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Needed: Airbrush Equipment Basics and Recommendations


Girot
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If you are willing to throw the dice on the $99 to find out you can always upgrade later. You are definitely rolling the dice on the Master Airbrush in that kit, I know some people have no problems and others that had to fight with it constantly. Just check TCP's return policy before you buy it.

 

What is the difference between what you saw on the Chicago website though? That deal is also short term so decide quickly!

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Hmm. The attraction of TCP global is definitely the prices. $99 is a price point I can see being happy with. $180 is a much harder thing to justify, but possible... But going to Chicago Airbrush Supply, it looks like $210 is about the cheapest entry-level kit and it doesn't have everything I'd need/want.

 

I should probably try to find someone who has an airbrush and see if I'm willing to shell out $300-400 for a decent setup, but my gut feeling on that is going to be 'no'.

 

You're right. A $99 dollar setup is pretty nice. However I Spent $20 more for my new compressor to get the real thing TCP was knocking off, and I'm beyond super happy with it. The guy who runs TerranScapes has a YouTube channel, and after owning the Master's airbrush for about a year replaced it with a Harder-Steinbeck and the difference was night and day for him. It got to the point where using the airbrush was an ordeal for him.

 

First airbrushing has a steep learning curve, so going over to a buddies house for an afternoon will put you in the "not for me camp." Dropping $200 -$300 on a setup will force you to conquer the learning curve. I still face problems and learn new things every time I use my brush. Airbrushing is an investment of money and time. The results, however, are so worth it.

 

When my I killed my compressor in December it felt like my hand was cut off. I use it on so many projects now I don't know how I lived without it. No joke. The price point is huge. It is a lot of figures, paint, and good brushes. But with this tool, which will last you for years, price should be the least of your concerns.

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If you are willing to throw the dice on the $99 to find out you can always upgrade later. You are definitely rolling the dice on the Master Airbrush in that kit, I know some people have no problems and others that had to fight with it constantly. Just check TCP's return policy before you buy it.

 

What is the difference between what you saw on the Chicago website though? That deal is also short term so decide quickly!

 

At TCP I would get a dual action gravity fed brush, some paint, and a Compressor with a tank, a stand, and cleaning kit and mixing stuff.

 

for $30 more at Chicago Airbrush I'd get a basic Iwata brush designed for low-power compressors, a compressor that is half the power of the TCP compressor with no external tank, and cleaning kit. No paint, no thinner, no cups, stirrers etc... I'd probably need to spend anothr $10-20 or so to get the assorted bits? I'm not sure, since already the $180 was going to be a pretty big splurge over the $99 setup.

 

Again, my first airbrush experience was with a cheap plastic single-action siphon-fed and cans of propellant. That made me know I'd want a 'real 'setup or nothing at all.

 

My thought now is maybe I go with the $180 setup that has the good tank at TCP... and then buy an Iwata brush (which is thread-compatible with Master). Or, maybe I just buy that compressor or one like it. I may need to let go of 'all in one kit' and price out individual components, but at that point i'm looking at doing a lot more research. Again, the "give us $100 and we give you everything you need" is brilliant marketing. Which is why I asked about it, as it looks way too good to be true :)

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Heisler he's talking about his second TCP link. It runs for $180.

@MarshallJ Ok . First spend an hour and a half with this video. You need to watch it.

Second the TCP package deal is a lot of stuff you don't need. You need a compressor, a brush, airbrush cleaning solution, some paint and water. A mixing bottle or two is nice, but not required. Ken Schlotdeldt, CEO of Badger, doesn't recomend using the brush cleaning kits because they can ruin your airbrush. Creatix paint is average. I get better results with my Reaper Paints. Airbrush holder can be obtained for $2.

Here is a great starter set for $210. (The Talon is going to be my next brush I think.) An equivalent Iwata will be $40 dollars more.

A lot of the TCP add-ons can be obtained for cheap at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. 40% off coupons are your friend. It is important to note that my set-up was built over time. I first bought the brush wit pressure cans and within a year bought a compressor. Then I slowly added all the other amenities over the years.

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Psyberwolfe, I'm watching that video now.

 

I'm leaning toward buying a cheap compressor and a good starter level brush. I'm going to hit up Hobby Lobby after work and see what they have in stock and what their prices are. Michael's airbrushing gear appears to be priced in a way that makes the 40% off pricing 'decent' instead of 'what a deal'.

 

Thanks for all the help!

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Psyberwolfe, I'm watching that video now.

 

I'm leaning toward buying a cheap compressor and a good starter level brush. I'm going to hit up Hobby Lobby after work and see what they have in stock and what their prices are. Michael's airbrushing gear appears to be priced in a way that makes the 40% off pricing 'decent' instead of 'what a deal'.

 

Thanks for all the help!

FYI Chicago Airbrush is at or a touch cheaper than the 40% off deal. And the route you're considering of buying a good brush and a knock-off compressor isn't a bad one. A guy I know who is better with an airbrush went this route.

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I've got a Paache Millenium http://www.paascheairbrush.com/CatalogueRetrieve.aspx?ProductID=6500654&A=SearchResult&SearchID=3510309&ObjectID=6500654&ObjectType=27 & a Testor's compressor (mine is old enough it's not their site anymore, but it has no tank but it has a water trap & such). I've had this particular set up for well over 15 years & it works great for me. I started out with a cheapie Testor's external mix & a canned air & knew after spraying with it that I loved using it but wanted a better set up.

 

You may pay more for bigger set up at the start but you'll get better results then starting out with cheap stuff. One of the biggest things for me is if something breaks down my Paache I can always order the part from my local mom & pop hobby shop or order the part from various vendors on the net. I'm not sure you can do that with various "no-name" airbrushes.

 

I eventually want to get a gravity fed brush, which will probably be a Iwata, I had one at one time but I had to sell it due to cash complication at the time. I wish I hadn't. Also eventually I wanna get a new compressor as I'd like better option. Right now thou my next "airbrush purchase will be a spray booth, as right now I'm limited in only spraying outside (kinda hard to do in the cold months......).

 

Anther site to consider is http://www.bearair.com. While I've never bought from them I've heard great comments about them.

 

RM

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So my current thought is pick up this compressor:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-AIRBRUSH-COMPRESSOR-Regulator-FREE-HOSE/dp/B001BJFHAW/ref=pd_sbs_ac_2

 

and this brush:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-105-2XR-Patriot-Airbrush/dp/B00471RFQA/ref=sr_1_24?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1359141752&sr=1-24&keywords=badger+gravity+feed

 

And a bottle of airbrush cleaner.

 

This appears to be all I need, and I'll use my citadel paints (thinned with water) in the brush. I can get this shipped via Amazon Prime so I'd have it in a couple days, and it gets me started for about $150. I've not pulled the trigger yet (still planning to go to Hobby Lobby and see what my 40% off coupon gets me, I'd prefer to get a compressor there I think), but this seems like a better plan than either of the TCP sets.

 

Thanks to everyone that's helped me out! If I'm about to do something stupid, please let me know. Otherwise, I'll let people know what I end up getting :)

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Well HobbyLobby.com is pretty much what you'll find in-store:

 

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/search/?keyword=air%20compressor&perpage=12&match=AND&F_Sort=2

 

Might be all of those but for the most part it is.

 

I think you'd do good with the amazon purchase, but I agree with Heisler on the bigger cup size. Like so:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-Patriot-Gravity-Airbrush/dp/B002W84GTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1359165769&sr=1-1&keywords=badger+airbrush

 

(it's a buck or so more. GET THIS ONE INSTEAD!!!! ^_^ )

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Ok, Placed my order:

 

Airbrush (thanks Haldir!):

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-Patriot-Gravity-Airbrush/dp/B002W84GTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1359165769&sr=1-1&keywords=badger+airbrush

 

This compressor (with hose, water trap, regulator, and the Master airbrush)

http://www.amazon.com/Master-Airbrush-Performance-Multi-purpose-Compressor-The/dp/B001TO578Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1359167242&sr=1-1&keywords=airbrush+compressor

 

And this brush cleaner:

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-Company-Air-Opaque-Cleaner/dp/B000SC1VRG/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I went with that compressor as it was the cheapest one that was Amazon Prime Eligible if nothing else I can use the spare airbrush for kid projects. Without prime, the other compressor was almost as expensive with shipping factored in and I wouldn't get it in 2 days. I'm already a prime member so that made the most sense.

 

All told I'm looking at $171 shipped, and I think I'll be much happier starting out with the Patriot.

 

Thanks for all the help!

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