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Air compressor and brushes

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  • Member since
    October, 2011
  • From: Henrietta, TX
Air compressor and brushes
Posted by Texas Tbone on Sunday, September 16, 2018 9:16 PM

I know this has probably been covered numerous times, but couldn’t find a recent forum.  So, I am in the market for a new air compressor as well as getting some new brushes.  I just wanted to get y’alls opinion to help with my search.  Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.  PS I was diagnosed with cancer last year and had to sell all my equipment, so I am starting over.  By the way I beat it.  Also, just wanted some options on paint I used primarily Vallejo in the past but always had problems so any paint recommendations

  • Member since
    March, 2005
  • From: Lancaster, South Carolina
Posted by Devil Dawg on Sunday, September 16, 2018 9:33 PM

Howdy, Devil Dog! Semper Fi!! So glad to hear that you beat that menace. I kinda work in that field (repairing the radiation therapy linear accelerators), and get to see fighters like you every day. They don't give up!

As far as an air compressor, I use a Porter-Cable compressor with a 6-gallon tank that I bought at Lowe's a few years ago, and, other than the noise, it works great. I think I paid $98 with tax and military discount for it. I don't see the sense in paying $300 - $400 for a tankless dedicated air compressor when a lower-cost item will work just fine. I know the noise is an issue, but I have mine where it can't be heard by anybody but me. The tank cancels out the pulsations from the compressor, too.

For an airbrush, I use a Paasche VL0707 double-action airbrush with all three available needle sets (#01, #03, and #05). This set-up works well for everything that I need it for. I paid about $50 for it at HobbyLobby about 8 years ago with the 40%-off coupon.

Hope this helps. Oooh Rah!

Gary Mason


Devil Dawg

On The Bench: Tamiya 1/32nd Mitsubishi A6M5 Model 52 Zeke For Japanese Group Build

Build one at a time? Hah! That'll be the day!!

  • Member since
    August, 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Sunday, September 16, 2018 9:49 PM
I use a California airtools compressor it's extremely quiet and has a aluminum tank so no worries about rust. As for a brush can't beat a Iwata eclipse I think hobby lobby still sales them so with a 40% off coupon they are a great bargain. Paints vallejo are hard to use in a airbrush but alot of people do use them. I like Tamiya paint super easy to spray. Have heard alot of good things with mission models paints and have got to try them out before I will start swapping out some of my Tamiya paint for them.


  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, September 16, 2018 10:51 PM

You are going to get tons of opinions on which airbrush to buy as well as air compressors. My advice? Click on the link below and make your own decision:


Once you've made your own decision, go to :


As far as paints go, I use a wide variety of brands of paints:

Testors Model Master - both enamels and acrylics

Tamiya  - decent limited line of colors available unless you like mixing your own

PollyScale acrylics - hard to find

Floquil Railroad acrylics - few still out there if you know where to look

AeroMaster acrylics - same as PollyScale, hard to find


Vallejo Model Color - not the greatest for airbrushing but better for handbrushing

Gunze/Mr. Color

Mission Models Paints - THE best acrylic paints on the market now

Humbrol enamels - No experience using their acrylic line

LifeColor acrylics





  • Member since
    October, 2011
  • From: Henrietta, TX
Posted by Texas Tbone on Monday, September 17, 2018 12:18 AM

oops I should have clarified regarding brushes.  I got airbrushed covered got iwata air brushes.  Need advice regarding paint brushes I know Windsor and newton series 7 are the elite but are there any comparable that are not so $$$$

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, September 17, 2018 12:37 AM

Texas Tbone, Semper Fi! Always good to hear from a survivor. As my American Legion buddies like to remind me, the Marine Corp is the Men’s Department of the Navy.

I also use a shop style air compressor, mine happens to be Senco and I added an inexpensive moisture filter to make sure I get good results. The airbrush and paint I use is an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS with Tamiya paint products.


  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, September 17, 2018 8:11 AM

Also, there is a Painting and Airbrushing forum below.  Questions like yours are common, so you might look through existing threads. If you find nothing ask there.  There are some excellent airbrush people there who do not hesitate to help.  In that section are also good forums for tools, techniques, and finding materials and supplies

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Monday, September 17, 2018 1:02 PM

Texas Tbone, I see you,re looking for reasonably priced paint brushes. Please take a look at Tamiya .

I could not in good faith pay $15.00 or more for a modeling paint brush, so I started with Tamiya $5.00 brushes and so far they work very well. One suggestion I picked up along the way is to wet your dry brush in thinner, wipe off excess then use paint, it makes cleaning much easier.


  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Monday, September 17, 2018 1:30 PM

Texas Tbone

oops I should have clarified regarding brushes.  I got airbrushed covered got iwata air brushes.  Need advice regarding paint brushes I know Windsor and newton series 7 are the elite but are there any comparable that are not so $$$$



Again, look at Don's site I provided in my first reply to your post.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, September 17, 2018 2:24 PM

Hi, T Bone - Very glad you had a successful recovery from your illness. As to an air compressor I use a California Air Tools, over the years I've had several others, they worked and held up well, but THE NOISE. This one is so quiet, just about speaking voice level. 

It may be overkill for you, twin piston cylinders and large volume tank, bought at Home Depot for about $180. They have another smaller model, single piston with tank, even quieter, I think it's the 1060-S model, about $110. Check you tube, there is a demo of it running with comparison of another compressor.  Dramatic difference. Highly recommended brand. 

For paint I use Tamiya acrylic, the only others I've used are Polly Scale and Vallejo Model Air. I always have good results with Tamiya, super easy to use and dependably smooth finishes. Have heard very positive reports of Mission Models, not available to me, I plan to order some for a trial.

Good luck with your getting started painting again.


  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, September 17, 2018 3:31 PM

First, that is fantastic news about your cancer! BeerBeer

I've been modeling for over 50 years on and off, more on than off. As far as hand brushes, I get the good sets usually 4 to 6 or even singles from Hobby Lobby or Michaels when they go on sale, usually 50% off their regular price. Stay away from the cheap Dollar Store ones.

I have a Campbell Housefeld 2 hp 6 gallon compressor that I also use with with small air tools. I paint in the garage so it does double duty for power air tools and airbrush work too. Others will recommend something more compact if you paint indoors.

As for paints, I'm an enamel guy and MM has dropped their Military FS line so I'm SOL! I have tried Vallejo Air and is not as durable as Tamiya paints which I use now and then and behave somewhat like enamels. I just picked up a couple of bottles of Mission Models Paints and their thinner to try out. All I hear are positive reviews about them so I will try them out. Mr. Paint has a solvent acrylic line like Tamiya which I have also hear good things about.

I've had TERRIBLE results with Acryl which peels and lifts VERY easily unless a good solvent type primer is used. I've heard the Badger acrylic primer is very good.




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

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Massachusetts
Posted by ajlafleche on Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:55 AM

My main compressor is a Grex, very quiet and works great. Back uo is a 30 year old very noisy sears model. The Grex has both a water trap and regulator. The Sears has only a regulator. It's hooked up to my oldest airbrsh, the Paasche 
Airbrushes: Grex Tritium Tg

Badger Sotar 20/20

Badger 150

Paasche VL

Paasche H

Remember, if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.


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