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Tips & Tricks
Ask about and post about tips and tricks you use while modelling.
Pouring Paint Into Airbrushes
Rampenfest
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California, United States
Joined: April 28, 2011
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020 - 06:12 PM UTC
Hey all,

I am curious as to what you guys are doing to get paint from the bottle to the airbrush cup. Specifically, the Tamiya bottles. I currently use plastic eye droppers, but I feel like there is a better way? I always have to wash the eye droppers constantly and even after squeezing all the paint out, a lot remains on the sides so I feel like I am wasting paint. Thanks!

Regards,

Joe
varanusk
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ARMORAMA
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Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain / España
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020 - 10:42 PM UTC
I used to use an old brush, as the thinner was already in the cup.
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020 - 10:52 PM UTC
A large (worn out) brush to pick up smaller amounts or plastic drinking straws (any cheap plastic tube really).
Dip them to the bottom of the jar, close the top with your fingertip, lift over to airbrush (close to the jar, no point in challenging fate by walking around the whole apartment), lift finger tip to open the top of the tube to release paint into airbrush cup.

Scarred
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020 - 11:53 PM UTC
I have a friend who vapes and he used to get sampler packs of fluid that came in glass bottles the size of 17ml paint bottles. They come with glass droppers and I'll mix paint in those and use the dropper to put the paint into my airbrush.

These are what I have. But I don't think you need 2000 of them.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32584424764.html
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 12:43 AM UTC
A business minded person in the US could buy 2000 of them and then sell them in batches of ten for $1.50 each (15 bucks plus postage)
firstcircle
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 03:48 AM UTC
I just hold an old paint brush handle against the rim of the jar, pointing down into the airbrush cup, and pour it in. It flows down the brush handle rather than over the side of the jar. Then wipe the handle clean.
Scarred
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 04:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

A business minded person in the US could buy 2000 of them and then sell them in batches of ten for $1.50 each (15 bucks plus postage)



Why the US? Why not Sweden? Is there something your trying to say Robin? Did you corner the market of little glass bottles in Stockholm? Is this a subtle slur?


Sorry man.
Gotta lay off the ice tea.

I've got about 30 of them and they sure work when mixing colors and they're air tight so if I have to take a break I don't have to worry about it and they are very easy to clean. I've used them for both acrylics and enamels.

I've also found them on amazon.
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 04:25 AM UTC
The US has a bigger " local" market than Sweden.
If all the "serious" modellers around here bought 20 each
I would still have 1000 left ...
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 04:29 AM UTC
I have a simpler, better solution that I’ve used for years. I do my airbrush paint mixing in separate medicine cups, the kind found on the tops of NyQuil brand medicine bottles work fine, or you can buy them in bulk through Model Expo or Micro-Mark. I add the paint, then use a pipette to add thinner. The cups are flexible, so they’ll bend into a “spout” for pouring into the airbrush cup. They also have gradations in milliliters marked on the side for accurate paint mixing.
VR, Russ
JPTRR
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#051
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Tennessee, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 05:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I always have to wash the eye droppers constantly and even after squeezing all the paint out, a lot remains on the sides so I feel like I am wasting paint.



Me too. I use plastic droppers.

Every offered method results in a small waste of paint. The only way not to is to have the airbrush adapter that allows you to screw the paint bottle to the airbrush. I don't know if those are made for Tamiya bottles.

I consider the minuscule waste of paint unavoidable.
md72
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 06:35 AM UTC
Ok, my 2 cents.
I use glass eye / medicine droppers to transfer the paint to recycled single serving nondairy coffee creamer pots. I add thinner using graduated plastic pipettes. I found graduated glass droppers online at Amazon.
The glass eye droppers are easier to clean than the pipettes.
Yes there is paint loss, but I think it's inevitable. Since I end up thinning my paints to a spray-able consistency, I don't think I should put the thinned paint back into the bottle. I lose more paint that way than in the eye dropper.
RobinNilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 07:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

I always have to wash the eye droppers constantly and even after squeezing all the paint out, a lot remains on the sides so I feel like I am wasting paint.



Me too. I use plastic droppers.

Every offered method results in a small waste of paint. The only way not to is to have the airbrush adapter that allows you to screw the paint bottle to the airbrush. I don't know if those are made for Tamiya bottles.

I consider the minuscule waste of paint unavoidable.



Many of the bottle/jar adaptors consist of a suitable pipe bent at some angle connected to a siphon hose. The whole contraption is then fastened in a hole in a cap that fits the specific bottle/jar.
Save the cap from an emptied bottle/jar, drill a hole in it and transfer the pipe and fastener parts from the bottle/jar adaptor.

That is how I made my Tamiya adaptor ...
Scarred
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 07:29 AM UTC
Thinned paint is one reason I like those little bottles. Seal up any excess for later use and I use the same thing to clean the glass tube part of the eyedropper that I use clean my airbrush, a pipecleaner and one of those GUM Go Between tooth cleaners.

I used to use those little measuring cups from cough syrup but I always mixed too much with no way to save it or I'd knock the dang thing over and a couple times, overseas, I got some hot paint thinners that melted them. Glad it was the cups and not the model.
RLlockie
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 07:30 AM UTC
One option to reduce the paint loss is to decant the measured amount of thinners into a small container and use the paint dropper to pick it up and transfer it to the airbrush. This will help clean out the paint dropper and add it to the sprayable quantity too. The separate dropper used for the thinners is obviously already clean enough for re-use.
Rampenfest
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California, United States
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Posted: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 05:04 PM UTC
All great ideas! I will definitely do the straw thing and look into the glass droppers! Thanks guys!
mogdude
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United States
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Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2020 - 12:16 PM UTC
I use plastic pipettes to trans fer paint then I add thinner the I go back and use the first pipette used for paint to suck up the paint out of the AB cup and mix it this way several times this adds thinner to the paint in the pipette and reduces the amount of wasted paint since its niw a thinned version Ialso keep an empty liq cloths washing soap jug filled with wind shield washer fluid by the mixing area to drop the pipettes into (suck up some WF into it first) then when it gets full of paint bottles and pipettes I dump and rinse them out for reuse , also if you frequint Wendys resterants the little clear condment cups work great for acrylic paint mixing as well
barkingdigger
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ARMORAMA
#013
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
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Posted: Friday, June 12, 2020 - 08:38 AM UTC
A lot depends on the type of airbrush. I use a gravity-fed one with a big cup mounted on top, and a metal lid on the cup. I pre-thin my Tamiya paint in a spare bottle (after a while I found that I wound up with loads of them!) and just pour it into the cup - the trick is to be decisive and not hesitant, just like pouring anything cleanly. I wrap a bit of paper towel around the bottle threads while pouring to catch any drips. It helps that my airbrush sits in the holding-fork on my Sparmax cleaning pot, so both my hands are free...
Anomander_Rake
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United States
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Posted: Saturday, September 05, 2020 - 07:02 AM UTC
I use 3ml plastic pipettes. They work well and are inexpensive. Still stuck in the past spraying enamel (Folquil Military) and discard the pipettes after use rather than clean.
Vicious
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, September 05, 2020 - 11:44 AM UTC
I use glass 3ml pipette and mix in PTFE (Teflon) or Glass beaker
Softail
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Canada
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Posted: Tuesday, September 08, 2020 - 09:19 AM UTC
An easy way to transfer and mix you paints is in a needle-less syringe, just draw up some thinner, then some paint, cover the tip, give it a shake, then dispense. Very little paint wastage that way.