Terrain Making – Last Christmas I received an airbrush kit from my in-laws, nothing super fancy but just a simple starter kit as I've been meaning to try airbrushing terrain. Being as most terrain elements are fairly large painting with a regular brush can take some time and effort to smooth thing out. Up until now the kit has sat in my basement next to the "pressure pot" (that I also received as a gift) that I need to pick up the pipe fittings to convert it to a proper "casting pot."
I postponed busting out the airbrush until now because airbrushing has a huge amount of set-up and takedown work. First I needed to clear out the garage to avoid potentially over spraying on stuff I didn't want to be painted or have a chalky misting of overspray on.
Next up was learning how to take apart and reassemble the brush. When I was a kid my mom bought me a cheap plastic airbrush that didn't last long as the tips were plastic and didn't have instructions on how to clean/take them apart. After slowly destroying that airbrush from lack of care I lost interest in it and moved on to traditional brushes. As an adult with an appreciation for "having nice things" I spent a long time watching videos and reading articles about how to take car of the brush. All of them insisted on taking it apart and reassembling it clean so you don't mess it up.
Armed with a few drop cloths and the near future terrain I prepared my spray room and set everything up. In order to feed paint through and airbrush you have to thin it down. I chose rubbing alchohol as it dries fast and doesn't mess with the colors to badly. (Note: old thick paint will not thin down no matter how much you thin it. The chunks will clog the nozzle and force you to take everything apart and clean before you can spray again.)
So after cleaning the chunks out of my nozzle and a trip to the store to buy fresh paint and empty flip top bottles, I was ready to paint. I used the house brand of Michaels craft paint which is pretty thin to start with. Mixing it 50/50 with rubbing alchohol yeild me with a thin paint that sprayed without splattering.