Airbrush Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TruckLover, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Hi guys, its time to invest in an Airbrush for me....

    Im wondering what you guys have and what you guys like. Im looking for something on the mid-to higher end scale here, basically i wanna have this thing for a long time and it be reliable, and at the same time easy to use.

    Ill be using it to not only paint buildings, details, rolling stock, and engines, but also weathering building, locos, and rolling stock....

    I want the whole set-up, Airbrush, Compressor...... Have and Recommendations?
  2. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Josh, for airbrushes i have had Badger brand and the Paasche VL and VH series airbrushes, ANY of those would be an EXCELLENT choice:thumb: .
    I am currently using the Paasche VH series:winki: . for an air compressor i use a Campbell Hausfeld one gallon "pancake" tank 100lbs max, its small, not real loud:119: , and works well for airbrushes:thumb: .

    #1 piece of GOOD ADVICE: KEEP YOUR AIRBRUSH VERY CLEAN, and it will last for a LONG time:winki: .
  3. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Deano is certainly right about keeping your airbrush clean - when you finish painting, the first thing that you should do, even before removing masking tape from the work, is to disassemble and clean the brush. I have a Paasche VL that's been in use, including commercial painting, for over 30 years. Tear-down, cleaning, and re-assembly takes only a couple of minutes, and if you make it your routine, your airbrush will outlast you. ;):-D:-D

  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks Deano and Wayne!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    I went on Paasche's website and found a couple.

    Which one do you think would be the best? I kinda like that first one, i guess its the newest design of them all currently.

    Also about compressors, How muhc PSI do i need for an airbrush? Deano you said you have a 100 PSI tank, Paasche has tanks with auto shutoffs & regulator/moisture trap for $219.00 but its only a 35-50 PSI tank?

    Is that a good deal? Will that work okay with the airbrush? Whats the regulator for also?
  5. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Josh, in my opinion, the VL is a more versatile brush. The other two use open colour cups, which not only limit the amount of paint that they'll hold, but also restrict you to uses where the brush must be close to upright, or you'll spill the paint. The one in the first link is also an integral part of the body, so that cup is the only option for that brush. The VL comes with a small open cup, but it will also accept a bottle (and unless they've change the siphon cap, it will also accept Floquil, PollyS, PollyScale, Testors, and SMP bottles directly). This means that you can switch between colours, without cleaning the cup, simply by changing the bottle. (Of course, you should shoot a little thinner through the brush between colour changes - if you're changing to a drastically lighter colour, it's a good idea to do a complete cleaning between colours, but if you plan your painting, this won't occur too often. I usually have 15 or 20 bottles of pre-thinned paint on hand, and change the colour as required. I use the small cup just for thinner to spray through the brush between colours.)
    That compressor in your link will be fine for any airbrushing that you'll want to do. Most paints spray at 35 psi or less, and, for an airbrush, volume of air is not a concern.
    The regulator "regulates" the pressure of the air which the compressor produces - set it to the correct pressure for the particular paint which you're using, and the auto shut-off will stop the compressor once that pressure has been reached in the tank. As you airbrush, the pressure in the tank will drop, which will cause the compressor to come on again, running until the set pressure has once again been reached. If you're doing a lot of continuous spraying, the compressor may (or may not) run continuously, in order to keep the supplied air at a constant pressure. The compressor which I use, made from parts from a truck air brake, has a very small tank and no auto shut-off, so it runs continuously.
    A moisture trap removes condensed water vapour from the compressed air, and prevents it from reaching the airbrush. It's usually installed on the compressor output or in the airline, just before it reaches the airbrush. Water in the supplied air will mess-up your paint job. ;):-D
    It's difficult for me to say if that Paasche compressor is a good deal, as my compressor was free. I recently bought a larger one for my garage for $125.00 - I believe that it puts out a much greater quantity of air at up to 150 psi, and it also has a large tank, but it's also very noisy. :rolleyes::-D

  7. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Wow thanks Wayne!!!

    I think im set on the VL-Set, and for $59.99, i think thats quite a good deal. I will be wanting to switch between colors as well, so the adaptable feature will be nice

    The Compressor i listed is a bit expensive, but i think it will be worth it

    What else do i need for this set-up?

    ~~Airbrush Cleaning Kit?
    ~~Any Other Airbrush Tips for finer or larger spraying?
    ~~Extra Bottles?
    ~~What else should i get besides just the airbrush set and the compressor?
  8. KCStephens

    KCStephens Member

    Check This Out!

    If you are just getting into airbrushng this is an excellent way to go.
    Harbor freight offers a very good entry level airbrush that will hold it's own to similar airbrushes that cost 4-5 X's as much. I've been using this one now for close to 2 years and it ranks right up there with my badger.

    Plus they also offer excellent prices on compressors. Definitely worth checking out
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    By the looks of the ad, you're getting three different tips and needles (#1 is the finest, #3 is a general purpose type, and the #5 is for broader coverage and/or heavier paints). Mine came only with a number 3, and that's all that I've ever used. That price of $59.99 is excellent - mine cost twice that 30 years ago.:eek:
    Extra bottles are very useful, but, unless they're really cheap, wait until you get the airbrush to see if some manufacturers' paint bottles will also fit the siphon cap that comes with the set. As I mentioned, my VL will take many types of bottles, but I recently had to buy a new siphon cap and could get it only as a set, with an attached bottle - both the cap and the bottle were larger than the original, which meant that they'd fit none of the 30 or so bottles which I have. I solved that problem by installing the new siphon in the old cap - I've used mine so much that the chrome plating on the part of the siphon that fits into the airbrush was worn away, resulting in a loose fit and eventually, dropped paint bottles while airbrushing. :eek: The paintshop floor was already "well used", but now it's even moreso. :rolleyes::p:-D The bottle that came with my airbrush was a 5/8 oz. capacity, and the inside diameter of the siphon cap is 1.024", which is the same as Floquil, PollyScale, etc. However, the parts sheet that came with mine doesn't list such a bottle size :confused:, so I can't even give you a part number. If you get a bottle and cap that is not the same size as whatever brand of paint you use the most, it's fairly easy to install the siphon assembly onto a lid from one of the paint jars, then use that as part of the airbrush set instead of the factory-supplied one. As you finish each bottle of paint, thoroughly clean the bottle, and store it for use when you need to mix up thinned colours for spraying: you'll have a good supply in no time. ;)
    For cleaning, I use an appropriate solvent for the type of paint being used - I usually use lacquer-based paints like Floquil, so I keep a gallon of lacquer thinner on hand at all times - it's also useful as a cement for styrene. The other useful cleaning tool is pipe cleaners - when you disassemble your airbrush for cleaning, dip the tip of one in your solvent, then push it, from the rear, through the air passage, and then, from below, through the paint passage. Also, pass the pipe cleaner through the needle support tube. That's usually all the internal cleaning required. I toss the tip, air cap and air cap body into some lacquer thinner in the paint cup, then fish them out and dry them with a clean cloth. Done immediately after painting, that's all you need to do to keep it looking and performing like new.
    The other item that should be a must for airbrushing is a paint booth which can be ventilated to the outdoors. These can be pretty expensive, but you can also make your own. These keep most of the fumes from stinking up the house (and your lungs) and also prevent dried airborne overspray from collecting on the model being painted. If you're spraying only water-based paints, a dust mask is still a good idea even with a spray booth, and for paints with organic solvents, a two-stage respirator should be mandatory, spray booth or not.
    Your airbrush should come with instructions and a parts list, along with some tips for practising airbrushing. Save all of the literature for future reference, and, by all means, try out those practice exercises on some cardboard - it's a good way to learn proper techniques and see the various results before screwing-up a perfectly good model, and it will help you become competent much more quickly. Have fun. ;):-D

  10. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    Josh, just about ANY compressor with a tank will do fine, i NEVER spray with more then 40lb, depending on the paint and how thin it is spraying between 15-40lb will be all you need:winki: , when i wrote 100lb max i was just writing word for word what it says on my compressor.

    DO NOT get one of those compressors that doesn't have a tank, make sure you have an air holding tank. the problem with air compressors that don't have a tank is you will not get a good stable spray pattern, the tank assures you a constant pressure to give you an even spray pattern:thumb: .

    GOOD LUCK!:smilie:
  11. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    ooops:oops: , sorry Wayne, i just read your post #6 and you basically said what i mentioned in my last post...sorry, guess i jumped the gun:oops: .
  12. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    WOW Thanks Kevie, Wayne and Deano for all the info :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Wayne i found them on e-bay, the compressor the same price with FREE shipping and the Airbrush for $4.00 more and only $7.99 shipping for both cuz of the free shipping on the Compressor :cool:

    Wayne i appreciate the explanation to all my questions, i really learned alot by your reply!!! Thanks so much

    I Dont think ill need to get any extra tips if it comes with fine, medium, and large. I may get a airbrush cleaning kit, or may just go the way you told me by just picking up a pipe cleaner and a gallon of Lacquer Thinner for cleaning....

    Thanks again guys, been once again, A HUGE help :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not sure where you'll find pipe cleaners nowadays - I got mine at the LHS, and I suppose you could try a craft store. I don't think that there are very many pipe smokers out there any more. :rolleyes::-D
    Unless you use lacquer-based paints or plan on building a lot of styrene models, you don't need to buy a whole gallon of lacquer thinner - it is also available in quarts and pints. For acrylic paints, soapy water supposedly works for cleaning the airbrush, as does alcohol, although, for me, lacquer thinner works and is what I use for all paint clean-up. Most of my airbrushing is done with lacquer-based paints, so I always have lots on-hand.

  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Any advice on the airbrushes that run off cans of compressed air?
  15. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I've never used the canned air, but I'm pretty sure that any airbrush will work with them. I was under the impression that that was a fairly expensive way to airbrush, but I guess it would work well if you had only a few small jobs to do - cheaper than a compressor, anyway. ;):-D

  16. seanm

    seanm Member

    I was very happy using my airbrush with a 20lb CO2 tank. It was quiet and lasted me a LONG time. Cost about $35 to refill. I am now using the tank for my fish tank, so I use a compressor, but if I ever quit the fish tank, I will again use the tank for airbrushing.
  17. scoobyloven

    scoobyloven Member

    i think i wiil add my 2 cents here
    i have been airbrushing for about 15 years
    as for guns most would say go with a single most will say go with a dubble word of thought go with a dubble it will save you time and money in the long run both types have their pros and cons but a dubble will give you more control on both air and paint. but the biggest thing you will need is a water trap i run more than one on my set up i run one before my manafold and a inline one befor the gun . a pres reg is needed and if you can get your hands on a gun with the mac screw on it your good as gold . the mac screw lets you conrtol the air press at the gun leaving your reg untouched . also look into tip sizes of .02 mm or .03 mm they will give you fine line detail
    as for cup or bottle cup will give you ease of using small amounts of paint and bottle is good at large pices i use the side feed guns that can set up cup or bottle i have 2 side feeds set up one in .02 and one in .03 then i also have 2 bottle feeds set up in same size and i have one extra line for my sprayer and a empty line for another gun if needed
    as for compressor walmart sales a good little one it is 1 hp 2 gal it is more air than needed . i have that same compressor. and i can do a car hood in about 1-2 hours i did a laptop in about 1 1/2 hours

    as for paint their are many brands out their house of kolor, bagger, auto air, and others . but for starters go to michels and get the craft paine it is water based and thin it out to the mix of milk.
    as for mix of water paints here is one i use it is 50% water dissteld 40% rubbing alchol and 10% window cleaner i used it to do tests and it cleans your guns out great.

    here is a great web site they have everthing about airbrushing even vids

    i know i forgot somthing but this site can answer what i forgot
  18. mooreway

    mooreway Member

    I was in the market for an airbrush and happened by a booth at the National Garden Railroad Show 2 years ago and found a company called Grex who Build Air nailers and Staplers for Hobbyists. ( They are great for G scale builders. ) Anyway they also have an airbrush line. I bought one because theirs is trigger activated like a gun. see picture below ( I had trouble with the finger action required to run a regular airbrush, making my wrist and forearm hurt. :cry:) anyway I have been totally happy with it :thumb::thumb:. Here is their website link


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