Airbrush beginner's advice

Greetings all,
I am only just re-entering this hobby after a break of 20-odd years. I am building some 1:72 WWII aircraft for a start. I realize that not even the
most expertly done hand paint job will get even close to the finish you can get with an airbrush... but I never used one, ever.
So I want to buy one - but I get a little confused when looking at what is available on the market; I think I can tell single action from double action, and I can understand that precision and finish achievable are closely connected with price. Are any of the so-called beginner's airbrushes worth the investment? Maybe just for the exercise?
Which airbrush is recommendable for a beginner in your opinion?
Your advice is greatly appreciated.
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I used to think this way and now own several brands and types and airbrushes. Precision and finish are associated with practice and talent. I use the same Paasche H-3 I learned on over 25 years ago and can achieve as good a result with it as I can with any of my other more expensive double action ones. That is why most any time I will use it and leave my fancier toys up on the shelf.
Are any of the so-called beginner's airbrushes

I heartily recommend the Paasche H-3. Mine has served me well and by my statement above I really never needed anything else. Try it you'll like it :-)
Cheers, Max Bryant Well
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It also has the advantage of being very rugged. Even though I have a couple of Paasche VLs (why's he got two if they're so good?--picked the second one up used for $20.00; couldn't resist) that work really well, I'm tempted to get an H because it's simple and will do most of what I want most of the time.
Mark Schynert
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can
airbrushes
Testors makes a complete starter set for about $200. If you are going to do any amount of modeling though I'd spend an extra $100 or so and get some quality stuff. You won't be a beginner very long and the learning curve is about the same so get good equipment that you will want to work with over the years and that will give you the consistent good results you want. You will get the most versatility out of an internal mix double action airbrush. Good examples of this are the Paashe V series or Millennium, Badger 155, or one step up, the Iwata Eclipse. Buy the airbrush as a kit so you get a hose, bottle and lid adapter to fit to the brush. I'd suggest you check out Dixie Art Supply. www.dixieart.com They carry most major brands and if you call them and tell them what your needs are they can be very helpful. You probably won't be able to beat their prices either. You will need a compressor. If you have the space and don't mind a little noise the ones you find at a place like Home Depot for about $150 will probably give you the most bang for your buck. One that is a little smaller and quieter is the Campbell Hausfeld tank type that runs about $100 and is found at places like Wal-Mart or auto supply stores. Be sure to get one with a good pressure regulator and moisture trap. You can always add one on -- Badger makes a good one for about $60. Some people like to use compressed CO2 for their air supply. If you go that route be sure you have good ventilation. I would find having to go get the tank refilled to be too much trouble. You also need protection for your self. If you do any significant amount of painting you need to use a respirator mask. $50 to $ 100 depending on what you get and where you get it. Also, if you are going to work in the house you need a spray booth that is properly vented to the outside. These can run $200 to $300 or more. When working inside you might want a smaller and quieter compressor. The tankless hobby compressors may fit this need. They are a bit expensive and are a bit weak but they work. Finally, I would recommend a booklet put out by Kalmbach -- "Painting and Weathering Railroad Models" by Jeff Wilson. It is written for the model railroader but the presentation would be valid for any type of models. It covers equipment, materials and technique. Fine Scale Modeler Magazine also frequently has articles and tips on how to paint models. You might want to check their archive for back issues with these articles. There are probably a lot of other publication that would be helpful that you might find at a hobby store or on-line.
J. Bright
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do
airbrush.
or
hose,
Anyone got any views on the Revell Airbrush kits?
JJ (UK)
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Hi JJ,
I do in fact have the Revell "Student" single action brush. This was a recent addition as I was able to get them really cheap on the badger airbrush site. It is a quality Badger made brush. I bought them as throw away brushes to spray metallics with. They are high quality and alot better than those 5.00 pieces of crap airbrushes you can get at Harbor freight etc. I only regret not getting the double action Revell too, when they had them on sale. I have too many airbrushes anyways!
Cheers, Max Bryant
Cheers, Max Bryant
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any amount of modeling though I'd spend an extra $100 or so and get some quality stuff...You will need a compressor. If you have the space and don't mind a little noise the ones you find at a place like Home Depot for about $150 will probably give you the most bang for your buck....Be sure to get one with a good pressure regulator and moisture trap...you can always add one on for about $60. If you do any significant amount of painting you need to use a respirator mask--$50 to $ 100. Also, if you are going to work in the house you need a spray booth that is properly vented to the outside. These can run $200 to $300 or more...>>
Dammit man--this poor guy's wallet has been dipped into for almost $900 and he hasn't sprayed a drop yet. With all that money going out just to get started, he won't have any money for the paint. Some of us don't have pockets quite that deep. I bought a Paasche VL new, rented a nitrogen tank to push it (with surplus regulator, new gauge and fitting), built a safe and effective booth out of pieces parts I scrounged and have around $200 in the whole setup.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
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and he

Sort of like when you buy a car or a house......you lay out a bunch of cash but haven't driven a mile or slept a night :)). The points I was making, in regards to the original question, were 1. There is more involved than just selecting an airbrush, and 2. Buy good quality stuff so you don't have to spend again soon to upgrade. The prices I listed are the ballpark prices for these items if you went to the store and bought new. I probably should have also said that if you want to spend the time and effort you could probably save a considerable amount by buying used, or searching ebay for deals, and as "Disco -- FlyNavy" did, build you own spray booth. You could probably build one that would be more convenient and cost a fraction of a commercial unit. Or you could do like I do.......don't use one at all. I do my painting in the open door area of my garage and Nature does the venting. My garage is in Southern California so this works out well most of the time. Obviously it won't for some. The important thing is to have an idea of what all you might need and what options you might have. Then considering your budget figure what will work for you.
Jim Bright
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Spray booth?

commercial
painting
You need to vent!?
JJ (UK)
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YES!!
J. Bright
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Cripes. Looks like I'm sticking to brushes then...
JJ (UK)
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Ah...you don't have an open window? You can tie into a dryer vent if you're spraying in a basement type environment. I wear a respirator while spraying and leave a window open for about 30 minutes after. hth
The Keeper (of too much crap)
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I'd recommend a Badger 200 double action brush with the fine needle. It seems to like all paints and with a little practice, you can paint any 1/72 scale model with it.
The big deal is to get a tank between your compressor and brush. Sears has some very reasonably priced. Set the regulator on the compressor to around 90 psi and then regulate the air into the brush with a regulator on the tank. Use moisture traps on the compressor and on the tank.
This give smooth non-pulsating air with constant pressure and makes for incredibly consistent spraying.
Good Luck,
Jim Klein
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Thank you all for your friendly and knowledgeable replies. Paasche airbrushes seem to have a good name, as well as being simple to operate, so I have ordered a H-series one mail order - the price isn't even very steep considering what other a/bs cost. I will stick with bottled propellant initially; I am not going to buy a compressor until I know how nosiy it is :)
Thanks again.
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those small cans of air really suck. They get cold and lose pressure quickly. This is really frustrating for a novice that has no airbrush experience. See if you can rent a CO2 tank from a welding supply place near your home. Be sure to rent a regulater with it. A tank of CO2 will last for a very long time and it is silent. Refills are only $9 for me here in Oregon. I love it.
Jeff

so
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Technically, they blow. Kim M
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sure to rent a regulater with it. A tank of CO2 will last for a very long time and it is silent. Refills are only $9 for me here in Oregon. I love it.>>
I prefer Nitrogen, but... I picked up mine here in IL at a Praxair dealer, and it was around $60 (refundable at return) for a full tank, and refills are about $10--regulator was $20 at a mil surplus place, $20 for a small increment secondary gauge and $3 for the fitting to convert the oxygen regulator to nitrogen. Quiet as a church at 2am.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
message wrote:

Is the Badger 200 a double or a single action?
I have a Badger 200 that is bottom feed, single action internal mix. I also have a Testor's Aztec 270 extrenal mix, and a "no-name" that has turned out to be a Badger 350 external mix airbrush.
With my Aztec 270 I have a VERY small 28mm jar, does Badger sell an adaptor cap that would fit it?
As for the spray booth right now I am using an old cardboard box from a box of styroform cups with a large hole cut into one side. I need to get a fan of some sort to pull the fumes/overspray deeper into it and vent them outside. Also right now I am set-up in a corner of my front porch but will eventually be moving into a SMALL bedroom on the second floor. When I do that I would like to build my own spray booth out of wood paneling (I've a friend who's a carpenter and I'm sure I can get some cheap) and then take another piece of wood the width of my window and put a dryer vent in it and attach a hose to the back of my spray booth fan.

Now that sounds like a very good idea. For when/if I ever get a compressor.

Digital_Cowboy
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I do have just one SMALL problem/complaint about the Aztec airbrush. That's the hose and the connector for the cans of compressed air. It looks a little on the cheap side. How much work/difficult would it be to pull the hose that is on it off and put a connector like the Badgers on it so that it can be more easily changed?
Right now I have to completely remove it's hose from my tank to use my other two brushes.
Digital_Cowboy
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the hose and the connector for the cans of compressed air. It looks a little on the cheap side. How much work/difficult would it be to pull the hose that is on it off and put a connector like the Badgers on it so that it can be more easily changed?>>
C'mon man, gimme something a little harder to figure out, my brain needs activity! ; ) This one is a piece o' cake! Don't remove the hose from the can connector, use it as is. No doubt you have the same freeze can connector I do (from a Testors cheapo single action external mix airbrush). All ya gotta do is pick up a 1/4"NPT x 1/4" compression fitting, with the NPT end gender appropriate for your air source. Remove the nut and ferrule on the compression end and the freeze can fitting/valve screws directly onto it--threads are compatible. Leave the piercing valve in, screwed all way in to maintain a seal and you're in business. You need to nudge the pressure up a bit as the smaller hose will restrict flow volume somewhat, but it works.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. --Leonardo Da Vinci
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