Painting: Priming and Stripping Pt. 2.5

Painting: Priming and Stripping Pt. 2.5

Well, this was initially supposed to be a glorious post where I talk up how an airbrush changed my life, except today didn’t go quite as planned. Before we get to that, let’s talk about saving time.


As in “dedicated”. It’s actually something I’ve never really had when working on minis. Typically, I would set up everything, prime, tear it all down. Same with painting, paint a few, then all the brushes and paints go in a box and back to the closet. With the minis maybe drying in the garage until they to return to a box.

I’ve been looking at ways to save time, so I can hopefully have more time for this painting miniatures hobby. When I first started airbrushing, I setup in a corner of the garage, but … I didn’t tear it all down afterwards. So far the wife hasn’t complained, and I might, finally, have a dedicated workspace! I even went out and bought a decent adjustable lamp last night and outfitted it with a daylight bulb. Man, those are worth every penny. Never knew what a difference a daylight bulb would make, but now I want some more.

So, in short, if there is anyway possible, stake a space, so at least you save a lot of time in tear down. Now if only I had a sink nearby….

An Airbrush saved my life!


If you were paying attention earlier, then you know that is a lie.

Yesterday I primed 1 mini, and things went really well. I threw everything into the Ultrasonic bath, and let it do it’s thing, and everything was gold.

Here’s the one I use:

Works great. It automatically turns off after every 3 minutes, so you do have to hit the “On” button a few times, if you want it to go through a few cycles. I took apart the airbrush, rinsed a little with distilled water, added distilled water and airbrush cleaner to the tub, and put the pieces in there. After 3 cycles (~9 minutes), everything looked good.

Then last night I set about prepping more minis to prime, and I’m all ready to go this morning once the toddler goes out with Mom. Get everything hooked up and I’m ready to roll. Test *pssht*. Hmm, not a lot of paint. Some more tests, and pretty soon no paint is coming out. So my mind starts racing. Paint clog? Did some lint from a paper towel or tissue I used to dry it, gum everything up?! I take most of it apart, trying to clean it, throw it back together again, add another half cup of paint….and again no paint is coming out.

Now I’m more worried. Take everything apart again for a thorough cleaning, back to the bath. Then it’s time to research. Along the way I did find the video I mentioned before where the guy took apart the Iwata Eclipse really thoroughly:

About 10 minutes later, sounds like I possibly hadn’t tightened a screw completely. In the meantime, I manage to drop a piece down the sink and so I have to undo the pipe to get it out. Yea, that was dumb. Why I didn’t take everything apart and put it into the basket that comes with the ultrasonic bath, I’ll never know! So I get everything back together again finally, and the needle is pulling back like it should. Back to the workplace, and paint now comes out. So I stupidly wasted a lot of time cleaning and re-cleaning, when it turned out to just be a screw that needed to be tightened. It sucks, but in a way it was good for me to learn how to disassemble better and what things to look for when something goes wrong. ‘All part of the process”.

The actual priming time was pretty quick and with my workspace setup and not much cleanup in the way of airbrushing, I could easily prime a mini or three at a time. With all the setup and cleanup I used to do with spray cans, I definitely wanted to make sure to do a whole team at once. The end result with the airbrush is also very even, so I have no worries about doing a few at once. Cleanup is as simple as rinsing, adding to the ultrasonic bath and letting it run a few cycles. You have to do the same thing if you wanted to change paints, which would be a bit of a pain, but as a cleanup routine inbetween priming jobs, I find it to be quite tolerable.

I’ll likely stick with one color primer in the future, like white. So I also wouldn’t have to worry about changing up paints. So far Badger airbrush primer has been really nice. No need to mix, just pour straight from the bottle.

Well that wraps up today’s postings and pitfalls. Till next time!