Tools & Supplies
Discussions on the latest and greatest tools, glues, and gadgets.
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returning modeler with compressor question.
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Ontario, Canada
Member Since: October 17, 2002
entire network: 448 Posts
KitMaker Network: 38 Posts
Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 03:12 PM UTC
Hi all,

It's been a very long time since I've been on Armorama, early 2003 according to my post record (I find that hard to believe). I want to get back into scale modeling but don't want to spend a fortune. Six years ago when I quit (aka ran out of spare time), I did maybe 3 kits a year, and got by on canned air. I don't want to go that route again. I own a 3 gallon 2hp nail gun compressor, is there an easy brass adapter to allow me to hook up an airbrush? Are they readily available at hardware stores or are they typically something I would have to order?

I've had luck in the past with simple single action airbrushes (which I've managed to lose), but still consider myself a beginner, especially when you compound that with the rust. Should I look into a single action AB as training wheels, or buy a double action and learn from there.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Alberta, Canada
Member Since: October 13, 2004
entire network: 1,683 Posts
KitMaker Network: 284 Posts
Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 06:09 PM UTC
Hi Jeff

Welcome back to the hobby and Armorama. I use a hardware store nail gun type compressor too and it works great. It fills the air tank and then the airbrish runs off that. A simple adapter would be easy to find at any hardware store once you decide on an airbrush becasue some of the hoses can be different.

As far as an airbrush is concerned, I would recommend that you get a double action airbrsuh like a Paasche VL set which is the one that I've used fro many years. It has interchangeble needles and nozzles, is relatively easy to use and you'll be able to do so much more with it than almost any single action airbrush. Plus it won't cost you an arm and a leg. Compressor and airtank adapter fitting are very easy to find for it, all standard fittings really.

cheers and good luck.

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Jerusalem, Israel
Member Since: February 06, 2009
entire network: 1,507 Posts
KitMaker Network: 195 Posts
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 12:02 AM UTC
hmm, I think you're better off starting with a double action. The learning curve might be longer, but you won't have to spent money on AB twice (If you plan on starting with single action and then moving to double action)
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New York, United States
Member Since: February 28, 2002
entire network: 5,957 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2,626 Posts
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 01:26 AM UTC
go double acton. and yes... use some hose between the compressor and a moisture trap before using a adapter fitting to the air brush.
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Washington, United States
Member Since: September 20, 2007
entire network: 861 Posts
KitMaker Network: 16 Posts
Posted: Friday, October 16, 2009 - 04:19 AM UTC
All good bits of advice, especially regarding the moisture trap. It might not seem like a big deal initially, but the first time you blow some water droplets onto your paint you will want pull your hair out. Don't ask how I know.

You might also want to consider running a second pressure regulator inline with the one on the tank. I find that this gives more precise control, especially if you use one in the 0-30 psi range. Most 2HP compressors have regulators that allow you to turn the pressure up to 90-110 psi or so, which is far too high for a modeling airbrush. I keep my tank regulator at around 35 psi, and then fine tune the pressure with the second regulator, going as low as needed.

I'm going to step out of line here and suggest that you don't overlook a good single action AB. Personally, I've used a Badger 200 (single-action, bottom feed, internal mix) unit for years, and it works very well for about 95% of my painting needs. The other 5%? Well, I borrow a friend's Paasche VL when the need arises. Sure, it's a nice airbrush and allows you to do some pretty delicate stuff, but I've never bothered to add one to the stable. I'd say to look at the VL series, or another double-action AB (Badger Crescendo 175), if you're planning on painting a lot of camo.

Whatever tools you choose, remember to have fun. Welcome back.