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Monday, February 3, 2014

More airbrush woes

Though we here in the great Northwest are still in the warm afterglow of Superbowl 48, that does not mean that I haven't gotten a chance to do some modelling work. A little bit of construction and a paint session, after which I spent some time determining what new kits would be joining the front of the construction queue.

I got the last bits and pieces attached to the Hasegawa B-26, so now the main work will be on surface prep. This will be a NMF, so the question always is whether to prime the surface or take a chance that you can get the plastic smooth enough to do the job. In this case I think that a primer coat will be necessary, if only because there has been some putty on a couple of the panel lines and a bit of discretionary sanding going on. The smallest grit sandpaper that I have currently is 600, so I don't think I want to put Alclad directly over that. So I will likely give it a grey undercoat of some shade. I never put black under Alclad for fear of getting one of those blinding chrome-like surfaces that I personally think look toylike and unrealistic. With my average modelling skills I need to avoid the toy look as much as possible.

When I fired up the airbrush, it was firstly to get a matte topcoat on the RS Ambrosini SAI-207, which will feature in a completion entry shortly. Beyond that, there were other Alclad doings: props for the SM-82 and the Il-28 that has been patiently awaiting paint since Christmastime. I also got the RLM78 lower surfaces applied to the desert snake Stuka.

More airbrush related woes - there is something messed up in the internal portions which is sporadically preventing good air flow through the brush. It was unable to push Alclad through, and that stuff is mixed about as thin as paint thinner. All I get in the cup is bubbles, which implies that something is blocking the tip. But when I check, there is nothing obvious there. A mystery that I am going to have to solve. This left the Il-28 looking rather spotty, and it will need another coat.

It looks like the next two in the queue will be the Hasegawa Ta-154 and the Mitsubishi Betty. I also need to work in the beginnings of the Zvezda Pe-8. 


  1. I once had bubbles in the paintcup without any reason to be found.
    After a long search, it turned out the nozzle cap (if your airbrush has one, it's the thingie you screw on at the front) wasn't closing, even when turned as tight as it would go. I ended up removing it, adding a big blob of vaseline to the screwthread and when I closed it up, no more bubbles in the paintcup. Some airbrushes have multiple parts that screw on, so try some vaseline on all parts.
    Hope this might help, as I know very well the frustrations that can accompany an airbrush. (I have a new one now, which has NO issues)

  2. Kevin, Jeroen is right; however my similar problem turned out to be a tiny piece of hardened acrylic paint (really small, like a tiny grain of salt) between the cup and the nozzle. I finally got it after a full disassemble and cleaning with a pipe cleaner. But it didn't come out until I reassembled and while seating the needle noticed a tiny thingy on the end when I pulled it out (it wasn't quite seating). Problem solved. I clean more often now - like after every session. I've gotten it down to a science and can do it in a minute.

  3. I've always thought that the ultimate solution to this problem would involve cleaning. This brush doesn't break down very well and getting to the nooks and crannies is very difficult. Or maybe I'm just a klutz. But I think a thorough breakdown and cleaning is in my future. I will take your comments (and many thanks for them) and see what I can do. If you hear a huge scream emanating from the Pacific Northwest you'll know I found it to be too frustrating! But many thanks.