New to airbrushes.



Hey guys and gals, I'm new to the airbrush scene. Little bit about my hobby, I'm into action figures ranging from 18th scale to 6th scale (4" to 12"). Partner at work suggested using an airbrush for base coating as I have been using standard paint brushes for all of my work. He suggested the paasche talon which I bought cuz hey I'll try anything once. Needless to say I'm a little disappointed. Mostly I think my problem is I just don't know how to use it properly with regards to airflow and needle sizes and what not.

I accept operator error and I accept practice makes perfect and patience for better results but I think that the talon is just not the right brush for me.

What brush would you recommend for an all around general brush? I'm not looking for super fine detail yet just basic cover for base coating and potentially washes on a figure. I know it's a preference thing for most like which is better ford or Chrysler or even gm.

Maybe jut suggestions from the 2 or 3 main manufacturers I spose. Figure price point around 150 ish. I'm also realistic and don't really suffer from sticker shock on prices.

As for compressor I'm using a 2 gallon 125 psi pancake from harbor freight, with a regulator set at 60 which goes to a water seperate and another regulator for dialing up or down. Using the talon at around 40 seemed ok for the #1 tip. I need another #2 tip as mine is damaged so waiting on that.

Thanks for any insight, and here's to your paint always flowing.
firstly welcome from Australia :thumbsup:
the one factor that you haven't mentioned that will probably be the main decider on what brush, is what paint do you intend to shoot through it ??
Do you have a base coat/primer that you use on all models or do you vary it depending on need ?

We have a few modellers here on the forum and no doubt they will be along shortly with some addition questions info.
Normally I do not use a primer. I typically brush on thinned down thin coats after sanding and filing joints. Primer is normally an extra layer that I try to avoid. Joint rub on a figure is a concern.

I do seal with a layer of watered down mod podge. It seems to hold up pretty well. I'm not opposed to a primer if it's spray able and thin. That's kinda what helped attract me to an airbrush the thin layers.

If it helps I normally use tamiya and model masters acrylics.
Starting to get into some Vallejo too.
Prob is m8 theres not a lot of "general" brush's..I know some may disagree with me on that but most are good at their designed purpose..A "general" brush is good generally but not at any one prpose if that makes sense..EG There are detail guns like the Chrome, Micron and anything really with a fine tip size (around say 0.15-0.2 mm)..There are blasters that are for larger scaled work like the anthem and anything say with a 0.4-0.7 mm needle) The "general purpose guns are in between and have a needle size of about 0.3 mm..So maybe that better explains my point..The GP type gun isn't good or designed for detail though can achieve it..and isn't good for heavy blasting but can achieve it, kinda like saying a "jack of all trades but master of none"..Being pretty small scaled work I'd asume you do a lot of the detail work with a brush? So ya prob dnt need a detail gun? Assuming base coats and clear coats may be more a need? If so perhaps a blaster may be your better option as the fan or shape of the spray will better suit such applications and not look streaky like it can out of a smaller needle setup..But if you do want to do a bit of both then that GP gun may be your best bet..Something similar to the talon in a different brand may better suit..Not to be mean to Paasche but besides hobby shops, not many other peeps bother to sell em as few these days use them imho..May be wrong on that but Iwata's and badgers I'd suggest may be better for your needs, but may also be that the grass isn't any greener on the other side..Without experience it is kind of fair to perhaps say that you may have not just yet best learnt how to use an airbrush and focusing on that for another month or few may help..Even though modelling is your thing, do some of the airbrush tuts you see here or on youtube, even though it may be more orientated to fine art those exercises, especially control exercises may help you appreciate the talon and better use it for your needs..Heres a set of vids that may help. Also have a good looksie here and at Mitches vids..Good luck
I've got a Talon and i've used it a lot for base coats and clear with my models and even for base coating my warhammer miniatures (1" to 2"), it is a good GP AB as it has 3 head sizes, but it has it issues too, you have to get used to it, the fan head is awesome for base coats.

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Those paints are airbrush specific and not just general model paint? If not that will be part of the issue. Also there is a pretty steep learning curve in getting your air/paint/reduction right, and while doing this it is likely your nozzle is becoming blocked or dirty. Even when you think you have cleaned it and paint is coming through, it is likely still a dirty nozzle that causes issues. Its also possible that during cleaning you may have been a little to aggressive and flared (very hard to see) or otherwise damaged your noozle or needle.

Having said that Paasche's rep has taken a bit of a beating in recent years, so if you are convinced you want to try another brush my recommendation is the Iwata eclipse. The hp-cs is the definition of an all round brush, its spray pattern goes from 2 inch and although not a detail brush, with practise will give hair line detail. Itvcomes with a .35 nozzle, but you can also get a .5 needle and nozzle making it even more versatile. Its drop in nozzle and trigger set up is easier to handle too. I'm a fan lol. Other models have side or siphon paint cups if you prefer.
I have a bit of experience modeling, as well as airbrushing. I am quite familiar with all the paints you mentioned, and have a Talon (along with many other airbrushes) as well...

My take is that once you pick up airbrushing, it will be your main method of application, and regular paint brushes will be reserved for fine detail, and washes an such. Not sure the surface you are working on, whether primarily resin, or styrene, etc, but there can be some real advantages to applying a good surface primer first. The airbrush is ideal for this, as it will lay down a very fine layer or paint, without obscuring the model details.

In regards to modeling, the first hurdle you will have to clear is the paint used. Whether it be the brands you are using now, or some others, the first order of business will be learning the proper reduction of the paint. I find that generally the model Master is the worst, as it has pigments that range in size more than many other brands, and it can be difficult to hit the mix just right. Tamiya paints tend to be better quality, and respond well to thinning with proprietary thinner. I have sprayed them quite successfully before, and as far as solvent based model paints go, I like them. Vallejo has more than one line of paint, and the "air" variety is a better start then the "model" line if the goal is to airbrush. Both require thinning in my experience, just less with the air variety. There are other brands as well, and you will most likely work your way through them, just as the rest of us tend to do... Proper reducing will be key with any of them, and it is something you will develop a feel for with time.

Now, about the Talon... I have one, with three different heads and needles, fan tip, all the bells and whistles. I had to return two of them due to faulty head alignment before I got one that would produce a symmetrical pattern with at least two of the included nozzle set ups. It is by far my least used airbrush - to the point that I almost forget that I have it till I read a post like yours. I'm pretty fair with airbrush, have been using them for more than 2 and a half decades, but I have the hardest time getting along with the Talon.

If I was going to recommend something, I too would have to go with an Iwata Eclipse. There are several Badger models that I could also recommend, a Patriot, or a Krome for instance, which are pretty fair brushes - but over the long haul, I just feel the Iwata will be less trouble, and more forgiving during the learning cycle. There are several models in the Eclipse line that would fit the ticket - just pick the one that looks like it would meet your needs , or fits your personal preference(s)
I tried to buy a Talon a few years back. After returning it twice due to appalling manufacturing defects, I gave up on it. Prior to that I had a VL and an H, neither of which could do what I needed without a struggle (if at all), so I'm in the "Paasche is crap" camp.

I will add my voice to the recommendation for the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS others have mentioned. Solid, simple, easy to use, easy to maintain, and has a wide range of things it can do well. It's the first brush I owned that "just works".

What kind of materials are your action figures made from?

Some of the 1/18 types are made from some kind of rigid polystyrene or ABS. That stuff is both rigid, and susceptible to solvents, so it's a good candidate for lacquer-based primers. If you're not sure, test a bit of the plastic with a liquid plastic cement, and if the surface melts/dissolves, then lacquer will be what you want, as it'll solvent-fuse itself to the plastic.
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I say an Iwata Eclipse .35

Next level painting on You tube

Vallejo airbrush flow improver to thin the paints and not airbrush thinner! This stuff is amazing - learnt from NLP :) Vallejo Game Air and their primers are very good. P3 paints have some great colours too.
The patriot is good too. It will do decent detail but also lay down a good amount if you want. Then you could get a larger needle and head. That will flow like an Anthem. It will empty the cup fast...good for thick stuff. I love my badgers, so I'm biased....