_GOTOBOTTOM
Tools & Supplies
Discussions on the latest and greatest tools, glues, and gadgets.
Hosted by Matt Leese
Compressor Feedback & Suggestions
nitescotsman
Visit this Community
Illinois, United States
Member Since: August 21, 2010
entire network: 42 Posts
KitMaker Network: 17 Posts
Posted: Friday, September 17, 2010 - 03:46 PM UTC
Hi all!

I'm finally compiling all the data I need to make my decision on which AB/compressor setup I need to get started on modeling again (I've been AWOL for quite some time). There are a number of different ones that I've been looking at, but a couple have caught my eye and wanted to see if anyone had specific thoughts or feedback on any of them. I'll most likely be pairing it with a Iwata Eclipse HP-CS that helps at all.

Here's what I'm looking at:

http://www.tcpglobal.com/airbrushdepot/compress.aspx#abd_tc20t

I've read a review about this compressor on a similar site and it came off sounding like a good compressor. My question is, will a 0.9 gallon tank be sufficient for most paint sessions? I plan on doing 1/35 armor with the usual base/camo/detailing work comprising the bulk of my painting work.

The other compressors I was considering were from Harbor Freight Tools:

http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/oilless-compressors/1-4-quarter-hp-3-gallon-100-psi-oilless-compressor-90168.html

OR

http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/oilless-compressors/3-gallon-100-psi-oilless-pancake-air-compressor-95275.html

Obviously these have larger tanks so I assume they would last longer than the TC-20T I listed above. Sound however is an issue for me, as I live in an apartment, which makes me concerned about these larger compressors. I'm not right on top of my neighbors, and my walls are decently sound-proof, but I still would not want to get anything that is going to sound like a lawnmower. If anyone who has one can speak to their relative noise levels, I'd really appreciate it.

Finally, cost. The TC-20T is actually more expensive than the larger compressors, but I assume it's quieter. However, once I get the regulator, moisture trap (should I get the larger compressor), nylon thread, etc. the cost will most likely be a wash.

I'd love to hear any thoughts or suggestions on these compressors, and feel free to add anything that I might have missed or am not thinking of. Many thanks.

Cheers!
RE
SSGToms
Visit this Community
Connecticut, United States
Member Since: April 02, 2005
entire network: 3,608 Posts
KitMaker Network: 512 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 08:35 AM UTC
Hi Russ,
I can definitely help you here! I have an Iwata Revolution CR, a Tamiya HG, and a Grex XN airbrush. For years I had a Testor's compressor identical to the TC20 (no tank) and I hated airbrushing because the constant buzzing of the compressor really got on my nerves. Have you ever found a sound that just makes you angry at a primal level? That buzzing compressor was mine and I couldn't wait to shut it off every time I airbrushed.
In my VFW Magazine every month, Harbor Freight has a page of coupons. One month they had a coupon for the 95275 pancake compressor for $39.99. I figured for 40 bucks I'd bring one home and try it. When it runs, it's about as loud as our vacuum cleaner and you can hear the humming in the room underneath. It fills the tank in about 2 minutes. However, I let it fill, turn it off, and then airbrush in total, blessed silence. At 10-15 PSI, I can shoot one entire cup full (9ml) on the Revolution with the 3 gallons of air in the tank. That's enough to cover a 1/35 Panther sized tank in one color. Then I have to let the paint dry anyway, so it's usually the next day when I turn the compressor back on and let it refill when I'm ready to airbrush the next step.
So to answer your questions - no, a .9 gallon tank will not be enough for a typical airbrush session. You need at least a 3 gallon tank to paint one 1/35 vehicle one color without running the compressor again.
You can get a good regulator/ moisture trap for around $40 and nylon tape is 50 so if you go the Harbor Freight route, you're looking at $100.
However, if you have a friend who gets VFW magazine, or you have a VFW Post nearby, the $39.99 coupon is back in the latest issue!
I'm happy I gave the Harbor Freight compressor a try and I'm totally pleased with it. It's a great air source and I've been airbrushing for decades. You don't have to buy a dedicated hobby compressor.
Oh, and that spray booth you mentioned in the Armorama Painting Forum? I have one, I love it, and you can read my review of it here: Portable Paint Booth Review
nitescotsman
Visit this Community
Illinois, United States
Member Since: August 21, 2010
entire network: 42 Posts
KitMaker Network: 17 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 10:45 AM UTC
Hi Matt!

Thanks a ton for the reply and helpful information. I've been trolling through the forums here looking at past posts on compressors and found a lot of useful information. Its good to know that the compressor you mentioned at Harbor Freight isn't too loud (I can handle something like a vacuum cleaner - and hopefully the neighbors) and with the 3 gallon size it should be able to cover an entire vehicle without having to refill the tank. Any recommendations on a regulator/moisture trap, or will any ol' one will do?

I fugure I can I can always get a rubber mat to put under it or some type of housing to put around it if I'm really concerned with sound, but if it's only going to be on for 2 minutes before I can airbrush in silence, then I think I'll be alright without.

I read your review on the spray booths and they look great - perfect for my setup and very informative. I checked out the Model Expo website:
http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=HSE420

Strangely enough, I came across what seems to be essentially the same spraybooth (at least from what I can tell by the pictures) made (or marketed) by Paasche:
http://www.chicagoairbrushsupply.com/nepaaisphb.html
Seems strange that there would be two different spray booths out there will almost identical designs.

Well, I excited that I've finally figured out my compressor conundrum. Thanks for the help! Now I just need to either find a VFW coupon or post, or bite the bullet and go for it.

Cheers,
Russ

panzerbob01
Visit this Community
Louisiana, United States
Member Since: March 06, 2010
entire network: 3,128 Posts
KitMaker Network: 169 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 11:31 AM UTC
Russ:

My opinion: GO FOR THE 3-gal from Harbor!

Yes, rubber mats do help, and placing the comp in a wood box with some styrofoam 1-inch insulation board around the walls helps lots with noise.

Despite the strong adverse opinions offered in another thread concerns the compressor topic, I would still with loads of confidence (as it has worked well for myself and a bunch of fellow modelers for years...) recommend considering placing the noisy offender, if you find it such, outside or on a porch or in a garage and putting a long hose on it. A hose is a pipe, and all you would be doing is piping your air from elsewhere to your AB. Hospitals, welders, industrial spray-painters, and modelers all do it!

@SSGTOMS: Hey! If only MY vac sounded like YOUR vac! I guess your vac is a heck of a lot quieter than is mine! LUCKY you!

The Harbor Freight 3-gal my model club buds have is actually pretty modest when parked on a carpeted mobile-home floor. So I would hazard it might be pretty tolerable.

Bob
SSGToms
Visit this Community
Connecticut, United States
Member Since: April 02, 2005
entire network: 3,608 Posts
KitMaker Network: 512 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 01:00 PM UTC
Hi Russ,
You're welcome, no problem. I think you're really going to like the pancake compressor. I'm sure the "noise" will be no bother to anyone. Get a regulator/moisture trap that has a gauge on it for airbrushing. Mine goes from 0-60 PSI in 1 PSI increments. I normally airbrush acrylics at 5-15 PSI.
I'm pretty sure that the spray booth is made by one company for several different labels. Ever since Model Expo debuted it a year ago, it's been selling out around the globe.
I wish I could mail you my coupon, but I already gave it to a guy in my club. Just look in your phone book for the local VFW post; almost every town has one.
SSGToms
Visit this Community
Connecticut, United States
Member Since: April 02, 2005
entire network: 3,608 Posts
KitMaker Network: 512 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 01:07 PM UTC
Hi Bob,

It's just a Eureka upright we got at Wal-Mart for $80. I also have a Craftsman shop vac that sounds like a jet fighter and will suck nails out of the walls, but that stays in the garage!
nitescotsman
Visit this Community
Illinois, United States
Member Since: August 21, 2010
entire network: 42 Posts
KitMaker Network: 17 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 03:38 PM UTC
Thanks Matt for the offer of the coupon. I was able to get an online version of the VFW magazine, which luckily had the coupons in it, so I'll be grabbing my new compressor for the lovely price of 39.99. Hoorah!

Thanks for the specs on the regulator/moisture trap. I might order it with the compressor, or, more likely, there is an air brush supply store here locally that sells a lot of those things so I'll be able to go in and get all the other things I need to round out my setup.

Many thanks again!

Cheers,
Russ
SSGToms
Visit this Community
Connecticut, United States
Member Since: April 02, 2005
entire network: 3,608 Posts
KitMaker Network: 512 Posts
Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 03:49 PM UTC
You're very welcome Russ, that's what us old guys are here for!
 _GOTOTOP