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Which air brush do you guys use ?


laugh7887
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I have an Iwata Eclipse HP-BS. I love this airbrush. It's all metal, it sprays so nicely. There's only one tip to have to worry about. It's super easy to clean. Iwata4life

I took a few pics.

First is the brush,

Second is the parts breakdown for cleaning (it breaks down a little more, but this is all you need for cleaning),

Third are some line variations I just sprayed real quick

airbrush.jpg

airbrushparts.jpg

airbrushspray.jpg

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As some of you know around here - I still use my trusty old (20yrs old) Single Action Badger 200IL siphon feed. I learned on this brush - but just haven't had the need for upgrading. Single action is an excellent learning platform, and I could do pretty well everything I needed on it. Especially for modelling, there really isn't the need to vary the flow and thickness during a spray pass. Additionally, one should NEVER start or stop on the model - no matter how good the brush is, there will always be a chance of splatter at the start and stop points.

I plan on upgrading to a dual-action sometime - but it has been my workhorse and only airbrush for all these years - and it does fine lines really well. Its really easy to clean and sprays almost everything I've thrown at it (with the proper thinning).

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Thank you for your imput wm cheng & bhop

I guess my first air brush fluid nozzle was too thick , no matter what i tried , distance , air pressure , thin down paints , it's always very inconsistant . Now i finally got an HP-C with a fine nozzle , guess i cant blame on my airbrush but to start working on my skill . :p

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Additionally, one should NEVER start or stop on the model - no matter how good the brush is, there will always be a chance of splatter at the start and stop points. 

Well, if you're shading, and doing highlights after painting a base coat, you kinda have to.

When I add highlights, i'll start the air flow on a piece of paper, that way any splatters shoot out then. While keepin the air going, i'll move the brush to the area I want to highlight, then start the paint spray, keeping the coat light so it doesn't build up too fast.

It works for me anyways..

Edited by bhop
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The HP-BC is a better brush than the Eclipse. The HP-BC is built to tighter tolerances which accounts for the difference in price but therefore has better atomization, meaning a smoother paint job.

The Iwata HP-BC and the HP-C, are basically the same airbrush head assembly with just different feed mechanisms. I prefer the HP-C since gravity feed allows for better control of paint flow at low psi, meaning I can put down a finer line with the same size nozzle. The gravity feed is also easier to clean. The only drawback is that it only holds 1/3 oz of paint to the BCs 3/4 oz. But 1/3 oz is quite a lot of paint and you shouldn't need more.

Right now you can get an Eclipse for only $79.97 with free shipping at dixieart.com or get the HP-C for $90.95 plus $8.23 shipping at KFI Beauty supplies. For only $20 more I recommend the HP-C

F.

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question about gravity feed.... I can't imagine using it...but I think I don't understand it. Siphon is attractive because I mix all my paints, add the different colors to the airbrush and go. With the gravity feed system how do you switch colors? How much cleaning must you do?

Thanks

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With the gravity feed the cup is on top. When you need to switch colors,

just dump any excess paint into the jar you mixed it in, and then I pour

some thinner in the cup, scrub it around with a stiff brush (stippling paint brush?),

and then blow the thinner through the brush into a waste cup. I will usually run

some clean thinner through after that, and I am on to the next color.

I only break down my airbrush about once a week for a thorough cleaning.

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With the gravity feed the cup is on top. When you need to switch colors,

just dump any excess paint into the jar you mixed it in, and then I pour

some thinner in the cup, scrub it around with a stiff brush (stippling paint brush?),

and then blow the thinner through the brush into a waste cup. I will usually run

some clean thinner through after that, and I am on to the next color.

I only break down my airbrush about once a week for a thorough cleaning.

Interesting...do people keep more then 1 cup...or just go a little at a time?

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I have some small (2-3oz) containers I got at a craft store that I use

to mix up custom colors. Then I just use what I need for a session.

One other benefit I just discovered about my gravity feed, is if I don't have

the cup completely full, I can have the body of the airbrush perpendicular

to my desk, and paint straight down onto things. For me, this really improves

my control, because I can use my left hand to steady my right.

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I have some small (2-3oz) containers I got at a craft store that I use

to mix up custom colors. Then I just use what I need for a session.

One other benefit I just discovered about my gravity feed, is if I don't have

the cup completely full, I can have the body of the airbrush perpendicular

to my desk, and paint straight down onto things. For me, this really improves

my control, because I can use my left hand to steady my right.

Thats great information! Thank you!

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With the gravity feed the cup is on top. When you need to switch colors,

just dump any excess paint into the jar you mixed it in, and then I pour

some thinner in the cup, scrub it around with a stiff brush (stippling paint brush?),

and then blow the thinner through the brush into a waste cup. I will usually run

some clean thinner through after that, and I am on to the next color.

I only break down my airbrush about once a week for a thorough cleaning.

Hey, that's exactly what I do.. step for step..

I use these to mix my paints. With Tamiya acrylics, the paints lasts as long as I want to keep it. With enamels, they tend to dry out fast though.

paintcup.jpg

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Yeah , definately need those little plastic jars ! I used to have 10 of them for my illustration classes to keep paints fresh . now i use these jars to keep diluted Tamiya paints like Red , yellow , white , black , some of the major color. :D

IMG_0141.jpg

P.S sorry , my work table looks like a mess !

:p

Edited by laugh7887
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The HP-BC is a better brush than the Eclipse. The HP-BC is built to tighter tolerances which accounts for the difference in price but therefore has better atomization, meaning a smoother paint job.

The Iwata HP-BC and the HP-C, are basically the same airbrush head assembly with just different feed mechanisms. I prefer the HP-C since gravity feed allows for better control of paint flow at low psi, meaning I can put down a finer line with the same size nozzle. The gravity feed is also easier to clean. The only drawback is that it only holds 1/3 oz of paint to the BCs 3/4 oz. But 1/3 oz is quite a lot of paint and you shouldn't need more.

Right now you can get an Eclipse for only $79.97 with free shipping at dixieart.com or get the HP-C for $90.95 plus $8.23 shipping at KFI Beauty supplies. For only $20 more I recommend the HP-C

F.

THANKS!!!!! My HP-C arrived yesterday!

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This is the one I use http://www.dixieart.com/BadgerSotar.html. It is a double action gravity feed.

I started out with the Aztec brand and still own two of them but these days I never touch them. Aztecs are a real pain to clean and you have to have 20 different nozzels to paint details etc.

The Sotar is a snap to clean and I usually use the medium needle but if I need super fine detail it takes about 30 seconds to change out to the fine needle. The medium needle will paint some impressively small lines though.

The best advice I can give anyone who is planning to buy an airbrush is to spend the extra money and get a quality brush. You will regret it if you skimp and go cheap. Cheap airbrushes do an almost good job which will cause you no end of frustration. I don't know how many times I wanted to pull my hair out thanks to one of my Aztecs. There is nothing worse than spending hours on a model only to have your airbrush screw up the paint at the last minute.

P.S. Be sure to get a moisture trap too. You can get air hoses that have one attached or you can get them to go between your air source and the airhose. They will go a long way towards keeping moisture buildup at bay.

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This is the one I use http://www.dixieart.com/BadgerSotar.html. It is a double action gravity feed.

I started out with the Aztec brand and still own two of them but these days I never touch them. Aztecs are a real pain to clean and you have to have 20 different nozzels to paint details etc.

Yeah, my cheap little Aztek can't spray Future decently. If I don't put it on so heavily that it runs, it leaves a rough surface. I'm looking at a Paasche VL or Millinium.

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As luck would have it I broke my Sotar. It is going back to Badger to be repaired but in the mean time I just purchased a Badger model 155 Anthem from the local Michaels craft store. It is a double action bottom feed and cost me about 140$. I like my Sotar better (maybe I am biased because I have been using it for so long) but this is a pretty good airbrush.

I used it last night to put down some base coats and it worked great. It gave a nice even spray that left a good coat of paint with no globs, orange peel, or other of the usual problems you get with poor airbrushes. At 140$ it had better not! The only thing I was dissapointed with was the clean up. Don't get me wrong, it was 100 times better than an Aztec. I just like how easy it is to clean a Sotar.

One thing it has in the plus column over a Sotar is that as a bottem feed you can attach several different size paint cups to hold as much paint as you need. The Sotar is a top feed that holds a limited amount of paint so that you have to refill more frequently if you are using a lot of one color.

I would certainly reccommend either of these airbrushes to anyone planning to buy an airbrush.

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I'm so glad I saw this site. I'm buying an airbrush finally as I've been using spray cans and spending a fortune on them. I too, will be getting the HB-C airbrush, but have another question. What about the compressor. I know about 30 psi is standard??? but anyone have a good brand compressor for modeling?

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Also, I've been looking on ebay for compressors (that's where I got my Iwata HB-C) and there are so many various compressors. is 0-60 psi good or too much. Here's the link compressor If one of you airbrush techies could help out, I'm ready to move onto a new level of modeling and customizing. thanks

:D

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Man, my Iwata HB-c came in, and that thing is beautiful. Nice balance, flow control, I'm in love. I may never go back to spray cans ever again.

:D If anyone is still questioning which airbrush to get, Iwata HB-C is hands down the best.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have both a Paasche VLS and Aztek A470.

Honestly, the only one I really use when I do go for an airbrush is the A470. The Paasche is just too much of a pain to clean, IMO.

That said, I also don't make heavy use of my airbrushes. I still tend to do most of my work with cans or a basic $12 Badger external mix "spray gun".

I also won't put anything but water based paints through my airbrushes, and I'd never try spraying Future either (except through the external mix spray gun), but that's just me. I'd be concerned about the Future gumming it up too much, and oil based paints are far too difficult and messy to clean out of an airbrush to be worth the effort, IMO.

Airbrushes are certainly nice and useful, but the results you get will depend most on your technique rather than the equipment. Excellent results can be had with common spray cans, appropriate masking and the right technique.

Well, all of that and practice. ;)

For most things though, you don't need to break the bank on an airbrush, as you really only need it for a very few things. This is one of those times where I advocate getting a less expensive "starter" setup and seeing if it works for you and how much you use it, and then moving up from there if you find the need to do so.

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Airbrushes are certainly nice and useful, but the results you get will depend most on your technique rather than the equipment.  Excellent results can be had with common spray cans, appropriate masking and the right technique.

Well, all of that and practice.  ;)

For most things though, you don't need to break the bank on an airbrush, as you really only need it for a very few things.  This is one of those times where I advocate getting a less expensive "starter" setup and seeing if it works for you and how much you use it, and then moving up from there if you find the need to do so.

Indeed i agree with you that technique plays a large part of the whole process . For a beginer, One should never go dig into their bank for a $100+ airbrush and execpt it will return it's value on a modle paint job. $100 airbrush is for those who have quite a bid of experience with coloring models already. I my self started painting models through brushes and sponges for years before i feel unsatisfied with the limitation of the just sponges and brushes can achieve.

For an experienced modeler, I feel that it is also very important to understand that with better equipment , it saves time ,frustration and money in spraying .

First , a good airbrush can help one's technique to acheive the desirable look under less time which saves frustration on technical issue and gives more time to deal with the asthetic issue.

A good air brush + air compressor can stick with the user forever ( almost ), which saves you money if you question can cheap airbrush stay with users for 10 years under constant use ?

Personally i had a Iwata HP-CP for 2 years and it's super easy to clean under seconds. Through 2~3 times of 2ml windex , i can let it dry or swap color immeditately. The airbrush was under quite heavy use for i put oil base / water based and some varnishes in it for countless hours but it never stop functioning nor deteriate.

These is just some of my thoughts :p

Edited by laugh7887
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BinaryFalcon, the Future is a lot less likely to gum up your internal mix airbrushes, than the paint you're already running through them. It tends to be easier to clean out, than the paint, too. Future is really nothing more than a thin acrylic clear coat.

Personally, I'm sick of my Aztek. I want a Badger 155.

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I´ve been airbrushing for quite a long time now (over 15 years) and I found out the key to have fun with it is NOT to get the most high-tech brush but to stick to a (reliable) brand! Then airbrush anything you can get hold of! Spray patterns, try pictures of clouds, replicate chrome or marble, try to get an even, shiny finish on a car model, then spray camouflage patterns on a japanese plane in 1/144. Try out everything, and if you don´t succeed, don´t blame it on the airbrush - try again!! Sounds awful but helps after a while.

My first one was a Rich (Iwata-"bootleg"), then a Badger, then a genuine Iwata HP-BC, then a Sogoolee HP (which a really cheap Iwata lookalike from Poland). I was never satisfied with the first three because I never got the finishes right and after a while they even seemed impossible to clean. I DID manage to do some reasonable paint jobs after all but I just felt I could not fully control what I was doing. After srcewing up on the expensive Iwata I decided to get a real cheap one (Sogolee, about 50$) AND switch all my colours from enamels to acrylics.

Well this cheap Polish thing still works perfect after ten years of continuous use, I can do everything from a shiny car to wheathering effects. It is not because I found the perfect airbrush, it is because over the time I learned how to hold it properly, how to control the airflow AND the amount of colour at the same time, how to get the right distance and angle to the object, how to dilute the colour properly and what thinner to use, how to use the adequate pressure for a certain paint job etc.. ..it is much easier to learn how to drive a car, but in the end it is worth it!!

And: the acrylics. Since I switched to Tamiya and Gunze (aqueous) paints I actually spend more time spraying than cleaning the airbrush! With the old enamels I was constantly cleaning and even disassembling the thing just to get the paint residues out! I say go for acrylics.

Needless to say if I had my old airbrushes back I could do any paint job with them now (although I didn´t like the Badger). I once even considered to get an Aztec but other modelers´opinions seemed to change from initial enthusiasm to later dissapointment so I did never try my hands on this brand. I doubt that ANY brand can save you from spending lots of time getting your own experiences.

So my two cents are: Get a good airbrush, and anything looking like an IWATA seems to do the job here, get some acrylics and then: paint! Starting with airbrushing will not give you instant gratification, but don´t let anything discourage you and in the end you´ll be able to do ANY paint job you desire.

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Need some advice. One of the hobby shops I frequent has an Iwata HP-CR for $98. Would you guys recomend this, or should I just order a Badger 155 Anthem set, online? I prefer to buy at brick and mortar stores, but the only place I know to get the Badger, wants over a hundred for just the 155, the Anthem set is about $150. (I've seen it online for closer to $60)

I never do fine detail work, like pinstriping. I prefer to mask, to do that.

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One point to consider in favor of the Iwata, is that they make their nozzles

out of steel (or at least the portion of the nozzle where the needle seats)

instead of brass. This makes it more durable, and less prone to splitting

under high pressure.

As for running fluids like Future through an airbrush, I run Future through my

Iwata all the time, and have no problems if I blow some ammonia through it

immediately afterwards. You can use straight ammonia or Windex (which smells

a lot better). :D

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  • 10 months later...

Can't say how silent they are...sorry. No doubt someone will soon.

I just wanted to jump in in defence of aztek airbrushes...a bit. I wouldn't agree with all the claims I've heard about their good points but I would also disagree with many of the bad points you hear of as well.

For instance. you don't need a cart load of tips to paint detail, you need one and as it opens up fairly well you can use it for most coverage with water based inks very well. They are cheap if you don't get tempted by all the bells and whistles sets and they clean up as easily as a normal airbrush though no easier.

I've been a professional airbrush artist for twenty two years, for 18 of which I used the same DeVillbis Aerograph Super 63 C. A damn fine brush it was and I bought it second hand whilst at art college in the first place. I really loved that brush and when it finally became too rattly and worn to maintain a smooth action without spattering and backfeeding I thought I'd try the aztek. I , like one of your other conventional brush contributers find I only need to take the thing apart once a week. Only in my case it's just the nozzles which split down to the four parts:- needle, spring, inner and outer, easily. I then dump them into a cup of acetone for two minutes and they're spotless. The rest of the time spraying a bit of airbrush cleaner or cellulose thinners through it keeps it perfectly on song, depending what sort of paint I'm using. Because the paint in the main chanber stays wet a quick spray of the relevant thinner cleans it easily. I really apreciate being able to choose which side of the body to put the cup because I prefer them on the right giving me a better view of the piece when using the big jars. The newer metal body feels nice in the hand and is easy to dissassemble unlike the plastic body though that isn't exactly difficult you just have to have the guts to try prizing it open ( I take everything apart it's just in my nature ). I didn't like the plastic body myself. it's just too light in the hand and the rubber grip tends to go "yucky" after contact with too much cellulose thinners but owners without my investigative nature may be suprised to know that their were more metal parts inside the older plastic bodies than there are in the new metal one. The plastic parts stay cleaner and less gunged better than the metal ones did especially if you put 2pack cyanoacrylates through it as I do occasionally So TesTors are improving the design as time goes on, that's also why I like the ability to use the all plastic nozzles which doesn't exist with most brushes.

In short I don't think they're in anyway gods gift to airbrushing but they do have some very useful qualities and we can tend to react against things sometimes just because they're different

Edited by yorkshire_keith
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Hi Azrhino

How..

By over thinning them to about 200% they go through absolutely no problem at all (and they seem to dry just as tough and hard as if you follow the instructions and put them through a full size spray gun.) + Taking all normal precautions Filters, extraction, Airfed mask etc.

For what purpose..

Petrol tank murals, auto art, illustrated clockdials, mechanical clock automata like little soldiers etc, slot car and radio control car bodies and for putting a really waterproof, evaporation-proof or polishable laquer over other media such as water-based acrylics or even oil paints if you build it up thick enough. though for the latter you need to thin it less and use the yellow nozzle in my opinion.

The last time I used them was to recreate the decals when I restored my dad's old ATCO lawnmower.

Edited by yorkshire_keith
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