Airbrush Basics

Article Courtesy of Armor in Scale

If you stay with this hobby, sooner or later you will want to have an airbrush. Itís the best way to apply paint finishes, no matter if itís plain single colors and clear coats, to intricate camouflage and weathering.

The field is wide open to choices though, so choosing the setup that is right for you can take some effort. Mickey helped explain the different types and models available that most fit our needs.

An airbrush, as the name implies, uses air to atomize paint into a fine mist that is evenly applied to the work surface. The two main variables in this process are the air pressure and the paint consistency.

There are only a few steadfast rules, one of which is that the paint must be low enough in viscosity to flow through the airbrush and atomize properly. This varies widely with paint, and some can even be used straight from the bottle. Thinning agents help the paint achieve the right consistency, and will be discussed later in the article.

Action Types
When it comes to airbrush design, they all use air pressure to apply the paint. The fork in the road comes with single- and double-actions.

Single-action means that one control button will mix the air and paint when depressed. Itís like a switch, either on or off. Paint flow has to regulated manually by turning a collar. Fine lines are still possible with these, but the adjustments can be frustrating.