Monday, February 20, 2017

SNM Stuff - Airbrush for Beginners

Hi folks, as some of you know I recently purchased (read last year) an airbrush to try and speed things up and spur me forward to work on some new models. I know its taken me a while to get round to this but in all honesty I haven't had chance to do it :(

In the end the purchase was great but to start with I was a tad worried about using it, so in my attempts to move forward I decided to look at some courses on airbrushes before I made the purchases, just to ensure I wasn't wasting my money.

Initial searches weren't great as the courses were either being held too far away or at locations where they not only wanted you to pay for the course but expected you to purchase the airbrush as part of that course (and I wont pay Iwata prices for "china" compressors!) and offered little in the way of incentive (in fact at least one of them the course and set prices worked out more than their individual prices via their store!).

In the end the closest course I could find (which was still a good two hours away) was being run by SNM Stuff, a store I had heard of (and whose name always makes me laugh!!) but never dealt with. It was offering a full days tutorial for £95 with a chap called Brian Best, a who is listed as a Golden Demon winner, and he really is.

To quote their blurb:

This course is ideal for those new to airbrushing or who want to brush up their basic skills, and time is also dedicated to showing you how to clean and care for your airbrush. We used to advertise this course as “basic techniques” but we’ve changed the name because we find that by working at a comfortable pace, with many groups, the attendees are skilled enough already (or pick it up quickly enough) that we get considerably beyond just basic techniques by the end of the day. Although we provide all the airbrushes and equipment you’ll need, we also include a troubleshooting section to help address any issues you might have with your current setup.
As well as gaining a full day of training, you will also benefit from a 5% discount on paints and supplies bought on the day !
As I was unsure of what I wanted/needed this seemed the best way forward. On arrival the store is very centrally located and well stocked. Located in the town centre of Camberly I honestly expected it to be smaller but was quietly impressed. Only thing to note was parking was a bit of a pain but then what British town centre doesn't have that issue.

They even have a corner of dice:

Overall the welcome was pleasant and no real delay in starting. The courses are purposely kept small to allow for 1-1 assistance, there were 6 of us on the course I attended and this small size was worth it. I found the set up quite nice and it did help me decide on a few peices I wanted. Here is the booth set up and the room set up.

The tutorial style was very informal with no-one booth being set up but Brian moved from booth to booth to demonstrate techniques and methods, this was good as different people wanted to learn different things over the course of the day and this meant they got their help but we got to see what was happening.

First lesson of the day was basically how to use an airbrush which started with the following doodles (which I enjoyed as I had never airbrushed before) and lead in to some "accuracy" excercises that covered "spotting", shading, fading and lines.

After that we moved on to the opportunity to try out different techniques, use of stencils, use of different colours to get effects as well as even more basic things like paint thickness, paint types to use, thinners and cleaners and the effects of the wrong ones. Overall a pretty comprehensive introduction to the art of airbrushing. Brians skill is undeniable and his easy teaching method was a good fit for the day.

Overall I enjoyed the course and setting, I learnt a lot and even though it might not look like much I was pleased with my efforts for the day.

I can highly recommend the starter course and if you are in the area or want to attend I would seriously give it a go.
More details of their latest course can be found here:

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