February 2017 Flyer Page 6 Basics of Airbrushing

6 Airbrush cleaning When I first started airbrushing, my father told me, If you treat your airbrush well it'll treat you well. Nothing could be truer. With proper handling and cleaning, it should last you many years, but if you dont clean and maintain your airbrush, your painting sessions won't be enjoyable (and your models won't look that good, either). Most manufacturers specify the proper cleaning techniques for their airbrush, which are a good starting point. Here are a few other pointers youll want to follow to keep your airbrush operating its best: Keep rinsing until the cleaning solution comes out clear. Before your store your airbrush, take it apart and give it a thorough cleaning. Rinsing may remove most of the paint from the brush, but it wont get it all. Never store your brush with cleaner or paint in it. If you use a double-action or hybrid brush, oil the needle before storing it. Single-action airbrush broken down for cleaning FineScale Modeler photo Double-action airbrush disassembled for cleaning Air cap Air button Connector for air hose Needle lock nut Nozzle Paint cup Needle Paint cup and cap Needle guard Air cap Nozzle Needle Air and paint volume control Needle lock nut Connector for air hose piece onto a pane of glass and cut it into strips using a new blade in a hobby knife or a single-edge blade ( fig. 6 ). Use the freshly cut edge to mask the separation line. Make sure the tape is pressed down into grooves, over rivets and exterior posts, and window openings. Once the separation line is masked and the tape is snug, finish covering the model with full strips of tape. Then, to help keep the separation line crisp, lightly spray along the edge with the first color. After the paint has dried, apply the second color. Repeat the masking and painting process until all of the colors are applied. Paint should be given a full 24 hours to dry. When you remove masking tape from a model, pull it up and away from the last color applied at a 45-degree angle to prevent the paint from lifting, as shown in fig. 7 . Safety first No matter if you're using solvent- based paints or acrylics, paint fumes and particulates are harmful to your health. All painting should be done in a well-ventilated area, preferably a spray booth. When you install a spray booth, keep it away from furnaces, water heaters, or other sources of ignition. Ideally, a spray booth should be vented to the outside air. Some spray booths are designed to remove particles and filter air out the back. This booth should be used only with acrylic paints. You can further protect yourself by wearing a respirator and nitrile rubber gloves (with organic-solvent paints) or latex gloves (with acrylic paints). The respirator will keep paint particles out of your lungs, and the gloves will keep paint off your hands. The sky is the limit After you've gained confidence painting models, you can weather them with an airbrush. It's a given that you'll have models that don't turn out well, but don't be discouraged. Learning how to airbrush well takes time, and the best way to learn is by practicing. In no time you'll be painting models the way you want them to look, and you'll find out how much fun airbrushing can be.

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