Taxidermy Airbrushes & Equipment
So, why airbrushing?
To bring your specimen back to life, airbrushing is your best bet! Once you learn how to control the airbrush you will see that no other painting method offers the ability to create such gradual gradients, layers of depth, natural color blending, nor are the other methods as efficient on paints and clear coats. Whether you are a professional, or a hobbyist, if your specimens are for home, or competition, airbrushing is the ultimate way to take your skills as a taxidermist to the next level.
What do you need?
- An Airbrush
- To keep this as simple as possible we wont break down in to price points and such. For spraying your standard paints you will want an airbrush with a nozzle somewhere in .2mm-.3mm range. This will allow for some nice detail work while avoiding clogging when spraying pearl or metallic colors. To spray primers and clear coats you will want to look for an airbrush with a nozzle size of .5mm or larger. Primers and clear coats are thicker than paint thus they require a larger nozzle size and higher operating pressure to spray them properly. A two airbrush (or more) setup is ideal for taxidermy, keeping primers and clear coats to one airbrush, and all of your paints to the other(s).
- A Compressor
- There are a couple of directions you can head with a compressor for taxidermy. Most importantly think about how often you will paint, how long your painting sessions last, and on average the size of your specimens.
- Tankless Compressors - take up less space and are great for the artist on-the-go, but they do not deliver as consistent of an air flow as a compressor with a tank. They will often have pulsations in the air flow which could lead to uneven distribution of the product being sprayed. These pulsations can be minimized with the use of a coiled air hose. The motor will run every time you press the trigger of the airbrush and shut off every time you release the trigger which means you will only be able to use them for a certain amount of time before having to let the motor cool down.
- Compressor with tank - generally have a larger footprint but deliver consistent air flow without pulsations. The tank gets rid of pulsations, but it also somewhat acts as a moisture trap stopping some of the unwanted moisture from entering your air hose. The motor will not run every time you press the trigger, but when it does turn on it will run until it reaches the "auto-off" pressure. Ideal for larger nozzle sizes needed for spraying primers and clear coats.
- Paints & Clear Coats
- Our Recommendation for taxidermy paints is Createx Wicked Colors. Createx Wicked Colors offers a wide variety of colors in fluorescent, transparent, opaque, metallic and pearl. Not only does Wicked Colors have a great selection, but they are also water-based paints meaning no harmful chemicals like solvent-based paints. They offer a great level of adhesion to many different materials.
- There are many clear coats out there on the market. We will recommend some of our favorites here:
- KBS DiamondFinish - available in pints, quarts.
- Createx 5620 Gloss Clear - water-based clear coat, reduce as instructed, easy to apply
- American Icon - Must be mixed with activator, solvent-based, showroom quality finish
- NO-NAME 2k Gloss - only available in 1-2oz packages, solvent-based, must be mixed with activator, showroom quality finish.