5 Newbie Tips for Airbrushing

Tyler Provick

Tyler Provick is a writer and a gamer that likes to combine his two interests and share them with the community.

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4 responses

  1. Thor says:

    I really, really need to start airbrushing. For me it’s not so much being afraid of mistakes and learning the hard way, I’m all for it. My restraint comes from the time investment and matching paint. Time in the sense that you’ll spend more time setting up and cleaning up than laying down a few layers of paint on a model. No doubt this is offset by the time saved over brush work but things that take more prep and cleanup time than actual work time tend to be off-putting to me.

    The bigger thing is the paint matching though. Not so much getting the right colors to match-up as dealing with mistakes. You lay down a beautiful base coat, get it highlighted up, great blending and then slip with the brush work when working on details. Now you have to try and use brush work to match up the great blending you had from the airbrush to fix the slip.

    I’m sure these are more mental barriers than anything and some day I’ll finally get to it.

  2. Thor, I hear you on the setup and tear down part. Priming a single model takes the same time with an airbrush or a brush considering clearning time. I’ve found my airbrush most useful for painting terrain.
    Also, cleaning gets faster as you get practiced.

  3. Carl Woodrow says:

    Nice article Tyler. I also cannot emphasise this point enough either: “cleaning gets faster as you get practiced”. The thought of cleaning, or breaking down the airbrush and time sink doing it is often a barrier to new users trying it. I found it’s similar to starting to brush paint for the first time where often it seems slow as you haven’t developed the muscle memory yet.

    The more you use and practice with an airbrush the more confident you will get and that muscle memory develops. As a result you’ll find you not only get more proficient at laying down colour but your results will suddenly improve and the cleaning becomes much easier and quicker as you just let the hands get on with it.

    Thor. I wouldn’t get too hung up about the paint matching as the nature of airbrushing means you are laying down thin layers of the pigment, so colour is built up very organically. Correcting mistakes isn’t as onerous as you may think. Again, that confidence will come with practice.

    • Thanks for the comments Carl. Your work with the Halo Fleet miniatures really demonstrates how effective mixing the airbrush and brush can be without using a bunch of masking.

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