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Airbrush Backflow question

 Post subject: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 4:57 pm 
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Hey, this is a basic question but all of my google-fu has not been helpful.

I have just started using an airbrush for minis. All of my education has been through youtube and trial an error. I am thinning down paints in the cup by putting a few drops of paint and then some isopropyl alcohol to thin the paint down. To mix them up I'm backflowing by putting my finger over the tip and forcing air into the cup. The paint/IPA bubbles up and splatters all over. I've used the little lid on the cup and it still bubbles out of the top of the cup.

Am I doing something wrong to mix the paint and IPA or is this what happens and I need to just chill? I'm assuming there is a simple thing that will make miixing the paint less of a mess.

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:39 pm 
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I do most of my painting via airbrushing (including epic scale) now so very familiar with the technique.
It could be several issues and I suspect a combination of all.

1. trigger control. don't allow as much air through makes a difference
2. you can control the amount of air escaping the tip with your other finger. you don't need to have it all bubble through the cup and use it as a "safety valve"
3. PSI. Reduce your pressure on your regulator (what you typically blowing at?). Don't have a regulator? Get one.
4. amount of paint in the cup. airbrushing is MEGA efficient so you may be loading up too much and can get away with a bit less perhaps and can reduce the spatter
5. thin your paints more.

With all the above checked, also know there's going to be some amount of spatter is going to happen occasionally so get in the habit of turning the cup away from your model. Also a combination of water/thinner and flow improver is probably going to give you a better time airbrushing (they're not doing the same thing to your paint but that's another discussion entirely). IPA is going to give you dry tip and beyond the spatter question here, you're going to have a less frustration I bet.

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 Post subject: Re: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:45 pm 
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Also feel free to ping me direct. Always happy to get on skype to discuss and demonstrate in the future.
I'm unable to sit and paint since January due to an injury but I should be having surgery soon to deal with so if you can wait a few weeks, can do.

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 Post subject: Re: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:54 pm 
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I'll echo and say you're likely pushing too much air, ease up on the trigger. I'll also tend to put my thinning medium in first and then the paint, I got a better mix that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:33 pm 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
3. PSI. Reduce your pressure on your regulator (what you typically blowing at?). Don't have a regulator? Get one.


I'm using 30psi currently, should I go down to 20ish?

jimmyzimms wrote:
Also a combination of water/thinner and flow improver is probably going to give you a better time airbrushing (they're not doing the same thing to your paint but that's another discussion entirely). IPA is going to give you dry tip and beyond the spatter question here, you're going to have a less frustration I bet.


Ok, cool. Thank you for the tips and the offer to video chat. I dissected the entire thing at lunch and scrubbed it extra clean because I apparently didn't get EVERYTHING last time and was dealing with a clogged nozzle. I have flow improver so I'll try it all out on my newly spic and span brush and report back.


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 Post subject: Re: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 11:10 pm 
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depends on what I am doing but for backflow? Yeah 20 psi would probably do you well to try. 30psi is like painting tee-shirt levels and when I need to blow out a clog and not stop my workflow, I'll crank it up like that.

On a base coating I'd usually do higher than typical for me, maybe even up to 20psi but it really depends on the paint and the color.

Now after that though I usually blend at like less than 10psi and go heavy on the flow improver which starts working then like a glaze OR semi transparent (depends on mixture) and allows those transitions you're familiar with airbrushes to have.

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 Post subject: Re: Airbrush Backflow question
PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:09 pm 
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Nice. Thank you. I'm still at the "get the paint on the model not yourself" phase of airbrushing. What I've been planning for my infantry is just using the airbrush to prime and basecoat then use a brush for a separate color on the helmet and weapons.

Would you link a few pictures of your infantry that I can use for inspiration?


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