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Need help/tips for Airbrushing using Mica Powder

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So I finally decided to give airbrushing my soft plastic baits a try. I just kinda jumped into it not really knowing much about air brushing. Let me be clear that I know nothing about air brush paint, solvent, and retarders, I only know these are words that often come up when reading about air brushing. I do understand that a retarder is some sort of thinner and slows down the drying time of the solvent (in this case (clear 3000). For safety, I wore the exact M3 mask with the organic vapor filter while spraying and had an exhaust fan next to the baits as I painted, do I need glasses when spraying? 

A few things that I am looking for assistance with, the first being the spider web like strands that are produced while air brushing. I am currently using Lureworks Clear 3000 and mixing some mica powder in it. I didn't use any type of ratio, I just filled a tiny 1 ounce glass jar half way with clear 3000 and then scooped about 1 tsp of mica powder in, shook it and poured it into the airbrush's color cup and sprayed it on my baits. The color came out great but I noticed that a web like material started to form as i sprayed and it would get sucked into the exhaust fan and eventually the exhaust fan's protective cage would get completely covered in it like a spider web. I read somewhere that this might be caused by the solvent used and that I might need some thinner (retarder)? does this sound correct? If using sb 3000, what is the recommended thinner?

 

Lastly, any tips on air brushing would be greatly welcomed and appreciated. Is there a cheaper alternative solvent to mix mica powder with for air brushing? Should I be using some sort of ratio of solvent to Mica powder? for cleaning the color cup and the air brush parts,I used 100% acetone nail polish remover, is there any warning against this practice? is there a cheaper alternative solution for cleaning? 

 

These are some of the baits I made yesterday, I think they came out ok for it being the first time air brushing, what do you guys think? Blue Mackerel and Green Mackerel. 

baits.jpg

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10 minutes ago, jigmeister said:

If those are dipped baits you can air brush mica powder mixed with acetone on a finished bait then do a final dip with clear plastic to seal the mica to the bait

They are hand dipped. When using clear 3000, the paint dries quickly and I am happy with drying time (just a few seconds). If I use acetone will it dry just as quickly? Is there something I can add to the acetone to make it dry quicker, like the opposite of a retarder?

 

Thanks for your input

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I tried this with the air brush spray set pretty light and sprayed multiple coats until I was happy with the coverage .The acetone will dry in seconds after being sprayed on but the mica will stay in place .  It looks like this is how Basstrix painted their swimbaits using this method then final dipping in clear coat which both seals the mica powder and brings out the color(s) . Give it a try and see what you think 

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On 5/31/2022 at 3:12 PM, jigmeister said:
On 5/31/2022 at 3:12 PM, jigmeister said:

I tried this with the air brush spray set pretty light and sprayed multiple coats until I was happy with the coverage .The acetone will dry in seconds after being sprayed on but the mica will stay in place .  It looks like this is how Basstrix painted their swimbaits using this method then final dipping in clear coat which both seals the mica powder and brings out the color(s) . Give it a try and see what you think 

Thanks! This is exactly what I have been doing. up until now I have been brushing the mica on in both wet and dry form using a traditional brush and then sealing them in with a final dip (as seen in the pic above). I got my airbrush a while back ago but just started using it recently but have been using clear 3000 which is just way too expensive so looking for an alternative cheaper solvent to use. I did try the acetone and mica mix and while it worked, I found that it was clogging my air brush way more than using the clear 3000, not exactly sure why yet but i think maybe it is drying up too fast so maybe a retarder should work to sort this issue out, right?  

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From what I have read People who paint plastic baits with airbrushes have to use retarder to eliminate the spider webs that form due to the paint drying too fast . A little but of mica goes a long way I am wondering if you are putting too much mica in the paint cup causing clumping in the tip ?

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most retarder are just gel+water+glycerin aka thick water

https://youtu.be/cZR1Q-Acd3c?t=562

so you mix do not make sediment (clumps)

 

this is good stuf as a "all in one" too water paint (shop price)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGMRqNue04c

--------------------------------------------------------

my homemade mix is SILICA (20g to 1 liter) + right side jpg

(mix Silica and water first)

 

airbrush2.thumb.jpg.00beea068185f5dfe432fa37aae07bc0.jpg

it can keep the color 3-5g/100g mix for 24 hours without falling to the bottom

x4.jpg.2346a52da630ae4168f352851a139b09.jpg

if you warm up your bait a little, the color will set quickly and without drops

 

Edited by OIR
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