Jump to content

wanting to buy an Airbrush


Recommended Posts

OK folks. i need some more advice , I have never worked with an Airbrush and think its about bloody time here,

so Along with asking a few bud,s near me. I thought i would get start this topic here..

 

So here am I , MR newby noob. to this whole world of the Airbrush and i need some advice.

like what are some of the better brushes that are on the inexpensive side?

I know i have looked at a few now, and that a duel action is best [or so they say. but who ? where ? what ? and so on ...

 

thanks

 

Kev.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a Hobby-Lobby near by, go buy a Iwata. They have two different types, a small cup or a glass jar for about $100. I know that sounds expensive, but it's a great airbrush, easy to use & clean and you can get some very good work with it. At the Nats in Columbus, I bought a Grex airbrush for $250 that rocks as well, but at $250!!!

 

You'll also need an air source, go to Wal-Mart or K-Mart and look for a compressor, I have a Coleman one bought at Wal-Mart, again for about $100, but saw one in the Sunday paper on sale acouple weks ago for $60.

 

Do not buy a Campbell-Hausfeld, it has a safety switch that will auto-shutdown the compressor to stop any overheating, then it will take ages for it to reset and be operated again. Mine switched off three weeks ago and still won't start (I use it to pump up my car tires).

 

I hope this info helps.

 

Tim

Link to post
Share on other sites

For most rough work I use a single action Paasche. It does not produce fine lines but then that's not what I use it for. It does a very good job in applying the basic paint scheme, covering a large surface with a simple "push the button" trigger on the top of the brush. It is rugged, cleans easily, can be broken down and reassembled in no time.Replacement parts seem to be readily available at local hobby shops and Hobby Lobby. Did I mention it was rugged? I've had my single action Paashce for close to 35 years. The same body, with perhaps 3 or 4 replacement needles and tips along the way.

 

I have a dual action Paasche that I never mastered. I couldn't get the right ratio of "push the button for paint/ pull back for air" and I ended up just getting frustrated.

 

I have an Iwata Eclipse which is dual action and produces amazingly fine lines. It has a limiting mechanism that allows one to set the airbrush for paint flow/air flow so that all one does is push the button and it behaves like a single action while producing dual action results.

 

I also have a Grex XT which performs at the same level as the Eclipse. The Grex is equipped with a pistol grip so when my wrist and fingers are hurting I can still airbrush. That pistol grip is very comfortable.

 

Due to the design of the guns and the location of the paint cup I find that in some cases the Eclipse is more comfortable to use, and in other instances the Grex is preferred. Its simply a matter of comfort. The Eclipse and Grex are more difficult to clean but they are worth the trouble.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin,

Most of it is about budget and comfort. Most anyplace that sells airbrushes should allow you to at least hold it (unless it is sealed). You need to get one that is comfortable in your hand or hands. I personally would suggest a double action. There are some nice single actions as well. I have an old Badger 150 that I love. I also have the Testors/Axtek A430 with all the tips which I reviewed and liked but it keeps gunking up and not working as well as my older Badger.

 

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have...

 

Badger 155 Anthem...great, general purpose, double action, siphon fed...use it on virtually every project (I actually have two of these, one for enamels and one for acrylics)

 

Badger 100G...good, small cup, gravity fed...use it for small areas, some detail work.

 

Peak C-3 from bearair.com...great, double action, gravity fed...use it on most projects.

 

Badger 200NH...great, single action, siphon fed...good for base coats, single color paint jobs.

 

Renegade Velocity...outstanding, double action, gravity fed...use it for fine lines and detail work.

 

Check the Badger airbrush website for the "Garage Sale"...they have some good demo brushes at very low prices. Bearair.com also has a good selection...I've had two Peak airbrushes, and I liked both of them.

Edited by Keith Pruitt
Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of hawking any brand or type of airbrush, I want to pass along 2 other items of advice:

 

1) Look at your airbrush purchase as an INVESTMENT. Sure, you don't want to blow $200 at the start (and you don't need to); but if you get a cheap airbrush that can't do what you need to do (as in handle mottle camo in 1/72), then you're actually wasting your time and money. You'll have enough headaches mastering what the brush IS capable of, so get one with features that will allow you to finish your choice of subject matter the way you want! Besides, a good quality airbrush that is properly maintained will last for 10-20yrs; making your inital outlay paltry when amoratized over the course of its use.

 

2) Get a good, reliable air source. You can use a compressor or a tank of CO2 (or nitrogen), but do NOT use the cans of "Propel". They're expensive and also lose power as they get cold during use. Again, invest in a system that fits your situation. If humidity is an issue where you paint, you'll need a moisture trap for the air line (unless you use a tank). Get a regulator for your system if the compressor you have doesn't come with one. It will allow you to dial down the pressure from the "max" level, which gives you much more control over overspray and orange peel.

 

You don't need to spend $300 for a good set-up. However, you should bet on spending $100-$200 in order to get stuff that will give you a chance at success. By the way, if you have a Harbor Freight near you, check them out. They carry knock-off brands of the better known airbrushes (same actions and tip sizes) as well as many different compressors for hobby and industry, and often have sales. Best of luck!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you can go wrong with a Badger 200. I have two, a top feed and a bottle feed and am very happy with both. The strong parts are they're fairly inexpensive, good service if you need it (just send it into Badger), parts are readily available at most craft shops, hobby shops and some hardware stores. No matter which brand you buy, the main thing is to keep it clean, handle it with care and it will last you a long time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In addition to what everyone else has said, a few tips:

 

1. See if you can at least hold the airbrush you plan to buy--some "fit" better than others. For instance, back when the Aztek 470 cam out, I bought one and liked the way it fit my hand, but a fellow club member hated the way it felt in his hand.

 

2. What kind of spare parts does your local guy carry? Does he carry spare parts (tips, needles, seals), or will he have to order them? If he has to order them, you might want to pick up at least a spare set of seals and maybe a tip/needle....

 

I'll second the notion that this is an investment an investment that can last a lifetime. As I tell the folks who sit through my airbrushing seminars, you can pay $20 for an airbrush every year for five years, or pay $100 and have the tool last forever.....

 

My suggestions:

 

Badger 200. Internal mix, single action airbrush, I used one for years to do all sorts of painting--including camo schemes in 1/72 scale.

 

Badger 150, the dual action version of the 200. Works good, lasts a long time. The airbrush I've been using since I parted ways with my Azteks.

 

Badger 105 Patriot, my new airbrush that I have barely an hours' time using--but I like it so far.

 

Someone mentioned the Badger "Garage Sale", and if they had Patriots included, I'd have bought one.

 

Once you get the airbrush, practice. You can't get god unless you use the tool. The biggest thing to remember is that there is very little you can do to "screw up" a model that can't be "un-screwed"....

 

Ralph

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, I suppose I'll throw in my $.02 as well...'Fit' has been mentioned as a major factor factor in your potential purchase, and not a truer statement can be found. For those of us who write a lot, we generally have a favorite pen, or at least a favorite style/brand. It's comfortable to use initially and for the long term, because it fits. It's thickness and length are such that our fingers don't cramp up. Airbrushes are no different. Personally, I think the top of the trigger button is a major factor in this. I don't particularly care for Badgers because the trigger is too conical, and too slick, and that causes my finger to slip off occasionally, which creates major issues when trying to run long solid lines. However, the diameter and length I like reasonably well. My Paasche VL on the other hand has a flatter trigger that I never slip off of, can be used as a double action or turn an adjustment wheel and use it as a single action, but it's a bit fatter than I really like. The fix for the Badger could be simply a dab of silicone on the top of the trigger. I haven't tried that yet because I bought a Paasche VSR that I absolutely love, but... It's a gravity feed, and while it has detachable cups, the larger cup isn't big enough for larger projects where you'd need a conventional jar full of paint. But it does great detail work. The downside to all the airbrushes I own are that none have a cap for the open cups, and I have encountered spills that created rather intense PO'd moments. There are airbrushes out there with capped cups (Iwata I think), and that item alone is a real headache saver. One other brush I had was an Omni 5000, a double action, gravity feed that was great, and one of its' beautiful features was the lack of mutliple tips and needles. Just unscrew the tip, flip it over and screw it back on for a switch between superfine and coarse patterns. But its drawbacks were that it was also made by Badger (with the trigger issues I mentioned), and it didn't have a cup cap, creating a spill potential. The reality is that there are as many opinions on airbrushes as there are airbrushes. For every airbrush there are those who love it and those who hate it, and both camps have valid reasons for their opinion, based on the models they build, there hands/fingers, their environment and a hundred other factors. You would be well off if you could find someone who will let you borrow one for a bit to evaluate whether or not it works for you. You may hit the one you like on the first try, it may take a few. Remember what I said about the pen -- you're just writing with paint. As far as 'air' supplies I use both a compressor and CO2 or Nitrogen. The compressor is a Campbell-Hausfeld with a one gallon tank. It's noisy as hell, but it works great. I've had other CH compressors too, so I don't know what might have gone wrong with the other person's. The Co2/nitrogen is absolutely quiet, but ya gotta refill it once in awhile, and at about $20 a pop it can add up over time, offsetting the price of a compressor. There are quiet tankless compressors out there, but with a tankless you usually get pulsations in the airstream. The high end airbrush compressors may have something in them to combat that, but they are definitely pricey ($150-$300). So your answer is a multitude of almost answers that work great for some, not at all for others. Are we having fun yet?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of good advice above. So, I'll give you something different. When you get your brush, whatever one you get, practice. At first it will be frustrating. There are lots of airbrush tips you can pick up here, but nothing replaces practice. Get an old model and repaint it, again and again and again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot really add more than what has already been said.

I've also been a Badger fan for many years. I have a 150 and a 175, but mostly use the 150 for all my work. (DO keep an eye out on the Badger "Garage Sale" page - it IS worth the effort~!)

 

I would also like to stress what has been said - cheaper is not better. If you think you're going to be modeling for years to come, save up and get a good product the first time. I'll also concur that a good air-source is a must. Spend as much as you can afford on a compressor as you'll come out better in the long run. I have known guys who use a normal air tank, (even heard of someone using a spare tire!), but *I* would never part with my compressor.

I'm using one of the Badger compressors, with an auto-shutoff. It does what I want it to!

 

Best of luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

A Badger 200 is a solid unit. I've got two. I have also recently bought three new GREX airbrushes. All gravity-feed (rather than syphon feed like my Badger). The Tritium is a pistol-grip dual action that I have set up with a .5mm tip for bulk painting. I also have their Genesis XG with a .3mm tip, and a Genesis XN with a .2mm tip for really fine detail. The advantage of gravity-feed units is the paint is atomized better for smoother paint jobs.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Do not buy a Campbell-Hausfeld, it has a safety switch that will auto-shutdown the compressor to stop any overheating, then it will take ages for it to reset and be operated again. Mine switched off three weeks ago and still won't start (I use it to pump up my car tires).

 

 

Sounds like your pressure switch is bad. I have a CH 10 gallon compressor and the switch went out after 12 years. I purchased a new switch for $30 and its good as new. Great little compressor.

 

 

As far as the AB is concerned, stick to Badger. I got mine in 1980 and is still doing duoble duty.

Edited by plastickjunkie
Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds like your pressure switch is bad. I have a CH 10 gallon compressor and the switch went out after 12 years. I purchased a new switch for $30 and its good as new. Great little compressor.

 

 

As far as the AB is concerned, stick to Badger. I got mine in 1980 and is still doing duoble duty.

 

I use a Passche PAAVL myself and love it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One additional item to consider and an airbrush to consider. I build 1/72 models and most times I really don't need a lot of paint for most jobs. I picked up a Sotar 20-20 at the Chicago Nats and love it. The Sotar is also produced by Badger. I like it because of the integral open gravity cup design. I can add a single drop of paint and use it for small areas. I use a Grex airbrush for larger areas.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Lots of good advice above. So, I'll give you something different. When you get your brush, whatever one you get, practice. At first it will be frustrating. There are lots of airbrush tips you can pick up here, but nothing replaces practice. Get an old model and repaint it, again and again and again.

 

That is the best advice on the page. Designate an expendable 'paint hulk' or three from your Island of Misfit Toys and try everything, repeatedly. Play with it; you won't break it. You will in fact develop a personal sense of how it handles, thinning the various paints, etc. Just be ruthless in cleaning the airbrush, between colors and/or whenever you put it away.

Link to post
Share on other sites
×
×
  • Create New...