Airbrush Paint for Plastics

nw-modeling-list at nw-modeling-list at
Sun Aug 8 21:11:26 EDT 2004

At 06:11 PM 8/2/2004, you wrote:
>While I'm not new to modeling or painting, I am new to air brushing.
>Could you as a veteran recommend a brand of paints and thinner for a

I like the "safety" of water based paints, like ModelFlex. Old water based 
paints were thick and clogged or sputtered a lot, but the newer ones seem 
to work fine.  I use the airbrush thinner for water based paints if I use 
any thinner at all.  With ModelFlex, I just put a strainer on the end of 
the siphon (or pass the paint through a panty hose if I use the siphon cup) 
and it works fine right from the bottle.  You do want to use an airbrush 
medium though for thinning rather than water.

>How about a brand of air brush? I'm thinking about starting with a single
>action brush. Comments?

I've heard others who liked the Aztek, but personally, I couldn't stand 
mine. I spent a lot of money on $10 tips trying to get one that would work 
(kept getting bigger and bigger nozzles in tips with hope of less problems 
with clogging).  When it did clog, it was a paint to clean up (being a one 
piece body).  I soaked the thing in thinner because it said it was 
indestructible and because so much paint had clogged it.  It developed pits 
in the metal rims and the adjustment wheel.  I finally just junked it.

I've been using a Paasche H (single action) and a VL (double action) for 
over 4 years each now and I like them both very much. Easy to clean. Easy 
to work.  I've used then with water and organic solvent based paints with 
ease.  I have a #3 and a #5 tip and they seem to be all I need (unless I 
was going to be doing some really fancy weathering...but then I've heard 
about just going without the cap to really get a fine spray and most of the 
time I use washes and a small bristle brush for details).

I've heard good things about Badger, Binks and other air brushes, but I've 
liked the Paasche's I bought that I saw no reason to pay $ just to try a 
different one.

BTW, I don't think the airbrush matters whether you're painting plastics, 
paperboard, foam, wood or metal.  It's more about the paint and the 
technique.  I suggest a good airbrush basics book (there's one by Kalmbach 
and MR author Jeff Wilson that covers the basics very well).

Hope this helps.

Dave Bott

Since this isn't about N&W history, I was going to send off list, but can't 
find a personal email address to do it.  Send me an email off list if you 
want to discuss more. david.m.bott at
David Bott			david.m.bott at

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