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:
Read Ted Holowchuk's Modeling tips from start to finish.
Good luck and have fun!
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
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.)
email@example.com wrote in news:1190065955.670922.296700@
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
Paint loss is also very much less with a topfeeder.
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.
: 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
: 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
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
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.
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Bruce Burden) wrote in wrote:
For me cleanup after use and in between colours is easier with the
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
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
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?
: 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.
"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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-
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.
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
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).
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!
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