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looking to buy an airbrush kit

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  • Member since
    February, 2017
looking to buy an airbrush kit
Posted by skip pinkerton on Monday, February 27, 2017 9:24 PM

l'm looking to buy my first airbrush. do they all come with an air compressor? any thoughts about what brand or model would be good for a beginner? i would like to spend only around a hundred dollars. what do you recommend?

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:38 PM

Welcome to the forums.

The are several OK models with air compressors you can get through Amazon, eBay and even Harbor Freight for under $100. If want to start off with more of a brand name you will probably be spending the $100 on the airbrush alone. Go to this link for good info.

I found my air compressor off eBay used for around $20 with shipping. Great deal and has lasted for years and will probably keep going for years to come.



Too many projects to list. 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: AandF in the Badger State
Posted by checkmateking02 on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:54 PM

Good advice from Steve.  I also got my compressor from Amazon, but I've had my airbrush for years, purchased at a local hobby shop (now gone!).

Welcome to the Forums!

Nulla Rosa Sine Spina




  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 10:05 PM

If you want an air brush that is good, will last and will not break the bank then go for a Badger. I bought one in the early 1970s and I still use it. You can get a compressor from Harbor Freight for under $100. There are several online stores selling the Badger line for competitive prices. Spend a little more on well designed and reliable equipment and you will not be replacing a cheaper and lesser quality setup in the future.

Another option is to grab a Neo gravity fed airbrush from Hobby Lobby. They are pretty good and are under $50 with a 40% discount coupon. I bought one just to see how they work and I'm very pleased with it.





Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 2:08 AM
I've had a few... but my go to is the Paasche H. I'm not a fan of compressors. I've used a co2 tank for years.



  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 5:43 AM
Hello and welcome to the forums.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 5:52 AM

Welcome to FSM Forums!



Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi


On the Bench: Trumpeter 1/32 F4F-3 Wildcat

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 8:28 AM

Be sure to check out the Painting and Airbrushing Forum.  There are frequent threads on shopping for airbrushes and compressors.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 9:12 AM

Don Stauffer

Be sure to check out the Painting and Airbrushing Forum.  There are frequent threads on shopping for airbrushes and compressors.



He's a newbie. Give him time to figure things in these forums.

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 9:16 AM

Meh... Harbor Frieght are Chinese made. Check out TCP Global website. You can find nice deals on airbrush/compressor combo packages.

  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 12:06 PM

Welcome to the Forums! Glad to have you aboard!

Jim  Captain

Photobucket Main WIP: Rebuild of Monogram 1/8 "Big Deuce" with 1/8 Pocher V-12 in rear - 10%

   On the Bench:   Revell 1/48 Ju 52/3m - 50%;  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:15 PM

Skip - Don Stauffer is spot on, have a look through the painting and airbrushing section of the forums, just way down the list of categories such as this one. Questions you may have can easily be answered there.

Starting out with no experience makes it hard for you to decide on what type of airbrush will best serve your needs, there are many considerations. Of the types there are:

)Single action external mix, the most basic of airbrushes.

)Single action suction fed.

)Single action internal mix. The one I use most for large area or full coverage base coats or primer coats.

)Dual action, internal mix suction fed.

)Dual action internal mix, gravity fed. This one I use for smaller areas, like detailing or camo.

The advice to visit "Don's Airbrush" site is priceless, you'll find reviews of airbrushes, types like the list above, compressors, and you'll have a better idea of what is the right starting point for you.

Some guys buy the cheaper ones like at Harbor Freight and report excellent results, other say they're just junk. I think the common belief is that if you got a good one you're lucky, if you got a bad one your luck ran out. Very iffy quality control, with a questionable track record.

The advice to buy a quality, durable airbrush is sound, I use Iwata, Paasche, Badger and Binks, of them all I now favor the Badger line. My most often used is the Badger 200G.

One of the most important considerations for a compressor is the noise. There are several at Don's website, from very basic to higher end. I've owned a few, all worked well and held up OK, but were just too darned loud. Now I use a Califoria Air Tools twin cylinder setup with tank. So quiet it's barely above the human voice, $180.00 US. Wish I had bought it many years ago.

Good luck, ask any other question you might have.





  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by RX7850 on Wednesday, March 01, 2017 6:11 PM

For the budget conscious Craigslist is a great source for airbrush / compressor finds. Bought two brand new Badger airbrushes for very short money.  GL with your endeavor  



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