Author Topic: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?  (Read 1918 times)

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nuno81291

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Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« on: December 20, 2018, 09:19:25 AM »
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Hey gang,

With my booth shaping up it is time to gift myself an airbrush rig. I like the idea of dual action ABs and am looking at the Badger Patriot 105 with a Master tc40t compressor https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00WBT7PTW/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=A23ADOZFIJNPFB&psc=1

Or an all in one kit like this Paasche offering:

https://www.amazon.com/Paasche-Airbrush-TG-300R-Gravity-Compressor-x/dp/B01LN0SXA4/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1545314811&sr=8-6&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=paasche+airbrush+kit&dpPl=1&dpID=51OntEFTNsL&ref=plSrch

For a little background, I have been using rattlecans my entire life and am not afraid of the learning curve or cleaning requirements of an AB. That said, it seems some dual action brushes clean easier than others. I have no preference of acrylics vs solvent paints and intend to try both. My purpose would be general kit painting, and the ability to do some finer weathering style applications, which makes dual action look particularly attractive. I like the idea of gravity fed as well for seeming simplicity. I have read a lot of mixed reviews of nearly every major brands dual action gravity fed brushes which has kind of put me on the fence. I would say my budget ideally is around 300 for brush, compressor and cleaning kit. As far as the compressors go, it looks like a tank compressor is preferred, with a moisture trap. It looks like the TCP/master offering is generally the same thing a lot of companies offer rebranded. Not sure if a twin piston is a good idea or not for the extra $$$. In terms of frequency of use... well I have 2 layouts of structures  and other modeling projects that all need paint and clear coats so I anticipate this to be used quite frequently, atleast weekly as I am sort of in paint limbo with an ever growing backlog of projects awaiting paint.

Any advice is much appreciated. Unfortunately it seems my local craft/artist stores don’t seem to stock what I’m interested in or I would like to pick one up in person. FWIW I did a search here before this post and it left me wanting more info and perhaps any updated info as it seems the quality of parts seems to change over time.
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

C855B

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2018, 10:35:09 AM »
+1
I went through the same decision process a few years ago. I had been avoiding airbrushing altogether for decades, after ruining a few models with that cheap entry Badger brush powered by canned air. There are far more experienced heads around here, but here's my 2¢:

Compressor - a cheap single-piston with tank and regulator/trap is fine. Air is air, as long as there is enough and it's controlled. These seem to be going for $60 on eBay, with or without a "kit" (I'd toss the airbrush). The little desktop "box" units are diaphragm pumps and are noisy, have no tank, and depend on the hose to play the role of "tank" in smoothing the air stream. Avoid those.

That leaves a hunk of budget for a really good gravity brush. Paasche is OK, but be thinking Grex, Iwata and Harder & Steenbeck. I have an H&S Colani which I love, after a detour with a mid-grade siphon Paasche that was less than satisfying. The Colani is an outlier in the H&S line (parts and support are more difficult than other H&S brushes), so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but not only does it do the job very nicely, it is a breeze to thoroughly clean. I suspect other gravity brushes are similar. I use all types of hobby paints in it, and have three different tip combos depending on the work at hand.

There are Grex and Iwata enthusiasts on TRW, so search the forum for those brand names and I'm certain the previous discussion(s) will be useful to you.
...mike

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We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

Iain

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2018, 01:43:36 PM »
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Considering I've also never owned an airbrush, a few questions, if I may:

Why would you go for gravity feed over siphon?

What PSI should you aim for as a top end (with the idea that you can regulate down from there as needed)?
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

C855B

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2018, 02:09:56 PM »
+3
Gravity in an airbrush is much more forgiving of viscosity. It also means less to clean up, less paint waste, and a couple of drops in the cup for a small, quick spritz works versus pouring enough paint into the siphon jar to reach the pickup tube.

Air pressure is dependent on medium. There are a zillion opinions, most successful, but generally you're looking in the 20-40 psi range.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

nuno81291

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2018, 06:37:15 PM »
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To echo c855b; it appears gravity brushes are a bit easier to maintain but that could be my noob misunderstanding. I would say also because I’m old school and the idea of gravity working for versus against just bodes well with me.
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Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2018, 06:52:47 PM »
+1
I used a single action Paasche for years, moved to a dual action Paasche and now gone to a Nozomi Gravity feed dual action and would not go back. I have done a lot of airbrushing over the past 40 years and the Nozomi wins hands down. It is made of aluminum, is light and very easy to clean and much easier than a Paasche.
Using a gravity feed reduces the amount of wasted paint and you can mix in the bowl to the consistency you want.
I also use a dual compressor with an air tank, water trap and dual gauges so you can regulate tank pressure along with output air pressure.
a really nice combo that works for me. I have also added quick release fitting to all my air brushes and hose so I can swap easily without needing to find a small spanner to undo the air line. They are just a small version of what an auto shop uses.
I purchased mine from Runway13 based in Canberra here in Australia so might be difficult to find.
Happy shopping.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

peteski

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2018, 07:07:44 PM »
+1
For more than 30 years now I have been using Badger 200 siphon-fed airbrush.  I also have a paint cup attachment, but it basically sits in the storage box, unused.

This is a single action internal-mix unit and I basically use it as a miniature spray gun (wich much, much better control than spray cans). Plus I can use any paint and any color in it (not limited to spray can selection).  Hey, I even decant spray cans and airbrush the paint because airbrush is so much easier to control (especially when painting very small items).  I use air pressures from about 10-30 psi (I usually stick with lower range of those pressures).

Since I use it as a mini spray-gun, I much prefer the 1oz glass jar for the paint. It holds the paint inside, even if I tilt the airbrush while painting,  When I tried to use the cup, I  ended up spilling paint everywhere.  I also often paint larger items (like 1:12 scale model automobile kits) and a paint cup would not hold enough paint to finish painting the car body. So for me, what I have works prefect.  I also find cleaning the glass jar much easier than trying to clean out the cup, but again, it is my personal preference.  You might remember my quick-and-painless airbrush cleaning thread https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=41067.msg511017#msg511017 .

However I can see how a gravity-fed dual-action airbrush with a paint cup would be a good choice for tasks such as weathering.  You only need to put few drops of paint in it.  Perfect when you are weathering a model when not a lot of paint is needed.

I see everybody mentioning brands other than Badger.  What's wrong with Badger airbrushes, or what makes the other brands that much better?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 12:43:37 PM by peteski »
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nuno81291

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2018, 08:07:46 PM »
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Well I sprung for an Iwata eclipse gravity feed. It is hard as a first timer to imagine the pros and cons of each style, if I find I need another type for a different application I will compliment the Iwata with it. Time to order a compressor.  :trollface:
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Chris333

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2018, 08:11:11 PM »
+2
If I had that little cup on top, imagine I would spill more than spray.

nuno81291

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2018, 10:00:16 PM »
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The little cup does have a lid  :trollface: I am thinking of getting a single action siphon at a cheaper price point, just to get a feel for it. I definitely like the idea of quick connects, a familiar concept from my work compressors and air tools. Now to order some more paraphernalia in preparation for the learning curve. The work I see experienced hobbyists accomplish with the AB was certainly the impetus for this. Thanks everyone for the comments. 
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Mark W

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2018, 10:20:25 PM »
+2
Just for general reference: Scale Model Workshop is a great channel for all kinds of great tools and tips. 
He has a whole playlist for airbrushes:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHO9r1wkd5PegL6O0BTrk3XEqH4j6tTDy   

Here's the first one, the basics:



Top quality content.  If you ever need some background audio, Scale Model Workshop is a great one to fill the silence and learn a few things too!
Contact me about custom model building.
Learn more about Free-moNebraska.

nuno81291

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2018, 10:26:50 PM »
+1
Been on the hunt for some quality content on all things air brush and modeling related air brushing; thanks for the suggestion!
Guilford Rail System in the 80s/90s

Lemosteam

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2018, 07:43:37 AM »
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Reading and watching do not compare to DOING.  Get your stuff, hook it up and spray stuff.  Any stuff, boxes, spoons, metal, brass, taped off areas, everything.

Put different paints in the gun, DO NOT experiment with cleaning solvents other than what that paint recommends.

Try different viscosity paints, buy all the needle sizes available, try each paint with different pressures. 

I am very new to airbrushing (painted maybe 1-20 objects so far in two years with reasonable results), after my wife gifted me a Badger Patriot siphon.

With my large, clumsy fingers, cleaning it is my nemesis.  Wish someone made a 3D printed THROWAWAY Airbrush (wait, hmmm...) I hate cleaning it that much.

Everything above is what I WISHED I would have done myself.

I plumbed my garage compressor (after its water trap) into the basement, ran a long line to my small water trap/pressure regulator, and used the short line that comes with the brush from there up to the AB, all with quick connects.

I have not tried any weathering at all with an AB yet, but the top mount, centered cup/gravity feed makes sense, especially for a lefty- I have to hold the airbrush in an awkward position with the siphon cup on the left side of the brush.


peteski

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2018, 06:59:20 PM »
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With my large, clumsy fingers, cleaning it is my nemesis.  Wish someone made a 3D printed THROWAWAY Airbrush (wait, hmmm...) I hate cleaning it that much.


If you are airbrushing stinky paints (not water-based acrylics), then cleaning is a breeze.  Really! Remember the cleaning method I use I described in the post I liked to in my earlier post here.  It really doesn't have to be a dreaded chore. Really!
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Philip H

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Re: Dual action airbrush and tank compressor suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2018, 07:38:44 PM »
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Even though you made a choice I’ll go contrarian and lobby for the dual action internal mix Aztec for Testors. It’s as good as any of the others, I find it easy to clean, it has nozzle heads in about a dozen needle sizes and it take both a cup and a shoving in the glass bottle.
Philip H.
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