Choosing An Airbrush

Hey All,
I am looking to purchase an airbrush for crafts. I have no idea what type of airbrush I should buy.
Right now, I know there are a few types of airbrushes out there;
Internal Mix, External Mix, Dual Action, Gravity Feed, Bottom Feed and Side Feed.
Any information you can give me about likes/dislikes with any of these types, I would appreciate it.
Thanks, Barry
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You'll hear a lot of opinions regarding types and stuff. My personal opinion is use a simple one first, which means single action. I think external or internal mix isn't so important. In fact, I'm currently using a single action internal mix siphon feed Iwata....don't recall the number or anything. It's served me well. Thing is that the Iwata brushes are expensive, (although I got mine cheap) plus you have to pay extra for silly things like the air hose! (sounds minimal? an Iwata air hose in an art store in Seattle is US$25).
I'd recommend the Paasche H because it's sturdy as hell, works great, and you don't get any nasty surprises like having to shell out for an air hose or any other part. At Dixie Art (link to follow), you'll see the various options you have with Paasche. If you get the card, you still need to pick up a small (fine) nozzle and needle, plus color cup. You can get the set that would include all that.
Best place to buy is online: Dixie Art Supply http://www.dixieart.com/ and they have an excellent web site. When you make an order there, it doesn't hurt to add a few things that you know you'll eventually need, like spare nozzles for an external mix brush, or spare needles for an internal mix brush. Once your order with them exceeds $60, shipping is free within the lower 48 states.
Also a great help site: http://www.ipms-seattle.org/tips/hints.htm
Read Ted Holowchuk's Modeling tips from start to finish.
Good luck and have fun!
----- Stephen
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If you have a Harbor Freight Tools outlet around, they offer a single action external mix airbrush for $6-10 and a double action internal mix one for about $20. Not the greatest but a great (and CHEAP!) way to learn.
The twenty dollar one does not come with an airhose and mating it to a line is a bit problematic, but once past that (some basic fittings and an length of hose are all that is needed) you can experiment before plunking down big bucks for a more precision instrument. (These work fine, as the cheapie is a basic knockoff of a Badger 350 and the other a cross between a 150 and 200.)
Cookie Sewell
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in news:1190065955.670922.296700@ 22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com:

Everything you have to learn for airbrushing can be learnt with higher class airbrush so I alway recommend my customers to buy a good quality, reasonably prced air brush preferrably a double action.
This will save the airbrush beginner a financial advantage of some $30,- and he will, with some practice, have the high quality feel the ame day.
He will not have to go back to the shop to say "hey, this low end plastic thinghy sprays only 1" thick blurry lines but I want thinner lines so give me the "expensive" airbrush anyhow"
Double action gives you MUCH more control.
I also recommend a gravity feed brush, this is way easier to maintain and to keep clean. and it surely beats decanting paint in seperate bottles and having to switch bottles all the time. You can also with only a drop of paint when no more then a drop of pint is needed. Paint loss is also very much less with a topfeeder.
HTH
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Cheers,

Bert-Jan
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Actually these suckers work as well as their more expensive counterparts -- I was really surprised at that. I bought them to experiment with weathering coats and other paints (haven't tried thinned Mr Surfacer yet!) as did not want to screw up a $155 Badger Anthem. But then again I've been using an airbrush since 1973, so "Some Experience Required" I suppose.
Cookie Sewell
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: : I also recommend a gravity feed brush, this is way easier to maintain : and to keep clean. :     I can not agree there. I use both, and both are disassembled and cleaned after use. : : and it surely beats decanting paint in seperate : bottles and having to switch bottles all the time. :     Can't agree here, either. I find I consistently underestimate the amount of paint I need, so I may as well mix it in a bottle, so I can reload the gravity feed brush and not fool with mixing in the cup. : : You can also with only a drop of paint when no more then a drop of pint : is needed. :     That is certainly true. : : Paint loss is also very much less with a topfeeder. :     Well, not if you forget it is a gravity feed, and put the brush down, or more often, dangle the brush while studying the results of the painting session. Note that I generally use the bottle on the siphon brush, NOT the cup, else the statement does not hold. (See my second response for why I do not use the cup).
    You had better not forget that you need to keep the gravity feed brush pretty much level while working with it, something you do not need to worry about as much with a siphon.
    Bottom line - you need to select an airbrush that is comfortable to hold.
    Personally, I dislike the hose crawling over my wrist that the Azteks generate, the Badger Crescendo is too heavy, some other brushes are too "cramped" between the paint and the air feed, leaving little room for my fat fingers. None of this means they are "bad" airbrushes, I simply do not care for their feel.
    FWIW, my workhorse is a T&C double action siphon (2000?), I also have a T&C "Vega" gravity feed, and a Sotar (Badger) 20/20.
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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snipped-for-privacy@realtime.net (Bruce Burden) wrote in wrote:

For me cleanup after use and in between colours is easier with the topfeeder. With a bottomfeeder the air brush has to be cleaned through the small opening on the bottom of the brush, you also always have to clean the syphon, after use. And 50% of the time you have to clean the jar.
With the topfeeder I simply pour/drip a certain amount of paint in the cup and away it goes. I can pour/drip it in from the paint jar, use an inexpensive eyedropper, transfer a little paint with a normal brush or even a piece of sprue. Cleaning is easier because the opening is larger, easier to access and (therefor) easier to check when it's clean. Just put a bit of thinner in the cup, use an old brush to clean the cup, pour it out, rinse with a small amount of thinner and spray until the cup is empty.
For thourough cleanig and disassembling there is indeed really no difference in top or bottom feeders.

That is exactly what I meant. Having said that, I must admit that when you spray car models with quite large amounts of the same paint, it could be better to use a bottom feeder. But I'm not (really) a car modeller.

I have 2 trusty old Badgers type 100G a medium and a fine nozzle for main brushes, I have the badger 150 (I think it's at least 20 years old now) that still works like a charm. I also have a Revell Airbrush that was originally a Vega 2000 I think. I don't use that anymore mainly because it is a rather heavy piece and it is a bottom feeder. I would have loved to try it as a topfeeder though, because cleaning this one is even easier with those large nozzles and needle. I have them connected to my Sil-Air compressor with a Badger Braided Airhose. This has an angled connection on the airbrush side and that lets you hold the hose kinda like a handle.
I googled Sotar 2020 and that looks a rather nifty piece, do you use that for REALLY fine work?
--
Cheers,

Bert-Jan
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: : I googled Sotar 2020 and that looks a rather nifty piece, do you use that : for REALLY fine work? :     Yes - it has a lock for paint flow, and air flow I adjust at the source, so I can do fine/delicate work. With the paint/ air flow set, it is "just" a matter of me holding the work at a consistent distance to get consistent lines.
    At the 2001 IPMS/USA Nationals at Chicago, Badger said they decided to call it "Sotar", because too many people equated the Badger line with generic products, and they did not think the upscale "Sotar" would be accepted as readily with a Badger name. The factory tour was great. Very interesting to watch them build an airbrush. They outsource the chrome plating, so they do not have to deal with the environmental regulations.
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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I learned on a Paasche VL double-action brush, which I use to this day. I had a frustrating false start with an Aztec A-430, which caused me no end of grief (including a defective brush body). Then several years ago I ran across someone on this group that had the Paasche for sale at a great price, and that was it. I love it.
My advice: you can't go wrong with either a Paasche (or Badger) double- action brush.
-- david
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I concur. I have an A470 which crapped out and was replaced for free by Testors, must give them their due on standing up for their product. But it is a really mediocre instrument and it sits on my shelf, where I use my old Paasche H and Badger 350 and Anthem. The two cheapies fill in the gap as "guppy" brushes for test runs.
Cookie Sewell
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Nosstech wrote:

I think it will depend on the type of use you're planning. I've used a Paasche VL double action, and I found it an excellent general purpose airbrush. You really couldn't go wring by starting with one.
I currently use an Iwata BC. It's a very nice, all-metal airbrush, but it's much better for fine work, and not as good for painting model car bodies.
Cheers, Dave Ambrose
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I'd recommend double-action brush as well. Brand is probably less important. I use Iwata brushes (HP-B for detail work and one of Eclipses for wider coverage), but I think for a beginner the most important is access to spare parts and advice - I'd get whatever your LBS / art supply store carries. Don't expect to master airbrushing right away, which is why IMHO access to spare parts is important.
Single action brushes have their place, but since their nozzle is opened much longer, they clog up quickly (I use acrylics, maybe it's less noticeable with enamels).
HTH
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As a follow-up on the Harbor Freight airbrushes, I just found out they make a six-foot braided hose with a standard 1/4" adapter on one end and a fitting with adapter on the other. The adapter fits their small airbrush (the Badger 350 clone) or therefore any Badger as I tried mine and all three work with Badger hose fittings, or you can remove it and it fits their double action brush.
Both of them work very well - the only question is for how long!
Cookie Sewell
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