Author Topic: Advice on air brush and compressor  (Read 1254 times)

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Offline JudgeDredd

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Advice on air brush and compressor
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:07:20 PM »
I am going to buy a (second hand) air brush and compressor.

Anyone got any information on what I need to look for? Things I need to make sure I get?

I saw this on eBay
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 12:09:07 PM by JudgeDredd »
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Offline GJK

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Re: Advice on air brush and compressor
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 12:43:02 PM »
Good topic - I've been thinking of going the same route but know very little about these things from a modeling perspective (what features to look for, etc).
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Offline JudgeDredd

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Re: Advice on air brush and compressor
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 01:09:45 PM »
I see some brushes come with 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5 mm needles - so one thing I was wondering is would I need these? And what way does it work? I'm guessing 0.2mm is good for very precise, fine detail and 0.5 is good for bigger jobs (chassis and the like).

Other things I'd like to know...
1. Oil compressor? Required or not?
2. What things to look out for in compressors.
3. Paints...acrylics, yes - but what are the best ones
4. Cleaning - type of cleaner (I presume water is fine if you use acrylics) and how often? I presume a quick clean between different paints is required
5. How do you gauge how much paint to put in? And if you don't use it all, how do you get it back into the pot (or do you just throw it away)
6. Do you have to water down the paints or are they ready to spray?

Anything else I need to know about? Most modelling I'll be doing is 1:48 and 1:35. I might get a big bugger for Christmas - maybe a 1:24.

As for the air brush, I think I'd prefer gravity fed - but is that the best or is bottom fed better?

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Offline LongBlade

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Re: Advice on air brush and compressor
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 09:39:07 AM »
I bought a new compressor and airbrush. Don't use it nearly as much as I could/should.

In no particular order here are some things to think about.

- Noise. Once I realized you could have a noisy compressor or a quiet one, I decided I wanted a quiet one.
- Related to noise: the ability to hold pressure. In other words, it will build up a resevior of pressure and hold it without running the compressor constantly. Good for pauses and stuff.
- Cleaning is easy. Do it every time you use it. What to use? For water-soluable paint I use Windex. Really. For oil based I've heard you use turpentine. Never used oils, so I don't know.
- Type of airbrush? I started with a cheap Badger. I upgraded to a double-action Paasche, but it's a bit trickier to use.
- Compressor has a water trap. I don't know exactly what this does, but I suspect it keeps unwanted water out of your air. I have one. If it works I don't know but it seems like a good idea.

My compressor is sealed and requires no maintenance.

Offline Jack Nastyface

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Re: Advice on air brush and compressor
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 04:36:42 PM »
My two cents:
- I prefer the gravity fed airbrushes, only because I can put however much paint I want in the bowl.  With the bottle and straw types, you sort of need a certain amount of paint in the bottle, and if you move or tilt your hand while you are working, the paint may flow away from the intake hose causing some "breaks" in paint flow.
- Depending where you live, you may want to invest in an inline dessicator.  This removes moisture from the air that the compressor is ultimately using as a propellant.  I live in sunny but humid British Columbia, and I completely ruined a set of Warhammer Roman Veterans because of this.
- I bought a nice double action Paasche.  It's more than I need, and it has taken me some time to get used to using, but no use buying a single action model then finding out you really wanted the double-action model...which only cost about $20 more.
- I now only paint with acrylics.  There are some paints specifically made for airbrushes by Floquil and Vallejo.  I tend to use them for basecoating my minis.  If I did big armor or airplanes, etc, I think I would either stick to the floquil or vallejo airbrush lines, or get one of the "air brush thinners" that you can get at most good art stores for the acrylics.
- I needed no small amount of practicing to get the feel of how to use my airbrush.  I simply filled the cup with water, and started spraying on some absorbant paper (shirt cardboard or kids construction paper) so I could see the flow and spray patterns.
- an equally important lesson which would APPEAR to be self evident is to build a smallish spray booth / box for your work.  On one particular day, I base coated a 1/72 AFV and then primed another without moving my basecoated model far enough away from my spray area.  Result was that I had lots of tiny tiny flecks of black primer on my otherwise pristine desert tan tank.  Piss me off.
- is mandatory that you post results of your work back on this board.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 11:20:03 PM by Jack Nastyface »
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