Well, finally have had some time to try out the airbrush for roughly an hour. There are a few things I have discovered I hadn't really thought of, and hopefully I will be able to remedy it soon.
For those who are thinking of getting an airbrush, there are a few things to consider:
1. Get a cheap toothbrush. All that acrylic paint isn't going to remove itself, and having a gentle bunch of bristles to softly remove excess build up will pretty much be a must.
2. Start big. After the first 5 minutes of trying to airbrush soft pieces of styrofoam, I recognized the error of my ways as they were blown willy nilly across the painting area. Duh, right? After fiddling with this, I grabbed an old Soul Grinder model I wasn't happy with and began a base coat of black paint for it. This allowed me to get an idea on how to operate the brush and experiment.
3. Take notes. Seriously, do this. It will help you remember how being further back creates a different effect than being up close, just how much pressure you want to put on the paint release, how much paint you want for certain jobs (count the turns on the back release!), and how thick to mix your paint with water/thinning agent.
4. Figure in clean up time. I spent roughly 10 minutes cleaning out the airbrush after using it for an hour.
5. Turn off the compressor periodically. Yeah, I know it says it has an automatic shut off. That there is bull-pucky. When you see that pressure gauge sitting still at 50-60 psi, don't be afraid to reach over and give it a shut off. You can always turn it back on again and won't risk overheating the compressor.
And most important-
6. Have fun. It's easy to forget this step as starting out a new technique can be frustrating when it isn't working out as planned. Seriously, just enjoy yourself. You won't be an expert in the first week of getting it, and as long as you have a decent idea on how you like your colors you'll catch on to the nuances.
That's pretty much it for today. As soon as I start destroying that Soul Grinder with some colors other than black I'll be sure to post up some pictures for the interwebs to laugh at. ;) Till then, take care!