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Buying My First Airbrush (or Compressor) Questions.


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Would like to know what everyone's favorite paint brand is? I have recently discovered creamcoat that Hobby Lobby carries, covers well. For years I've only ever used Testors or Model Masters. Also looking to start using an airbrush. What is a good airbrush brand/model for beginners?

Are you sure you don't mean "Ceramcoat"? Regardless, it is an acrylic used in crafting and unless you use it strictly on interiors, it isn't going to be very durable.

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Iwata, double action, gravity feed. Neo, Revolution, Eclipse are in ascending price order. I don't believe in buying cheap when it comes to modelling tools.

I agree! I recently got fed up with my Badger Patriot, which had broken down too often and too soon after repairs. Invested in an Iwata Revolution and have had no problems with it - for longer than my Patriot! Also, because it is a bit more expensive, you'll notice the difference inside the bowl - if you see chrome, you have a better airbrush that is easier to clean because paint has more problems adhering to the smooth, shiny finish, than it does brass.

Also, in addition to the type mentioned by Bill (dual/gravity) I would also recommend dual/siphon feed - it is great when you need to spray more than a cup of paint at one sitting, and that happens to me when I want to do a body. With a gravity cup, when you run out of paint, you're adding paint to drying paint inside the cup, and that could lead to adding trash to your finish. The alternative is to clean after every cup is sprayed.

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I agree! I recently got fed up with my Badger Patriot, which had broken down too often and too soon after repairs. Invested in an Iwata Revolution and have had no problems with it - for longer than my Patriot! Also, because it is a bit more expensive, you'll notice the difference inside the bowl - if you see chrome, you have a better airbrush that is easier to clean because paint has more problems adhering to the smooth, shiny finish, than it does brass.

Also, in addition to the type mentioned by Bill (dual/gravity) I would also recommend dual/siphon feed - it is great when you need to spray more than a cup of paint at one sitting, and that happens to me when I want to do a body. With a gravity cup, when you run out of paint, you're adding paint to drying paint inside the cup, and that could lead to adding trash to your finish. The alternative is to clean after every cup is sprayed.

Could you elaborate more on what you mean by broken down? The Patriot is a pretty tough airbrush, much more than the Revolution with its tiny screw in nozzle. Also, the inside of my Patriot bowl is shiny chrome. Did you use ammonia to clean yours?

I agree on siphon feed for painting model cars.

Don

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Could you elaborate more on what you mean by broken down? The Patriot is a pretty tough airbrush, much more than the Revolution with its tiny screw in nozzle. Also, the inside of my Patriot bowl is shiny chrome. Did you use ammonia to clean yours?

Just that it stopped functioning the way it had been - Badger never tells you what the problem was; so, I can't be more specific. I never used Ammonia to clean any of my brushes. I use Lacquer Thinner and Simple Green. BTW, the Revolution is the same size as the Patriot (.5mm). I will have to check the inside of my Patriot and let you know...

Edited by fseva
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Just that it stopped functioning the way it had been - Badger never tells you what the problem was; so, I can't be more specific. I never used Ammonia to clean any of my brushes. I use Lacquer Thinner and Simple Green. BTW, the Revolution is the same size as the Patriot (.5mm). I will have to check the inside of my Patriot and let you know...

It's too bad they don't give more feedback. There are several things that could cause your symptom. I think both the Patriot and the Revolution are good airbrushes. The Revolution does have finer fit and finish, but the Patriot is easier to care for.

Don

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I'm no expert. This is my first airbrush, but so far I'm very pleased with it. I'm using the. I feel that I have good control over the air/paint mixture, the results are fine, and it's been easy to clean. It would probably be considered "too cheap" by the pros here, and maybe time will prove them right. I can't spend a lot of money...if someone wants to buy me an expensive airbrush they're welcome to do so. ;)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGL5SQ8/ref=pe_385040_127541860_TE_3p_dp_1

I bought the compressor show in the pic, though not that brand. It seems to be sold by pretty much everyone under different brand names. I'm also happy with it. I have the pressure set to 20psi and that's working fine. Pressure seems steady.

Have fun. :)

post-15274-0-97241500-1427308513.jpg

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Just that it stopped functioning the way it had been - Badger never tells you what the problem was; so, I can't be more specific. I never used Ammonia to clean any of my brushes. I use Lacquer Thinner and Simple Green. BTW, the Revolution is the same size as the Patriot (.5mm). I will have to check the inside of my Patriot and let you know...

Here is the info I promised... the photo shows my Patriot on the left and my Revolution on the right...

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I bought the compressor show in the pic, though not that brand. It seems to be sold by pretty much everyone under different brand names. I'm also happy with it. I have the pressure set to 20psi and that's working fine. Pressure seems steady.

From what I understand, the airbrush determines the highest amount of pressure it will take, and that is usually around 20-30 pounds. You would only need 15-20 for most projects. Once you reach the upper end of the compressor's output, you still are only going to get what the airbrush will take.

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I thought the brand was creamcoat but I'll look this evening. It was recommended to me by a friend that done miniatures.

That makes more sense, because they usually want a flat finish, which is (I'm pretty sure) what you will get with Delta Ceramcoat.

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I like the Anthem too. I had a Badger 150 that I bought back in the late eighties. I managed to drop the needle while cleaning it. (The day of the Oklahoma City Bombing IIRC) and had to replace the needle. Other than that, it has been a solid performer. I ended up letting Cathie's Son in Law take it with him when he moved out East. He uses it for model airplanes, and for stenciling ID info onto bull's horns! I decided to try the Anthem when I replaced it. No regrets. It's a little tougher to clean acrylics out of than my 150 was, as they seem to really stick the nozzle parts together a bit more, but it's not that much of a hassle. I am no Rembrandt, but I get pretty decent paint jobs out of it.

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I decided to try the Anthem when I replaced it. No regrets. It's a little tougher to clean acrylics out of than my 150 was, as they seem to really stick the nozzle parts together a bit more, but it's not that much of a hassle. I am no Rembrandt, but I get pretty decent paint jobs out of it.

Anthem has a needle/nozzle .75mm; the 150 might have a 1.5mm, which is what I have in my Crescendo. The larger the n/n, the easier it is to clean up and to spray thicker paints.

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Anthem has a needle/nozzle .75mm; the 150 might have a 1.5mm, which is what I have in my Crescendo. The larger the n/n, the easier it is to clean up and to spray thicker paints.

The 150 nozzles are .25, .5, and .76mm. The Anthem comes with .76mm but .5 and .35mm are available. The Crescendo can use .5, .76, or 1.0mm nozzles.

Don

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The 150 nozzles are .25, .5, and .76mm. The Anthem comes with .76mm but .5 and .35mm are available. The Crescendo can use .5, .76, or 1.0mm nozzles.

Actually, believe it or not, my Crescendo has a 1.5mm - I bought it specifically for airbrushing Auto Air, which is very thick and I'm no good at reducing it.

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I'm sorry to say that, in my experience, airbrushes are something where you get what you pay for. I've heard far too many tales of people buying cheap airbrushes, and ending up either buying a better one or being put off airbrushing completely by the performance. Either way, you end up wasting your money, It's less money, for sure, but that doesn't make much difference if you're throwing it away...

I would stick to one of the brands that are know to produce good airbrushes -- this side of the pond Harder and Steenbeck and Iwata seem to be favored; I'm sure the various Badgers, Paasches and Azteks are equally good and better known in the US. Badger, IIRC, has a lifetime repair service and warranty...

I have an Iwata Eclipse which has served me faithfully for a decade now, at the cost of one replacement nozzle tip.

You are also going to need to consider your air supply. Running any airbrush off propellant cans is an expensive and not ideal solution.

You won't want to order one of these sets from the UK, but they'll give you an idea of what your "starter" set-up should contain, and how much it's likely to cost:

http://modellingtools.co.uk/airbrush--compressor-sets-196-c.asp

The best advice I can give you on actually using an airbrush was given to me by the late, great, Ted Taylor: "Remember, use it like a brush, not a spray-gun..."

All the best,

Matt

Edited by Matt Bacon
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My take on this, after 50 years experience ? I NEVER had an airbrush, cheap or expensive, that didn't do what I bought it for. Just getting started? you can buy a cheap airbrush at Harbor Freight for under 30 bucks that will do a good job. If you decide airbrushing is not your forte', you're not out a bunch of $$. Treat them with respect, clean them religiously, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE ! You need to get to the point that you don't have to 'think' about what you're doing, it will become second nature. I have about 10 I've bought over the years,Cheap (7 bucks) and expensive. All work well, if you learn their limits and use accordingly. Only thing I would stay away from are those TESTORS (I think), that use a can of propellant, and come with those little bottles of paint. Invest in a good, dependable compressor; again HF has them on sale often for under 50 bucks that will do the job just fine, and get a moisture trap. Learn to disassemble and assemble that brush blindfolded and learn to clean it. My choice for cleaning is spray carb cleaner, but that's just me.....'Z'

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I have one of these...

http://www.tcpglobal.com/MASS622-SET.html?gclid=Cj0KEQjwxd6oBRCRoMrWmLOCvI4BEiQAYyZdkc1vJFc1QultP8HcuIpCJ6KDKgRnSbOKmLRHAOA-fmwaAn_88P8HAQ#.VRh6efnF_Cs

It's my first airbrush, so I don't know how it compares with others. It seems fine to me. I'm using acrylic paints. Attached is a pic of a piece I just sprayed. That's a coat of primer and two coats of paint. It looks nice and even and the details show nicely. I'm sure I'd be just as happy with an airbrush costing several hundred dollars, if I could spend that kind of money.

As Steve says, clean religiously, if not more so. I just used Vallejo sprayable acrylic primer for the first time, and the stuff works as well as airbrush cement as it does as primer. :o

post-15274-0-68743000-1427668278_thumb.j

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I am new to airbrushing myself I have a real nice badger 150 (I think) duel action that is a siphon feed that was a gift many years ago, I also have the cheap harbor freight option. Using them side by side I have found the badger to be way better to learn on add it has more control and a more consistent spray. Now with that being said, I did do some research on the cheapo option and have found that with proper adjustment and a little TLC I have been able to get rid of almost all the problems. If you don't have money to burn (like most of us) try the cheap options first see what you think of airbrushing before dropping the big bucks. Don't get to discourage about issues with the cheap one, never forget it's cheap starter the higher end options do work better. If I had not been given the badger I would not have spent the money on it yet it's better to invest less funds in a hobby you may not enjoy.

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Are you looking for the research or ways to improve the cheaper airbrush?

So in the case of my harbor freight airbrush.

Complaints: inconsistent spray and splattering.

Fix: new O-rings for a better seal. You would need to replace them all with better slightly thicker ones. I can't really give you a cost on them I have had my assortment in the tool box from years of being a mechanic but I tell they were all found at either an auto pays store or ace hardware.

The hard one is the splatter, the cheap airbrush has a lot of slop in the needle allowing it to move while your spraying. I happened to have the perfect O-ring in my box that I was able to place it on the needle shaft in the rear when I screw on the back piece it holds the needle from bouncing around line the inside of the tube the shaft rides in with a dry grafite lube so it will slide smoothly. It's all air pressure from there.

Not site if this helps but I hope it does

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

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