Airbrush

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Illus, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Illus

    Illus Member

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    My wife asked me for x-mas ideas the other day, and I told her I wanted an Airbrush. Now I have to tell her what kind of airbrush. I was looking at the Badger model 350-7. Does anyone have any helpful airbrush info? What brands are better? Canned propellant or mini compressor? Paint thru-the-nozzle or Jar-out-front? While I am on the subject, which paints?
    Thanks for the help.
  2. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    I have both a Paasche type H and a VL. I like the H, but I love the VL...it's a double action. I've been drooling over compressors for a while...and mini sand blasting stuff for painting/repainting metal models. I can't compare these to other brands, but the VL has me fully satisfied.

    I generally use floquil paints thinned using floquils diosol or airbrush thinner. I've heard that many professional painters prefer scalecoat for painting engines...it's easier to apply decals to their gloss paints, and then dullcote it after weathering...usually they'll use floquil more for weathering. Floquil is probably the modeller's standard and has been for decades.
  3. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    Personally, I don't like airbrushes with plastic handles and other parts.

    I prefer all-metal airbrushes, which are tough and easy to maintain. I use a Badger 200 single-action internal mix, and the only plastic part in that brush is a teflon washer in the spray tip. I would take the 200 over the 350.

    If you want double action, check out the Badger 150 as well. It's also all metal.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Forgive me if im de-railing this thread off subject....but what are the advantages to airbrushing as compared to hand brushing? Im considering buying one as well.
  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    The most obvious advantage to an airbrush over hand-brushing is the ability to apply a thin, smooth, even coat of paint. Handbrushing frequently leaves brush marks or unevenness in the coat.

    Airbrushes are also a lot better for applying subtle weathering effects, like soot around smokestacks or diesel exhausts, dirt/mudsplash coatings on undercarriages/trucks, etc.

    Hope this helps.
  6. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    Thanks for the info! Do you use a propellent can or compressor for your Badger 200?
  7. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

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    I use a compressor yep.. The propellent cans run out of pressure too fast, and they ain't cheap either. The first couple times you use a compressor, it practically pays for itself in the cost savings over the propellent cans. :thumb:
  8. Illus

    Illus Member

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    Major plus on my behalf, when I was telling my Father-in-Law about wanting an airbrush, he told me he has an airbrush compressor, and that I can have it. He bought it for his son while he was in college (graphic design), and now that he graduated, he gave it back, so I can have it! Also said he may have the airbrush, if he can find it, it's mine!
  9. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

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    Airbrush newbie here

    I'm a research guru, and I did a lot of homework before buying my airbrush. The fine folks here at The Gauge were a great help as well. LongIslandTom and doctorwayne have been especially helpful in this decision.

    For model railroaders, you're probably looking at two main brands for the airbrush: Badger or Paasche. They're both good quality airbrushes at reasonable prices. Iwata (I think that's the name) has some high-end equipment, but it seems like overkill to me.

    The biggest decision as far as type of airbrush is either single or double action. With a single action, you press the button down and both paint and air come out at the same time. With double action, you press the button down for air then forward for paint. Most here agree that double action gives you more control, but can be harder to use.

    I've used the compressed air cans, and they're junk. I needed to paint, and I couldn't yet afford a mini-compressor...so I did what I had to. I bought a compressor, and just today fitted it with a regulator and moisture filter. If you're interested, you can read the thread on my paint woes here.

    For the most part, I use Floquil or Polly Scale paints. Both are made by Testors, who specializes in model paints. Those particular brands are for model railroading, and the color names are very easy to use (eg. Dirt, Grimy Black, Oily Black, Rust, Freight Car Red). You can use other paints, but realize that you're going to be spraying them at low pressure, so they will most likely have to be thinned down.
  10. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

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    I found a guy willing to sell his old badger 200 compressor and all for $20. The thing works great!
  11. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    Good find Play-Doh!
  12. Illus

    Illus Member

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    Thatks for the paint info 2-8-2. I am waiting for my father-in-law to let me know about the airbrush, but also looking at a paasche.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I use a Paasche VL and am very satisfied with it. It's the only airbrush that I've ever owned, so I'm unable to compare it to other models. Easy to use, easy to clean, and in service for almost 30 years. I usually use Floquil paints, but on occasion have used Scalecoat, SMP Accupaint, and Testors, all thinned with lacquer thinner, and PollyScale and Tamiya, thinned with methyl hydrate. My original compressor was an old cast iron one-lunger that sometimes pumped oil from the sump: thank goodness for the trap!:rolleyes: My present compressor is one that my Dad built from a truck airbrake system. It works well, but because the tank is so small, runs constantly when in use. I don't do too much custom painting nowadays, so I usually save up my paint jobs, then do them all in one 5 or 6 hour session. If you're going to paint with any lacquer-based paint, use a spray booth vented to the outdoors, or paint outdoors, and always wear a proper two-stage respirator that removes the solvent vapours as well as the paint particles from the air that you're breathing.

    Wayne
  14. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

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    Check out the prices at Sears on their compressor's... I got mine there for $89.95. It has 125 lbs max. pressure, and a 2.5 gal. tank. It beats the heck out of canned air... those are really problematic. I have a Badger 350, but recently bought a second air brush at Harbor Freight (for 9 bucks... complete with spare spray bottles, hose, and connector) and it works surprisingly well. That might be an economical way to start out, and then up-grade to a Paasche or Badger later on. I hope this helps...

    Bob sign1
  15. Alan Bickley

    Alan Bickley Member

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    I have a Paasche single action airbrush that I had given to me by a body repair contractor working where I used to work in a vehicle management job. He told me that a colleague got it for an interior paint repair on a car, and never used it again. Great!
    Now I, too have a question: I purchased a compressor for my airbrush, but now the winter has come I wish to continue painting indoors where it is still warm, but the compressor is noisey when it refills itself. So what alternative is there to the compressor?
  16. zedob

    zedob Member

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    Alan, How big is your compressor? I'd just stick it somewhere else in the house, or basement, or at worst outside.

    As for airbrushes, I have a Paasche H series, which has been a good workhorse for years. It's not as versitile as the VL (that's next, real soon), but with some creative moves and frisketing (masking) it is possible to pull off pretty much any pattern or degree of coating you'll need. If you really like the hobby and plan on staying in it, I whole heartedly suggest going for the double-acting. The learning curve may be longer, but I think would be worth it. Atleast, that's what all of the experts seem to say.


    I recommend a diaphram (oil-less) compressor with a tank. If you use the compressor alone you can get a noticable pulsing of the air flow. I bought mine from HD for $300, but it came with 2 nail guns. Check out Craigslist.com for local used stuff, too.