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Hello everyone, I'm thinking about buying an airbrush to paint my 40k vehicles and terrain. I am wondering however, is it worth spending the money, are there any useful tips for begginers, and lastly what airbrush is recommended? In reference to the last question, I am considering a Badger airbrush as I've heard these are good and relativly cheep (for an airbrush.) Any and all help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
I use the Tamiya airbrush the comes with the compressor. I went for that one because of the compressor manly as it is very hard where I live to get the aerosol cans. Its great for painting tanks in the sense that you get a even smooth paint finish. The down side its a pain in the ass to clean and you can quit possible speed more time cleaning it then painting. I haven't worked it out yet but I'm pretty sure that you use less paint with an airbrush to
I personally find airbrushing amazingly useful. It really speeds up the painting process for large models... and I also use it very often to apply a basecoat (color based on theme) to a full range of minis at once.
I'm the kind of person that likes to go "all out" when trying something new. So when I got into airbrushing I bought myself a Paasche VL Millennium Dual-Action Internal Mix Siphon Feed airbrush. It works great. I have absolutely nothing to compare to, but it has easily cut hours off many painting projects. The Dual-Action is what I find to be the most useful. And it's really easy to clean, in my opinion.
I went for the Dual Action style airbrush because, thinking about it, I didn't like the idea of paint spraying out full force every time I hit the trigger. I wanted more control over the paint-air mixture and have so far loved it. And now I have a hard time imagining what airbrushing would be like without it. Seems more difficult to use a single action airbrush. The Dual Action airbrushes are supposedly more elite; for more advanced users. But I found it extremely convenient as a beginner. Maybe that's just me.
Initially I started using it with the canned air... but that wasn't enough pressure for me and didn't allow for consistent pressure over time. I found I was waiting 10-15 minutes every 2-3 minutes of airbrushing... which was simply quite annoying. I quickly ended up buying a 1 gallon electric air compressor. 1 Gallon is fairly small and portable... and I also bought it because I was in the process of buying a house and wanted to get the package deal with the nail/staple gun.
I find that the 1 Gallon tank is still a bit small for me, but manageable. In hindsight, I think a 2 Gallon tank is more suitable for my airbrushing style. Depending on the airbrush you'll also want a regulator. Sometimes you don't need a regulator for the canned air, because it pumps at a max psi anyway (although not very steadily, in my experience). But most air compressors (that aren't specifically designed for airbrushing) will pump at a MUCH higher psi than you'll ever want to flow down your airbrush hose... so a regulator is sometimes necessary... and almost always recommended. I see some people preferring moisture traps on their regulators also (or individually). It sounds like this is more for canned air (since it typically isn't just compressed air) and for air compressors in moist environments. It simply helps ensure you won't occasionally puff water during application. But in some cases that's not a big deal since it'll basically water down your paint mixture (which is typically already watered down) for a split second. I've never needed one, but I also don't use canned air and I've also never experienced a moisture accident in excess. I feel if it happened to me in excess then it'd be easy to recover from anyway (especially with a Dual Action airbrush)... so I'm not rushing out to buy one.
I taught myself how to use it... through hours of experimentation and a few failed models. So, unfortunately, I can't refer you to any good tutorials or video walk-throughs or anything like that.
And as far as price is concerned... I think I paid $75ish for my airbrush and you can usually find a decent 2 gallon (regulated) compressor for about $100. The airbrush can easily be classed as expensive... because I think you can find a decent single action airbrush for $30 or even possibly less.
I hope these little bits of scattered information prove useful to you.
If you have any other questions, let me know, I'll try to help. But I also find it fairly hard to believe that there isn't a large collection of experienced airbrushers on this site somewhere... it's probably just a matter of finding them. I'm new here, so don't ask me where to find them.
Thanks again for the useful info everyone. Does anybody know if the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS is a good airbrush? Also, this might be a stupid question but, do you need to buy different tips to get different spray widths or is the nozzle adjustable.
Last edited by The_Ancient_Ones; November 13th, 2009 at 02:38.
The spray pattern is adjustable to a certain point. Each nozzle will produce a range of spray widths, but to make a major shift, you'll need a bigger nozzle/needle combo. A fine tip will go from hairline to medium, a medium tip will go from small-ish to large, and a large tip will go from medium to huge. For most modelling work, you'll just need a fine tip.
For realitycheque: A good, no-frills setup? $200, $300 tops. Better gear means a bigger price tag, but a good airbrush ($80 to $120.) and a basic compressor with a tank ($100 to $200, depending on size and power) should last you just about forever.
And yes, you want a tanked compressor - having one of those things roaring constantly in your ear for an hour or two at a time is just not a viable option.