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Buying my first Airbrush setup...


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I'm taking the leap and about to buy my first airbrush for mini painting and was hoping I could get some advice on what to buy. The Airbrushing: compendium has been very helpful and I've spent hours, days, what feels like years researching and I want to pull the trigger... I live in Canada and after ringing around some hobbyshops etc it seems amazon is the best bang for my buck. I have paint and access to a Campbell Hausfeld 2 Gallon Air Compressor (I will purchase another compressor in a few months once I have some more disposable income). My main concerns are does this compressor work with the airbrush listed below, do I need anything else? Heres what I've got in mind:
 
NEO CN GRAVITY-FEED DUAL-ACTION AIRBRUSH $97.20 CAD
Paasche 10-foot Nylon Braided Hose $18 CAD
Airbrush Cleaner 4 Kit, Washing Tools - Glass Cleaning Pot etc $22 CAD
Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner 85ml $7 CAD
 
any advice would be appreciated
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I have a Neo CN and it's a great little workhorse of an airbrush. I use it more than my HP-CH because the larger needle size is a bit more forgiving with regards to blockages. I would pick up an extra needle at some stage, but I'm a clumsy idiot who dinged the tip of their needle the first time I stripped down the airbrush :blink:

 

Your list is good, but I'd advise picking up some Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver as well. Mixed with the paint and a little bit of water it can really reduce clogs and make airbrushing fun rather than a chore. The Next Level Painting channel on YouTube has a really good bunch of tutorials for airbrush newbies. I personally don't like the guy, but he really knows his stuff.

 

I have no idea about that compressor, but making sure that your final one has a moisture trap and an air tank is advisable. It prevents water spatters and makes sure you have an even supply of air. 

 

Hope some of this helps. Don't be discouraged if things go wrong, airbrushing has a steep learning curve but practice makes perfect :winkthumbs:

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Thanks for the tips!! Vallejo Airbrush Flow Improver will be added to the cart! Great to hear about the Neo CN, Ill try to be careful stripping and cleaning but i think i will order an extra needle shortly after. 

 

The compressor looks like this one pictured: Here I believe its pretty loud but at this stage the noise isnt an issue. If it has a tank is the moisture trap needed? (they arnt to price but it all adds up)
 

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In addition to the moisture trap, I'd recommend making sure you have a decent regulator that's relatively accurate in the 10-30 psi range. (I can't speak to the accuracy of a handyman's compressor.) That 2 gallon tank is probably good enough for most airbrushing work, but make sure the compressor is OK with turning on and off often. The duty cycle for a pneumatic tool is different than for an airbrush with a 0.35mm hole at the end. (I wouldn't expect a problem, but it's worth thinking about.)

 

I'd strongly recommend either a decent air filter mask (rated for organics, not just particulates) or a spray booth, preferably vented outside. "Non-toxic" paints aren't tested for inhalation, and inhaling any particulates and most volatile organics is a bad choice.

 

The only other problem I can see is that I don't know if the connector on the end of your airbrush hose is the same as on the compressor. If it's not, you can get a converter pretty easily (and they're not very expensive).

 

1 minute ago, Shogun said:

If it has a tank is the moisture trap needed?

 

Yes. When air pressure drops (as from a pressurized tank to the airbrush), the temperature will drop as well. Depending on the local humidity, that will commonly cause condensation in the air, which means water drops in the line and very uneven spraying.

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8 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Whats the best way to check if this compressor is OK with turning on and off often? Also with a tank is a moisture trap necessary? The Website says;

  • Campbell Hausfeld 2 Gallon Air Compressor and Inflator is great for inflation, brad nailing, stapling, and air brushing 

But im not confident that it means its ok to be turned on and off, or that it will be any good for air brushing. I appreciate the safety tip, Ill be working in a garage (with doors open) and wearing an air filter mask. The next big purchase will be a new compressor as I dont feel this one is very good (super low price point and like you said more of a handymans compressor) and then ideally a spray booth.

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I think the compressor will probably be fine. Since they mention airbrushing, it should be alright for the purpose.

 

But yes, you want to put a moisture trap on the low-pressure side of the air circuit. Those tanks will often be pressurized to around 100 psi and when you drop from 7 atmospheres to 2 atmospheres you can definitely get condensation. It's the same mechanism as drives thunderstorms or mountain snow -- warm, higher pressure air picks up moisture, rises, cools as the pressure drops, and water droplets form. Here the droplets will form in the hose between tank and airbrush.

 

Combined moisture traps and regulators seem to run in the $10-15 US range.

 

Oh, you'll also want to drain the air tank of the compressor pretty regularly, because you can also get condensation there, which can cause the tank to rust out.

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The only issue you're going to have with the compressor, aside from it being cheap and noisy, is the connections. Most airbrush stuff has British threads (BSP) while that compressor has US threads (NPT). Somewhere in your line you'll need an adapter or other work around. If you buy a moisture trap/regulator pay attention to it's thread type too. If you buy one online marketed for airbrushes it will probably be BSP while if you go to a local hardware store it will probably be NPT. Not a big deal if you're buying an adapter, but it will change which side pf the regulator the adapter goes on. 

 

That said I believe the Paasche hoses you're looking at are NPT (Badger hoses are as well) and would work with the compressor's fittings as well as hardware store moisture trap/regulators. However, it won't connect directly to the Iwata airbush you're looking at, so you'd need an adapter anyway.

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Quick disconnects...   

 

Because  decouplingthe hose from the airbrush is a pain in the elf and will eventually wear out the threads and cause air leaks.

 

As for the mask and hood. It's never 'either/or', it's always 'both'  

Get a good, comfortable mask with replaceable filters.  

Remembers; it's easy to replace a filter now and then, but a tad more difficult to replace lungs. 

 

If you can afford it I'd consider picking up a complete airbrush and compressor kit. Then you can be certain that it has all the correct fittings. 

 

White Teflon tape, because leaks are annoying.   

 

Do you have a shed or somewhere NOT in your hobby room to place that compressor?  

If so, consider hetting a a long air hose from the compressor to a regulator near your painting area and use 'airbrush hose' from that point.

(I have a small 'airbrushing compressor' under the desk. It's annoying as elf as it is. A 'real' compressor is much, much noisier... I bought an electric impact wrench just to avoid starting the compressor in my garage when changing tires twice a year)

 

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After reading more and the advice here I'm now looking at a kit, Here
I would add cleaning pot and cleaner + flow improver, its is $200CAD all in and I get a compressor though that is the very top end of my budget and would look to upgrading the airbrush in a few months. Any thoughts?

 

Again thanks for all the great advice thus far

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On 6/2/2019 at 12:34 PM, Shogun said:

After reading more and the advice here I'm now looking at a kit, Here
I would add cleaning pot and cleaner + flow improver, its is $200CAD all in and I get a compressor though that is the very top end of my budget and would look to upgrading the airbrush in a few months. Any thoughts?

 

Again thanks for all the great advice thus far

 

Can't tell you anything about that specific kit, but it seems pretty standard for an inexpensive set off Amazon. The compressors are usually the same as the name brand ones, but may or may not have have gone through as much QC.  The impression I got when deciding what to buy was that they usually as long as they don't burn out right away they last pretty well and do a good job. If there is no warranty on it make sure to put it through the paces within whatever the return window is.

 

I ended up going with a store branded "quiet" compressor instead. Not as quiet as a typical airbrush compressor, but not super loud either. It was also slightly cheaper, 2 gal air tank, and I liked the idea of being able to also use it on tires and nail guns. It also had a 2 year warranty that involved throwing it in my car and driving to the store if I had trouble, which was actually a big part of my decision. Also since I had decided on a Badger airbrush it meant I didn't have to think about thread adapters and my entire system works with stuff from any hardware store. Since you're planning on getting a Neo the thread advantage wouldn't be there for you though and you'd have an easier time with connections on the compressor you're looking at.

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I think it sounds like a reasonable deal but I would consider that airbrush to be disposable. I think you will be happier going with the Airbrush you want rather than settling. I use a Badger Renegade, which is more of a detail airbrush. To start out I would go with the Badger Patriot as a good all around airbrush. 

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Thanks for all the help. The 1/8 to 1/4 was bit of a run around, for me its strange that iwata and badger use different fittings. A friend of mine has another compressor that I'm going to borrow for a while which fits 1/4 so I ended up getting:

 

NEO CN Gravity Feed Dual Action 0.35 needle Airbrush

Moisture Water Trap 1/8

Quick Disconnect set 1/8

10ft Braided  Airbrush hose 1/8 with 1/4 Adapter fitting

Air brush cleaner kit (washing tools, pot etc)

Cleaner

Vallejo Airbrush Thinner

200PCS 3.0ml Pipettes
 

I'll let you know how it goes!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shogun said:

Thanks for all the help. The 1/8 to 1/4 was bit of a run around, for me its strange that iwata and badger use different fittings. A friend of mine has another compressor that I'm going to borrow for a while which fits 1/4 so I ended up getting:

 

NEO CN Gravity Feed Dual Action 0.35 needle Airbrush

Moisture Water Trap 1/8

Quick Disconnect set 1/8

10ft Braided  Airbrush hose 1/8 with 1/4 Adapter fitting

Air brush cleaner kit (washing tools, pot etc)

Cleaner

Vallejo Airbrush Thinner

200PCS 3.0ml Pipettes
 

I'll let you know how it goes!

 

 

 

Regarding the fittings. There is a bit more to it than 1/4 vs 1/8. It's also BSP vs NPT. The 1/8 stuff you're getting will have BSP thread. The 1/4 on the compressor will have NPT threads. Ideally your adaptor should be 1/8 BSP to 1/4 NPT which are harder to find and a bit more expensive. On 1/4" pipe BSP and NPT are close 19 threads per inch vs 18 thread per inch. There are people who will throw on extra teflon tape and just cram them together, but you're much better off if you can find the correct fitting. (All this is assuming the compressor you are borrowing in a shop compressor)

 

As to why they have different fitting it's pretty simple if you think about it both Badger and Paasche airbrushes are manufactured in the US, why wouldn't they use the same fittings that come on every standard air compressor made to be sold in the US and Canada? Most other Airbrush companies are in Europe and Asia where BSP is much more the thing. Again they are just using the standard fitting for their region.

 

To make all this a bit more annoying, every once in awhile you'll come across no name airbrush compressors that use unlabeled NPT threads (because Badger and Paasche) or even have incorrect mixes of the two.

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