Modeling in General: Advice on...
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airbrush and compressor
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Member Since: December 27, 2008
entire network: 13 Posts
KitMaker Network: 4 Posts
Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 - 09:52 AM UTC
Heya I'm looking to buy a airbrush and compressor but i am not 100% sure whats best to get and money is an issue (i dont have a lot of it) can anyone tell me if they no of any sites having a sale where i could pick up a bargain? Any advice would be appreciated

thanks perry
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Idaho, United States
Member Since: July 07, 2007
entire network: 243 Posts
KitMaker Network: 67 Posts
Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 - 12:59 PM UTC
try airbrush depot online, I bought a TC196 compressor for $169.95, has an air tank for pulseless airbrushing and has worked well for me, very quiet and compact.Started this hobby last year and was not willing to spend alot so I bought a new testors mini blue compressor what a clown I was for buying that piece of crap unfortunately you get what you pay for when it comes to compressors and this seems to be the least expensive quality unit I could find, I thought buying used was too risky. I have a Paasche millenium airbrush that is quite nice.shipping costswould be the issue for you? just steer clear of the cheap compressors eh? seems like $130.00 seems to be the minimum cost for a good one.
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Alberta, Canada
Member Since: January 19, 2008
entire network: 6,743 Posts
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Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009 - 02:14 PM UTC
You can try on Hyperscale for an airbrush and conpressor . Lots of guys are always selling them .
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England - North West, United Kingdom
Member Since: May 02, 2008
entire network: 156 Posts
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Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 09:02 AM UTC
Just in your neck of the woods-sbxmodels!

david is very good on combos in price............
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Cork, Ireland
Member Since: July 26, 2007
entire network: 292 Posts
KitMaker Network: 15 Posts
Posted: Saturday, January 03, 2009 - 11:31 PM UTC
Hi Perry,

Buying your first airbrush and compressor can be a daunting experience. I was in your position last year and had heard lots of different things from different people which left me slightly confused. Here's what I did. I bought a compressor with an air tank and a basic double-action airbrush from www.simple2trade.com and I've never looked back. The stuff is great and the service from them is really good. Check it out,

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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Member Since: December 27, 2008
entire network: 13 Posts
KitMaker Network: 4 Posts
Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 03:53 AM UTC
Cheers for the help guys
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: March 07, 2005
entire network: 868 Posts
KitMaker Network: 46 Posts
Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009 - 08:15 AM UTC
Perry - stop right there

..check Rowan's review of the Airbrush Pro combo on this site - dual action+compressor for 100. cut & paster this link into your browser..

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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Member Since: September 13, 2006
entire network: 257 Posts
KitMaker Network: 49 Posts
Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009 - 07:40 AM UTC
Hi perry
i purchesed a [email protected] air brushes from amazon and that set me back 70pound
and i have never regreted it i know that you have one in the u s a give them a try
yours cyril.

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California, United States
Member Since: October 06, 2006
entire network: 580 Posts
KitMaker Network: 77 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 02:20 AM UTC
Scott Lodder did a triple threat airbrush comparison here a few months back:


The Premi-Air G35 looks to be a great starter airbrush, costs about $50US, and is available in the UK.

For the compressor, try looking at the nearest home improvement super store. If you have Harbor Freight in the UK, look there. You can usually find a cheap compressor for $100US or less. Keep in mind that you need to regulate the air pressure going to the airbrush down to 10-35 PSI. Some compressors have a pressure regulator built in. For best results, you also need a moisture trap. Again, some compressors come with traps built in.

Typical setups:

Air Compressor ---> Regulator ----> Moisture Trap ---> Airbrush
Air Compressor ---> Moisture Trap + Regulator ---> Airbrush
Air Compressor ---> Regulator ---> Moisture Trap + Regulator ---> Airbrush

Some more info:
- you do not need a special air compressor to run an airbrush, but avoid tiny units--they cannot keep up resulting in airflow fluctuations
- some moisture traps also acts as regulators
- it's okay to have more than one regulator in the air path, such as one right out of the compressor and one at the moisture trap
- you can buy extra pressure gages and stick them anywhere in the air path. Good places for pressure gages are at the air tank and right before the airbrush.
- you can run without a moisture trap but expect a temperamental airbrush!
- air compressors can be loud; if an issue, look for a quiet one or build an enclosure (an ice chest will do)
- you may want to consider the warranty on the compressor (a risk with cheap compressors)
- for comfort, connect your airbrush to the system with a braided line (not required but nice)

Typical places for pressure gages:

Air Compressor --> Pressure Gage --> Regulator --> Moisture Trap --> Pressure Gage --> Airbrush
Air Compressor --> Pressure Gage --> Moisture Trap + Regulator ---> Pressure Gage --> Airbrush
Air Compressor --> Pressure Gage --> Regulator --> Moisture Trap + Regulator --> Pressure Gage --> Airbrush

Do not be afraid to ask someone at the hardware store for help.

Good luck and if you have more questions, please feel free to ask!

Removed by original poster on 12/29/09 - 16:55:29 (GMT).
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Colorado, United States
Member Since: January 29, 2008
entire network: 196 Posts
KitMaker Network: 105 Posts
Posted: Tuesday, December 29, 2009 - 04:55 AM UTC
Hi, Check out Bear-air.

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Colorado, United States
Member Since: January 29, 2008
entire network: 196 Posts
KitMaker Network: 105 Posts
Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 03:58 PM UTC
Hi Perry, Keep checking Ebay. I picked this AC500 and a Badger 200h For 2 Benjamins.
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: December 28, 2009
entire network: 121 Posts
KitMaker Network: 25 Posts
Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 07:07 PM UTC
As far as a compressor goes, I went without one and use a CO2 tank. They're totally silent, and you won't need a moisture trap as it won't condense any moisture in the the line, and they're virtually maintenance free. There's a lot of different tank sizes available, and you can get them at just about any welding/restaurant supply/fire-extinguisher dealer/industrial hardware store. Refills can typically be done at the same locations, and may cost you $20 for a 20lb tank. There's enough CO2 in them as well to last you a good long time. Obviously it depends on your usage, but I've heard for serious AB users, such as people who do larger busts and statues where the AB is used a lot more than on a 1/35th model, they can get 5 or 6 projects out of a single tank. For 1/35th use where AB's are primarily for priming, base coats, and camo, you could a dozen or two projects out of a tank.

The only difficult component to find is the regulator. These tanks typically store their gas at 3000psi, so unless you want to blast your model to smithereens and blow up your AB in your hand, you need a regulator to step that pressure down to the sub-100psi range. Some welding supply stores may carry them, but not many. What I ended up using was a regulator designed for beer CO2 tanks! It's a dual gauge regulator, and steps down the pressure from 0 to 60psi. From there I typically set the pressure on the regulator to 30psi, the highest pressure you may typically use during painting, and then adjust the PSI down from there as needed on the adjustment screw of my Iwata AB. For a regulator like that, you'll probably have to look online at drink hardware suppliers that serve the beer and soda communities.

This is the one I got at MicroMatic. All I needed to do was remove the bottom shutoff valve assembly, and then get some compatible mounting hardware (at the same place I got it filled, bonus!) to attach the AB air hose.
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Rhode Island, United States
Member Since: January 27, 2005
entire network: 225 Posts
KitMaker Network: 36 Posts
Posted: Friday, January 08, 2010 - 12:36 AM UTC
GO TO HARBOR FREIGHT!!! I just got a name brand compressor with moisture trap etc for 60 dollars AND it has a 2 gallon tank! Perfect for airbrushing. Do not go getting a small airbrush compressor, especially one with no holding tank for some crazy amount of money. TRrust me.
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Oklahoma, United States
Member Since: March 01, 2002
entire network: 6,043 Posts
KitMaker Network: 1,603 Posts
Posted: Friday, January 08, 2010 - 01:41 AM UTC
Me I use an Old and mean 19 year old Passache single action gets the job done I also have a Badger 100 about 35 years old that I do not use no more plus an Iwata low level one that I have not used as of yet.
Plus my compressor is a Cheap $100.00 Lowe's one I bought 5 years ago had one problem with it that I fixed seems when they put it together they did not tighten the set screw that holds the kick in start switch used to throw sparks out the back I fixed it in about an hour no problem ever since.
A $300.00 airbrush does not make one an 'expert' air brusher need time and practice on that.
In my opinion.

Start low and work up to the higher dollar ones once you get the hang of it.

Hope this helped.
Never tried Harbor freight but I do have some of there stuff around here
Main thing is enjoy the learning and start with simple one color paint jobs.

This 'name brand 'air compressor would not be Campbell Hausfeld?

I had lots of problems with mine would run for 15 minutes and shut down for 15 while it cooled back down do not know if a lemon or what.
I had to keep a fan on it and might push it for 20 minutes.

The one I have now can run for hours no problem,just make sure you get one with a tank.

As the Robot guy said Co2 is not bad I use it for my Aquarium but at $27.00 a refill at least here in Oklahoma because of some gas law not worth it.

Also if you are at Harbor freight they sell the Co2 gauge for $39.00 and if you get a coupon well a better deal.

If you want to go that route.

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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: March 01, 2004
entire network: 3,123 Posts
KitMaker Network: 330 Posts
Posted: Friday, January 08, 2010 - 09:50 AM UTC
With regards to the airbrush, if money is an issue and this is your first one, I'd recommend the Paashe H. It's a single action brush, although many people prefer double action, this puppy is pretty much bulletproof. It is a very good brush for a great many jobs, especially in model painting, where varying the width of your spray pattern in mid spray is (just my opinion here) a vastly overrated feature for most jobs.

If one is an artist where fine and subtle variations in paint application are fundamental to your art, sure, a double acting brush is the minimum standard. But, for most model painting activities, a single acting brush, where you must turn a small thread to vary the width of the spray, will perform at least 80% of your painting tasks exactly the same as a double acting brush and those things where you need to vary the spray can be handled with a very small pause in your work.

For a newbie, the Paasche H offers a really useful feature, it is really easy to clean. One set screw allows you to remove the needle from the adjustment cone and they all can be dropped in a small pot of laquer thinner to clean them without further disassembling the brush. This lessens the risk of damaging the valves or mechanisms that work the brush and contributes to its durabiliy as does the fact that the body is made of chromed brass.

I have had a single acting brush for over 35 years (the same Paasche H) and a couple years ago bought a double acting Paasche VL. I've used the VL exactly 4 times since then, but used the H dozens of times. When I used the VL, sure it was nice, but I could have done the same jobs with my H.

And, lets not forget tha that the ~$35 price of the H (with 3 different tips for spraying different media viscosities) is a lot less than the VL's $120.

Just my tuppence.