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Beginner Compressor + airbrush


Matteo Scaledcars
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Hello all,

 

I was looking to buy an airbrush either an affordable AK airbrush or a cheap scale model shop one. Dual action of course.

 

I do mostly car modelling in 1/24th scale.

 

Are those tiny compressors worth buying at all?

 

If i wanted something like an as-18 should I get one with a tank?

 

What beginner setup would you recommend for around 100 pounds maybe just over?

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I use an AS-18 type and while it may not last forever, its worked perfectly well for me for nearly 3 years with nearly daily use.

 

The tank I think is essential to ensure a smooth airflow with no pulses - though I have heard that using a long airhose can help smooth the airflow.

 

With airbrushes you get what you pay for but it is perhaps not a bad idea to start with a cheap one and find out what you really need longer term. That being the case, many of the AS-18 compressors come bundled with a cheap airbrush or two. Mine did, and while one of them was useless, the other is still giving good service ( I use it just for primer).

 

A good airbrush is worth the money, but you do need a bit of experience to determine what would be the best long term purchase.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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I'd advise a tank on your compressor, not just for smoothing airflow but also for a bit of peace and quiet. I've an AS-186 type and when I'm spraying it's 20 seconds of noise then a few minutes of silence. Without a tank your compressor is noisy all the time.

As to the airbrush, I started with a Neo cn for Iwata and whilst its decent and can spray fine detail if you're careful, the Mr Hobby ps 270 is better.

Easier to clean, puts paint down beautifully, the air valve means I don't have to keep adjusting my compressor and the trigger adjuster prevents my clumsy fingers from making a mess.

I now use the Neo for priming and varnishing and the PS 270 for everything else.

 

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On 01/12/2020 at 14:59, ckw said:

I use an AS-18 type and while it may not last forever, its worked perfectly well for me for nearly 3 years with nearly daily use.

 

The tank I think is essential to ensure a smooth airflow with no pulses - though I have heard that using a long airhose can help smooth the airflow.

 

With airbrushes you get what you pay for but it is perhaps not a bad idea to start with a cheap one and find out what you really need longer term. That being the case, many of the AS-18 compressors come bundled with a cheap airbrush or two. Mine did, and while one of them was useless, the other is still giving good service ( I use it just for primer).

 

A good airbrush is worth the money, but you do need a bit of experience to determine what would be the best long term purchase.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

Yes most people have said that a tank is important however I am only going to be using this for 2 or 3 years so I am not sure I would be willing to pay an extra 50 pounds for a compressor with a tank.

As for the airbrush I was looking for something between 20 and 50 pounds. Really just looking to spend around 150 pounds. 

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11 minutes ago, Matteo Scaledcars said:

Yes most people have said that a tank is important however I am only going to be using this for 2 or 3 years so I am not sure I would be willing to pay an extra 50 pounds for a compressor with a tank.

As for the airbrush I was looking for something between 20 and 50 pounds. Really just looking to spend around 150 pounds. 

Well its your money but a quick look around the site will show people having all kinds of problems getting reliable, consistent results with their brush/compressor/paint combination. Not having a tank will make this more difficult as you will find it difficult to regulate the air pressure. A quick look at amazon reveals a number of compressors with airtanks and one or two airbrushes in the £100 range. I suspect the bundled airbrush will be as good as anything you're likely to buy in the £20 - £50 range - and if they don't suit you, you still have £50 in hand to buy another airbrush.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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I have had an AS-18 type one for three years or so without the tank and I’ve never noticed pulsing, that said it came with a nice 10ft braided hose, which some say evens out the flow by also acting as reservoir.  Yes it makes a noise when pumping, though no louder (and less annoying than my laptop fan which I have to sit next to all day!) - the dog is sleeping nearby usually and isn’t bothered and the family in the living room don’t complain even if the door is ajar.

 

To be honest the compressor is only generating a minimal pressure for our use, so it’s not likely to be very loud.  Consider the noise from a car engine working at 70mph compared to barely idling.

 

I don’t have to worry about alleged corrosion of the tank!

 

My compressor came with two airbrushes and was really cheap as it came from a nail art supplier rather than with modeller tax on top.  😎.  The airbrushes were perfectly serviceable and did quite a few models until I upgraded to an H&S, having taught me a bit about airbrush cleanliness, thinning and dismantling without having to worry about messing up an expensive tool.

 

Whatever airbrush and compressor combo you go for, be prepared for a lot of practice and learning.  I find cars much harder due to single colour gloss finishes, it’s a lot easier to learn with the more forgiving Matt aircraft camouflage schemes.  I’m still learning and each model can throw a curve ball in the airbrushing stage.

 

Good Luck

Will

 

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How about something like this:

 

https://bartsharpairbrush.co.uk/product/airbrush-compressor-kit-ac02-bartsharp-airbrush-kits/

 

Currently out of stock, but if you give them a ring they might be able to help.

 

I brought similar last year and found they are very helpful.

 

George

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I’ve used a Simair compressor without tank for 20 years with no problems... frankly, the paint booth extractor fan is noisier than the compressor. I’m pretty sure the compressor is the same as the ones currently available as Sparmax. 
 

As for the airbrush, given how many problems are caused by paint drying where it shouldn’t, my main advice would be get a brush that’s easy to disassemble to clean. Some airbrushes seem to have nozzles the size of a grain of rice, screwed into the brush and undone with a spanner. On an expensive brush made with high quality materials, this is just a pain, but on a cheap copy made down to a price, it’s a recipe for frustration and breakage...

 

I fully appreciate the desire to keep the budget down to “try things out”, but IMHO, it’s a false economy. Either the cheap set up doesn’t work satisfactorily and you give up on airbrushing, or you take to airbrushing and quickly realise why your cheap brush was cheap, and buy a better one. Either way your initial expenditure is wasted...

 

Think about buying second hand... Look on eBay and there are several good Iwata brushes in used condition currently at very reasonable money.

 

Best,

M.

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