Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Almost wordless Wednesday

The last two days have been a blur of snow, car accidents, not enough sleep, late birthday celebrations and, always, NaMoPaiMo. If ever I have needed an emergency pony, now is the time. Fortunately, I have this wonderful series of pictures of the ultimate emergency pony, Sir Cinnabon and his sidekick Aubrey. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Airbrushing troubleshooting tips

I've shared a lot of painting tips and tutorials on this blog, most of which have focused on oils, pastels/pigments and hand-painted acrylics. Airbrushes have been almost completely ignored... until today! Thank you, Karen Zorn, for this excellent checklist for people having trouble with their airbrushes.
Karen Zorn's entry in the 2017 BreyerFest Best Customs Contest
Airbrushing Troubleshooting Tips

by Karen Zorn

I was recently asked to help another hobbyist troubleshoot some airbrush issues, so I wrote a list of things to try when the paint isn't going on smoothly. 
photo by Heather Jackson-Lain
Airbrush issues are an ongoing source of frustration even after thirteen years of practice, and I bet they'll still be after another thirty years! The airbrush is a finicky piece of equipment!
Iwata Eclipse airbrush
photo by Heather Jackson-Lain
When things go wrong (which is more often than not in airbrushing), this is my recommended checklist.

* Check your needle for obvious damage or buildup. Does it have buildup? They usually do, and it can happen in seconds. Wipe off needle tip.
Iwata Eclipse needle
photo by Heather Jackson-Lain
*Check your paint consistency and filter your paint before use). If you are using less expensive paints with less pigment and or not finely ground pigments, problems may arise. Paint consistency varies every single time and varies between colors. This is a learned skill.

* If you are using the airbrush with a needle guard (crown cap) build up can occur. I don't use a crown, but my needles get damaged very easily.
Build up in the crown cap/needle guard of a Badget 100LG
photo by Lisa Smalley
* Check your needle tip closely. Is it bent at all? Does it have a microscopic hook on the tip? If so, you can try to sand off the hook, but it can still be problematic. You may need to replace the needle if it is damaged.

*Check your air pressure: is it consistent and adequate, and appropriate for the paint consistency? Play with paint consistency and air pressure.

* Clean your needle and nozzle.
photo by Karen Dietrich
* Clean paint cup.

* Clean needle and nozzle again.

Iwata Eclipse nozzle
photo by Heather Jackson-Lain
* Apply water-based silicone lube to needle tip to lube internal o-rings; and on air lever if it sticks.

* Check air pressure and supply lines: is there water in your airline filter? Fiddle about with the paint consistency and air pressure some more.

* Break down airbrush completely: soak it in airbrush restorer, scrub it out with tiny brushes, put it in an ultrasonic cleaner unit (which you should do every single time you use it).
photo by Karen Dietrich
* Clean it again.try 91% rubbing alcohol, my daily go-to cleaner. Then Createx Airbrush Restorer for a few days, then scrub and rinse.
photo by Karen Dietrich
* Replace needle even if it looks okay, they can have tiny hooks of the tip, or be out of round.
Iwata Eclipse needle again
photo by Heather Jackson-Lain
* Replace nozzle. For a high end airbrush, steps 9 and 10 can run up to $80.

* It may need internal repairs, such as O-rings or gaskets. You can do some of these yourself, check the manufacturer's website.
* If you have an Iwata, you can send it in for service: about $100 plus parts and shipping.

Master Airbrush graveyard
photo by Laura Jennings
Thank you again, Karen! 

Monday, January 21, 2019

The practice horse

I have a million things I need to do before I leave for California on Thursday, but the only thing I really wanted to do today was put some paint on one of my prepped bodies.
So that's what I did.
When you only paint one model a year, you tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. Too much paint? Check! Trying to do too much too quickly? Check!
It's okay. The whole point of the practice horse is to get these mistakes out of my system before I start the horse that actually matters.
Besides, I'm pretty sure he'll look okay in the end.
This model's color and pattern are loosely based on one of the horses who lives at the barn where I ride.
Leo is a high percentage Thoroughbred paint gelding, sired by Sacred Indian.
I'm told that he's a full sibling to Pearl, and certainly they look a lot alike.
Love those ears!
I still need new shoes and a haircut, but I'm glad I was able to play with the paint today. NaMoPaiMo is coming, and I can't wait!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Prepping party of one

I'll be spending the last week of January in California, so there's no time to waste if I want to start NaMoPaiMo with a model that is prepped, primed and ready to paint. This weekend was a two day prepping marathon.
The good news is that my Tot resin - now named Bubbles - is fully fluffenated. 
I have a few little goobers to fix, but she should be good to go on February 1.
My two "bonus" models are also in fine shape. 
I bought this little OF resin for five dollars from an eBay seller. She had a broken ear, a broken tail and pie plate feet. All of those things have been fixed, and I think she'll make a fun warm-up project. 
This big guy is an Ima Sharpe Cutter resin by Lisa Sharpe. 
I've had him a looooooong time, and I'm looking forward to finally getting him off the the unpainted shelf.
I also did some work on these three. The Eberl Forte was customized by Amanda Brock and will be riding along with me to California. The Maggie Bennett Bill and Jennifer Scott Elizabeth resins aren't nearly as far along. In fact, it's fair to say they're in the customizing rather than prep stages.
Bill came to me with a broken leg, no ears and a big hole in his neck. I fixed the leg and the hole a long time ago, but just got around to the ears this weekend. I'm glad. He looks one hundred percent better with ears. No promises, but this could be the NaMoPaiMo horse for 2020. 
It's been a long weekend, but I am pleased with the results. I am also eager to trade the sandpaper and primer for paints and pastels. Bring on February!