Thursday, March 17, 2016

The ROCK 3.0: Airbrushing Progress

Well, my adventures in airbrushing have been interesting so far.  I purchased the Badger 200NH airbrush.  It worked well for the two or three times I used it.  After a period of non-use, it wouldn't siphon the paint out of the jar anymore.  I could siphon acetone, but even then it was pulsating.  I found out it is a needle bearing most likely as the cause.  I tried replacing this on my own as I found the parts available online.  Nope, this is not a customer-replaceable part.  It needs to be sent off to Badger for repair.  So, that is what I plan on doing tomorrow.

I failed to mention that after the period on non-use, I noticed that the tip of the needle was bent.  I wasn't sure how that happened as I hadn't dropped it.  After a few days, it dawned on me my daughter in passing said (a while back), "Daddy, your airbrush dropped, but it's ok".  I put it back on the shelf.  I confirmed this again with my daughter.  Well, that explains that.  I must have been in post-Sunday afternoon nap mode when she told me, so I didn't think anything else about it.

Meanwhile, I refer to good friends Larry Keller and Allan Heimsoth for advice on airbrushing in general.  One friend mentioned he had numerous airbrushes.  Some are better than others, but generally one would work when the mood struck to actually paint something.  Considering the Badger 200 is not super expensive, I went this route and purchased a second to keep on hand.  I'm glad I did now otherwise I would still be out of commission.

So, back to painting.  It has been a struggle.  Mainly, because I'm making newbie mistakes.  I painted some tank cars without cleaning them thoroughly first.  That created an issue with paint peeling off for a leprosy effect.  Sadness.

I painted three Atlas Kaolin tanks.  Results - All had the leprosy effect.  Those will need to be stripped and repainted.

I painted four (of five I own) Roundhouse previously stripped (purchased that way off eBay) tank cars.  Paint stuck well to those.  Painted the car yellow and the bottom half black.  My black line is pretty sharp except around the ladder region.  I tried fixing this but made it worse on one car.  Instead, I will try to hide it with some weathering.  I hit all cars with gloss coat last night and decaled up two this morning as CPC International tanks.  The tip to apply a gloss coat beforehand decaling eliminated the issue I had before with the shininess of the label.  Thanks everyone for that tip!

So, here are some photos of the tank cars with one side decaled.  I will decal the other side later today.  I have a few more decal sheets on order.  When I'm done, I will have a total of eight CPC International tank cars (5x MDC/Roundhouse, 3x Atlas Kaolin).

I think they turned out pretty darn nice!

Overall, airbrushing has been a learning process.  I will get better over time.  I'm really pleased with how these turned out after adding decals today.

Decals required for this job:
Microscale 60-727 - Corn Products Freight Cars - 40' Tank Car, 3-Bay ACF Hopper
Microscale 60-796 - Tank Cars - Senica, Amstar, CPC International 1970+

Tru-Color Rock Island Yellow TCP-261
Tru-Color Flat Black TCP-805


  1. HI Steven. Nice work.
    When painting yellow it is best to spray a coat of light grey first then the yellow looks better. Also if you do not know already after you put down your yellow then mask off for your next colour give a light spray of then first colour over the masking line then apply your second colour. This will give you a nice crisp line and no paint bleed under the masking tape. Oh and use Tamiya tape it is absolutely the best to use.
    Great work keep it up.

  2. Great work, Steven!
    I can second Rods suggest on the Tamiya tape.

    A chance to remove the ladders before painting the tank ?

    A light shot of a dullcote on top of the decals and body will kill all the edges. Please wait until the decal dried completely.


  3. Steven, How do you like the Tru Color paints?
    I second the comment about using Tamiya tape and the light coat to seal the edges also.
    I just picked up an Iwata eclipse HP-CS.
    Keep up the great work!!

    1. It was suggested by a friend as you don't have to thin it. I like working with it and it seems to cover well. It is the only paint I have ever used as I'm a newbie to airbrushing.