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  1. #1
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    Default Airbrush...

    Hi !

    I wish to invest in an airbrush.
    I have been browsing the threads for good advice, but it seems each post is different and doesn't really answer my questions.

    Reading them, I have come up with 1 major brand name : Iwata.
    The other brands seem to be good, but if you have a little money to spend extra, it seems to be the "deluxe option".

    Although I am rich with that name... I became confused when I came to the "airbrush rack" in the web shops...
    So many of them ! And I can't really see the difference (except for the pot... and gravity fed or syphon...)

    IMPORTANT : I will be painting mainly Blood Bowl miniatures. From Priming, Base Coats, Zenital lighting, Highlighting to maybe as much details as I can... But I might also swap to coloring black and white comics. (kind of)

    So...
    I really want to spend money on my airbrush (and compressor also) as it seems you will invest once in a lifetime.

    THE AIRBRUSH
    Here is the list of aaaaaaaaaaall the Iwata airbrushs :

    Revolution HP-BCR (Bottom-feed/28ml/0.5mm/Double Action) 87.95€
    Revolution HP-CR (Gravity/7ml/0.5mm/Double Action) 87.95€
    Revolution HP-AR (Gravity/0,4ml/0.3mm/Double Action) 94.00€
    Révolution HP-BR (Gravity/1,5ml/0.3mm/Double Action) 93.95€
    Revolution HP-TR2 (Gravity/15ml/0.5mm/Double Action) 181.50€
    Revolution HP-SAR (Bottom-feed/28ml/0.5mm/Simple Action) 72.00€
    Eclipse HP-BS (Gravity/1,5ml/0.3mm/Double Action) 115.95€
    Eclipse HP-CS (Gravity/7ml/0.3mm/Double Action) 115.95€
    Eclipse HP-SBS (Side/1,5ml/0.3mm/Double Action) 122.95€
    Eclipse HP-BCS (Bottom-feed/28ml/0.5mm/Double Acrion) 112.95€
    Hi-Line HP-AH (Gravity/0,4ml/0.2mm/Double Action/MAC) 185.00€
    Hi-Line HP-BH (Gravity/1,5ml/0.2mm/MAC) 199.00€
    Hi-line HP-CH (Gravity/9ml/0.3mm/Double Action/MAC) 195.00€
    Hi-Line HP-TH (Gravity/15ml/0.5mm/Double Action/MAC/Teflon O-ring) 274.95€
    High Perf. Plus HP-AP (Gravity/0.4ml/0.2mm/Double Action/Easy Cleaning/Teflon O-ring) 149.00€
    High Perf. Plus HP-BP (Gravity/1.5ml/0.2mm/Double Action/Easy Cleaning/Teflon O-ring) 149.00€
    High Perf. Plus HP-CP (Gravity/7ml/0.3mm/Double Action/Easy Cleaning/Teflon O-ring) 159.95€
    High Perf. Plus HP-SBP (Side Gravity/1,5ml/0.2mm/Double Action/Easy Cleaning/Teflon O-ring) 195.50€
    High Perf.Plus HP-BC1P (Bottom-feed/20ml/0.3mm/Double Action/Easy Cleaning/Teflon O-ring) 199.00€
    High Perf. Plus HP-BC2P (Bottom-feed/20ml/0.4mm/Double Action/Easy Cleaning/Teflon O-ring) 199.00€
    Custom Micron HP-CM C (Gravity/9ml/0.23mm/Double Action) 333.95€
    Custom Micron HP-CM C Plus (Gravity/7ml/0.23mm/Double Action) 383.90€
    Custom Micron HP-CM B (Gravity/1,8ml/0.18mm/Double Action) 299.95€
    Custom Micron HP-CM SB(Gravity/3,8ml/0.18mm/Double Action) 299.95€
    Kustom Micron HP-KCP(Gravity/14ml/0.23mm/Double Action/Teflon O-ring) 449.95€

    Seems from this list, that if I have the money to afford it, the best choice would be the Custom Micron HP-CM C Plus ?

    THE COMPRESSOR

    Now, about the air compressors. There seems to be a few systems :
    - Oil free compressor
    - Oil free 2 pistons compressor with tank (various sizes)
    - Oil compressor with tank (various sizes)

    They range from a few euros to more than 450€ !
    If I'm looking for silence, it seems I have to go for an Oil compressor.
    But what about the tank ? They go from no tank to 4L, 5L, 9L and up to 25L tanks !!

    What is necessary to handle the Airbrush ? Why so much difference ?
    The thumb rule seems to be "more money" in the compressor than in the airbrush. But what king of golden compressor do you buy with a 390€ Airbrush ! ^^

    THE PAINT !

    That also leaves with the question of the paint !
    Pigments have different sizes so Nozzle will accept what is adapted...
    I've heard Procolor is good ?
    What about Valejo Air ?
    What Nozzle size will they fit ? Down to 0.2 ? Are they good ?

    THE ACCESSORIES
    What would you recommand ?
    Some spare parts ?
    Paint Booth ? or Mask ?
    Anything ?

    If any one of you has the patience... To tell me which from which...

    Thanks a lot to you all !
    Stéphane

    By the way, I am french ! It's why the prices are in € !
    Last edited by SSB; 01-14-2012 at 06:22 AM.

  2. #2

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    i bought an HPCS and it's good so far. whatever u buy make sure to take that needle protector thing off that screws onto the end. it seems to really mess everything up trying to paint with it on. for compressor the TC20T seems to be popular.
    Last edited by MrPickles; 01-14-2012 at 03:16 AM.

  3. #3

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    Hi,

    I'm no real expert (that would be airhead for example)

    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    Hi !
    IMPORTANT : I will be painting mainly Blood Bowl miniatures. From Priming, Base Coats, Zenital lighting, Highlighting to maybe as much details as I can... But I might also swap to coloring black and white comics. (kind of)
    but for this the mentioned hp-cs is more than enough. It won't really matter which one you choose from the listed ones little details you'll have to forget (or mask for hours that makes a normal brush a much better choice).

    1 thing I'd certainly look at: nozzle size shouldn't be 0.2 or smaller if you are using GW/VGC paints, the pigment is not fine enough and especially for the metals it tends to clog the small nozzles really easily.

    And to make the choice a bit harder, as the prices are in euro I assume you are from here somewhere, so a super alternative to the iwatas: Harder-n-Steenbeck infinity. Costed about the same as the HPCS for me (I got the "solo", as I didn't want the extra nozzles-needles) and you can use it instead of a pen anytime(so you can make really fine lines), really easy to clean, and at least in germany easy to get replacement parts for it (not that I needed one since I have it).
    And if not going for the "solo" you get 0.18, 0.3 and 0.5 nozzles and needles in the set.

    I'd also suggest to get a really cheap (about 15-20 euro) AB, that you could use for things/effects you'd rather not use your good one.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    Now, about the air compressors. There seems to be a few systems :
    - Oil free compressor
    - Oil free 2 pistons compressor with tank (various sizes)
    - Oil compressor with tank (various sizes)

    They range from a few euros to more than 450€ !
    If I'm looking for silence, it seems I have to go for an Oil compressor.
    But what about the tank ? They go from no tank to 4L, 5L, 9L and up to 25L tanks !!

    What is necessary to handle the Airbrush ? Why so much difference ?
    The thumb rule seems to be "more money" in the compressor than in the airbrush. But what king of golden compressor do you buy with a 390€ Airbrush ! ^^

    If any one of you has the patience... To tell me which from which...

    Thanks a lot to you all !
    Stéphane
    All I can say, that I had an oil-free compressor, worked relatively good, but after 3 years it died, also because it had no tanks I always had some problems with the pulsing air.
    The one I use now is an oil-with-tank, I'm 100% statisfied. Ohh and I don't really hear a difference between the two, so it's not that much silenter.

    Tanks: What I have now has a 4L tank, but I don't have space for a larger one, so that stays, but if you have the space for it, go for the largest you can afford (so the mentioned 25L if possible), I'd do the same, but it would simply not fit in the flat I live in.
    Last edited by MAXXxxx; 01-14-2012 at 03:25 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    but for this the mentioned hp-cs is more than enough. It won't really matter which one you choose from the listed ones little details you'll have to forget (or mask for hours that makes a normal brush a much better choice).
    Ok, there is a detail limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    1 thing I'd certainly look at: nozzle size shouldn't be 0.2 or smaller if you are using GW/VGC paints, the pigment is not fine enough and especially for the metals it tends to clog the small nozzles really easily.
    I will probably buy an adpated range of paint. But I will probably get some GW and VGC airbrushed from time to time... 0.3 nozzle or bigger is best for this type of paint ?
    (I have edited my first message on the matter)


    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    And to make the choice a bit harder, as the prices are in euro I assume you are from here somewhere, so a super alternative to the iwatas: Harder-n-Steenbeck infinity. Costed about the same as the HPCS for me (I got the "solo", as I didn't want the extra nozzles-needles) and you can use it instead of a pen anytime(so you can make really fine lines), really easy to clean, and at least in germany easy to get replacement parts for it (not that I needed one since I have it).
    And if not going for the "solo" you get 0.18, 0.3 and 0.5 nozzles and needles in the set.
    Yep, I am in France !
    I'll check these out ! Are they a "geographical" alternative because I am in Europe ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    I'd also suggest to get a really cheap (about 15-20 euro) AB, that you could use for things/effects you'd rather not use your good one.
    Ok, so for "basic work" or "dangerous work" a cheap one...
    It's why they offer "multiple airbrush holder" I suppose...

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    All I can say, that I had an oil-free compressor, worked relatively good, but after 3 years it died, also because it had no tanks I always had some problems with the pulsing air.
    The one I use now is an oil-with-tank, I'm 100% statisfied. Ohh and I don't really hear a difference between the two, so it's not that much silenter..
    Ok, so it's about durability... (oil/no oil)
    And the quality of the airflow (tank/no tank)

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    Tanks: What I have now has a 4L tank, but I don't have space for a larger one, so that stays, but if you have the space for it, go for the largest you can afford (so the mentioned 25L if possible), I'd do the same, but it would simply not fit in the flat I live in.
    Ok, so the bigger the better...
    Last edited by SSB; 01-14-2012 at 06:32 AM.

  5. #5

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    For what you want to do, you could get a Badger 100 for a fraction of the price and it would do everything you listed, with a lifetime warranty.

    If you wanted to go big with the compressor, I'd point you toward the GMC Syclone Compressors, there are a few different models, they're "ultra quiet" and have good reviews and their performance is much higher than their price range. But, again, for what you want, any tankless little compressor will be all you need for a fraction of the cost.

    For compressors, the differences are because there are so many different things they are used for. Even if you only look at the ones designed for airbrush use alone, there's a pretty wide variety of work they must handle. For what you want to do, just about any compressor you get will do you fine and last you a very, very long time. It doesn't take long to prime, base coat, zenithal light, etc. It takes minutes to do an army, literally.

    If you want to do T-shirts or use an HVLP or touchup gun for clear coats, you'd want a 10 gallon tank and a higher CFM to match the specs on your guns, working at 60 PSI or more.

    If you want to do fine art, you'd only need a tank to extend the life of the compressor, as the air demand is fairly low you don't even need to look at the CFM...again, unless you will be using it for extended periods and want to extend the life of the compressor, you'd be working at 20 PSI.

    Basically, the bigger the tank, the less the compressor has to work, which means it lasts longer. Also the air stays cooler, which means there's less condensation, which means there's less water in your air supply, which you don't want. The better the compressor the less it has to work...so for longevity, go bigger. Most people who airbrush have multiple brushes going at one time, so they also want an extra nice compressor to handle multiple airbrushes.

    The airbrush holder is just a place to hang your airbrush when you want to put it down, so the paint doesn't fall out and you don't damage the brush. If your compressor doesn't have one, you really should get one, or make one.

    Oil-less compressors have mobility and generally require no maintenance. Oil compressors shouldn't be moved much, the oil can spill out and the oil has to be checked and replaced with use.

    For the noise level, check the manufacturer specs on the machine you're looking to get (if it isn't listed on the stores site). 40 decibels is a whisper, 60 decibels is regular conversation level, so nothing above that is really "quiet". Or you can leave the compressor in another room and just run a hose to your airbrush station.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    For what you want to do, you could get a Badger 100 for a fraction of the price and it would do everything you listed, with a lifetime warranty.
    Ok. What are the expensive ones made for ? Because every one of you seems to say, a middle ones are sufficient. What are the applications for a 400€ Airbrush ? What requires this kind of quality ?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    If you wanted to go big with the compressor, I'd point you toward the GMC Syclone Compressors, there are a few different models, they're "ultra quiet" and have good reviews and their performance is much higher than their price range. But, again, for what you want, any tankless little compressor will be all you need for a fraction of the cost.
    Ok, I'l going to go on a web hunt for that !

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    For compressors, the differences are because there are so many different things they are used for. Even if you only look at the ones designed for airbrush use alone, there's a pretty wide variety of work they must handle. For what you want to do, just about any compressor you get will do you fine and last you a very, very long time. It doesn't take long to prime, base coat, zenithal light, etc. It takes minutes to do an army, literally.
    I do have a compressor, but it is big and really noisy (91 dB). Not made for airbrush I think...

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    If you want to do T-shirts or use an HVLP or touchup gun for clear coats, you'd want a 10 gallon tank and a higher CFM to match the specs on your guns, working at 60 PSI or more.
    HVLP ?
    FM ?
    This phrase just doesn't speak to me... I don't get it...

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    If you want to do fine art, you'd only need a tank to extend the life of the compressor, as the air demand is fairly low you don't even need to look at the CFM...again, unless you will be using it for extended periods and want to extend the life of the compressor, you'd be working at 20 PSI.
    Same as before...
    But it seems the finest work you're expecting, then you don't need to go up in pressure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    Basically, the bigger the tank, the less the compressor has to work, which means it lasts longer. Also the air stays cooler, which means there's less condensation, which means there's less water in your air supply, which you don't want. The better the compressor the less it has to work...so for longevity, go bigger. Most people who airbrush have multiple brushes going at one time, so they also want an extra nice compressor to handle multiple airbrushes.
    Ok. Then I suppose a full airbrush station has a low grade airbrush for raw work, and maybe two others for intermediate and very precise work ? Or maybe to have different colors at hand ?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    The airbrush holder is just a place to hang your airbrush when you want to put it down, so the paint doesn't fall out and you don't damage the brush. If your compressor doesn't have one, you really should get one, or make one.
    Ok, when you have more than one airbrush, this seems to be practical !

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    Oil-less compressors have mobility and generally require no maintenance. Oil compressors shouldn't be moved much, the oil can spill out and the oil has to be checked and replaced with use.
    Ok for that !

    Quote Originally Posted by QuietiManes View Post
    For the noise level, check the manufacturer specs on the machine you're looking to get (if it isn't listed on the stores site). 40 decibels is a whisper, 60 decibels is regular conversation level, so nothing above that is really "quiet". Or you can leave the compressor in another room and just run a hose to your airbrush station.
    Ok, that's good to know ! My Compressor (a general use one) is 91 dB, and sounds like a lawn mower !

    This is the compressor I own (for pressure casting resin)
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    Last edited by SSB; 01-15-2012 at 03:43 PM.

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    High end guns are used by illistrators as a general rule. Photo realistic painting can be achieved with very fine high quality guns along with skill and talent. You probably won't find t-shirt shooters using a custom micron or paashe AB.

    Silent compressors do not depend so much on oiled or oilless, but on type. Rotary compressors are the quietest, but also the most expensive. Search these forums for compressor and you'll find several posts defining types.
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  8. #8

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    Just to echo this comments above, you definitely don't need a €200-450 (!) brush for what you're looking to do. For someone starting out that's the cost of you should be considering for the compressor, not the airbrush - if it was about 10 years ago I could have recommended a €20 brush that would do what you needed!

    For some cheaper alternatives, have a look at this post.

    Something to bear in mind is that the more expensive an airbrush is the more finely made it tends to be and the more careful you have to be when using it... if you don't know what you're doing you could damage the needle and the nozzle in only the first 10 or 15 minutes of playing around with a costly AB, which would usually require buying replacements for both.

    Einion

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    if you don't know what you're doing you could damage the needle and the nozzle in only the first 10 or 15 minutes of playing around ...
    did just that when I first bought my AB, 'luckily' it was a cca. 14 euro chinese noname, not an expensive, delicate one.

    ohh and this vid sums up good what can be good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXVmC2mfvPg
    See his channel to see how and for what he uses the AB. I really like the vids here.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    High end guns are used by illistrators as a general rule. Photo realistic painting can be achieved with very fine high quality guns along with skill and talent. You probably won't find t-shirt shooters using a custom micron or paashe AB.
    Ok for the Airbrush...

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Silent compressors do not depend so much on oiled or oilless, but on type. Rotary compressors are the quietest, but also the most expensive. Search these forums for compressor and you'll find several posts defining types.
    For the rotary compressor is something like this one ?
    The IWATA HAMMERHEAD SHARK
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/IWATA-HAMMER...item2eba7051cb

    Yep, it is over 1000$ !
    Is it worth it ?

    Are there other brands ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Just to echo this comments above, you definitely don't need a €200-450 (!) brush for what you're looking to do. For someone starting out that's the cost of you should be considering for the compressor, not the airbrush - if it was about 10 years ago I could have recommended a €20 brush that would do what you needed!

    For some cheaper alternatives, have a look at this post.
    Thanks for the link ! It is useful !
    Would you have a similar link for rotary compressors ?
    Because I only found the IWATA ones...

    Quote Originally Posted by Einion View Post
    Something to bear in mind is that the more expensive an airbrush is the more finely made it tends to be and the more careful you have to be when using it... if you don't know what you're doing you could damage the needle and the nozzle in only the first 10 or 15 minutes of playing around with a costly AB, which would usually require buying replacements for both.
    Seems logical, precision equipment often requires a good care...

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    did just that when I first bought my AB, 'luckily' it was a cca. 14 euro chinese noname, not an expensive, delicate one.
    I am definitely going for something cheaper for the airbrush to begin with...

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXXxxx View Post
    ohh and this vid sums up good what can be good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXVmC2mfvPg
    See his channel to see how and for what he uses the AB. I really like the vids here.
    Cool videos ! A lot of videos on technique !
    Last edited by SSB; 01-16-2012 at 12:57 PM.

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    Rotary compressors tend to be rather expensive. They use the same compressor that your refrigerator and small A/C units use.

    The Great White line of compressors are designed for serious commercial t-shirt shooters that are using a bank of guns and lots of CFM's at 40 to 60 psi.

    There are several piston and diaphragm compressors that will do a single artist good service at a decent noise level. I've got an old Paasche diaphragm model that I've used for well over 20 years. It is quiet and puts out good air. I've added a small air tank in the form of a large moisture trap.

    I picked up a small piston compressor at Sears a few years back that was on the closeout shelf. It will keep up if I'm doing illustration, but I have to wait on it if I'm doing T-shirts. It is very quiet and oil-less.

    Here's the smallest rotary compressor setup I've seen:
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/si...ckw=25104-0030

    But a great diaphragm or piston compressor with a tank and shut off can be had for 1/3 of that.

    ***

    None of my business, but you sound like you've got money burning a hole in your pocket and have to have the "best" whatever.

    JMHO, but unless you are gearing up to start an airbrush studio, why insist on a rotary? Even then, I could set you up better and cheaper unless you need to tear down and set up a portable studio every day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Rotary compressors tend to be rather expensive. They use the same compressor that your refrigerator and small A/C units use.

    The Great White line of compressors are designed for serious commercial t-shirt shooters that are using a bank of guns and lots of CFM's at 40 to 60 psi.

    There are several piston and diaphragm compressors that will do a single artist good service at a decent noise level. I've got an old Paasche diaphragm model that I've used for well over 20 years. It is quiet and puts out good air. I've added a small air tank in the form of a large moisture trap.

    I picked up a small piston compressor at Sears a few years back that was on the closeout shelf. It will keep up if I'm doing illustration, but I have to wait on it if I'm doing T-shirts. It is very quiet and oil-less.
    So the Shark ones are really big compressors ! The hammerhead did seem to be a 2 airgun compressor. But you seem to imply that it's made, not for airbrushing miniatures, but for much more than that.

    On a Youtube "interview", I have seen a guy saying that "membrane" compressors were much better than "piston" compressors. It seems a bit radical, but he was talking about tankless piston compressors VS a small membrane compressor. A friend of mine does have his tankless piston compressor regularly overheating...

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Here's the smallest rotary compressor setup I've seen:
    http://www.dickblick.com/products/si...ckw=25104-0030
    Ok. Seems you can still plug 3 airbrushes on it !

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    But a great diaphragm or piston compressor with a tank and shut off can be had for 1/3 of that.
    I guess so.
    It seems that the brand is something important in the choice.
    What would you advise ?

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    None of my business, but you sound like you've got money burning a hole in your pocket and have to have the "best" whatever.
    JMHO, but unless you are gearing up to start an airbrush studio, why insist on a rotary? Even then, I could set you up better and cheaper unless you need to tear down and set up a portable studio every day.
    Well, I do have money to spend on it. But I won't spend it if I don't think it's necessary. Enquiring about the best, you will always get a better understanding of what you are buying. As I really don't know anything about aibrushes, I also want to know about the limitations or applications of the different equipments. Understanding is, to me, the key to a good choice adapted to my needs, but also some quality equipment that will last (and not a crappy one that will leave the bad taste of having been robbed - I just don't like the feeling...).
    I don't plan on buying several times the same equipment over the time.

    No : I won't buy "the best" airgun anyway. As a matter of fact, the earlier posts have convinced me it was really not necessary.
    It seems to me that the intermediate range of Iwatas are really great.

    As for the rotary compressor. I am not convinced it will be my choice.
    But from what I have discussed around me, piston without tank tends to overheat and shut of. I don't really like the idea of equipment shutting of because it's overheating...
    Plugin two or more airguns would be interesting, as I will have some friends coming over and working with me. Plus I see the eventual possibility of having 2 airguns plugged in.

    As a matter of fact, money is really not a problem here. I am looking for the best, but not for the best that I really don't need. But I won't spare a couple of 100 if I can get a grade A equipment instead of a grade B.

    For the compressor, I still don't really have a clue.
    Characteristics should be : Just for airbrush, silent, durable and more than one user.

    The lowest rotary compressor you showed me makes me think I could have a wide lattitude of uses until the end of my days even afterwards... ^^
    Last edited by SSB; 01-16-2012 at 05:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    A friend of mine does have his tankless piston compressor regularly overheating...
    That's likely because it's tankless rather anything else. As was mentioned earlier the compressor on a tanked setup is there to fill the tank up and then the tank powers the airbrush (rather than the compressor powering the airbrush directly like your friends). What this means is that the compressor is only firing when the tank gets below a certain contained pressure, rather than being on and off like a yo-yo. For our application, the bigger the tank the better as it means that the time between the compressor firing is small.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    I don't plan on buying several times the same equipment over the time.
    Very sensible!

    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    No : I won't buy "the best" airgun anyway. As a matter of fact, the earlier posts have convinced me it was really not necessary.
    It seems to me that the intermediate range of Iwatas are really great.
    For our application the mid-range Iwatas are generally more suited and a more expensive one wouldn't provide any benefit And for the money of that expensive one you linked, I'd expect it to bring me coffee and rub cramp out my hand!

    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    Plugin two or more airguns would be interesting, as I will have some friends coming over and working with me. Plus I see the eventual possibility of having 2 airguns plugged in.
    If you're likely to have friends coming over and airbrushing at the same time as you then a slightly more powerful compressor would be good. How often is this likely to happen? If it's once every six months then (IMO) you're better off getting a standard rated compressor and then look at either a second or a higher powered one for when they come round. My own compressor will allow me to have two pressure valves connected at once (thus two independent brushes). I've not needed to do it yet. I suppose if I were spraying multiple items, multiple colours it would be useful but for the single pieces I've done, I wouldn't have found any benefit.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSB View Post
    The lowest rotary compressor you showed me makes me think I could have a wide lattitude of uses until the end of my days even afterwards... ^^
    Compressors are generally designed for a huge range of applications, from fine airbrush work through to sand blasting! Getting the right compressor is a bit of a minefield but the biggest benefit we have in the miniature application is that we generally only spray at a low-ish pressure so can look at smaller and more economical compressors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuneBrush View Post
    That's likely because it's tankless rather anything else. As was mentioned earlier the compressor on a tanked setup is there to fill the tank up and then the tank powers the airbrush (rather than the compressor powering the airbrush directly like your friends). What this means is that the compressor is only firing when the tank gets below a certain contained pressure, rather than being on and off like a yo-yo. For our application, the bigger the tank the better as it means that the time between the compressor firing is small.
    Yep, I agree...

    Quote Originally Posted by RuneBrush View Post
    For our application the mid-range Iwatas are generally more suited and a more expensive one wouldn't provide any benefit And for the money of that expensive one you linked, I'd expect it to bring me coffee and rub cramp out my hand!
    lol. Yep... I was looking for a quality brand. Seems to me the leading brands are Paasche & Iwata. I was really impressed with the huge quantity of airbrushes that Iwata offers...

    Quote Originally Posted by RuneBrush View Post
    If you're likely to have friends coming over and airbrushing at the same time as you then a slightly more powerful compressor would be good. How often is this likely to happen? If it's once every six months then (IMO) you're better off getting a standard rated compressor and then look at either a second or a higher powered one for when they come round. My own compressor will allow me to have two pressure valves connected at once (thus two independent brushes). I've not needed to do it yet. I suppose if I were spraying multiple items, multiple colours it would be useful but for the single pieces I've done, I wouldn't have found any benefit.
    More than once every 6 months ! I've got other addict friends you know... ^^ And I do think a few of them are going to want to discover airbrush... And not only for miniatures but for illustration also ! I am a architect/photographer, I know some artists in different fields and I am sure airbrush is going to interest some people !

    Quote Originally Posted by RuneBrush View Post
    Compressors are generally designed for a huge range of applications, from fine airbrush work through to sand blasting! Getting the right compressor is a bit of a minefield but the biggest benefit we have in the miniature application is that we generally only spray at a low-ish pressure so can look at smaller and more economical compressors.
    Yep ^^ I do think my choice is going toward a compressor with a tank. Not a rotary one because it would really seem like fishing with dynamite !

    I still don't know what brand and what size to take ! Iwatas seems good. Are there reference brands on the matter ?

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    Iwatas, Badgers, Paasches, etc. all seem to be made on the same template (if they don't actually come out of the same factory).

    1/6 HP +/- diaphragm (membrane) compressor. Some with a small tank.
    Those are great for the once-a-month/priming/base coating type work that most of us do.

    Go to the local home center and check out some of the smaller industrial type compressors:
    1/2 HP +/- on a donut tank.
    Often for less money than the 'airbrush' compressors.
    Some come with brad nailers or other air tool starter kits. Handy around the house.
    Get the store to plug it in for you so you can judge how loud it is. They range from whisper to "My ears are bleeding"

    Things to look for:
    Going to do t-shirts (you know you'll at least try).
    60 psi minimum (that eliminates a lot of the smaller diaphragm units).
    Auto off/on when the tank is full.
    Regulator
    Moisture trap (these are sometimes combined in a small unit)
    Tank drain. (do this at the end of every session and your tank won't rust out.)
    I prefer oil-less. Much more easy to maintain. Won't last a lifetime, but you generally save in money and time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Iwatas, Badgers, Paasches, etc. all seem to be made on the same template (if they don't actually come out of the same factory).

    1/6 HP +/- diaphragm (membrane) compressor. Some with a small tank.
    Those are great for the once-a-month/priming/base coating type work that most of us do.

    Go to the local home center and check out some of the smaller industrial type compressors:
    1/2 HP +/- on a donut tank.
    Often for less money than the 'airbrush' compressors.
    Some come with brad nailers or other air tool starter kits. Handy around the house.
    Get the store to plug it in for you so you can judge how loud it is. They range from whisper to "My ears are bleeding"

    Things to look for:
    Going to do t-shirts (you know you'll at least try).
    60 psi minimum (that eliminates a lot of the smaller diaphragm units).
    Auto off/on when the tank is full.
    Regulator
    Moisture trap (these are sometimes combined in a small unit)
    Tank drain. (do this at the end of every session and your tank won't rust out.)
    I prefer oil-less. Much more easy to maintain. Won't last a lifetime, but you generally save in money and time.
    I found this (considering Iwata compressors) :
    Name:  Iwatas compressors.jpg
Views: 2919
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    Considering that chart, the one with the most polyvalence seems to be the "Power Jet"
    But a "Smart Jet/Pro" would be sufficient in regard to Hobbies/Model/Craft...
    Strangely the "Power Jet Pro" seems inferior in many fields... (?)
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by SSB; 01-17-2012 at 11:27 AM.

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    Not so much that the Power Jet Pro won't do illustration or water colors, but like you said, "fishing with dynamite."

    But again, for that kind of money, I'd get a commercial (homeowner grade) compressor. More CFM at higher top end pressures for half the price or less.

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...=1326820857734
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    You'll get most joy with acrylics for this sort of stuff from a .3 to .4 nozzle I reckon.

    That leaves you with any of Iwata's C brushes. Personally I think this is an easy decision: you can't go wrong with an HPC+. You can pick up an older HPC (without the teflon O rings and IMO useless preset handle of the +) for peanuts if you have a good mooch.

    Follow Airhead's checklist for a compressor and you're sorted.

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    I was away...

    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    Not so much that the Power Jet Pro won't do illustration or water colors, but like you said, "fishing with dynamite."
    But again, for that kind of money, I'd get a commercial (homeowner grade) compressor. More CFM at higher top end pressures for half the price or less.
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...=1326820857734
    Aren't the dedicated compressors quieter ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spacemunkie View Post
    You'll get most joy with acrylics for this sort of stuff from a .3 to .4 nozzle I reckon.
    That leaves you with any of Iwata's C brushes. Personally I think this is an easy decision: you can't go wrong with an HPC+. You can pick up an older HPC (without the teflon O rings and IMO useless preset handle of the +) for peanuts if you have a good mooch.
    Follow Airhead's checklist for a compressor and you're sorted.
    Yep ! I have plenty of good intel !

    My last interrogations are about compressors.

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    Compressors you find at the home centers can range from "ear splitting" to "kitten purr".
    You have to try it and see. Most home centers (at least here) have one out on the shelf that they will plug in so you can hear it.

    Compressors for airbrush work tend to be quieter, but they also tend to be far less powerful.

    Diaphragm airbrush compressor (typical):
    1/6 to 1/10 hp
    Max psi = 40
    max air flow = .5 cfm

    Diaphragm compressor for home use:
    1/2 to 3/4 hp
    Max psi = 120 to 200
    max air flow = 1 to 3 cfm.

    Cost is generally about the same and maybe less for the home center unit.

    Other types:
    Piston: these range from very small and somewhat quiet to much larger like you'd find in a mechanic's shop to run lifts and impact wrenches.
    Rotary: Tend to be found in high-end airbrush compressors. Very expensive, but very quiet. If you are opening a t-shirt stand, you'll want to consider one of these.

    Things you want to consider:
    Get a tank. It keeps the air smoother, and helps with moisture issues. If the compressor is set up right, the tank lets the compressor cycle and extends the life of the unit.

    Pressure Regulator: A must.

    Moisture Trap: Another must.

    Quick connects: available at home centers. This makes it easy to change airbrushes (if you get hooked, you'll have several), or simply disconnect the airbrush for storage.
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