Airbrush recommendation help needed!



Hi all,

I'm after some advice on which airbrush to get.

It will be used to fine/abstract art purposes (Sadamasa Motonaga style - see uploaded images).
I'd like be be able to cover very large areas with smooth gradients and perhaps slightly finer things too but nothing overly detailed so something that is very versatile in this regard.
Would like to use acrylic paints with it.

After researching I've figured that siphon feed and dual control probably would suit my needs.
Would like a kit for simplicity but open to doing it other ways if cheaper.

looking for something around £100 - £150 including compressor..... any advice would be much appreciated!


Hello there
I would suggest Iwata eclipse BCS.
The needle size is .5mm stock and you can convert it to .35mm for finer detail. It is good for pushing acrylic through and has a solvent proof ptfe o ring ( just in case you want to push solvent based paints). It is a good work horse and replacement parts like the needle and fluid nozzle are easy to come by. The Badger Cresendo is also another good airbrush that is a little cheaper in price. The Cresendo also comes with 3 needle conversions ( .5mm, .75mm , 1.00mm). The Cresendo is also made for pushing thicker paints as well. I have used and abused this airbrush and it still works good and I keep it for sentimental purposes ( my first airbrush). The parts for the Cresnedo should be just as accessible as for the Iwata.
As for the compressor I would recommend one with a tank, but for the price range mentioned earlier... You would have to get a diaphragm compressor. Iwata ninja I hear is a decent compressor as well as Testors had one as well. The Testors compressor lasted me for years until the fan started to slip down the shaft. An I ssue that you will have with a diaphragm compressor will be moisture from the air. Seeing that they heat up with the constant running and moisture condenses and mixeswith the paint ( which can cause problems) . Still these compressors are better then using a propellant. Hope this helps
Take care
Hi there, What @Ricky Spanish said, eclipse and crescendo are good brushes. Depending on size (is it 5 x 7 or is it 500 x 700...) you want to cover you could consider a smaller needle (Eclipse HP standard is 0.38 and a great workhorse). Now compressor, Cheap, Quiet, Reliable, pick any 2... Like Ricky said, you want a tank with it. Cheap compressors usually end in tears and tantrums. Check out the videos on the airbrushtutor website for a great overview on compressors. Here is the link.

Hey being new here, can I get you to go along to the intro section and say hi? Where are you from, what do you paint, gear you use, etc. Would love to see some of your work. It's a good community here and we like connecting with people. Here is the link

Cheers Mark
Thanks for both replies - very helpful!

Unfortunately airbrushing may be further into my future than previously hoped.
Have come across the Iwata eclipse before and it seems ideal but not sure I can afford it and a decent compressor.

Are there any sites or areas on this forum for selling second hand airbrushes/compressors? have tried ebay without much luck..

This is one place...

There are two things you don't want to skimp on, brush and compressor! Having said that, there are some other brushes that for occasional use are reasonable. I understand the Iwata Neo would be in that category but I've not used one.
Neo is made for Iwata not by Iwata, so not the same quality level, but some folks do like them as a starter brush, I have never used one myself mind you.

Definately avoid anything that says 'kit' usually the brushes are usually cheap copies that either don't perform well, or are made with materials that deteriorate after a few uses, or don't work at all. The compressors are not fit for purpose, you need one with a tank, especially for larger areas or it will pulse. If it comes with paint, it is usually something that no one else uses.(paint is something you need to think about, it must be AB specific, and suit what you want to do)

My opinion is, if possible wait and get a little more money together (I had to do this, it blows lol) because if you buy cheap you will get frustrated and find it hard to learn, or realise quite quickly you need something better and will have to buy something else anyway, and the original money will have been wasted.

It is expensive to set up, but once you have good kit, you should be good for years. Plus decent stuff has resale value ( though you'll. Probs get hooked and that wont happen, which is why there is not much for sale here). I also recommend the eclipse, but if waiting isn't an option, any lower end branded brush will be infinitely better. If you can hang on for the eclipse (check the range to see what suits best) then you wont be sorry - and I'm speaking from experience.
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IMO take that whole 100-150 budget you have right now, and dedicate it to just the brush. Since you're in the UK, a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution X is probably more bang for your buck than an Iwata HP-BCS (I love my Eclipse, and think it's the perfect beginner's brush, but H&S is a similarly highly regarded brand that is cheaper in the UK than Iwata due to local distribution).

Lessee... steenbeck evolution X&_sacat=0

When it comes to air sources, there are lots of cheap options that will be less ideal than a good compressor, but will still allow you to get up and running without sacrificing your ability to paint or learn. A better air source improves duty cycle efficiency, noise level, and longevity, but won't have any effect on the actual spraying. Air is air, so as long as you've got a moisture filter and a regulator, you can really use anything that can deliver needed pressure and it'll [/]paint[/i] the same. You can use a tire infiltrator with an inner tube as a buffer if need be, and your spray quality and learning curve won't suffer from it.

A good airbrush though will make a huge difference in both how well the paint sprays, and how easy it is to learn. A good airbrush will have relatively few extraneous hassles that get in the way of just painting, so you can spend more of your time on your actual technique instead of on compensating or jiggering with the thing to keep it working. And an airbrush that sprays better will not only result in better looking edges and gradients and such, but will also give you cleaner, more reliable feedback while you're learning.

So IMO the airbrush itself is the most important up-front and long term investment (an Iwata Eclipse or an H&S Evo are both great beginner brushes, but either is also potentially the only brush you'll ever need to buy). Splashing for the best brush you can afford up-front, then making do with whatever you can for the air until you can afford to upgrade will get you off the ground faster/better than the opposite. And at the budget you're talking about, you can't afford to split it 50/50, as that would put the airbrush half of the budget too low to afford the ideal minimum, and you'd be stuck shopping for a bad brush, bad air source combo.
holla nessus,

good advice and this is pretty much what I've decided to do!
Was going to go for the Iwata but shall check out the other one you mentioned too, thanks!
I'd recommend the Iwata HP-BCS. The H&S airbrushes are a good option, too, but the Iwata parts tend to be higher quality in my experience, and the BCS is just very reliable and easy to get along with.