Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Airbrush what to buy?

Hey everyone hope you all been busy painting up your army.  Well I get emailed and PM'd all the time on airbrush questions like "what airbrush should I get?", "what kind of compressor?" ect. ect.

Well let me give you my view on airbrushes. I always discourage people to buy expensive airbrushes unless they are very committed and have the money for it. Also don't get all caught up in the name brands especially Iwata which is the Ferrari of airbrushes.
For me I have a old Badger model 360 and a Master G43 and get the same results as people who have top of the line AB at half the cost or cheaper. And for compressors I got a Harbor Freight compressor with out a tank but with a regulator.

I highly recommend the Master Series of airbrushes and this company makes Iwata and other brand knock off airbrushes that work very well. I know that Nuke Arts, GMM Studios and Buypainted (BP he now has a Harder & Steenbeck) use a similar model like my Master G43 and Orc Painter has a different chinese brand and we all get great results.
                                                                My Masters Series G43

                                                                       My Compressor
As for Iwata well I say buy a cheap one first get to know how to use a airbrush, because at the cost of a Iwata can get you 1 Master Series airbrush, compressor, several boxes of your favorite army miniatures and paint!!!!! No really you can!!
Go to TCP Global I have been buying from them for years for all my automotive painting supplies and are very reliable. They have Iwata, Badger, Pasche, and Master and all their related brands they bought. They even have package kits which allow you to build a AB and Compressor package. Go there and you can compare the prices and see what I am talking about.
Now a close friend bought a Pasche Talon and this is a awsome airbrush and he got a package price when it was on sale and spent less then $175.00 with a compressor. So take a look let me know what you think.

No for the infamous question on the thickness of the paint? Well you all heard the thickness of skim milk, or 1:1 ratio of paint and thinner.
Well it is all different because you know that all paints have a different thickness when it comes from different colors.Even Vallejo Air colors I have to thin down a bit to get a nice flow out of my AB.
So really the answer is "experiment" no really you have to because all colors and brands have different thickness and even AB paints which suppose to be straight out of the bottle can be a bit thick for the AB. So I recommend test spray always before applying to your model, get to know your airbrush and how it sprays and look into the cup and see how the paint flows when you do get the right mix. So experiment and get to know your airbrush.

Ok the common question "why does my AB spirt after a while on my model?" Well like a acrylic paints they do build up on the needle easier then alcohol based paints. So check your needle too see if you have build up on it and a quick easy way to clean it depending the type of AB you have is to use your finger or a wet cotton swab and carefully wipe the needle clean. If it still spirts check the thickness if the paint or flush out that batch out of the AB and start new. Sometime there is dried up paint that get caught up in the cone and will cause it to spirt out paint. Also check your PSI setting. I spray between 15- 25 PSI depending on the detailing you are doing.

This is what leads to PSI setting. Like the paint thickness of experimenting you will do the same with your PSI setting also. Now for priming a model you can have your setting 25-35 PSI but for base coating and detail you will set it lower like 15-20PSI. Again play with the setting and test spray on a paper towel and see if it is on the right setting.

So that is all I can give you on tips on airbrushes from cost and PSI settings. Let me know if you have any other questions. Here are a few things I am working on and models I used the two airbrushes I have.

                                                                   Done with my Badger 360
                                                                 Done with my Badger 360
                                                                         Done with my Badger 360
                                                            Done with my Badger 360
                                                         Done with my Badger 360
                                                           Done with my Badger 360
                                                         Done with my Master G43
                                                                   Done with my Master G43

Happy painting everyone!!


  1. Hey man, very interesting overview of Airbrushes.

    The colors and blends you can accomplish truly leave my painting in the dust, shame about the price tag involved in getting one out to little old NZ.

    I found the last model picture to be the most striking in my opinion the contrast of the white base to the deep red armor really looks awesome.

  2. Hey Knightley sorry for the late response been distracted with my other hobby (guns lol). Really is it a tax thing in NZ (BTW I want to retire there love it) or is it the shipping?
    And yea red does look good when the blend is done right. I blend the red to the black and I believe Eggroll blends black to red.