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Need help deciding on an airbrush


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26 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

Back in the 90s, I found an airbrush kit at a craft store for something like $20-30.  It was powered by a can of compressed air and had a little bottle that held the paint underneat.  I was thrilled to use it to lay down some base coats on some GW armies, but the brush itself crapped out before I was done. 

Based on that experience, I was done w/ airbrushes. I knew part of it was the quality, but I'd have to spend a bunch more money to get past that, but I just didn't seen any real advantage, especially when companies were starting to come out with far more matte colors in spray paint cans. 

 

Christmas 2018 my wife gave me a kit similar to this:

image.thumb.png.52ab4e1759141e50cc39afb8c132d514.png

 

It was some Amazon deal that had this, but also had two additional airbrushes for about this price. 

NIGHT and DAY difference between this, and what I remember about that canned air piece of broccoli.   Even though the Master kit is not the best available, it did give me an appreciation for what an airbrush is really capable of.  

I mostly use it for priming and base coats, but I've experimented with other things, such as making my Mossbeard have a light coating of "moss". 

At some point I will likely want to upgrade, but I think what I got was a good starter set. 


This one, get this. Masters are China Badger knockoffs but it will give you a much better feel for what airbrushing is really like and if you like it you only need to upgrade the airbrush not the compressor. And while I’m on the Kolinsky side of the coin, a good compressor is really what makes or breaks an airbrush. With a reasonable airflow you can get any airbrush to work.

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Do you need a airbrush right now? Ken from Badger has had a birthday sale each year where the price of any Badger is equal to the number of birthday he's on. ^_^

 

I may have to participate in next year's. Even thou the Patriot isn't that that much more then his current bday years.

 

Head the advice of getting a decent airbrush to start with. I started with a Aztek 'brush

 

no not this hideous thing:

 

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but this hideous thing:

 

Aztek%20outside.jpg

 

I felt like a toy & not a airbrush. I eventually went to Paasche Millennium airbrush (released 1999-2000, it' the VL style but with a slimmer body). I really like it & it's still going but I want gravity fed brushes now. I've since acquired a cheap Harbor freight (for clear coats only, so no chance of any contaminents in it) & a Badger Sotar (which I acquired at RCon when it was in the old Best Buy building). Luckily I sold the Aztek & even odder I sold it on the old usenet message boards for like $75 shipped!!!

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8 hours ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

I'd also highly recommend the Badger 105.  It was my first airbrush and every one I've bought since has been a Badger. But I still use the 105 the most and it puts up with all my abuse (I just put it together yesterday and used it last night after forgetting and leaving it completely disassembled for 2 months after a deep cleaning....).

If noise is not an problem, a cheap tank compressor from a hardware store will do the job just as well. But they do tend to be loud.

Loud???? That's an understatement :)

5 hours ago, Jasper_the_2nd said:

I think the concern is mostly around you ending up deciding you don't like airbrushing because of the cheap airbrush, instead of because you wouldn't like airbrushing.

Know anyone you could borrow from to give it a try?

I'd be happy to lend you one of mine (I, as usual, have a number.... :poke:) although getting it across the border right now might be time consuming (my Reaper order has been stuck between the US and Canada for 4 days now) but you'd still need to wrangle up a compressor.....

 

^^^THIS, so much this^^^ I liken this advice to advice I got when I wanted to try my hand at guitar. Doug Marks from metal method said to get the best instrument you can afford, not the cheapest. If the tool is not working, you are going to quit because of the tool, and that would be a shame.

5 hours ago, Heisler said:

Then go to harbor freight and get one of their airbrush setups for about $100. At the very least you will come out of it with a decent compressor. I would agree that those setups you are going to look at won’t even give a good first impression of using an airbrush.

I had a friend toss one of those across the room, it was so frustrating, just saying.

 

We all just want to make sure you give it the best shot in case you DO find you like it. This way, you don't have to waste more money getting a better brush:)

 

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There's been a not of good advice above, but here's my my two cents.

 

I see this conversation as similar to the those between kolinski brushes and synthetic brushes.  A synthetic brush will work, but will only get you so far and ultimately cause frustration.  Using an airbrush also requires building brush control, and since you never actually touch the model,  it's s different kind of brush control that combines the feel of the trigger and aim.  Having a airbrush that will allow you to practice correct control is the same as having a standard brush that will keep a fine point.

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So, my airbrushing journey to this point.

 

I bought my first airbrush using a 60% off coupon at AC Moore.  A Krome.  I use my little pancake air compressor witha regulator that I bought off Amazon.  Worked ok, but the Krome is more a detail brush and I was mostly trying to prime things.  I bought a Patriot 105 during the first "Ken's b-day sale" for about $55.

 

Then my compressor regulator died and it took about 6 months to get the replacement parts.  In the meantime, I had bought a Harbor Freight airbrush for Eldest Daughter, and she wasn't using it, so I used that compressor.  Works fine, it just gets really hot after about 20-30 minutes of use.  Like burn my hand on the casing fumbling for the power switch hot.  So I would use it in short bursts.  I picked up an Aspire compressor from Ken last Reapercon (and got a Sotar during the auction).

 

So, my recommendation is to get a decent airbrush (for your purposes; really depends on what you want to accomplish, if all you are looking to do is prime or single color base coat, then an "entry" brush should be ok) and a basic compressor.  That should let you know if it will work for your work flow.  Then you can upgrade.

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As a newer airbrush person myself, I too am going to recommend the same thing @kristof65 did.  I got the Master G22 setup, and it's been fairly bulletproof and great for the basics.  The biggest issue i have is that my compressor won't go above 20psi but it primes and base coats like a workhorse.. I got a badger Patriot 105 from the birthday sale and it's nice, but it frustrates me more. The Badger requires finer trigger control and has a .5 nozzle vs the .3 nozzle on the G22 which causes the badger to release a lot of paint really quickly when you are inexperienced with it I WAY over base coated something with ink and had to salvage it..  I've also discovered i get more water passing through the brush from the compressor with the Badger than I do with the Master.  (I can't remember if it is Aaron Lovejoy or Ken from Badger who talks about this happening and why you need a mid hose one).    If you can get one, also get a repair kit, mainly for the O rings because the front one on the nozzle cap is kinda cheap.

 

This is going to lead me to get a new hose with a water trap in the middle when i buy a better compressor with tank and probably the Reaper Vex.

Edited by SamuraiJack
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If you have a garage, get a small tank compressor that will air up auto tires, etc. You can add a regulator to it for your airbrush and then you have a long time tool whether you like an airbrush or not. Or you can sell it easily. I had a cheap airbrush that was a pain, then a few years ago got a basic Paasche to learn on. It is now my priming brush as I picked up a Badger Sotar this year and it is my detail brush.

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:lol: Okay, I fully admit, y'all have convinced me. :lol:

 

Special thanks to @Cygnwulf, @Pragma, @kristof65 and @Clearman for going into detail about the specifics of what a cheap/small airbrush setup will do and what problems to expect with one. It's allowed me to determine for myself that yes, having to deal with those issues would frustrate me. I mean, I already figured they probably would, but now I know the why behind it. 

 

I hadn't considered that simply having an air compressor around could be handy, nor the possibility of selling it if I really don't like it. 

 

I am familiar with the badger birthday sale. I even had my cart all loaded up, but talked with MrBoot before the purchase. He pointed out that (at the time) I wasn't hardly painting, so he didn't think spending money on an airbrush + kit would be wise. He was completely correct, which is why I didn't get it then. 

 

Thank you again, everyone; you've given me a lot to consider! 

 

Huzzah! 

--OneBoot :D 

Edited by OneBoot
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