General Airbrush / Compressor Question

Hi all,

Currently in prep stage for an ESB build. Helmet on order from Bobamaker and not due for arrival until Feb/Mar so I'm using the time to research and start to gather materials & equipment.

Based on various recommendations I found on here, I've ordered an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush and need to get a compressor too. I'm looking for any recommendations for something that is reasonably priced (not sure what the kind of acceptable 'going rate' is for a mid range one?) and not too big. I live in a 2-bed flat with no garden access. I'm lucky to have huge bay windows that I can open for any kind of fume heavy work but I think the big compressors are going to be kind of unnecessary for me and probably a little too intrusive for my Mrs!

Any thoughts? Something £100 - £200.

Thanks
 

Irongladiator

Active Hunter
TDH PREMIUM MEMBER
Short4ATrooper
Ha! We got the same airbrush! I totally love my iWata HP-CS. I would say that 90% of my ROTJ Fett was painted using that airbrush. For 2020 Fathers Day my Wife and Daughter presented me with an airbrush set I've had my eye on for a while. The set consisted of the iWata HP-CS Airbrush and a Master Airbrush TC-40T Compressor.
Fathers Day Present.jpg


They got it as a kit from Amazon at the time. I think the entire kit at the time ran them about $289.99 (USD).

I know you can buy JUST the compressor though, that link is:

Looks like it is $149.99 (USD)
It is a great compressor and you'll find it has gotten many positive reviews too!

Good luck in whatever you decide to do!

Best,
-Iron
 
Thanks so much, glad to see another happy Eclipse user! I should’ve updated this thread as I bought a compressor a few days ago, it arrived today:

Fengda Airbrush Mini Compressor FD-186 with Powerful Constant Working Pressure/Strong Airflow/3L Air Tank, Regulator, Moisture trap for hobby, food decoration, body tattoo, graphic and so on https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B019CKX...abc_E3BA3YVZH2RSCFCX1AQV?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I’d read that it’s super quiet which has to be a consideration for me. We have a neighbour downstairs who is the bane of my existence. She’s about 90 and complains about everything. Every time we put our washing machine on, she comes and complains and I have to explain to her that I didn’t build the flat and can’t really do much about the construction of the flooring! Anyway…

It came today and is super quiet. Just need the airbrush to arrive now and my lid from Bobamaker!
 

Irongladiator

Active Hunter
TDH PREMIUM MEMBER
Short4ATrooper
Hahaha! Gotta love those neighbors! When we lived in an apartment We had a neighbor who lived below us who asked us on a number of occasions, to try and walk softer. After getting sick of hearing this constantly from them, I took it up with the landlord who said they would talk to them about it. Basically, said to them "Sorry, but that's apartment living". After that, didn't hear anything from them again.

I'm not saying it'll work in your case but maybe worth a shot.

That's super cool that you got a compressor. You'll enjoy your HP-CS, it really it a nice airbrush! Do you know what kind of paints you're gonna run through it? For my ROTJ Fett I ran primarily Tamiya Paints. But I also used Vallejo and Humbrol. I wasn't a huge fan of the Humbrol, as I found it very difficult to shoot the stuff is just super thick (Even after being thinned down greatly), but I'm now thinking it had to do with the fact that the Humbrol was an enamel based paint too. Oh and cleaning them humbrol paints off my airbrush was an absolute nightmare. Concerning cleaning and get yourself a good set of Dental Picks too. They make cleaning an airbrush much easier, something like this is what I use....
1641332099643.png


It makes for cleaning the "Nozzle" a lot easier....
iWata HP-CS Parts List.jpg


And also keep one of these handy too!
1641332286342.png

Makes it easy to clean the "Needle Chucking Guide with Auxiliary Level" a breeze too!

Best of luck to you!

-Iron
 
Short4ATrooper
Hahaha! Gotta love those neighbors! When we lived in an apartment We had a neighbor who lived below us who asked us on a number of occasions, to try and walk softer. After getting sick of hearing this constantly from them, I took it up with the landlord who said they would talk to them about it. Basically, said to them "Sorry, but that's apartment living". After that, didn't hear anything from them again.

I'm not saying it'll work in your case but maybe worth a shot.

That's super cool that you got a compressor. You'll enjoy your HP-CS, it really it a nice airbrush! Do you know what kind of paints you're gonna run through it? For my ROTJ Fett I ran primarily Tamiya Paints. But I also used Vallejo and Humbrol. I wasn't a huge fan of the Humbrol, as I found it very difficult to shoot the stuff is just super thick (Even after being thinned down greatly), but I'm now thinking it had to do with the fact that the Humbrol was an enamel based paint too. Oh and cleaning them humbrol paints off my airbrush was an absolute nightmare. Concerning cleaning and get yourself a good set of Dental Picks too. They make cleaning an airbrush much easier, something like this is what I use....
View attachment 218775

It makes for cleaning the "Nozzle" a lot easier....
And also keep one of these handy too!
View attachment 218777
Makes it easy to clean the "Needle Chucking Guide with Auxiliary Level" a breeze too!

Best of luck to you!

-Iron

I’ve told her to take it up with the building manager so many times and it’s been a while since we’ve had any complaints from her but next time I think I’ll go the route you suggested and get them to speak to her. As you say - that’s apartment living. The last place we lived in was a massive apartment block and we had to put up with all sorts. She’s just an old and lonely woman with not much else to worry about so she likes to look for things to take issue with but it’s getting harder to be patient with her. We’re very compassionate and considerate people but she acts like we’re the neighbours from hell! We’ve had the “walk more quietly” comments too and she wanted to give us a load of rugs to put down everywhere. Mental.

It’s funny you said about not liking the humbrols as that’s exactly what I’ve gone for (doh!) just over £140 ($200) of them to be exact! This was based on BaidenProps’ YouTube videos for painting an ESB Fett helmet and a ‘mind map’ diagram (I forget who posted it originally) that detailed the required colours for an ESB lid. I cross referenced that with a number of build threads and created a big shopping list. Just ordered everything direct through Humbrol. The BaidenProps video came highly recommended and the paints he mentions using are Humbrol. Also they just seem to be easier to get over here.

Thanks for the tips re: cleaning, will definitely get some dental picks and the cleaning brush. I’m excited to use the airbrush, I’ve used rattle cans a lot, recently on a few blaster builds and between the fumes and the overspray they can be a real pain. I know there’ll still be overspray with an airbrush but I’m guessing not as much? Same thing the fumes?
 

Irongladiator

Active Hunter
TDH PREMIUM MEMBER
We’re very compassionate and considerate people but she acts like we’re the neighbours from hell! We’ve had the “walk more quietly” comments too and she wanted to give us a load of rugs to put down everywhere. Mental.
Short4ATrooper
Oh, me and my wife are too (understanding and considerate people). But when it is constantly the same thing over and over again, yeah we went to the landlord. It was the Landlord who told us that it was inappropriate of them to approach/confront us on the issue.........THAT's why there is a LANDLORD! hahaha! And to echo what you had already stated, you didn't build the building, nor construct the floors. And yeah.......no thanks, you can keep your rugs! It is a bit mental!
1641338644039.png


Don't get me wrong I'm very happy with the way those Humbrol paints turned out. The issue for me was the paint itself and the experience of shooting them. I thought it was my nozzle that wasn't clean at first, so I took it all apart and gave it a deep cleaning and ensured that there was no blockage, but nope same thing. I thinned it way down too and still it just seemed to thick. But again I was using Enamel paints and think that might have had something to do with it.
1641339063785.png


Thankfully I only had two colors that were Humbrol, but both little cans say Enamel on em'. It may very well be that Humbrol makes Non-Enamel paints too - So I dunno. I just didn't care for the experience of shooting them. I will say those I love using the Humbrol Maskol, THAT stuff is legit! (And NO - I didn't use that via airbrush - Hahaha!)

The fumes from a Rattle can vs from an Airbrush I felt like were day/night differences. Yes the Airbrush puts out some paint fumes, but it is from water based acrylic paints and straight air. Versus Spray paint - which is definitely outdoor painting. I found that spraying Vallejo has a sweet kind of smell to it too for some odd reason. All of my airbrushing was done in my garage with the garage door wide open.

-Iron
 
Short4ATrooper
Oh, me and my wife are too (understanding and considerate people). But when it is constantly the same thing over and over again, yeah we went to the landlord. It was the Landlord who told us that it was inappropriate of them to approach/confront us on the issue.........THAT's why there is a LANDLORD! hahaha! And to echo what you had already stated, you didn't build the building, nor construct the floors. And yeah.......no thanks, you can keep your rugs! It is a bit mental!
View attachment 218779

Don't get me wrong I'm very happy with the way those Humbrol paints turned out. The issue for me was the paint itself and the experience of shooting them. I thought it was my nozzle that wasn't clean at first, so I took it all apart and gave it a deep cleaning and ensured that there was no blockage, but nope same thing. I thinned it way down too and still it just seemed to thick. But again I was using Enamel paints and think that might have had something to do with it.
View attachment 218780

Thankfully I only had two colors that were Humbrol, but both little cans say Enamel on em'. It may very well be that Humbrol makes Non-Enamel paints too - So I dunno. I just didn't care for the experience of shooting them. I will say those I love using the Humbrol Maskol, THAT stuff is legit! (And NO - I didn't use that via airbrush - Hahaha!)

The fumes from a Rattle can vs from an Airbrush I felt like were day/night differences. Yes the Airbrush puts out some paint fumes, but it is from water based acrylic paints and straight air. Versus Spray paint - which is definitely outdoor painting. I found that spraying Vallejo has a sweet kind of smell to it too for some odd reason. All of my airbrushing was done in my garage with the garage door wide open.

-Iron

We've already done way more than most people to try to accommodate her downstairs. When the complaints about the washing machine started, we told the landlord to get a new washing machine which they did, and I bought a couple of panels of this plywood stuff that's backed with about 1-inch thick sound insulating foam to go underneath it. Apparently makes no difference but that's where my ability to help the issue stops!


As far as I know, all of the Humbrol paints that come in those little metal 'tinlets' are enamel. They make acrylic too but they come in these little bottles:

EefcqoyX0Bw02kL?format=jpg&name=4096x4096.jpg


At least now anyway, they may have been available in the metal tins at some point. I'll need to practice with all of this before the helmet arrives anyway so I'll experiment with thinner ratios, psi e.t.c. I may even see if I can contact Lewis (BlaidonProps) and pick his brain. I imagine acrylic vs enamel is a question that gets asked a lot, from what I've Seen it seems to be mainly down to geographic and what's easier to come by. Humbrol is definitely the more prominent brand over here, then again, they do have the above pictured acrylics which are as easy to pick up as the enamels so ??? Anyone my side of the pond seems to recommend enamel anyway.

Lewis mentions Maskol many times in his videos so I was keen to snap some of that up - I think I have 2 or 3 bottles in my Humbrol order. Also ordered some of those rubber tip brushes for applying it (another recommendation from Lewis). Ordered my thinners from Humbrol too. This is the most exciting / frustrating time of the build - things being delivered every day but you just want it to all be here so you can get started!
 
I wasn't a huge fan of the Humbrol, as I found it very difficult to shoot the stuff is just super thick (Even after being thinned down greatly), but I'm now thinking it had to do with the fact that the Humbrol was an enamel based paint too.
Just thought I'd come back to you on this as I've been looking into it a bit and I was just curious what paint thinner you were using? I wasn't aware when I ordered everything but it's plain luck that I managed to order it the right one but there are specific paint thinners for enamel. What I've read suggests a ratio of 2:1 paint to thinners with a psi of 15-20.
 

Irongladiator

Active Hunter
TDH PREMIUM MEMBER
Just thought I'd come back to you on this as I've been looking into it a bit and I was just curious what paint thinner you were using? I wasn't aware when I ordered everything but it's plain luck that I managed to order it the right one but there are specific paint thinners for enamel. What I've read suggests a ratio of 2:1 paint to thinners with a psi of 15-20.
And that may have been part of my headache with the Humbrol enamels. Could be my inexperience, but I was using the Vallejo Airbrush Thinner, but I've also tried Model Masters Enamel thinner, but yielded the same results.
 
I have a new question re: airbrushing, specifically paint.

As you know, I have the Iwata Eclipse and I'm just wondering how much paint to put in at a time?

I know there's a few colours that need to be mixed at a 1:1 ratio and 1 part thinner to 2 parts paint. So I bought some measured pipettes. They come with 1ml measurements on the side, up to 3ml so, lets say for example I'm painting a layer on the back panel which requires a layer of camouflage grey and light grey mixed 1:1.

2ml of camouflage grey & 1ml of thinner
2ml of light grey & 1ml of thinner

That's a total of 6ml of liquid in the cup which is almost half the capacity of a whole 14ml tin. Is this enough or too much for each layer?

I don't want to have to stop and refill mid-layer, but I also don't want to have too much left over and waste paint. I also want to keep the measurements simple, don't want to get into half measures or anything.
 

Irongladiator

Active Hunter
TDH PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey ya Short4ATrooper
You see for me, I tried mixing my own color for my red ROTJ gauntlets. Sadly they always came out brown. I then decided on getting as close as I could for all colors and then adding in a drop or two of white or black to darken or lighten it up. That seemed to be the ticket for me.

That said, I didn’t mix colors all that often, so I’m hardly a master at that. If you’re going to be doing that often, then I would say get a few “Empty” bottles and make your mixes in those and then use as needed.

And yeah, I’m also one who doesn’t like to waste paint. Thankfully Tamiya paints come in a small container, so I would pour any unused paint back in the jar for next time.

-Iron
 
Last edited:
Thanks mate, had a little practice with it this afternoon. This was green #76 and blue #96, mixed 1:1 (1.5ml of each) and 1.5ml of thinner.

This is the green/blue for the back panels of the helmet.

F76CF482-4C03-4A5B-A002-3DC8F87FDF4D.jpeg
 
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