Airbrushes

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David B
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Airbrushes

Postby David B » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:00 am

Years ago, I had a Humbrol airbrush and got some adequate results - for then. I haven't touched an airbrush since, nor done any serious painting, but tools have improved much over the years and coming back to the hobby, I want better results now.

I would appreciate recommendations & pointers to look for, including pitfalls, in choosing an airbrush. I was thinking along the lines of a Badger 150, but looking further, I am not clear on the relative merits of top/gravity/bottom feed, single/dual action, bottles and cups and so on. Most seem to be internal mix, so I assume this to be preferable. Are other makes 'better' and where is the best place to get one from?

With the airbrush, I thought of investing in a small compressor as I found air cans an expense with the Humbrol brush. Axminster Power Tools & Squires both have suitable compressors. A moisture trap is essential and they have pressure gauges, but is there anything else anyone would suggest or comment on?

We'll come on to paint later!

David B

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JackBlack
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby JackBlack » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:45 am

Hi David,

My original set up was a Badger 175 and a big orange compressor that I think I got from Shesto, which worked great but was incredibly loud!

About three years ago I upgraded to an Iwata Sprint compressor and Eclipse airbrush and they're both excellent. The brush is top fed through a decent sized cup and is really easy to get used to, and the compressor is silent. I can airbrush in the same room where my wife is watching TV! I still use the Badger for varnishes and Johnson's Klear.

It depends what you intend to use it for, but personally I would say that a decent compressor with moisture trap and pressure guage is essential, and a double action airbrush with gravity feed. This allows you to do fairly large areas as well as very fine detail (I used to do 1/72 aircraft and could freehand camoflage really easily after a bit of practise).

This is the stuff that I have:

Compressor:

http://airbrushes.com/product_info.php? ... c4639de0c1

Airbrush:

http://airbrushes.com/product_info.php? ... c4639de0c1

The only other comments I would make are that whatever compressor you get, upgrade to braided hoses. And also consider how easy it is to get spares - those Airbrushes.com guys are really good with Iwata spares. I'm ashamed to say that I have on more than one occasion dropped my brush in the sink and they've delivered a new tip in 24 hours!

It seems really expensive looking at those prices now, but it's really worth the investment to get decent stuff. I bought my set-up at a model show as a combined deal for about £280 I think.

I hope that helps!

Cheers, Nick

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David B
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby David B » Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:45 pm

Thanks, Nick. This is just the sort of advice I need and appreciate. Help and in turn, help. I haven't heard of the Eclipse airbrush and the silent compressor has great appeal. The compressor looks very similar to the one in the Squires catalogue, but with a better spec.

I shall follow your leads up.

David B

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:38 am

Can anyone help/advise.

I have inherited an unused Badger 150 .... Model 150-2-F. I assume that this means it is a fine head. Am I right that I can't use this head for enamels ... or will it be ok with thorough cleaning? If not, should I look to get a medium head? and if so is there a good supplier?

I haven't used an airbrush before and don't want to ruin the brush before I start .... I recall that Ian Rathbone uses a Badger 150, so hopefully should be fine with the correct head.

Thanks

Tim
Tim Lee

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John Bateson
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby John Bateson » Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:56 am

http://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=4558&hilit=airbrush

The above link is a thread started by yours truly last December when I needed some help - there is a lot of good advice in there which is worth reading.

My compressor, (FoxHunter KMS Airbrush Kit AS186 AS 186 with Compressor with Tank with 2 x Double Action Airbrushes and Hose) which is not silent, but infinitely better than the one I got from Squires, also came with two air-guns. And only £76.

John
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:40 am

Thanks John ... I shall spend a bit of time studying all of this.

However, initially I need to know if it will be ok to use the Badger 150 I already have with the fine head. I have also inherited a compressor (Simair AC100). So the idea is to get started and experiment ... I just want to make sure I am not going to ruin anything using the fine head. I have just been reading Flymo's Buckjumper thread which appears to indicate that he uses a 150 with fine head so it may be alright.

Regards

Tim
Tim Lee

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:12 pm

Tim,

the benefit of Badger airbrushes is that they are pretty robust and spares are available. Provided you clean it well after use and handle with care when stripped down (so as not to bend the needle or lose any of the smaller parts) it will serve you well. As well as a 150 I've had a 200 (the single action equivalent) for over 25 years and it is still going strong.

Ian Rathbone's booked (WSP) on Painting and Lining provides a very good guide to using an airbrush.

Jol

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:33 pm

Jol Wilkinson wrote:Tim,

the benefit of Badger airbrushes is that they are pretty robust and spares are available. Provided you clean it well after use and handle with care when stripped down (so as not to bend the needle or lose any of the smaller parts) it will serve you well. As well as a 150 I've had a 200 (the single action equivalent) for over 25 years and it is still going strong.

Ian Rathbone's booked (WSP) on Painting and Lining provides a very good guide to using an airbrush.

Jol


Thanks for the comfort Jol .... do you think there is an issue with the head being fine rather than medium as far as spraying enamels are concerned.

Tim
Tim Lee

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RobM
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby RobM » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:50 pm

Tim,
I have a number of airbrushes which include a Badger and an Iwata and I only use a larger head for painting large areas. For model work I use a fine head and have used a variety of mediums. Cleanliness is paramount, after use I always strip down and leave to soak in cellulose thinner, some times one of those inter dental brushes come in useful for poking from the removed nozzle into the paint chamber. Obviously the medium needs thinning….(teaching granny….?)
Not sure what your concern is but I have sprayed gesso (a mix of rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate) which is quite abrasive but the airbrush has never suffered. I don't think that enamels have any abrasive characteristic, they are basically a microscopically ground pigment in a vehicle…….
Rob
Last edited by RobM on Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:56 pm

RobM wrote:Tim,
I have a number of airbrushes which include a Badger and an Iwata and I only use a larger head for painting large areas. For model work I use a fine head and have used a variety of mediums. Cleanliness is paramount, after use I always strip down and leave to soak in cellulose thinner, some times one of those inter dental brushes come in useful for poking from the removed nozzle into the paint chamber.
Not sure what your concern is but I have sprayed gesso (a mix of rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate) which is quite abrasive but the airbrush has never suffered. I don't think that enamels have an abrasive characteristic.
Rob


I am perhaps asking the wrong question ... or maybe it is a non question. The instructions which are with the brush suggest that the fine head (.25mm) is for inks and water colours, and that it is the medium head (.5mm) which is for enamels and acrylics. As the brush I have has the fine head I was worried it would become clogged with enamel and not spray properly, or alternatively I would have to thin the enamel such that it would run/be transluscent.

So I was wondering if experienced users saw the fine head as a problem ... but comments so far suggest that it might be a non question.

Tim
Tim Lee

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RobM
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby RobM » Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:05 pm

Tim, the question is quite valid and really the proof is in the pudding….. try some test sprays and see what suits you. Building up a few layers of thin paint is far better than going straight for a finished surface. Hope that helps……
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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Paul Willis
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Paul Willis » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:11 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:Can anyone help/advise.

I have inherited an unused Badger 150 .... Model 150-2-F. I assume that this means it is a fine head. Am I right that I can't use this head for enamels ... or will it be ok with thorough cleaning? If not, should I look to get a medium head? and if so is there a good supplier?

I haven't used an airbrush before and don't want to ruin the brush before I start .... I recall that Ian Rathbone uses a Badger 150, so hopefully should be fine with the correct head.

Thanks

Tim


I have a Badger 150 which I've been using on and off for the best partof thirty years :-)

It's great tool, and I'm yet to be convinced anything more modern is better. I've a lot of domestic stuff to do tonight (and finish watching the MotoGP) but I'll come back to you with thoughts in the next day or so...

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

Terry Bendall
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:50 am

Le Corbusier wrote:do you think there is an issue with the head being fine rather than medium as far as spraying enamels are concerned.


One of the advantages of the Badger range is that heads and needles are available in three different sizes, fine, medium and large and can be obtained from any of the recognised suppliers. I usually use the Airbrush Company who are in lancing in West Sussex and they do a good mail order service. I usually use the medium head for painting of stock and the large one for landscaping painting. I have yet to use the fine one to any great extent but it would have its uses for weathering and small items.

Terry Bendall

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Jol Wilkinson
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Jol Wilkinson » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:53 am

Tim,

Rob's reply really covers it, I think. Like Terry I normally use the Medium head but the Fine one should be okay with enamels and several thin coats are best. It's quite possible to get runs or sags with an airbrush if you try to put it on too fast or thick.

Jol

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:01 am

Thanks everyone.

I shall have a bash initially using the fine head and then take stock. I have an old Dublo body stripped and ready for practice. This should be fun!

Tim
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Andy W
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Andy W » Mon Oct 17, 2016 1:26 pm

Tim

If you can I'd get a medium head - at least to compare it. If you're spraying loco/carriage bodies the fine head might simply take too long and give potentially patchy cover. If you do experiment please let us know the results.
Make Worcestershire great again.
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Paul Willis
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Paul Willis » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:44 pm

Andy W wrote:Tim

If you can I'd get a medium head - at least to compare it. If you're spraying loco/carriage bodies the fine head might simply take too long and give potentially patchy cover. If you do experiment please let us know the results.


YLocoMV!

I use the Fine head for almost everything. It means I can really control the paint spray. I view the potential to flood the workpiece and get runs as a much greater risk than having to consistently apply a coat in several passes.

I do use the Medium when spraying self-etch primer, as it dries so quickly it would clog the Fine head entirely very quickly - DAMHIK-IJKOK...

But as many others have said, have an experiment and I'm confident you'll enjoy it. Just remember the cardinal rule of double-action airbrushes: air first, *then* paint.

All of the spares for the Badger 150 are easily obtainable, and relatively cheap. I've replaced the fine needle in my brush once over the years, after knocking it off the bench and onto the carpet once too often to feel happy with how I've straightened it afterwards. And in the same way you replace carburettor needles and jets together, or chain and sprockets, I fitted a new fine head at the same time to ensure I wasn't matching a new part to a worn one. I've also bought a couple of the white PTFE sealing rings as spares, as I've dislodged and lost a couple whilst washing out the heads.

The whole thing is pretty robust, and can be liberally doused with cellulose thinners to clean it out when it becomes really cruddy.

HTH
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Le Corbusier » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:15 pm

Flymo748 wrote:YLocoMV!


YLocoMV! ..... ?

Otherwise ... thanks. If I can eventually achieve results like you I will be well chuffed!

Tim
Tim Lee

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Andy W
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby Andy W » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:01 pm

"I use the Fine head for almost everything. It means I can really control the paint spray." Interesting. I'll do some experimenting of my own come better weather.
Make Worcestershire great again.
Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

junctionmad

Re: Airbrushes

Postby junctionmad » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:10 pm

David B wrote:Years ago, I had a Humbrol airbrush and got some adequate results - for then. I haven't touched an airbrush since, nor done any serious painting, but tools have improved much over the years and coming back to the hobby, I want better results now.

I would appreciate recommendations & pointers to look for, including pitfalls, in choosing an airbrush. I was thinking along the lines of a Badger 150, but looking further, I am not clear on the relative merits of top/gravity/bottom feed, single/dual action, bottles and cups and so on. Most seem to be internal mix, so I assume this to be preferable. Are other makes 'better' and where is the best place to get one from?

With the airbrush, I thought of investing in a small compressor as I found air cans an expense with the Humbrol brush. Axminster Power Tools & Squires both have suitable compressors. A moisture trap is essential and they have pressure gauges, but is there anything else anyone would suggest or comment on?

We'll come on to paint later!

David B



Fir airbrush selection , I would recommend a chat with Bartsharp , Bartsharp.co.uk , Allison knows her onions. I've a Veda it and I find it very satisfactory

Dave

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David B
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Re: Airbrushes

Postby David B » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:34 pm

Thanks for the thoughts, Dave. I made the post 8 years ago and have had it well sorted now.


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