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I'm about to take my first dive into the world of airbrushing. The Cemetery Entrance Columns I'm working on are just about done. I've painted the brick areas and they look awesome, however, the rest of the prop is painted in a nice, light shade of grey and it looks too clean to be old and delapidated. I'm thinking that the use of an airbrush would work nicely to shadow certain areas and to make the things look a little more grungy. Anyone have any experience with airbrushing?
 

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Zombie, did you ever get your question(s) answered?
I teach Illustration and airbrush, let me know what you are trying to do, what equipment you have, what kind of paint you are going to use, and if there are any desired effects you are trying to get.
 

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I'm not a pro by any means, but I have dabbled with a Blue-point airbrush on my props, and I gotta tell ya Zombie, you are going to love it. You'll be building things just so you can use the air brush.
 

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Yeah, what Brad said..... I have quite a bit of experience with it, Zomb, but after reading that fontgeek teaches airbrushing, I think I better defer to him for giving you tips on it!!:D
 

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Yah, the airbrush can change how you plan and build things rather dramatically, The fact that you can spray out granite or stone textures, tints, shadows, makeup, etc. all from the same airbrush. You can visually sculpt things, and add in effects that would be impossible to do any other way.
There are all kinds of paints, makeup, pigments, dyes, inks, varnishes, urethanes, laquers, enamels, latex, silicone, etc. that can be sprayed.
You can visually sculpt with it, and get the same kind of effects you do with clay or stone, the fact that you can add highlights and shadows lets you trick the eye into thinking it is seeing a piece of sculpture, when in fact it is a flat, two dimensional item. Using pearls, interference colors, and finishes with variable levels of glossiness, lets you create effects that can only be seen in certain lights or at certain angles, items, lettering, etc., seem to come from nowhere, and disapear as you pass on by. There are true glow in the dark paints that will stay lit for hours, but dissapear in normal lights. Glitter, flakes, candies, etc., the possibilities are almost endless.
 

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Are there inexpensive tools available? I'm planning to do a bit of AB for the first time as well and don't want to invest a lot in equipment. I need to so some rust over black, and some black over gray.
Is it hard to get the hang of?
 

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Just to provide an example, I've only used an airbrush about a half-dozen times, and this is pure amateur hour, but this is my first attempt at painting the head I built for a jump-up prop. I guess my point is, if I can do this, yours will probably turn out great!
 

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jdubbya said:
Are there inexpensive tools available? I'm planning to do a bit of AB for the first time as well and don't want to invest a lot in equipment. I need to so some rust over black, and some black over gray.
Is it hard to get the hang of?
Yah, probably the most inexpensive, yet reliable airbrush is the Paasche VL, if you get the kit, it comes with three different size needle/nozzle settups.

No, it's not hard to get the hang of, an airbrush is basically two valves, one for air, and one for paint. The size of the nozzle/needle determines the smallest size of the pattern sprayed, and the possibilities are wild. Even using simple stencils and masks you can achieve spectacular effects in the first day.

I would guess that you probably already have an air compressor, just add a good regulator and a set of filters to trap any oil, water and debris.

The strength of the airbrush is that you can control how heavy or light it sprays, and by varying the airpressure, the viscosity of the paint, and the distance from the painting surface, you can achieve some spectacular results.

All airbrushes spray the paint out in the shape of a cone, with the pointed end of the cone coming from the tip of the airbrush. The pattern on the paper or painted surface is a circle, with the paint densest at the center of the circle.
Because the paint comes out in the shape of a cone, the closer you are to the paper or painted surface, the finer the detail or circle you will spray, conversely, the farther away you are from the paper or painted surface, the larger and softer the area of the circle.

Under normal conditions, the paint would have the consistancy of skim milk, and your air pressure would be enough to atomize the paint (have it spray in a fine, even mist), the thicker the paint, the more air pressure it takes to achieve this.
When you get your airbrush, learn to take it apart, clean it, and put it back together, do this over a contained area, this will keep you from losing any parts, and it will keep your mess to a minimum. For most people, the taking apart, cleaning, and reassembly is the scarriest part, but once you can do that, you will no longer be afraid, and you will find your self addicted to airbrushing. Be warned!

If you want the first set of lessons for airbrush, feel free to PM me with an email address, these are free to any who ask, but they are not for distribution or for sale/resale.

I have 5 sets of lessons, a couple of people here have already gotten the first set.
 
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