Monday, 24 March 2014

Scheduled maintenance

This is another of those 'note to myself' kind of post really. I have a nice day off today, all by myself, so I thought it would be good to have a sort of 'scheduled maintenance' day to do some of those little jobs I don't seem to have time for during my normal week.

Chief among these is cleaning my airbrush. Although I have only really just started using my Revell airbrush on a more regular basis I have noticed not only just how quickly it gets dirty but also how soon normal useage and paint build up negatively affects the quality of the spray. Although I have been doing some tentative (beginners) cleaning as I have gone along and - importantly - did a small cursory clean between colour changes - my cleaning and maintenance has been largely superficial mainly because I've been a bit scared to take the airbrush apart!

So, today began by my watching several YouTube videos on cleaning and maintaining airbrushes. There are - as you can imagine - a lot of videos out there on this subject and as usual I filtered them out by means of watching the first few seconds and judging whether I could actually bear listening to whoever was doing the video! Maybe not the best way to watch 'how to videos' (some boring guys can be very knowledgable) but I do find is a guy is boring it doesn't matter if what he has to say i s very good I simply turn off halfway through, so better to find videos I can actually stomach! :)

I didn't just watch this video, I watched about three before I felt I had a handle on what I was doing. Certainly I felt confident enough to start unscrewing bits of my airbrush feeling I now had a good chance of being able to put them back together again and still have my airbrush work. :D

It was amazing how dirty my brush was! I thought I had at least done some preventative cleaning - but I found out what was just causing some of the splatter I was experiencing when I last used it...

During my first inept - but well meaning - novice cleaning attempts I had used an old paint brush to clean inside the paint bowl. Several brush strands had detached from the old brush and worked their way down into the nozzle, causing the splattering.

So, note to myself, DO NOT use old paint brushes to clean inside your airbrush - use proper stiff airbrush cleaning brushes instead!

Left: These are the proper airbrush cleaning brushes I bought, great for pushing into the nozzles and channels inside the brush where all the old particles of paint build up.

It didn't actually take long to do a proper clean and in following the instructions in the videos I was able to disassemble and reassemble my airbrush properly (and understand what all the components did). I now feel more confident about doing things like removing the needle to wipe it clean after every spray to keep it smooth and free of what we Scots call 'clart' (tiny bits of dirt).

Sorry this is a bit of a wordy post - but it's just one of those jobs you have to do.

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