I have a question about airbrushing in general and another on two different compressors I'm looking at. I'd appreciate any help you can provide fella's. Thanks!
1. When painting German camouflage on 1/35 & 1/48 scale kits, what is the best pressure to use from your compressor? I often hear of fellow modelers using a very low pressure, say 5 to 10 psi and thinning the paint around 70/30 for general camouflage patterns and getting close to the surface of the model. Any advice or opinions?
2. In a related question about the working pressures from the compressor, I'm looking at both the Iwata Silver Jet, which has a pressure range of 10-18 psi and the new Ninja Jet which has a pressure range of 5-18 psi. Does anyone own either of these compressors and can you tell me how you like them for modeling? And can the pressure ranges mentioned handle German camouflage? I'm on a budget of about $140. so I can't afford the Iwata Smart Jet which is what I want to buy eventually. Does anyone use pressures above the 18 psi I mentioned when modeling? I know that many folks on this site also praise the Campbell Hausfield compressor. Any thoughts? Thanks again!
Well I have a no-name brand air-compressor from China and although it can only handle upto 8-16psi, I normally spray at 8psi with acrylics (like Tamiya) and 10-12psi with enamels/lacquer/Alclad. My golden rule is, because I cut my teeth on Humbrols, I mix all my paints to the consistancy of water. This is except Alclad as it doesn't need to be thinned at 12psi. I mix my paint to pretty close as I can get it and then regulate my airpressure slightly up or down to tweak it till it sprays right at a 5-6 inch distance when spraying with enamels/lacquer. I do drop the airpressure to suit when I do acrylic work as I go to a 1 inch distance or closer (when using the fine head on my airbrush).
The point is not to get the paint to atomise to soon or too late as it results in a mess. Only practice will help you with this. I taught my fiancé to spray with my Badger 150 (double action A/B) using lines of different thicknesses and within ½ hour she was spraying her 1:24 Mini. It's like riding a bike, the more you practice the sooner you get the hang of it.
Concerning your compressor, it must suit the spray pressures your airbrush can handle. No point in getting a 5-18psi compressor if your airbrush doesn't work under 10psi. The paint will coagulate on the nozzle and mess up the internals of the airbrush et cetera cetera. Get what you can afford, even if you change in 2 years time to something bigger and better atleast now you have some experience under the belt. I've been using my Badger for 4 years and have now identified it's limitations so now I'm ready to get something else. But the point is you don't know if you don't try, and you've already put yourself in a good position by asking!
I don't know of those two compressors but sounds like the Ninja Jet is better as it gives a wider range to work with. Does it come with a water trap and regulator?
Hope this has answered some questions!
The peanut gallery
Some 1:72 models painted with Tamiya acrylics (thinned with lacquer thinners) sprayed at 8psi at about ½-1 inch distance.