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Buying My First Airbrush (or Compressor) Questions.


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Hi guys I am getting ready to buy my first airbrush. I have always brush painted all my parts on the trees & rattle canned the bodies. I really want to try out an airbrush and have to ask the experts what do you recommend me getting ? I have never used one before and dont want to buy one thats too difficult to use or buy something cheap and regret it. Thanks

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Harbor Freight sells a dual action airbrush for around $20 that is great for beginners, I still use mine a lot for painting large parts. If you want an airbrush that does really fine detail work a Badger 105 with a super fine needle works great. Here's one I painted using the badger. CAM00022_zpsf30a9fad.jpg

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Stay away from plastic airbrushes and vinyl hoses. For a beginner (and I always get crucified for this) I suggest a cheap air compressor from Harbor Frieght if you don't already have one. They also have a metal airbrush good for a starter for around $17 bucks. You are better off though, going to HobbyLobby with a coupon. They have a couple nice brushes and a beginners DVD.



Harbor Freight sells a dual action airbrush for around $20 that is great for beginners, I still use mine a lot for painting large parts. If you want an airbrush that does really fine detail work a Badger 105 with a super fine needle works great. Here's one I painted using the badger. CAM00022_zpsf30a9fad.jpg

NICE realistic flames!

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I have trouble recommending any "beginner" anything unless you're 12 years old cutting grass. They do work .. my first was Testers first try at airbrushes and it painted ok. The Badger ones are a good start. I haven't used a lot of them so I can't get specific. I'm sure the recommended ones will add up here.

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I really would recommend spending a little extra money and getting a quality airbrush to begin with. Buying cheap will only wind up costing you more money in the long run. I have a paasche single action and live it. It does exactly what I need it to do an it wasn't all that expensive, I think I paid 130 bucks for the airbrush with the compressor.

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I always fall back on the Paasche vl kit. Although the VL is a bit larger and heavier than most brushes, it take 10 times the abuse of almost any other brush. and you can get the VL kit (Not just the brush) for under $60. Replacement parts are always easy to get either online or just about any hobby or art supply shops. With the VL kit, you get the brush, 2 extra needles and head assemblies (this gives you fine, medium and large spray patterns), a color cup and 2 jars, the airline, and the wrench.

Here's a job I recently did using the VL.

P3141541_zps1c0d7520.jpg

Edited by Psychographic
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get the best compressor you can afford , the ab to learn on can be cheap you will upgrade that before long , but I always recommend not to focus so much on the airbrush more on the compressor, it is often the larger investment and something you will want to be satisfied with down the road

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  • 1 year later...

I just found my old airbrush hiding in the tool box, I got it over 10 years ago but never was able to use it. I want to finally learn to use it for both pictures and models but have no clue where to start, so any advice would be great!

To start in the pic is what I have now, if you can help me out with what I need from here and maybe telling what it is that I do have. Then thoughts on the cheapest way to start since I am just starting.

Thank you.

post-14997-0-91299300-1421950430_thumb.j

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This is really not the place to get basics of airbrushing. You just can't put enough up in a post to get the idea across. I suggest that you go to YouTube and search for airbrush basics. There are a lot of starter and advance videos on airbrushing. This is really a visual activity and trying to put it in words is just not effective. Go to the videos. I think you will learn more and quickly have a good basis for working with your airbrush.

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It doesn't use a cup, does it? I have one and it uses bottles with a nozzle that attaches underneath.

Mine came with both- the cup is better suited to small jobs where you don't need a lot of paint, and it's a lot easier to clean.

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Ah. The BluePoint ones have has two small bottles and a large bottle.

Mine may have come with a large bottle too- I haven't used it since I got my Badger 100 Gravity-Feed. I also have an Iwata HP-C that I haven't used.

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This one had 2 cups different sizes and 3 bottles when I got it. I thought it was a badger but want sure, it does have sears stamped into it. It's a duel action. Is outa decent airbrush? Is it suitable for a beginner?

I do have a compressor (I think it's a fifteen gallon) that I was using for auto painting (it's basically useless for anything else I have tried) I'm not sure if it would work for the airbrush?

I have been looking on amazon fora cheap one that might work but don't know what I would need. I'm working with maybe 50$ tops right now.

Edited by jacoballardtattoo
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I recommend looking for step by step airbrush lessons in your area which are usually offered by Community Ed, graphics supply businesses, art houses, outreach programs through your community art museum or even auditing classes at tech schools or colleges.

When that fails, ask for a tutorial from a member of your local model club. The military guys are usually all over this for models, not so much for the fine arts.

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This one had 2 cups different sizes and 3 bottles when I got it. I thought it was a badger but want sure, it does have sears stamped into it. It's a duel action. Is outa decent airbrush? Is it suitable for a beginner?

I do have a compressor (I think it's a fifteen gallon) that I was using for auto painting (it's basically useless for anything else I have tried) I'm not sure if it would work for the airbrush?

I have been looking on amazon fora cheap one that might work but don't know what I would need. I'm working with maybe 50$ tops right now.

That airbrush and your compressor should work fine as long as you have a good pressure regulator and water trap on the compressor

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Cool thanks, looks like I need to find a regulator and water trap now. Can anyone give me an idea of aproximitly what pressures I should be working with? I'm sure it changes with different paints but hoping there isa starting point?

10-40psi is a good usable range

I spray at ~25psi mostly

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Perfect! Mike thank you for sharing. I was thinking it might be around that I typically would run my sprayer at about 20 psi when painting 1:1 cars so I thought the airbrush would be the same. I remember the horrible results I had learning to use my sprayer. Found myself repainting the car a few times to fix mistakes.

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  • Xingu changed the title to Buying My First Airbrush (or Compressor) Questions.

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