NEWB - what to buy? - Alberta, Canada



Hey there guys,

I'm a newb here, and in the ways of airbrushing.

I am looking to get into it as a hobby for detailed fine art. Probably starting off with just random sketches on sketch paper, then maybe one day moving to painting random things around the house. Such as computer case, game cases, maybe even my van if I got good enough.

I am wondering which type of airbrush would be able to do what I want and still be relatively cheap. Preferably between 50 and 100. I've seen some on and (names changed to avoid shamelessly plugging commercial sites. the price is okay, but not sure if going that cheap, and the bottom of the barrel, will leave me with soggy old fish.

I am fairly certain that what I am looking for is a dual action airbrush with the little cup on top. the larger jugs would be for larger projects, and would most likely get int the way of fine detail. I also own a excrementty air compressor. It should be good enough for airbrushing though, it has a tank and a regulator on it.

thanks in advance.
Iwata brushes are the easiest to get in Canada. You can go to Michael's with a coupon an get a good price on a Badger Anthem. I bought the side feed from PA it was okay but your right to want to buy Quality right from the start. Just be aware the cost of shipping across the border can be expensive. Don't forget to get an airbrush hose that matches the brush you buy. Airbrushes are 1/8th inch, you compressor is probably 1/4 inch. most hosse will adapt to 1/4 inch fittings.
Like JHM said, Michaels has Badger Airbrushes. The Patriot 105 is the Gravity feed model. I have it and use it all the time, it is a great brush and it's less than $100.
There is an ultra fine conversion kit available for it, if you would like better detail in the future. I personally did not get the conversion kit, as I already have 3 detail airbrushes.
The Iwata Revolution HP-CR can be had for $100 in the U.S. It's a really nice airbrush, but I don't think the .5mm nozzle is great for fine detail work. The Iwata Eclipse HP-CS is a great airbrush, but we're talking about $150. The Badger Patriot runs about $75 here. It can use .76mm, .5mm, and .35mm nozzles and is a good airbrush and easy to care for. And, the good old Badger 100 LG is about $70 and fits .76mm, .5mm, and .25mm nozzles. All of these are the gravity fed type.

Stick with a name brand.

I have the 100G as well as a 150, I like them a lot. I made the decision to buy them partly because of Don Wheeler's reviews. I highly recommend his web site.
I checked out Michaels, I honestly wasn't able to find any air brushes on it. Maybe it's the Canada version of the site? I was looking at the Iwata AB Eclipse CS Ecl4500, found it for 145. I'm a little confused with what exactly it comes with, the site wasn't too detailed. I think it comes with a .35 nozzle, but you fit it with a .5 nozzle. I'm planning on buying a 10' braided hose. As for the adapters I assume most hardware stores will sell them?
As long as you buy the right hose for the brush you shouldn't need an adapter, it will attach to your compressor. Get a moisture trap to keep the water out of your brush. You can get one from the Princess store that you don't want to advertise. Your right about the Michael's site but if you go to the store they will have some in the art department.
i assume the "iwata piston grip filter" would do the job?
i assume the "iwata pistol grip filter" would do the job?

Yes, I have a moisture trap on both the compressor and just before the airbrush. The Eclipse CS is a great brush, if that's what you decide to get, it comes with a .35 nozzle.
just placed an order for:


I figure for now all I'll need is basic black to get me by. I'll add to my paints as I get used to it.
I would stick to iwata or a good ole badger patriot dont get anything to fancy to start until you know you like air brushing for sure andsay hello to Canada for me moma ferrets from Canada lol
the mistake I made right in the beginning was thinking black is black. you will find a lot of posts here about going slowly and reducing a lot. Opaque black does make that a little more difficult. the best colour I have in my arsenal is com art transparent smoke. this doesn't go too dark too quick, allows some of the colour underneath to show through thus works great for shadows and shading. Its easy to build up and because its not so dark allows a lot more time to build and correct any mistakes.

dont forget a quick release at some point, makes things easier :)
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Themqtrix, it comes to personal choice and where you'll be working but I stay away from braided hoses. They are just too stiff for my liking. Vinyl hoses is all I use. A coiled one when I'm close to the compressor just to save some space.
Createx is usually used for textiles, and is sprayed at higher pressures by T-shirt artists, so it may cause you some issues. People do use it for all sorts, but just bear in mind it will need a fair amount of reducing, and is probably better with a reasonable amount of air pressure.
This is what I have available at a local shop I found in terms of paint brands:
Body Paint - Air Tool, Paasche, random stuff
Clear Coats & Finishes - createx, and random stuff
Graphic Design Inks - Dr Martins & FW Acrilic
Pastry Paint - Amerimist, AmeriColor
Wicked Color

From that list I was assuming that Createx, Golden, and wicked colour were the typical air brushing paint. Which would you guys suggest? Not the createx, not Opaque, and then either golden or wicked colour?
For fine art I think people would recommend Com-art, I haven't tried it, but I know along with E'tac that's it's popular for this kind of work. You also mentioned painting a variety of other things, so I think Wicked might be good for you. It's what I use, I mostly paint bikes, but have used it on canvas, board, leather, shoes, as well as metal, it's lightfast so hold up well in the sun too. It's is very versatile, but some people don't get on with it. I don't have any issues, I do filter it, and I use the W500, and don't have any problems. The effects paints really need a 5 nozzle or above to be used effectively, but I think this is true of any paint. A few people on the forum use Golden I think, so they can hopefully help you out with that. It's not on your list, but Trident is also popular. Not sure why you aren't wanting opaque? I use opaque black, and white (I find it useful working over base colours, and when you need a bold highlight, or mixing other colours) and red (trans red will come out pink until many layers are built up, and now and then I just want an instant red) and the primary colours in trans (called detail in Wicked colours). That's it, apart from effects, you can make almost anything from that. You migt find the premixed flesh tone helpful too, you need to layer more colours to get a true fleshy look, but it is a good base to start from.
I ordered an opaque black, but flycatchr said something about opaque colours, more specifically opaque black, were not that great when working with shadows/shading.
picked up an air filter to come off the compressor. Now I'll be set up with two, one at the compressor, and one at the brush. I have the one at the compressor attached to the pop-off valve at the compressor, and then I added an additional pop-off valve on the other side so I can easily connect hoses, and remove the filter if need be.... I am, however, wondering if I should get a male to male connector and have it connected in stiff, so it wont move around.
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I really like Com-Art paints but I paint mostly portraits onto card or canvas. I haven't used it for any other surface so I'll leave that to any of my colleagues who have. I've tried a lot of different paints and I find the easiest to use by far is Com-Art. I don't like the Com-Art Opaque White or the Blacks but the Neutral White is better which comes in Kit H Neutral Grays/Photo Retouch and I use the 60% Gray as my darkest colour not Black. It's good for erasing and scratching, it's not expensive and a great paint to learn with. You can use most paints straight from the bottle or use bottled water to reduce or Com-Art Medium if you prefer, they also do a great gloss varnish that you can use straight from the bottle.

The other paint I have used in your list is Golden (High Flow) which is a good paint but I don't like the fact that the different colours have different finishes, gloss, semi-gloss and matt. I prefer the paint to be matt while I'm working and to keep the matt or make it gloss with the varnish. I was adding Golden Matt Medium and got fed up of having to do that. This paint is not good for erasing and scratching but great if you want a good covering paint with a hard film finish.
Cheers Mel