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PostPosted: Tue 06 Apr 2010 23:39 pm 
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Airbrush FAQ's - Hardware

Q: What different types of airbrushes are there and how do they work?

A: The most basic type – which is not really an airbrush – is the miniature spray gun. This consists of a paint reservoir with a venturi at the top with an air nozzle blowing across the venturi. Paint is drawn out of the reservoir by siphon and blown onto the surface to be painted. It is possible to control the paint flow by vertical adjustment of the venturi but it is not possible to achieve fine lines.

Then you move on to single action airbrushes. These have a simple on/off air control with paint being mixed into the airflow either externally via a separate paint nozzle and needle, or internally with a nozzle and needle integrated with the airbrush body. External mix types can achieve fairly tight lines, whereas the internal mix types should be able to achieve true fine lines. External mix types will have siphon paint feed as do many internal mix types although some of the latter may have a gravity feed paint cup.

The most versatile type of airbrush is the double action type, whereby air and paint are controlled simultaneously by switching the air on or off and moving the paint needle with the same control. Double action airbrushes may have a siphon feed paint jar or a gravity feed paint cup. This type of airbrush will have true fine line capability.

Q: Is it worth buying a miniature spray gun? They are usually very cheap to buy.

A: It depends what your model painting aims and ambitions are. Whilst they shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, unless you only require to cover large areas in single colours or want to achieve metallic colours without streaking it's probably not worth buying one of these.

Q: It's been suggested to me that beginners should start with a single action airbrush before moving on to a double action type. Is this sound advice?

A: A qualified yes. Whilst absolute beginners may find it easier to work with a single action brush initially, they may soon discover the limitations of using this type of equipment. There is really no reason why a beginner shouldn't start up with a double action airbrush. It may seem a bit tricky at first, but it becomes intuitive with a bit of practice and there are plenty of places like this forum where you can get practical advice and instruction.

Q: I'd like to buy an airbrush but the cost of a compressor puts me off the idea. Are gas cannisters a practical way of powering an airbrush?

A: No. It takes just a few painting sessions to run up a bill in gas cannisters that would pay for a compressor and you are always faced with the prospect of running out of power at an awkward time – maybe leaving a paint job unfinished or not being able to clean your airbrush.  

Q: Are there alternatives to buying a compressor or using gas cannisters?

A: There are and these usually involve buying a suitable air reservoir that can be topped up using somebody else's compressor. In days gone by spare wheels from a car were used as air an reservoir, topped up by vigorous use of a foot pump! There are a variety of sources for suitable pressure vessels, but they should be checked out and tested by a competent person if you decided to go down this route.

Q: Should I then budget for a compressor if I want to start up airbrush painting?

A: Yes, this is the best advice that can be given.

Q: What is the most suitable type of compressor?

A: Difficult to answer since personal usage and budget will vary greatly. The most basic type of piston compressor that can be bought quite cheaply will suit many modellers. Others may wish to purchase a compressor that comes with an air reservoir, as this will give smooth, pulse free air delivery. Very often these are automated in order to keep the reservoir topped up at a set pressure and/or deliver the air supply at a set pressure. This reduces the amount of time the compressor is actually running and will help prolong the life of the compressor as well as saving on energy. There are other types of compressor that will only run when the airbrush trigger is operated. Noise nuisance may be a consideration in which case a silent type of compressor may be desirable. In all cases it is a good idea to have an air regulator and moisture trap fitted and many compressors come supplied with a combined unit.

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PostPosted: Wed 14 Apr 2010 19:49 pm 
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scotsco wrote:
Hi just wondering what does needle and nozzle size mean. How does this effect the airbrush?


This refers to the maximum venturi size on the nozzle. I will have to disagree slightly with Feanor about line size, the size of the nozzle and needle does make a small difference, but in practice you would be pushed to tell. Where it does make a difference is in the sort of media that you are spraying and you are much more likely to get tip clogging with a 0.25 nozzle than say a 0.5, especially so with acrylic paint as it's my understanding that pigment particle size is bigger with acrylic. In fact airbrushes were originally designed to be used with inks and dyes that have very much smaller particle size than the paints we modellers use. Line thickness is mostly determined by the shape of the needle and how close you can get to the surface you are spraying.

FWIW I personally don't think there is any necessity to use very small nozzles, most of the time it is not required. I currently use a 0.35 nozzle and I'm thinking about getting a 0.5 needle/nozzle set to add to it.

peebeep

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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jul 2010 23:36 pm 
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Location: Wolverhampton, Birthplace of many small, dull aircraft componants, AND the B.P. Defiant!
Would you uconsider one of these a good starting point?

http://www.artifolk.co.uk/catalog/produ ... ?r=froogle


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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jul 2010 23:57 pm 
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In a word no. It is not really an airbrush, but a needle-less miniature spray gun, quite a different tool. Also starting up with air cans is a complete and utter false economy.

Paul at Little Cars is doing an entry level Harder and Steenbeck for fifty quid, if I was thinking of starting up this would be No 1 on my shopping list. If you were to do an ebay search for a compressor you could get a pretty good set up for less than £100. That might sound a lot but it would be worth forgoing a few kits to get such good equipment.

peebeep

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb 2011 08:05 am 
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Hello all,

I am a complete novice when it comes to airbrushing.My wife got me a Revell starter airbrush for about £20 for my birthday and I had a play with and now know its a good blunderbuss.Not any use for camo on 1/76 tanks or planes but good for covering a large area.
However I love the finish it gave a want to do it properly,with compressor and all that.The price's are horrendous, so looking on ebay I saw this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/AIRBRUSH-KIT-AIRB ... 45f8b8f068 I have never heard or seen this before.
and was wondering if it was any good?No point spending the money on it if its rubbish.

Any help of pointers on any deals would be really,really helpfull.

Cheers Rich.

PS I am not selling ths on ebay myself :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Feb 2011 08:42 am 
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Hi Rich,

I got a similar set from ebay, I haven't used the airbrush as I have a Badger 150 that I am familiar and comfortable with but I can vouch for the compressor which looks to be the same as mine.  I did have a look at the airbrush supplied with mine and it looks fine, I'd say give it a go - it might pay to look under other ebay categories though, as you might get the set more cheaply with only one airbrush (unless you really want both).

Cheers,

Stew


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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar 2011 20:43 pm 
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Is a Badger 200 any good? I'm looking at using it for 1:72 & 1:48 aircraft and 1:12 Tamiya FI cars.

Paul


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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar 2011 21:14 pm 
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The Badger 200 is a nicely made tool and easier to use for beginners but if you want more flexibility you need to be looking at a double action airbrush.

peebeep

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PostPosted: Sat 19 Mar 2011 22:26 pm 
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If you want a reasonable quality double action airbrush and you don't want to spend a fortune, you could do worse than get one of these:

https://airbrushes.com/product_info.php ... 60b03cd0ef

Not bad for £42.49. I bought my ex (henceforth to be referred to as 'The Evil One') one of these and was so impressed, I bought myself one as a back-up in case my Iwata lets me down in the middle of a project.

Comes with a crown cap as standard, (£14.50 for an Iwata crown cap!!!) and the Premi Air crown cap fits the Iwata perfectly.

Chris


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PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2011 18:10 pm 
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Are any of the seemingly cheap eBay dual-action airbrushed any good?

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PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2011 18:28 pm 
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I bought a cheap Chinese clone (£35) from my LHS that is just as good as my £175 Iwata  :shock:  No brand name on it, and you'll be taking a bit of a punt on e-bay  :juggle:
I was lucky that the LHS owner attends my model club and steered me in the right direction  :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue 03 May 2011 05:17 am 
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nry:326053 wrote:
Are any of the seemingly cheap eBay dual-action airbrushed any good?


They pretty much all seem to be cheap Chinese knock-offs.  The first airbrush I bought was one of these, and I'd say the only possible real problem with them is durability.  Mine had some sort of major internal failure while I was cleaning it (i.e., I think a seal somewhere broke) and became useless.  I desperately needed a replacement in short time (but didn't have much cash) so bought another very similar one from a LHS.

I haven't succeeded in getting very fine lines out of either of them, but I have no idea if that's due to my inexperience or a limitation of the device.  I guess the only way I'll know for sure is when I spring for a more expensive model, like an Iwata.

I think they're fine for "my first airbrush", but I don't think they're really built for the long haul.

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PostPosted: Tue 03 May 2011 21:37 pm 
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Having never had one ever before I'd be happy to opt for a cheap eBay dual-action before debating anything more expensive, especially as at the moment I've not even finished my first model in years :)

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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul 2011 21:57 pm 
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hey all i am looking at getting an airbrush kit but don't really have a clue

i have found this on ebay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350446067151&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT is it any good? (there seems to be allot of people selling the same 'kit') and is there something better i could get for my money?

thanks for your help  :)


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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jul 2011 23:53 pm 
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Alex I have that compressor and it has been fine (that should kill it off!).

The price with free postage is what I paid including postage. I'm sure the airbrushes will work OK and be good for somebody starting out.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul 2011 00:58 am 
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I've got the same kit, try putting the details in google first as I got mine in January this year for £89.90 Inc p&p. Prices may have gone up but I did not get it from e-bay and you might save yourself a couple of bob.

I'll get round to using it one day,  it's the fear of cleaning it which is pitting me off I think.

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul 2011 00:58 am 
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I bought that compressor and airbrush set from from the same supplier. Good product and a good reliable service from the seller.

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul 2011 14:05 pm 
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thanks for the replies  :)

i have found this Draper 09527 10-Litre 230-Volt Oil-Free Compressor which looks good but get the feeling its a little big

if i was looking at an airbrush on its own does anyone have any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul 2011 14:36 pm 
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alex3410:354755 wrote:
looks good but get the feeling its a little big


It will be quite big and possible noisy.

alex3410:354755 wrote:
if i was looking at an airbrush on its own does anyone have any suggestions?


Budget?

peebeep

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Jul 2011 16:39 pm 
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i dont want to spend to much i think max £150 for everything i will need (airbrush compressor etc)


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