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"Airbrush advice. " Topic

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593 hits since 12 Jul 2017
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Hobhood4 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 4:36 a.m. PST

I've been given an airbrush – unexpectedly – and as a new user I'd like some help.

Firstly it is a syphon rather than a gravity feed – a BadgerBA200-3. I've picked up that these are not as good as gravity feeds for miniature work. Is this so? I'm going to use it for priming and pre-shading only miniatures, and maybe for applying washes, as I've seen this done on Youtube.

Secondly, I'm aware that standard miniature paints need thinning with water or medium. Would cheaper craft paints work, suitably diluted?

Thirdly would a cheap compressor like this
work with such as brush? I'm reluctant to spend more.

Thanks in advance for advice…

Darkest Star Games Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 7:44 a.m. PST

Badger makes great airbrushes. The down side of siphons types (to me at least) is that you have to use more paint in the hopper, and some will get wasted if you're changing colors often. Also, the siphon can get clogged if you use it for a long period/session without the occasional clean-out.

Cheaper craft paints are a no go for me, their pigment isn't fine enough and I have found you have to crank up the air pressure, which can then cause problems with spotting and "chunky" spray. I have found that doing 2 or 3 coats of airbrush specific paint gives a much better result than 1 coat of "other" paint.

That compressor looks a bit dodgy, and probably intended for cake decorating rather than painting. You really want something that has a pressure regulator on it and a bit of a tank, rather than a type that runs constantly (very difficult to keep a steady airflow at constant pressure). In most cases with both airbrushes and compressors you get what you pay for. I've had 2 cheap compressors and both packed it in fairly rapidly. Bought a medium-expensive one and have had zero issues with it at all.

Hope some of that helps.

Hobhood4 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 8:11 a.m. PST

Thanks, Darkest Star. Useful advice.

Hobhood4 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 8:18 a.m. PST

Darkest, what compressor did you get?

Personal logo Martian Root Canal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

I agree on gravity feed versus siphon. I also concur on compressors. My new system of choice is a Grex Tritium airbrush with a Grex compressor. A pressure regulator is a must…I would also suggest a compressor with a moisture trap, especially if you live in a humid area.

Personal logo Martian Root Canal Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2017 9:32 a.m. PST

You can use the Grex compressor with other airbrushes. I'd recommend the quick disconnect hose to maintain air pressure/minimum fuss.

Beowulf Supporting Member of TMP Fezian12 Jul 2017 2:15 p.m. PST

Stay away from craft paints.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP14 Jul 2017 12:40 p.m. PST

I always advise folks to get a regular oilless compressor of the sort that can power air tools and inflate tires and such, unless they absolutely have to have something super quiet. You'd be amazed how many uses you'll find for a "real" compressor, and even an inexpensive one (e.g. from Harbor Freight or similar cheap tool stores) will work adequately. If you absolutely have to have something nearly silent, then just go for totally silent and get a CO2 tank.


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