Airbrush woes continue – and get fixed

A few weeks ago, when I last tried to use my airbrush, it misbehaved pretty badly – spitting, spraying off-center, and generally performing poorly. I cleaned it very thoroughly, but it kept doing the same things, so I chalked it up to airbrush fussiness – a real and yet unexplainable phenomenon, but, as I found out, not the real source of my problems.

When I put the airbrush back together and tried to spray some white on various parts of my A-3, it persisted in behaving badly. I started contemplating a replacement for my airbrush – after all, it is 22 years old. I pondered that Iwata Eclipse I’ve been recommended, and wondered if it would fit the fittings for my compressor. I even tried to lay the groundwork for a $140 expenditure with my wife, who gave me a hard time – but, as it turns out, would have been fine with it.

As a last gesture to my good old Paasche VL, I tried a new needle/cone combination. The set also included a new “multiple head,” which screws on over the needle and cone in the very front, and I stuck that on there for good measure.

Well, surprise, surprise – not only did the airbrush start working, it started working far better than it had in a long time (as in years). It was also a lot quieter – meaning that there had been a worn-out seal in the head, which had allowed a lot of air to escape, reducing the psi of the air coming out the front and causing the paint to spit.

Well, duh.

I guess all things as frequently used as my airbrush are entitled to wear out every 22 years! I’ll mark my calendar and try to remember to replace these parts every three or four years from now on.

No matter how much you think you know about the hobby, there’s always something new that modeling can teach you. Now, I’m going to go paint some stuff!


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