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Air compressor
The air supply for the airbrush. I have the compressor (Paasche D500) mounted to the workbench with four bolts and the compressor sits on four compression springs. This keeps the compressor from moving around and isolates the vibration from the workbench. The compressor does not have an integral on/off switch so I use a switched power bar.
Compressor mounting
Note: oil-less diaphragm compressors tend to pulsate and run constantly. This means they heat-up quickly and must be turned off every 20-30 minutes to cool down. Letting the compressor cool off will greatly extend it's life.

As soon as the humidity approaches 55% you risk getting water drops in your air source. Higher that 55%, and its almost guaranteed. I bought one of those weather stations so I can check indoor humidity. I also have a Paasche in-line moisture trap in my air hose. Its made of aluminium and will probably last a lifetime. I also have a de-humidifier set to keep the humidity around 50% or lower. Indoor humidity should be in the 30-50% range even if you're not a modeller wanting to airbrush.


Paasche VL airbrush

Paasche VL

Paasche VSR90 airbrush

Paasche VSR90

An airbrush gives an even and consistent coat of paint that is virtually impossible to duplication with a brush. Brush painting is only done to highlight details on a part already painted in a base colour using the airbrush.

I have two double-action airbrushes. A Paasche VL when painting larger parts like body work, etc. and a VSR90 for  detail painting. The VSR90 is terrific for detail painting. I was able to freehand airbrush the tires, turn signal housings, muffler & airbox and other parts of a bike with minimal over spray. Paasche said spraying 1/64" wide lines was possible and they weren't kidding. I used Tamiya's acrylics and they sprayed beautifully. Well worth the money.

For more info on the airbrushes, visit the Paasche web site. And here for my airbrushing tips.

Carbon-dioxide Tanks (CO2)
Some modellers and artists use CO2 tanks as an alternative to compressors. The two main reasons are no noise and no worries about moisture.

Danger! These can be very dangerous if not handled properly and the decision to go with a CO2 setup should not be taken lightly. Read the safety information at before you choose between a hobby compressor and a CO2 tank.

Masking Fluid
I've started to use Humbrol's Maskol for various masking jobs. Very handy when small irregular areas on engines, etc. must be masked. It dries to a rubber like surface and if you have trouble removing it, use masking tape to grip it and it will come right off.

Masking Tape
Needed when painting multi coloured bodywork, masking windshields, etc. Choose your tape carefully as some can be too strong and others too weak. At the moment I'm most satisfied with Tamiya's masking tape.

Stripping Chrome Plating
To remove the chrome plating from parts, I use Easy-Off (tm) oven cleaner. I use odor free product in the blue spray can. I place the parts in a desposeable aluminum foil baking pan, soak with Easy-Off(tm) and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Results vary from manufacture to manufacturer, but it usually only takes 15-30mins to work. I then wash the parts clean using an old toothbrush. You may need to repeat the process.

Danger! Wear chemical resistant gloves when handling parts covered in Easy-Off(tm)

Stripping Paint
For whatever reason, sooner or later you'll end up with a coat of paint that is less than perfect. To quickly remove the paint simply use Easy-Off (tm) oven cleaner. I use odor free product in the blue spray can. This softened the Tamiya acrylic on one model that it simply washed off under running water. And, with an old toothbrush, I scrubbed off the Floquil paint I used as a primer. I hadn't tried it on other types of paints like enamels or lacquers.

Danger! Wear chemical resistant gloves when handling parts covered in Easy-Off(tm)
Contact Coaster
Last revised on: March 2, 2004
Copyright © 1998-2007, Kenneth W. Hartlen. All rights reserved.

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