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Which Airbrush and Compressor

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Phil B07/07/2020 19:22:11
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212 forum posts
196 photos

i want to be able to spray paint over fibteglass, doped fabric etc.

Which airbrush compressor combination on a limited budget should I comsider?

Denis Watkins07/07/2020 19:54:52
4544 forum posts
123 photos

What size aeroplanes Phil?

Barrie Lever07/07/2020 19:57:35
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271 forum posts
50 photos

Phil

I have lost count of how many models I have sprayed over the last 42 years, I was painting with a brush before then.

If you can only buy one airbrush then it has to be a Badger 250, you can get just about any paint through these when thinned out and with a little care get a really high standard of finish.

I have sprayed models that have been exhibited at the Nurnberg Toy and Hobby show in Germany and have been complimented by people that I did not know that they were the best of show, done with a Badger 250 !!

I have sprayed a car door with a Badger 250 before, although I would say that a 60" model is about the limit if you have to do it all in one go.

I have bought every one of my current set of airbrushes on Ebay, most expensive was for a Badger 150 in the wooden case and I paid £50.00 for that. Then about a year later I managed to get the same airbrush minus case but with a Badger compressor for £30.00.

You don't need much of a compressor for airbrushes, just a little diaphragm compressor is all that is needed.

Remember getting good paint finishes is all about preparation.

Barrie

dsc_1168.jpg

 

 

Edited By Barrie Lever on 07/07/2020 19:59:57

Phil B07/07/2020 21:15:10
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212 forum posts
196 photos

I had a cheap Badger airbrush once and didnt get on very well. I think it was a single action with a Revel compressor. Is the 150 much better than the cheap model? My models range from rubber powered 22 inch types to 1/5 scale warbirds.

Jonathan Sharland07/07/2020 22:29:28
34 forum posts

Hi I have a Sparmax Professional Mini Piston Airbrush Compressor Tc-610h and a Harder & Steenbeck Evolution with a 0.4 needle. I recently resprayed my Acrowot Foam-e and it was bit slow but doable.

The compressor with a tank will make life easier but it is not necessary if your only going to use it once a year.

There are a number of cheap air burshes out there that are quite good if your only going to use it occasionally such as the Iwata Neo.

Are you looking to put down the base coat or the details with the airbrush.

Ron Gray07/07/2020 22:43:02
2235 forum posts
978 photos

Also have a look at the Preval spray, it’s cheap and does a pretty good job. I bought one to see what it was like having seen that Klass Kote recommend them and have used it for acrylics and fuel proofer. Not as good as my air brush setup but it isn’t that bad and is excellent value for money.

Barrie Lever07/07/2020 23:01:57
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271 forum posts
50 photos

Phil

This is the cheap Badger, it is called the 250, these are very versatile and not hungry for air.

On the white CL model above the primer was sprayed with one of these, the white base coat was done with a Badger 200 and the trim colours were done with the dual action 150 and the final clearcoat was back to the 200.

I could have done everything with the cheap 250, but the 200 and 150 would struggle with the primer.

The 250 is very simple external mix, it is easy to see what is wrong with it.

The 200 and 150 are quite similar, basically the 200 is a single action version of the dual action 150. Both of these give a more atomised spray pattern than the cheap 250 and can thus give a marginally better finish if everything else is going well but they cannot make up for poor prep etc.

The 150 is good for doing the stencil spraying as you can really control it well and not flood out the stencil.

I found the 350 to not be as versatile as the 250 and not great at atomising like the 150 and 200, so a bit in the middle with nowhere to go !!

The compressor photo is of the type that I use, it is auto off when you release the trigger on the air brush, I find this size of compressor ideal for the airbrushes that I describe above..

Any questions then just ask.

Barrie

badger 250.jpg

badger 180.jpg

Geoff S07/07/2020 23:54:31
3701 forum posts
29 photos

I have a Badger 250 like the one shown above. I just checked and I bought it in 1996 and it was £10.99 new from a local model shop. I've used it quite a lot with alll sorts of paint with very few problems but I prefer to use water based paint because clean-up is so much easier. It's really just a small spray gun rather than an artistic air-brush.

I also have a much more expensive Iwata double action air-brush which I've never had much success with (probably my fault) and I always seem to fall back on the Badger.

I have a Ripmax compressor with a filter I bought on eBay several years ago which delivers 21 litres/min ().75 cu ft/min) at a maximum pressure of 50 psi. It's OK but I suspect perhaps not sufficient for the Iwata hence my problems with it.

Geoff

Denis Watkins08/07/2020 07:16:08
4544 forum posts
123 photos
Posted by Geoff S on 07/07/2020 23:54:31:

I also have a much more expensive Iwata double action air-brush which I've never had much success with (probably my fault) and I always seem to fall back on the Badger.

I have a Ripmax compressor with a filter I bought on eBay several years ago which delivers 21 litres/min ().75 cu ft/min) at a maximum pressure of 50 psi. It's OK but I suspect perhaps not sufficient for the Iwata hence my problems with it.

Geoff

Give it another try Geoff. 50 psi is more than enough pressure for what we do

Thin your paint to the consistency of milk

For the airbrush, with a clean jet and needle, 15lb to 20lb psi is plenty

Too high a pressure and you loose control of the amount of paint hitting the target and the paint often does

Not stick as it is dry when it lands

Turn the job down to 15psi and try again

Denis Watkins08/07/2020 07:24:55
4544 forum posts
123 photos
Posted by Phil B on 07/07/2020 19:22:11:

i want to be able to spray paint over fibteglass, doped fabric etc.

Which airbrush compressor combination on a limited budget should I comsider?

Do you spray once a year Phil? Or often.

Badger will get your job done and keep the costs down.

A budget airbrush and compressor will cope with finer details as well as bigger work for use monthly.

For more frequent work and more control

A budget airbrush, compressor and tank.

The tank reservoir will smooth out the high as low cycle of your spraying, and put less stress on the motor.

The budget combos you see All over the place will do you fine and are very quiet when running

Barrie Lever08/07/2020 08:08:42
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271 forum posts
50 photos

To reiterate what Dennis has said, too much pressure can be a source of problems, I do have a pressure gauge and water trap hanging off the end of my airbrush compressor and when spraying the pressure is 30psi, of course that raises when not spraying to about 38psi and then the compressor cuts off.

There are many airbrush kits around for very little money, the only reason that I don't recommend those is that I have never tried them and I only recommend items that I have personally used, however they will work as all the airbrushes are very simple.

Cleanliness is the byword when spraying or airbrushing.

B.

Danny Fenton08/07/2020 09:20:01
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9651 forum posts
4460 photos

I have several airbrushes, the secret is to get the pressure right, for the paint and the gun.

I have a small Harden and Steenbeck with a .3 mm needle and jet for detail work (15 - 20 psi), a couple of panel guns at .8 mm and 1.2 mm for larger areas, (25 - 30 psi) mainly for primer.

682.jpg

The bulk of my spraying is done with an Iwata Revolution TR2 (.5 mm), not cheap but a gem of an airbrush, but don't have the pressure too high 20 psi for Klass Kote seems perfect to me.

651.jpg

I got the panel guns for larger models, but the Iwata copes fine with the larger stuff, a bit slower but the paint goes on the model not the surrounding room!

two compressors, one small unit with gauge and water trap for indoor work. And a big one in the garage for general work, again with adjustable pressure and water trap, though I can run an airbrush of the tank for some time, before the noise kicks in.

I have made a simple but effective air extractor by wrapping a paint booth filter around a fan, works better than you would think, also works for balsa and foam dust when sanding.

766.jpg

767.jpg

Anyway they are all cheap enough, dive in and see what you are comfortable with, I would start with one of the asw186 compressor derivatives, with tank, and an airbrush with extra nozzles and needles, .3 mm/ .5 mm / .8 mm

A nice 3 mtr flexi line and some quick release connectors, and a cleaning pot to hold the airbrush during setting up and to spray thinners/cleaner into without spraying straight into the air.

Have fun, as others have said though the preparation gives a good finish, not the gun, but a poor gun/setup can give a poor finish no matter what the preparation.

Cheers

Danny

 

Edited By Danny Fenton on 08/07/2020 09:21:08

Bob Cotsford08/07/2020 09:30:10
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8646 forum posts
483 photos

If you only want to get paint on and not get into airbrush effects then the cheaper end of the scale work remarkably well. I painted my Skybolt with Solarlac paints using a cheap Hobbyking airbrush and an old Humbrol (?) one, both clones of Barrie's Badger (oo'er Missus!).

skybolt side view.jpg

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 08/07/2020 09:31:30

Phil B08/07/2020 12:08:41
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212 forum posts
196 photos

Thanks all, this is really helpful! I understand that I really need 2 airbrushes. I need to do base coat areas and later details. Up to niw I have been using aerosols for base coats then cutting out film or trim for details.

I looked at Hobbyking and couldn't find airbrushes.

I have found Badger 250 for about £30 and Badger 150 for £55.

Im still confusrd about what compressor to buy.

I read once if someone connecting an air brush to an inflated inner tube for the air supply. Any sense in that?

I have found a mid priced option at Axminster Power Tools that looks good on paper.

https://www.axminstertools.com/spraycraft-sp50k-dual-action-airbrush-kit-504968

What do you think? They do a cheaper model with a compressor.

Phil B08/07/2020 12:10:10
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212 forum posts
196 photos

Bob,

Thats nicely done.

What paints have you sprayed to achieve that?

I have found Tamiya acrylics adhere nicely without primer to oracover film.

Danny Fenton08/07/2020 12:20:34
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9651 forum posts
4460 photos

The airbrush in this set is only a .3mm But I bet when it arrives there will be at least a .5mm needle included

There are loads on the web just like this.

Cheers

Danny

Geoff S08/07/2020 12:41:32
3701 forum posts
29 photos
Posted by Denis Watkins on 08/07/2020 07:16:08:
Posted by Geoff S on 07/07/2020 23:54:31:

I also have a much more expensive Iwata double action air-brush which I've never had much success with (probably my fault) and I always seem to fall back on the Badger.

I have a Ripmax compressor with a filter I bought on eBay several years ago which delivers 21 litres/min ().75 cu ft/min) at a maximum pressure of 50 psi. It's OK but I suspect perhaps not sufficient for the Iwata hence my problems with it.

Geoff

Give it another try Geoff. 50 psi is more than enough pressure for what we do

Thin your paint to the consistency of milk

For the airbrush, with a clean jet and needle, 15lb to 20lb psi is plenty

Too high a pressure and you loose control of the amount of paint hitting the target and the paint often does

Not stick as it is dry when it lands

Turn the job down to 15psi and try again

Thanks for that, Dennis. Perhaps I should try the Iwata again. I've long suspected that my main trouble with painting is impatience and that's probably true.

Geoff

Ron Gray08/07/2020 12:41:55
2235 forum posts
978 photos

A car inner tube can be used to power an airbrush, but don't forget the cheap one I referred to above, Preval, it really does work and is cheap!

Robin Mosedale 108/07/2020 12:52:25
86 forum posts
1 photos

If you're going to make this a continuing aspect of your hobby, then badger.

I took up creating liveries and lining on steam engines quite a while ago, from 1/3 scale roadgoing TE's, to Gauge 1 live steam. Initially for my own collection, but word got about, and there's example from New Zealand, Europe, USA and Canada now. Mostly museum quality, but tough enough to withstand the rigours of temp and live steam use.

I have to use very particular solvents, mixes and enamel, and occasionally acrylic and others.

The Badger's that I use are double acting. This means that I can vary the air/solvent/substrate mix with finger action to ensure the effect and density of application. They are fixed aperture jets, but exchangeable nozzle and needle. I keep two going, fine and medium. They are completely dismantled in seconds and can be thoroughly washed through

I've settled on the Badger Crescendo 175: Very established.

**LINK**

Whether you go this route or not, please don't fall into the trap of buying a sub £100 diaphragm pumped compressor, despite the temptation of being relatively quiet. I had two. They not only wear out within months, but they have minimal tank capacity. They can't keep up with required airflow.

In the end I obtained something like this:-

**LINK**

Importantly it's oil free, so no contamination of air.

It has a large tank capacity, and sufficient capacity such that the pump only kicks in after about 10 minutes continuous use. Pretty consistent pressure.

I've added double water traps, too.

Get yourself a rest for the gun, so it is too hand and doesn't slide on to the floor when put down.

Lastly, and the biggest advice to anyone doing serious airbrushing:-

Dust.

Do it in a clean environment.

Vacuum up dust

Before beginning: Spray the air around either with water, droplets, allow the droplet with its dust to fall. I use a solvent as well, but only when ventilated, and outside if it's calm and dry.

Best of luck

Robin

Barrie Lever08/07/2020 12:52:37
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271 forum posts
50 photos

Paul

This is the size/type of compressor that will do you a really nice job.

**LINK**

**LINK**

You can use an inflated inner tube but it will be out of air in a flash.

If you are patient the right stuff will come up on Ebay, remember painting is very much a game of patience !!

Barrie

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