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"Airbrushing on the cheap!" Topic

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captaincold6904 Dec 2018 9:06 p.m. PST

Just a quick question to those that may know!

Base coating 15mm armor. Am I better off sticking with a spray can or would one of those cheap Badger AB w/propellant give me better results?

Razor78 Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 4:50 a.m. PST

The problem with the propellant is that its not always a constant steady stream. For about $70 USD you can get a small compressor from Harbor Freight. For $88 USD you get the whole compressor, airbrush, hose kit. I've used mine for 4 years now, still going strong, although I have added more airbrushes

whitphoto05 Dec 2018 6:51 a.m. PST

I have a different compressor but I used that harbor freight airbrush to base coat a LOT of 15mm and 28mm vehicles, 28mm figures and lots of terrain. Not to mention priming In the winter and sealing hundreds of minis.

captaincold6905 Dec 2018 7:41 a.m. PST

An airbrush setup with a compressor is NOT an option for me.

So, that's why I'm wondering if I should just stick to spray can primer/base coat since it sounds like those canned air setups will not offer me much more than a spray can.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 8:34 a.m. PST

"An airbrush setup with a compressor is NOT an option for me."

Then I would stick with spray cans. Propellant cans are truly a waste of money and are subject to too many frustrating variables.

Another option would be a compressed air tank. With that, you could add a regulator. Of course, you would need acess to a merchant/vendor for refills.

captaincold6905 Dec 2018 8:56 a.m. PST

@ Joes

Thanks for confirming

Walking Sailor05 Dec 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

At the "big box" hobby for the price of 10 cans of propellant ($7.99/6oz-170g) you can have one of those airbrush compressors that Razor78 mentions link . As to size, mine measures 10"L X 5 1/2"W X 8 1/4"H (26x14x21cm).
Do the math. The price of rattle cans for primer, base coat, and varnish vs. the price of paint, airbrush, and propellant, vs. the price of paint, airbrush, and compressor (or kit link ). The compressor is most economical if you paint a lot of miniatures.

If you do get a compressor, be sure it includes a filter and pressure regulator.

captaincold6905 Dec 2018 9:47 a.m. PST

Like I mentioned already a compressor is NOT an option

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 10:34 a.m. PST

I'd go for spray cans. Simplest option.

John Leahy05 Dec 2018 11:05 a.m. PST

What about a car tire or air storage can? You can fill them up with air and no noise at all. The 10 gallon air storage container runs about 30 bucks or so, IIRC. Home depot and Lowes carry them. They have a gauge on them to determine air pressure.

If noise IS the issue, they do make them nosieless (or almost so) I bought one and my voice is louder than it.



raylev305 Dec 2018 2:00 p.m. PST

I've always used spray can paint and never had a problem. Cheap and easy.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 2:22 p.m. PST

Using an air tank is a neat idea -- possibly not for captaincold69, but maybe for others. Glad that was suggested.

As to refilling it, most gas stations have an air compressor hose, free, or at a modest cost to use. These could be used to refill a tank. Install a pressure gauge, to avoid over-filling it, and to know when it is time to refill it…

Most tires do not have very high pressure (typically less than 40 PSI), but they would have a decent volume stored, if you used an automotive tire (not terribly easy to lug around, though). Neat idea, Gentlemen. Cheers!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2018 8:40 p.m. PST

You can also buy a bicycle foot pump for less than $10 USD, if you want to add more air into the tank.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2018 7:22 a.m. PST

My mentor / teacher who taught me airbrushing used a compressed air cylinder with a regulator, moisture trap and a long braided hose. This was in the late 70's. He lived in an apartment and this was before noiseless compressors were readily available.

It was ultra quiet. He sprayed every day and refills averaged every 2 3 months. The cost, at that time was nominal.

A regulator is a must as you want to be able to dial down the pressure to 20 psi or below.

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