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Old 02-22-2018, 09:48 PM   #7
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Airbrush Recommendations?

Originally Posted by TheAmishStig View Post
I don't have one that's appropriate for an airbrush, no...just one of those little emergency 'plug into the car's cigarette lighter' ones that's one-lung, tankless, and about worthless for anything larger or higher pressure than a small beach ball.

Been considering a big one for getting air tools for the car [I'm getting too old to be laying in a stone driveway with a mallet and a breaker bar], but that's just as wildly inappropriate on the other end of the spectrum....If my reading is right, it's looking like a $400-ish proposition to get started to 'do it right', with a compressor marketed 'for airbrushes'...or $600-ish for a shop compressor. The booth is 'nice' rather than 'necessary', but I may as well do it right from the onset.

- $100 for the brush (Badger 105 XPR, recommended by Sparky)
- $150 for a decent compressor with built-in regulator
- $100 for a lit, vented spray box
- leaving $50 for a cleaning kit, medium, needles, hose, etc.
Badger makes good stuff so I doubt you’ll be disappointed. The 105 is very popular. I find gravity feed brushes to be far more convenient than bottle feed ones. They also require a bit less air pressure, which means a bit more control.

You absolutely can use tool grade compressors (I did initially), but the noise is brutal, especially when trying to do detail work.

You may be able to shave $160-180 off the total price though.

Harbor Freight has 1/6 hp airbrush compressors for $70; 1/5 hp for $88 I had one about 8 years ago and it wasn’t acceptable (I don’t recall why). Apparently, they’re better now. If money is an issue, you might try one out, if you can return it. You won’t hurt your airbrush.

I wouldn’t get the spray box at first, if you’re using acrylics. I bought a nice big Paasche Spray booth ($300 at the time (!)) and used it a lot for enamels. But now, I never use it. I now use acrylics exclusively and find I just don’t need the booth, especially when painting small stuff. The miniatures are small and you’ll have pretty fine control, so overspray isn’t a big deal. And acrylics don’t create a nasty smell. I’d try it without the spray booth and see how it works.

I don’t think respirators are critical, but I think I’m gonna start wearing a dust mask.

A plug for Testors Model Master Acryl White primer - it’s my go-to primer and is good for spraying out of the bottle. Of course, there are any numbers of colored primers too. Acryl flat Clear is my go-to matte clear.

Get an airbrush holder and cleaning jar. These can set you back $30-40 each, but I use the harbor freight ones - $18 for both.

And I can’t recommend it enough - watch videos on how to clean your airbrush. The disassembly videos are interesting, but I’ve never had a need to disassemble my brushes.

You won’t go back to spray cans.

Oh almost forgot - get NYLON cleaner brushes. The metal ones are overly harsh on the interior of your airbrush.

Last edited by tbeard1999; 02-22-2018 at 09:59 PM.
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