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'Henderson Bay Branch' - 1:87 Scale
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 Posted: Thu Oct 31st, 2019 02:48 pm
231st Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 847
Who would have thought bottles.

After about two minutes of airbrushing last evening, the brush quit again. 
Very frustrating. 
Then I had a thought last night (around 2:00AM of course)
that the hose was too long.  I have a ten foot hose.  

I have a shorter hose.  So I tried that this morning. 
No joy.

Really getting frustrated.  
In swapping media around, I happened to use a genuine Badger bottle.  
Voila!!!  All worked.  

I got looking at the after market bottles I have laying around. 
I noticed three differences. 
The pick up tube is longer, the vent hole is smaller, and there is a gasket in the lid.

I took one of the after market bottle tops,
cut the pick up tube to the same length as the Badger lid,
enlarged the vent hole, and removed the gasket.

It looks (yes, I am bit tentative about that) that the problem is fixed. 

Before those mods, the brush would spray water
(I am using water to eliminate the paint from the equation)
for maybe 10 seconds and then short bursts. 

After the mods, I got a steady spray for a full bottle. 
No stoppage, no pulsing. 

Now to try it with paint.


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 Posted: Fri Nov 1st, 2019 05:51 pm
232nd Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 847
Troubleshooting is always an interesting exercise.

After thinking that my airbrush problems were the compressor
(yes, the Harbor Freight compressor is definitely dead)
plugged brush, long hose, or faulty bottles,
I THINK I have actually solved the problem.

One may think one is an expert. 
But one must never forget that an "ex" is a has-been,
and a "spert" is a drip under pressure.  

I have been airbrushing for many decades,
and have never had the problems I have been going through lately. 
So what changed?

The paint. 
A foundational tenant of troubleshooting,
is to start with anything that recently changed.
I neglected to do that.  

To back up just a bit, I have been all over the internet looking for clues. 
Most of the information I encountered dealt with gravity feed brushes. 
I have always used siphon brushes.  

But a day or so ago I ran into an article,
that described my problems from the perspective of a siphon airbrush. 
This article was two pages deep in Google. 
I rarely venture past the first page, so you can see the level of my desperation. 

It turns out that internal mix siphon airbrushes,
have a small cone through which the metering needle passes. 
Some are threaded into the brush body, some have a taper fit. 
If there is the slightest amount of dried paint between the cone and the brush body,
air will bleed from the air side to the paint side,
causing the uptake tube to blow instead of suck. 
Which is an exact description of my problem.

I disassembled the new brush, found the cone (taper fit in this case)
and observed that the recess into which it fits had a very light coating of paint. 
I cleaned that up.

But that is not the end of the story. 
Until very recently I used Floquil paints almost exclusively. 
I thinned those paints very lightly, if at all, and never had a problem. 
Apparently the un-thinned, fine pigment, lacquer based paint,
did not have a build up problem on the small cone.  

Not so the acrylic paints. 
An article I found stated that, if acrylic paint is not sufficiently thinned,
it will contaminate the cone/body interface within a minute or so.
So what is sufficient thinning? 
Another article that I found on YouTube,
demonstrated the "drip" method of determining proper thinning. 
If the paint slowly drips off a small stir stick dipped in the paint, it is properly thinned. 

So...last night, having thoroughly cleaned the airbrush,
I thinned the grimy black as described above with official acrylic paint thinner. 
I painted all the parts of the engine house in gray plastic with grimy black with no incident. 
There are a lot of parts and some of them (like the pieces for the roof) are quite large. 
I spent about a half hour actually spraying.
Following which I thoroughly cleaned the brush.

Fingers crossed, but I believe my problems are solved.  

If confused, always return to the basics.

The discussion of the engine house kit will now revert to the Logging/Mining thread.


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 Posted: Wed Nov 13th, 2019 04:45 pm
233rd Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 847
Bachmann GP-30 on a Kato GP-35 chassis.

The one on the left...

It took quite a bit of grinding and filing on the Kato chassis to make it work,
but work it does. 

I still need to figure out the headlights. 
Bachmann and Kato handle the lights very differently. 
I need a full afternoon ahead of me and a quiet house to figure this one out. 

Those two things do not happen simultaneously in our house very often at the moment.


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 Posted: Thu Nov 14th, 2019 12:15 pm
234th Post
Steven B

Joined: Thu Aug 13th, 2015
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 424
Reg, Whew. 
Painting sucking and blowing...   :f:

I too used Floquil exclusively for years. 
It always seemed to work, then it was gone. 

I had been making the switch to Accupaint, then it was gone.
But TruColor is the same stuff.  It is all acetone based. 

I have been using some water based lately,
and through trial and error, like you mentioned, had finally gotten this thing working. 

Just to make you feel better,
I invested in a new brush because I was having such problems. 

I also found time painting temperature and humidity play a role in water based paint. 
Double ugh. 

So I now plan all of my painting by estimated time, before having to clean the brush.
Once I clean the brush, I really don't want to make it dirty again
(read clean again in a single day).  

We also moved and I lost my paint booth. 
I have yet to set it back up, due to so much time spent on rebuilding the wife's house,
so airbrushing has been a very rare thing and has had to be done, ick, outside. 
I hate having to "relearn" how to do it, as well as fighting the dirt, dust and wind.

I like your GP30 on a Kato 35 frame. 
I did that with a P2K Geep to a Atlas/Kato GP frame years ago.  

Steven B.
Humboldt & Toiyabe Rwy
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 Posted: Thu Nov 14th, 2019 06:22 pm
235th Post
Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 847

I am using Badger paints and now that I have the thinning process figured out,
they work very well.  And no toxic fumes. 
I am particularly pleased with how it adheres to, and lays down on, plastic.  

I find using a "formal" airbrush cleaning fluid, formulated for the acrylic paint,
works pretty much like using the Floquil thinner back in the old days. 

I have wanted a GN GP-30 for decades. 
Somewhere I have the beginnings of a scratch built one in 1/4" scale. 
That project got lost in daily life.  
Who knows, I may resurrect it someday if I can find the bits and pieces.

There are some details I want to address. 
The most obvious detail being the horns. 
It was GN practice to mount the horns in between the radiator fans. 
It kept them from freezing. 

I want to mount a snowplow, too. 
It doesn't show in the photo,
but the previous owner of the donor chassis did a lot of detail work,
including the brake lines between the brake cylinders and the sanders.  


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