Sunday, 22 June 2014

Paasche H-Series single action airbrush — first impressions

Without paint cup
With paint cup in place
This is a relatively cheap, well-engineered, basic airbrush. It cost me about forty bucks from Chicago Airbrush Supplies.

It's fitted with the .55mm head and needle, and is capable of painting a pretty fine line.

However, like most (but not all) single-action brushes, it's an external-mix design. The paint is drawn up through the conical assembly you can see hanging under the front of the brush by suction from a stream of air rushing past its nozzle. It's a simple and well-tested spraying method, but it does result in a grainier spray than an internal-mix brush in which the paint and air are both squirted out through the same nozzle.

You can suppress the graininess of the spray to a degree by increasing the air pressure, but of course this will make fine-line work difficult, if not impossible. If you want a grainier, spatter spray pattern, you can achieve that by dropping the pressure right down.

A benefit of the external-mix model is that it generally allows one to spray paint of a somewhat heavier viscosity than an internal-mix brush will cope with.

The paint flow is controlled by turning the conical knob clockwise (to increase the flow) or anti-clockwise (to decrease it). Air flow is either on or off; any adjustment has to be done via a regulator at the compressor.

The small metal cup shown in these photos is easy to get on and off the brush, but one must be aware that because of the angle of the pipe that goes into the brush, if you fill it more than about half way when it's not attached to the brush it will dribble paint all over the place.

There are other paint bottles available, up to 8oz in size, which is quite a lot of paint for modelling purposes.

This is a good, well-engineered device for someone who is beginning airbrushing and wants to ease into it before tackling a double-action brush. I'll be using it primarily as a spray gun (with bigger paint bottles) rather than as an airbrush, due to its ability to get a whole lot of paint out on to a surface — it will be a lot more useful for terrain-painting than either my Badger 150 or Paasche Talon.