First of all, I’ve uploaded images from my October Backlog. New this month: three additional Mechanical Chain Bases, two 1/144th scale Zudahs, and 4 bottles of Alclad II primer.

I’m SHOCKED by the size of these Alclad II bottles! They’re the same height as my 1/144th scale Zaku II! You can clearly see the size of it, even when compared to a 40mL bottle of Mr. Surfacer, and both a 23mL and 10mL bottle of Tamiya paint. And I bought 4 of them! Plus side, they come with paint-mixing ball-bearings in the bottles. I’ll be able to use them later, when I’ve emptied the bottles. Oh, and the Alclad II comes airbrush-ready!

So, why haven’t I done any airbrushing lately? Sadly, I’ve been having some hardware issues. Basically, the panel that displays the pressure on the regulator that’s attached to my compressor is bent. That prevents the needle from moving, which means the regulator is useless as I don’t know how much pressure is being let through. I’m pretty sure I wasted over half of my bottle of primer because my PSI was too high when I was airbrushing earlier. To help alleviate this issue, I bought an air tank, some adapters, hoses and a second regulator to make it easy for me to airbrush.

Well… It didn’t work out like that. It seems that I didn’t know how to set it up, so I bought what I thought I needed, based on what another modeler talked about when describing his setup. But there was one thing he talked about that neither I nor the guy at Harbor Freight understood; Using a single hose to both deposit air into, and remove air from the tank. It wasn’t until I had spent all my money on hoses and adapters (that I would have needed anyways) that I realized the physics of what he did. He had his compressor attached to a manifold (it’s like a T-junction, but with a shut-off valve) which was also connected to the tank and the regulator. From the regulator, he then had another manifold that connected to his airbrush, with a port open to attach other things. Now, what both I and the guy at Harbor Freight didn’t understand, was that the compressor generates a constant amount of pressure. If that pressure ever drops below the compressor’s regulator threshold (say 40 or 50 PSI), it turns on until that pressure is met. Now, when connected to the air tank, any drop in pressure would activate the compressor and fill the tank. If the airbrush was being used at this time, (usually at 15 to 30 PSI) the air would come from the compressor and the tank. What isn’t used would flow back into the tank until the compressor reached 50 PSI again.

Yeah, it sounds confusing to me too, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to work in my head. I might draw a diagram and record a video when I finally get it working, demonstrating what I just outlined.

There were other issues that stopped me from getting my ideal setup going… For one, there’s a small plastic turn-knob that lets the air flow in and out of the tank. After 2 days, it cracked. If I don’t twist it hard, it shouldn’t break anytime soon. But there’s yet another issue with the tank; It leaks. After finally managing to get quick-connectors on the tank and hoses, (with sealant tape) I noticed something… After filling it with my compressor (hard to do, since the “quick and easy fill valve” requires an air chuck, which is the same kind of connector used to fill car tires. In the end, I switched out adapters on the main valve, opened it up, and filled it that way, similar to what I described above but without the manifold) I’d let it sit for an hour or more, and I’d notice a considerable loss of PSI. After doing this two or three times, I figured out that it was losing about 3-4 PSI an hour. I highly doubt that this is a common issue with air tanks like this, since they’re designed to be filled and used for emergency air filling, days, if not weeks later.

I’ve already contacted the companies about both the regulator and the tank. The new regulator’s already been shipped, so I’ll be taking off the one that’s currently on the compressor and using it for parts or other uses. I think my replacement tank’s been shipped, but the email I got was a bit vague… If it did ship (free of charge, mind you, despite that the company’s policy is that I would have to pay for shipping to and from the company) I should get a tracking number by tomorrow.

Hopefully by my next paycheck I can get additional adapters and have my new air tank setup fully configured, and ready to paint. However, I need to double-check that I have enough paint and I’ll probably need to spend some money buying new paints. I (like an idiot) bought a bunch of the wrong paints in preparation. I didn’t know that it’s better to paint with glossy paint, then matte it later, so a lot of my current paints are “flat” colors… Yay…

I’m also going to place my first pre-order; Master Grade Nu Gundam.