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Nathanrobert86

Good airbrush for a beginner?

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Hello,

 

I'm looking for a small and affordable airbrush. I live in an apartment, so I can't have anything which takes up significant space. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

 

Nathan.

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Posted (edited)

What sort of subjects are you painting ??  I can see 1/35th Armour, will you be doing anything else?

 

Are you looking for a setup that will give you overall coverage or the ability to paint details as well.

Edited by little-cars

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What's your budget? "Affordable" could mean anything depending on what your spending limits are.

 

Have you got a compressor or do you need to purchase one as well?

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Ok, I'm as new to this brilliant website & forum as I am to airbrushing. As it is, I haven't build a model aeroplane since I was a kid & I have just started the cockpit build on a P51d Mustang. I was wanting to buy an airbrush for painting my models but didn't know where to begin, tight budget etc. I looked online & found an airbrush kit called Gocheer. Ok, it was dirt cheap but I really didn't want to invest a lot due to afore mentioned budget &, it must be said, lack of any experience at all. I can only say that I've not used it to it's, hopefully, full potential, but, judging by other purchasers comments I thought it was worth a try. The small compressor doesn't give a great amount of pressure &,as a consequence of this, I decide to purchase a, seemingly, good compressor from Amazon. Received it yesterday...., read the 'destructions' (pardon me for that) & set it up with my airbrush. Turned on the power, waited with baited breath for the pressure to reach capacity for first time use....., then I pulled the trigger on my airbrush....... Whooooosh, wow that's better, much better airflow......., then... Bang, fizzzz, spark & a burning smell. The darned thing had a faulty switch & died a death before my eyes. What...., sadness crept in & I still could not put this li'l airbrush through it's paces. So this compressor has to go back, get refunded & purchase another one. The moral, I think, in this li'l story is buy something modest to try out, as I have in the airbrush & get a reasonable compressor to go with said airbrush. I reiterate, I bought it following other comments, which were mostly five stars & thumbs up on Amazon. I'm getting itchy fingers now as I'm dying to use it & see how it goes. Check-out Th Gocheer airbrush kit on Amazon & see what you think. I am in no doubt that the fully experienced amongst us in this thread would offer better advice, that's why I myself joined, as it's a mine of great help, advice & information. Good luck with your venture. All the best.  😉

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I'd usually suggest buying a modest airbrush from a known named brand. Some people have success with the ultra cheap things from eBay, Amazon etc and others have found them either very short lived and/or just inoperable. When you have some experience you can try these things and you'll know if it's the airbrush that's a dud.

 

The thing is these dirt cheap ones are just thrown together and sold. Named brand ones are each checked and tested before selling.

 

When you are inexperienced using, say, a Harder & Steenbeck, Iwata, Badger, Paasche or similar you can be fairly confident that spray problems are caused by one of the many variables you have to learn. With a nameless wonder airbrush you have all that plus the uncertainty that maybe no mattet what you do it's just a dud airbrush. That can be very demoralising. Airbrushing is much easier than brushpainting to any acceptable quality but bad equipment can convince newcomers that the opposite is true.

 

There's no need to get. Rolls Royce model. An entry level Badger would be wiser than taking a risk on a no-name thing from China IMHO.

 

As for compressors - if 15psi isn't enough you're doing something wrong with your paint thinning. It needs a pressure regulator. Depending where you live a moisture trap can be a good idea. An accumulator tank is preferable but not essential.

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Airbrushing is much easier than brushpainting to any acceptable quality but bad equipment can convince newcomers that the opposite is true.

Funnily enough I was just thinking of posting the question this answers! Having struggled to get an acceptable result from  a cheapo Chinese eBay special and wondering if it were worth investing in something proper. There’s so many variables of thinning, pressure, distance etc then lots of tedious cleaning (not to mention being exiled to the shed) I’d rather resigned myself back to the brush but perhaps I should try again. 

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On 21/06/2019 at 14:06, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I'd usually suggest buying a modest airbrush from a known named brand. Some people have success with the ultra cheap things from eBay, Amazon etc and others have found them either very short lived and/or just inoperable. When you have some experience you can try these things and you'll know if it's the airbrush that's a dud.

 

The thing is these dirt cheap ones are just thrown together and sold. Named brand ones are each checked and tested before selling.

 

When you are inexperienced using, say, a Harder & Steenbeck, Iwata, Badger, Paasche or similar you can be fairly confident that spray problems are caused by one of the many variables you have to learn. With a nameless wonder airbrush you have all that plus the uncertainty that maybe no mattet what you do it's just a dud airbrush. That can be very demoralising. Airbrushing is much easier than brushpainting to any acceptable quality but bad equipment can convince newcomers that the opposite is true.

 

There's no need to get. Rolls Royce model. An entry level Badger would be wiser than taking a risk on a no-name thing from China IMHO.

 

As for compressors - if 15psi isn't enough you're doing something wrong with your paint thinning. It needs a pressure regulator. Depending where you live a moisture trap can be a good idea. An accumulator tank is preferable but not essential.

Many thanks for your very valuable comment & advice..., I'm sure you're right about the paint/thinners mix, it's a learning curve I suppose & yours truly is well & truly on the bottom rung of the ladder. Best regards to you. 

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Great advice above, particularly about the value of a cheap airbrush. Get the best airbrush you can afford from a well-known maker, such as those noted by @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies. I have 2 airbrushes, one with a 0.5mm tip for applying primer, base color, clearcoat, and Alclad, and another with a 0.3mm tip for detail painting (including primer, Alcad, and clearcoats when appropriate) It turns out that the largest things in an airbrush setup are the compressor and the actual painting area.

 

The next decision is paint brand. I use Mr Color, which is a lacquer, and needs excellent ventilation to use. As I live in Southern California, my painting area is in my garage, next to the double-width garage door; I paint with that door open all year round. In terms of paint thickness, lacquers are the thinnest, enamels are a thicker, and acrylics thickest.

 

Learning to airbrush can take some time. My 1st attempt at Mr Color was a disaster. But, I've learned to spray in close, 5mm to 45mm. I thin paint to the consistency of 1% milk (pretty thin), and spray at 1 Atm (thus the 15psi comment above). In addition to the very thin coating that lacquers offer, my experience with Mr Color is a very smooth surface; no need to bother with a clear coat before applying decals.

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2 hours ago, dnl42 said:

Great advice above, particularly about the value of a cheap airbrush. Get the best airbrush you can afford from a well-known maker, such as those noted by @Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies. I have 2 airbrushes, one with a 0.5mm tip for applying primer, base color, clearcoat, and Alclad, and another with a 0.3mm tip for detail painting (including primer, Alcad, and clearcoats when appropriate) It turns out that the largest things in an airbrush setup are the compressor and the actual painting area.

 

The next decision is paint brand. I use Mr Color, which is a lacquer, and needs excellent ventilation to use. As I live in Southern California, my painting area is in my garage, next to the double-width garage door; I paint with that door open all year round. In terms of paint thickness, lacquers are the thinnest, enamels are a thicker, and acrylics thickest.

 

Learning to airbrush can take some time. My 1st attempt at Mr Color was a disaster. But, I've learned to spray in close, 5mm to 45mm. I thin paint to the consistency of 1% milk (pretty thin), and spray at 1 Atm (thus the 15psi comment above). In addition to the very thin coating that lacquers offer, my experience with Mr Color is a very smooth surface; no need to bother with a clear coat before applying decals.

Many thanks indeed for this info' & I'll try to adopt some of your kind advice. Good luck & regards to you.

On 02/06/2019 at 05:05, dogsbody said:

Greetings from Western Canada. I too am an older model builder (64) and I'm in the slow process of building my first kit in many years. I've come up against my usual halting point of painting. Airbrush or hairystick?

 

Anyway, build for yourself. You're your own worst critic.

 

 

Chris

 

 

Oh yeah! post pictures of your work.

 

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@Freecloud your airbrush looks identical to the one I use, but mine was from GreenStuffWorld, and I bought it because I noticed they use it in a lot of their demo videos for the chameleon paints.  I run it with a TC88T compressor, and shoot Vallejo Model Air, or watered down Vallejo Model/Mech/Game Colour paint at 15-18psi with pretty decent results.  See my WIP thread of my P-51D I've almost finished.

 

I do have plans to splash out on a known brand, Iwata or similar when I can spare the money, but so far my only issues with this airbrush have been user inexperience.  For my first airbrush, it has brought me a new love of modelling since I got back into it a few months back.

 

I only have 1 minor issue with the compressor, which was easily resolved.  Some reviewers said that with prolonged use the compressor could overheat and go into shutdown until it cooled (preventing damage, but stopping painting), but a few had pointed out that the casing bolts were exactly the same size as an 80mm PC case fan.  Then I ended up upgrading my fan to something that moved more air while still running silent.  So my compressor is now cooled by an Arctic Cooling F8 Pro (£8), and a custom bracket because the new fan wasn't straight through screws (I wanted the silent running Pro frame which eliminates vibration and fan hum) .  Its powered externally by an old 12v 1a router power supply I had lying around, so I didn't have to make any non-reversible changes to void my warranty.  I just have to remove the fan and spacers, and screw the original end cap back on :)

 

Ne3eG0b.jpg

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