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First Upgrade Recommendations


Big Scuffer Al
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Having lost the battle of wills with the no-brand, Chinese ASO (airbrush shaped object) that came with my 'Amazon special' compressor and AB set, I am looking at upgrading to something a little better and relegate the current one to primer duties.

 Main uses will be for block colours on AFVs, may even push my non artistic abilities to some camo on the odd thing with wings.

I am using acrylics only, nothing exotic.

Not looking to spend the GDP of a small country.

What are the collective minds recommendations on a reasonably priced first AB upgrade for use by someone with all the delicacy of a ham-fisted 250lb gorilla?

Thanks in advance. 

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Just started with this airbrush m'larky myself (although I did use a Badger double action many moons ago I got fed up with the cleaning) Anyway I was given a couple of Paasche airbrushes and after a clean up and new nozzle (spares easily available in the UK) I've been using the Paasche F for all the spraying I've done so far including camo on a 72nd Nieuport which is on a thread elsewhere. I'm also using acrylics and once the mix is sorted it's just a question of point and spray.

 

It's quite a chunky thing, single action and dead easy to clean. If I was buying a new one I'd probably get the H version which is well known and similar, but bigger and pretty cheap, but supposed to be a easier to clean and has been around for years. Ideal for laying on areas of colour.

 

Hope that helps

Good luck with whatever you choose

Paul

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You'll get a dozen different answers because everyone has their preference or favourite airbrush brand/type etc, etc. I've used Badger in the past but can't stand them now. Tamiya, which i still use today and rate them highly, Iwata, which are very good and Mr Hobby/Gunze, which are my favourite airbrushes. I also believe that the airsource is often overlooked. You can have the most expensive airbrush ever, but if your compressor isn't up to the job it's pretty useless...

 

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Another vote for Sparmax - mine is the GP35 with a pistol grip. Easy to use, reliable, easy to clean and easy to get spares. I find the pistol grip is really easy to use as it gives the double action advantage with good "feel" - might work well if you have big hands.  You could PM Paul (Little Cars) who runs the modellingtools.co.uk site. He is knowledgeable and gives good advice.

Another tuppence worth from Quack.

Q

 

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8 hours ago, AliGauld said:

My daily driver is a SparMax Max 3. It's available from various vendors. The lowest I've seen is £49.99.

It's easy to use and clean and spares aren't too pricey.

Hope that helps.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

Cheers.....

This seems to be a good option. 👍👍

Certainly within my tightarsed northerner budget.

Has to be an improvement on my current piece of chromed chinesium tat.

 

Al

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19 hours ago, Steve Noble said:

...... and Mr Hobby/Gunze, which are my favourite airbrushes. 

 

+1 Well worth looking into.

 

I shipped two of mine direct from Japan and they arrived in less than a week and offered significant savings from buying locally. I would love to support my local store but in this case it was not worth it. Great airbrushes for the price.

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23 hours ago, Steve Noble said:

You'll get a dozen different answers because everyone has their preference or favourite airbrush brand/type etc, etc. I've used Badger in the past but can't stand them now. Tamiya, which i still use today and rate them highly, Iwata, which are very good and Mr Hobby/Gunze, which are my favourite airbrushes. I also believe that the airsource is often overlooked. You can have the most expensive airbrush ever, but if your compressor isn't up to the job it's pretty useless...

 

Tamiya and Gunze Brushes are made by Iwata, H&S is also now owned by Iwata. All slightly different, but all have the same quality. Personally I have a well used Iwata HP-CH that is my go to for the basic airbrush tasks. I also have a Gunze variant of the Iwata Custom Micron and a H&S Evolution for the 10% of tasks that challenge. I've also used a Badger (good but not in the same league as a basic Iwata) and one of the Aztec resin bodied airbrushes (same as the badger, good but left behind by the Iwata) for about 10 years.

 

For a first airbrush from a decent manufacturer I think Gunze give the best bang for the $ spent. Ebay is a good place to start especially if shipped direct from Japan. Even the overlord on high here uses a Gunze brush, there are reviews on here as well. 

 

Whichever way you go one from one of the Iwata stable will see you right, its a purchase that can make or break your airbrushing experience and the old saw you get what you pay for is true, but you can also get a steal knowing who makes what for who. 

 

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For years I had a Tamiya Spraywork kit that was a single action airbrush with a compressor that was powered by one of their RC car batteries.  It worked OK for about seven or eight years,  but spares were non existent.  I now  have a Sparmax Premair 35 and an Iwata Neo.  Both good brushes and work well,  although I think the Iwata is easier to clean. I also have an unbranded airbrush bought as part of a kit with my original compressor.  It works OK,  but is a pig to clean.  They seem to be a bit hit and miss quality wise and if I was buying a first proper airbrush again,  I wouldn't  go down that route.   Cost of spares is something worth thinking about.  At some stage you will at least need a new needle as they are fragile.  I have recently bought a new compressor as my 15 year old one was beginning to have reliability issues.  An Airgoo Ag326, that is probably a re-badged Fengda.  It has an air tank and that has made a difference,  especially when trying a spray a narrow line. I frequently use a hairy stick,  as I am a bit old school. 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Given your intended use, and if you are as ham-fisted as me, you may find continuous action airbrushes to your liking - these are essential double-action with a trigger, which makes handling a lot easier, and in my case cuts out the spatter caused when you can't quite get the hang of a conventional double-action. Look for models by Iwata, Procyon, Sparmax, and there are also models from Hansa with a button rather than a trigger - the 281 & 381 are great workhorses if you are not trying to do anything fancy. Most have a bigger needle and nozzle combo making them ideal for blocks of colour.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the no-name free brush which came with my compressor and had unending splatter issues, regardless of experimentation with thinning and pressure. Switched to the Eclipse HP-CS and it made most of the issues go away and allowed me to actually fine tune the mixture/technique. 

 

It was a big investment up front but arguably worth it, IMHO. Hobby Lobby almost sold it to me for 1/10 its cost, but that’s another story altogether. 

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