Wednesday 6 November 2013

Sprue Cutters Union #16: Brush Up

This week's question posed byt the Unions esteemed leader is: What is your preferred airbrush/paint brush manufacturer? 

As most, by primary paint coverage instrument was the brush, and whatever our small stationery/hobby shop stocked, the good old Hayden white synthetic brush, Which once I found you put a section of cut drinking straw over the ferule and bristles kept a good point, I also learnt that by washing the brush in a mild detergent solution after finishing a Humbrol enamel painting session they seemed to last longer as well.

Then I saw some modelling books showing airbrushes, oh gosh one of my first "tool lust" periods, I must. must. need. need to have one of those! The dual action looked too complicated and was too expensive, but one Xmas I got a Badger 250 single action, external mix. siphon with a pressurized air can and a car tire valve adaptor. After using the air can, it was out with the spare car tire, and regular trips down to the service station to refill it, I was a slave to pressurised air.

Was it the must have tool? Well I was impressed with the smooth coverage, I think the first thing I painted was a Tamiya King Tiger and the mottling was fun, then a a gloss red Kawasaki GPZ400. (which introduced me to masking tape) looked great, much smoother than my brush work. But I had impressions of paint fine lines and using it like a one stop hair line  to 4 inch coverage tool, which it certainly wasn't, I thin the finest width line I ever got was about 3mm

After the work, girls, work, and family hyatis, I got back into the hobby, and since I had more cash to spend, I had to get myself an airbrush, those dual actions still looked too complicated and much too expensive for my Scrooge blood, so I bought a Tamiya Sprayworks  basic set, an internal mix gravity airbrush, with a compressor, that runs on RC batteries, or a separately available power adaptor. As soon as I got it I put together a power supply to run the compressor. What a revelation this tool was, almost met my ideal of thin lines to broad strokes and what a finish, I had moved to acrylic paints Gunze Aqueous and wow they spray great, only thing here is they are more expensive than Tamiya (the Scrooge again)

So after a bit of playing, it has a single action trigger with a thickness adjustment on the top, I decided it was good, but not fine enough for me. One of the benefits of the Tamiya Sprayworks system is that they do other airbrushes with adaptor parts so you can you them on the compressor that comes with the basic set and I purchased my next airbrush the Spray-Work HG Super Fine Airbrush a 0.2mm needle brush, that feels like a quality instrument (I did see on the web that they are made by Iwata Medea but what you read on the web ....), feels lovely in the hand, and can with the supplied valve use it with the Spraywork compressor.

When used with the Sparaywork compressor and valve it effectively has no dual action, no down action to start the air, just pull back for paint, which was fine for a while, great results I could go reasonably fine, once I played with paint thinning, but I started to get the itch for n air supply that didn't motor boat away, or wobble about, so I bought a generic compressor with a small air tank.

Put the dual action valve part back on the Spray Work HG airbrush, connect her up and we have a proper dual action air brush, it was like night and day, that adjustable air pressure and control with the dual action, wow, it turned the airbrushing from a laying down of paint, to an engaging organic process, I feel alive! oh well it was very exiting..

After bathing in the joys of cleaning the gunk of varnishes out of the Tamiya HG, I decided to get a second airbrush a generic Chinese cheapie, about $30NZD, makes a good second airbrush, and I use it just for varnishes, to keeping the Tamiya for paint.
0.3mm gravity fed dual action, feels solid in the hand, not quite the good fine fit and engineering of the Tamiya, the bowl has sharp corners so harder to clean out..
Chinese Generic
Tamiya HG Super Fine

Sprays nice fine lines..
and sprays the varnishes etc just fine.

Certainly not the quality of the Tamiya, but it works ok, and does me as a second airbrush, certainly you couldn't complain at the price.

So after my long winded airbrush history, I will just present my current favourite brushes...
I discovered these in a one off auction on our local internet auction site, (Scrooge factor again) and wish I could find more, they are GSI Creos Mr Brush brushes, and they are fantastic the bristles keep their shape, hold paint well, and hold their tip, the bristles are longer than normal, leave nice strokes, the handles are sticky rubbery and quite fat so are nice to hold, they feel like a solid quality thing, a real delight to use.

So there are my instruments of painting mayhem, looking forward to seeing the Union's mix of painting instruments..

All the best


Check out the other Union members:

The Combat Workshop
Lt. Smash's Models
Kermit's Bench
Migrant's Wanderings

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