Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Airbrushing Part 2, different kits & parts

I'm warning you now that airbrushing will take a few days, so bear with me. For those of you who don't have a Copic Airbrush System (ABS) you'll want one after a week of relentless posting about all the cool things you can do with them. Remember, all this info is available from the Copic Library, as well as setting up the other two airbrush kits. I strongly suggest you download it and read through as I step through each process.

Q. Which Airbrushing set should I get?
A. It depends on how you will be using it.
If you just want to try airbrushing before jumping into a larger system or you need a really portable system without much fuss, use the ABS-2. Uses Aircan D60, which hooks directly into the air grip.
Pro: This gets you started with our smallest, most basic system.
: The Aircan D60's don't hold much air and just when you figure out how cool it is it runs out. This can be an expensive way to airbrush.
ABS-2 includes: Air Grip, aircan D60

If you want our complete, most cost-effective system without buying a compressor, then you should get the ABS 1. This lets you use our larger, more efficient Aircan 80 and Aircan 180.
Pro: Cheapest unit without a compressor, larger aircans last quite a while before you need to replace them.
Con: You're still throwing away an aircan. After you've gone through 5 of the large aircans you really should start looking at getting a compressor.
ABS-1 includes: Air grip, air adaptor, air hose 1/4 to 1/8, aircan 80, and air can holder

If you already own a compressor, then use the ABS 3 set. You’ll need to get an adaptor to match your air compressor to our 1/8 inch hose fitting. This set-up will work with almost any compressor that can go between 40 & 60 psi, as long as you can match the hose fitting.
Pro: Never buy another can of air
Con: Compressors come in all sizes, costs, and levels of noisiness. Choose a compressor carefully since it is a long-term investment.
ABS-3 includes: Air Grip, air adaptor

Whichever set-up you get, be aware that the parts are modular. If you start with an ABS 2 and you realize that you want to use the larger aircans you don't have to buy an ABS 1, just the rest of the parts to make an ABS-1. Also, all the parts except the aircans will last a long time (until they are damaged) so you're not looking at something that you'll eventually have to throw away.

Q. What does each part do?
Air Grip: This is the main part of each airbrush system. This holds your marker and has the spraying trigger. To change a color you pop it into and out of this grip. The air sprays out of the little metal nozzle and across the tip onto the paper. There is nothing to clean-up and you never have to replace this part unless it breaks.

Air Adaptor: This evens out the airflow from either an aircan or from a compressor. The Air adaptor looks like an aircan with a bolt stuck to the bottom. If you remove the plastic cap there is a thin metal stem that screws into the air grip. You can use this part for years and years, as long as it doesn't get punctured. (I had one that was caved in because the compressor fell on it and crushed it. It still worked fine, it just looked really bad)

Aircan Holder: This is a thick piece of foam that holds your aircans upright. Very handy, since you do not want your aircans tipping over during use or else they will spill compressed air into the hose and cause spitting and splotching. Each hole is cut to accurately hold one of the sizes of aircans.

Airhose 1/4 to 1/8: This is the Airhose that comes with the ABS-1. It only works with Copic aircans, and is needed for proper use of the Aircan 80 and 180. One end has a large metal piece with a valve, the other end is a small, simple fitting. Does not work with a compressor

Airhose 1/8 to 1/8: This needs to be purchased seperately, and is an airhose for hooking the air adaptor up to a compressor. Both ends are a small fitting (not pictured). Does not work with aircans.

Aircans: Under each plastic lid is a tall metal stem. Keep the cap, since you want to protect the stem from getting bent when not in use.
Aircan D60 lasts 7-8 minutes. D stands for Direct, since this is the only aircan you can use directly into the air grip
Aircan 80 lasts 20 minutes.
Aircan 180 lasts 45 minutes. Aircan 80 and 180 are extra-compressed aircans and either one should be used with an airhose.

Q. Why does the Aircan D-60 hold less air than the other cans?
A. The Aircan D60 has a built-in regulator that allows it to be used directly in the air grip. The other size aircans need an Air Adaptor to regulate the air pressure. Because the adaptor is built in, it takes up space. If the aircan were much larger it would be uncomfortable to hold, so there really is not enough room inside to hold the air and the regulating parts. Also, the air is not as pressurized, since it is going straight through the built-in regulator.

Physically you CAN attach an aircan 80 or 180 directly into the air grip. However, this splatters and spots each time you tip the aircan becuase you're directly spraying compressed air across your page and it has no air adaptor to even out the pressure or flow. It really looks bad and is unpredictable in the spray pattern.

Decorated Eggs
For a quick final project today, here is an egg that I airbrushed. I used BG32 as my base color, then with the brush end of a V17 and a G28 I added larger speckles through the airbrush system. With the airbrush system this is super easy and fun (Notice that I'm holding the egg with the lid for my aircan).


Keri Lee Sereika said...

Ok that is way too cool...I of course can not recall how to get the speckles yet! UGH!! LOL I should have taken better notes! LOL I will figure it out...

Mary said...

Thanks for the fine tutorial.

Sandy Knecht said...

Maybe I'll have some fun with eggs next easter. Will the ink absorb through the shell and make the egg unedible?

Improvedliving said...

LOL I should have taken better notes! LOL I will figure it out...

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Improvedliving said...

These all kits are very important and indeed helpful.

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marianne walker said...

I think they would be safe to eat - The markers are non-toxic, and they are alcohol based dye. They won't soak through the shell, but I would really try NOT to eat the airbrushed area out of principle (and eggshells are kinda gross).

How about: "Eat eggshells at your own risk"

SuzyQ said...

I am new to the Copic airbrush system. I purchased it this Christmas and I am very frustrated with the splattering of some of the darker markers. I have done traditional airbrush, so Maybe I am just use to more control. I checked you trouble shooting section and tried all your recommendations for correcting it, but did not have any good results.
I feel it is definitely the marker since not all of the markers are splattering. Any more suggestions?
Thank you. This looks like a great site I will delve into for more tips.

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