I feel confident enough to offer some decent advice on painting tip using revels aqua paints with your air brushes, given the last 8 months use of my own.
I’ll outline some tips which workfor me as a guide but please don’t take as gospel as these are just my personal findings over experimentation.
This is a guide mostly for those new to airbrushing and want to keep things within an acceptable spending limit which is why I opted to start with revel paints over other brands Such as tamiya or vageo, I have no doubts that vajeo paints are on the top end of the quality being pre thinned for airbrush use so no thought required but they are also on the top end of the pay scale in comparison, tamiya on the other hand require they use of there thinner for airbrush use racking up that cost to great extent, making value for money no existent.
This isn’t a recommendation to use revel paints as if my budget would allow I would be on vajeo paints and this guide would be based on those, however when you have a family of 6 you have to think a little more on what your buying to still achieve the result you want, in my case I have many projects ongoing all of which require painting that’s a significant price hike using an alternative brand compared to buying rattle cans and having The job done in 48 hours, or in this instance using revels paints costing in avarage £2 a pot, most boats up to 1m in length you can colour with 6 pots total, making this cheaper than rattle can finish’s.
Cost is marginal once you add primer to your shopping list and clear coating if rattle canning it, but your choice of colours is vastly greater giving you more options.
But for those like me without a workshop airbrushing becomes a somewhat indoor activity with little issues to health!
There are 3 variants of revel aqua paints, gloss,semi gloss (satin) and Matt( excluding clear coat but again available in all 3 finishes)
On a variaty of boats I have used all 3 types of paint with my airbrush in multiple colours, not just on boats but other projects I dally with.
I’ll first up mention my water to paint mix ratios.
Here I will point out I have not used revels airbrush thinners for this purpose as the paint is very versatile in thinned with water only, and for those who like me count the coppers this is just additional cost to which can be come rather expensive given what you get from a pot of “recomended thinners” to tap water.
On first note I’ve found it best when mixing he pot to thin with water to do so using warm water over cold, the warm water helps break up those thick lumps of paint in a pot when first opened, using cold water simply takes a lot longer to mix the pot and you still have the odd clump.
On 2nd note you will need to empty the contents of an 18ml pot into something bigger before adding water as those tiny pots can’t hold more than 6ml of water extra to which depending on the paint variety your using will require more than 6ml.
And the 3rd point would be to be cautious how much paint you mix up, as if found the paint once thinner life span rapidly decreases. Generally if spraying a large area multiple times a whole pot or two maybe used. To which this isn’t an issue as he mixed pot lasts more than a week but within 2 or 3 weeks left to sit the pots become useless. This maybe avoided using revels recomended thinners. But there is no reason why that extra cost should become an issue when you can simply mix smaller batches.
First up would to be seal and prim your hull, I would recommend rattle can primers for this over airbrush primers simply due to being cost effective, however airbrush primers are effective so do not discount them as a viable priming option.
Starting with revels gloss paints I’ve found that 8ml of water to a 18ml pot gives a great spray, it is a little thicker than you maybe used to, however I would rather opt for thicker paint than runny.
I did find that 10ml gave a very good consistency of paint although thinner you will have to be very cautious unpin spraying not to hover in areas to long or runs will occur.
The same goes for satin paints however those can mix thinner with up to 12ml of water so you have a range between 8-12ml to decide how thick you want your paint sprayed.
Now you do need to take into consideration spray pressure with your mix ratio.
On that note with gloss and semi gloss spraying at 30psi requires you to cover the area briskly and walk away after a must coat for a few mins to let it settle before going back and doing it again, after two light coats let it dry and go back and spray more a few hours later.
However on a lower pressure at 20psi I found that you have a little more time to go over then model for a better coat.
Any pressure lower than 20psi will be up close and personal detail work to which I can only say spray lightly and know when to quit!
The coat for both gloss and satins should be sprayed until the surface looks wet, but pay close attention there is wet and then there is a puddle, it can happen that fast to which should the worse occur then you will have to wait 24-48 hours for that paint surface to dry fully before sanding flat and recoating.
If you’re unsure, simply spray at a lower pressure and take your time!
For Matt paints things change somewhat... I have opted on several projects to use Matt, some reasons where the colour was only availible in that finish, the other being mistakes are easily fixed within a few hours rather than waiting for gloss coats to fully harden over a day or so.
Matt also reduced significantly runs in paint work by spraying as they tend to dry quicker as well as giving that Matt finish to which layers will grab to rather than sag and run if you were a little heavy handed.
For Matt paints I found 8ml of water to a 18ml pot would give you an extremely rough finish almost a 400grit sand paper texture. This actually is handy to have this initial surface if spraying around masked areas as the paInt is to thick to seep under tape. From there once dry which literally takes an hour even at room temperature your able to lightly sand back the surface flat with 6-800 grit, to give a smooth surface for your next layers,
After this initial layer I would add 2ml to the remaining pot just note the pot generally was 75% full and then I would continue to spray layers with this mix.
On a side note I have tried mixing 10ml of water straight to an 18ml pot and have good results although the surface was still rougher than it should which is why through further experimentation I found 12ml of water to an 18ml pot gives you a very decent smooth although Matt surface.
With Matt spraying at 30-25 psi worked best for larger areas again lower pressures for closer work.
You must be cautious if you have mixed a Matt pot to 12ml of water the paint is thin and if you do hover to long in a section it can sag and run much like gloss or satin, but this I found gives the best finish surface for clear coats or to be left as it.
Again with matts you have the advantage or dry sanding with 6-800 grit to get the surface relatively smooth, if your after a gloss coat simply gloss over a sanded smooth surface.
You can achieve perfect gloss results with a Matt paint using a decent clear coat but it will require more layers, it’s a sacrifice over gloss or semi glosss but it will depend upon your needs and colours.
For clear coating, the same rules apply to all the the above in regards to mix ratios of using a revel clear coat in any finish.
You can also mix finish coats to the base, for example turning a semi gloss to a Matt finish or a Matt to a gloss, simply by using the clear coat you desire.
On another note on clear coating, once the paint is fully cured it becomes totally inert meaning you can pick a different finishing product from celosolse clear coat, acrylic, and even 2 pac varnished with no I’ll effects to the surfaces.
Now before I conclude again I must point out these are my personal findings and may not be 100% perfect for your needs so please do tests before hand! I won’t be responsible for your airbrushing because you took this as fact.
But for those new to airbrushing I hope this helps take out a lot of guess work and experimentation leaving you to get right to the job in hand!
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