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Best airbrush for use on acrylic based paints


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Hello,

 

I am considering purchasing an airbrush for painting those larger scale hulls. Currently I only use acrylic paints and prefer them due to the fumes and overall clean up. My question is - is there a particular brand of airbrush that works best with acrylics? Or should I even be considering purchasing an airbrush at all?

 

Thanks,

JB

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Hi JB:

 

Any airbrush will work with acrylics if the paint is properly thinned.  Model Expo frequently has very good deals on airbrush/compressor combos.  A friend of mine bought one and is very happy with the equipment.  I use Badger and Aztec airbrushes, but you don't need to spend lots on a name brand if all you want to do is cover a fairly large area.

 

An airbrush can be a wonderful tool if used properly, but can also be very frustrating if it's not kept clean or if the paint viscosity isn't correct.  I would recommend reading about airbrushing (setup, use, cleaning, adjusting) before making the decision to buy one.

 

This site has some very good information on airbrushing:

 

http://howtoairbrush.com/airbrush-lessons/

 

Hope this helps,

 

Frank

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The make of the airbrush should not make any difference, its more about whether its single or double action. From what I've read, single action airbrushes are easier to use for beginners and have fewer parts so are easy to clean. There are also lots of cheap single action airbrushes on the market. Iwata are one of the better brands if a bit spendy!

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As a note to what has been said there.

  Single action generally goes hand in hand with bottom (suction) feed.  This is good for large volumes, but sacrifices precision control.   You press down the button and you get air+paint.   Great for covering large areas, not so great if you want to do anything small or precise, as you always get the same amount of paint coming out.

  Double action lets you control both when you get air, and how much paint you are introducing into the airstream.   A lot of double action brushes are gravity fed, and usually that means paint cups of 5ml or less.  However you can get bottom fed DA brushes.

 

If you imagine doing more with your brush then investing in a better brush earlier is worth while.  You can learn on a good brush, but a cheapo brush will need to be replaced if you end up wanting to do more.

 

Colin (who owns a Harder & Steinbeck Infinity)

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Canned air will work but you have to be careful og the can freezing up on you.  Several years ago I was repaing a hull for a client and the chugged out a mess and I had to redo the entire hull.  That is when I bought a compressor.  Keep the cans in a pan of luke warm water and this will help stop it.  I know people who use innertubes. Or take a tank to a gas station and fill it.  Just make sure you have a good regulator with a water trap.

David B

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Keep an eye on ebay for a good deal on a compressor.  You can get the same thing that Modelexpo sells a lot cheaper.  As for air brushes I can only say I got a cheap single action to practice with and it works fine for general use but I would guess I will need a better one when I start experimenting with detail work.

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Compressor every time, unless you only plan on using it once a year.  In regular use the cans add up.

The tank smooths out the airflow.   This is important if you are doing something like painting a miniature where even a small variation in airflow could change the final outcome.  Over larger areas this may be unnecessary.  Again look at what you might want to do in the future.  Buying a second compressor hurts.

 

Colin

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I have a small airbrush compressor theres absolutely no noise issue with it - RoHS modwl AS18-2 1/6HP with auto start filter and air delivery of 20-23 litres a minute. Noice issuescome in when you are purchasing much larger units with receivers of many litres and motors in excess of 1 HP. I use the Aztek A470 Airbrush Set.

 

A good UKsupplier is http://www.sylmasta.com/acatalog/Aztek_A470_Airbrush_Sets.html they sell good compressors and handy consumables for model making. One of spares I usyually get from Hobbycraft who usuually stock a fair range but can be pricey.

 

Norman

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Sorry but I have to totally disagree with the guys comments in that article - you dont need masses of air or even an air tank unless you are spraying large areas, my compressor holds 20 psi steady doesnt pulse and switches off when I stop and the airbrush - usages stops. It bearly gets warm unless its used for protracted periods of time. There is no noise other than a gentle hum when in use. Using a compressor with a tank can give you all sorts of issues with condensation and the pressure switches can be so coarse in their reaction to pressure changes the pressure will cycle and not give stable conditions for small air usages. Airbrushes are not like spray guns requiring huge volumes by comparision.

 

I am definately not going to airbrush paint for 45 minutes like in the article - a typical airbrush will only contain a small volume of paint typically 2cc up to a max of about 20cc if it uses a glass jar.

 

Checkout Testors Site for information.

 

These are an overkill - http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/search/filter/airmaster-2/type/any/module/shopcategory/page/1 and I wouldnt like to risk the anger of good lady, the next might be suitable - at a price http://www.machinemart.co.uk/shop/search/filter/ultra-quiet-air-compressors/type/any/module/shopcategory/page/1

 

I would honestly suggest you sit down and write out what you need to do and speak to an expert who uses an airbrush - I did and I am very satisfied with my set up which was more than ample in spraying the hull of my 1:200 Arizona model I am currently building.

 

 

Norman

Edited by normanh
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This is what I use its rebadged under several names and is very common.It wont last in a continuous mode very long but does what I need and has for 2 years now.

 

http://www.tooled-up.com/product/draper-expert-oil-free-air-brush-air-compressor-240v/195385/?Referrer=googleproductlisting&gclid=COGt4LnbnLwCFWfLtAod1W0Akg

 

Norman

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I got an airbrush for Christmas (Badger Patriot 105, so quite a decent one) but didn't have a compressor.

 

I scratched my head over compressors for ages, toying with the idea of going cheap- like getting a spacehopper and fitting a valve to it; mid range- those ones you get on eBay for about £40-£60; or expensive, i.e. Sparmax.

 

My theory with tools is that if you buy cheap tools, you pay over twice the price. That's because you buy a cheap one, it doesn't work as well as you'd like (but it does work), then it breaks, and then you buy a better version. So it's cheaper in the long run to buy decent stuff.

 

So I got the Sparmax TC620, which definitely wasn't cheap. However it is f***ing awesome. The compressor runs mildly louder than that on a refrigerator, it fills the tank for no more than about 10 seconds, then it shuts off. Gives me about 5-10 mins airbrushing before coming on again.

 

The other day, I used it for about 1.5h and the motor was warm, but not hot.

 

Although no experience of the cheaper ones, I'm lead to believe that you get pulsating airflows, overheating motors, noisy compressors and about 1 in 10 breaks within 6 months. In anything I buy, I always do a Cost Benefit Analysis (or Cheapest Acceptable Solution). And I firmly believe that the Sparmax was money well spent!

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Just had a google. That's a very smart looking compressor you've bought!

 

I understand one of the other problems you can get with the cheaper ones is condensation in the airline due to them running hot.

 

I also need to replace an old standard (very noisy!) air compressor as well so I've decided to get something in this range. Quite expensive but not much noisier than a fridge so I should be able to use it in the house or workshop.

 

http://www.bambi-air.co.uk/docs/Budget-Range.pdf

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The Aztec is much easier to clean and you don't have to worry about needle care as much. The Aztec has small screw-in 'nose' units with the needle fully protected. Having also used Iwata, Badger, DeVilbiss and other conventional design airbrushes, I much prefer the Aztec.

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I have the Aztes too and as airbrushes go its the best I've used. My Aztec is the metal bodied one with interchangeable needle assemblies for different paints. An assembly for acrylics is important here as acrylics act differently than solvent paints. Unless you open a T-shirt shop you'll hardly ever use your brush more than just a few minutes. BILL

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I also have an Aztec. Nice unit. Cleaning is essential as well as using the right spray tip.  You also need to use the right diluent with Acrylics to achieve the desired viscosity. It is essential to use the manufacturers recommended diluent. Never use tap water unless your tap is hooked up to an RO unit.

Happy Spraying

Jaxboa B)t

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