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Which Airbrush Should I Buy?

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  • Member since
    March, 2017
Which Airbrush Should I Buy?
Posted by theflyingdutchman on Thursday, March 16, 2017 3:04 AM

Hi everyone,

I am a beginner and to this day I have been painting my model's parts with a paintbrush. A paintbrush works well for small parts but it leaves brush strokes on bigger parts.

Because have never used an airbrush (and compressor) before, which one should I buy?

Is it also necessary to buy an air mask? What if I airbrush outside?

My price range is between $100-$150 (If Possible)

THANK YOU! 

Tags: Airbrush , help
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, March 16, 2017 3:09 AM

I am a fan of Badger myself. Had my 150 about 20 years and got a 100 a few years back and have not had any issues with either that are not user error.

I spay in a well ventilated shed and have the door open when i can and still use a spray booth and respirator. Can't be to safe. Not sure i would want to spray outside because of the risk of dust.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''

  

On the bench: Trumpeter 1/35th AS90   

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Northern New Jersey
Posted by Tojo72 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:25 AM

I always send people to Don's site,lots of good info in making  a choice

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips 

 

I started with a Badger 200 then went with a Iwata Eclipse HP-CS

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 8:57 AM

Full agreement with Tojo, "Don's Airbrush" website will give you a thorough introduction to airbrush types, brands, operational reviews and cleaning/maintenance info. Time very well invested.

I own Badger, Paasche, Iwata and Binks, almost exclusively use Badger now. The Badger line are very capable sprayers and durable, if parts ever needed they are readily available and inexpensive. Highly recommended.

Patrick

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Thursday, March 16, 2017 10:00 AM

And once you've made your decision on the brand, go here: 

www.tcpglobal.com

 

They have great prices for airbrush systems with air compressors.

  • Member since
    July, 2008
Posted by scigs30 on Thursday, March 16, 2017 9:04 PM

I own Badger Crescendo, 150, 200 and a few Aztek airbrushes.  I have used Badger for years, even when it was sold as Sears airbrush. I find myself using the Aztek the most.

  • Member since
    October, 2016
  • From: Somewhere in Ohio...
Posted by DasBeav on Thursday, March 16, 2017 10:48 PM

I got my Iwata Neo and hose at HobbyLobby for about $60 with coupon. My 3 gallon compressor and moisture trap was about $40 with coupons from Harbor Freight. It's quite loud when it kicks on though. I am quite happy with both. (Bought the AC first when all of the gas stations in town started charging for air!!!)

Sooner Born...Buckeye Bred.

 

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by modelmaker66 on Friday, March 17, 2017 2:06 AM

Definately go to Don's site and get an idea what you want. Go on you tube and see reviews of manufacturers and their  models and the airbrushes in use. Then buy the best, highest price you can afford. That doesn't mean go broke. But it is an investment for a long term use. Price usualy is a good measure of the quality and performance of an airbrush. Cheap ones are just that, Cheap. If you get a cheap, poor performing airbrush starting out, you will only frustrate yourself with poor results and get discouraged. there is a learning curve here. So learn with a quality tool. Iwata, Badger and Harder and Steembeck are my top 3. I own the 3 top Bager models and have no need of any others. Let us know what you do please and good luck.

  • Member since
    January, 2006
Posted by Paul Budzik on Friday, March 17, 2017 10:06 PM

I think Don does a great job, but if you look at the list, I think you'll see he is a bit Badger-centric (Paasche and Thayer/Chandler are now all part of Badger)... and there's a lot of other choices out there ... and I'm sure you'll hear about everybody's favorite ...

Paul

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Newington CT
Posted by tempestjohnny on Saturday, March 18, 2017 5:17 AM

I recently bought a Iwata NEO gravity feed on Amazon for $60. Before that I had always had a siphon feed airbrush.  So much more control with a gravity feed.  Much finer lines because of lower pressure needed.  When I have more money I will get a better Iwata.  

Biggest thing is practice. Don't get discouraged. There is a learning curve but it's not hard.

 

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, March 18, 2017 8:14 AM

Another option/cheap alternative...

Harbor Freight has an airbrush/compressor combo for about $90. The a/b(red handle) is "ok", it won't get fine lines...with some adjustments in thinness of paint and pressure settings, you can get down just under a 1/4" spray pattern. H/F does have another a/b(blue handle) for about $20...this one has a finer needle than the red handled one, and can get down to almost a 1/16th" pattern.

That being said...it is Harbor Freight. The first combo I bought...the compressor took a dump in just under a years. I had the warranty and got a replacement. I'm sure part of it was my own fault, for having paint sessions running 2-3-4 hours at a time...they get hot! I bought a second combo, so I have 2 compressors. During long sessions, I can switch back and forth, allowing them to cool down. They're both still going strong after 5 years. They do have a valve to adjust pressure and a moisture trap...but I'd recommend adding an in-line moisture trap as well...in the summer months, it will spurt out some water, not so much in winters dry air though.

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Saturday, March 18, 2017 12:49 PM

Paul Budzik

I think Don does a great job, but if you look at the list, I think you'll see he is a bit Badger-centric (Paasche and Thayer/Chandler are now all part of Badger)... and there's a lot of other choices out there ... and I'm sure you'll hear about everybody's favorite ...

Paul

Thanks for the comment on the site, Paul.  I never really tallied up the count of airbrush reviews  before, but here it is.

Badger / Thayer Chandler  19

Paasche  6

Harbor Freight  2

Harder & Steenbeck  2

Iwata (counting the Neo)  4

Master, Testors, Grex, and Binks  1 each

I believe you are wrong about Paasche ownership.  I think I would have heard about that acquisition. Paasche is still a family owned business.

The reason I have done so many Badgers is that they have been most generous in supplying samples, even though I note things I don't like.  Iwata, Grex and Harder & Steenbeck lost interest after a couple reviews.  Paasche has never supplied anything.

The website is just a hobby.  I've never made any money from it, and I can't justify spending much on it either.  So, the airbrushes I've bought are the lower priced models. But, these are the ones a beginner is most likely to buy, and that's my intended audience.

Don

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Now also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    January, 2006
Posted by Paul Budzik on Sunday, March 19, 2017 1:06 AM

Don ... My apologies ... I'm not sure where I got the idea that Badger had absorbed Paasche.

Paul

  • Member since
    July, 2003
  • From: Chicago, USA
Posted by MonsterZero on Sunday, March 19, 2017 3:10 AM

You can't go wrong with Testors/Aztek because if you ever break the nozzle (unlikely) you can just replace the nozzle for a few dollars. But the body of the airbrush will last forever.

There are more expensive systems out there but their nozzle system is really precision-engineered and could cause you problems with cleaning. It will be like taking apart a Swiss watch hoping the pieces will fit together again. I don't know, maybe you enjoy being a Swiss watchmaker. I don't. I like rugged systems like Aztek.

Shooting thinner from the airbrush WILL NOT SUFFICE for cleaning. That's just for chaning colors.

You still have to disassemble the system very often and clean it, just like soldiers have to take apart a rifle and service it.

I have gone through 5 or 6 airbrushes by now. Majority of them have not withstood the abuse. They have been too delicate. Too much precision engineering begging for something to go wrong.

But the Testors/Aztek airbrush in unbreakable.

  • Member since
    October, 2008
  • From: Fullerton, Calif.
Posted by Don Wheeler on Sunday, March 19, 2017 12:16 PM

Paul Budzik

Don ... My apologies ... I'm not sure where I got the idea that Badger had absorbed Paasche.

Paul

No problem, Paul.

I'd just like to add that the real payback I've gotten from the site is from the nice comments on forums like this and the great e-mails from people who have been helped by it.  Those are worth more than money.  And, in case anybody is wondering if I am going to cash in by selling my airbrushes, the answer is no.  That's for my heirs to worry about.

Don

 

https://sites.google.com/site/donsairbrushtips/home

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews

Now also an Amazon E-book and paperback of tips.

  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Sunday, March 19, 2017 3:11 PM

Don Wheeler

 

 
Paul Budzik

Don ... My apologies ... I'm not sure where I got the idea that Badger had absorbed Paasche.

Paul

 

 

No problem, Paul.

I'd just like to add that the real payback I've gotten from the site is from the nice comments on forums like this and the great e-mails from people who have been helped by it.  Those are worth more than money.  And, in case anybody is wondering if I am going to cash in by selling my airbrushes, the answer is no.  That's for my heirs to worry about.

Don

 

 

I'd like to relate how strongly I believe Don's Airbrush site has been such a helpful resource, for anyone wanting to learn, or increase their knowledge about airbrushes and using them.

I had been using AB's for about 45 years before I learned of Don's site, thanks to poster's from FSM. I felt comfortable with my use and care, the results were fairly satisfying. But after many long looks at his site, I found out how little I actually knew, and how much my use improved with what I gained from those visits.

My cleaning and overall maintenance practices were quite lacking, compared to the more thorough ways he teaches. Now a quality AB works perfectly well for me each and every time, that confident reliabilty is an important feature of AB ownership and care.

When starting a paint project, that is the wrong time to find your AB has a problem due to neglect or improper maintenance. That's no longer an issue for me, since practicing Don's methods.

His insightful reviews of AB's, made it easy for me to select and purchase the brand and types that serve me so well today. I consider Don's site to be an important source, for those hobbyists just getting started with airbrush painting, or for those that just want to improve their knowledge.

As he stated he gets nothing for his efforts, beyond the satisfaction of providing information and help for anyone that takes the time to visit.

Hearty thanks, Don.

Patrick

  • Member since
    March, 2017
Posted by theflyingdutchman on Monday, March 20, 2017 3:31 AM
Thanks everyone! I also wanted to ask what is the difference between a single and double action airbrush
  • Member since
    March, 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, March 20, 2017 8:19 AM

Hey, Dutch - Single action means the trigger only travels up and down, down lets air flow from the tip and sprays the paint, up stops the airflow.

Double action means the trigger moves up and down to allow airflow, and it moves back and forth to move the needle for allowing paint to flow. So, when ready to paint with double action you press the trigger down, the air flows, then pull the trigger back with the trigger still held down and the paint flows.

Pulling the trigger back just slightly gives you a smaller paint volume flowing, pulling it back more gives you greater volume.

I use both SA and DA, for single color complete model coverage or primer coat I use a SA Badger 200G, that serves perfectly well. For finer details or camo jobs I use one of my double action models, they are well suited for delivering just the right amount of paint needed, by use of the back and forth travel of the trigger.

Again I refer you to Don's Airbrush site, all of that is well covered there.

Patrick

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