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The Great Crusade > Warhammer 30,000: Modelling and Painting > Thoughts on an Airbrush?

Title: Thoughts on an Airbrush?

Pacific - November 12, 2012 11:59 AM (GMT)
Hey guys,

Was thinking of buying an airbrush after toying with the idea for many years. I wanted something middle of the road as it were - not the cheapest option (which I've found to be a good rule of thumb, regardless of the item or industry involved!) but also without spending hundreds on a compressor and the like.

After doing some reading I found this one from Badger, which looks to be more or less what I was after:

Has anyone had any experience of using one of these or something similar?
I'll be using it mostly for painting terrain, perhaps the sides of tanks (camo patterns) and things like that.

If it's something that works well presumably it would be a good idea to go for a compressor at some point?

Any opinions would be much appreciated in any case! :)

Arden Fell - November 12, 2012 12:30 PM (GMT)
Badger are supposed to be decent airbrushes, but I don't have much experience with them.

I went for the slightly alternate route of buying a half decent compressor and a cheaper air brush (well a kit of two actually). I don't think I was much more than 70 either.

At some point I can then upgrade to a decent bush, but in the meantime I can learn the ways with something that won't cost a fortune if it gets clogged or what have you.

Biggest thing I have noticed is that brushes clog quickly and this would be my main concern with a propellant based system; guaranteed that by the time you get everything set up right you run out of gas.

And the gas won't be cheap either. a few tins and you'd probably have been better buying a compressor too.

I think I got mine from here a couple of years back....

Wolf Lord Mjolnir - November 12, 2012 12:40 PM (GMT)
I use an unbranded Chinese airbrush from eBay.

Done me well but I do sometime think I would like to upgrade.

Probably worth learning on a cheaper version so get the knack though?

Depends really on how much detail you want to add by airbrush though.

BigWill - November 12, 2012 12:42 PM (GMT)
Pac a Huge no on that particular airbrush,it is single action.
That works like a spray can,you want double action and a compressor with a tank.
Without the tank and you have water problems as soon as the pump heats up.
It starts pumping hot air that cools and condenses in the hose.

Go the extra mile and get a Patriot,that is what I am currently.

Wolf Lord has the right idea learn with the $20 chinese job,then buy a quality double action brush once you get good with it.
The newer ones have a extra regulator of sorts right on the brush itself,A screw that fine tunes air pressure.

Wolf Lord Mjolnir - November 12, 2012 12:44 PM (GMT)
TIP - buy a moisture trap for leading from the hose to the actual airbrush.

Will save you cursing - trust me!

Pacific - November 12, 2012 01:45 PM (GMT)
Thanks so much for the replies guys! Quite a lot to think about now.

So, bearing in mind I want to keep this cheap for now I'll get a double-action chinese airbrush for less than 20 (after reading around I've found a lot of these are knock-offs of much more expensive models? Also that the quality varies wildly)

Dave do you use a compressor or a can with yours?

I have seen some entire kits for less than 80 (the one below for instance). But, the fact that you normally need to spend at least that on a compressor makes me think it will be shite?

EDIT: Also, is there much difference between a gravity and suction feed?

BigWill - November 12, 2012 02:49 PM (GMT)
I think your shite auction is actually very good.
I have the same compressor,as long as it has a tank a regulator your good to go.
I spent $150 just for the compressor.
The airbrushes included seem to work well for the first few months if kept clean as a whistle( which you should always do with an airbrush anyway)

Gravity Feed seems to flow easier and you are able to work with less pressure for super detail work.
As gravity feeds the paint and not air-pressure.
Siphon Feed uses some pressure to pull the paint but you can use the jars which hold a crapton of paint.
Great for basecoating lots of stuff.
The siphon jar top also fits onto Tamiya bottles perfectly,really helped out when I painted the OD for my tank company.

I just tried can air as a late night backup and I HATE IT,even though they sell a regulator for the can,it just didnt really work,maybe good for basecoating,but detail work,never.

Arden Fell - November 12, 2012 03:28 PM (GMT)
The brushes on that auction are pretty much identical to mine.

One gravity one syphon so you get the best of both worlds. I think the syphon is a wider spread too for priming and such and the gravity is more for detail work as it is quite adjustable.

Most of the cmpressor come with a water trap but if you are setting up a little paint station then a secondary trap is handy. I know my little compressor attached trap steams up quite a bit, but the second trap rarely mists at all.

Just remember to always put the little lid on the gravity feed pot otherwise when you get carried away with painting you end up forgetting it's open and spill paint everywhere. Not good if you have a carpeted floor I can tell you. ;)

Wolf Lord Mjolnir - November 12, 2012 08:11 PM (GMT)
That eBay link is pretty much my set up dude except I don't have the extra large tank.

Works perfectly for me. You can always buy a better brush later and carry on using the compressor.

Always use gravity fed, dual action where possible for any real air brushing.

You can use the single action for donkey work which does not require any real detail/skill.

Pacific - November 12, 2012 11:36 PM (GMT)
Guys thanks so much for the input again, it's been immensely useful!

Also Arden, thanks for the tip about keeping the lid on it! :D

Definitely leaning towards that all-in-one option the I linked if you guys have something similar and not problems.

Thanks a lot again!

BigWill - November 13, 2012 01:12 AM (GMT)
No Problem
My advise check out some of the You-Tube vids out there,some good info there,especially when it comes time to completely disassemble and put back together again.

Any questions or problems you know the drill..... ;)

Arden Fell - November 13, 2012 09:55 AM (GMT)
Agreed with BigWill.

YouTube has masses of run throughs and tutorials for airbrush model painting

BuyPainted and IchibanPainting are two worth looking at.

Adenn - November 14, 2012 01:40 AM (GMT)
Not posting to be a help in any way, but i'm looking in to getting an Airbrush too, mainly for basecoating tanks and such but it'd also come in handy for prop work. That ebay combo looks interesting, if you pick it up be sure to post how it worked out, i might pick the same one up :D

ephrael - November 14, 2012 03:37 AM (GMT)
Pacific, I'm not sure where you are located in the world and if it makes any difference but I just got into airbrushing so I'll give you my opinion and perhaps some of it will help you. I run a generic air compressor with a tank that I got for cheap at my local Harbor Freight store. It is the kind you might use for small around the house and garage jobs. Not really loud but not whisper quiet. I put a moisture trap on it and a good air valve/gauge and it runs great. I bought an HP-CS Eclipse Iwata airbrush at the local Hobby Lobby store. I wanted a good brand name from a local place that carried parts and accessories in the store. They also have a 40% off coupon that you can load onto your smart phone and use in the store. The airbrush works like a dream, I keep it spotless after every use and never have any problems with clogging or anything else.

My advice would be to buy the best brush that you can afford and take care of it like nothing else and you can't go wrong. It's nice to save some money on a knock off brand and online ordering but it sucks when you break something or need a new needle and can't get one. I'm not saying that you have to buy your brush locally either. I would do some research and see if any local shops stock parts for the brands you are thinking about getting. You can still save money by getting the brush online but get the parts you need quickly locally.

Arden Fell - November 14, 2012 08:53 AM (GMT)
There are mixed opinions on cleaning airbrush components with brushes as they can damage the needle and nozzle.

If you can stretch to one, a sonic cleaner is ideal. I have an old one that I used to use for cleaning drawing pens and it works a treat.

As for parts well last night I over tightened the nozzle on my budget brush and it snapped. Looked at RGD Tools and they carry spares too. Boost.

Gagoc TheAncient - November 14, 2012 06:23 PM (GMT)
Bit of a tangental question, but how do you learn about using Airbrushes in general?

I only ask because I know next to nowt about them, but they seem to becoming a good part of the hobby.

Arden Fell - November 14, 2012 07:00 PM (GMT)
Practice. :lol:

There are a few good You Tube tuts but the best way is to load it up with a water based paint (water colour not acrylic) and get a bit of paper out and learn the spray profiles.

Then make some templates and try some simple things like flames or shading.

Then prime up some minis and switch to acrylics and try some highlights.

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