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Eric T
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I'd like to make my trains look more realistic,
and possibly add some light weathering.

I suspect an airbrush might look better than traditional brush work.

But I'd like to get opinions from people with experience on what brand to get,
what type is best to use, and any tips that might help a beginner.


corv8
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While I am surely no expert,
I am quite happy with my Paasche double action airbrush.

It's all stainless,
so no rubber or plastic parts that may fail.

I think double action is essential for any serious modeling,
especially if you want to do weathering.

One point that did give me trouble in the past,
the needles are long and thin and may be bent by careless handling.

My personal experience,
have done only very little work with other brands than Paasche.


Rod Hutchinson
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The only advice I can give is to buy a quality airbrush. 
The reason is the metallurgy of the device and the quality of the seals used. 

The cheaper ones may have inferior seals which deteriorate,
and some rust or break down from inside to out.

Buy a double action and learn to use it. 

Bit like learning to ride a bike,
practice often will bring you better luck.


Reg H
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I second the advice on getting a good quality airbrush.

The temptation may be to buy a less expensive brush to start off with. 
Do not yield to that temptation. 

Cheap brushes are nothing but frustration. 
Get a good one.

Stick with Badger, Paasche, Thayer & Chandler or Iwata. 
There may be other good brands out there,
but I know these are all good brushes.
I have two Badger airbrushes.  

I like double action, siphon feed brushes. 
For years my only brush was my Badger single action. 
But the double action works a lot better for painting models. 
Some folks like the gravity feed (little cup on top),
I prefer siphon feed with the bottles.  

The second item is a good compressor. 
I bought a Badger compressor in the 1970's.  It is still working just fine. 
Add a moisture trap/pressure regulator to that. 
I did without one for a long time, but it really does improve results. 
Especially in a humid climate. 

I bought a Harbor Freight compressor as a backup to the Badger. 
Not a good idea. 
I only used it a couple of times before it went south. 
Get a good compressor. 
It doesn't have to be fancy. 
Mine was the bottom of the line Badger at the time. 
I have never felt the need for a fancier compressor. 

The third item is paint. 
I have seen some guys get great results with acrylic paints. 
I can't seem to master them. 
For many decades I used nothing but Floquil.  I still have a few bottles. 
Lately I have tried Tru-Color sprayable paint. 
It is acetone based and seems to work well. 

Take the time to set up your painting area so that everything is organized,
and you have all the bits and pieces easy to hand.  

Setting up with an airbrush can seem a bit expensive. 
If you get good quality equipment and take care of it,
you will get decades of use out of it. 
Treat a brush gently and keep it clean. 

Reg


corv8
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Reg H wrote:
Lately I have tried Tru-Color sprayable paint. 
It is acetone based and seems to work well.


Really! 

I had been told they are solvent based, like my beloved old Floquil paints.... will have to try.

Still have a few Tru-Scale bottles I bought when they first were released.


Reg H
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Gerold:

Acetone is a solvent.
The Tru-Color seems to work pretty closely to Floquil. 

I tried Scalecoat, but it doesn't keep well once the bottle is opened. 

Careful, though.  Tru-Color has two lines. 
The "sprayable" acetone line and the "brushable" acrylic line. 
I like the acrylic line for brushing.  

Reg


corv8
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Reg H wrote: 
Acetone is a solvent.
The Tru-Color seems to work pretty closely to Floquil. 

I tried Scalecoat, but it doesn't keep well once the bottle is opened. 

Careful, though.  Tru-Color has two lines. 
The "sprayable" acetone line and the "brushable" acrylic line. 
I like the acrylic line for brushing. 


Reg

I also was told Tru Color would be similar to use to (solvent based) Floquil.

As I used Revell thinner for Floquil
(it's difficult to get paint from the US to Austria, but even more difficult to get thinner)
with good success all my modeling life,
I also used it for Tru Color...

Wasn't happy with the result.
Worst, it didn't adhere to my standard primer, that worked with anything else.
Had similar experience with Scale Coat too.

Will try acetone, this is a blessing if it works,
it's easy to obtain for me.


Reg H
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Gerold:

You shouldn't have to thin the Tru-Color acetone paints. 
But if you need to, use acetone.

I applied it to an Athearn shell, no primer, and it worked fine. 

I guess we are blessed here. 

I can get acetone and MEK (which I use for assembling plastic),
in gallon cans at the local hardware store.

Reg


corv8
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Reg

We may buy a good selection of stuff here...
Most annoying is that it's very hard to match "our" paint to US prototypes.

In the nineties, I ordered Floquil by Airmail, and presto, had a perfect paint at my disposal,
then they started outlawing certain components,
and a number of Floquil paints suddenly looked awful (Armor Yellow!!).

Then came 9/11 with safety regulations concerning shipping of (flammable) liquids.
I abandoned painting models out of sheer frustration, for ten years.

Now I have found several tricks how to make things done...
Rattle cans as mentioned elsewhere, mixing Revell bottles,
and I have bought some NOS Floquil stock.

Also, Tamiya is stocked here...
Good for various jobs that need grey, green and brown paint,
as they have countless military paints.


Ken C
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I use only "Vallejo" water based paint myself,
more then enough variation's of color.

I have two air brush's.

A single action "Badger",
and a double action "WOLD" A2 (factory tested Oct 18th 1945)
Yes it is older then me,  :old dude: 
need to put in a bit more practice with it.  :)


Reg H
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Ken:

A short tutorial on how you work with those paints would be great. 
My experience (inexperience) with waterbased paints, has been universally negative. 

I know that there are a lot of folks using those paints with great success. 
But it sure is different than using solvent based paints.

Reg


Ken C
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Reg

Hard to do a write up.

I came across a couple of articles in British Model Magazines,
with write ups on weathering, and gave it a go.

I prime styrene with dull coat, and use my Badger single action brush,
air pressure roughly 25 PSI and have at it.

Before and after shot of my Coffee Pot,
final spray was done with transparent grey, to highlight the wood joints.
 
Roof has 4 shades of G sprayed on it,
ranging from Black Grey, Dark Grey, Blue Grey & Green Gray,
gives a nice blend compared to using one color.

Also weathered my LMS Beyer-Garrett 2-6-0+0-6-2 from another article. 
I find British modelers give a far better explanation on weathering then NA magazines.

HORNBY has a book on weathering, under their skills guide,
which although is British it gives me a far better understanding when it comes to engine or car weathering,
and I do have way too many to get done for my layout.





Reg H
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Ken:

That looks really nice. 

I haven't been weathering much, actually, anything, recently. 
That is something that I will get to work on when the layout is a bit more complete.

My problem with the acrylics was clogging the airbrush. 
No matter what I tried (and I read a raft of articles) the problem persisted.  

Since abandoning acrylics for everything except brush applications, I have had no problems,
as was my experience in decades of Floquil use.  

There was one really good YouTube video I found with some good information on acrylics. 
His techniques worked better than any other,
but I still got clogging problems if I was painting for any length of time. 

Reg


corv8
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With some acrylic paints (I use denatured alcohol as a thinner)
I had the annoying problem,
that I had a very coarse surface immediately after spraying.

I think once, I even washed clean, the model,
as I thought it's a mess.

However,
most of the time the surface "smoothens" when drying.

Don't like this as it's to some degree unpredictable.
Most of the time it works, some times not.



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