Air Brush set up

Tim Allen

Well-Known Hunter
Any know know of a small airbrush set up that isnt to expensive?

Ive been using the Testors ones for some years now and they dont work very well and are tough to clean. Im looking for a small set up with compressor, nothing major just for small projects. Dont really need any heavy duty ones, just something to get base coats down and so forth. Dont really want to spend more that 150 for something like this so any leads would be great. Thanks

I have a Testors as well that I recently bought and yes they have all the issues you mentioned. Plus they're expensive to use if you have a great deal of airbrushing to accomplish as the propellant is ludicrously pricey. I was in Walmart the other day and noticed they had two models above the entry line Testors. One was propellant driven so I disregarded it, but the other had it's own small compressor that comes with the airbrush and it's kit. It was around $50 or $60, so I was hoping someone has seen it and can tell me whether it's junk or not. I did notice that they also had a air compressor in the tools area that was around $100 and made to fire a finish nailgun or the like which would be perfect for an airbrush you'd think. I'm new to the airbrush for the most part, so suggestions wbe appreciated.

Yeh I sick of the propellant testors once. I let my entire set up soak in paint thinner, but for some reason it doesnt have any sucktion coming out of the bottle. Giving up on the system and need to upgrade it a bit.
I also bought the Wal Mart testers 50 dollar kit and used it once to test it out. Seemed to run pretty well, except it only comes with one tip that has to be cleaned our after each color. I did get some pretty good spray and coated a 6/6 in section on a piece of paper that turned out pretty well evenly colored. It does seem to have some issues with the metalic color paints and my silver did not spread out too well (really only sputtered). I will continue to work with it and will attempt to paint my second helmet next week. I will let you know how that turns out. Be advised I am colorblind, so no color questions.
Has anyone tried the "mighty mini" from testors? I saw it at the local Hobby Town for 80 bucks, here it is on the testors site:
It looks pretty good for a beginner, like my self. Any comments?

There is another higher level "kit" from testors that I also saw at hobby town that was a fair bit more expensive.
I believe it was just under 200 bucks at hobby town, anyone know if its worth it?

I still have to wait for my bucket and armor to get here to start painting but I do want to be prepared for when they do.
I just bought a oiless compressor/airbush kit from harbor frieght. From what I hear this set up is very well made and good for smaller projects IE: helmet armor type stuff, not to mention it was only $60 for the whole thing.
My brother-in-law ownes a hobby store. He's got a Paasch (spelling?) for $99 there's a compressor you can buy for it for around $60 or it will take the propellant as well. I think that's the one that Rouge Studios recommends since it's what was used on the original props.
I just traded up and bought the Mighty Mini from testors. I'm a beginner and won't be using it all the time so I figure it's perfect to get started on. Maybe I'll upgrade again sometime down the road. I wonder if you can buy accessories for the Mighty Mini-I've not really looked yet. A couple different tips would be nice, etc. I'm going to try and be far along enough on my helmet to take it for a test drive sometime this week, I'll let you know what I think. And I'm darned picky so you can bet i'll speak my mind...;) No more airbrush propellant!!!!

Here's another dumb question, but here goes. I noticed that my Testors Mighty Mini came with acrylic paints where my last one was enamel which required airbrush thinner. After reading the bottle of airbrush thinner, it said for enamels only. What kind of thinner is used with acrylic paints (if any) and where can I pick some up online? Like I said, dumb question...

idk if neone still reads this thread, but ill pass my knowledge on about airbrushing etc.... one thing ill do to is basics for those who r new to the airbrush and check this out...

~compressors/accessories etc...u can use the testors mini air comps etc...but also those $40-60 brad nailer comp etc... u see work great too! just make sure it has or u add a pressure regualtor too it!! depending on what type of fluid ur spraying u need as low as 10psi-35psi ( from inks, dyes to enamals ,laquers etc..) most paint u spray is used between 25-35psi (make sure u read the manufactures min- max psi for ur brush!), and make sure u always add a MOISTURE TRAP!! u can add one to ur air comp or "in-line" on ur hose. this makes a world of difference not only in avoiding spatter buy catching all the moisture that passes through, but keeps debree from going into ur hose or into the valve seat of ur airbrush, and can/will ruin it ( which if u drop 100-200 on a nice one, a $14 dollar inline is well worth it!) a braided hose is also recomended to use it wont get kinks etc...

~ paints, thinners far as paint goes, what kind u r using depends on the "medium" u need to thin out ur paint. if ur using enamels use thinner for enamels etc.. dont use a thinner for acrylics w/ enamels and vice versa. this will make sure ur paint will thin properly and also wont casue and harmful chemical reactions! how much u thin out ur paint will depend on certain things too. some paint at hobby stores or art supply can come ready to airbrush, most dont. and still even some that says ready to airbrush still needs to b thinned. ive found that most enamels and laqures need to be thinned for sure, a safe bet is usually 1:1 ratio......i still thin my acrylics as well, and depending on what brand ive used ive thinnned anywhere from 1:1, to 1:4 (1 part paint to 4 parts thinner), also a good tip when using acrylics to to add "acrylic retarder". acrylics dry fast as ur using them and this will help keep it from clogging ur brush while in use and also prevent "tip drying", this is the build up that starts making the paint drip at ur airbrush tip,or the spatter that ruins ur project.. also if u notice ur paint spattering or ur brush clogging after a couple min. of use,( this is with all types) ur paint is still too thick, and needs to be thinned more.... always thin out ur paint in a seperate jar, and also before u pour ur paint into the jar or cup ( syphon fed, or gravity fed brush) its a good idea to pour it through a strainer of some sort to prevent chunks or debree from getting in there....... and its in my opinion, what ever brand of paint u r using, use the same thinner also, what compaines do is make there paint molecules adhere and break down with there thinners, and what happens is if u mix & match, the paint might not thin out properly or it may not stick to the surface ur painting so well, or at all.............
alot of the time ur thinners also contain a lubricant in them to help flow really well, and also aid in not clogging in ur brush, so tricks like using windex, rubbing alcohol, windshield washer fluid work good to clean color jars and cups, and even to clean ur brush, i still buy airbrush cleaner to use to clean the brush out in between color changes and to clean the brush after im done ( i still use windex w/ amonia to clean my color cups and jars, im just cleaning them , and windex is a buck or two!)

~tips and needles......also its a good idea to find out what type of tip & needle size the brush ur buying/have comes with, or can also be purchased ( most of the hobby brushes are made to spray paint). but like badger or paasche etc.. may come with one,2 or 3 sizes, or u can buy all the sizes seperate. usually MEDIUM tips & needles are best used for painting base coats and details when spraying paints from small to lager surfaces, i find that LARGE tips&needles are best for certain primer or really large surfaces, and SMALL being best for inks, dyes, and really light fluids......
MOST IMPORTANT: make sure u clean ur brush when ur done!, and if ur gonna set it dwn for a bit, take off ur color jar/cup, run cleaner through the brush, even 5 min idle can casue clogging and drying where u end up having to disassemble the whole thing and some brushes can be very complex on the inside to some ppl...

ok, well theres some basics for ppl new to airbrushing, or just curious about things. if u have any questions about different types of brushes, (internal/external mix, single/double action, gravity/syphon fed ) or any other questions etc.... feel free to ask or PM me.. if i no or can help i will gladly!! :cheers
I just bought a oiless compressor/airbush kit from harbor frieght. From what I hear this set up is very well made and good for smaller projects IE: helmet armor type stuff, not to mention it was only $60 for the whole thing.
Probably the same one I bought
I use it with my Paasche airbrush (Dual-action) that was around 80 bucks or so
works fine for me
wow too bad I didn't see this thread earlier. I have a decent airbrush I never use. I bought it for my collage minor in art but after a couple of uses my art went to more brushing, collage and laqering techniques. maybe I will post it in the cargo hold.
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