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Buying My First Airbrush (or Compressor) Questions.

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The 150 is more than you need. I mean its a great airbrush, but for just straight paint jobs You did'nt need one this fancy. If you can get it put back together correctly, then go to the craft store, pickup some Auto Air paints, and cleaner,then start practice painting. The compressor you have sounds big enough to handle about 15 PSI, Good luck.

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One tip here before you get started: Learn how to assemble, disassemble and clean if before you blow paint through it. I don't see an instruction sheet, but you can get that of the internet easily enough. As it sits in the photo, the needle holder/barrel is out and has the needle in it with the tip exposed. This is not a good thing. Once the holder is in place you shouldn't have to remove it. Cleaning is very easy. First you run some thinner through it. That gets rid of most of the paint. Then you release the needle and pull it out the back. Wipe it with a rag with some thinner on it until all the paint is off. Then use a Qtip with thinner to clean out the area where the paint cup/bottle attaches. Then remove the tip in carefully clean that , then reassemble it and blow a bit more thinner through it. Do this every time you use it.

One other piece of information. Because of the way the needle is out and exposed, I would bet the tip is damaged. It is easy to tell. Get a piece of paper towel and draw the needle through with the towel pinched between your fingers. If it snags on the paper towel, it is damaged. It that is the case, it is not unrepairable. Get some very fine sandpaper. 3000 or finer and lay it on a very flat surface, like a piece of glass. Then at a very low angle draw the needle across it until the snag is gone. Be very careful and treat the needle like you are polishing it, not grinding it. If the needle is damaged, the spray will be uneven and may spatter.

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Thank you for your tips Pete, I removed the the needle and everything solely for Redgrave in the pic because of asking people to aid in identifying the airbrush. It had say in my toolbox for the lady few years assembled. I do not think the needle is damaged but had no clue how to check our repair it so your top there may just be a life saver thank you.

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Here is another tip for you, When you reassemble. Carefully, and Gently insert the needle in its place. Being too rough with the needle or pushing it in to far, can damage the teflon bushing inside, which will result in poor performance. Which would require a trip back to the factory to have it repaired.

Edited by my80malibu

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While on the subject of the needle, get your hands on some airbrush needle lubricant.http://www.coastairbrush.com/search.asp?pg=1&stext=airbrush+lube&sprice=&stype=&scat= This one happens to be Iwata from Coast airbrush but there are a number of lubes out their. Be sure you get the stuff made just for airbrushes. I am not sure what it is, but it won't contaminate the airbrush and fowl your paint. Just a bit on the needle before you reassemble it keeps the internal seal well lubricated and stops it from drying out. It is a cheap maintenance item.

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And yet another great tip! I have to say I love this site I'm tapped into some amazing knowledge here. Pete I would probably never known there was such a thing as airbrush lube had you not shared that again thank you.

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Good luck with this. If you follow the above, you should be set. PATIENCE and PRACTICE.

There are outstanding youtubes.. TO help save some $, consider trying low cost acrylics from Hobby Lobby. You can use windex as a thinner. Shoot on newspaper and work up to plastic with it just to get a feel for mixing, pressures, and spraying. Just get cheap plastic (like toys from the dollar store). Once you can lay down some paint on that, then you are ready. It is a great way to learn, improve, and give the wallet a breather in the process. And the other thing about acrylics is you can just soak it in windex with a toothbrush to strip it and go again. No nasty fumes, easy clean up, and that sort of thing. Try just simple stuff like "road grime" and that sort of thing first ,and then work your way up. I had always used enamel or lacquer and recently made the switch to acrylic. My only regret is not doing it a LONG time ago.

PATIENCE AND PRACTICE. You will get it!

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While on the subject of the needle, get your hands on some airbrush needle lubricant.http://www.coastairbrush.com/search.asp?pg=1&stext=airbrush+lube&sprice=&stype=&scat= This one happens to be Iwata from Coast airbrush but there are a number of lubes out their. Be sure you get the stuff made just for airbrushes. I am not sure what it is, but it won't contaminate the airbrush and fowl your paint. Just a bit on the needle before you reassemble it keeps the internal seal well lubricated and stops it from drying out. It is a cheap maintenance item.

I learned the hard way. Without lube it took extra force to insert the needle into my Iwata, pushed too hard and bent the tip and damaged the nozzle. After using lube it would slide easily without friction.

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Thank you everyone, I hope to get some cups, bottles, pressure reg, water trap and time soon. I will try and pay pics of my progress so everyone who has helped along the way can see the help in action.

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I been usin a Badger Patriot 105 air brush for a year now and I clean it well after each use with water then a bit of thinner I use mostly acrylics and some alclad now and then should I be taken the center tube out where the needle runs though and given it a good soaking to make sure theres no paint build up happening in there what do you guys do ??

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I've got a 105 also. I've been shooting a lot of acrylics and Future. I use windshield washer cleaner to soak everything in. The only parts I don't soak are the air valve assembly, the needle tube/shank assembly and the back lever. Everything else goes in the cleaner. I use stronger window cleaner sprayed on a paper towel to wipe everything down after a good soak. Toothbrushes get the stubborn stuff out of the cup lid. I bought a set of airbrush cleaners that I use on the small orifices of the main body of the AB. Windshield washer fluid is a lot cheaper than thinner and more effective than plain water.

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WARNING: DO NOT soak airbrushes in ammonia for very long, It will eat the chrome finish. You are better off never soaking in ammonia. If just using acrylics soak in soap water or alcohol. If using other solvents it is better to take the air valve assembly out due to it's rubber seal, even alcohol can dry out the rubber seal. Our local art store has a warning on the airbrush case about using ammonia.

Edited by 935k3

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I always shoot alcohol through it before I wash it when shooting acrylics. This seems to get all the paint out of those hard to reach places. 935k3 is right about the rubber o-ring or seal. Some solvents will dry them out or help them expand, then you have to replace them.

Tim

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WARNING: DO NOT soak airbrushes in ammonia for very long, It will eat the chrome finish.

Thanks for that info.

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If by center tube, you mean the needle bearing, do not try to remove it. It is pressed in and factory replaceable on the Patriot. And, don't force anything through it.

You don't really need to completely dismantle an airbrush to keep it clean. Just clean the parts that the paint touches. I don't like the commercial cleaning brushes. The bristles are too stiff. Fine interdental brushes from the drug store work better. You might want to have a look at this page.

The Patriot is about the easiest internal mix airbrush to clean that there is.

Don

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Paasche H series single action. And get a compressor with a holding tank.

Agree completely. Or the Badger 350, which is very, very similar and might have better local parts availability.

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I'd say, if you're buying everything for the first time, spend some money on a good compressor, and save some money on the airbrush, a good compressor for me is more crucial than a good airbrush. At least for starters. Also it's better and more fun for the wallet to buy a new airbrush later on, than a new compressor.

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Here's the best value in compressors. Much better than any desktop or hobby compressor you can buy. I bought mine in 2002 and it still works great. In fact, after using a little Brown hobby compressor for 20 years, the day I plugged this thing in was the happiest day of my hobby life. If mine blew up tonight, I'd go buy another one without hesitation.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Campbell-Hausfeld-3-Gallon-110psi-Air-Compressor-11pc-Accessory-Set-Bundle/12534870

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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

I cant ofer any insights on which airbrush,,But WOW . this image is killer

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You have so many choices,its difficult to nail it down to just one.specific brand or style. I have several, and started with a siphon single action,but use a siphon fed double action, that is awesome.

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Here is my two cents. I agree with Paul Budzig's video. In spite of what people may say, you get what you pay for. Second point is that everyone is going to recommend what they have. No one will tell you that they married an ugly spouse!

When is comes to airbrushes, you have to decide what makes the most sense for you. Is this purchase just an experiment to see if you like airbrushing or is this a long term commitment to learning how to use an airbrush and develop the skills to do amazing things with it such as the flames or graphics that you see in some of the above posts? If this is a short term experiment, then cheap is probably fine, but if it is going to be long term commitment, then spend the money on good tools.

In my modeling career I have had five or six airbrushes. My first was a very rudimentary Badger that blew air over an orifice that had a dip tube into a jar of paint. It was crude but it got paint on a model better than a brush. The second was a plastic Aztek/ Testors and it was marginally better but being plastic, it had issues with spraying lacquer.

My first real quality brush was a Badger 150 Crescendo. It was of the midrange size tip that Paul described and was an absolute workhorse. It came with three tips and worked well for me for 15 or more years. Unfortunately it didn't have a solvent resistant seal and it died and I threw it in a drawer. I then went with the route that Paul described and I got fine and medium tip Tamiya/Awata brushes.(I was doing work for Tamiya at the time and got a great deal) When I found I couldn't do 1:12 scale cars easily, I broke down and bought an Awata HPL-50 small touch up gun. This gave me the arsenal to do everything I need to do. The right tool for each job.

Now I mentioned that I threw the 150 in a drawer and it languished there for 15 or more years because someone told me you couldn't replace the seal in that model. I happened to be in Coast Airbrush about a year ago and they told me to bring it in. To make a long story short, I did and after they replaced the seal, needle chuck and the needle for under $30 my trusty 150 is back on the bench again.

The moral of this diatribe is this. You decide how you plan on using this tool and how often and how long. Are you committed to building for the next 30 years, or will you stop in the next couple? Family and career can get in the way of our hobbies. Then make a decision. If you are long term, then spend the money on a quality tool, you won't be disappointed. Name brands are really important long term because parts for cheap knockoffs probably won't be available when you need them. Witness my Badger comments. You can count on just about any of the major brands, Awata, Tamiya, Badger or Paasche. Your choice and budget.

As to the compressor, anything that will provide air under pressure works. I have a Sears professional pancake compressor that I have used for 15 years and it does just fine. Again it was a good deal because I sold tools at Sears for years. Most good compressors in the US are made by Ingersoll-Rand including Devilbis, Porter-Cable, Dewalt, Campbell Hausfield, etc, so they all will last a lifetime, but as I mentioned any source of compressed air will work. Get a good pressure regulator and water trap and you should be in business. If you have other tools that use a compressor such as impact wrenches, angle grinder and such, size your compressor to those. Your airbrush will work off of a small 5 gallon pancake or a 100 gallon commercial compressor equally well. Airbrushes don't use a lot of air. The commercial airbrush compressors are designed for one purpose and that is to deliver air very quietly, so if noise is an issue then they may be a good choice.

So once again, this choice really depends on you and your needs. Get what suits your situation and budget and you will be happy.

Good luck and welcome to the world of airbrushing.

Edited by Pete J.

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