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Needed: Airbrush Equipment Basics and Recommendations


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Wargame Consortium has a YouTube video of an hour plus presentation with the CEO of Badger which is really informative. Also certain brushes only work at specified PSI. Siphon bottom feed brushes are almost worthless below 20PSI. Most gravity feeds can shoot at 5PSI but the paint must be no thicker than ink.


The PSI paint thickness combo is one that ultimately must be learned by touch. I can say thin to the consistency of whole milk and blow at 15PSI with a gravity feed brush. In the long run you will discover on your own why that is worthless instruction to your situation. The reason I say this is each paint color behaves differently in your brush.

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Can anyone suggest a really good guide/video/whatever for figuring out the proper pressure & paint thickness? Since I don't know anyone in RL with airbrushes, trying to figure out if I need to increase or decrease pressure based on what it is doing, or if I should be thinning more or less is something I'm finding a bit tricky.

There isn't a single good site I've seen, as it kind of differs by material. What I did when I first started, was practice thinning and spraying on a piece of paper. My best advice is to just hit YouTube and watch everything that seems even remotely relevant. In general you want your paint to have the consistency of 2% milk or lower, and then I use 15ish psi for small work, and 20-25 for larger pieces. I never go higher than 30. If I need that much paint, I'm probably priming, and I tend to just use an aerosol for that. Exception made for Bones. I don't prime Bones at all.

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Thanks guys. I'll check out the Wargame Consortium video. I've watched a few others, and it all seems to make sense...right up until I've got the airbrush in my hand....

I'm using a Badger Patriot 105. I still need to get a a regulator for my workstation, right now I have to adjust the one on the outflow for the compressor. Airbrush supplies are really hard to find around here, and shipping for airbrush stuff in (and into) Canada is annoyingly high.

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I was wondering what your guys opinion of the Patriot 105 is? Im getting started in airbrushing and plan to in the future expand into airbrushing automotive/motorcycle parts but until i get to that point i want something that i can use with my models. i have a no name double action siphon feed airbrush but i cant get fine lines out of it and i saw that the patriot is quite capable of that.




Patriot 105 --> http://www.badgerairbrush.com/Patriot_105.asp

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When i first started looking into airbrushing, the patriot 105 was pretty much the standard brush for mini painting as far as Badger products were concerned. However, the year I had my first class with Matthieu Fontaine at Adepticon, Badger had just released the Renegade Krome, and Matthieu was just starting to try it out, and was pleased with it. Badger had a booth and was selling the Krome at a great price so I bought one. It has been a great brush. It comes with a fine, and ultra fine tip/needle set up.

I just found this review:



Notice the doodle he does with it with an xacto blade for comparison. If it can do that, it should be able to do almost anything you need for our hobby.

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I have a side siphon feed (1 of 3 brushes I own) and the problem still remains that you can't get the PSI as low as you will want. It still requires a bit of pressure.

Also like writing or painting you aren't sighting straight down your tool so the location of the cup is irrelevant.

Edited by psyberwolfe1
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Thanks for all of the comments in this thread. I've been on the fence about getting an airbrush for a while now, the price point of most brushes and compressors at my flgs have stopped me from jumping in. The cheapest brush/compressor combo at my local store is about $500. After reading through this thread and seeing this: http://www.chicagoairbrushsupply.com/patasetwid3c.html

I've decided to take the plunge and get one.


Thanks for all of the advice and great discussion.

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I just picked up the Paasche D3000R compressor with the 1 Gallon tank, and an Iwata HP-CS. The compressor is great and very quiet, about the same volume as a normal conversation. I live in a condo and need something that won't piss off the neightbors when I run it at night. It only needs a couple minutes to fill, and then auto shuts off again.


I'm very happy with both devices. I did have a problem with the pressure guage on the regulator, but the folks at Paasche were great about quickly shipping a new model to replacing it. I was actually so happy with their service, I'm looking at picking up a talon as my secondary brush.

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With a Sparmax GP-35 brand new airbrush, I got stutter of paint right with Scale75 black primer (that is supposed to work great as-is for airbrushing) dilluted with water, about 50/50.


I experienced some better results with a dilution ratio of about 75/25 primer-water, plus a droplet of Vallejo Acrylic Thinner. I don't really know what is in that thing...


I have a cheap chinese compressor, no water trap, unknown output pressure. What are the main things to cause uneven pattern, stutter and splotches in a brand-new, clean AB?

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Well the wife told me to be on the look out for a decent airbrush for the kids to get me for my birthday.  So after I dropped off eldest spawn and her friend at the mall, I swung by AC Moore.  After finding out that the 50% off coupon was indeed valid on airbrushing equipment, I came home with a Badger Renegade Krome.  No I just need to get all of the components to connect it to my existing compressor.  So that should be a regulator and moisture trap and hose.


Looking forward to getting to play with it.  Only problem is that I have to wait a week until my kids give it to me.

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With a Sparmax GP-35 brand new airbrush, I got stutter of paint right with Scale75 black primer (that is supposed to work great as-is for airbrushing) dilluted with water, about 50/50.


I experienced some better results with a dilution ratio of about 75/25 primer-water, plus a droplet of Vallejo Acrylic Thinner. I don't really know what is in that thing...


I have a cheap chinese compressor, no water trap, unknown output pressure. What are the main things to cause uneven pattern, stutter and splotches in a brand-new, clean AB?


I would look to see if you can find a pressure regulator to put inline in your hose so that you know what pressure you are using.  I think most people tend to use about 20 PSI on their compressor.  Perhaps more if you're having problems.


I'd also see about getting a water trap near the end of the hose where the air brush is.  You're not going to like water from the compressor getting into the airbrush.  The results will be bad and it's going to happen!  The one I use is from iwata and screws in right at the base of the airbrush and gives it more of a pistol grip feel.  I find it more comfortable that way.  But not sure if it would work with your air brush.  I've also seen hoses with an inline water trap near the airbrush end as well.


And I believe the Vallejo thinner is designed to thin out the paint without diluting it like water would.  Keeps the "chemistry" of the paint more like it is originally but makes it thinner.  I'll let someone with more experience speak to that here!  I know many use just water.   Or even a mix of water and alcohol.

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