Tool Review
Portable Spray Booth
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by: Matthew Toms [ SSGTOMS ]


Everyone who has an airbrush seeks to have some kind of spray booth to control dust, overspray, and paint fumes. Airbrushing ideally should be done in a temperature and humidity controlled room. Most commonly the two major issues keeping people from buying a spray booth are price and space. Most commercial spray booths are priced in the $300 - $500 range and are beyond the budget of the majority of modelers. Then, where to keep a big empty box of a spray booth the size of a large air conditioner becomes a problem. So does keeping it free of dust and hair between airbrushing sessions.

portable spray booth

Model Expo has addressed both problems with this revolutionary collapsible, portable spray booth for just over $100. Made of metal and high quality plastic, it is about the size of a shoe box when stowed, and has a carry handle. The booth only weighs about 4 pounds. There is a storage compartment for the power cord, which automatically retracts itself with the touch of a button. No folding and cord stuffing while desperately trying to pop a cover on. The lighted power switch controls the 3 cubic meter per minute exhaust fan.

If you can open a kit box, you can set this spray booth up in about 20 seconds. The engineering and design is, in my opinion, absolute genius. All the booth panels are hinged and permanently attached so there is nothing to lose. 6 slots and tabs keep the whole thing sturdily upright. While mostly plastic, the construction and materials are of high quality - don't let the price fool you.

When deployed, the booth interior is 15" deep x 16" wide x 12" high, easily holding a 1/35 Maus or E-100 at all angles. For the ship modeler, 2 booths can be snapped together to provide a 32" wide booth interior. The frosted clear panels let in plenty of light. A low profile turntable is included.

When operating, the fan is whisper quiet, about as loud as a running microwave. The fan exhausts out the back of the booth cabinet, so it is more appropriate for interior use with acrylics. However, it is so compact that it can easily be placed on a windowsill and vented directly outside for use with enamels or lacquers. Even though there is no provision for a duct hose at the fan outlet, you could also easily attach a dryer duct collar and hose to the fan shroud with, what else? Duct tape!

In use with Tamiya, Lifecolor, and Pollyscale acrylics, there was not a hint of paint fumes or odor out the back of the booth or from within. The fan efficiently evacuated any hint of mist or odor. This booth has been "wife tested and approved" for odorless use indoors, unvented, with acrylics. The poly fiber filter at the back of the booth is removable and replaceable. Model Expo sells replacement filters, but the filter material can be purchased very inexpensively at a home improvement store and cut to size with scissors.


Having no spare rooms and a limited work area prompted me to purchase this booth. I would expect a spray booth this size to cost twice this much, and one so clever and innovative even more than that. This booth is an excellent value and a brilliant idea, very well executed. I have 30 years airbrushing experience and I have a feeling this booth will become as valued as my Iwatas.

Very Highly Recommended.
Highs: Low price, excellent value, small collapsed size, highly portable. Innovative clever design and high quality. Very useful and efficient. Good size of work area when opened.
Lows: Not wide or deep enough for larger scale ship models, no provision for a duct hose at the fan outlet - but then it wouldn't be portable, would it?
Verdict: The answer to the prayers of apartment dwellers, limited budgets, and those with restricted work space. Will make you, and your cohabitants, happy you use it.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: HSE420
  Suggested Retail: $119.99
  Related Link: Model Expo Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Nov 16, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Matthew Toms (SSGToms)

Copyright 2021 text by Matthew Toms [ SSGTOMS ]. All rights reserved.


Looks like price went up to 199 and they are not showing them in stock at the model expo site. The size appears to have changed as well.
OCT 31, 2010 - 02:21 AM
Yep, the price went up to $199, but it's still the same size. The same booth is on sale for $150 at Mega Hobby
OCT 31, 2010 - 04:17 AM
I found this booth on Amazon. It appears to be the same booth reviewed here, except with an added air hose and all for $80. The pictures are practically identical to those in the review here...anyone know what the deal is? I'd really like to be able to spray year-round (Cleveland winters are not ideal for spraying in the garage...)
DEC 21, 2011 - 08:35 AM
Certainly looks the same except the hose. I have the standard one and I'm quite happy with it.
DEC 21, 2011 - 08:42 AM
Robby, I had a look at the booth you linked to offered on Amazon. It IS the exact same booth I bought, right down to the stickers that come on the front. I also checked the Model Expo site - they still price this booth at $199.99, it's still out of stock, and they now carry the exact same exhaust hose as a separate item for $32.99. So, since Best Choice Products is selling both together on Amazon for $79.99, I STRONGLY advise you and all others who read this to JUMP ON THIS DEAL RIGHT NOW. In fact, I'm going to put up a separate post on this and I might buy another one myself. Great find Robby, thank you!
DEC 21, 2011 - 04:03 PM
Glad I could help the community out! I just hope you all don't buy them up before I can get my hands on one
DEC 21, 2011 - 06:14 PM
I just DID!! Man, I wasn't supposed to buy anymore 'modeling' things this months but I simply just could NOT pass this up! Thanks for the heads up Robby! Rob
DEC 23, 2011 - 04:54 AM
I know this review is an old one,however, I just purchased this exact product from for $80 with the ducting and exhaust attachment that fits in window. Model Expo and Pasche puts their name on it and the price goes up $40 and you do not get the attachments. On the same Amazon site you can see the same pic for the Pasche model. Search under portable spray booth. Just sayin
DEC 28, 2012 - 09:55 AM
I just order one from Amazon for $86 including S&H. Awesome!!
DEC 28, 2012 - 10:46 AM

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