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Pewter Knight (w/Battleaxe 1555) Medieval Armor,Myths and Legends Historical Knights Collection Ancestors # 7692
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A Simple Guide to Understanding Airbrush Terminology Date: 07/07/2012  

A simple guide to understanding Airbrush terminology,  types of airbrushes and their recommended uses.

 

This guide is offered to help airbrush users select the best airbrush for their application, and to provide important usage/maintenance information.

ACTION – refers to trigger functions of the airbrush

 

SINGLE ACTION refers to airbrushes on which the trigger controls only the airflow. The amount of sprayed material is adjusted by turning/setting a needle (colour) adjustment screw. When the trigger is depressed, a pre-set amount of material is sprayed.

SINGLE ACTION refers to airbrushes on which the trigger controls only the airflow. The amount of sprayed material is adjusted by turning/setting a needle (colour) adjustment screw. When the trigger is depressed, a pre-set amount of material is sprayed


DUAL ACTION
  refers to airbrushes on which the trigger controls both air and material flow (press down on the trigger for air, pull back on the trigger for material flow adjustment).  This style airbrush allows the user to adjust line width while spraying.

DUAL ACTION refers to airbrushes on which the trigger controls both air and material flow (press down on the trigger for air, pull back on the trigger for material flow adjustment).  This style airbrush allows the user to adjust line width while spraying

Single action is simpler for applying uniform even coats of colour without any notable shade or tone variation, and is almost always preferred for single colour and basic spray coating applications.  Dual action is preferable for “artistic” applications as it allows the user to vary spray pattern while spraying the airbrush, this enables the artist to go from fine to wide lines (and vice-versa) without limitation.  Dual action is preferred for shading effects and color gradations, as well as being more proficient for detail airbrush applications and truer realism effects.

MIX – refers to the manner in which air and material come together (atomize) while airbrushing

 

EXTERNAL MIX indicates that air and paint mix outside the airbrush, producing a coarse round spray pattern.

EXTERNAL MIX indicates that air and paint mix outside the airbrush, producing a coarse round spray pattern.

 

INTERNAL MIX indicates air and paint mix inside the airbrush, producing a precisely atomized “fine dot” spray pattern.


INTERNAL MIX indicates air and paint mix inside the airbrush, producing a precisely atomized “fine dot” spray pattern.

Airbrushes spray a series of dots (atomized material).  An external mix airbrush sprays a larger coarser dot pattern, which is preferable for larger surface coverage and volume spray applications.  An internal mix airbrush sprays finer “softer” dots, and is preferred for precision finishing needs, such as colour gradations, shading effects, and fine lines.

 

 

FEED refers to the place of entry and manner in which the sprayed material enters the airbrush.

 

BOTTOM FEED refers to airbrushes on which material enters through a siphon tube or colour cup attached to the bottom of the airbrush. This type of airbrush should have at least 18 PSI while spraying to operate properly.

BOTTOM FEED refers to airbrushes on which material enters through a siphon tube or color cup attached to the bottom of the airbrush. This type of airbrush should have at least 18 PSI while spraying to operate properly..

 

GRAVITY FEED refers to airbrushes on which material enters at the top of the airbrush through a top-mounted color reservoir. Gravity draws the material into the airbrush.  This type of airbrush can be operated at spray pressures as low as 8 PSI.

                  GRAVITY FEED refers to airbrushes on which material enters at the top of the airbrush through a top-mounted color reservoir. Gravity draws the material into the airbrush.  This type of airbrush can be operated at spray pressures as low as 8 PSI..

          

 

SIDE FEED refers to airbrushes on which material enters at the side of the airbrush through a side attached color reservoir. This type of airbrush operates best at approximately 12 PSI.

                   SIDE FEED refers to airbrushes on which material enters at the side of the airbrush through a side attached color reservoir. This type of airbrush operates best at approximately 12 PSI..

 

DUAL FEED refers to an airbrush that has the ability to be used as either gravity feed or bottom feed depending on the user’s varying application needs.  This type of airbrush is patented and exclusive to Badger Air-Brush Co.

      DUAL FEED refers to an airbrush that has the ability to be used as either gravity feed or bottom feed depending on the user’s varying application needs.  This type of airbrush is patented and exclusive to Badger Air-Brush Co...
 

The Bottom Feed airbrush is best for general and production applications.  The bottom feed airbrush facilitates the use of more material without having to frequently fill the material reservoir.  The bottom feed airbrush also allows (or causes) the artist to work at a brisker pace, enabling faster spray application when desired.

 

 

The Gravity Feed airbrush, alternatively, allows the artist to slow down.  Gravity pulls material into the airbrush, so the airbrush can be operated at a lower pressure for improved airbrush control.  This makes it easier to do finer detail work as the finishing process can be done at a more deliberate pace.  Gravity feed is usually the best choice for detail airbrushing.

 

 

The Side Feed airbrush allows the user to work with a swivel side cup which allows more flexibility for airbrushing in difficult to reach areas or on contoured pieces.  Many artist prefer side feed airbrushes for detail applications because the side feed cup also eliminates any sight line obstruction to the needle tip when doing “close in” intricate detail work.  

 

What is PSI?     Pressure per square inch, is a measurement of the level of air pressure.

 

Nozzle sizes - There are varying airbrush nozzle sizes for spraying a range of materials. Although they have some effect on the line an airbrush produces, nozzle sizes (Fine, Medium, Heavy or 1, 3, and 5) apply more to the material that should be sprayed through the airbrush than the fineness of line an airbrush will produce.  The line fineness is ultimately determined by multiple factors – nozzle size, the needle’s linear air flow angle, pigment/base ratio of paint, pigment size, operating pressure, etc.

  NOTE: You must to have the right nozzle/needle size with the right spray medium for optimum airbrush performance.

                                        Nozzle sizes There are varying airbrush nozzle sizes for spraying a range of materials...

 

Fine/1: Best suited to spray thin, low viscosity mediums (inks, water colours, dyes, stains and gouache).

 

Medium/3: The most popular choice; will spray airbrush ready paints, properly thinned acrylics, lacquers, enamels, and special application materials (food airbrushing colors, tanning solutions, airbrush cosmetics, body paints, etc.).

 

Heavy/5: Best for heavily pigmented and higher viscosity materials (glazes, gesso, latex, and varnish)

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