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"Getting into using Airbrush" Topic

12 Posts

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World War Two on the Land

650 hits since 13 May 2018
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Planes and Punting Inactive Member14 May 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

I have recently acquired a mass of models and feel as though my usual way of building models (i.e. painting them with brushes and acrylics) just would not do them the justice that I feel is owed through the generosity of their previous owner. So I am looking into purchasing an airbrush kit with which to paint them. As I have no experience with this matter, what would everyone's suggestion be as to a good starter/general use airbrush kit?

Garand14 May 2018 1:13 p.m. PST

Paasche VLS double action with a Paasche compressor. That is what I have been using for like 25 years… Nice & durable & fairly common, so easy to get parts for.


bobspruster14 May 2018 3:01 p.m. PST

I bought an airbrush kit for $100 USD off Amazon (Master brand) that comes with 3 different types of brushes. I also bought the exhaust (?) kit they make, too. I haven't used them yet, but the quality seems fine.

John Secker Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2018 3:47 p.m. PST

Get a compressor, and ideally one with a reservoir.

Syrinx014 May 2018 4:50 p.m. PST

I have a few airbrushes from Badger and really like them. I personally would not buy Chinese airbrush knockoffs but some of the portable booths look nice if you don't have a dedicated space.

Definitely get a compressor with a reservoir. If noise is an issue you could go with a large refillable tank.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP14 May 2018 10:18 p.m. PST

People tend to fall into two broad categories when it comes to airbrushes. They both get a cheap starter set and the first type decides that it's good enough or that airbrushing is not for them. The others want to do more and regret buying the cheap one as it's half the cost of getting a good airbrush in the first place.

Airbrushes tend to retain their value if they are well-kept so investing a good airbrush and depending on your budget some air cans or a compressor generally tends to pay off in the long run.

Brands I like most include Iwata, H&S and Badger.

Vigilant15 May 2018 3:21 a.m. PST

Go with the manufacturers recommended above, or Aztec which has different nozzles rather than an internal needle system. The nozzles can be replaced cheaply if they do get clogged and you don't have to replace the complete unit. The one thing I would say is forget propellant cans and buy a compressor. Cans lose pressure during use whilst a compressor can be adjusted and will not lose pressure. Also by the time you have gone through a few cans you will have paid for a compressor.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 3:26 a.m. PST

Go for a double action brush. I learned on a single action and was never able to adequately master a double action. I have heard from many of my friends who, like me, also do large scale armor (1/35th) that if they learned on a single action they had trouble learning double action but the other way around no problem. I finally got a Grex Tritium TG3 which is double action, though simplified, and a pistol grip I have found very user friendly.

Compressor for sure and make sure you get a moisture trap. Campbell Hausfeld compressors are readily available, even the more reasonable ones have a good tank and are not that expensive. Unlike Patrick I am NOT a fan of air cans for many reasons.

Also dont forget the other end of the issue, the paint. Go with quality paint. I recently purchased, though havent yet sprayed, the new Mission Models paint system which is getting rave reviews. Many folks claim it as good or better than enamels but in an acrylic paint.

idontbelieveit15 May 2018 5:46 a.m. PST

Here's a website I frequented when I bought my airbrush – lots of good tips:


Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 6:18 a.m. PST

Air cans are a good investment if you aren't sure airbrushing is for you, and don't want to spend 250-500 bucks on a compressor. And even if you splurge on an expensive airbrush you can resell it for good money

If you want to take up airbrush seriously then you're better off getting a quality compressor. There are a few cheap Chinese ones that aren't too bad, but they tend to wear out after a few years and by the time you get your third one you already spent more than you would have on a Sparmax or Iwata and with some luck those last for many years.

I bought a quality mid-range H&S Evolution and started with air cans, learned the ropes and then graduated to a compressor, and it's a world of difference. I do a ton of 1/56th tanks for WWII and it has paid off in every possible way.

Lucius15 May 2018 3:53 p.m. PST

Great advice above.

I bought a cheap airbrush, then immediately bought my first Pasche. Currently I have an Iwata, and love it.

If you have a garage, just buy a regular air compressor from Home Depot. You'll find yourself using it for all sorts of things.

Walking Sailor15 May 2018 4:22 p.m. PST

Asked before TMP link
I updated on one question. Everybody agrees on getting more than just an air brush compressor. Tank compressors are available from the Big Boxes for $100 USD or less. Without a tank you cannot dampen the pulses from the compressor head (the pump). Most include/you will need a pressure regulator. You also need a water trap/filter. Consider putting the compressor in another room/ behind a door if it is too loud. You'll want a hose anyway.

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