Airbrush tutorial, tips for better airbrushing – Short Guide Plastic Models

Airbrush tutorial, tips for better airbrushing – Short Guide Plastic Models


Hello, friends. Today’s short guide is about basics of airbrushing and spraying larger areas. I mostly paint my models with Tamiya acrylic colors. In this video, I am using olive color for illustrative purposes. However, if you think of diluting the paint with water, then quickly forget it. You will never achieve perfect results with water. I rather use original Tamiya X-20A thinner, but you can use ordinary ethanol too. I do not know the precise thinning ratio because all the shades require a different amount of thinner, and it depends on the size of airbrush nozzle too. Now, I add the magical ingredient, which is a paint retarder agent. Just a few drops. I use Tamiya Retarder to prolong paints drying time and to avoid forming paint dust on the model’s surface. And now let’s go to work with the airbrush. Most of the classic airbrushes are double action. It means that by moving the trigger forward and backward, you control the amount of paint and diameter of sprayed circle, and by pressing and releasing the trigger, you regulate the pressure. Both actions must be properly combined. Before you start spraying, it is good to check paint dilution on a piece of plastic plate. Which are the most common mistakes? If I pull the trigger toward myself, then there is the maximum amount of paint in the nozzle and low pressure. The result is that the paint splatters. Another mistake. The quantity of paint is fine, but I have big pressure over 2.5 bars, which blows the paint away. The result is that the paint spills to all the directions. Now we have the correct pressure of 2 bars and a reasonable amount of paint, but it is too much diluted. I try to make a consistent layer. The result is that the paint spills to all directions and creates waves. Now the absolute opposite. The paint is poured directly from the can without dilution. The result is that the first layer coats everything, but it creates an inconsistent coarse layer. This is how it looks like in detail. Ok, I showed you the basic mistakes, but the question is how to do it correctly? Do not try to coat the plane with just one layer. Usually, I spray 3 or more very thin layers. The first layer should be sprayed only lightly and it should stay very transparent. Thus, you create a base coat for the next layer. The next one will adhere to the model’s surface much better and the paint will not spill away. The second layer already partially covers the gray plastic The third layer should be already the final one, but it isn’t still fully opaque. Only the fourth finishing layer coats everything properly. Paint dries after 10 minutes, but if you use a hair dryer, you can apply another layer already after a few seconds. The coat of paint is perfectly smooth, not coarse. Only sometimes it is suitable to use a retarder. Some paints dry too fast and droplets of paint dry before reaching the model’s surface, which creates a coarse layer of paint. You do not need to throw the plastic plate away when the paint dries. Just use technical alcohol and wash it with a piece of cloth. I often do a paint consistency check if it is well diluted. I smear a drop of paint on a plastic plate and if it is transparent and looks like a watercolor, then it’s ok. If it is opaque and adheres to the plastic plate, then it is wrongly diluted and it is going to form paint splatters during airbrushing. And that’s all for today. I hope this tutorial is going to help you improve your own airbrushing skills. Good luck and thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Airbrush tutorial, tips for better airbrushing – Short Guide Plastic Models

  1. if when I spray my tamiya paint it some time comes out really wet it all most spraying colored water . and some time it comes out not as wet how do I get it to Ben not as wet?

  2. I thought I regulated the air pressure by adjusting the regulator. The further I press down the trigger the higher air pressure? I thought it was just on and off..

  3. Thanks for filming this, Good tips for someone newish to an Airbrush. Have taken some tips from your work

  4. Riedidlo X-20A je zbytočne veľmi drahé. Ja používam zmes Isopropylalkoholu a trochy Tamiya retardera. Dokonalé riešenie

  5. hi

    It is great tutorial for airbrushing beginner like me, at least now i know where i was making the mistake. Keep coming such tutorial as it gives a great amount of learning for the new comers.

    Thanks for sharing your post.

    Regards, Raghubir

  6. When i use white, the paint is diluted right, but it still splatters and barely comes out. Every time i pull back with the trigger, the front tip instantly is covered with paint, and i have to rub it off, help!! It also only splatters, and i couldnt get the first common mistake, did you mean pull back trigger too much and too low pressure?

  7. This is the only video that i found that actually shows one next to each other the common mistakes and why they happen! You should put it on the title or description cause a lot of people is searching for that. Thank you

  8. Thanks very very much! It helped me a lot!! But how much of paint retarder do you use? Also, I always get orange peel on cars…any tips? Thanks!

  9. Ahoj Dávid, ako často používaš pri striekaní modelov na tvojej Infinity doraz ihly Quick Fix? Chcem si totiž ako začínajúci modelár kúpiť airbush a rozhodujem sa medzi HS Infinity CR 0,2 a HS Evolution CR 0,2+0,4. Za cenu Infinity CR 0,2 by som mal Evolution CR 0,2+0,4 čo sa mi zdá z pohľadu možnosti zámeny ihiel výhodnejšie, ale bolo by to bez dorazu. Ak by som si kúpil Infinity tak len v 0,2 (finančný strop cca 200e) a ľutoval by som ak by bol doraz pre mňa po čase zbytočný. S airbrushom som nikdy nepracoval, som v tom zelenáč. Chcem stavať lietadlá z WWII v mierke 1:48, 1:32. Prosím poraď, je doraz potrebný aj pre skúseného modelára alebo by som sa po hodinách tréningu a príprave s Evolution bez problémov zaobišiel bez neho. Ďakujem za Tvoju odpoveď a pozdravujem do Čiech. Maroš.
    PS: Píšem cez ženino konto.

  10. Hey David, I found this video really useful as I'm getting an airbrush in the mail soon. I have a question that you may not be able to answer but I think you're my best chance. If I'm spraying a coat of gloss or Matt varnish, does it need to still be thinned?
    Cheers, Archie

  11. Thanks, this is great. It answers some of the issues that I've had that I couldn't' figure out for myself nor find the answer easily online.

  12. I have seen this video 2-3 times, but have just read some of the comments, he speaks very good English abd his pronunciation is perfect, well done and keep these videos coming.

  13. After trying for literally years to get a good feathered edge for camo patterns (German WW2 and Russian middle east, Yom kipper war etc) the clay is the way to go, for me.. even with an Iwata, lowering the pressure, thinning the paint etc. it still makes spatters where you don;t want them to. So you have to go back and retouch, either with a brush (usually defeating the purpose) or the airbrush again, which of course, just makes more different colored spatters… where you dont want em… With the clay you can still ge a good feathered edge, just mold the top part out a little over so yu make a "shelf" and spray from directly above, not the side (so you don;t make too sharp an edge) the r esults are very pleasing and – no do-overs.

  14. I can't tell you how many times I find myself rewatching this video. It really helped me work out my air brush problems and my painting has greatly improved. Thank you

  15. Zdravím, prosimtě po mnoha letech jsem se tak nějak vrátil k plastovým modelům a chtěl bych, oproti děckým prvotinám, lakovat už air brushem a ne štětcem. Máš prosimtě nějaké tip na laciný řešení mojí situace? Lze vzít třeba něco z Ali express, nebo radši Revell sadu..? Jinak bych chtěl lakovat přímo v bytě, v paneláku víc možností moc není. Dík moc za odpověď…

  16. David,

    Thanks for posting, all good tips for a brand new airbrush user like me (it's still in the box even lol). One question, do you have a source of supply for the plastic thing you were using to spray on? I would like to buy something similar for myself to practice and test shoot on.

    Thanks in advance!

    ~Rob

  17. This is exactly what I was looking for! My paint was too thin, it was awful… Now it flows perfectly, thanks to you. 🙂

  18. I always have this problem 2:21, I do not understand what you said properly. is this because I have added too much thinner to the paint? thank you.

  19. why don't you make videos with your language? im sure many guys from your country would prefer it.you just contribute to spread that invasive pos language

  20. Thank you, David. You'll inspire anyone who watches your videos to do the hobby too. Many questions and frustrating problems are eliminated by your videos in advance.
    Offer Amazon Affiliate. As a thank you for your good tips and tricks I could give you back a bit 🙂

  21. I haven’t used an airbrush since art college a few years ago and thinking of getting back into painting artwork and scale models. Thanks for the tips on this and the scale model skill!!

  22. Hi Plasmo! Thanks for sharing great content. I'm having a hard time choosing between Tamiya and Vallejo Air through a 0.35mm airbrush. Which do you recommend?

  23. Thank for sharing, seen only today due to youtube algorithms..
    Very interesting video i'll look for other tutorials made by you on painting with airbrushes!

  24. i find it to be pretty solid information in not too much time, i like that. I'm trying to learn aibrushing with a cheap airbrush and compressor without pressure control…. it looks easy, but really isn't.

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