Anything Worth Doing…

a wargaming blog (plus some other stuff)

Shooting Paint


Well, my compressor has arrived and I’ve started playing with my new airbrush, much to the annoyance of my better half. In two evenings I’ve learnt a lot, and even managed to get some paint on some jetbikes.

Airbrushing Stuff

The first challenge was getting everything necessary. With a distinct lack of any airbrush or modelling  shops in this part of Sweden, this required a little research.

As mentioned previously, the airbrush itself, the handgrip moisture trap, and cleaning pot thingy came from Air Tech in Scotland. The cleaning brushes and air hose were ordered online from Amazon, although I have discovered Jula in Lund does the cleaning brushes for just 25 SEK.

The compressor was a little more challenging because of shipping the thing up here. In the end I found a company in Germany ( As well as reasonable shipping rates, the compressor also has a European plug which is handy. I have to admit, for a cheap(ish) Chinese machine, it is surprisingly quiet.

Although an airbrush does not throw out as much paint as a spray can, I think a face mask is a good idea, so that is also on the list. I’m also wearing an older pair of glasses, because I don’t really want to remove a fine layer of paint from my normal glasses.

In addition to all this, I also got some empty paint pots and pipettes from Panduro, a bottle of distilled water for thinning paints, and a bottle of rödspirit (the Swedish version of Meths back home) for cleaning. I’ve also is it useful to have cotton buds and kitchen paper immediately to hand.

Speaking of cleaning, this seems to be the most time consuming bit of using an airbrush. Especially if you forget to fully squirt out the paint and rinse it out the airbrush before dismantling the thing (as I did this evening).

The second biggest task is preparing paint to shoot through the airbrush. In my case, I’ve been using Citadel Bleached Bone and Tau Ochre; and thinning them with just distilled water (I tried using acrylic retarder but it was completely unnecessary). I’ve set my compressor to 2 bar which seems to work once the paint is the right consistency.

Over the last two nights I’ve based coated and then highlighted my jetbikes; and done some very basic masking on the jetbike canopies using Coat d’Arms’ Turquoise (which worked much better than the Citadel paints) and some Tamiya masking tape. 

jetbike canopies

So far, I’m enjoying using the little beastie, however with a bit of a learning curve, I suspect I won’t get enough time to finish my five eldar tanks before May. Umm, plan B then, whatever that is!

5 thoughts on “Shooting Paint

  1. I’ve got a good brush, compressor, and supplies, but no experience. Like you, I’m just starting out. The lines on the bikes look good, though.

    • It seems to work well, but I need a lot more practice! I can see I’ll be finding any excuse to use it over the coming weeks!

      • Well, you’ll need to let me know your thoughts once you’ve had some time behind the brush.

        Like you, cleaning up isn’t any fun. For me, getting the paint flowing correctly is the hardest part.

  2. Never used an airbrush (just “Army Painter” spray cans from Triple Helix Wargames”), but looks quick way to add base colour onto white undercoat + optionally any stripes etc you choose as your Craftworld colour/pattern (like painting black stripes onto Saim Hann red).
    I suggest then add wash or highlights/edging with a manual brush ?
    Dave OJ might have used an airbrush to recommend paint suppliers etc ?

    • Although you probably can’t tell in the photo, the jet bike canopies were highlighted with the airbrush. Although it is probably impossible to replace a normal brush, the airbrush is great for all these big areas.
      Should be fun to use on the bigger grav tanks.

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