Air brushin'
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Thread: Air brushin'

  1. #1

    Default Air brushin'

    So.....I keep seeing all of the smooth blending and transitions that everyone gets using air brushes, and I am thinking that I would like to get one, but I do not want to buy a compressor and all of the other bells and whistles that come with it.

    Has anyone had experience using the cheaper air brushes that use cans of air?
    Are they worth using?

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    I'd say it's worth forking out. The air cans don't last long and you have very little pressure control, which is important. The price adds up quickly
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  3. #3

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    Air cans are absolutely not worth using. They simply do not allow you to airbrush properly. I initially had the same idea as you - start cheap with air cans and a cheap airbrush. It's really, really not worth it. Save yourself some serious hassle and buy a half decent double action airbrush (doesn't need to be expensive) and a decent conpressor (not a cheapass one.) to he honest, for the difference it makes to your painting, a decent compressor is more important than a decent airbrush.
    "Facts are the impregnable bulwark that stands between us and the insidious evil of bullsh*t." - Pikey, over on Nagoyahammer

  4. #4

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    Cans are horrible. You can't control the pressure when you start and it won't get better, since the pressure from the can is constantly dropping.

    http://youtu.be/tsW-vN0_lHw is a pretty nice video about getting into airbrushing and finding the right equipment featuring Ken Schofeldt, the president of Badger, filmed and edited by WG Consortium during GenCon2012.

  5. #5

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    As others have said-

    It's totally not worth getting into airbrushing if you're just going to use it like a spray can (I mean, just the output versus the cost, it makes no sense). The cheaper airbrushes have many issues, long term costs in terms of time is the biggest one, money a close second, due to their quality.

    Keep in mind, nobody airbrushes a whole model, they do the first couple colours, highlights and shades, if even that much, then switch to a hairy brush. Nobody is using it to dot the eyes on their Space Marines...so a $70 Badger or a $120 Iwata (or any decent name brand, in that range) is all you need. It will last and be useful forever, where as the knock-offs quickly become more trouble than they're worth and are replaced (it happens often if you check some forums, I'm not selling higher priced brushes). Even though you may want to do eyebrows on 28mm faces and you may end up getting a nice detail brush in the future, you'll still use the "workhorse". Instead of throwing it out, replacing it and then getting the fine detail. Of course, you'll need to get your brush online, it's half the price, if not a quarter of the price of the local shops like Wallack's and Michael's and most others.

    The price of a can of air is huge, a compressor is cheaper after a few sessions. Don't make the mistake of getting an "airbrush" or "hobby" compressor, get one from the tool shop, they're cheaper, last longer, perform better, etc. Home/Tool/Hardware stores have sales all the time too, as a fellow Canadian, I know you can get compressors at half price or less if you keep an eye on the flyers. Most have constant weekly deals. I assume it's the same in other countries...but tools and stuff in Canada should never be bought at full price since almost all of it goes on a huge sale quite regularly (for those unfamiliar).

  6. #6

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    The main issue with cans is what freakinacage mentions in the first reply - the price adds up quickly. It literally isn't worth the money using cans since you'll very soon (far faster than you'd imagine) have forked out the money for a cheaper compressor.

    Airbrushing is absolutely worth getting into. For what it can do well, and quickly, it's completely worth the outlay but you don't have to break the bank. There are a number of good cheaper airbrushes (see prior threads for specific recommendations and rough prices) that are more than good enough for the kind of spraying that 95% of miniaturists require and the money you save on this can directly go towards funding the compressor.

    Unfortunately the compressor is often the biggest part of the initial outlay, easily costing more than double what you pay for the AB. For pretty basic spraying a lower-end one may well be good enough for you and they're not expensive; there are some recommendations of what to look for in some of the prior threads, as well as a few specific recommendations.

    There are alternative sources for air to compressors and canned air however. Honestly I don't think they're worth the hassle but they might suit you. If you do a search for carbon dioxide or nitrogen under airhead's name you should find most of the threads that mention the options.

    Einion
    Last edited by Einion; 10-10-2012 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Fixed word salad

  7. #7

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    I think the above comments sum up everything quite adequately. In summary, if you want good results with an airbrush, you need to make the commitment of a full set up.

  8. #8
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    The only way I'd use a can to airbrush is if I had a 100 lb. bottle of nitrogen, a dual regulator system and a spare bottle for when the first one runs out.
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  9. #9

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    I've recently purchased an air compressor and airbrush. I spent as much as I could reasonably afford and am very happy with the results. It takes a bit of getting used to but I'm very happy with my first attempts.

  10. #10

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    I do not use my airbrush much, but i did not want a noisy compressor in the house. I bought a portable steel air tank from Walmart ( maybe Kmart). The kind used for transporting air to fill up car tires...maybe 5 gallons. Added a small dryer and regulator to a coupler...the coupler so i can hook the tire chuck back up to fill wagon tires on the farm. I then fill it with air in the tool shed and have hours of air. You could also take it to the local gas station and fill it or free.

    You could likley set this up cheaper than a good compressor if cash is an issue. If you do not add the coupler it would be even cheaper...the biggest p.i.a. Is getting the adapter for the air brush hose.

  11. #11
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KruleBear View Post
    I do not use my airbrush much, but i did not want a noisy compressor in the house. I bought a portable steel air tank from Walmart ( maybe Kmart). The kind used for transporting air to fill up car tires...maybe 5 gallons. Added a small dryer and regulator to a coupler...the coupler so i can hook the tire chuck back up to fill wagon tires on the farm. I then fill it with air in the tool shed and have hours of air. You could also take it to the local gas station and fill it or free.

    You could likley set this up cheaper than a good compressor if cash is an issue. If you do not add the coupler it would be even cheaper...the biggest p.i.a. Is getting the adapter for the air brush hose.
    1. the airbrush hose generally have 1/4" NPT threads at the compressor side - same as most air fittings. I just screw a male quick coupler into the airbrush hose, a female fitting at the tank. Now anything with a male fitting will connect to your tank: hose, tire chuck, blower, nailer, etc.

    2. adding one of these tanks in-line with a tankless diaphragm airbrush compressor is a great way to be quiet and have all the air you want. It will give you some storage and will remove any pulsing from the compressor.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by airhead View Post
    1. the airbrush hose generally have 1/4" NPT threads at the compressor side - same as most air fittings. I just screw a male quick coupler into the airbrush hose, a female fitting at the tank. Now anything with a male fitting will connect to your tank: hose, tire chuck, blower, nailer, etc.

    2. adding one of these tanks in-line with a tankless diaphragm airbrush compressor is a great way to be quiet and have all the air you want. It will give you some storage and will remove any pulsing from the compressor.
    My new Paashe had the simple 1/4" connection, but when i set my rig up ten years ago the cheap single action Badger i had contained a goofy fine threaded connection...of course now days these adapters are easy to get.

    It is nice to hear i am not the only nut that set things up this way...now i just need to use it more

  13. #13

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    In the video mentioned above, the very intelligent sounding guy claims that 0.15mm needle and nozzle are difficult to get to work. Is that the experience from you smart and amazing dudes aswell.

    I have had an itawa airbrush for quite some time and it is on its last legs, so i am shopping around and the Harder and Steenbeck InfinityCR sounds really awesome.
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1





  14. #14
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    0.15 mm is pretty fine. What gun are you looking at?

    I've used an Iwata CM-B at 0.18. Golden, liquitex, inks all seemed ok... I don't think I'd try to run anything with metal flake in it.
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  15. #15

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    Either the one you mentioned.

    Or Harder and Steenbeck InfinityCR.

    And i never airbrush metallics, and i still have the old dinged itawa for basecoats and such
    The odds of succesfully finishing this miniature is 3720:1





  16. #16

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    When I first started I actually used to fill a tyre inner tube with air from a elcheapo compressor but you will still need to regulate and use a moisture filter for it to work effectively
    The difference between polyurethane and acrylics?
    With acrylic You can spray inside without killing Your pets.

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