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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
Cleaning Your Airbrush
iakarch
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Louisiana, United States
Joined: May 19, 2007
KitMaker: 459 posts
Armorama: 421 posts
Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 02:43 PM UTC
Using hot solvents can damage the packing and any o ring seals in the airbrush.
wrhouston
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: January 04, 2007
KitMaker: 20 posts
Armorama: 16 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 02:29 AM UTC
For all the time it takes, I've found it better to strip and clean my airbrushes after busing each clour.

TotemWolf
#288
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: February 11, 2013
KitMaker: 294 posts
Armorama: 196 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 02:52 AM UTC
With my Badger 105 I can strip it, clean it and reassemble it in just over a minute.
Why not do so ever time I'm done for the day?
struman1
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United States
Joined: August 12, 2013
KitMaker: 10 posts
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Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 - 01:44 PM UTC
I clean my every time. It takes 5 minutes and I never worry about spits and spatters
metooshelah
#011
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Jerusalem, Israel
Joined: February 06, 2009
KitMaker: 1,499 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 01:33 AM UTC
For what they worth, here's a how-to and videos I've made on the subject:

http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=Sections&file=index&req=viewarticle&artid=3131

http://youtube.com/watch?feature=c4-feed-u&v=UB7foX6mSS0

http://youtube.com/watch?feature=relmfu&v=QURv1Xg0OtI
GALILEO1
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Maryland, United States
Joined: April 18, 2006
KitMaker: 1,794 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 07, 2014 - 11:32 AM UTC
Great thread!

Okay, so I need a consensus of sorts on using Windex to clean the airbrush. Should we be using it or shouldn't we?

I use Windex like most of you, I think, in that after shooting it I run lots of distilled water to make sure all the Windex is removed. Lately, however, I've been reading other airbrushing sites where just the mention of Windex as a cleaner gets people into a frenzy (even if you tell them that you use water immediately after to clean it out). They recommend never to use Windex or the such inside your airbrush.

So, are these people overacting or are they correct, for the most part? I'd like to keep my airbrushes going strong for as long as I could so being better informed as to what I put in them will help in this regard.

Thanks! Rob

retiredyank
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Arkansas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2009
KitMaker: 11,610 posts
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Posted: Friday, March 07, 2014 - 12:33 PM UTC
I have found that I can run lacquer thinner through my brush, after alcohol based paints. I fill the cup about half full of lacquer thinner. After that, I run some glass cleaner then water. After each spray session, I break down the brush. I use cotton balls to clean the cup and q-tips for the rest of it. These I dampen with lacquer thinner. For the places I can't reach, I soak the brush in glass cleaner and ream with a brush. Occasionally, I soak the brush in lacquer thinner for five minutes. Such a short time does not hurt the brush. I reassemble it and run it under some lukewarm water. Looks and sprays like new, every time.
bgcmd59
#353
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Connecticut, United States
Joined: October 20, 2013
KitMaker: 90 posts
Armorama: 81 posts
Posted: Friday, March 07, 2014 - 06:27 PM UTC
I have had very good luck when shooting Vallejo acrylics using windshield washer solution (alcohol and I suspect a detergent) followed by distilled water between colors. I usually only do a full disassembly at the end of the session or as needed. The analogy to firearms is a good one and disassembly and reassembly causes far more wear on parts than regular use.
sunburnthammer
Joined: August 29, 2007
KitMaker: 17 posts
Armorama: 6 posts
Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 10:03 PM UTC
Talking of cleaning airbrushes, I have stripped my first (iwata clone I suspect) airbrush and this bit dropped out. I can't work out where or how it's supposed to be fitted only that it provides tension. Anyhow, I bought another iwata clone because I couldn't repair my first and vowed never to let this bit drop out. Guess what happens today. The simplistic instructions don't really indicate how to put it back correctly. Any help would be welcomed.

Ian

SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,230 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 01:07 AM UTC
Go to Google and search using the terms "Iwata Airbrush Exploded View Drawing"

Google Images::Iwata Airbrush Exploded View Drawing

In the first image that came up when I searched, your part appears to be #6, inserted into the AB with the small tab up, between the trigger #12 and a spring guide-operating rod #14. It appears to be a cam between the trigger and the needle tensioning system to control the paint flow.

HTH and Good luck,
alewar
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Canelones, Uruguay
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 765 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 02:03 AM UTC
Hi, can I use the ultrasonic cleaner with my Aztek 470?.
I mean if its necessary due the type of disasembly of this kind of Airbrush?.

TIA

Regards, Alvaro
Robbd01
#323
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Arizona, United States
Joined: February 13, 2013
KitMaker: 735 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 03:00 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi, can I use the ultrasonic cleaner with my Aztek 470?.
I mean if its necessary due the type of disasembly of this kind of Airbrush?.

TIA

Regards, Alvaro



Not sure if it is 'Officially' Ok but I use a ultrasonic cleaner on my Aztek(s)



Cheers
Grauwolf
#084
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
KitMaker: 2,213 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 03:03 AM UTC
Hello Alvaro,

Yes you can.

I do a normal cleaning after every session and a through
cleaning, using a ultra sonic cleaner, once a month with
iso alcohol.

Cheers,
Joe
alewar
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Canelones, Uruguay
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 765 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 04:01 AM UTC
Thanks you Robbie and Joe.

I found here in my country, the same that you can found in Wallmart.

Regards from the south

Alvaro
M4A1Sherman
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New York, United States
Joined: May 02, 2013
KitMaker: 3,792 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 04:58 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hello all! I have been modeling for 30 or so years and have been using an airbrush for about 20 of those years. After every use I totally take apart my trusty Badger 200 singe action airbrush and give it a total clean up. 75% of the time I use acrylics. I have been told by some modelers that Im nuts especially with acrylics, and that theres no need to do this EVERY time but rather every 5th or so time. Many opinions are to just shoot my cleaner of choice through and then clean H2o and be done with it, unless there is a clogging issue. What do you think or do? Thanks guys!



Hi, All! I agree with many of the modellers that have taken the time to contribute to this forum. I've been building models since I was 5 years old- I'm 61 now. I started airbrushing when I was about 12, but I got my first BADGER 200 when I was about 15. I realized that in my case, the best results that I could achieve was to break my airbrushes down completely and clean them thoroughly before going on to the next color.

Since I airbrush with enamels, (which I realize is somewhat archaic as acrylics have become the new standard in painting models) I use TESTORS Airbrush Enamel Thinners and TESTORS Airbrush Lacquer Thinners for my clean-ups. I use multiple airbrushes in each painting session, so that I don't have to wait very long between colors. I use 4 different airbrushes- 2 PAASCHE H1s, one of which is strictly for metalizers, a BADGER 200, and a BADGER 200G Gravity Feed model for touch-up work. These are all single-action airbrushes. I like to clean my airbrushes in a set sequence, using 2 small jelly jars of thinners/cleaners and one jar containing isopropyl alcohol:

1. Spray clean TESTORS thinners through the airbrush wide open for several seconds.

2. Break the airbrush down, then soak the individual parts for a while in TESTORS lacquer thinner. This is to loosen-up the paint residue, which I carefully help along by using pipe cleaners and cotton swabs to clean up the parts with.

3. Once this is done, the parts are immersed in the second jar of lacquer thinners for a short while- this is to catch any paint residue that I may have missed, just as an "insurance" step. As these parts are soaking, I'm usually spraying the next color with one of my other airbrushes.

4. I remove the parts from the 2nd soaking and place the parts on a clean rag to air-dry. I like to use old cotton t-shirts for this and for my brush-painting as well.

5. After the parts have air-dried, I soak them in my jar of isopropyl alcohol in order to remove any and all thinner residue. This is to prevent any thinner residue that may want to gum up the works.

It doesn't take long to do all of this- as a matter of fact, it takes longer for me to explain my process than to do the actual cleaning. A lot of you guys will no doubt comment that all of this extra work is un-necessary, but what counts is that it works for me, and I have never had any problems with my painting since I've started to use this process.

I use virtually the same cleaning process when I am brush-painting, with the added step of using regular hand-soap and water to rinse the bristles of the brush as a final step. I then wipe the brush gently on a clean paper towel, gently shaping the damp bristles of the brush to a point. This extra process helps to preserve the bristles, giving me extra brush-life. This also helps with the brushes that I use for dry-brushing...
sunburnthammer
Joined: August 29, 2007
KitMaker: 17 posts
Armorama: 6 posts
Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 08:10 AM UTC
Thank you mike roof, problem solved and airbrush fixed
SdAufKla
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South Carolina, United States
Joined: May 07, 2010
KitMaker: 2,230 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 11:01 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thank you mike roof, problem solved and airbrush fixed



Cheers!

Happy modeling!
alewar
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Canelones, Uruguay
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 765 posts
Armorama: 757 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 02:01 AM UTC
Hi again

Well, I buy one of this ultrasonic devices, the waltmart one.

I usually left the Aztek nozzles deep in "windex like" fluid.

I put the nozzle in the device, with only water, and after a while I can see some "spurs" from it. Not a lot, maybe the nozzle are enough clean.

So,I found the device too quiet, I don't see bubbles or so, just the nozzle moving a bit and the gum going out.

Its the device working fine? or I must expect more shake or bubbles?

Also, someone has tried with a dry paint?

TIA

Regards
Alvaro
sdk10159
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Oregon, United States
Joined: December 08, 2005
KitMaker: 552 posts
Armorama: 430 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 02:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi again

Well, I buy one of this ultrasonic devices, the waltmart one.

I usually left the Aztek nozzles deep in "windex like" fluid.

I put the nozzle in the device, with only water, and after a while I can see some "spurs" from it. Not a lot, maybe the nozzle are enough clean.

So,I found the device too quiet, I don't see bubbles or so, just the nozzle moving a bit and the gum going out.

Its the device working fine? or I must expect more shake or bubbles?

Also, someone has tried with a dry paint?

TIA

Regards
Alvaro



Mine runs for 3 minutes or so and is VERY quiet. I have to put my hand on it to feel the vibration, otherwise, there is no indication it's running. No bubbles. THe other indication that it's working is the paint gunk coming out.
Grauwolf
#084
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Quebec, Canada
Joined: September 14, 2005
KitMaker: 2,213 posts
Armorama: 565 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 02:32 AM UTC
The device is working fine. You will not see bubbles or shaking.
The action of the ultra sonic cleaner is just vibration and
you may see slight rippling on the surface of the fluid.

This is all fine.

And yes it will remove dried paint maybe takes a little longer.

Cheers,
Joe
alewar
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Canelones, Uruguay
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 765 posts
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Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 02:33 PM UTC
Steve, Joe.

Thanks for the post. I glad to read that all runs fine. I figure that I need to saw more action inside!



Regards from the south!

Alvaro
SEDimmick
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: March 15, 2002
KitMaker: 1,734 posts
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Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 02:43 PM UTC
Be careful with ultrasonic cleaners, it took the plating off my H$S nozzles! They still work, but the chrome protection was taken off them.
RGasper85
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United States
Joined: November 21, 2014
KitMaker: 20 posts
Armorama: 20 posts
Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 - 09:55 PM UTC
Do you guys have any advice for us who still use enamel paints? I have an iwata eclipse, siphon feed and a gravity feed with a .35 needle. Seems everybody is on to acrylics these days but my local hobby shop only has Tamiya acrylics and Model Master enamels
Tojo72
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North Carolina, United States
Joined: June 06, 2006
KitMaker: 4,501 posts
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Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014 - 10:10 PM UTC
I think I have the same gravity feed that you have and I clean mine with mineral spirits or enamel paint thinner
tenchu11
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Alaska, United States
Joined: September 25, 2014
KitMaker: 37 posts
Armorama: 20 posts
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 03:08 PM UTC
I bought my dad one I those cleaners for his reloading to clean brass shells to a nice polish grit and gun powder free. I can just drain it clean it out do 50/50 water and model master thinner an it should clean the brush?