Search This Blog

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Getting Started With Airbrushing Part 4. Painting Area.

Painting Area.

So now I've talked a bit about Airbrushes and the different types available, different air sources and paint choices. I'm now going to talk about where we're going to paint and some of the things that will make our airbrushing that much easier.

1st off if your going to airbrush inside your home, it has to be very close to a window. You need ventilation when airbrushing and please no kiddies or pets nearby when you do. My set up is a desk directly under a window which gives two advantages. Great natural light and ventilation. Never airbrush with the window shut, it's bad for your health. You can buy airbrush booths, with extractors. I don't have one. Open windows good enough for me. Obviously you want to be facing said window.
So we have decided where our painting area will be, what else could we use to make things go easier and safer for us.

1. Paper, this is to test your airbrush on as you paint. Whenever your painting away you will get used to having to give your brush a quick blast on the paper to make sure your paintings flowing nicely out of your brush. I always test my airbrush on paper before painting anything.

2. Airbrush stand or cleaning pot. When your not holding your airbrush, where are you going to put it ? You don't want to just lay it down as any paint still in the airbrush will pour out and make a mess. Some compressors even come with a place to put your airbrush when your not painting. Some don't. Get a stand or even better an airbrush cleaning pot. They look like this.

As you can see you can stick your airbrush securely in the rubber ringed hole nice and safe, and if you need to flush out your airbrush you can use this pot too. Just add water to your airbrush insert your airbrush into the hole and spray out any paint and water before switching colours.

3. Latex Gloves, not really necessary but handy to have. I wear one to hold the piece I'm painting on its cork (see below). Airbrushing does produce overspray and your hand will end up getting paint on it, I call it Goth hand, especially if your painting black. Fortunately the paints we use are easy to wash off but these gloves are good.

4. Cork caps like this

and some blu-tac. I use these to put models on when painting. Use anything really, old paint pots or anything you have to hand. I use these because you can also stick paper clips in them. If your airbrushing say a space marine bolter. You can stick one end of the paper clip in the cork, the other to the bolter and airbrush it without getting your fingers in the way.

I should add that if you embrace airbrushing as I have you will start clipping your smaller model parts like heads and guns out of the sprue thinking about how you can leave it partially attached to some sprue for you to hold whilst painting.

Here's a picture of how I used cork caps to mount my Blood Raven Stern Guard

5. Desk lamp, self explanatory for any miniature painter really.

6. Clean water, to flush out your airbrush when switching colours. Not difficult. Just pour the water into the airbrush, place in your cleaning pot and squirt until clean.

7. Face mask, this is a must. Breathing in all that paint is bad for you. Wear a mask. Plus they look cool and you won't get multicoloured bogies or snot.

Doesn't have to be a fancy one like this, but get one.

8. Cotton buds (q-tips) and paper towel. You will find as you airbrush you will accumulate rather quickly a build up of paint around your needle tip. This can cause paint to splatter onto whatever your painting. Keep an eye on your needle and give it a wipe every now and then to prevent this.

9. Obviously your paint of choice.

Other things like masking tape, airbrush cleaner and lube, patterned templates and more come later. They aren't 100% important to have yet. We're just starting out.

Next post, were going to talk about actually using our airbrush connecting to the compressor and having some fun.


  1. Hi there,

    Wanted to say great tips and guidance for beginners like me.

    I want to know if you use a spray booth to ventilate your paint fumes. Will a respirator be enough? I've got a respirator for DIY work but they're quite heavy on the face.

  2. Hi there Nai
    No I don't use a booth, I know you can buy them for about £100 but I've found a respirator is good enough for the amount I use my airbrush. If yours is a bit heavy duty why not treat yourself to a lighter one. Much cheaper than a booth.
    Thanks for your kind comment.

  3. Hi Joey

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, will most probably find a light respirator, wasn't sure if a booth is necessary or not.

    Thank you again and keep up the good work!