Entry Level Airbrush?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by ComedicHistory, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. ComedicHistory

    ComedicHistory Active Member

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    Hey guys, I'm dying to get my hands on an airbrush kit to start practicing and building up my skills. However, before I buy anything like this I like to get feedback from people that know what they're talking about so....what brand/model airbrush would be good for someone who's just beginning to get into the hobby? Thanks!
     
  2. avianoguitarist

    avianoguitarist Active Member

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    Hey bud!
    There are some decent and inexpensive airbrush kits to get you going. It would help a bit to know what you plan to use it on, though. While most people use them on models and props, others use them for painting latex and urethane masks and suits.
     
  3. Finhead

    Finhead Sr Member

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    If your just starting out I would advise you to get a decent Airbrush to start with. You will spend a little more but it will be worth it. Problem with cheap starter brushes is they lack control and or refinement, it will drive you crazy trying to learn on something that is glitching or just doesn't work properly. I used to teach and I would recommend an Iwata Eclipse or Revolution to start, they can be used at any level so it wont be something you will have to sell or trade up from. I have a Revolution CR and use it quit often, way more than my Micron.
    If that is to high in price you can also get a clone of the Iwata from Bear Air.
    PEAK-BearAir.com
     
  4. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    I will second the Iwata airbrushes. I'm not expert by any means, but they make good stuff. I started out with a Paasche VL set like this though: VL-SET - DOUBLE ACTION by Paasche Airbrush Company
    There's not a whole lot of difference as far as how they work, so if you think you'll really use it you might want to spend some more on an Iwata.
     
  5. GeneralFROSTY

    GeneralFROSTY Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    One thing I personally learned the hard way is if you pay less for an airbrush, you are REALLY getting less.
    I say just bite the bullet and get a trusted brand and stay FAR away from those really good looking, but very inexpensive airbrushes you see on Evilbay.
     
  6. Steamtech

    Steamtech Member

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    I recently started airbrushing as well and went through the same thing figuring out what I needed and what I should buy. Some of the things that affected my decision were would airbrushing yield better results than the methods I was currently using, would I like using the airbrush and want to continue, and what type of airbrush would feel the most comfortable.

    In the end I settled for 3 different $25 airbrushes. Dual action gravity and siphon, and single action siphon. I have to say I think I made a good choice. All three airbrushes work great and now I know first, I really like airbrushing and its effects and second, dual action gravity feed is my favorite!

    I'm quite thankful I didn't buy $50 or $100 airbrushes since now two of them are just going to collect dust on my shelf. I see the advice other posted about $=quality, but as far as my newbie knowledge goes (not far, I know! :D) all the signs of quality are there with my cheapo airbrush - no sputtering, even consistent flow and nice smooth lines.

    That said, their advice is very good!
    Getting proven quality will eliminate the chance of bad equipment affecting your experience.

    In the end I recommend grabbing some cheap ones and playing around with them. When you've decided if you want to continue and what kind of airbrush you prefer, then go get one of the high quality ones. ;)
     
  7. CJS

    CJS Well-Known Member

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    The Paasche ones are great. Was my first and easy to learn with and great feel. No matter what, cleaning is key.
     
  8. ComedicHistory

    ComedicHistory Active Member

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    Thanks so much everyone, you've given me some really great advice. I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to go with but I will most definitely be using you've told me when I make my decision. I'll make sure to post my progress here on the site so you can see my evolution, my successes and failures...of which there will be MANY, I'm sure. Thanks again :-D
     
  9. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    Yes. Break it down and clean the entire thing after each use. Some people just pull the needle and run a pipe cleaner through it, but I always clean the whole thing. Better that than a nice surprise when you try to use it next. Plus I think they're fun to take apart...
     
  10. ComedicHistory

    ComedicHistory Active Member

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    Haha I love cleaning stuff, I love washing away dirt and grime to reveal something clean underneath. Yes, I'm well aware that I'm strange :-D Oh and that's an awesome display name, wayyy cooler than Fondor or Kuat...but that's just my opinion ;)
     
  11. ZOMBIEREPELLENT

    ZOMBIEREPELLENT Sr Member

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    Yes, but what BRAND of airbrush are they? I got a badger 200 for 25 bucks and it was amazing. Come to find out it was 90 bucks at most retailers.
     
  12. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I dont know if this would be entry level but I treated myself to one of these 12 years ago:

    Testors » Aztek » Airbrushes » World's Finest Airbrush » Deluxe Resin Airbrush Set

    & I love it!
    Bit high on price initially, the accessories are a reasonable though.
    Its very versatile with all the interchangable tips etc & it easy to clean.

    I dont do alot of airbrushing & I still have alot to learn but to me it was a good quallity bit of kit & I wanted to get something that would last me a good few years.

    :)
     
  13. Finhead

    Finhead Sr Member

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    Sorry I am going to have to say do not get one of these. This is the first AB I ever had, I would rate it a 4 out of 10 Iwata being a 10. Richpen being an 11. ;) lol
    The Aztek used a pinch valve action on the trigger to control the airflow to the tip. Basically a rubber tube being pinched by a pivot on the trigger, very in accurate and not the easiest to control. Not saying you can't but it is far easier and actually cheaper to start out with a better brush.


     
  14. Studio Stasis

    Studio Stasis Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I used to paint murals and portraits by airbrush and I went from owning Paasche and Badger to Aztek, and just before giving it up entirely out of frustration, I purchased an Iwata. With 20 years experience, and only 7 of those being with Iwata products, I can honestly say, I would never spend a dime on the other products, and I would be remiss without warning any other hobbyist of the frustrations with other products. I think the little bit of extra money to get an Iwata is WELL worth the cost. In fact, I have a $139 Iwata Eclipse that I would sell you for $70 if you'd like. I haven't used it in a while and I would prefer to keep you from buying an inferior product. If you want to go even cheaper than that, I'd say get whatever kit that you wont mind giving away when you get your first Iwata in the future.

    Note: I had that Aztek deluxe kit. I gave it away.
     
  15. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What about a starter kit like this or something similar?
     
  16. Steamtech

    Steamtech Member

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    This was the starter set I bought - 3 Airbrush, Air Compressor, And Air Hose Set

    $100, everything you need to get started except the paints. The compressor is good enough to start playing around with but won't do for serious work. The air hose is surprisingly good quality and I'm still really happy with the dual action gravity feed airbrush!

    Oh, and as others mentioned already clean your airbrush thoroughly after each use! It's seriously important! ;)
     
  17. Leigh

    Leigh Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    :lol oop's, ah well :unsure I like it :)
     
  18. robstyle

    robstyle Master Member

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    Thats very similar to the airbrush kit I have but I ended up buying an additional airbrush that went much finer than the ones in the kit. Ive never used the canister ones, just the additional one bought separately with a side cup.
    Dont get an over priced set that includes paints. Save your money and get the starter kit then learn to use rattle can paint with the airbrush. The money you will save is comical.
     
  19. ComedicHistory

    ComedicHistory Active Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the advice everyone. Looks like I even attracted some RPF legends as well haha :) I think I may be leaning toward an Iwata after reading all of this so I may hit you up animetronic. I occasionally get super discounted Amazon giftcards so some of the kits that were suggested might be on my list as well and I think $200 would most definitely be my max at this junction. I have a bunch of loose Hasbro SW starships I can't wait to practice on. I mean I've never mixed paints, weathered, layered (correctly) or anything so I have a LOT to learn but my semi-recent sobriety has pushed me to try new things, find new hobbies and prop collecting/building has always been something I've loved. Thanks again everyone, your posts, threads, pics, stories, successes, failures, highs and lows have helped keep me sober and it means the world to me.
     
  20. DethBecomesYou

    DethBecomesYou Active Member

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    If you are still reading this thread, I would suggest a NEO airbrush kit. They are made FOR iwata but not by iwata. Almost identical but made a little cheaper. I used an Aztek for years and decided to try a NEO out. At Hobby Lobby they are $59.99 but if you can get yourself a 40% off coupon you are good to go. I have had a lot of success with it. And since it is so inexpensive after the discount it's a nice mid level brush for low level price. IMO.
    Also, like others mentioned, cleaning is key. Make your own at home cleaning solution to save even more money. (1 part Simple Green, 1 part Windex, 2 parts distilled water)
     
  21. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What about paints? Just buy some testors and thin it out or use the more expensive stuff that does not need thinning?
     
  22. Sluis Van Shipyards

    Sluis Van Shipyards Master Member

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    It depends. I like using Testors Enamels just because I think they're easier to work with. I tried Acrylics, but always had the paint dry before it left the airbrush. I think there are retarders you can add to slow drying, but I've never tried them. The obviously benefit to acrylics is that they are less toxic. If you have a spray booth though you can vent everything outside.
     
  23. renaissance_man

    renaissance_man Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  24. robstyle

    robstyle Master Member

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    most air brush compressors are just like the link you posted being constant pressure. They are just large enough to power the airbrush, anything else such an external tank is overkill.

    Ill also add that unless you are painting larger items with an airbrush, the version you will use most is the small cup or "gravity feed". Many will opt for the permanent cup mount version where I prefer the removable cup. It helps speed cleaning up when using multiple colors on a regular basis.
     
  25. Ouja

    Ouja New Member

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    Hi I found this forum just recently, been lurking for a while to see ppl's works.

    I got my airbrush about 3 years ago. Its a brandless airbrush and probably some inferior china product. I also acquired an air compressor with it.

    Heres how I feel about it.
    1. I hear air brushes have a lifespan so i didn't want to spend too much on it.(Paid $40SGD so i think its about $30USD)
    2. I use a top/gravity feed & dual action and i can't imagine using a side/bottom feed.
    3. I getting the right viscosity of paint is the main skill to learn.
    4. My compressor has a tank cause the guy who taught me said sth like the tank is useful for getting a consistent air pressure.
    5. I regretted getting a rubber air hose as the coiling of rubber irritates the hell out of me, stick to the braided one.

    Hope this helps.
     
  26. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ok, when I buy one (and I'm tempted to pull the trigger right now) I think I'll go for this one. Unless someone suddenly screams not to. And I'll go through the link at the top of the page so the site gets some Amazon bucks.
     
  27. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So I bought that $104 kit. One small problem. The "manual" for the compressor shows one end of the hose connected to the compressor, the other end connects to the filter, and then the filter connects to the airbrush. Unfortunately, you can't connect the jar or cup to one of them while the air filter is connected. I might have to jury rig something. Maybe make a short section of hose.
     
  28. NormanF

    NormanF Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Another update. A coworker suggested I try the brushes out by spraying water on paper. Everything seemed to work well. And after a couple of minutes use there was no water in the filter, so I think running the one brush without it will be ok. Now I just need something to paint.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  29. Fennec

    Fennec Active Member

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    Wow guys! This was of great help to me! :)
    I was actually going to start a thread about this, but I got my answer.

    I think I will be getting the Iwata Eclipse, it seems like a whole lot of you agree that it is a good airbrush for entry-mid level airbrushes.

    Thanks again! :)
     

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