Saturday, July 10, 2010

Airbrushing 101

So there are a few things to consider when you want to start out in airbrushing. To start we will begin with just the equipment in which there are 3 main considerations.

The most obvious place to start with is the tool that you will be handling and that this is all named after the airbrush itself. There are many different tools that are available from various companies and each is unique in its own way. Were going to go over some generalizations about airbrushes and the types available.

Internal Mix vs. External Mix - The item were going to consider is how the paint and air is mixed. Regardless of the method the point ends up being that we are mixing air and paint together and pushing that paint at something. The most well known external mix airbrush in this community would be the Games Workshop Citadel Spray Gun, while not really being a "real" airbrush it is a great example of external mix just because even at a quick glance you can see it has two parts that meet one that pushes air and one that pulls the paint. External airbrushes generally end up with a coarse and stippled but can also push thicker paint through as well. Internal Mix airbrushes as one would assume mix the paint and air inside of the brush itself causing the paint to be atomized inside the airbrush thus mixing the paint far finer.

Single Action vs. Dual Action - This one thing makes a big difference in what you are going to do with you airbrush. If you are going to base-coat things only then you can get a single action airbrush otherwise you will want to be looking at dual action. Single action airbrushes are just on and off the flow of paint is always the same (there are ways to change it but it requires you to swap parts out). Dual action actually lets you control the thickness of the paint (amount of paint) coming out of the airbrush with the movement of your finger. It comes down to on and off vs off on-low, on-medium, on-high, and everything in between.

Top Feed Vs. Bottom Feed - Bottom feed siphons the paint up through a tube into the airbrush using the airflow. This means that you can just pop on and off the cups your using for the paint and swap between colors and cleaner really quickly without really worrying about having to totally clean the brush however the siphon feed makes thicker paint harder to get through. Top feed actually uses gravity and the air to pull the paint through so its actually quite easier to get thicker paint though.

I have seen quite a few tutorials on airbrushing popping up all over the web lately and as a new airbrush user I figured I may have a few good thoughts to help people out. Next will be the rest of the equipment and some personal opinions after my experience with the airbrushes.

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