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Air brush suggestions

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#2
Hi, I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what a good intro budget airbrush would be.
thanks
Umm...depends, honestly. If you’re wanting to do detail work, something like the Badger 2020 is awesome, but really meant for thinner lines.

If you want a starter, the Iwata Eclipse airbrushes are probably your best bet for the cost. There are other, cheaper brands (like the Master brand) but parts are hard to come by, and generally cost as much as a new airbrush.

Also, make sure you get a compressor. There are people who claim you can get a good job out of cans of propellant, but it’s almost impossible to keep a steady pressure with it. When you use a gas out of a can, it starts getting cold. When the can gets cold, the pressure goes down. Using an air compressor, you can keep a constant pressure up.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#3
I have heard of people having good luck (in limited resource areas) using a car tire for the compressed air source instead of a can - much larger volume of air so it doesn't have as much of a temperature drop. Does require making custom fittings to hook it all together.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#4
I have heard of people having good luck (in limited resource areas) using a car tire for the compressed air source instead of a can - much larger volume of air so it doesn't have as much of a temperature drop. Does require making custom fittings to hook it all together.
You CAN, but you can get an airbrush compressor at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Harbor Freight for as much as you’d spend on the fittings, especially if you have a coupon for discounts. Don’t get me wrong, the tire is an ingenious way to do it, but for the headache involved, it’s easier to get a compressor.
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#6
You CAN, but you can get an airbrush compressor at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Harbor Freight for as much as you’d spend on the fittings, especially if you have a coupon for discounts. Don’t get me wrong, the tire is an ingenious way to do it, but for the headache involved, it’s easier to get a compressor.
Agree - and I love my little baby compressor. Much quieter than the bigger pancake compressor. But I also love ingenious "alternative" low tech solutions to problems too - those can really help the folks who don't have the funds available, need to get something done before the hardware store opens, or are on an island somewhere. I think we are up to three currently active forum members dealing with shipping to an island complications right now!
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#8
Harbor Freight also has the airbrush kit really cheap like for 20 bucks
They do; it's not the greatest one, though. It works, but the trigger action isn't very smooth, and the plating is poor; it flaked off when I tried cleaning it. Also, parts aren't really available for it, so if you break a needle or need a new nozzle for it, you're out of luck (and while you could probably use Iwata parts, since it looks like an Iwata Eclipse clone, the parts would cost you as much as a new airbrush; it's probably not worth it). But if you're using it for just a quick "throwaway" airbrush for a project or two, it's not bad - just be aware that you get what you pay for. :)
 
#9
ya, I am in Canada so that is not really an option to go to Harbor freight, I do have an air compressor but I don't know about the fitting because it is just a normal contractor one.
I was just looking for something to paint some camo on to my FT spitfire and other planes.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#11
ya, I am in Canada so that is not really an option to go to Harbor freight, I do have an air compressor but I don't know about the fitting because it is just a normal contractor one.
I was just looking for something to paint some camo on to my FT spitfire and other planes.
Ok! That's actually a good thing. :) That means you can get fittings that will connect up to an airbrush hose. Most airbrush hoses are 1/4 in. fittings, so you can screw it on to a 1/4 in. quick connect that will connect up to your air compressor (which you can pick up at Canadian Tire, Home Depot, etc. in their air tools section. The quick connects are fairly inexpensive. I'd also recommend picking up a water trap for your air compressor; this will filter out any moisture that comes through from the air compressor, which can mess up your spraying.

Also, if you head in to Canadian Tire, they (per their website) have a cheap Mastercraft Airbrush for $25, very similar to the ones Harbor Freight carries; it might even be made by the same company, but with the "Mastercraft" name slapped on it - it looks like an Iwata clone.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#12
And yes, you could do the spray paint/Minwax option, but it can be a process in and of itself - and fairly difficult to pull off with a spray can and masking tape, if you're wanting to do a camo paint job - you'll likely run into overspray issues (color landing where you don't want it) because of the distance you have to be from the foamboard when using spray paint.
 

Tench745

Well-known member
#15
Seems like y'all got this handled, I just wanted to add my two cents.
I have an Iwata NEO. It's a great little double-action gravity feed airbrush. I like the level of atomization when spraying, it lets you get very subtle fades. So far it has been durable and reliable. Cleaning is a pain, but that's all airbrushes.
Before the Iwata I had two different Testors air brushes. Don't bother with them. They're flimsy, unreliable, not adjustable, and parts are stupidly expensive for the quality you get. I had a dual-action side feed brush and a single action siphon feed. Both were terrible. I started using canned air and got varying results due to pressure fluxuations and mentioned above. If you do use canned air putting the can in a large basin of hot-to-warm water helps keep the pressure consistent.
For a while I would hook up to my little 3-gal Harbor Freight compressor. It's loud and has a hard time keeping up pressure, but it's better than the canned air was.
Nowadays I could probably just run a hose from the garage and let the 12gal compressor do it's thing downstairs, but I haven't had need of my airbrush in a while.
I don't use mine often, but when I do I'm glad I spent the money on a nicer one.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#16
Seems like y'all got this handled, I just wanted to add my two cents.
I have an Iwata NEO. It's a great little double-action gravity feed airbrush. I like the level of atomization when spraying, it lets you get very subtle fades. So far it has been durable and reliable. Cleaning is a pain, but that's all airbrushes.
Before the Iwata I had two different Testors air brushes. Don't bother with them. They're flimsy, unreliable, not adjustable, and parts are stupidly expensive for the quality you get. I had a dual-action side feed brush and a single action siphon feed. Both were terrible. I started using canned air and got varying results due to pressure fluxuations and mentioned above. If you do use canned air putting the can in a large basin of hot-to-warm water helps keep the pressure consistent.
For a while I would hook up to my little 3-gal Harbor Freight compressor. It's loud and has a hard time keeping up pressure, but it's better than the canned air was.
Nowadays I could probably just run a hose from the garage and let the 12gal compressor do it's thing downstairs, but I haven't had need of my airbrush in a while.
I don't use mine often, but when I do I'm glad I spent the money on a nicer one.
Agreed on that. The NEO is a decent airbrush for what it is; I like the Eclipse a little bit better. I've got a Badger Sotar 2020, an Iwata Eclipse, and a Paasche VL. I had also bought a Master airbrush compressor from TCP Global, which came with a cheap Master dual action airbrush, and my uncle gave me his Harbor Freight airbrush.

The Master? It broke while I was cleaning it - a piece that the cap threaded onto snapped off, and for me to replace it, the parts were as much as buying a replacement. The Harbor Freight one, the plating started to flake off after 2-3 cleanings (and why I suspect my uncle gave it to me - he couldn't get it to work for him, most likely due to the plating getting in to the nozzle). I've ditched them; it's not worth trying to get them to work for the headache I had with them. That said, if you just want a cheap airbrush that you're only going to use once or twice? It might be worth purchasing.

The Paasche VL is...Well, it's ok. It's a suction fed airbrush; I've never had good luck with them pulling liquid in. It might just be me; I dunno, but they're not my favorite. I also fought a bit with adjusting it for flow, so I kind of gave up on it.

The Iwata's a great airbrush for doing larger areas. It's kind of my "workhorse" brush; I can use it for larger areas and background color for things. Where it kind of falls down for me is when I start wanting to do detail; I fight with getting finer lines. It's not difficult, it's just not good for that.

That's where my Badger comes in. That thing will allow me to do very fine lines. It's more of a finesse brush for me, and it's got a great feel for the detail work, the more precise lines. But, it doesn't allow me to do larger coverage areas; it's got a smaller paint cup than the Iwata, and I just feel like it's not the right tool for larger sprays.
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#18
ok, I just bought Mastercraft airbrush from Canadian tire for 25$ https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mastercraft-air-brush-set-0580051p.html#srp but they did not have the 1/4 adapter for my air compressor or a water trap so I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for where I could buy those parts in store or online.
You should have been able to pick it up over by the air compressors at Canadian Tire...I'm assuming that your air compressor has a "quick connect" fitting on it, where you pull it back a bit and push a nipple thing in for the air hose? If so, you can use one of these:

https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/mastercraft-male-plug-1-4-in-0587974p.html#srp

or

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/hitachi-power-tools-plug-industrial-m-1-4-inch-mnpt/1000769298

If you don't have the quick connect, you can get it here:

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/porter-cable-1-4-amb-coupler-bulk/1000714136

MOST air compressors have a quick connect on them, or come with one; it's just easier to use with most of the hoses, since almost all of them are already set up to use quick connects; same with most air tools.

As for a water trap/air filter, something like this would work:

https://www.homedepot.ca/product/husky-1-4-inch-air-compressor-filter/1000841175