Airbrush kits

Have any questions or tips and advice on how to build those bits that don't come ready made.
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Airbrush kits

Postby Spike » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:22 pm

Hope this is in the right section

What airbrush kits are people using, I have had a quick look and it looks like a minefield when trying to buy one.

I take it a compressor with a tank is better than just a compressor?

No idea on what the difference is in the sizes 4mm 2mm etc etc, what do they mean? which is best for scenery painting and also weathering to locos etc


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Re: Airbrush kits

Postby Paul-H » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:37 am


My reply will be quite different to many who will recommend getting something from the hi end like an Iwata, although even I would recommend their Revolution range.

I would say get one of the kits that include compressor and often a couple of cheap airbrushes , often one gravity fed and one Syphon fed.

Just make sure the compressor has a tank and includes auto shutoff.

Then if you find you like airbrushing then get a better airbrush, if you feel you need one, but you will be surprised just how useful even a cheap airbrush can actually be. The compressor will work fine on any airbrush, cheap or expensive so you can keep that, if you want a good but not so cheap airbrush than have a look at the Iwata Revolutions both CR & BR models are worth looking at.

Personally have used expensive models in the past have settled on the Veda 180 and have 3, all fitted with different size tips and needles, 0.2, 0.3 and 0.5, 0.2 sprays the thinnest line and 0.5 sprays the broadest line. Just make sure you are buying an original Veda not one of the copies, yes the Chinese copy their own products as well as everyone else's, the Original Veda 180 was itself a copy of an Iwata model

Hope this has been of help

Last edited by Paul-H on Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Airbrush kits

Postby Spike » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:13 pm

Thanks for the advice gives me something to look at now.

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Re: Airbrush kits

Postby Dad-1 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:23 am


As a beginner think to yourself if you really need an airbrush. I have one, well two
if I include my middle sons airbrush & compressor that's hidden in my loft. Yet I've
not used one for around 10 years. You may ask if that's because I don't make any
model kits, the simple answer to that is to look at my Workbench thread.

Firstly I'll admit I use enamel paints and not acrylics, probably a sign of getting old.
What I found was that the cutting back of paints (thinning) and cleaning all including
the airbrush afterwards was too much of a drag. With fine scale aircraft kits I did
use, but drifted off into either Halfords rattle cans, or brush painting. Aircraft need
a super fine finish, while railway wagons are usually filthy and a little rough !

I brush paint all my wagon builds. I consider the paint quality the most important factor
and prefer RailMatch if you can get them, remember the postal system will not accept !!
I would suggest only getting an airbrush later if you think it would enhance your work.
For me brush rules.

Geoff T.
Remember ... I know nothing about railways.
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=32187 and Another on viewtopic.php?f=22&t=28436&start=60&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Re: Airbrush kits

Postby Lysander » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:05 pm

I know that many model builders would consider this heresy but I agree entirely with Geoff. My airbrush and compressor is safely stored in the loft and I’m happy for it to stay there! I get perfectly good results by brush-painting and using rattle-cans. If you wish to use an airbrush then fair enough, but my advice would be to satisfy yourself first that only it would take you to where you want to be.

Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Re: Airbrush kits

Postby Bigglesof266 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:10 pm

What airbrush kits are people using,

Not quite that simple.

it looks like a minefield when trying to buy one.

Not really, just unfamiliar territory to you.

I take it a compressor with a tank is better than just a compressor?

Yes. But, you can get by without one. That said, these days compressors with an air tank reservoir are so cheap and there's so little difference in price between with or without, kinda' silly to buy one without. But it really needs to be at least a 3 litre tank if you're going for one with a tank. Buy one that isn't noisy. You'll understand why when you do and use it.

The Chinese manufactured AS-186's rebadged and marketed under numerous brand names are a decent very affordable airbrush compressor.

sizes 4mm 2mm etc etc, what do they mean?

They're references to nozzle sizes.

which is best for scenery painting and also weathering to locos etc

Any single size is a compromise. If you're going with a single airbrush, my recommendation starting out would be to go with something which has interchangable nozzles like Badger's venerable 150 but in a 150-7 set with the three fine, med, heavy needles and nozzles included. It's proven, very affordable and well made. You'll hear a lot of hoo-ha about gravity feed vs suction, but the truth is unless you're spraying very fine work and want to use low low pressures, it doesn't matter. Both work well. I have both BTW, multiples thereof, and including a couple of those 150s. one of which is my original airbrush bought way back in '82. I still use it all the time.

Regardless which you go for, you want to buy a double action airbrush. They're now so cheap today there's no reason to compromise on single action.

Scenery, you want a medium to large head, nozzle & needle setup. Weathering and detail, fine is better, but medium is doable. Single brush compromise is of course, medium.

Inexpensive but quality, robust and reliable with decent parts supply. Anything from Sparmax. Up a notch Badger or Omni (ex Thayer and Chandler). After that knock yourself out. A zillion brands to choose from out there all wanting your money. Iwata, Tamiya, Paasch, Testors all well known brands, or the likes of Harder and Steenback who are currently making a high profile advertising splash to be darling of the month. They're all very good. Just avoid the rubbish metallurgy eBay cheapies starting out. For the average punter's use, IME any perceptible performance improvement beyond the first two brands mentioned isn't really commensurate with their premium pricing. Starting out you certainly won't see added value reflected anywhere but in an enhanced ego from boasting rights. Airbrushing results have more to do with preparation, the other equipment in the chain, spraying pressures, the paints you use, and skill and technique which only develops with experience really.

GL with it.

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Re: Airbrush kits

Postby 61xx » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:25 am

It depends what you need the airbrush for...
If it is for full spray jobs on coaches, locos etc, then probably go for a well known make.
I used to build model aeroplanes years ago, so had a Badger, can't remember the model, but it was a good one. I sold it with loads of other stuff when my marriage fell apart.
Now I have a cheapo 'Royalmax' £15... I only need it at the moment for weathering, and for that purpose it is excellent. I use rattle cans for spray jobs. I haven't tried the cheapo for that, but I will try sometime. If I find it is not up to the job I will buy a better one, probably another Badger, because I am brand loyal, and anyway all those other makes didn't exist years ago.
As for a compressor, originally I had a tankless one that was perfectly fine. these days I have a large compressor I can use for airtools fullsize spraying etc etc.. I plug my airbrush into that via a water trap and pressure regulater. It does a great job..


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