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 Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?

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Dogmar
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Dogmar

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PostSubject: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeSun Jun 08 2014, 23:53

Hey everyone,

this is pretty straight forward, I want to get myself an airbrush and I don't want it to cost me an arm and a leg, but I don't want a bad quality one that doesn't work properly or breaks easily.

I've got the basics of airbrushing down, practicing with that of a friend but I think it's about time I get my own.

Optimal would be:
-Double Action Airbrush with interchangeable nozzles for different detail resolutions
-Compressor with variable pressure, air tank and water blocker

Preferably as a complete set.

Do you have any pointers what to look out for? To me most of them (except for the extremely cheap ones) look perfectly alike and I can't straight up spot the difference between a cheap and an expensive compressor by just looking at the datasheed, because they both promise essentially the same (unless you go into the 600$ and up price category).

Some examples of cheap ones I've found. Other products with a reknown brand name such as Iwata start at the 250$ mark for a set, these look essentially the same and are considerably cheaper:
Set 1 with Air Tank
Set 2 without Air Tank

What do you think? Can you point me to other, better options? Are these sets any good or will I regret it? Do I really need to spend 200$ and up?

Tell me about your experiences.
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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 09 2014, 06:36

You do not need to spend nearly $200 to get an awesome airbrush. For an awesome first airbrush just get the Badger patriot 105. I use it and about 4 other guys at my shop use it, two of us are just regular painters and the other 3 are commission. It is a power house brush.

http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Air-Brush-Patriot-Gravity-Airbrush/dp/B002W84GTO

you can find it from 75-125. You can go anywhere from large patterns to almost pencil marks. In my opinion, and a lot of others, it is the best brush you can get until your willing to spend over the $200 mark. Which you would have to really be invested and good to want to do such a thing in the first place.

Next is the compressor, having a tank is optional, what you want is something that can pump out between 5-30(max) psi consistently. You can literally buy a construction compressor that you would use for a detail nail gun or you can get a small one like you have shown. The larger one wont be running all the time but it will start up and be very loud. The airgun one is portable but chances are it wont have a tank so it will be running the whole time. It is usually just a mellow humming in the background. Place it on some towels and it really deadens the vibrations. You need to make sure it has a regulator (important) and a moisture trap (not as important). I actually use the compressor from a cheap airbrush set that my company purchased a long time ago and it works fine. However I really do HIGHLY suggest that badger brush, then just go to your local Home Depot or similar labor supply store in Germany get a compressor you like and profit.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKiT_6WnH8w

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Evil Space Elves
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 09 2014, 09:58

I don't have a Patriot 105, but if I were to replace mine it would be with that model. Definitely save yourself some grief and get a compressor with a tank. I live in a duplex with a shared wall and can't airbrush after 21:00 without pissing off my neighbors.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 09 2014, 15:03

That Badger Airbrush does indeed look like a fine choice, the review's pretty detailed and apparently it's all metal and easy to assemble/disassemble/clean, which is really half the work Wink Unfortunately Badger and especially this model are hard to come by in Germany. Do you know how amazon from the US handles international shipping? Or do you have alternative models that might be more readily available?

What about specifically the sets I posted? I think I can handle UK shipping, US is normally far more expensive.

If you have other ideas for good brushes, tell me, if all else fails I can always get a compressor separately (I actually have one, but that one's 6-100 bar and sounds like a landing airplane... not really airbrush material Very Happy). I have a budget of 140EUR which is roughly 190$ or 113GBP. I'd love to not have to spend that much, but willing to pay a bit more if all else fails.
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Dragontree
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 09 2014, 16:21

I have recently been looking at an airbrush as well and probably have less knowledge than you Dogmar but I have found this chap on youtube very helpful and he describes sets available in the UK.

His links don't work but looking on Amazon.co.uk I managed to find essentially the same thing.

He also has pretty good tutorials in general Smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1HT0BgGl3g&list=TL3ULaU0Epw3iXL_gZi0BwGx2qfG3ZChBA

Hope that helps!

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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 09 2014, 22:40

Well if you can find a Badger 105 do it. Also make sure it is gravity fed. the BuyPainted tutorials are very nice. I would avoid doing a double package airbrush deal. Heck I would avoid doing a package deal just cause. Masters are ok airbrush Iwatas are nice. I don't know your mindset or how much you paint but if you really want to do it spending a little more for a proper airbrush at the beginning will go a long way. Buying a cheap brush with compressor might sound good now but either of them could break and you will then have to buy another one and you have now spent just as much on two that you would have spent on a quality one in the first place. I don't think you would be happy with either of those brushes. Are there no hobby shops locally to you that have what you are looking for? Depending where you live getting the brush would be like 20-40 dollars shipping. Amazon sells the patriot for around 70-90. Personally I think it is worth the wait. Have you tried using a brush from a friend? I don't see why you wouldn't like what you can do with it but it might be worth it to try it first and then go with something you can use for a while.


And I don't know how Amazon handles shipping but I highly doubt they don't ship to Germany.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 10 2014, 16:58

I'll contact the amazon customer support for shipping the patriot 105 to Germany then, maybe they're not that expensive after all. I somewhat see your point about the lower quality ones becoming obsolete quickly because they don't work as good or worse, break after a couple uses. I plan to use the airbrush quite extensively for painting although I'm not doing anything GD level or commissions (yet) I want my stuff to look good and I have a least 2 full armies to paint with it.

I did use the airbrush of a friend for some basecoating, but it's not that good of a model, very restricted in how much detail you can achieve. It doesn't offer a good airflow control, so you usually end up with a wide cone. I plan to use GW paints mainly so the 0.5 mm nozzle on the patriot (which is quite big?!) should come in handy. The demo video definitely showed how much detail you can achieve with the patriot.

here's a very(!) early WIP of my Wraithlord:
Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? P1030278_zps0565e683

The detail you see there is about as much as my friends airbrush offers and I'd really like to push it a step further.

Also: any pointers on good compressors or should I just go to the local department store and ask around? Also what else do I need? I figure I'll need a stand to hook the brush in when I'm not working, some cleaning brushes, airbrush cleaner, and paint flow increase?!
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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 10 2014, 17:08

Yes well an airbrush will help you paint an army extremely fast. It is amazing to exaggerate highlites and have seemless layers. Its great for faces and skin as well. The things I would suggest would be to buy the hose with it and get the quick disconnect adapter as well. They also make drain tanks that you spray your cleaner into, it has an open hole with a filter though. I use basic isopopropyl alcohol to clean my brush with. Usually the drain tank comes with a holder on it. And I have a website that I buy my parts from it would behoove you to get another two needles because everyone bends their first one. Go to a local hobbystore and find acrylic paint thinner to use with the gw stuff. Water works OK too but it has to be distilled. For gw paints it's 1 part paint to 2 parts water at the least. I premix my paints in a , no joke, beer bottle cap. The inside is kind of waxy so you know when you have the right thickness. It should be like 2% milk. You can swish the paint around the bottlecap and it beads off the sides. Thick paint is bad. There are plenty of tutorials on brushing and the patriot. Once you get it and play with it you will try to find things to airbrush. When you have any questions about it just pm me.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 10 2014, 17:52

Thank you for the excellent tips there, I contacted the amazon support to see what they can do. You say you have a retailer that has extra parts for repair?! Would you share a link to that store please? Also, wouldn't it be a good idea to get a product from a company that can supply me with spare parts without needing to ship them from the US? Just a thought Very Happy That said though, after looking at some videos I really like the patriot 105
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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 10 2014, 17:55

I only buy from this company becausecits cheap for me. You might have to do some searching. Or buy parts in bulk. When I'm off work I can put a more detailed package together for you. You will love the 105, its a powerhouse.

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Evil Space Elves
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 11 2014, 01:08

I've had pretty mixed success with mixing GW (and other brands) for airbrushing. Just used Minotaire paints from Badger for the first time and won't be going back. I'm literally buying the entire range set next month I'm so impressed. Mixing paints and fighting pigment inconsistencies drove me crazy, having everything perfect from the bottle is where it's at.

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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 11 2014, 03:35

Agreed, I don't suggest GW paints at all. I use army painter but 2 of the commision painters at my shop with the badger use Minotaire paints and they are really great. Airbrush ready too.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 11 2014, 22:54

Ok, so I see where you're coming from with the paints, it is just that I've already started painting stuff with GW paints in my armies and switching ranges midway seems like a bad idea to me, so I'll get myself some paint thinner, shouldn't be hard to find although there is a very very low number of hobby stores around, which is sad. I'll look into special airbrush stuff though once I start a completely new project where I'm not more or less bound to GWs stuff.

As for the airbrush: big let down, amazon won't ship badger products to Europe, because of company policy and warranty issues, so unless I miraculously find a German/EU supplier of badger products, which is unlikely since the companys website says "shipping to CA, US only" this ones out. I'll have to get myself one of the in most cases considerably more expensive "made in Germany" products then. When I get round to it I'll scour some department stores for good value for price compressors.
In the mean time, what general aspects should I look out for when searching for a good airbrush? Obviously gravity fed, no plastic parts, polished finish for easier cleaning. What else should I be aware of? The partiot doesn't have the cone in front of the needle you normally see, what purpose does that serve? What nozzle size should I look for? I've found things from 0.1mm to 1.5mm (obviously too big!). Most brushes here are ~0.3mm... is that too small? Can you see how easy a brush is to disassemble by just looking at it? When buying online I obviously can just try it in store like I would in a professional store. The brush my friend has, has some very very very tiny screw threads at the nozzle, which break easily, I'd like to avoid that if possible.


Sorry for the bucketload of questions, but I figure when you're going to spend ~200$, better do it right.
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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 11 2014, 23:26

That is a bummer man, if you can't find that brush you can always have it shipped to someone you trust in the states and they ship to you (we have some good people). The cone just affects the air and the flow. a cone will be designed for the airbrush. 0.3 is getting to a more fine detail, but the patriot is about twice the size of it and look how fine it can go. 0.5 is a nice size. I suggest finding a brush you think is a contender then reading up on it, see how many people use it, how easily you can get replacement needles (you will break/bend at least 1). If you find a nice one that you really like but its a little bit more expensive my suggestion is to wait and get it when you can. Through my life I have learned that 90% of the time it is worth it to get what I want eventually and not get something I don't want now. If it is a good brush there should be plenty of material out and about. If not try messaging a commission painter from youtube and drop a link to it here. A good amount to spend on just the brush would probably be 80-140. Then the rest can be spent on a compressor and parts.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 11 2014, 23:30

Doing a quick search of UK suppliers and UK ebay I have found a huge variety of sites selling badger airbrush products (including the linked one from Rumble) ranging from approx. $130-160 if that is cheaper than buying in germany.

I won't fill this post with links but I can PM you them if needed. All these sites ship to europe as well. Might be worth looking for a UK source to ship to you.

Although Rumbles suggestion of having a friend ship from the states might work out cheaper anyway!

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Azdrubael
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 19:27

I have a german Harder&Stenbeck Infinity, its nearly perfect.

I really love this airbrush, a great pleasure to just hold it in a hand and to paint.
Guess it would be cheaper to buy a german brush, since they are really good and you wont have to pay extra on delivery price.

Most H&S airbrushes are great, really no need to buy foreign. Only if you want Iwata, cause they are somewhat different.

Ultra for beginners, Evolution as main tool and Infinity as a premium quality, you have it in Germany.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 20:15

Yeah, I knew of the H&S brushes and you know "made in Germany" and all that. They're of course high quality products, I'd go as far as saying they're the leading competitor at least in Europe when it comes to airbrushing. However I backed away from them at first because of the price. I'm now leaning towards either the Ultra or the Evolution (Silver Line probably, those few bucks more won't make a difference). While the ultra is considerably cheaper I'm afraid it will not be that high quality and harder to clean because it's just not that optimized. And them I'm looking at ~160EUR for just the Evolution brush, without compressor, without cleaning stuff, without hose... ugh.

I thought it would be go big or go home, but not that much : /


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Azdrubael
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 20:24

Ultra was my first airbrush, it is still alive and kicking. I bought a Valejo Model Air set with lots of paints and an airbrush with a discount. Its a good brush, simple, dont break, cheap. Its not harder to clean, they are all same to clean - pick them apart and clean. Faster if you have vibro cleaner. Or using cleaning agent if you are changing colors.

Silverline is good, i heard many people was very satisfied with it.

One thing i made a mistake with was buying the compressor without a tank. If it will come to decide whether to take more expensive airbrush or take a compressor with a tank - take a compressor.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 20:30

Have a look at these: Basically the same thing isn't it? So I should probably get the one with the "free" crap airbrush to save some money. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I know the descriptions are in German, but I think you can make do with the technical data.
http://www.amazon.de/Airbrush-Mini-Kompressor-Model-AS186-Lufttank/dp/B0036T0ZR0
http://www.ebay.de/itm/AS-186-Airbrush-Kompressor-Airbrushkompressor-Set-Airbrush-Pistolen-Set-BD-128-/291124980757?_trksid=p2054897.l4275
http://www.hood.de/i/mini-airbrush-kompressor-airbrushkompressor-model-as186-mit-lufttank-50855765.htm?utm_source=gshopping&utm_medium=pc&utm_campaign=shop&gclid=CLK0n_fI974CFSbmwgodyB8AJg

They are all basically the same, with tank, pressure limiter and water trap. The Wiltecs pressure limiter just looks a bit different.

About the vallejo set: Did you get the H&S brush with it or just a cheap one like in my first link? In either case I might have to search for that, can you provide a link?

Edit: Here's another cheap one from the department store. Hellishly noisy though: http://www.hornbach.de/shop/Kompressor-Pattfield-PE-300-K/8876494/artikel.html?WT.svl=artikel_text


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Azdrubael
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 20:42

It has HS Ultra http://www.acrylicosvallejo.com/en_US/model-air/family/17. Look down the page.

Yeah, compressors are basically the same construction wise, however they are not the same materialwise. Some are constructed from more expensive materials and they produce less noice. But it is pretty slim difference. If you are fine with a sound an old fridge had the one you linked is fine. I have almost identical.

Slightly more expensive would be Sparmax compressors.

Of course dont take free crappy airbrushes, they look like single action airbrushes.

Quote :
Most brushes here are ~0.3mm... is that too small? Can you see how easy a brush is to disassemble by just looking at it?

Good size for miniature painting is 0.2 infantry size, 0.4 tanks size, 0,15 fine detail size (can do with 0.2).

As for disassemble, if you has disassembled one, you know how to disassemble all of them.

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Dogmar
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 21:04

Well, it looks like the last one I linked (Hornbach) is a good one quality wise, but just very loud. And the other seems to be some chinese thing, which I have mixed feelings about. Outside of the famous brand ones for 250EUR and up though, they all not only look like this, but if you look closely they're entirely the same thing! (Scoured a few sites by now, it's amazing, all the same product from 80EUR (with crap airbrush attached) to 130EUR (without any extras)... strange.
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Its_Rumble
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 23:12

I have a cheap compressor without a tank and it has not affected me at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 13 2014, 23:22

Doesn't it get extremely hot in longer painting sessions? I've read various complaints that even the AS186 gets very hot if it runs continuously.
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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 14 2014, 07:48

Quote :
I have a cheap compressor without a tank and it has not affected me at all.
You wont know the difference until you try. If you need to make long thin layer, compressor without tank will run out of air soon, and you will be forced to make a short bursts. And very soon you will be making 4-5 seconds bursts max, to let compressor catch up a bit.

It is way more effective to paint longer with thinner layers and dont care at all about how much air you have left.


Quote :
Doesn't it get extremely hot in longer painting sessions?
It does, and it doesnt affect you much. We are speaking 4+ hours here. Compressors with tank get hot, without it, not so much. It is generally recomended to rest a bit if you can fry an eggs on a compressor.

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PostSubject: Re: Looking to buy an airbrush - advice?   Looking to buy an airbrush - advice? I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 14 2014, 23:27

The compressor I have does not sputter its air flow. I have a regulator and water catch and it just runs constantly. I have no issues opening up the flow for longer than 5 seconds. I have actually painted a large concrete snake with my brush and compressor, about 20 feet long and was able to spray continuously indefinitely.

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