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Airbrushing Questions

Q: What does ABS mean?

ABS stands for Airbrushing System. This is the system for getting an airbrush effect with Copic Original or Sketch markers.

Q: Which Airbrushing set should I get?

It depends on how you will be using it. If you want our complete, most cost-effective system without buying a compressor, then you should get the ABS-1. This lets you use our more efficient Air Can 80 and Air Can 180. If you just want to try airbrushing or you need a really portable system without much fuss, use the ABS-2. This gets you started with our smallest, most basic system. If you already own a compressor, then use the ABS-3 set.

Q: How do I set up the ABS kits?

Download these files to help you set up your specific airbrush system.

Links to products: ABS-1, ABS-2, ABS-3

Q: How long do aircans last?

Aircan D60 lasts 7-8 minutes. Aircan 80 lasts 20 minutes. Aircan 180 lasts 45 minutes.

Q: Why does the Aircan D-60 hold less air than the other cans?

The Aircan D60 has a built-in regulator that allows it to be used directly in the air grip. The other size aircans need an Air Adaptor to regulate the air pressure.

Q: I bought an ABS 2, how can I use larger aircans or a compressor?

You just need to purchase an Air Adaptor and the special Air Hose 1/4 to 1/8. Then you can use it with the larger aircans. We also suggest you get an aircan holder so your aircan doesn’t tip over while in use and possibly cause condensation to blow onto your project.

Q: Can I use any other brand of aircan?

No. Copic aircans have a special extended stem that only fits in our system.

Q: I have my own compressor, can I use your airbrush?

Yes. If you already own a compressor, and you can set the pressure between 40-60 psi, then use the ABS 3 set. You’ll need to get a little adaptor fitting to match your air compressor to our 1/8 inch hose fitting. This is a standard Iwata or Sparmax1/8 inch compressor fitting. You can find a matching fitting for your system at dixieart.com.

Q: Will the ABS dry out my marker faster?

No. The Copic ABS system blows air across the tip of the marker, spraying the dye suspended in alcohol onto your surface. This dye is dry instantly because the alcohol has evaporated in that time. The dye particles are very small and they sit on the surface of whatever you are spraying. When you touch a marker to paper, the paper sucks up more dye than it needs, so you end up using less ink for covering a larger area (this does depend on how densely you spray as well). As you are airbrushing, sometimes the tip of the marker will seem dry, especially on used markers. This is OK. Just wait a moment and the marker will go juicy again.

Q: When I disconnect my airhose I hear air escape. Is this OK?

Yes. If you’re following the directions from the package, and you hear air escape it’s normal. This is just the extra air from the hose escaping- it is NOT air leaking from your can. If you want to use even that small amount of leftover air, partially unscrew the bolt on top of the can- this disengages the aircan. Then, spray your last couple bursts until the hose and adaptor have used up all their air. This way you won’t waste any air.

Q: Can I leave my ABS-1 hooked up for a long time? When should I take it apart?

It’s OK to leave them set-up if they won’t be possibly knocked over or accidentally turned on. Make sure all the fittings are snugly screwed before leaving it for any length of time. If you will be traveling with your ABS-1, then disconnect it and replace the protective cap on the aircan. You can leave the air grip and air adaptor hooked up at all times. If you have an ABS-2, then don’t worry about disconnecting it, unless you think the button on the air grip would get pushed.

Q: Can I fly with my Airbrush system?

Yes. Put it in your checked baggage, not your carry-on.

Q: Will my Copic ABS work with other markers?

No. They don’t fit correctly in the air grip.

Q: Can I airbrush on fabrics?

We don’t suggest airbrushing wearable fabrics, since the dye particles sit on top of the fabric fibers and wash out easily. The airbrush system is very popular however, for airbrushing teddy-bears and wigs (hairspray the wig before coloring it, since the alcohol in hairspray will interact with the dye).

Q: Is this safe to use on people?

Although the markers are non-toxic, we do not recommend it. Also avoid spraying on animals.

Q: Can I airbrush on black surfaces?

The Copic airbrush system is not like a traditional airbrush, since Copic markers are transparent. They will not show up if you use them on a black surface.

Q: Is this a double action airbrush system?

No. You adjust the spray pattern by pushing harder or lighter on the trigger. You adjust the spray area by holding the air grip farther from the surface.

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