Page 1 of 1

Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 13 2017 12:35
by Shas'el Darklight
Hi all,

I've had a compressor and airbrush for years now, but never use it because every time I try the paint comes out extremely runny and to get any coverage the paint ends up way thicker than if I had of sprayed it with a can.

What am I doing wrong? I know there are no issues with the paints themselves as they are all new and mixed thoroughly.

Am I using the wrong airbrush? I'm using a Sparmax DH-3 (0.3mm). Should it be larger?
I have tried adding and omitting airbrush thinner with no noticeable improvements.
What PSI should I be using?
I'm mostly wanting to use it for priming and basing my models.

Thanks in advance for all of your advice, I greatly appreciate it.


Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 13 2017 07:06
by Ifrit
Have you checked the water trap to see if it's full? What kind of ratio of paint:water:thinner mix are you using? What brand of paint are you using? As for PSI I generally run mine at about 45 and it works for most things.

Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 13 2017 08:52
by Antao
As someone who struggled mightily to get past the point where you are with airbrushing, I would HIGHLY suggest as a beginner airbrusher, you use airbrush paint until you begin to understand what is actually supposed to happen with an airbrush. Vallejo air or even the GW air line both work very well. There are two different possibilities I can see causing your problem.

The most likely ( I say this because you don't indicate that this is a problem that slowly builds up but happens right as you start airbrushing) Is that your paint is to thinned or not mixed enough (or separated in the cup).

If this was an issue that built up as you were airbrushing, I'd say it was moisture related. I can only use my compressor for so long before it builds up enough moisture that it's sending it through the air pipe and causes all sorts of problems.

Additionally, as with most painting, you have to use thing coats. An airbrush is designed to lay on very thing coats. Pass by once or twice if basecoating and then let it dry, and do another pass. I prime my models Zandri Dust and then base them Karak stone (two colors very close) and it takes multiple layers. If you're doing say blue or yellow over a black prime, it will take many more.

Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 13 2017 12:55
by Ifrit
My setup that I use is a Iwata Neo air brush and a Master Compressor (from Very good prices). The compressor I have has a tank on it which reduces the amount that it has to be on thereby reducing the build up of moisture and what not. After that I do about a 1:1:1 or so of paint:water:Vallejo thinner. Before I just used water:paint at a 1:1 and it'd clog or come out runnybexause I tried to thin it too much. The thinner makes a lot of difference.
Also check your needle placement make sure it's pushed all the way forward towards the nozzle before you tighten down the locking ring.

Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 14 2017 07:21
by Shas'el Darklight

Thanks for the feedback. I've checked my set up in relation to your thoughts.
I've been using Vallejo paints with no success. Until now!! I have finally been able to get a clean prime coat down on some models!!! yippee :D I may have got a little too carried away and sprayed too much on for a base coat. But I'm still learning.
With the Vallejo Air, I didn't add anything else. With some GW paints, I added some thinner to 1:1 but that didn't work too well. But that's probably because the GW paints I have are close to 10 years old.

My pump will only go to 20psi when I'm actually spraying. Should I get a tank to try and keep the psi higher, or do I need a tank that will go to a higher psi?

If anyone has any other suggestions I'm all ears.

Thanks again

Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 14 2017 07:35
by Atzilla
You don't need more pressure, I even use less (15PSI ~1bar).
I mix Vallejo Air 1:1 Vallejo Thinner.

Keep moving the airbrush tip at all times, or else paint pools up extremely fast.
Maybe increase the distance between tip and miniature.

Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 14 2017 08:44
by Ifrit
I upgraded to a one with a tank because after about 10 minutes my compressor would get too hot and start spitting out water. The tank one; I honestly couldn't tell you. Ive used it almost consistently for an hour and it'll cycle on for a little bit then cut off no water yet. the one I got was:
So not super expensive. Secondly have you tried watching YouTube channels/tutorials?
If not try checking out: ... 8sWck4sxvQ

He doesn't really do Tau but his technics cross over very well.

Re: Help!! Airbrushing advice needed

Posted: Sep 15 2017 03:57
by Shas'el Darklight
I will have to consider a tank for my pump.
Unfortunately, I'm in Australia, so it's expensive to ship anything here from the states. But I will have a look around for a local supplier of a similar product.
I've been watching this video ... =4&list=WL and he's quite good at giving some tips too. I'm not such a fan of Next Level Painting, I find it hard to deal with his personality. Although he is very skilled.

Thanks again everyone. For the greater good!!