Feedback/Advice on purchase list (Starting Airbrushing)
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Thread: Feedback/Advice on purchase list (Starting Airbrushing)

  1. #1

    Question Feedback/Advice on purchase list (Starting Airbrushing)

    Hi guys (and gals),

    I'm looking at starting out with some airbrushing, I've done some reading on it but that is no match for actual experience. Was hoping you experienced types could look at my proposed 'buying list' and point out any problems/things I've forgot/suggestions or alternatives you have.

    A little info to help you out with this;

    • I'm from England (this is apparently important information due to availability of parts/spares).
    • I have a house-mate, and I'm not a heartless bastard, so a quiet compressor is a must.
    • I've read that buying a 'starter' airbrush is a waste of time, and I like decent quality product anyway.
    • It will be used almost exclusively to paint 28mm heroic scale (so around 32/33mm in reality) miniatures.
    • I think I want a Side-Gravity feed (from my reading, this will give me a clear line of sight and allow me to hold the airbrush at different orientations and still have a feed).
    • I also believe I want a 'Dual Action' (correct terminology?) airbrush - Where the air is started before the paint and you can regulate how much paint is fed into the air stream, as I understand it.


    My Buying List

    • Compressor - I know this is a 'DIY' type compressor and not a specialist airbrush one, but it is silent, available in my country and I've seen plenty of people say they use compressors that aren't specialised airbrushing ones with pressure regulators/hose converters just fine. Plus the specs for this look about right to me (although i have no airbrushing experience). Would there be any downsides to this? Any other suggestions?
    • Airbrush - Probably leaning this way as the pistol grip looks easier to use IMO. But I'm open to suggestions, I hear Iwata, Badger and H&S (I think that's right) are all great makes, but I wouldn't know where to start with selecting a model.


    The following items would depend on what airbrush I decided to get to determine the exact model I believe, but I've listed them as things that I think I require, let me know If I'm wrong or missed anything;

    • Hose converter - to go from the 1/4" compressor outlet to the airbrush hose diameter
    • Moisture Filter
    • Pressure Regulator - for the compressor line to make sure it doesn't go over the stated max for the airbrush by accident
    • In-Line Air Control Valve
    • Various Nozzle Converters - e.g. 0.2mm / 0.5mm etc for precision work


    Thanks in advance for looking and any input/suggestions/advice you have to this! xx

  2. #2

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    I'd skip the side-feed one for a normal gravity feed. I can't think of a figure, where you'd need the different orientation

    buy list:
    - I'm not sure that compressor is silent enough, also for 260GBP you can find pretty good ones that were made for AB-s
    - I have no idea how that grex is a double-action. you have one trigger... but I'd suggest to get one that you have a supplier for near you. If none, then I'd say go for the HnS. Maintaining it is so much easier than the others, accuracy and such is the same.


    the extras are overthought imho. If you get an compressor from a normal AB retailer you automatically get the correct parts (hose, moisture filter, regulator, control).
    As for various nozzles: I'd say the best is getting a good AB with 0.2-0.3 nozzle (this will be your workhorse, HnS Infinity 2-in-1 comes with a 0.2 and a 0.4 one nozzle+needle by default) and a cheap noname chinese one with a 0.5 nozzle (for rough work, but you won't be really using this)

    all above are of course imho only.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  3. #3

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    The trigger action has 2 'areas', the first starts the airflow and the second adds increasing levels of paint the more the trigger is pulled.

    As for the compressor, its ~40DB, which from looking at lists online is around the volume of a 'refrigerator hum'. I'm not sure just how quiet you can get compressors to go, but if you can suggest a 'silent' compressor specially designed for airbrushing it would be appreciated, I'm open to suggestions! As I say, i don't actually 'know' anything about airbrushing, I'm going from what I've read, input from folks who have done it is much appreciated!

  4. #4

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    Get a gravity fed side/siphon waste a lot of paint.
    Yes to double action.
    Find out what is easy to get parts for in your area and that will determine which brand of AB to buy. The are all solid.
    Pistol grip is a waste it's cumbersome and bulky and won't help if you switch brands later. Remember you are painting small minis not a car with a spray gun.
    Needles: .05 and .03 are about a fine as you need. 02 is more for spraying inks and such and when you get down to detail work you will be switching to brushes anyway. all .02 does is clog with dry tip in super infuriating ways or break if you look at it wrong. Don't waste any money buying and extra .02 kit.

    Hope that helps you out and keep in mind these are just my experiences/opinions so by all means read them with everyone else's and then do what YOU are comfortable with
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

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  5. #5

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    This advice is super helpful. I'm also thinking about taking the plunge, and Zab's recommendations seem spot on ...

  6. #6

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    Zab you are suspicious having too similar experiences as Ido
    Do I have your memories? I hope not :P
    Forgot, that it works again.

  7. #7

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    Nah it's got just be common problems with air brushing. They are the struggles that bond us all together
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Blog: almostperftec.blogspot.ca
    Instagram: almost_zab
    DeviantArt Handle: AlmostZab
    Art Amino Handle: Almost Perftec Painting
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  8. #8

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    Thanks for the advice guys,

    So you are saying that pretty much any gravity fed, dual action from Iwata, Badger or H&S (without a pistol grip) should be what I'm looking for and not to go lower than .03 for a needle. That's all muchos helpful, I shall start looking for a model of brush that seems right and get opinions of that (always open to suggestions from others of course).

    I'm having some real problems with the compressor though. I've only managed to find 2 'airbrush specific' compressors that are quieter than the one I was looking at (or even around the same level, the rest seem to fall between 45DB and 60DB, if they even list the volume). One is the Iwata Ninja Jet, which is only ~2DB quieter and (I think) doesn't have a tank.

    The other is the Silentaire 20-A which is ~15DB quieter, which is nice, but for a quite considerable jump in price (like ~£300-£400), which doesn't seem like very good value at all.

    Looks like the compressor is going to be the sticking point that I'll struggle with I think, unless I just go with my first option and hope it doesn't do bad things to the airbrush!

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    The compressor is dead quiet. It is a rotary compressor (same as in your refrigerator). .9 CFM is ok for airbrushing minis, but borderline for t-shirts. That will not run spray guns, but might run a stapler or small nailer.
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  10. #10

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    Thanks airhead good to know it gets the nod from someone in the know, and that it should be nice and quiet, I'm not expecting miracles, its not like i'll be airbrushing at midnight, but its nice to not cause too much disturbance.

    Out of interest, why would it be borderline for t-shirts? (not that it will in any way impact me as I will never be doing that, but knowing why might help me understand airbrushing a bit better )

  11. #11

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    Testors Aztek mini blue compressor,.. it's actually really quiet. The drawbacks though, are that there's no real airtank, so it's a "constant run" type compressor,.. and also there's no psi control (it stays at a constant 35psi). This can have certain drawbacks,.. but you can make adjustments at the brush to negate most of it. (see my wip for results I've gotten with it). And yes,..gravity feed is MUCH better than syphon style.

    (I have a larger compressor in my garage,.. but can't use it at night, since it's only slightly quieter then the coming apocalypse,... which makes the neighbors unhappy at 4am,..)
    Last edited by Webmonkey; 02-10-2016 at 10:53 AM.
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  12. #12
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peej View Post
    ...Out of interest, why would it be borderline for t-shirts? (not that it will in any way impact me as I will never be doing that, but knowing why might help me understand airbrushing a bit better )
    T's generally shoot a much thicker paint (Createx, etc.) at enough pressure to blow completely through the shirt. Somewhere around 60 psi and up. (don't put your finger in front of that or you'll tattoo yourself).
    At that pressure, it takes about 1 to 1.5 cfm to keep a gun running.
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  13. #13

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    I use a smart jet compressor, it's tank less and runs great. It's not loud at all you can run it and listen to TV, music, baby momma bitching, with ease. Price wise it's not bad either. Iwata has neo ab and compressor too, that might be to weak for it runs very low psi I think under 15psi. It's made for bake goods, but they same it can be used in hobbies.

  14. #14

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    I don't think it was mentioned yet (browsed quickly) - you need cleaning supplies (I find that the perfect setup for me is some airbrush cleaner, some of the soft plastic toothpicks, a micro fiber cloth, a tray with high edges to soak parts, a small sponge from an old blister, an old brush and a cleaning station), and consider a spray booth, at least if your space is small. I prefer to use latex gloves, at least on the hand handling the mini, and you SHOULD (not that I do) wear some kind of breathing protection.

    Also, I find that a 10' hose is really useful.

  15. #15

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    Again, thanks for all the advice guys, compressor is sat here with me (ironically, I could buy this from a local shop, the airbrush is an online jobby!)

    I've got my choices down to either this;

    http://www.barwellbodyworks-shop.com...ade-krome.html

    Or this;

    https://airbrushes.com/product_info....products_id=34

    So far I'm leaning towards the Badger, as it looks like its going to be a ball-ache getting the Iwata in the UK. It either has the price almost doubled or a months delivery time tacked onto it unfortunately.

    Whichever I get I will be buying the appropriate;

    Moisture Trap
    3 Meter Braided Hose

    And of course;

    Pippets
    Mixing Jars
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...A3FZY5DZQUIYZ3
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...A356452I7XTSBD
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Precision-Ny...221X0DHPKQQ3KG

    (Thanks for the reminder on cleaning supplies oistene)

  16. #16
    Coffin Dodger / Keymaster airhead's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd go with the Iwata, BUT>>>
    Replacement parts are substantially more expensive.
    It is truly an illustrator's type detail gun. It will do lines near a sharp pencil line.

    You probably don't need that much gun for priming, basing and clearing minis.
    But for doing artwork it is a Porsche compared to the Chevy's out there.

    For minis, a Paasche VL is a very good gun. Parts are available and very reasonably priced.
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  17. #17

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    Just chiming in from a non-expert standpoint here - if you're just starting out, I would recommend against a higher end setup. You can get a Master gravity feed, dual-action brush and compressor with tank for £89.78. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Master-Gra...AAAOSwKtlWrfRT

    I've got one, and it's actually pretty nice - yeah, it's definitely entry level, but to paraphrase airhead, you don't need a Porsche at this point. Learn how to use your brush first, then upgrade later. My brush came with three tips and needles, so look around at what TCP is selling to find that setup. Also, make sure you're getting the compressor with the tank - anything tankless is going to drive you crazy.

    And when you finally do upgrade to a nice brush, you still have this one to do your priming and basecoats!

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