Airbrush Paint for Plastics

nw-modeling-list at nw-modeling-list at
Thu Aug 12 10:23:48 EDT 2004

I, for one, am glad to see this type of VERY helpful information in this
list. I, too, have just begun to use an airbrush and have found my
preference to be Paasche VL. I tried a Badger single action, but found the
minor adjustments that need to be made periodically cumbersome and
interrupted the "flow" of the work. With the Paasche, I can make those same
adjustments "on the fly" and never miss a step. That being said, I think
that some basic information that may not pertain directly to N & W very

By the way, I made my first trip to Roanoke last week and it was awesome!!
It's too bad that so little N & W is made in "N" scale... I envy those of
you who model the N & W in "HO".

Steve Shetter

-----Original Message-----
From: nw-modeling-list-bounces at
[mailto:nw-modeling-list-bounces at] On Behalf Of
nw-modeling-list at
Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2004 9:11 PM
To: N&W Modeling List
Subject: Re: Airbrush Paint for Plastics

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

NW-Modeling-List at

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