A cheap spray booth for Airbrushing your miniatures indoors. Jul08


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A cheap spray booth for Airbrushing your miniatures indoors.

If you’re like me and live in a climate that only allows you a small handful of days a year where you can effectively prime your models outside, you’ve probably asked yourself what the indoor options are for priming miniatures. Using traditional spray primer in your house is a REALLY bad idea. Even if you have a dedicated painting room or area, the smell and chemicals are not something you want to inhale or have floating around your house.

For me, airbrushing was the answer. My Airbrushing 101 article will help you make the right choices when it comes to exploring airbrushing miniatures as an option.

Even though the airbrush doesn’t use aerosols, with air as it’s propellant, you’ll find clouds of atomized paint floating around your room and landing on surfaces you don’t want it on. The answer to this problem is called a spray booth, an often expensive, semi-enclosed box that you do your airbrushing inside of. A fan at the back pulls air flow away from the painter through a filter that captures the paint particles.

This how-to guide will show you how to create a decent, home made, spray booth at a low cost compared to the 100-300 you might pay for a more professional setup. Note that when airbrushing, you should still wear a respirator or at least a high quality dust mask.

You will need:

You can see where I’m going with this, but there are a couple of tips I’ve learned in the times I’ve done this.

1. Unbox your fan and attach the feet that come with it for stability

2. The filter needs to go on the BACK of the fan, so that the air from the fan is blowing away from the filter, not into it.

3. Make sure your filter’s airflow arrow is pointing in the right direction.


4. Tape the filter to the fan.

5. Cut 3 appropriate sized flaps out of your cardboard and tape them to the  top and sides of fan/filter combo you’ve just made. These flaps don’t have to be much deeper than 6 inches.

You’re going to have to make room for this thing on your painting area. Make sure your surface is protected, since we didn’t add anything to the bottom of the spray booth. You’ll want to set your new booth right in front of where your going to be actually airbrushing your miniatures. This can’t sit half way across the desk.

Turn your fan on the highest setting. You’ll feel a bit of air flow sucking into the filter but it won’t seem like a terrible gust. Worry not. As long as you’re airbrushing your models within 2-3 feet of the cardboard enclosure, it should capture all your overspray. After a few sessions of airbrushing, you’ll see the color build up on your filter. Turning your new rig off and airbrushing will show a very distinct visual difference with where all those paint particles are going.

So now you’re all set. Airbrushing indoors is now a fairly safe venture. If you’re just airbrushing for priming or a full on air brush master, this spray booth should do the trick. The filter will need changing eventually, and over the course of a year or two, you’ll probably find the fan loses strength. Cleaning the blades helps with this, but you’ll probably have to replace it eventually. The filter and fan are things you would likely have to replace on more fancy spray booth setups anyway.

Use all the necessary safety precautions.