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Airbrush help please!!

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by joegentry14, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. joegentry14

    joegentry14 New Member

    I have a pasche vl airbrush. Its double action siphon feed. Ive had nothing but trouble with it. I bought it to use for fish replicas and for painting custom fishing lures. I feel like Ive done a lot of research reading and watching videos to find the correct set up and I just cant get it right. This airbrush came with three different needle assemblies. Is this brush not capable of performing fine detail? I read that siphon feeds need a little more pressure than gravity feed. I have polytranspar and createx paints. I only want to use the createx for the lures. Ive tried thinning the paints more, lowering the air pressure, and nothing seems to help. The only time i get consistant flow is when the pressure is turned up but then i cant get anything close to fine detail. Im keeping everything clean. Am I missing something here or do I need a different brush for really fine detail? If so what are some of your recommendations on what brushes, paints, and thinners to use? Ive been reading and watching so much on this topic and cant seem to get it right besides feeling like I need a different airbrush. Thanks.
  2. Pescado

    Pescado Biggest in 2011

    VL's smallest tip/needle the #1 is .5mm, which is no way a detail brush. Having the syphon feed is also a shot in the foot. A gravity feed with a .3 or smaller will help a lot.

  3. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    I use a single action pasche with a #3 set up for 90% of my work and a double action pasche with a #3 set up for "fine detail". I can get dots and lines about 1/16-1/8 of an inch with no trouble. Yes, a higher pressure is need.
    If I need any finer detail I use other thing instead of an airbrush like, paint brush, markers, color pencils,stencils,rub on paints .
  4. MichaelG

    MichaelG TRAINEE

    I have a VL and I've been practicing using createx paints with similar results. I came across this tip last night searching through YouTube tutorials. I havn't tried it yet but the instructor suggest taking the tip (that protects the needle) off. He showed a comparison btween the tip being on with one with the tip off. The differences were remarkable. Like I said, I have not tried it yet.
    Even so, I'm looking to invest in another brush for finer details soon.
  5. DT10Sam

    DT10Sam No flow no go!

    I totally agree with what Pescado is saying, I've had the VL series and went to Iwata for detail work and now have moved over to Badger which makes an excellent prduct and considerably inexpensive to Iwata. I'm confident that Badger is very competitive to Pasche brushes and by far a more superior product.

  6. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Are you using a retarder? Makes a lot of difference when doing detail work.
  7. jake7719

    jake7719 Well-Known Member

    I use Life Tone, In my jar I put just under 3/4 paint straight from the bottle, 1/4 thinner and about 1tbs retarder.
  8. double barrel

    double barrel New Member

    Does Binks still make the "wren" airbrush? If I wasn't so sorry I guess I could google it. LOL! I want one. I started out with them in the 70's airbrushing vans and bikes. If I rember right, had an A and B tip. Can't remember if it had C. Siphon feed, single action, if I recollect right.

    One thing I've noticed about Psahe single action is the hole that the air comes out gets clooged very easily. Even though I run clean thinner thru it. I will loose air pressure and have to take apart and run a small wire or paperclip up in there and clean it , put together and then i've got more pressure. I don't like it.
  9. double barrel

    double barrel New Member

    LOL! I gotta start using spell ck more often. Look wat I rote. If I "REMBER" right...The "PSAHE" single action...gets "CLOOGED" very easily. LMAO!
  10. I started with a Paasche double action gravity feed and it was ok. I was having trouble with detail work also, even with a .25 tip. I decided to get a Badger Velocity recently and love it! Much better detail work than the Paasche and more reliable paint feed. (less stopping up) I found it on Amazon.com for $90.00 new.
  11. DanB

    DanB New Member

    I use a paasche double action with many color bottles for base colors. Then an Iwata or badger airbrush for details. The Paasche works great for base colors but have had many problems with the polytrans. waterbased paint being tainted or a bad batch or mixed with that gloss for transparency. That gloss mixed with the paint really gums everything up in the passche to where it will not spray properly. I can see where someone could blame the airbrush for not spraying properly.
  12. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    When I worked at WASCO I talked to a lot of people with the same problem. The first thing I always stressed was for them to clean their airbrush. They almost always acted offended and insisted that the airbrush was clean. Sometimes I had the customer send the airbrush to me so I could check it out. I sometimes sent replacement parts or just fixed it for them. Other times they would send it back for a replacement or a refund. Either way, the sales department would send the returned merchandise to my office. 90% of the time when I took the airbrushes apart they were filthy and clogged on the needles and tips as well as the inside of the chassis. After a good cleaning they worked great.
  13. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member


    I normally don't respond to these posts anymore because it's a full time job - lol! But, I'd have to say that in most instances, it's not the air brush. First off, what is YOUR definition of "fine detail". Maybe your brush ISN'T capable of doing what you want, but maybe it IS. Air pressure, retarder, thinning, needle tip size - lot's of variables! My recommendation is the same as Joey's - RETARDER!!! Or better yet, TRY doing what you're doing using food dye. It's very watery and great for practice (cheap). IF you can achieve the results you're trying to get with food dye, then it's not the airbrush. PRACTICE, PRACTICE and more Practice! And, THINK of the possible combinations of problems those 4 variables can cause!!! If any ONE of them is off, it can jazz up your day. PRACTICE and play with the settings again!

    P.S> Just saw Rick's post. Agreed. Dried paint on the tip is the result of not cleaning and not using retarder. You literally have a a second or so to get that tip spraying paint after your initial test fire BEFORE that paint starts to dry!!! Most people don't realize this!!!
  14. MichaelG

    MichaelG TRAINEE

    I doubt this will solve your specific problem but posting in case it helps. It comes from another art related forum:

    Airbrush Trouble Shooting Guide

    No Air Flow-
    Fault In Compressor- Check all your basics like power supply and in fact its turned on, has happened to the best of us
    Regulator or Water Trap Fault- Occasionally water traps and regulators do break, if your unsure, disconnect each appropiate section, charge the compressor quickly until you find yourself at the point of the issue.
    Line Kinked or Blocked- Again has happened to everyone at least once, maybe 20 times if using coiled hoses, trace down the line and ensure no kinks are present or something isnt physically blocking the hose.
    Airbrush Air Valve assembly Sticking- Quite often the airvalve at the point of entry in your gun will get sticky, if air is coming out of your hose end but not going through the gun, lightly oiling and checking the valve for dirt, dust or paint incursion is important.

    No Medium Being Sprayed-

    Paint is To Thick- Your paints thickest consistency should be that of around milks consistency. Too thick it may not spray or spray poorly, overreducing may help but can also cause its own issues finding the happy medium is the idea and this can change due to temperature etc but wont vary a lot off that original milky constency.
    Dried Paint in Nozzle- Remove the needle and clean.
    Paint Flow from Resivoir Blocked- Clean the reservoir and ensure you can blow through all hoses, quite often the suction feeds get a blockage where the hose changes angle through the lid, clean well.
    Needle Stuck in Nozzle- Remove both nozzle and needle, clean and replace, check for dried paint inside Nozzle mouth and remove.
    Needle Locking Nut- It may be looses , tighten
    Lever Assembly Damaged- Replace(See Your Airbrush Manufacturer)

    Bubbles Appearing in Coulor Cup-

    Nozzle cap Loose- Tighten and or seal with Soft Beeswax
    Nozzle Washer Wear- Remove and replace (See Your Airbrush Manufacturer)
    Mismatched nozzle and Cap- Does happen especially if you have a gun with multiple heads and needles, remove and match the right set.


    Air Pressure Too High-Reduce air pressure until problem disappears, painting on different mediums requires different pressures and if its a smooth surface, high pressures won't be your friend
    Too Close-If your too close to the work surface it may introduce spidering, by moving faster or by reducing pressure again this may help solve the issue, Also try spraying at a slight angle to the surface, this also can help.
    Medium Is Thinned Excessively- You may have over-reduced your paint, have another look and see if you think it may indeed be to thin and causing some issue.

    Spitting and Spattering-

    Air Pressure Too Low- Increase pressure incremently until issue is removed
    Solid particles In Nozzle-Remove and clean the nozzle, these can generally be seen and are more frequent on warmer days
    Medium too Thick or Badly Mixed- Reduce the medium to a milky consistency, always stir/shake the bottle well..A ball bearing or marble in the paint container may help.
    Medium Not Strained- Always strain your paint to remove large unwanted pigment clumps, pantihose directly on your paint bottle removes the need to think.
    Build up of paint in Spray Regulator- Ensure needle is straight and firm, remove if needed and clean.
    Worn or Damaged Needle-Replace
    Nozzle and Needle Mismatch-Replace with matched set.
    Dirt,oil or Water in Air Supply- Remove your nozzle and blast air through the gun, it may help remove anything thats been introduced by dirty air, also remove gun and let some air blast the line clean, also ensure your water traps and such are clean and your compressor may need emptied if its a tank storage type.. Refer also to "Water Issues Article"
    Nozzle Washer Worn- This allows the medium to seep past into the air passage. Only good way to fix it is to order a new Nozzle and or Nozzle washer. (See Your Airbrush Manufacturer)

    Spattering at an Angle-

    Medium Buildup- Pick the tip clean regulary whilst painting, a paintbuildup on your tip can help throw it in all directions.
    Needle Bent- Pull out your needle and place on a flat surface, if its bent it will easily be seen and if your careful most bends can be easily removed. If its bent at the tip itself, you could try fixing it but its better always to have a backup needle..Just in case.
    Nozzle Damage- Replace (See Your Airbrush Manufacturer)

    Spatter At The Beggining of Stroke-

    Medium Build-Up- Build up occurs when the airflow is closed before the paintflow, this creates a buildup of medium which will generally end up spattered all over your work, always when re-introducing airflow-point AWY from your artwork. As the old saying goes "ALWAYS KEEP YOUR AIR ON"
    Damaged Needle- Repair using a fine abrasive wet and dry or replace.
    Solid Particles in Nozzle-Remove and clean.

    Lever fails To Return After Being Pressed Down (Air Sticks on)-

    Air Valve Spring Fatigue- Stretch or replace the spring
    Swollen/Damaged O-Rings in Valve Assembly- Quite often the introduction of paint or oil and dirt may stick your airvalve, I generall DONT soak my airvalve in thinners, it will damage the seals over time., I always remove it from the brush. Occasionally I may give it a light soak in warm water and then lightly re-oil, ensuring the valve works in my hand (IE The plunger actually freely moves)
    Medium Incursion- Backflushing your gun overly will possible damage the rear needle seals and allow paint to leak through to the trigger assembly and airvalve, this can kill an airvalve very quickly so ensure this doesnt happen by not backflushing overly and also if it is occuring, tighten the rear packing on the needle seal or replace if required.
    Dirty Valve- As above in Swollen O-Rings

    Lever fails to Return After Being Drawn Back-

    Needle Spring- Remove and retension by strecthing it, quite often a biro pen spring will achieve the same tention with a little bit of adjustment, otherwise contact your supplier.
    Build Up Of Medium- Again if paints getting in here, fix the issue, but a good clean will solve it temp
    Lever Assembly broken or damaged- Replace (See Your Airbrush manufacturer)

    Air Leaks Through Control Lever

    Rubber O-ring Broken- Replace (See Your Airbrush manufacturer)
    Valve Stuck- Clean Air valve-See Above or replace if damaged.

    Air Leaks Through Nozzle When Lever is Released

    Air Valve Spring Fatigue- Retension and adjust or refer to your supplier for a new part.

    Medium Leaks

    Reservoir Overfilled- Tip some out before it does itself on your work.
    Washers Perished or Badly seated- Clean and or replace (See Your Airbrush manufacturer)
    Nozzle Washer Missing/Damaged- Replace (See Your Airbrush manufacturer)
    Colour Cup Drops Off- Our worst nightmare, especially on a painting thats taken 30 hours to produce, ensure this cant happen by using a rubber band, placed around the bottom of the cup to assist in its staying in the right place.
  15. joegentry14

    joegentry14 New Member

    Sorry i haven't been back on here in a while. I've been too busy playing with my new airbrush . I bought an Iwata HP C + and its great it does everything i want it too and im not having any of the problems i had before. Thanks for all the tips and suggestions everyone.
  16. warthog

    warthog Member of VVA and VFW

    If you want an airbrush that will give you great detail and at a nominal cost...then by all means get a Badger Velocity airbrush. You can't go wrong. I had 3 paache airbrushes and sold all of them except the one single action airbrush. I use it for overall coloring of bigger fish.
  17. Are you using a retarder? Makes a lot of difference when doing detail work.