NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Aug 16 12:01:22 EDT 2010

The other things to consider is what type of air compressor you will be
using. Some are 'oil-less' and have self-lubricating seals internally
(Teflon) and others, especially the piston-type are splash oiled. The
oil-lubricated versions will bled out a little oil into the compressed air.

Also, compressing ordinary air will trap a lot of humidity/moisture in your
air tank or the lines which will spoil the paint. The answer is a
filter/separator which goes on to the outlet side of the compressor and tank
which will separate out the water or oil. Many of these are available with
a pressure regulator attached or combined with the filter separator. If
you are getting an 'industrial' type of compressor you can get
filter/regulators at stores selling pneumatic and hydraulic equipment for
industrial uses.

And the compressor type, vane or piston, will put out compressed air which
comes out in pulses of pressure; the answer is a tank which tends to damp
out the pressure waves to a useful degree. In addition, tanks are usually
steel and rust is an issue as the humidity will be compressed into water
condensate within the tank. (There are plastic tanks out there with
restricted pressure use.) The water separator/filter will keep the air free
of any particles of rust. Yes, draining the tank via the water blow-off
valve on the bottom of the tank is important. For instance, in these type
of summer days we have been experiencing in the east- hot and humid- a tank
of about three gallon size will collect about a pint of condensed water
after about four hours of continuous use.

The size and type of airbrush work this way. Single acting just spray
'on-off' and are good for area coverage. Double acting allow you to control
the air flow and the paint flow simultaneously. For detailing and
weathering, the double acting can be very good as it allows blending the
paint line edge. Double acting, for instance, is almost essential for
complex camouflage patterns on military models or for illustration work.

For larger models, O scale, G and Gauge One, a professional 'touch up' brush
is good choice as the can holds about a pint of paint and the spray nozzle
covers a larger area. These are common tools in automotive painting and
custom painting work like signs and similar.

Gary Rolih


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