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Preference: Gravity or Suction Feed Airbrushes


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Gravity feed 100%

 

I literally only need to put in a few drops of thinner, and even fewer drops of paint to cover a whole part. I use a single toothpick to drop in the paint, and it lets my stuff last a lot longer with much more consistency. 

 

Suction cup makes it seem you need several mL to get something going. Such a waste. 

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Depends. I use my gravity feed airbrushes 95% of the time, but if I want to cover large areas without having to constantly reload the paint cup (i.e. spraying primers or clear coats), I may fire up my old Paasche and load up the big bottle that comes with it and spray away.

In other words, both have their uses, but like I said, gravity feed is my go to airbrush for all the reasons already sited.

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So with gravity cups, how do you guys mix the paint/thinner?   Seems a bit awkward trying to stir it in the cup, vrs just giving your jar a good shaking.  

Edited by 11bee
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If I'm doing larger amounts I use a mixing cup, smaller amounts lets say 10 to 15 drops in cup with a toothpick or brush just needs a little practice.

Ken 

Edited by KenM
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Not to beat a dead horse, but it depends.  Gravity feed most of the time.  Another reason no one has mentioned is that you don't have the bottle getting in the way, which is a definite advantage when you're freehanding multi-tone camouflage.  On the other hand, the large jar of a suction brush comes in real handy when you're priming or painting a 1/72...or even a 1/48 scale...B-52 or C-5. 

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7 hours ago, Stan in YUL said:

My 25 + year Badger 150 needs a new bearing and I know I can get it done but for those who have used both gravity and suction cup feeds what is your verdict?

 

If you want to try gravity feed, you can get a badger 100g body, and turn your 150 into a gravity feed 100g by moving all the parts to the new body. The new 100g bodies have an adjustable needle bearing which is easier to replace.  In the interest of full disclosure the 100g is my favorite airbrush. 

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So it sounds like gravity feed by an overwhelming majority, unless I'm doing clearcoat especially on something large like a 1/48 or even 1/32 (or a Nerf gun, but in that case I'm probably using clearcoat out of an automotive rattle can anyway).

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18 hours ago, 11bee said:

So with gravity cups, how do you guys mix the paint/thinner?   Seems a bit awkward trying to stir it in the cup, vrs just giving your jar a good shaking.  

I have a pile of little 30ml measuring cups that I use. Mix the paint in them and then pour into the cup. 

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Gravity feed 98% of the time(roughly). Last time i pulled out my B150 was priming and clear coating 1/32 Flanker 4 or so years ago. Built more than 20 1/32 and 1/48 models since then with largest being 1/32 MiG-29.

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6 hours ago, Charlie D. said:

I have a pile of little 30ml measuring cups that I use. Mix the paint in them and then pour into the cup. 

Do you clean and reuse the cups or are they one-time use?

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4 hours ago, tomthegrom said:

Gravity feed for me. I mix my paint and thinner in a glass shot glass which is easy to clean.

 

Great idea! I don't like cleaning mixing jars. 

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16 hours ago, 11bee said:

Do you clean and reuse the cups or are they one-time use?

The enamels and lacquers I clean and reuse them 4-5 times and then they get moved to the pile for “last use” mixing epoxy in or similar stuff. For acrylics (I use MM and A stash of pollyscale/aeromaster) they’ve gotten cleaned and rescued indefinitely..

 

I like the idea of a shot glass, I have several I use in the kitchen with measurements on the side,  but I prefer not to use glass on the workbench, dropped stuff too many times on the garage floor and don’t want to potentially deal with broken glass and spilled paint 😝

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While off topic, I've just recently gotten used to using 13ml tattoo ink mixing cups to mix colors or mix paint and thinner.  I greatly prefer mixing colors or colors and thinner outside the airbrush color cup, so that I have a 100% consistent mixture coming out of the nozzle from the first bit of color coming out.  They are disposable, and I got a 1000 of them for maybe $15 on eBay or Amazon.  At that cost per cup, even stingy me has begun using them and mostly just tossing them, and pulling out a new one for each use.  At the rate I use them, I should be able to go for 5-10 years before needing to make another purchase.  I got the idea for using them from Doog's videos.

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1 hour ago, Curt B said:

I've just recently gotten used to using 13ml tattoo ink mixing cups to mix colors or mix paint and thinner.

 

I've been using the tattoo mixing cups too. Use them to mix small amounts of paint, hold super glue or other types of glue. I bought a 500 count bag off Amazon and use them a lot, but haven't even made dent in the bag.

If I need to mix a greater volume of paint I use the 30cc med cups.

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On 8/30/2020 at 4:30 PM, 11bee said:

Do you clean and reuse the cups or are they one-time use?

I got a 10-12 pack of stainless steel restaurant condiment cups in the food service area of Sam's Club. I use them as mixing cups then clean with thinner. I also have a stack of smaller plastic cups with lids, again the kind you get with take out food. I also use those too but mainly the steel cups.

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Each have their own sphere of use.

I use a siphon feed to spray primers, I have most, but not all, of my most commonly used primers in bottles already ready to go, I use screw the bottle to the airbrush and away you go, then I have another airbrush bottle filled with cleaner, I just screw that one blast it through, a quick needle clean and its all done, nice quick easy with almost no clean up time required and it lays down a nice coat of primer.

Sure the air pressure at the regulator needs to be higher than with a gravity feed but as its primer it doesnt usually matter especially considering most primers are a lot thicker than paints.

I like it, its a nice quick system to prime or do a highlight coat.

Back when I was giving airbrush classes the big selling point for a siphon feed was its quick change ability. Its much faster than a gravity fed airbrush because you dont have to clean up nearly half as much, you just need a bottle of cleaner and then a new colour.

 

But for any kind of detail work or precision work then you will want a lower pressure at the regulator and that is where gravity feed rules. They can lay down thinner coats with more control in paint flow and because you dont have the bottle underslung you have much better handling too.

 

For modelling, and when I say modelling I mean applying modelling paints, from primer to top coats including all manner of colour coats from Acrylic based to cellulose based paints then a gravity feed is probably best as it gives you a level of control you will need given that the subjects are usually quite small.

 

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On 9/3/2020 at 3:50 AM, Mstor said:

 

I've been using the tattoo mixing cups too. Use them to mix small amounts of paint, hold super glue or other types of glue. I bought a 500 count bag off Amazon and use them a lot, but haven't even made dent in the bag.

If I need to mix a greater volume of paint I use the 30cc med cups.

Are they the little plastic ones with the extra wide brim?

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Yeah I have an HP-SBS.

The way it works is it depends on where the level of the paint is in relation to the nozzle of the airbrush.

If the nozzle of below the upper level of paint in the paint cup then it is gravity fed. Of course in the case of the SBS and SB Plus if you use the large bottle type paint bottles then it will be siphon fed, but the 3 standard metal paint cups usually make it gravity feed inspite of what people tell you about it all. The fact the paint goes up a pipe and sideways into the airbrush doesnt change it being gravity fed. 

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18 hours ago, ElectroSoldier said:

Are they the little plastic ones with the extra wide brim?

 

Yep, that's them.

 

61PE-7m9GeL._SL1000_.jpg

Edited by Mstor
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