Creations Unlimited Airbrush Cleaning Kit First-Look
By Cookie Sewell
|Date of First Look||August 2012||Manufacturer||Creations Unlimited|
|Subject||Airbrush Cleaning Kit||Pros||All basic items needed to clean an airbrush in one box; mixing vials included as well as a pouring funnel|
|Cons||No hints or directions provided||MSRP (USD)||$16.00|
It is one thing to be able to afford an airbrush (and then a compressor) and another thing entirely to maintain them. Too often they may become clogged with dried paint, suffer damaged tips or seals, or simply not be suitably clean for general use. While most modelers who own an airbrush understand that you use a water trap to eliminate moisture buildup and those nasty splats of water on your nice fresh coat of paint, it is essential to maintain the brush in a clean condition.
Creations Unlimited – the people behind the excellent series of Flex-I-File sanding products – now offers a nice little maintenance kit for a reasonable price in one go. The kit includes: one pair of rubber gloves; lint-free wiping cloths; pipe cleaners (the old fashioned kind without the plastic "routers" used by pipe smokers today); four eye droppers; a funnel; wooden (tooth) picks (the round type); cotton swabs with long wooden shafts; a small bottle for cleaning fluid; two metal ("library paste") type soft brushes; and four graduated measuring cups with readouts in milliliters and fluid ounces (15 and ½ respectively).
The set provides not only the basics for cleaning a brush but also a nice set of accessories for use in painting, such as the funnel and the measuring cups. This permits precise measurement of mixes so the modeler can keep the "right" formula for his particular style of painting once he finds it. The small bottle and eyedroppers are useful for measuring out paint and thinner when formulating a mixture.
The toothpicks are good for getting dried paint out of tips and tip holders, and the long swabs are great for cleaning out the general bore of single or double action brushes. Ditto the old-fashioned pipe cleaners - using the "router" types tends to leave paint inside the brush and "kiddie" art project ones tend to be colored and shed very easily. The cloths are actually high grade paper towels but will do a good job of general cleanup.
The gloves are plain blue latex and will need some talcum powder for easy on and off if used over a long period of time. The soft brushes are useful for general cleanup before painting to get rid of any loose dust or plastic on the model – nothing worse with an aircraft model than blowing all that crud up into the sealed cockpit!
Overall, while it seems a bit expensive at first the kit concentrates everything you need except for a lightweight lubricating oil in one place (I use a few drops on the piston arrangement in a double action airbrush to ensure smooth operation and no jerking).