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Discussion Starter #1
So as some of you may know I recently bought an airbrush which my friend should be bringing back from the US sometime at the end of easter. Looking at a lot of videos people often talk about cleaning and the like, and with it being fairly expensive I really want to look after (not that I wouldn't if it were any cheaper)

Is there any specific cleaner that anyone recommends? Or is it just a matter of getting hot soapy water, also are there any cleaning kits out there specifically made for this?

Also when thinning paints to use, what should I use - I can't remember where I heard it (or if I'm just making it up) but I heard Vallejo thinner is best for this and it can also double up a cleaner, again what do you use?

And finally because Vallejo model air is designed for airbrushes, does it need thinning, or is it just that it has a finer pigment?

Thanks - I swear this will be the last airbrush thread I start... for a while at least
 

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Is there any specific cleaner that anyone recommends? Or is it just a matter of getting hot soapy water, also are there any cleaning kits out there specifically made for this?
There are cleaning kits for them but you don't have to go crazy and buy expensive stuff. There are sprays you can use, the thinners you have or just some soapy water. I would suggest after use that you strip it down and clean the seperate parts. It always pays to spend time cleaning it properly. Here is some examples on cleaning kits - Link


Also when thinning paints to use, what should I use - I can't remember where I heard it (or if I'm just making it up) but I heard Vallejo thinner is best for this and it can also double up a cleaner, again what do you use?
Yeah its good but its not the only sourse of thinners, i have used car screen wash before, though i did end up with a blue tint in my white lol You can use a thinner to clean but it will end up being expensive in the long run.

And finally because Vallejo model air is designed for airbrushes, does it need thinning, or is it just that it has a finer pigment?
Model air colours don't really need thinning down as a rule. But once you start using different paints you will know what needs thinning and by how much. This is something that is learnt through practise just like thinning your paints to apply with a brush.
 

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95% + Purity IPA/Isopropyl Alcohol/Propan-2-ol for cleaning. I've heard people use it and I know first-hand that it dissolves paint without dissolving other things.
 

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95% + Purity IPA/Isopropyl Alcohol/Propan-2-ol for cleaning. I've heard people use it and I know first-hand that it dissolves paint without dissolving other things.
+1

I actually store my AB in pieces in a bath of IsoAlch
 

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The advice that everyone has given you is pretty spot on. As far as the Vallejo Air goes I use it and the stuff is great, however I still thin it slightly usually with there glaze medium. It help the paint flow through the brush and prevents it from collecting at the tip of the brush and drying which will cause clogs and spattering.

Badger has come out with a new line of Miniature Air Brush paints and I've heard nothing but good things about them. The good thing about the badger line is they are more "fantasy" based as opposed to the "military" emphasis Vallejo has. Just experiment and see what works for you.

The other key piece of equipment you will need is a compressor, its a steep investment but its well worth the money. Canned air is just terrible, and a compressor you can adjust the airflow which is huge for detail work.

It sounds like you've been doing your homework but if you haven't already check some of the following videos on you tube; SchauzerFaceMinis, Buypainted, and OrcPainterNerd, They have some really good stuff. Hope this helps, good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
95% + Purity IPA/Isopropyl Alcohol/Propan-2-ol
Silly question but I'm a little confused - Is that the name of the product or do the slashes mean other products which do the same thing?

The other key piece of equipment you will need is a compressor, its a steep investment but its well worth the money. Canned air is just terrible, and a compressor you can adjust the airflow which is huge for detail work.

It sounds like you've been doing your homework but if you haven't already check some of the following videos on you tube; SchauzerFaceMinis, Buypainted, and OrcPainterNerd, They have some really good stuff. Hope this helps, good luck!!
Yeah the compressor came with it, I will look at those, I have heard of BuyPainted, and some of thos other videos look really good - thanks for the names

Thanks for your help guys
 

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The slashes are basically variations of the name of the same product.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ISO-PROPA...l-99-9-Pure-5-Litre-5000ml-5ltr-/111036467804

What little rep this guy has comes from decent buyers, by the looks of it.

Here's the guy I normally buy from;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IPA-ISOPROPYL-ALCOHOL-ISOPROPANOL-5-LITRE-99-9-pure-/221204273068

And this guy is certainly better for buying in bulk;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IPA-Isopropyl-Alcohol-99-9-Pure-5-Litre-5L-/271159705550

I'd also advise getting a little spray bottle which offers "stream" settings so that you can just put a few squirts into your AB rather than pouring.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the clarification and advice
 

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No worries. Happy airbrushing. It was your post that actually prompted me to take the plunge into buying my own airbrush (Which I haven't technically done yet, but I will when I have the money).
 

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For cleaning, Isopropyl as mentioned above is what you want to run through your airbrush at the end of every session. Vallejo's airbrush cleaner is also pretty handy to have around [and doesn't have the vapourised alcahol] and i tend to use it for a quick flush between colours.

Vallejo model air does benefit from a slight thin in my experience with it, probably only about 20% though [full bodied paints i tend to be around 50%]

And in term sof what to use as a thinner, experament and research to find what you like best.

I swear by a mix of distilled water, flow aid and drying retarder [for the types of acrylic we generally use] but other people use different things.
 

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This may be a silly question by why distilled water? I have heard this quite a bit lately...I've always just used tap water, am I missing something? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think its because distilled water is much purer and doesn't have things like limescale in it so it doesn't clog up inside it, this is probably more important with finer needles - don't quote me on that though, just a guess
 

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This may be a silly question by why distilled water? I have heard this quite a bit lately...I've always just used tap water, am I missing something? Thanks
It removed impurities... iirc it also acts to effectively 'soften' the water.

The main reason though is that I pre-mix my thinning solution which is going to sit in a bottle for months... If you use a wet palette and see how quickly you can get growth of mold [same reason I switched to using distilled water in my palette]... yeah.

For the sake of easiness, I filled a bottle with distilled water so I have some on hand when needed. During waking hours the water in my kettle is generally hot due to the quantity of coffee I require :p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The other day I got some stuff to strip some of my old minis (Brown Dettol disinfectant) and I noticed that it had Isopropol Alcohol in, would this e useable to clean the airbrush? I figured it would as you all the cleaner needs to do is get paint out.
 

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I wouldn't as the Dettol turns the paint into a "sludge" that can be removed with a toothbrush, not something you want to have happening inside the tiny confines of an Airbrush.

Pure Iso Alky won't give you that problem.
 

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I thin the acrylic or GW paints with tap water to a milky consistency, and strain them with a sink screen. Make sure you do this before putting it in your airbrush if you mix paint to prevent clogs. I also clean the airbrush with Windex before, during, and after use each time. If I'm doing a lot of models, for example, I'll take a break every 5 models to clean. If you get a clog in your airbrush it will piss you off rather quickly.
 

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Don't use Dettol, as said above you'll get sludge. This will be oh so much worse if there is any trace of water left in the brush.

You can get a bottle of isopropol for less than a fiver shipped off of ebay
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Fair enough then, will get proper Isopropyl then
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Cheers Arbal, I love your tutorials, your basing one have helped me so many times too!
 
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