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Airbrush Advice?


GusMac

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Hi folks,

Just got back into this great hobby of ours, after 25 years or so, and done a couple of kits using Tamiya rattlecan (plucking up courage to put the P47 on the finished pages!). I'm thinking of buying an airbrush but I've really no clue where to start. Could anyone recommend a good beginners airbrush and what to look for in a compressor. Any online resources or good reference books might also be handy. 

 

Really inspired by the workmanship on here and have picked up some great tips and techniques.

 

Gus

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I've the Iwata Neo and have issues with a lack of feel and dexterity in my fingers now so anything I'm looking at by of replacement must have some paint regulator incorporated in it, like a HP-C+ knockoff I bought to experiment with. These regulators are usually identified by a knurled knob at the rear of the brush and it has the advantage of pre-setting the volume of paint so it doesn't matter how far back you pull the lever you won't release too much and risk flooding the entire area.

 

Others have recommended a trigger action brush and I know that Iwata are about to launch such a trigger action Neo with a paint regulator built in too. Ideal, and one I'm very keen on trying.

 

Other trigger actions are Tamiya (go for the top version) or Grex.

 

I really do recommend the ability to regulate the paint flow - it's especially good for beginners and it's helpful when attempting anything subtle such as mottling on the side of German fighters etc.

 

 

PS: if you need someone to source or price up a range of suitable brushes and/or compressors Gus, drop me line; I'd be happy to help - don't forget the discount for LSM members etc.

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My first airbrush is the Iwata HP-C+, it is great, double action, but why not start as you mean to continue...?

 

Depending where you are in the world, it may be worth looking at Harder and Steinbeck (in Europe at least) as the cost of spares is much lower than for Iwata... Also with the H&S brushes, the needle assemblies are generally interchangeable so you can move to finer needle as you progress...

 

Matt

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I would recommend buying a genuine Iwata (e.g. the HP-CS). If you can afford it. It just lasts longer, works better. It's dual-action, which is something you really need. I started on this one and am glad I did. You can find it much cheaper at for example amazon.com than at art supply websites. Currently $140.99

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Seriously, Pleasedshop. Try out a few form factors (they've got a mix of single and dual-action, siphon and gravity feed): http://www.pleasedshop.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=67_71&sort=2a&page=1

 

These things are so cheap they're basically disposable (Badger 350 knockoff for $4.40, Iwata HP-B knockoff for $10).

 

I ordered one after reading Doogs review and for my first double action airbrush, am very impressed. Shipping is reasonable too.

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I'm using only one: a badger 100 SG. Never lets me down, smooth double action, can do almost all paintwork and paints and with the head and needle replaced to 'fine'  is also capable of doing the finer work. Make sure you have a compressor with moist regulator and a pressure bin, so that you can spray under constant and even pressure. Just as important as the airbrush. The 100 SG really is.. my baby :P

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Welcome Gus...

 

I have 3 Airbrushes that I use...  Two Tamiya ones and a Iwata

 

I have the Tamiya HG Trigger AB with a extra large cup.. I mainly use this when I am spraying a lot of the same thing.. Primer, Varishes and I even used it on my HK B-25 due to the size of the wings and fuselage..

 

113.jpg

 

The other Tamiya Brush is a HGIII, this is my main brush that I use for everything.

 

and my last one is Iwata Revolution M, which Matt has too. Its a single action AB and I mainly use it for clear coats too.

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Thanks everyone for the welcome and very useful tips. I've had a look at pleasedshop and they certainly seem very reasonable.

I remember Doogs mentioning it on his site, (which is inspirational), but I'd been unable to find it again.

Is there anything to look out for / avoid as regards compressors - I didn't quite undertand Jeroen's comments as I really don't know

enough about them.

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Jeroen was recommending a compressor with a moisture trap and an air reservoir tank.  The reservoir tank helps maintain a steady flow of air rather than a stop/start that you might get on a compressor without one.

 

There are so many different compressors that it's hard to make any specific recommendations.  When I was painting in the garage I was using a large industrial type compressor that could also be used to fill car tires!  Now that I work inside I have a small Grex hobby compressor that is much less noisy.  I'd say decide on what you want to spend and then start researching compressors in your price range.

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Gus,

 

Mike head the nail on the re compressors... there are so many out there..

 

I stared out with a cheapish hobby compressor that cost me around $200/300... it was a good compressor, but it broke down after 3 years of use.. No one in NZ supported the items with parts. I got told to throw it away and buy a new one by the store that I brought from. I managed to find parts out of Germany that cost me 30 Euros and I got another 6 weeks out of it till it died again...

 

So, I took the bullet and spent $700 on the compressor I have now. Its a Sparmax Compressor that is made in China. From all the reviews that I read, pretty much anything from Sparmax is bulletproof... and I under stand they make all the Iwata branded compressors too.

 

So all I can recommend... is plan to spend a little bit more than you want to get something that will last and google the hell out of the brand/model number for any reviews, problems that you can find.

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I ordered one after reading Doogs review and for my first double action airbrush, am very impressed. Shipping is reasonable too.

 

I did the same thing and used Pleasedshop to buy my second airbrush. My first was a total P.O.S. that I bought at the Canadian equivalent of Harbour Freight in the States. The brush from Pleasedshop is light years ahead. Simple, robust, easy to clean, and great results even in the hands of a noob. I totally recommend them. Great service and fast shipping. They even contacted me because they saw that I got dinged for extra customs charges. At $15 or whatever they are, you'd be losing money to not get them. 

 

Lindsay

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I've found a couple of Sparmax compressors which seem to be in the price band I was considering. They are the TC-610H and TC-620X - both have 2.5 litre reservoirs. Is this the sort of spec that would suit a novice for a year or two to get started?

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  • 2 years later...

Watch Amazon.com for sales. I was able to score a Sotar 20/20 for 70 bucks. its now my go to gun, with my badger patriot as my general purpose gun. As for techniques, listen to Doogs at his website, his black basing has completely changed the way I paint my models.

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