Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spray Gun: Stirred Not Shaken

I decided to start painting the Baneblade with the spray gun this evening. I figured it would be a snap, or a total nightmare, so it was my sole project. It went surprisingly well. I read the GW instructions on their website a few days before, so I knew to get two cans of propellant. The instructions that come with the spray gun are incomplete, so I advise watching the video or reading the instructions online.

As discussed online, the propellant gets cold as you use it, with a corresponding drop in pressure. You need to have a second bottle handy while the other one warms up. Sure enough, I was just finishing up the Baneblade when the second bottle began losing pressure. The first coat took about 15 minutes from beginning to end, compared to the 2-3 hours it would have taken with a brush. Clean up was simple with water. I used nearly a whole bottle of paint, so there wasn't much to pour back in the bottle.

Also, one minor issue: Be careful when attempting to mix the paint in the glass bottle. I recommend you stir it rather than shake it, as the bottle is not completely sealed when the cap is screwed on. I ended up getting paint on my shirt.

Primed and ready to go.

Our tools for today. Adeptus Battlegray will be my first coat, followed by camo masking, a coat of Mechrite Red and then Blood Red over that. Once the masking is removed, I'll go over the camo edges freehand with Codex Gray.

Unpacking the parts. I was glad I had read the online instructions, as the included ones don't even cover all the steps to assemble it.

Test painting on some cardboard. Although you can adjust the spray in a couple ways, I left it stock without any problems. My big question is how to use standard Citadel paints with this. The instructions online specify foundation paints. I'll probably try it straight out of the bottle first and then cut it with water, if necessary.

Ready to go.

This took no time at all. In fact, it was easier than priming the model with spray primer, as the spray gun went on more evenly. If you can use spray primer, you can use the spray gun. Another evening I'll work on the masking and the second coat.


  1. I have to wonder how much of a premium it carries over a generic airbrush, and if it's any better than a generic airbrush... but the results look great!

  2. The GW paint gun is $30. I see various competing products for $25, but the propellant looks more expensive. I'm sure you could save money by shopping around, but it's not exactly expensive to begin with.

    Best of all, if you don't know what you're doing with an air gun, this is a great way to be sure you're getting what you need.

  3. Sounds very reasonable, then. A pretty minor price premium, for a huge convenience increase.

    Can't think why I asked, though, as I have no use for an airbrush that isn't in a graphics editor...

  4. I'm curious whether or not other propellant can be used with it. The gun itself isn't that expensive, but if it can only be used with GW propellant, then that's where it's going to get you over the long term.

  5. GW Propellant is $8 for an 8 oz can.

    Hobbico: $12 for a 9.5oz can

    Testors: $12 for a 10 oz can

    Badger Propel: $10 for a 7 oz can

    Paasche: $12 for a 15 oz can

    There's no doubt that in the long-term, a compressor is the way to go for serious duty air brushing. Then again, I've read about people who spend a small fortune on these things and are happy to see a semi disposable set up like this.

  6. They've got a nice competitive price, but are the other propellants compatible?

    GW doesn't exactly have a perfect record of keeping things like this in their catalog is why I'm asking. It wouldn't be a complete disaster for a $30 tool to become useless after a year or two because of lack of propellant, but it would be a bit annoying.

  7. I'm not sure about compatibility, but the GW spray gun is made by Badger. Perhaps their propellant works.