In search of the right tools


Gravity Guru
Hey all, I've recently decided I'd like to start expanding my tool collection. (gulp!) In particular, I'm looking for a good 0.5mm brush for applying aluminum base/other metal flake graphics (not just base coats), as well as a reliable spray gun (hvlp?) for applying primers, sealers, candy washes & other larger spray. My compressor is an Iwata Maxx Jet, and in terms of airbrushes I've favored Iwata products so far, but open to suggestions. Any recommendations are appreciated! If I have any misconceptions about my needs (hell, even if I don't!) don't be afraid to explain things to me like I'm 5. Thanks in advance!
You can get a 0.5 needle/nozzle set up for the Iwata eclipse... There are also some add ons for spraying things like this available, I think...
If you start leaning toward a hole gun then make sure you know the litre per minute output of your compressor and choose a gun Either that or use a larger compressor
Consider a badger Anthem if going into larger work, cant be bothered refilling gravity's all the time LOL but besides that any real brush you feel comfy with will do, depending on the flake size you want to spray, 0.5 may even be a touch small but if you have a HVLP gun to back you up then you should be well covered. best of luck
If you want a decent spray gun, why not go for the Iwata RG-3L. I have the .6mm needle/nozzle combo and works superbly. I purchased mine directly from Japan (via ebay) at a great price.
Thanks for the quick replies everyone! I'm loving the suggestions. Actually wasn't aware that I could convert my brush to a .5! Definitely a budget option until I can get a dedicated brush.

Looking like I'm going to need to get a beefier compressor to run any serious HVLP equipment. At the moment I'm looking to start painting longboards (eventual goal of motorcycles once I have the tools, budget & space) so I'm looking for a spray gun that covers a decent swath, something that would be useful in both short & long term if possible. I guess my biggest question at this point: would you recommend using the same gun for primers, sealers, candies & clearcoats, or should I be looking at specialized guns for different media?

Sorry about the 20 questions game. You guys are awesome!
Your HVLP will cover all those needs and some candy work may also be done with the airbrush for that extra candy depth it shades, I'd go more into the touch up gun range rather than a large panel spray gun. The mini touch up guns are good as you dont need to mix lots of paint, generally are gravity feed so lower pressures can be used and are relatively comfortable in the hand. if going from bikes to larger things like cars or boats id then suggest a bigger gun to suit. but essentially a reasonable airbrush and a small HVLP gun (touch up or otherwise) will cover all those needs easily.
The gun you've linked needs 4cfm. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the maxx jet only puts out 1.4cfm (according to the Iwata web site)
I wouldn't even consider any small touch up gun on a 'studio' style compressor.
If noise is no problem and you're not running it all day and night then just the cheap compressors from the hardware shop will do the job, no need to drop a grand on it
Sorry, guess I should've mentioned I'm also looking for a beefier compressor to run the gun. A cheapo 4 gallon pancake compressor caught my attention, rated for 4 cfm @ 40psi, so running at 29psi should give me a little extra wiggle room in my favor, right?
The more air behind a touch up gun the better, if its closely matched to the guns needs the compressor may keep up but likely you'll be waiting for it to charge and if that happens half way through a coat its not the best, mainly though on bigger panels, smaller bike panels should be fine though on what your looking at but the bigger the better.
I use a mini hvlp for spraying bikes no worries, and should be great for longboards. But I recommend a compressor with at least a 25 litre tank.( Don't know what that works out in gallons though) If not bigger.
Thanks once again for the input, you guys are the best. I've got the gun picked out, now it's just a matter of trying to find the "magic bullet" compressor: enough throughput to run the thing, quiet enough not to disturb the neighbours, yet reasonably priced. Might as well be looking for a unicorn. :p
If you are mechanically minded, there is always the option of replacing the motor with one (or more) from a fridge. Beyond me, but a few guys here have done it, a search might dig the threads up maybe. Def quieter. Others have made sound deadening boxes, just have to work out airflow/circulation etc.
Hi, ChemicalBurn.
Some of those little details are very important for both you and the neighbours.
Sound rating - for one - will have an impact on your comfort.
Air output ( litres per minute ) will ultimately decide the right one for you.
Better to be larger, in the storage department at least, than too small.
As was mentioned earlier, you do not want to have to stop mid way on a panel, and have to wait for a tank refill.
My airbrush compressor is made from a fridge compressor and a recycled Stanley portable one from a hardware store.
Quiet as a mouse, takes 1min 30 sec to fill from empty, and will supply a constant 25 psi for over an hours session without major heat problems.
All good.
The suggestion to add a further tank is a good one on the proviso that you do not have to strain the compressor motor to fill it initially.
After that, it'll run just like a normal one, kicking in periodically and replacing the air, without trouble.
I guess my biggest question at this point: would you recommend using the same gun for primers, sealers, candies & clearcoats, or should I be looking at specialized guns for different media?

For professional needs it's clever to use different guns for its applications. But if you're on budget, buy two guns at least one for the clearcoat and one for other things, but at the same time, primers and base coats require different nozzle sizes. So as you understand, you have to choose for yourself how much you're going to spend and level of use you're gonna be, professional or hobby.

Great choice of an AB is Eclipse, it's my opinion. And again, how much you're going to spend... Mr. Micron's advice is also good, but the price is a bit bigger:)
Anyone have any experience with Paasche HVLP's? Been looking at the LMG-10, but I can't find much in the way of customer reviews!