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Airbrush Spitting

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by tmf48, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. I'm sure this topic has been discussed in the past here but I haven't been able to find a thread. I'm using the Badger Renegade Velocity equipped with an in-line air valve and using water based paint (Polytranspar and Lifetones). This brush has been awesome and always reliable until a few weeks ago. It started spitting paint, especially scale detail black or green, a tiny bit at first but progressively got worse. I have given it a complete and thorough cleaning and replaced the needle and tip. The condition has not improved.
    I have noticed that the pressure on my compressor runs at 50psi and cuts in when it falls to 40. Apparently the regulator is faulty because I can adjust it all I want but the pressure remains the same. Admittedly it is a cheapo, the first and only one I have ever had. I believe the brand is CE? Anyway, any thoughts or advise on which way I should go next? I certainly know how to clean an airbrush but by no means am I a "mechanic"!
    Also, water base paint or oil? Which do you prefer?
    Thanks in advance for any advise!
  2. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I use The Badger Spirit. When it starts acting up, I send it back to Badger and they rework it. I have 4, and send 2 at a time because the return shipping is the same ($19.95). I average having 2 per year reworked. They are great airbrushes, but like all things mechanical, they need an annual tune-up. Badger reworks them at no charge. Follow their instructions on packing and shipping. I use laquer based paint. Water based paints are misery for me.
    pir^2h likes this.

  3. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    ARUsher, Beltonbanger, Clew and 2 others like this.
  4. jigginjim

    jigginjim Active Member

    I started out with water based paints, switched to lacquers, faster painting and clean up. Note: Ventilation is a Must, wear a painters air mask, got mine at Menards. As for Airbrushes, I have had several, money can equal quality. Also if there is a Hobby Lobby near you, look up their 40% discounts, I purchased Iwata airbrushes. On two different days. Major savings, one gravity feed and one siphon feed all CB series $250 plus items.

    Also purchase super small brushes to clean out the tips of the airbrushes, sometimes soaking the tips over night to break down any dried paint at the tip.
  5. Clew

    Clew Help a child, Build our future

    York, SC
    Lacquer paints will help reduce spittiing
    Also in my black dark greens and a few others I thin down and use retarder
    I have all three badgers
  6. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Sounds like your getting moisture in the air line , put a moisture trap on your hose . I went from water to lacquer. Way easier.
  7. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    yup moisture trap…laquer paint is like gassing birds…totally un- nessecary and dangerous with modern acrylics
  8. Clovis Point

    Clovis Point Active Member

    I literally airbrush every single day in my other job and I am going to also suggest moisture trap, as well as make a few more suggestions .....

    I have two renegades (the velo and the rage) (plus 3 paasche Hs but thats beside the point) and like joey, I send them off to Badger, but be prepared for a long wait. If you call up there and ask for Jesus he is a great guy who has helped me quite a few times (I sent him a christmas card last year lol)

    My next suggestion STRAIN YOUR PAINT - use panty hose.

    I was raised on lacquer but now I sling waterbased and have excellent success BUT (really big BUT here) that is because I almost exclusively use createx ILLUSTRATOR - not just createx, not wicked, or any other line but ILLUSTRATOR (lifeline and bloodline are both illustrator). Not all waterbased paints are created equal.... Honestly I wouldnt even put illustrator in the same class as other water based (remember I make 5x as much money selling my airspray art as I do on taxidermy, my airbrushes pay my bills) in my opinion (as well as other talented taxidermists like Tom Matuska). Its really more like this ILLUSTRATOR > lacquer > all the other h2o based paints

    Have you swapped your needle and tip? Are the wings on your end caps bent in and catching spray? Are you using ultra fine needle and tip? if so do you need ultra fine or would regular fine tip be sufficient? Ultra fine is obviously less resiliant to the occasional clump. Are you using airbrush cleaner, windex, or water to clean? Imo windex is better than airbrush cleaner. I bought a small benchtop parts cleaner and filled it with windex (gallon jugs of generic windex are only $4 from uline) to clean my guns and stencils

    I think the most important takeaways here are for you to strain you paint and put in a moisture trap (also drain your comp) then adjust tip
  9. jimss

    jimss Active Member

    Moisture traps, deep cleaning after every use, change out tips and other parts.