The Best Airbrush???

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Ron Mariner

Guest
I'm a ship modeler, 1/300 scale to 1/48 depending on the original vessel's size! Never even considered airbrushing until a colleague did a quick demo at a meeting of the Ship Modelers Society and talked about how easy and inexpensive it is to get started. Went to Harbor Freight and bought about $50.00 US of compressor, hose, siphon-feed airbrush (knock-off of Badger 350) and was irrevocably hooked from day one! I now have 6 airbrushes, two compressors and an air eraser (mini sandblaster). Here's my lesson from about 2 1/2 years of experience with the art. 1. Consider the tool. There's VERY LITTLE that can go wrong with an airbrush, mechanically. The trigger air-release mechanism could break down. Difficult to repair, easy to replace. And that's about it! I found an online source for a Master G-23 airbrush for about $9.00 and ordered it. Not a Master, not even a good copy of the $60.00 G-23 in most respects. But, for 9 bucks, I decided to keep it and, at worst, use the parts for repair of my real Master brushes if needed. Guess what? The $9 knock-off has NEVER FAILED ME! 2. Why might an airbrush (even an Iwata Custom Micron) stop working properly? Maybe the trigger failed? Has that EVER happened to you? No? Then maybe the needle is bent. Possible, but it's your fault. Maybe the nozzle is clogged. Maybe but it's your fault. I sincerely believe that there are three rules you must follow in airbrush practice: A. Keep it clean, B. Keep it CLEAN, C. KEEP IT CLEAN!! That said, it seems there is too little advice on the use of filter funnels or strainers when charging your brush. Using a fine mesh strainer (as fine as the needle you're using) will help keep the innards clog-free. Running cleaner through your brush after every session or color change can't be overlooked. And handle the needle when it's out of the brush, as if it were, well, the most critical and fragile part of the equipment...because it IS! When I pick up one of my airbrushes, it feels right in my hand, it works reliably, and it produces a finish that is in every way superior to anything I've used before. Is there an advantage to owning an Iwata? Sure! Ego, prestige, confidence, and, perhaps, durability. But I have to say, for routine jobs, I grab that shiny chrome $9 knock-off and I'm ready to paint the world! If you're considering which setup to buy, stop considering and get the one that you think best for you. The cheapest setup will give better results than any rattle-can or paint brush! But beware! This is an addictive pursuit!
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
First off welcome home..
Next it helps us if you could at least tell what country you live in.
Badger , Iwata, H&S all make outstanding brushes..
Parts affordability Badger ranks number one.. Life time warranty
Next it depends on the model of Iwata you buy. Eclipse CS or BSC parts are not that bad. Micron price goes up real fast.

Look into the Badger Krome. It is a all around good brush.will do super fine detail and comes with a ultra fine and a fine needle set up. so it allows you to do larger areas as well.

Main reason filter are not talked about a lot is most use WICKED airbrush paint. It is finely ground and have yet to find a need to use a filter on them.
Urethane on the other hand it is almost a given to filter the paint.
Paint reduction and building your color slowly is part of airbrushing. One coat coverage is not something most airbrush artist go for. mainly due to you get better blend outs with lighter passes.
AS far as your 9 dollar knock off , Well you got a good one , But if you bought 10 of them 8 would not spray right.. You get what you pay for. Buyer beware.
I have yet bent a needle on my micron. or any other airbrush. I have not had any that I have not polished out for the best flow possible.
The most important part of the airbrush is the nozzle , You can have a straight needle and a tip dried layered nozzle that your regular cleaning between color changes does not take out and you will get bad results .
Bottom line is if you are happy shooting with a knock off cheap airbrush that is fine.
But please post up some of your work. would like to see it.
 
F

flycatchr

Guest
welcome to the orange Ron Mariner. You have definitely come to the right place :)
 
W

wmlepage

Guest
Welcome to the forum from NH.

Mr.M said it all. Many of us including me started with a knockoff brush, unless of course you found this forum or guidance first, and had major issues. Then upon finding this forum ,or a few others, got good advice for the next purchase, which has made life so much easier. I find how a brush feels is as much an indication of how well I will like it as to how small a tip size or what brand it is. I was a all out Badger guy, then just had to try an Iwata, now it's a toss up. Yes Badger parts a less expensive, they have great warranties, and ken at Badger is a hell of a guy. But I am really liking my HP-Ch right now, I feel I can spray finer with the .3mm tip at low pressure with more control, than my .21 Krome. It's all about feel and comfort. Price in some ways should be an after thought. If you are looking for a good working comfortable to you brush that will give you confidence when you paint, then those are the criteria you should be most looking for. That's why I had to spend double the price on my Iwata that I did on my Krome.
 

Squishy

Queen Clown Slayer
Hi Ron, welcome to the forum. I stated with an el cheapo knock off too, but mine was pretty dire, virtually unusable, so when I realised I was hooked (ok addicted LOL) forked out for a Devilbiss DAGR. I thought ABing wasn't for me, I couldn't do it, until I realised the DAGR was badly machined and had gouges and grooves, and came with a cracked nozzle, and bent needle. Needless to say that got sent back, and got an Iwata hp-cs instead, which I love, and never looked back.

I wish I had got lucky like you with my cheap brush. LOL I almost gave up on the idea of ABing altogether, not realising the brush was at least mostly to blame. If I could turn back time I would have got the Iwata straight off. Still glad I stuck with it, you're right it is totally addictive!

Post some of your work Ron, be good to see your stuff.
 
R

Ron Mariner

Guest
Mr. M et al. First, thanks! Second, USA (Virginia) Two and a half years doesn't even qualify me to advise; I'm simply giving my personal results and opinions. Most assuredly, If I were crafting the unbelievably beautiful art work that I'm seeing here, I would deem myself worthy of the most luxurious equipment I could find. There are many to choose among and I believe that warranties, parts availability, durability and quality control are all features I don't have in a knock-off (my Master series also being knock-offs of other brands) and they're awfully important to the craft. As a beginner, I think my thoughts are toward other beginners who may be so conflicted about which choice to make that a paralysis sets in that delays or shuts down their wish to join the experience. It's to those that I say, in my view, don't just stand there, buy an airbrush! Now, nozzle: important! But the only problem I've had was brought on by my overusing the mini-wrench and breaking the nozzle from its threads! Otherwise, you support my dictum. The dried residue on your tip was not a manufacturer's oversight, was it? (No disrespect intended!) The cleaner rinse between colors is not an acceptable or complete cleaning. I clean my nozzles so regularly that I'm afraid of wearing out the threads! As for my work, you may not be impressed with broad areas of one color and, in my craft, that's what I do the most of! It's the ship, the blocks, deadeyes, rigging, yards and masts that I spend my time on. Giving the hull that final, smooth-as-silk finish with an airbrush is the icing. My very best wishes to all. I will respect every bit of advice and rely upon the apparent breadth and depth of your knowledge.
 
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Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
Mr. M et al. First, thanks! Second, USA (Virginia) Two and a half years doesn't even qualify me to advise; I'm simply giving my personal results and opinions. Most assuredly, If I were crafting the unbelievably beautiful art work that I'm seeing here, I would deem myself worthy of the most luxurious equipment I could find. There are many to choose among and I believe that warranties, parts availability, durability and quality control are all features I don't have in a knock-off (my Master series also being knock-offs of other brands) and they're awfully important to the craft. As a beginner, I think my thoughts are toward other beginners who may be so conflicted about which choice to make that a paralysis sets in that delays or shuts down their wish to join the experience. It's to those that I say, in my view, don't just stand there, buy an airbrush! Now, nozzle: important! But the only problem I've had was brought on by my overusing the mini-wrench and breaking the nozzle from its threads! Otherwise, you support my dictum. The dried residue on your tip was not a manufacturer's oversight, was it? (No disrespect intended!) The cleaner rinse between colors is not an acceptable or complete cleaning. I clean my nozzles so regularly that I'm afraid of wearing out the threads! As for my work, you may not be impressed with broad areas of one color and, in my craft, that's what I do the most of! It's the ship, the blocks, deadeyes, rigging, yards and masts that I spend my time on. Giving the hull that final, smooth-as-silk finish with an airbrush is the icing. My very best wishes to all. I will respect every bit of advice and rely upon the apparent breadth and depth of your knowledge.

I still want to see your work.. Battle ship , aircraft carriers , pirate ship does not matter.
Most model ship builder , tanks war machines all stay true to the real thing. But I love seeing the attention to detail that goes into building the models.
So please feel free to post up some of them.
This is not just a forum for artist but it is a forum of airbrushers , Plus there might be others on the forum who can pick up tips on model building from you.
Also what brand of model paint are you using.
40+ years ago I use to build models of semi-trucks and trailers , and a few cars.
But the prices of some of the models are just out of this world ..
I had a friend who gave me about 200 model kits that his grandmother bought him back than. A couple of them are still made today. back than 3.50 now 42.00 ?? WTH?
So I was not joking when I asked you to post up some of the ships you have built.
Airbrushing is airbrushing.. and who know you may pick up some tips for adding all the markings on the ship with an airbrush if you are not already doing so.
 
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wmlepage

Guest
Yeah. Many airbrushers got into it because of models or miniatures. Not all of us started because of bikes, like me,or cars, or whatever. There's all kinds that airbrush. Some even started for the art. Silly people.
 
R

rick

Guest
Yeah. Many airbrushers got into it because of models or miniatures. Not all of us started because of bikes, like me,or cars, or whatever. There's all kinds that airbrush. Some even started for the art. Silly people.

Ye i started for the car part to do simple graphics and boy it escalated...
 
T

Talla

Guest
Hi Ron, Welcome from the UK. As the guys said there are all types of AB'er on here so Im sure you will get good advise when you need it or be able to give good advise 'cause you've done it!
 
R

Ron Mariner

Guest
RE: Brand of Model paint? Generally, I like acrylics. They're so much easier to thin to proper consistency, no volatile spirits, easy clean-up and available in a WIIIIIDE range of colors. If I'm doing work for myself or a show, I'll use whatever line gives me the best choice of color. That might often be the $1.50 craft store bottle. If it's for long-term display (museum work, commission) then Createx, Humbrol or equivalent. I trust their durability more than the craft store acrylics. Mr. M, you mentioned the fine pigment grind in Wicked paints (a Createx line, I believe) precluding the need for filtering and I agree. But once I've opened a bottle, I worry that dried flecks of paint may be present around the rim of the bottle when I reuse it. That's what my filtering guards against. As an added advantage, I can judge the proper consistency of my paint with a micro-filter. If it flows freely through the filter funnel, it's properly thinned. If not, I'll need more medium. I'm finishing the restoration of a museum model that was recently saved from a devastating fire. It's more building and rigging than brushing but I'll post it soon. It's a tradituional Chesapeake bay buyboat; a class of workboat that's been around since Noah was a ship's boy! Thanks, again for the hearty welcomes and the useful guidance!
 

Mr.Micron

Royal pain in the air hose
Admin
RE: Brand of Model paint? Generally, I like acrylics. They're so much easier to thin to proper consistency, no volatile spirits, easy clean-up and available in a WIIIIIDE range of colors. If I'm doing work for myself or a show, I'll use whatever line gives me the best choice of color. That might often be the $1.50 craft store bottle. If it's for long-term display (museum work, commission) then Createx, Humbrol or equivalent. I trust their durability more than the craft store acrylics. Mr. M, you mentioned the fine pigment grind in Wicked paints (a Createx line, I believe) precluding the need for filtering and I agree. But once I've opened a bottle, I worry that dried flecks of paint may be present around the rim of the bottle when I reuse it. That's what my filtering guards against. As an added advantage, I can judge the proper consistency of my paint with a micro-filter. If it flows freely through the filter funnel, it's properly thinned. If not, I'll need more medium. I'm finishing the restoration of a museum model that was recently saved from a devastating fire. It's more building and rigging than brushing but I'll post it soon. It's a tradituional Chesapeake bay buyboat; a class of workboat that's been around since Noah was a ship's boy! Thanks, again for the hearty welcomes and the useful guidance!

I guess I have never really thought about dried paint on the bottle lid , I guess that is because I wash off each lid after use , But what you say does make sense .
Now , you had me at Museum piece.. Being I work as a preservation engineer for a university I love seeing things being brought back to it original glory. So I am looking forward to seeing it.
Had a military buddy who grew up in Chesapeake Bay area, When we were stations in Ft. Belvoir we would go down there for long weekends for home cook food and fishing.
He could tell you every type of ship sitting in the bay area that day.
 
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