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Good airbrush for laying primer, wide coverage & easy to clean?

11 replies
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  • Member since
    July 2019
Good airbrush for laying primer, wide coverage & easy to clean?
Posted by Anyway on Monday, July 1, 2019 5:18 PM

Hi all,

I've got an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS which is great for fine work but just doesn't cut it for laying down primer in one go or for even, smooth wide-field coverage. It takes far too long and the coverage is too spotty for this rattle-can sort of work, and since it takes so long the fine tip really has trouble not clogging with enamel primers.

I model mostly at 1/32 and am looking for an airbrush that can lay down a primer coat or a base color quickly and uniformly, and that is easy to strip and clean. A down-and-dirty workhorse airbrush that can get big jobs done quickly and won't break the bank --  a good compliment to the Iwata, with the same 1/4" lead so that I can swap them out easily.


  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 3:10 PM

You're describing a Paasche H with medium nozzle set. Just get a Paasche to 1/4 adapter. Done deal.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 3:16 PM

The medium nozzle on the Badger 105 is also useful for that. If you like a gravity feed brush as I prefer.

Modeling is an excuse to buy books


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 4:19 PM

Tamiya Extra Fine Primer or Mr Surfacer 1200 in the rattlecan,easy to control,levels out nice,doesn’t obscure details on 1/35 armor,so should work for 1/32 

Why spend cash on a single purpose airbrush.


  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 5:01 PM

FWIW a Badger will require an adapter to get to 1/4" as well.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 5:33 PM

Second on the H.  And I use a quick disconnect on my air source (CO2).  Requires additional hoses but super convienient.  



Ain't no reason to hang my head, I could wake up in the mornin' dead 

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 6:07 PM

I agree with Tojo72.  The primer in a rattle can does a great job, especially Tamiya or Mr. Color.  No need to use an airbrush.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by lowfly on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 6:19 PM
I use the Iwata NEO trigger style airbrush for all of my airbrush work. It is good for larger areas and does decent fine work as well. (not great at fine work but decent). It is relatively inexpensive and a breeze to maintain. Give it a shot! BTW....I also agree with most of the other posters on this thread....Primer out of a rattle can is hard to beat. Great coverage, Bigger cans and does a great job
  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Chicago area
Posted by modelmaker66 on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 2:00 AM


The medium nozzle on the Badger 105 is also useful for that. If you like a gravity feed brush as I prefer.


I second that!

  • Member since
    July 2019
Posted by Anyway on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 11:41 AM


Thanks all for your replies, much appreciated and a lot of great information to ponder.

I agree with those who said to go for spray-can primer, and it's much easier in the end and bottled primer just leads to messy and tedious strip-downs and clean-ups. But wider, even coverage for paint is what I'm really after so I googled around about the Paasche and the Badger...



Apparently the Paasche H is popular with car modelers because it basically sprays like a beast and is perfect for painting car chassis in no time flat. It's also simple, inexpensive and tough as nails. But more googling revealed that, if you're not laying down that sort of heavy wet coat its old-fashioned design does not atomize paint as finely as modern airbrushes, which leads to a more granular finish. I use acrylics and this seems a red flag to me. I'm also not thrilled with the siphon feed, bottles, etc. and cleaning and stocking all that in a tight workspace.



In many ways the Badger looks ideal; I like the gravity cup and in the US the price is really appealing, but I'm in Europe and it is a rare import which costs more than the Iwata so I had some serious sticker shock. Also, only the fine-needle is available which starts to make it look eerily similar to... the Iwata. Buying medium needle parts just sends the final price into the stratosphere.



Which led me to think (light bulb goes off, then slight embarrassment at the retrospective obviousness of it), Why not just put a .5 mm needle assembly into the Iwata and call it a day? Iwata parts definitely aren't cheap but it's dramatically less than the Badger set-up, and I assume the increased flow and a higher psi will get the coverage I'm after. And you can swap needles for fine work, 2 for 1, happy camper. If anyone uses this set-up for an Iwata I'd love to hear your results and if I'm on the right track here.


  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 1:27 PM

Pretty much any airbrush with .5 needle set or larger should work well. I use either the .5 or the .7 on my Badger 200 and as I mentioned in my other post, the .7 in my Paasche H. I actually could probably use the fine needle set in the Paasche because that is either .55 or .6 but at any rate plenty large enough.

Edit: the Paasche H #1 needle set is apparently .45 and the medium .6 as it turns out. So I use the medium for primer which has worked very well for me.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Northern Nevada
Posted by HighDesertmodeler on Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:54 PM
I like my Paasche VL for priming and base coats (using #1 needle, .5mm nozzle). I also like its needle adjustment wheel. For gravity feed, you may like the Badger 105 with its .5mm needle, get a fine detail conversion (.3mm) for finer camo patterns while you’re at it. It also sprays a fairly wide pattern even with .3mm nozzle.


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