Need a Good Airbrush and Compressor

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Chessie1973, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I ahave the little Badger 250 with the canned air set currently and it is terrible for anything other than basic coloring of scenery.

    I need a good airbrush and compressor that wont put me in the poorhouse.

    All you airbrush guru's out there have any suggestions.

    What should I look for as far as features.

    What should I avoid?

    Also I need something that isnt going to disrupt family life noise wise, is there a such a thing as a quiet compressor?

    I am looking to spend as little as possible and find an airbrush that I can do the following things with.

    General scenery coloring.

    Detail work on scenery.

    Primer and Base coating of Loco's and rollin Stock.

    Detail work on Roling stock including stenciling of the logo's and larger lettering.

    Also I need something that will be easy to use and maintain if at all possible, I ont want something that I will have to have a PHD to operate, just something that can be easily broken down for cleaning and such with the supplied accessories, Not something I need to buy stick in the company to get all the tools I need to actually operate it.
  2. JeffGerow

    JeffGerow Member

    I recently bought a Badger 155 "Anthem" airbrush and have been very happy with it. It is a more recent design, especially for acrylics, in that it is real easy to unassemble and clean (my prime criteria). It sprays a good pattern and would do well with all the stuff you listed.

    As far as a compressor, I bought a Sears tank-type compressor several years ago and have also been very happy with it. Since it has a tank, it's very quiet -- (it is noisy when it runs, but it doesn't do that often for airbrushing). As an added advantage, I can do large spray painting and also have purchased a finishing nail gun. And the compresser itself cost about the same as those nasty little (always running) compressors that are "designed" for airbrushing. Having a source of compressed air -- You'd be surprised how many things you can find to take advantage of that...
  3. billk

    billk Active Member

    Just wondering -
    I have a small compressor made for inflating tires. Would it be possible to use it to pressurize a tank, which could then be used with an air brush? With or without the compressor running? What of tank could be used for this?
  4. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    Hmmm, Would it be possible perhaps to just use an Air Tank?

    Like the portable ones you can get at home depot?

    All I would need to do is get a regulator to keep the PSI down to keep it from blowing my models away while painting and I could save a considerable amount of time. I dont use the airbrush too much but I will be repainting my Loco's to my new Paint scheme (All three of them) and This sems like a nice choice for a air source for much less money than a compressor would cost.

    What I would actually like to eventually do is get enough bottles for the airbrush to keep more commonlyused paints actually storred in them instead of always mixing for every batch I do and having to try and match the colors from batch to batch.

    Also, I use acryllic paints, Anyone know some good brands of airbrush firendly acryllics?
  5. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    In one of the Bager books, it says tubed acrylics, the newest of fine and commercial art paint mediums may be used.
    They may be used with care for air-brush rendering due to the extra fast drying characteristic of the acrylic in stock state. It must be well thinned and the air-brush must be constantly cleaned and flushed as acrylics clog and block up more than any other medium with the exceptionof the Toulene based automotive acrylic lacquers. A one to five paint thinner mix is advised for water based acrylic spraying.
    Whatever compressor you will need anywhere from 20 to 40 psi.
    When it comes to air-brushing you get what you pay for. Going cheap will provide disappointing results. I use a Badger 200 which is a single actioninternal mixair-brush. It has proved to be good so far. For serious air-brushing the a double action internal mixing a-brush like the 150 should be used
  6. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Seems that I read here or somewhere about using an inner tube from a car as an air tank. low psi and if you don't have a compressor a trip to the nearest gas station would fill it up.

    A regulator might be advisable to maintain a constant pressure, but it should work. I'm contemplating something like that when I get to that stage.
  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    The best bang for the buck for model use is the Pasche Model H. Its a tried and true design thats been around for more that 75 years. You can usually pick up one from a hobby discounter for less than $65 and it will last a lifetime if you take care of it. Its a simple single action brush that uses color cups or jars. It has light,medium and heavy tips and will do everything you asked about. Best of all its not made of plastic except for part of the handle. Its made out of nickle plated brass and steel. I have been using mine for over 40 years with no problems.

    A compressor is a must as is a regulator with a built in moisture trap. Pasche also has several nice compressors designed for airbrush work. The trouble with paint sprayer and tire inflator compressors is that they pulse and don't really deliver a smooth flow of air which is required for airbrushing.

    Expect to pay $150+ for a good set up but you'll never spend another dime on it.

    BTW....My compressor which will produce 35PSI cost over $700 if you had to go buy it
    :eek: and runs so quiet you can hardly hear it....but in true Robber Barron fashion it was salvaged from a piece of medical equiptment:D :D :D
  8. fifer

    fifer Active Member


    Vic hit the nail on the head . Passche is the only way to go.
    I however prefer the VL . I have 2 of them and an Air eraser.
    You can use a tank for the air supply but you would still need a regulator and a moisture trap. Then the problem is to find a compressor out in public to fill from. Do not use an inner tube as they contain talc as a no-stik agent.

  9. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Automotive supply stores, like Canadian Tire and Princess Auto up here in Canada, have been coming out with 1/3 hp compressors, complete with tank, pressure gauge and regulator for about $100. These compressors, while not big enough for construction-type tools, like nailers and impact tools, pack a lot of power for an air-brush.

    The cost - about $100 Cdn.

    Another alternative is to pick up an "air-tank". These are similar to the reservoir on an air-compressor, but without the compressor. You fill it up at your local gas station, take it home, attach your air-brush and paint until it runs low, then another trip to the gas station. This will cost you about $50 if you shop around.

    I went the "mini-compressor" route and there's no limit to the air supply.
  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    will agree with Vic and Fifer Passche is best and again a good moisture trap is a must, if comperssor noise is a problem the next best thing is a small bottle of compressed nitrogen:wave:
  11. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Just Some More Gas

    Just another thought on what Jim said. My dad was a commerical aristist. He always used a tank of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) with his airbrush. Any fire extingusher service company can refill them and its very cheap. Since CO2 is a partial liquid when compressed you get a lot of gas for the money.
  12. garyn

    garyn Member

    The local auto parts store (Kragen) has a Coleman compressor w a 2 gal tank for $70. That's cheaper than my old binks diaphram compressor. And w the tank you don't the pulsation of the diaphram compressor. All you need to add is a moisture trap, fittings, hose and you're all set. The 2 gal compressor is a carry around type, not on wheels like the bigger compressors, but it doesn't look very big, so carrying it should not be a problem.

  13. ren451

    ren451 New Member

    I've had good results with Testor's model master air brush and a 5 gallon tank from WallyWorld. The Airbrush has different tips available for different effects such as wide spray, pinpoint and spatter. The tips can get clogged up quickly if the paint is too thick or if used for too long w/o cleaning but the results are easy and satisfying. I payed around $35-40 about ten years ago.

    The tank is the same thing you can get nearly anywhere for around 20-30 bucks and comes with a plastic knob that you can use to control the output pressure. When the tank gets low, I use a cheap 1/2 hp (50psi) compressor that I found at a pawn shop for 25 bucks. just make sure that you drain the tank after using it and leave the valve open to keep moisture at a minimum if you don't want to shell out the $$ for a vapor remover.

    I'm too cheap to shell out the dollars for a premium setup and for what I do, this setup works great.:)

    Hope this helps,
  14. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    One day years ago I came home and seen the propane man painting the tank. I went over to check it out and he was using...propane from his tank.:eek: :eek: He explaned to me that lots of things use propane for propellant, and he was right, hairspray, paints.... So I use a 1 pound bottle of propane. Screw off the burner, put it in a pan of cool water, crack the valve and paint away. FRED
  15. philip

    philip Guest

    it also doubles

    as a cutting torch. Thats some wild stuff Fred. :D :D :D :D :D :D


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