I have a Paasche VL airbrush, and have some questions:
1) How can I tell what VL model it is? From what I understand, there are VL-1, VL-2 and VL-3 models.
2) The last time I used the airbrush, I could not adjust the spray pattern to get a very fine line. The thumb wheel which adjusts the spray seems sticky, and I just can't get the pattern fine like I was able to when the airbrush was brand new. What part(s)/assemblies would I need to replace to get this working again?
3) Where is a good place to get Paasche parts? I tried my local Michael's Crafts, but they only stock Badger stuff. Any good online shops for parts?
4) I want to replace the needle and tip - what do the different needle/tip sizes do? They have a #1, 2 and 3.
I believe there is a clue to this question in question #4. As I recall, the VL-1, 2, & 3 refer to the tip and needle sizes that the factory original brush comes with. I'm not positive about this so let's see if anyone chimes in on this one.
Hopefully all you have to do is make sure that you've cleaned the brush very, very well when you last use it. If your using acrylic paint make absolutly sure that you get every bit of paint out of the brush before you put it away for any period of tiime. If it dries in the brush, you may have to have it completly broken down, replace the washers that will be trashed when you use solvents to get the paint that's dried in the brush. It's best to just learn to keep it really clean in the first place.
This problem also occurs with this brush if the needle is removed for cleaning and then reinserted into the brush with too much force. The tip of the needle can deform the spray tip very eaisly, once this is done you have to replace the spray tip with a new one.
The only place I've ever been able to find decent sources of Paasche parts is from high end art supply stores. Meiningers Art Supply in Denver, Co.
is where I do most of my buying, but I'm sure that there are others out there.
They are "supposed" to allow you to regulate the fineness of the spray pattern. Do they? I've had limited success changing out the tips and needles. I just learned over time to use pressure and trigger positions to change the flow rate.
I've owned my VL for about eight months now and love it. I'm not sure about the "VL-1,2,3" you mention, but my VL has three tip/needle sizes: 1, 3 and
I regularly switch between the #1 and #3 tip, typically using the #1 for fine lines, mottle camoflage; the #3 for everything else. I've yet to use the #5 as I work mostly in 1/48 scale. I've toyed with the line adjusting nut, but have mostly concentrated on becoming proficient with the trigger.
Cleaning the brush is the "A Number One" rule, especially with acrylics (which I use exclusively). I break down my brush after each use and clean it; it really isn't hard and can be done in just a few minutes.Some folks have commented on having trouble reinserting the trigger, but I haven't had this difficulty so don't really know.
In my experience, one must be absolutely fastidious about cleaning the VL after use, and especially so if using acrylics. I do have to use solvents on occasion, but apply them with reamers or Q-tips, rather than soaking the brush, so I've never had a problem with the internal soft washer deteriorating. I even remove the trigger and the base nut occasionally, the latter to get at the spring-loaded plunger in the air supply path. Getting the trigger back into the brush is...interesting, but I can usually get it done in under a minute now.