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Thread: What Air Brush?

  1. #1

    What Air Brush?

    Can anyone give me some advise on buying an airbrush?

    I am planning some resprays and to start weathering locos. I don't want to spend a fortune either.

    Thanks

    Dave

    Custom made baseboards, helix, storage units and display cabinets. Complete layout service available.




  2. #2
    Senior Member Glenderg's Avatar
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    Good question Dave!

    I'm going to tell you about the cheaper alternatives. I don't have a professional compressor nor Badger airbrushes, so someone like anthony might be able to shed some light on the more professional options.

    There are several cheap compressors on Ebay - steer clear of the ones for applying fake tan in funky looking enclosures. What's important is that it has an air regulator, with a valve to release any moisture. Otherwise the moisture comes out of the brush with the paint, putting an nice squirt on your model. The other thing to worry about is whether it is a single piston version, or has a tank, so that the air coming out is constant and consistent. The tank version is more expensive - usually about 100. The single piston version is around 50. I have this and find it fine, but I would look at the tank version if you are going to do really delicate work.

    Then there are the brushes themselves. Cheap ones in packs can be ok, it can be hit and miss. You have the choice of gravity feed - the little cup on top, or suction systems. Suction brushes are used for large volume work, like 20 coaches at a time. I have both types but mostly use the gravity feed for drops of paint, doing single locos etc. Then there is the action - double action is a must so that when you push down on the pedal air comes out, and as you press harder the paint is released into the spray and you can control the volume released.

    Then there is the needle/nozzle size. Anything from 0.1 mm to 0.8mm the last one being best for french polishing tables really. Steer clear of the guns where you can swap needles and nozzles, you'll lose parts over time and not remember what nozzle goes with what needle. I'd get one or two good ones first and then go toward the Iwata series. Expensive but the tooling on them are far far superior to the Far Eastern manufacturered ones on ebay. There was a great article by George Dent in Model Rail Mag, I think in April. Worth the read.

    http://www.ebay.ie/itm/AIRBRUSH-KIT-...ht_5534wt_1139

    http://www.ebay.ie/itm/Compressor-Ai...#ht_1246wt_952

    Two great options I reckon. Hope it helps and the lads add their bit too.
    Richie

  3. #3
    Thanks Richie

    Very informative, I'll probably go for the second option.

    I have designed a spray booth for my work bench with a fan and filter.

    Cheers

    Dave.

    Custom made baseboards, helix, storage units and display cabinets. Complete layout service available.




  4. #4
    Dave Richie has given you some good advice in his reply. I use a compressor with a 2.5 liter air reservoir tank it's better if you are going to be doing a high volume of airbrushing and you don't want the noise of a smaller compressor buzzing beside you when you are working. I have fitted mine with a moisture trap so it catches any moisture or water before it reaches the airbrush.

    I use a badger 200 airbrush for spraying locos, coaches, wagons, scenery etc and a Richpen Apollo gravity feed double action airbrush for finer work such as weathering and fine lines. Some people are happy with the results of using a cheap airbrush and I have had a few people over to my house for a demo and once they have used the gravity feed double action brush they are converted. A chap that I know who airbrushes fuel tanks on motor bikes recommended the Richpen to me and I love it. Spares are readily available from Europe, Asia, and the USA. I have a few cups that I use for the badger and I would never use the glass jar that I have in the photo below as it's easier to change over the cups when you are changing color.

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    Rich,

  5. #5
    Hi Rich,

    I have an oil free compressor in the workshop, it's mostly used on site for my two nail guns. It has a 5 ltr tanks which would be fine. Where can you get the Richpen Apollo?

    Many thanks.

    Dave

    Custom made baseboards, helix, storage units and display cabinets. Complete layout service available.




  6. #6
    Senior Member Glenderg's Avatar
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    Wow rich, that's an impressive bit of kit. Even more so when you appreciate the scale of the airbrush to the tank! (And Draper gear is always kick ass)
    R.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Hi Rich,

    I have an oil free compressor in the workshop, it's mostly used on site for my two nail guns. It has a 5 ltr tanks which would be fine. Where can you get the Richpen Apollo?

    Many thanks.

    Dave
    Dave I got mine from www.bearair.com in the USA the model # is Richpen Apollo 113C. It's a beauty to work with and comes with a very fine needle. I think you can get them in the UK as well.

    Rich,

  8. #8
    Bought this a couple of years ago
    Still unused.......



    Its called an Aztec A4709, thats as much as I know about it

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenderg View Post
    Wow rich, that's an impressive bit of kit. Even more so when you appreciate the scale of the airbrush to the tank! (And Draper gear is always kick ass)
    R.
    Richie I have the compressor 7 years and it has never given me any trouble. Plug it in, turn it on, fill up the tank, set the air pressure connect the hose to the moisture trap and away you go. I get hours of airbrushing time from a full tank and you don't have any noise. A nice summers day outside is the right time for airbrushing. I know some people have fume extraction kit but I don't have the luxury of that at the moment. If I am using enamels during the less hospitable months I spray in my brothers garage and use a mask so as not to breathe in any harmful fumes. I also leave the garage door open a slight bit. He lets me leave the models in a room to dry for a couple of days and I come back and gloss varnish them if they need decals. I leave the gloss varnish dry for a few days apply the decals and give them a coat of satin or matt varnish depending on what type of finish I want.

    I seem to find myself using acrylic paints a lot more now so I will incorporate a small fume extraction kit (just to be on the safe side) into the build of my new railway shed and workshop.

    Rich,

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by WRENNEIRE View Post
    Bought this a couple of years ago
    Still unused.......



    Its called an Aztec A4709, thats as much as I know about it
    It looks like a side feed airbrush Dave, which can be very useful at times. An all round nice piece of kit. I assume that they are the nozzles in the six containers above the airbrush.

    Rich,

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