Airbrush recommendations?
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Thread: Airbrush recommendations?

  1. #1

    Default Airbrush recommendations?

    Greets chaps!

    Not been in the hobby for some years now but with the new release of WH 40K, I've started to take notice of this space again and one of my buddies gave me a 1:72 scale F-14 Tomcat which I'm building now and hoping to paint. I've never been happy with my priming technique or results so I'm wondering if doing so with an airbrush would yield better results? I'm looking for cheap but quality airbrush recommendations please! Not looking to do entire minis just with airbrush so more for just priming minis or painting scale model aircraft; I still think I'll do the small details with the good ol' paintbrush. Looking at online reviews and prices, it seems like good ones start at >£100? Or do I not know how to look?

    Is it possible to use GW paints for airbrush work? I know Vallejo (?) paints have an airbrush version (Vallejo Air?) but can I use my GW paints in an airbrush?

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2

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    My buddy recommends a Meterk airbrush that can be found on eBay for £25 which includes a compressor but I'm not sure how good this is for model work? His scale models look.... okay but I wonder if it's due to skill or airbrush quality. Neither of us are pros but even then, sometimes a good tool can make a mediocre painter look great!

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Meterk-Pr...-/153084869198

    Thoughts?

  3. #3

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    mehh, for the price it may be worth a try, but you better not expect anything from it.

    Compressor looks weak, AB doesn't look well made (and all the concrete info about it, that it's double action and 0.3mm, which is ok, but not enough)

    It could work for what you want (priming and basecoat).

    as for your other question:
    - properly thinned (water or thinner/medium) GW paints can be used in an AB. Worst comes worst GW has an AB color line (basically the layer paints have an AB version, never tried them, I rather use water with paints, then buying watery paint).
    Last edited by MAXXxxx; 08-21-2018 at 03:22 PM.
    Forgot, that it works again.

  4. #4

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    Badger Sotar 20/20 do the job without spending a lot of money, its easy to clean and easy to mantain.

    You can do thin lines or apply primer with this airbush, and like MAXXxxx says, you can use without problem GW normal paints, dont waste your money buying the GW Air, just use your normal base or layer paints.

  5. #5

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    There is no point in spending a lot of money on an airbrush and compressor when you are starting out and not really sure it's the way you want to go. I don't believe a great tool can make an average painter good as you still need some kind of skill to pull off a good job. I spent about $135.00 on a Delta airbrush and a slightly better compressor. I use it for priming, basecoats and mid to small details. Never bought a better set up as I've never needed one. Smaller stuff is always done with a brush anyway and I work in 1/35. Never used an airbrush on figures.
    When painting I try to stick to brand exclusive thinners etc. and always use the thinner as I find it gives a smoother, flatter finish. I find water separates the pigment faster and it ends up clogging the brush up. For me the extra cost is worth doing away with the extra cleaning and hassle.
    If sticking with 1/72nd scale it's just as easy to prime with Vallejo primer by brush. If you take a small amount of care by thinning your primer coats you can do a decent job with no brushstrokes.
    I agree with MAXXxxx about airbrush ready lines though. You pay the same or even more and get a fraction of the pigment. It all depends on the level of convenience you want.

  6. #6

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    From the US, but recently did the same jump and went with a Badger Patriot 105 for about 65$ and love it. It comes with a .5 nozzle which is great for priming and will do far finer detail than you'll be able use for a long time. The advice I kept getting was, go with the less expensive end of quality brand for your first airbrush as you won't know enough yet to adjust your methods for any oddities of a cheap airbrush and glad I did. Been spraying Vallejo Model Color and surface primer using the Vallejo air brush thinner and the Patriot has been very forgiving of my noob thinning variations/experiments.

    I use it with a regular garage compressor I already had, and a long hose through the window of my painting area to avoid the noise. Have a cheap regulator and moisture trap from Harbor Freight at the painting table to adjust pressure. If something like that is workable, it'll save you some money upfront as air is air.

  7. #7

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    I think the first question is what problems you're having priming (I'm guessing you mean from a spray can?)

    If you're simply going to be using an airbrush for a bit of priming and undercoating, I'd actually say it's overkill and perhaps look at a bottom fed "spray gun" style brush. It'll cost less and achieve what you're wanting to (though will consume more paint). If you're wanting to do things like blends then that's where an airbrush begins to come into it's own.

    You can split airbrush purchase into two sections - the compressor and the airbrush. For the paints we use in the hobby, you're going to need a compressor that can achieve a consistent 10~20 PSI for an hour or so. That means you really need one that's capable of 30~40 PSI, so that you can run it under 50% load (the closer to the maximum pressure you run, the quicker the compressor will overheat & cut out). Consistency is also key - it's no good if you're getting a fluctuating pressure, so I would always recommend a compressor that has an air tank attached. Most also have a water trap, but if not then you'll want to pick that up else you risk water condensing in the tube and spitting out mid-flow...

    Brush wise, there are loads of options. Pretty universally we use a nozzle between 0.3mm and 0.4mm. Smaller than 0.3mm and you'll spend all day removing clogs and larger than that is like using a garden hose. The more you spend on the brush generally the better quality too, which effects things like how easy it is to dismantle. Starting off there's nothing wrong using a cheaper airbrush (such as the freebie ones you get with this compressor), but it's worth noting that they're more difficult to clean than a more expensive branded airbrush. My own recommendation would be an Iwata Neo CN brush in time, it's got a 0.35mm nozzle and cleans beautifully. I personally use an Iwata HP-C Plus, but quite a few friends have the Neo and if ever I replaced mine it'd be the one I would likely go for (although the Cult of Paint airbrush does look good).

    Pretty much any acrylic paint can be put through an airbrush if thinned correctly. I use a mixture of Citadel, Vallejo, Scale75 and other paints in mine without too many issues. For Citadel I tend to thin with either Forge World Solution or Vallejo Airbrush Thinner, Vallejo I always use the Vallejo thinner (that includes the dedicated Air paints). How thin you need them is very much down to lots of practice - the general rule of thumb is so they're the consistency of "semi-skimmed milk", but as with a bristled brush there are time you want them thinner or thicker. It's worth noting that acrylic paints will give you "dry tip" - a small build up of paint on the end of the needle that you need to regularly clean off. It's not you doing something wrong

  8. #8
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    If you only want to use an airbrush for priming I can recommend AZTEK for both the ease of use and cleaning.
    It's a simple nozzle change system (I use the Black one for priming) and Vallejo Airbrush primer.
    Run plenty of airbrush cleaner and warm water through the system and you'll be fine.
    An occasional scrub with airbrush cleaning brushes to clean any debris build up.

    While the AZTEK is good for a lot of work (basecoating etc) a Good Airbrush (Iwata Neo) is a good workhorse.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
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