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Need airbrush advice . Please

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Hey guys

I need some advice. I want to buy my first airbrush to paint my car models . I don't have alot of money so I was considering one of two options. Either buy a testors one or a no name real looking one with a small compressor on eBay for like $50. Which one am I better off getting ? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks 

Kenny

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I bought a paasche kit and it came with air compressor. I was in the same boat and I researched all of them and this is what I decided on.  Forget what I paid but if I were you I would go with something like this. It's name brand single action siphon feed external mix. Mini Air Compressor piston type. Oil-less. Good system for beginning and more. I'm happy. Google them both. Hope this helps. Don't buy a no name. This is a good system and will not break you. Good luck.

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Hi!

If you aim to do a good volume of work with your AB, you might want a DUAL ACTION, like a Badger or other good brand. A bit more money upfront, but much  more versatile once you get the learning curve behind you! Brand names AB usually have a good service network if you need parts/maintenance later. 

Many cheap auto-parts compressors for airbrush have no air tank! It means they start every time you pull the trigger... And odd paint speckles will occur at the beginning and end of every stroke. Not good with metallic or candy paints! 

I bought my first AB spending more than I had expected. I saved on the compressor for 2 years, using a junk truck tire and wheel bought dirt cheap at a scrap yard, and a small brass adapter to screw on the tire valve to connect the air hose of my AB. It took 50 lbs of air at the gas station air pump, and since it was a big truck tire, it had enough air inside to last for a couple of car bodies. Empty? Back to the gas station for a free refill. That's how I saved the money to buy a better AB, and put money aside over 2 years to finally buy a good compressor at a later date. 

Even I couldn't tell which car was painted with the "truck tire" versus the later regular compressor!

Have fun with styrene!

CT 

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Paasche H is my choice for a first airbrush. Simple, inexpensive and works great.

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15 minutes ago, Miatatom said:

Paasche H is my choice for a first airbrush. Simple, inexpensive and works great.

Yeah. My first, last, and only airbrush.  I really don't see the need for a dual action airbrush unless you are doing custom vans or camouflage. Regular car paint jobs are easier with a single action IMHO. I have owned it for almost 40 years now.

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On 2/6/2020 at 2:34 AM, Ctmodeler said:

Hey guys

I need some advice. I want to buy my first airbrush to paint my car models . I don't have alot of money so I was considering one of two options. Either buy a testors one or a no name real looking one with a small compressor on eBay for like $50. Which one am I better off getting ? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks 

Kenny

Hey Kenny, this question come up here often and it wouldn't be a bad idea to search this website  to see what everyone is saying.  I have been through the same thing you are about to get into.  I started 50 years ago with a very cheap plastic siphon feed Badger with canned air.   You can still buy them.  However over the last 50 years I have owned at least 6 other, more expensive brushes, that I can remember. 

So here is my advice.  First off, you need to define what you are going to do with it.  Do you build a lot of models and plan on using it for years or do you just make an occasional model and you just want to see if you like an airbrush?  If you don't plan on building a lot of models and you are just experimenting,  a cheap brush is an option, however keep in mind that a cheap one may cause you some frustration and make you give up on airbrushing without giving yourself a fair chance to learn how to work with the tool.  

Second, if you are going to jump in with both feet, then you need to define what painting you are going to do and pick an airbrush that does that well.  For example, if you spend a lot of money, get a fine line brush and you plan on painting 1:12 scale bodies, you are going to hate airbrushing.  An expensive brush or a cheap one won't do any more than it was intended to do. You need a brush with a large tip and spray pattern for larger areas.  There are some brushes out there that have a reasonable cost and come with different tips to do different things. This would give you a chance to experiment without buying several differant brushes.   The one brush that comes to mind for me, is the Badger 175 Crescendo starter kit with three tips.  I have had one for over 20 years and it still serves me well.  I currently own three other brushes but that is a different story altogether.  

Last is the compressor.  Basically, the brush doesn't care what compressor you use as long as it provides a clean, dry, adjustable stream of air.  It doesn't matter to airbrush if it is a cheap can of air or a 500 gallon commercial compressor as long as it gets the air it needs consistently.  Beyond that you need to decide what you need, for instance you may live in an apartment and need to keep the noise down so a silent, airbrush only, compressor is what you need.  Or you may have a large workshop and run a lot of air tools, so a good quality machine with a storage tank may be the ticket.   A lot of my friends who need quite swear by compressed CO2 bottles.  The type that they use in soda fountains. They are fairly cheap to refill once you buy the container. There are probably as many air sources out there as there are airbrushes, so take your pick, but get what suits you. 

So which of the two should you buy?  For $50 it really doesn't matter.  The no name  with a compressor is going to be cheap all the way around, but if you are just experimenting, than it may be a good choice because it will teach you what you need in your next setup. Just know that you will be replacing in sooner rather than later to get a better quality setup if you are going to use it a lot. The Testors will probably last you longer but I wouldn't think much longer.  

Figure out what you really will be doing and get the brush that suits you, but remember this, the magic is in the magician, not the wand!  A top quality airbrush will not improve your paint job.  Only educating yourself on how to use an airbrush will do that. 

Edited by Pete J.

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Well Don Yost who builds and paints models both commercially and for contests, has won more contests than most of us would ever even enter uses both the Paasche H and the Paasche starter brush which is the H design made from cheaper materials. He has a bigger shop for larger volumes of painting and probably a larger compressor than most of us since he uses the large needle ( the medium is sufficient for our needs) but those are the brushes he uses exclusively to get his award winning finishes from. Follow the master painter, you could do worse and you don't need anything different. That starter set is all of $25 if you over pay for it. But you will need a compressor sooner than later. And the H would be a lifetime investment.

I own an H set I use quite a bit. My longest term brush ( 45 years so far) and most used because it naturally fits my hand is the Badger 200. And I have a double action brush I rarely use for car models.

Edited by Dave G.

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If you shop you can probably find an H for about $60 . For air alot of choices, a storage tank, pancake tank, regular air compressor, or air brush compressor. Do you have the space , need quiet, its up to you and what you need. The H you will have the rest of your life and your compressor will probably last most of it also, cheap is not better.

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Start cheap, work your way up to better equipment when you want to do more with it.

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52 minutes ago, kruleworld said:

Start cheap, work your way up to better equipment when you want to do more with it.

There's cheap and there's inexpensive. A Paasche or a Badger are inexpensive and have a proven track record. Cheap airbrushes (off brand Chinese stuff)....who knows? Better to spend a little more once, than less more than once....or get disgusted with poor performance and give up. Air supply could be just a tank that you fill at a local gas station.  Here's another recent thread on the topic.

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/148366-about-to-purchase-an-airbrush-and-compressor-advice-please/?tab=comments#comment-2180775

 

Edited by NOBLNG

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There are many cheap far eastern origin airbrushes out there that look fantastic in the box with all the extras. For very infrequent airbrushing maybe one of these would suffice. Far better though to look for a better quality airbrush that will fulfil your basic requirements. As a UK modeller I cannot comment on the Paasche as they have never been seriously marketed in the UK but I gather that as one of the oldest established airbrush manufacturers their product is a good one. Back in the 60's and 70's the Badger ranges were marketed in the UK. Having used their products for many years now I have found their air brushes to be of very good quality at a reasonable price. Many modellers praise the Iwata and the Harder and Steenbeck ranges that are both high quality airbrushes, but at a price! I have stuck with my Badgers for as long as I can remember without any problems. A Badger siphon feed single action is perfectly good for overall colour spraying, whereas a double action comes into its own for custom painting. I must admit to being lazy as far as priming is concerned, and use automotive acrylic primers from aerosol cans. White, grey, red oxide and flat black are always to hand on my shelf.

Edited by Bugatti Fan

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Have to echo some of what's been said here just to drive home the point; a Badger 200 or Paasche H is not just the perfect beginner airbrush, but are airbrushes you will continue to fall back on even if you decide to "upgrade" later. They are solid, serious working tools, and you can feel it when you pick one up. They are versatile, and highly adjustable, so don't be put off by the "single action" aspect, for model cars they can amaze. Which to buy? Buy the one that's on sale. I'd rather have either and a cheap air tank than a cheap brush/compressor combo any day.

Here's one: https://spraygunner.com/single-action-airbrush-set-badger-200-20-detail/

and... https://www.midwestairbrush.com/pahsiacaihos.html

Edited by bisc63
added info

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Hmmm.  I was going to suggest that since these companie's paints are actual colors for 1:1 scale cars, why not use one of the online 1:1 color references sites (like https://www.autocolorlibrary.com/  ) to find the color chip, but since the model paint compnaies don't seem to list the colors under all the makes that used that color (like only for Chevy when Pontiacs used it too), that is not a good option.

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On 2/6/2020 at 4:34 AM, Ctmodeler said:

Hey guys

I need some advice. I want to buy my first airbrush to paint my car models . I don't have alot of money so I was considering one of two options. Either buy a testors one or a no name real looking one with a small compressor on eBay for like $50. Which one am I better off getting ? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks 

Kenny

Hobby Lobby sells a limited brands of airbrushes and compressors .The  40% off coupon  can not be beat. Make sure that you buy the airbrush and the compressor on separate days.

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4 hours ago, Mike 1017 said:

Hobby Lobby sells a limited brands of airbrushes and compressors .The  40% off coupon  can not be beat. Make sure that you buy the airbrush and the compressor on separate days.

Also check the price stickers; some of them say "Your Price" - those aren't eligible for the coupon.

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I checked them out. A little expensive imo to start out with. I think I'll buy a cheap master airbrush and little compressor to start with. I've never airbrushed before

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1 hour ago, John Pol said:

Good luck with the master airbrush

I sense sarcasm lol do you mean that cause they suck? I read some reviews that seem positive. Not gonna spray whole bodies with it just other parts cause it will be smoother than brush painting and look better 

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46 minutes ago, Ctmodeler said:

I sense sarcasm lol do you mean that cause they suck? I read some reviews that seem positive. Not gonna spray whole bodies with it just other parts cause it will be smoother than brush painting and look better 

If you are planning on using an airbrush for just "other parts", how are you going to paint the model's body?  Usually the main reason for getting an airbrush is to obtain a smooth coat of paint on the model's body.

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I could try and learn that , but I usually use spray paint from cans. Have had good luck (mostly) that way lol

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There is a lot of good advice here from people with experience.  However here is a suggestions for you.  Go to the dentist!  No, I'm serious.  Paul Budzik is a dentist who builds amazing models and is a meticulous technician.  He has several videos on his web site that go into the whys and where as is of airbrushes.  They are great tutorials and can give you a better idea of what may suite you best.

Here is the link to his site. https://paulbudzik.com/scale-model-workshop-videos/scale-model-workshop-videos.html

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1 hour ago, Pete J. said:

 Paul Budzik is a dentist who builds amazing models and is a meticulous technician.  He has several videos on his web site that go into the whys and where as is of airbrushes.  They are great tutorials and can give you a better idea of what may suite you best.

Wow!  That's a name I haven't heard for many years!  I used to see articles written by him in Finescale Modeler and probably also in Scale Auto. I'm glad he is still around, building models.  One tip I picked up from him was to cast parts from acrylic dental powder and hardener liquid (dentists used to use it for making temporary crowns or such).  The same stuff is now available from beauty shops (for use on artificial fingernails).

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If all you want is a nicer finish on small parts you can just spray them all with spray cans while still on the parts trees. Then touch up with a brush when you pull them off the trees if needed. Or you can just thin your brush paints about 15-20% and continue to brush them. The little bit of thinner will help leveling and flow out, you would be hard pressed to know they weren't sprayed.

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On 2/6/2020 at 10:34 AM, Ctmodeler said:

Hey guys

I need some advice. I want to buy my first airbrush to paint my car models . I don't have alot of money so I was considering one of two options. Either buy a testors one or a no name real looking one with a small compressor on eBay for like $50. Which one am I better off getting ? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks 

Kenny

I haven't been doing this hobby long but I took a few months of researching various things before I look the leap into it and bought my first airbrush and compressor.

All the feedback I saw were very much along the line of that you get what you pay for, especially with the airbrush and that with cheap no name ones, they dont last very long. This and a lot of reviews on Amazon and YouTube made me spend that bit extra to get two items I am over the moon with and honestly can not fault.

I have the Neo for Iwata Airbrush and Timbertech ABPST08 Compressor. All together they cost me £140.

A lot of people recommend the Paasche gear which also gets very good write ups but is less available in the UK from trusted retailers. 

I know it can get a bit expensive for the initial outlay but I would definitely recommend spending that bit extra.

I have tried painting some of the components with brushes and found the finish to be awful in comparison to airbrushing them so I stripped them back or went over them again with the Airbrush.

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