Airbrush kit help.

Discussion in 'Painting Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by s1chris, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. s1chris

    s1chris Member

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    Hello all,

    If possible I would like to know your thoughts on the best sub £120 airbrush compressor kit. There's loads on eBay but my fear is that I will end up buying one that's not man enough for the job. I've already decided with air tank will be best for my uses. Other than that I am clueless.

    Cheers Chris
     
  2. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    There are several threads relating to airbrushes, y personal choice is the dual action Aztec by Testors along with their tankless compressor. The airbrush comes in a very nice wooden box with everything you will need for a long time. Don't recall prices but about $120US
     

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  3. s1chris

    s1chris Member

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    #3 s1chris, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  4. s1chris

    s1chris Member

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  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Have a look around, as there are some good deals going currently, on ebay and other places. Prices have come right down, since air brushes have started to be used for such things as ladies nail art, cake decorating and so on.
    As with any tool, it's normally the case of buying the best you can afford, which is not always the most expensive. I've stated it a number of times here - many of the more expensive air brushes and compressors were originally designed and intended for heavy use in graphic studios, where they'd be in use maybe 8 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week, and this is reflected in the price (including a high percentage added for a 'name'). Whilst these are excellent tools, they can be over-priced, and in terms of use in modelling, it's rather like taking a Coke can to the dump in a Rolls Royce!
    A good quality, but far less expensive brush will do exactly the same job, and last as long, if looked after, as the actual use, in modelling, is very low, with short bursts of running measured in a few minutes, compared to hour after hour - not even 1% of what they're designed for.
    A compressor with a tank is a good idea if you're going to spray large areas, over an extended period, but is not really essential for the average modelling job.
    My own set up consists of an inexpensive mini-compressor, without pressure regulator, water trap or tank, and a good, but again inexpensive double-action brush, the total cost of which, with connectors and braided hose, was under £60 (and now costs even less), which I've been using for over four years without problem.
    That said, I dropped the 'brush whilst cleaning it when stripped down, and have damaged the needle, jet and clutch, so I'm considering getting a new one, of the same make, but with a larger compressor, in a deal which totals £58 for the compressor, two airbrushes, and all hoses etc., and with free delivery.
    Have a look at the place below, and their range, including their own brand (AB series), the latter being what I use.
    The Spraygun Company Ltd

    This is a UK company, who manufacture their own stuff, as well as supply top-name brands, and I can't fault them for products and excellent service.
     
  6. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Good advice Terry....

    Best DOUBLE action airbrush you can afford............
    Best small compressor you can afford.


    I have a like compressor, cept mine has a 1L tank.....
    And I have a VL Paasche airbrush I've had since 1969!

    So there ya go.
     
  7. s1chris

    s1chris Member

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    Thanks to you both for the advise. No doubt that has saved me from buying something not suitable and costly.
    Terry, thanks for the link. I will make my purchase from them this week as the compressor kits are the same as the ones I was looking at on eBay. I think I'm going to go for the Finespray Pixie with airbrush. I looks nice a contained and will keep the Missus happy as she won't have an industrial looking compressor laying around. I might even do her nails if she will pay me!

    Thanks Chris
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    You're welcome Chris, and Happy New Airbrush !
     
  9. Rogi

    Rogi Active Member

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    I like the badger series of airbrushes :) (155 I think is my newest one)

    Honestly if I had to re-do buying airbrushes again I'd just go straight for the 155, you really see a difference in the quality vs 150 etc, I went through 4 airbrushes before I went to the 155.

    I think the kit for it and compressor is something like $200 US?
     
  10. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I have had three of the AB series airbrushes, the first two were suction cups which stopped working after only a small amount of use, the third is a gravity fed model which has been reliable. Everything Airbrush has now stopped recommending AB airbrushes for use with solvent based paints, they have told me this is because solvents attack and destroy the seals inside the airbrush. Other companies continue to advertise AB airbrushes as suitable for use with enamel paints so I am not really sure whether AB airbrushes are any good to use with enamels or not! my guess is that Everything Airbrush has had complaints from angry enamel paint using customers and has decided that it is not worth the trouble of selling them to enamel users.
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I only use enamels in my AB 'brushes and, whilst I agree that there may be some detriment to the seals, this is nothing drastic, and takes time.
    The first seal to be affected (on a double-action, gravity fed 'brush), is the one in the connection of the paint cup, if detachable, which, to be honest, does not cause a problem.
    The main seals start to exhibit 'problems' after about 2 years, but the 'brush still works and is usable.
    I'm just about to replace the one mentioned in my previous post, although after stripping and cleaning, and some delicate 'surgery' on the needle, I got it to work again. But, after almost four years of use, for the price I paid, and the price of a replacement, I might as well get a new one.
    When I first bought it, I thought then "For this low price, if it lasts two years I'll be more than happy."
    It's lasted twice that long, and is still usable, so I have no complaints.
     
  12. pattle

    pattle Member

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    This is exactly how I feel about it, you can't complain for twenty quid but I will keep away from the suction cup models in future. AB are doing an airbrush with changeable 0.2mm and 0.3mm nozzles, I was wondering about one of these.
     
  13. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I have three airbrushes. The first one ( made in Russia ) I bought 15 years ago. It has three changeable nozzles and works up today. The another two I purchesed ( Iwata copies ) about six years ago. Both of them have 0.2mm nozzles with a possibility of exchanging with 0.3mm ones. All my airbrushes are made of metal and have the gravity feeding system and all work without a hitch.
     
  14. pattle

    pattle Member

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    I was also thinking about an Iwata CS by Neo, I am rather tempted by this as it sounds like value for money.
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Iwata tools aren't cheap, that's true. But these are very accurate. However if you have a look around the net you will find a couple of cheaper copies that work very good too.
     
  16. pattle

    pattle Member

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    These ones are on ebay called Neo by Iwata, they are about £50 compared to around £100-£120 for the professional Iwata range. I not sure if model making requires the high standard of airbrush used by artists, I would like an airbrush with an 0.2 nozzle for Italian camo and German mottleing, and 0.3mm nozzle that's good for RAF Camo and American schemes.
     
  17. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    So you may pick up one of these I use. The first on is with a nozzle of 0.3mm and the second one with a nozzle of 0.2mm. Of course both are offered with either 0.2mm or 0.3mm nozzles and there is no problem with exchanging of the nozzles.

    aerograf1.jpg

    aerograf2.jpg
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The first one, with the black, metal rear body, looks like one of the 'AB' 'brushes I have and, as previously stated, it's been excellent. I can get down to less than a 1mm wide line using this 'brush, given the paint/thinner ratio is correct.
    My other 'AB' 'brush is basically similar, but without the adjuster on the rear, and all polished metal.
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Given that the needle, and the nozzle, are well machined, and manufactured from good-quality metals, almost any airbrush will provide the required spray accuracy, defined by the nozzle/needle diameter. With time, softer, or cheaper materials will wear, which will cause variations in the set spray pattern, and probably uneven delivery of paint, with 'spitting', or pulsing. (the latter mainly due to a completely 'knackered' main seal, causing uneven air flow.)
    However, the important part for control, is the clutch.
    The quality of the clutch tensioner, and it's ability to maintain the set tension, in many ways marks the quality of any particular air brush. Cheaper copies of 'top brand' brushes such as Iwata, may, and more than likely do, use lower quality materials, which will probably lead to shorter overall life, as the clutch tension becomes more and more difficult to maintain.
    That said, if, for example, an 'AB' airbrush performs satisfactorily for, say, two years, and can be 're-juvenated' by 're-building' with new, spare parts at a reasonable cost, then this has to be balanced against the initial cost of a 'top brand' air brush.
    At the moment, I can't justify spending £150 to £200, or more, on an air brush, even if it will outlast me.
    I can, however, justify spending £20+ on an acceptable air brush, maybe every two or three years which, allowing for time, fiddling, inconvenience, and the cost of spare parts, is probably cheaper than re-building the originally purchased 'brush. Given I'm physically able to continue modelling for another 15 years or so (by which time I'll be 76), and I have to replace an airbrush every 3 years, then, at an equivalent price of £20, every three years, that's £100 - still a lot less than the more expensive alternatives which, over time, would still need money spent on them to maintain serviceability!
    As a side note, my very first air brush, bought 35 years ago, but lost in a house move some four years later, was the then new, and quite revolutionary, 'Humbrol Studio One', which was a metal, double action, gravity fed 'brush, with a then unique single, slide-action trigger, with the air hose feeding into the end of the body. This was a truly superb, very accurate instrument, capable of very fine line work, as well as a spray pattern up to about 3/4 inch, if m y memory serves me. Theywere not cheap, as the AB 'brushes are, but compared to the average cost of an air brush in those days, they were by no means expensive, very far from it.
    Whether they disappeared due to the changes of ownership of Humbrol at the time, or due to pricing, I don't know - perhaps Humbrol under-priced them drastically, leading to a loss - but it really was a superb, very wel
     
  20. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I agree with the post above entirely. Terry has pointed all pros and cons excellently. Well done my friend. :thumbright:
     
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