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Needle Size

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by Paul Satala, Sep 19, 2019.


  1. Paul Satala

    Paul Satala Young Tutorling

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    I'm looking at buying the H&S Ultra 2 in 1. I want to get the crown cap because of reviews I've been reading online about how much better it is than the original one. But with it being $34, I don't want to buy one for each size needle that comes with the Ultra 2 in 1. I'm going to be mainly using it for scale airplane models in 1/72 and 1/48 scale. Based on what size models I'll be working on, would the 0.2mm needle or 0.4mm needle be better?
  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Mod Artist of the Month!

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    So there are a few things there.

    1. Please go along and do and introduction on the intro page.... https://www.airbrushforum.org/introductions/
    2. Size of the needle/nozzle does not determine the size you work at, mostly...
    3. Finer tips need skill and are best with experience as they can be finicky. They are more sensitive to reduction and pressure and learnign that only comes with time and practice.
    4. There is no shortcut to getting skillful with the airbrush. I've seen guys paint on ridiculously small items with a 0.38mm eclipse...
    5. Larger tips are needed for larger pigments. EG you can't practically spray primer through a 0.2mm nozzle...

    So in answer to your questions... "Based on what size models I'll be working on, would the 0.2mm needle or 0.4mm needle be better?" Both and neither... depends what paint you are using, reduction, level of skill, level of detail needed, how much practice you are prepared to do.

    Regarding the crown cap, is it particular to a needle/nozzle combination?

    Now... here is a dragon to say Hi!

    Welcome dragon.jpg
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  3. Paul Satala

    Paul Satala Young Tutorling

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    Thanks for the info!

    A few answers to your questions:
    Paint: Don't have any paint yet but looking at getting into the Tamiya line.
    Reduction: I'm assuming this is how much the paint is thinned?
    Level of skill: no experience whatsoever. Aside from rattle can stuff and very minimal at that.
    Level of detail needed: The smallest level of detail would be inside the cockpit I'm guessing.
    Amount of practice: I'd be willing to practice a good amount.

    And the crown cap has multiple sizes. I'd have to buy one for the .2mm needle and a separate one for the .4mm needle if I wanted both.
  4. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Mod Artist of the Month!

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    OK.

    Detail inside a cockpit of a model, airbrush is the wrong tool.
    Tamiya... can't comment but the manufacturer will have all the good info.
    Reduction... yes... the manufacturer uses thinners to make paint (paint is made of pigment, a carrier and a thinner), end users use reducers to get the paint to the correct viscosity. They may or may not be the same thing.

    Yes, you will need plenty of practice... :) It's good fun!
  5. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Very Likeable!

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    I can not find a crown cap for the Ultra on any parts list. That model has the nozzle cap and needle cap all in one. So you might need to look at the Infinity range to replace the one piece design. Unfortunately you can not buy just a nozzle cap for each size and single needle cap, they came as a set. But you will have a spare incase you lose it. The Ultra is not chrome but nickel so you will need the "yellow-ish" parts which is 0.2 = HS-126783 and 0.4 = HS-126793.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  6. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Just to throw another thing into your thoughts.
    More often than not those that paint fine detail use very low pressure, very reduced (thinned) paint and NO cap. Why? Because of the low pressure you can get super close to the item you are painting and it’s easy to see the tip of the needle so you can see where you’re painting and it’s also easier to clean the tip of the needle if you are suffering tip dry (the ongoing curse of water based paint lol )
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  7. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    This might be just me, but I would say you are putting the cart in front of the horse, so to speak. I would recommend just getting the brush the way it is. Spend a week or 2 or 3 fooling around with it, using the paint you want to work with, and see if you develop a feel for it. Once you spend some time with it, you will be in a better position to decide which size, if any, you want to try the crown cap on...
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  8. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    ok, just so everyone knows the set up of the Ultra. (silly me thought it was the same as the Infinity) here is a parts pic of the Ultra..
    upload_2019-9-20_6-30-39.png

    As we can now see, the ultra has an "air cap" which as Andre has pointed out is not the same thing as a 'crown cap' and it is not removable when you paint as I suggested.

    Just so you can see the difference, here is a pic of the Infinity set up, the green circle is the crown cap, the one above it is the 'distance cap'
    if you change needle size you also need to change the aircap to match the needle

    upload_2019-9-20_6-44-27.png
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  9. MarcosD

    MarcosD Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    0.2 or 0.4 both can paint a complete model without any issue, a little more control with 0.4 but it can paint very little details. And as someone said before, for tiny details in a model you use a 00000 brush not an airbrush! I use to paint 1” miniature with a badger 150 medium tip!


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