I use the basic Badger model 350 airbrush and its good enough for what
I do. After each session I thoroughly flush the airbrush with water
and it sprays water well. Yet I get uneven blockages in my next
session some months down and have to strip it to clean it out. This
is a PITA. Do you guys have the same problem? Or should I just strip
it anyway and store the metal parts in water to keep any paint film
Have the 350 as well as 100, 150, 200, 250.
What paint are you using? Do you really only flush with water? Where do the
blockages seem to form?
Even when using "water base" paint I always run windshield washer fluid or
window cleaner (Windex, etc) after the first rinse off. It's cheap and seems
to clear out all water based paints. Also I keep separate jars for the water
and the Windex. I usually put the first bottle of water on and swish it around
to get paint stuck on the syphon or cap. Pays to run a pipe cleaner through
the syphon tube and cap, too. Paint can hide in the nozzle piece. Water then
Windex. I usually don't flush it after that. I also keep a margarine tub of
water around and will sometimes dip the working end of the airbrush in and
swish it around, even cycle it underwater.
The 350 is pretty easy to care for, all the pieces being external. I wouldn't
leave it immersed for very long though. I also use Scalecoat Wash Away, which
BTW is an amazing paint stripper for models, sometimes. I'll soak all the
metal parts in a bit for a bit then rinse and dry.
You are not cleaning the airbrush well enough. Acrylics in particular
are quick to dry, and leave a thin sometimes very hard to clean residue
in small areas.
I clean with lacquer thinner or Testors brush cleaner after use, and
then flush with regular thinner which has oil in it and keeps the
No problems here for years.
No. After every session I strip the airbrush down and clean the
components with white spirit (I use enamel paints mostly) with a last
wipe over using lacquer thinners or "airbrush cleaner"
Just clean the brush properly after each session, then reassemble it.
Acrylics are particularly bad at clogging airbrushes, they set very
quickly and form hard lumps. The setting process is a chemical change,
and the result is an acrylic plastic, not water soluble (or you'd be
able to wash set acrylic off your model)
To be fair, what you're using is designed to remove set acrylic :)
Lacquer thinners would also dissolve your set acrylic, but unfortunately
they would also dissolve the plastic underneath.
What I meant was, if acrylic paint didn't set chemically (turning into
plastic), but rather simply dried out, just losing the solvent, then a
quick run under the tap would strip the paint off your model . . . . .
After every painting session, I remove the needle and the tip pieces.
When using acrylics, I clean with "dirty" distilled water and windex mostly.
On occasion, I use 90% rubbing alcohol in place of the windex.
Regardless of paint type, I let the tip bits soak in some appropriate
cleaner (windex, rubbing alcohol, lacquer thinner for enamels)
for a few minutes while I take a couple of windex soaked q-tips to the
airbrush body parts that paint goes through.
On occasion, I take the entire thing apart and clean every piece.
I've got a Badger Crescendo, a 200, and a third one which I think is
"dirty" distilled water ... left over distilled water used in a humidifier.
It's dirty in the sense that it's been moved out of the original jug it
came in, but otherwise OK for paint thinning, cleaning, etc.
All foods should be removed to reply
I use enamels, but also flush throughly after each use.
But what I also do is screw the needle fully closed after flushing,
before I put it away. Keeps any residual paint and/or dust out of the
tip. I use a Badger 200 - same one I've been using since I was a pre-teen.
Well, I took a very drastic step. I stopped using acrylics in my
airbrush except for very rare circumstances. Acrylics dry so fast that
if I get distracted, and don't clean the brush immediately, it clogs.
I find enamels are much more tolerant that way.
Even when I do use acrylics, I don't use just plain water as thinner or
cleaner. I use rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol.
A 50-50 mix of denatured alcohol and windex makes an excellent cleaner
that will remove all the dirt and oil from optics or clean an airbrush
after spraying acrylics. My professional artist friend says it will even
remove dried acrylic, but I haven't had occasion to try that, and
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.