrupt the spray and blow the paint everywhere except the model. I prime exclusively with my airbrush, and I can prime even something as big as Szarekh (admittedly in pieces) and not get much overspray or dusting. At worst it's the immediate 18"x18" square workspace on my cutting mat that gets an incredibly light dusting that I can just wipe down afterwards.

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2021/05/04 17:38:56

Forum Index » Painting & Modeling
Go to: