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cheap-o airbrush
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Armed Forces Europe, United States
Member Since: December 18, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 02:06 AM UTC
What is everyone opion of the cheap (around $20) Testors airbrushes? I've never used one before and don't really want to drop alot of money on my first one.

Is this a good starter airbrush?
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Pennsylvania, United States
Member Since: October 05, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 02:20 AM UTC
If it is the single action external mix that you can get at wal-mart, I will say it is ok for what it does.
which is basicly single color coat applications. Don't expect to do any freehand detailing with this one because you don't really get much control over the spray..

I got one last year when I started trying to learn to Airbrush and it gave me the basic's, but I got quickly frustrated by what it couldn't do.. So I tried to compensate by geting the detail airbrush at Wal-mart for $38 then a Aztek duel action airbrush.. but now I've got a new Badger 175 Cresendo and I will prob never use any of the testors or Aztek brushes again.

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Massachusetts, United States
Member Since: May 05, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 02:36 AM UTC

Quoted Text

What is everyone opion of the cheap (around $20) Testors airbrushes? I've never used one before and don't really want to drop alot of money on my first one.

To be blunt, it's not worth a tinker's dam. Save your money and get a real airbrush, something along the lines of a Paasche H is a good starter brush. Single action, true, but with practice you can get some really nice finishes and extremely good freehand camo patterns. NOt too difficult to keep clean. No "needle" per se, but a tip/nozzle system. This should go for about $50 in a good art or hobby store. :-)
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Stockholm, Sweden
Member Since: December 19, 2001
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 02:42 AM UTC
It depends on what use you want out of it. As the saying goes quality pays in the long run... but in reality there are compromises that can balance quality/price.

I'm unfamiliar with the specific a/b you are talking about. I started out with a Badger 350 - a single-action a/b using compressed air in cans. As I got better I bought a cheap compressor, it got awfully expensive with canned air. I thought the purchase of the compressor made the whole difference in airbrushing.

What I thought about when I bought an airbrush was to get the most function for the lowest price. With the cheapest of airbrushes you can forget about thin patterns, they are all only for wide and large-area coverage. The next step is single-action, after that double-action. I'm sure there are other types which I have forgotten. I'm sure the AmoramA family will correct my description... :-) What you pay for in an a/b is control - control over air and paint that is.

This info might not exactly be what you wanted, but hopefully it will help you along the way...

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Connecticut, United States
Member Since: January 08, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:13 AM UTC
I use Iwata's only, but my point is to give you advice on where to buy your airbrush.
You can buy many of the top brand names for very little if you look in the right place.
Before you go buy that Testor's " THING " for $20 ......did you know for just $17 more you can buy a double action Paasche VL ( $37 ). Or if the single action is what your after, you can buy the Passche single action complete set for $37 too. . .....and you thought I was going to tell you about Iwata's Which by the way start at $59 - $90 for their Eclipse Series. TAKE A LOOK AT BEARAIR , before you go somewhere else. Their the best online airbrush supplier I know of and their customer service is excellent !!! http://www.bearair.com/

- ralph
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California, United States
Member Since: November 25, 2002
entire network: 317 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:26 AM UTC
I want to second (or would it be third or fourth?! ) the sentiment already stated. I went the cheap-o route on airbrushes when I first started out and got probably that same Testors you are talking about and used the propellant cans. Jeez, what a disaster / mess. I ended up ruining a model and subsequently upgrading to a Passche H1. So, I actually spent MORE $$$ by not going a few bucks more.

Go with the double action if you can. Look for good deals on mail order sites or even ebay.
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Manitoba, Canada
Member Since: August 27, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:40 AM UTC
I did exactly what you are thinking of doing. I bought the 20$ testors airbrush. And the guys are exactly right, it is a very simple 1 color decent coverage airbrush. If you want to do any camo its going to take alot of masking, you can't do any free hand patterns. But it does give nice coverage. I guess it depends on what u want? If you have a really good brush and want to get good enough to tackle the complicated jobs you are going to have to practice. So that means tons of air cans or a compressor/air tank. But if you think about it you'll go out and drop 50$ on a few kits, why not spend the money on the right tools? I am searching for a compressor now, (then practice practice) after i solve that problem then i'll move on to a new airbrush.
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Texas, United States
Member Since: January 08, 2002
entire network: 1,586 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:44 AM UTC
When you buy the Testors "el-cheapo" in essence, you are buying a can of spray paint... that is about how much control you have over the thing. There is no such thing as a fine line setting.... you just get a wall of paint! i guess that is ok for applying primer, but forget about actually painting any detail with it.

I use a Badger 350 Single Action, and while not the most glamorous of units, it offers good control, a variety of needle / tip combinations, and best of all, the 43mm ring fits the Tamiya 23ml bottles of paint exactly - just stir the paint well, then blast away! I paid around $50-55 for the unit. and it was a good investment.
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New York, United States
Member Since: February 28, 2002
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Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 05:50 AM UTC
I'd save up and buy a basic single action Airbrush. I started w/ a Badger 250 (really basic) I think I paid about 15-20 bucks for it. 12.95 here

I now use a Paasche H single action I love this one ........ About 40 bucks.