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Hornet14

What is a good airbrush for a beginner?

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I'm looking to get my first airbrush and was wondering what a good one was to start on. 

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2 hours ago, Kurt H. said:

Paul Budzik explains it better than I can.

 

Thanks for posting the video, Kurt.

Andrew

 

 

 

 

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I recommend an Iwata Eclipse for a first brush. Excellent performance and easy to clean. My model club uses them to teach kids how to airbrush. Damn near indestructible.

 

Vern

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Sparmax DH 103 . As good as an Iwata but 1/2 the price. I use it for 90% of my airbrushing. I do have a 0.2mm Iwata but its only for super fine work

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On 9/30/2017 at 10:22 PM, Hornet14 said:

I'm looking to get my first airbrush and was wondering what a good one was to start on. 

 

I get asked this question all the time. There are a few aspects to consider. First, is price point an issue? If you can only afford only "X" amount of dollars, fair enough, otherwise I say, buy cheap buy twice. If you can afford a better quality airbrush then go for it, it will pay for itself in the long run. You won't get to a point where the airbrush can only do so much for you. That doesn't mean go out and buy an Iwata Micron for $500.00+. Most uality airbrushes in the $120-$300 range are appropriate for using paint for scale model building. If you were purchasing an airbrush for a teenager, I'd probably go on the cheap side not knowing if they would really appreciate an airbrush and properly maintain it. However, as an adult, you will know what you are investing in and will want to take care of it according. Again, if money isn't too much of a concern, get a good product for yourself.

 

What type of airbrush style is a big question. If you've never used a double action airbrush before it could be a daunting experience at first. Pressing down for air and back for paint flow is not a natural manipulation of the rigger finger. Furthermore traditional style airbrushes can cause hand cramping and trigger finger falling asleep, especially during long duration airbrushing sessions. Some may prefer a traditional style and that's fine. That's what many of us started out with when we first learned how to airbrush. If you have the opportunity to try a friend's airbrush before making an investment I'd strongly endorse doing so.

 

However, there is another way. I recommend a pistol grip style airbrush. If you've ever pulled the trigger on a squirt gun or an actual fire arm, it's a natural motion that's easily understood. If you've ever used an automotive spray or detail gun, the concept is the same only micronized. Grex, Iwata and Sparmax make pistol grip airbrushes. I can't speak to Sparmax quality as I've never used one. As for Iwata, their "Neo made for Iwata" line is their budge line of airbrushes. As for Grex, the Tritium TG (gravity fee) and TS (side feed) are top of the line in quality. The reason I'm making the comparison between traditional style and pistol grip style airbrushes is because of the far more intuitive aspects of the pistol grip style of airbrush. I've witnessed on more than one occasion where 6 year old children have been able to use a pistol grip airbrush with control to spray their name, do smiley faces or recognizable stick figures.

 

My point to all of this is how much "training time" do you want to invest while trying to understand how to use an airbrush. Perhaps you've used an airbrush before and understand the fundamentals. If so that's great. If not, consider a pistol grip airbrush as you'll go from "training" to painting model projects quickly.

 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is to know how to maintain your airbrush once you get one, regardless of manufacturer. Understanding the fundamentals of what is proper cleaning of an airbrush is critical to your success. Without this understanding you could be doing a lot of things right but one critical thing wrong and getting horrible results. So education is very important.

 

I'm providing two short video series for your review. The first is showing the Tritium TS in action so you can see the fine line capability of the airbrush as well as good general coverage and modeling techniques.

 

www.grexairbrush.com/MAS (last three letters need to be in caps)

 

The second video series is on airbrush cleaning. I recommend watching Video #4 to get a good understanding of "levels" of cleaning appropriate to in use changes from one color to the next as well as full cleaning so the airbrush is ready for the next project. these concepts can be applied to just about any airbrush you choose to purchase. The first three videos are on specific airbrushes and how to disassemble and re-assemble. These will come in handy should you consider purchasing a Grex product.

 

www.grexairbrush.com/ABM (again, last three letters need to be in caps)

 

Whichever airbrush product you choose to purchase the cleaning video will help you with the fundamentals for good cleaning practices. If you have more questions about airbrush care or something specific to a Grex product please feel free to contact me off board.

 

Bryant Dunbar

bryant.dunbar@grexusa.com

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Second to the Harbor Freight airbrush.  They offer a single action (copy of  a Badger 350).  Dirt cheap.  Good entry level tool at a budget-friendly price.  I suggest learning to use the single-action airbrush before getting more complex ones.  Might be all you're looking for.  Depending on sales, can be as little as five bucks, ten bucks was shelf price when I got mine.   Works well enough to enjoy the results.  If you don't have a compressor to drive it, HF sells an airbrush compressor that I've found very serviceable.  Those disposable air cans ain't cheap after a while, and they keep eating cash to keep working.  It being your first airbrush, learn to use it, learn what you like and what you want, which won't be evident until you've used an airbrush and by my lights there's little gained by spending heavily on something you wouldn't buy if you knew it didn't do something you wanted.  It's cheap tuition at airbrush university.  Price of lunch. 

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