Another Airbrush Thread - Help needed
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Thread: Another Airbrush Thread - Help needed

  1. #1

    Default Another Airbrush Thread - Help needed

    Ok so I recently bought a compressor and airbrush kit - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

    I'm still trying to figure out how to alter the pressure but i'm really happy with what I have for general spraying [basecoat type stuff.] I do need to play around to practise airbrush control, lines etc but want to get a better airbrush to learn on.

    Now i'll have around £100 [aboout $145 atm] to spend and was planning on getting the aztec set - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...STRK:MEWAX:VRI

    I have however read some mixed opinions on the aztec. I have read many recommendations [including Airhead's] for the Iwatas... have been checking out their ranges and then spotted this - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    Which seems like an amazing deal.

    I'm now torn.
    With the Aztek, i love the interchangable nozzles and ease of cleaning, plus, and this is a big deal, the durability and lack of needing rplacement needles etc.

    On the other hand, I cannot find anyone with a bad word to say about Iwata.

    Then there are Harder and steenbeck [although the well reviewed ones seem out of my price-range]

    or the premi air G35 which seems to have a lot of good write ups. http://www.graphicair.co.uk/products...-Airbrush.html

    I'm so confused now. All help gratefully received.

    [I want it for spraying atm larger models like tanks, valkeries and the Warhound Titan I intend too buy, so cotrol at that level is paramount. I'm loving the idea of being able to do hair lines at a later date as I think with some work this could be used in mini painting so i'd like to have a tool capable even if my skillset is currently lacking.]

  2. #2

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    I'm airbrushing for years and I didn't master hair-lines yet. I guess if that is your real intend, you might get disappointed badly...

  3. #3
    Streeks
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    I think, this is 1 of the best airbrushes for mini painting.
    http://www.germanairbrush.com/infinity126543.html
    Yes, it cost a lot, but 0.15 Nozzle sets a really cool

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by the alleycat
    I'm still trying to figure out how to alter the pressure...
    Generally it would be via the big plastic knob on top of the moisture trap

    Quote Originally Posted by the alleycat
    Now i'll have around £100 [aboout $145 atm] to spend and was planning on getting the aztec set - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...STRK:MEWAX:VRI
    Cheaper from some of the US suppliers - at today's exchange rate the auction works out at around $155, the shipping from America would have to be as much as 40-60 bucks to end up the same price.

    Quote Originally Posted by the alleycat
    I have however read some mixed opinions on the aztec.
    Yep, generally they're a love 'em or hate 'em thing.

    FWIW I would read any outright "Hate em!" comments with a wary eye, since they do of course work perfectly well, and can last and last.

    Quote Originally Posted by the alleycat
    On the other hand, I cannot find anyone with a bad word to say about Iwata.
    Well few recommendations are that balanced if you honestly consider them; they tend to talk up a product, say what it's good (or amazing, or awesome) at, but far too often don't even mention any feature that's not good (or outright bad, depending on your perspective).

    At the very least the new buyer should bear in mind the cautionary tales - which to some degree extend to all airbrushes of this basic design - the fact that you can bend a needle or damage a nozzle (just from a moment's carelessness, don't have to be inherently clumsy) is a pretty major negative, no doubt about it.

    In comparison the durability of the Azteks and their parts is a major plus as you say, particularly if you want a pick-up-and-put-down bit of kit, not something you have to handle with kid gloves every time you strip it for cleaning. With care and a bit of luck the A470 and every one of its nozzles and colour cups will still be working for you in 15 years or more, possibly longer... with zero maintenance and no replacement parts. Wonder if this is true of any other airbrush made.

    But like most things it really is horses for courses and at the end of the day it could come down simply to what you want to be able to spray, and can (what the airbrush it technically capable of achieving, given skill and practice). If you need to be able to do consistent fine lines then the choice is pretty clear and while Azteks can do thin lines of course, they're not as fine as a good Iwata or similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by the alleycat
    Then there are Harder and steenbeck [although the well reviewed ones seem out of my price-range]

    or the premi air G35 which seems to have a lot of good write ups.
    Seen the three-way shootout I've posted a link to previously?

    Einion

  5. #5

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    Thank Einion, I did indeed check out the three way article, sadly it's been reading up on the subject that has me so confused.

    Can you recommend a good US retailer for the set I linked? Google now automatically refines the results by country it seems so i'm struggling to find a US retailer. I found these on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=new

    Which does admitedly save a little but not a great deal.

    For all the reasons you mention and because it was my intitial thought, i think I may go for the Aztek set and then once i'm practised, if I really want something for super fine lines in the future to go and buy an airbrush specifically for that.

    Since you're an aztec fan, what tpe of fitting do I need airhose wise and is there a quick-release coupler that works with the aztek? I've a feeling that these are a real benefit for the quick swapping out of colours.?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Contrary to popular belief, I have actually owned and used an Aztec. For general duty it is a pretty good tool. For detail work - not so good - even with the fine line nozzle.

    A lot of my shooting is face/body painting. All of the paints (reduced makeup more than paint) caution against using more than 12 psi to shoot the body paint. The fear is that with enough pressure, you've just made a pneumatic hypodermic. (needle-less tattoo gun) - that is you can actually blow the paint into or under the skin with too much pressure.

    I use a lot of Vega 2000 (bottom - bottle feed) guns for this. (the Iwata's cost more and the Revolutions were not out and the Vegas are designed by T-shirt guys to move paint.). Vega has since been sold out to Badger (I'll save that rant for later).

    I tried my Aztec. At 12 psi, I could not even get it to pick up paint from the bottle. Switch to side cup....still poor performance. Around 18-20 psi and it works OK... Judging by the internals and putting my hand in front of the nozzle, this is still safe - very comparable to my Vegas at 12. My station has one regulator for a 12 gun manifold... I can change the pressure fairly easy, but I'm not going to mix Aztecs and Vegas to shoot people.

    If I'm doing some serious detail, I break out my HP-B. I love this gun. It shoots near pencil thin lines, it sprays consistently. It is a pain to clean with the very small two-part cone. Replacement parts are expensive - I can buy another Vega (or a dozen Vega needles and cones) for the price of a needle and cone replacement for this gun.

    Comparisons (my opinion)

    Vegas:
    Compares well with the older Paashe VL line. Brass internals. Chrome needle. Move lots of paint. Great for priming, base coating, t-shirts. The medium set of internals will move more paint than lots of other guns with a coarse setup. You can still find old ones reasonable on ebay. With the fine set, it can shoot details, but that is not this gun's forte.

    Aztec:
    Great for someone that does not understand that an airbrush has to be kept surgically clean. Interchangeable nozzles make changing work styles easy. I keep one for the spatter tip. I learned that you can actually take the tips apart to clean the internal needle and springs. This gun tries to be a jack of all trades and if it is going to be your only gun - it will work. It is not the best for any of it's tasks, but it does work.

    Iwata Eclipse:
    A better Vega for more money (at least here in the States). Think Vega or VL with chrome/stainless internals. Great general purpose gun, but is it worth the price difference between it vs. a Vega or a VL? Your call. If you use it a lot (serious amateur or pro) it is probably worth it.

    Iwata HP and CM:
    Sexy Italian sports car of the airbrush world - and they work. Chrome or stainless internals. Very fine line capable. This is not a T-shirt gun unless you are doing pinstripes and script on a t-shirt. But like Italian sports cars, replacement parts are expensive. A bit fiddly, but once you get one adjusted, they work great.

    Paashe AB Turbo:
    I don't have enough trigger time on one of these to be even called a casual user. I've seen guys that can make these guns purr. Very fiddly - lots of adjustments. Lots of moving parts. But once you get them working, you can almost eliminate your frisket/masking. You won't paint fast - they are not t-shirt guns either - very detail oriented. Fine art, helmets, photo retouchers, photo-realistic painters.
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  7. #7

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    Thanks Airhead, I had read your previous posts and seen that you'd owned [and given away] a couple of Azteks.

    From what you say, as a learning implement, the Jack-of-all-trades, non-fiddly, no expensive replacement parts Aztek may be a great first gun? Then as my skills improve, if i'm wanting a better detail gun to go buy one of the upmarket [hp b or hp c etc] guns which i can save for its special abilities and keep super clean.

    I'm going to wait and see if Einion gives me a heads up on the hose/quick release question but i think i'll start looking for the best Aztek deal I can find.

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    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    I use standard 1/4" pneumatic couplers on all my airbrush hoses. I've got a 12 port manifold that has female couplers and all my hoses have the male side.

    Most hoses will get to 1/4" standard pipe thread - same as what comes out of your compressor and into and out of your moisture trap and regulator.

    *** In EU, this is different, I'm not sure what it is, but I'll bet it is not 1/4" ***



    I know that some airbrush companies are making miniature quick couplers - I'm not interested in changing out a dozen at twice the price...
    and in my opinion, the coupler should be at the manifold, not at the gun.
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  9. #9

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    No measure handy but to my eye the attachment looks to be around 1/4 of an inch. I read somewhere though that Aztek have a different air hose attachment to the standard one. If thats not the case and it is indeed a standard size then I figure any quick release coupling should work.

    *Edit* after reading around it may be 1/8 *Further Edit* have measured and teh actual hole in the coupling is exactly 1/8 of an inch. The entire fitting [not including the screw thread shield thingy is just under 1/4 of an inch. So i'm going to say that the fitting is a 1/8
    Last edited by the alleycat; 05-28-2010 at 02:13 PM.

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    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    The Aztec comes with a badger standard hose. Very small and fine thread at the gun and a 1/4" female npt at the other end.


    Get something like this:


    Use one of the ones on the right for your hose, and the female on the left for your regulator and you are good to go.
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  11. #11

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    *Edit* Woot! Finally have the fitting sizes figure out /le sigh. The compressor has a 1/4 fitting but this attaches to the filter and moisture trap which then has a 1/8 standard fitting. Or that's how it looks to me anyhow after searching a few websites which sell the compressor. That said I still don't know which bit i'm meant to measure to know for certain. Doh!

    Sadly for me, waiting for a reply from Bearair has led to me looking around the market a lot and I'm semi-convinced I should go for a kit that's better for fine spraying and can also take a more general purpose nozle set too... I don't want to end up feeling that the airbrush utility is limited when it's only limited by my choice of tool.

    The Infinity 2in1 is looking really god to me right now having seen is demonstrated in a few vids.

    Ohm, and Einion...I thought that was the pressure adjustor, just not very responsive at all o.O may look at getting a pressure adjustor to go on the hose.
    Last edited by the alleycat; 06-02-2010 at 11:56 AM.

  12. #12

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    So, final update on this. The compressor size is 1/8.

    After getting no reply form Bear Air about UK shipping I did a LOT of reading about airbrushes, reviews, part costs etc, etc, etc.

    And I bought the Infinity 2in1 Kit by Harder and Steenbeck which arrived today. Got some extra kit which included a quick release valve with incorporated pressure adjustor.

    I decided on this because I want more kit than my current skill needs. That way if i ever need to know whether it's my skill or my tool that's lacking... it's me

    Too many people seemed to question the Aztek and specifically it's abiity to shoot fine lines and work at lower pressures. As above I was thinking of an Iwata but after reading around saw a lot of people comparing the .15mm needle on the Infinity to a Kustom Micron but it also comes with a .4mm needle for more general work. The setups are easy to swap and several sizes of paint cup are available [although absurdly, it doesn't come with lids for the paint cup.]

    So thanks everyone for their input, with your discussions here and elsewhere you've given the ability to determine what i'm looking for and wanting [and hoping, I digress but there are now so many things I want to try out... I may have created a monster here, I keep looking at things and wondering if they can be airbrushed].

    So thanks guys, I may return with a Project log.

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