Airbrush Options

Filer

Jr Hunter
Hey All,

Any specialists have any recommendations for small airbrush and compressor kits that are suitable for prop and armour work - best quality / price? Have taken a look at some options at harbour freight, but wanted to ask the experts.

Best, Filer
 
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Drax

Hunter
I was wondering this myself. Intwenothor has a thread asking about a specific model that seems to be popular but what about other options?
 

drache

Active Hunter
I like the Testor's Aztek airbrushes - double action - been using for a long time for model kits, etc - worked great for by ESB. You change out the nozzles depending on the type of coverage / effect you want - anything from splatter effects to fine line, etc. Not the cheapest though.

For compressors - I use my little Senco -- works like a charm - I also use it for light duty air tools. :)

Amazon.com: Senco PC1010 1-Horsepower Peak, 1/2 hp running 1-Gallon Compressor: Home Improvement
 

Darth Voorhees

Well-Known Hunter
Preferred Vendor
If you plan on sitting for more than an hour at a time doing paint work, those small compressors wont cut it. they burn out very fast, as i quickly learned. Its best to use one of the larger compressors with a tank. the smallest id go would be like the one Drache posted above. The larger the tank the less they have to actually run, and the motor will last WAY longer than those little compressors. I have a porter and cable compressor with an 8 gallon tank. Something like this:
Air Compressors & Tools | Air Compressors & Dryers | Porter Cable 3.5-Gal. 135 PSI Pancake Compressor - PCFP02003 | 602298 - GlobalIndustrial.com


As far as airbrushes, I use an iwata eclipse and have had zero issues with it. Its the gravity feed version with the larger cup. The siphon versions, in my opinion/experience, are annoying and harder to maintain. I had a badger 150 that was a siphon feed and although the airbrush itself was good and never really gave me problems, the siphon feed was just very hard to keep clean and i had to buy bottles and siphon caps for them because eventually they just get cruddy and need replacing. I find the gravity feed versions much easier to maintain and you dont need buy bottle with special caps etc.

here is what i use:
ECL4500 HP-CS GRAVITY FEED ECLIPSE IWATA AIRBRUSH
 

drokkul

Active Hunter
I've been a proponent over the years that you don't need to drop a load of cash on a setup. I've been using the Badger 250 for years with no problems. By practicing with it I can get some pretty fine effects and have never had an issue with it. I do like to keep a good amount of spare bottles for it so can quick change to different colors. I have a bottle with paint thinner in it and attach that between colors. With just a few quick shots its cleaned out and I just take the feed tube off and run a pipe cleaner through and done.

Will I be making any grand portraits or detailing a lowrider with it? No. I'm not saying that you can get as technical as you can with a dual action, but for a lot of prop stuff it will work just fine. If you practice with it and learn to make fine adjustments to the nozzle you can do a lot of nice stuff with it.

Heck, there is a member here (user name escapes me) but has a Youtube channel (Blaidon Props) and does a very nice looking helmet paint up with the lowest rung Testor's airbrush (The Aztek A220, I think?) and also uses the canned propellant with it.

I do recommend using a compressor with it, though. It will save money in the long run. I also use the cheap airbrush compressor that can be found at Harbor Freight. This is the one thing that I might upgrade one day.
 

PRodd12231982

New Hunter
I am definitely not an expert but I have been using the Paasch Talon Dual action gravity feed. I bought it off of Chicago Airbrush supply for about $75. I also just used my air compressor I had in the garage. Just a 3 gallon craftsman. I just had to add a new regulator and moisture trap ($25). The brush is really easy to clean and has a pretty good paint cup size to apply a good coverage. It's decent for fine details but you would have to change out the needle and nozzle for really fine lines. You can also get a needle for a wide spray and a lot of coverage.
 

mainst69

Active Hunter
If you plan on sitting for more than an hour at a time doing paint work, those small compressors wont cut it. they burn out very fast, as i quickly learned. Its best to use one of the larger compressors with a tank. the smallest id go would be like the one Drache posted above. The larger the tank the less they have to actually run, and the motor will last WAY longer than those little compressors. I have a porter and cable compressor with an 8 gallon tank. Something like this:
Air Compressors & Tools | Air Compressors & Dryers | Porter Cable 3.5-Gal. 135 PSI Pancake Compressor - PCFP02003 | 602298 - GlobalIndustrial.com


As far as airbrushes, I use an iwata eclipse and have had zero issues with it. Its the gravity feed version with the larger cup. The siphon versions, in my opinion/experience, are annoying and harder to maintain. I had a badger 150 that was a siphon feed and although the airbrush itself was good and never really gave me problems, the siphon feed was just very hard to keep clean and i had to buy bottles and siphon caps for them because eventually they just get cruddy and need replacing. I find the gravity feed versions much easier to maintain and you dont need buy bottle with special caps etc.

here is what i use:
ECL4500 HP-CS GRAVITY FEED ECLIPSE IWATA AIRBRUSH

my setup as well. Now I just gotta learn how to use it!
 

remo032

Jr Hunter
Not an expert either. But I have a lot of experience modeling. Speaking from experience the Harbor Freight airbrushes are ok for painting if your just trying to get an even coat but any kind of details forget it. I have always used Badger airbrushes (except for my cheap harbor freight one). As far as compressors go I use my craftsman 25 Gal compressor that I also use for automotive work but for airbrushing I attach a smaller secondary in-line regulator so I can fine tune the air pressure.
 
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