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Unread 06-17-2011, 02:45 AM   #1
Bells
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Visual Arts Help me save money with science!! Airbrushing!

I was going to put this on our Art subsection, but it isn't really about the art itself, it's more about the Technology and the mechanical part of it... so i placed here.

So, as a few of you already know, i loves me some model kits. Ever since i took the hobby i was "seduced" by the idea of doing custom paint jobs. I mean, some of these kits look really awesome out of the box, and i'm a bit of a purist that doesn't like to mess around too much with the kits... but i love the idea of doing some really kickass paint jobs and a custom kit sometimes..

But the entry fee into this world is a rather steep one for a hobby, with all the chemicals and preparations and control and waiting and the costs of both having and maintaining the equipment! So that kept me away...

But lately i had a little spark in mah brain about cheaper, homemade solutions that could work... so i want you guys to wage in with some knowledge.

As some of you may know, to use a proper Airbrush, aside from the Airbrush itself, you need a constant, controllable, stream of air. This comes usually from an Air compressor. These can get expensive.

So, i'm shooting for the dirt and keeping it low tech and low cost. Do you think an Aquarium pump would work? I mean, it is still a stream of air from a pump through a tube, right? Does it really matter if it's an airbrush or a body of water it finds on the other end?

How about those electric Bike Tire pumps? Would need some adaptations, but could work, perhaps?

Now, i understand what i'm sacrificing for these savings on flow control and product specifications. But a decent Air Compressor would run me about $60 plus shipping... but i can get a decent Aquarium pump with $10 (with shipping!) and a Tire Pump with just under $20 (also with shipping!). Those are not A Grade materials, but i'm not opening a paint shop here... and it's just for occasional use. Simple, hobby stuff. I Know i can probably get a can of Air to use with the Brush, but those would be as effective as the aquarium pump, only that i would have to buy another each time... so it's still the worst option.

So, Shoot me some ideas here... anybody here has an Aquarium? What am i looking for? An Water pump or a Air Pump? What is the air pressure coming out of that thing?
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Unread 06-18-2011, 05:19 PM   #2
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I'm going to say, from my familiarity with air compressors, and with fish tanks, that its... not really sufficient for what you're going for, here.

The air pressure is way too low, for starters. You'd be better off tracking down a decent value air compressor that's multi-purpose- not just for airbrushing, for one that you could crank for sandblasting.

Really that that parts just your call.
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Unread 06-18-2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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I'm going to say, from my familiarity with air compressors, and with fish tanks, that its... not really sufficient for what you're going for, here.

The air pressure is way too low, for starters.
Gonna have to agree with Nikose. Aquarium pumps don't have the PSI for what you're looking for. You'd be lucky to get clumpy sputters of pain being coughed sickly out of the end of the nozzle, much less a nice even coat like air brushes are supposed to do.

Not sure about tire pumps, but I'm guessing they don't have much PSI either. Nut up and get a decent pancake compressor. Sixty bucks isn't that bad, and you can use it for other shit.
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Unread 06-18-2011, 05:48 PM   #4
Bells
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Yeah, i was reading around and to do Airbrushing in Plastic Scale Models like i want, i would need at least 15-20 Psi of constant air pressure. And it seems the most common Air Pumps for aquariums put out around 7Psi at most... and it flutters. So it's not always constant. and the more powerfull ones cost almost as much as a proper air compressor.

I did saw another alternative, but i'm not convinced. I Saw those eletric Tire Pumps for cars and biks. The adaptation of the nozzle is so simple, it doesn't even require tools... and some of them claim to go as far as 300 Psi, but from what i saw, there is no way to regulate the pressure during use. It's just either Go or Stop... so that's not going to work with a precision job like Airbrush painting...
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