The airbrush is one of the best tools for painting a variety of craft and hobby items. When equipped with an air compressor as the air source, it becomes like a never-ending spray can, with the added benefits of control of the air pressure and of the paint amount. An airbrush can be used to paint plastic models, rc airplanes, t-shirts, nails, and many other items.
How does an airbrush work? Like anything that delivers a fine spray of paint or solvent, it uses Bernoulli's principle. Air moving at higher velocity has lower pressure. If this air stream happens to be near but above a solvent (e.g. paint), the solvent will be drawn upwards, towards the fast moving air. When it gets to that stream of air, the solvent gets broken up into fine particles, and is blown in the direction of the airstream.
The basic principle is very simple, and spraying itself is not hard. Choosing the right equipment and paints, as well as learning correct spraying technique, does require a bit of study. It does take some practice to turn out finely painted masterpieces.
Some basic tips:
1)A single action airbrush is simpler, easier to learn, and economical. So it makes a great beginner airbrush. However, the double action gives you much greater control over the paint process.
2)Your best air source is a good compressor.
3)Use the manufacturer's recommended thinner.
4)To keep the airbrush working smoothly, follow the instructions for cleaning.
To learn more about airbrushing (and airbrushing rc airplanes in particular), visit our website for a comprehensive Airbrush Tutorial.
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About the Author
Andre is a regular contributor to the RC Airplane Advisor: