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Thread: Best Airbrush on a Budget?

  1. Default Best Airbrush on a Budget?

    Hello everyone.

    Recently, I have commenced an HO scale freelance project in which I must paint several undecorated locomotives to build a roster for my railroad (well, every fictional freelance has gotta get paint work!) Of course, I am going to be needing an airbrush.

    Since I am spending the bulk of my money on acquiring the track I need for the layout at this time, I am looking to pick up an airbrush while I'm at it. I don't really need anything too fancy, so I have a question. What would be the best airbrush that is currently on the market that fits my airbrush budget?

    My budget is $125 or less.

    Thanks for all the help!!!

    Cheers,

    -Ace
    Conrail-Gone But Not Forgotten

  2. Default

    I have a Paasche VL-S dual action siphon airbrush, a Speedaire dual action grvity feed brush, and 4 Badger 250 single action external mix brushes.

    I paint a lot of slot cars, R/C cars, model cars, and of course model trains. For 99% of everything I paint, I use the $20 Badger 250's. They are great little air brushes, easy to use, lay paint well, and easy to clean.

    Why do I have 4 of them? When I'm painting slot cars, I do a lot of "production" work... I may paint 10 or 12 bodies in one evening. I'll load one brush with white, one with black, and the other two with colors. To change colors, I wipe the siphon tube off with a paper towel, blow the tube out on a paper towel, screw on a bottle of laquer thinner and spray until the tinner comes clean on a paper towel, and change colors. (It took longer to type that than it does to clean the brush!)

    Badger 250 airbrush:





    http://www.badgerairbrush.com/BADGER_250.asp

    I also use this to supply dried, regulated air to all 4 brushes.



    Rotor
    Last edited by Rotorranch; 08-21-2011 at 02:32 AM.
    Jake: How often does the train go by?

    Elwood: So often you won't even notice ...


    http://s185.photobucket.com/albums/x...albumview=grid

  3. #3

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    For $125.00 you have several excellent choices.

    The Paasche Talon is a very good gun, and available in siphion or gravity feed.

    http://www.tcpglobal.com/airbrushdepot/abpaakits.aspx

    Tha Badger Anthem is also a very good gun for the money:

    http://www.tcpglobal.com/airbrushdepot/b155sets.aspx

    They also have the Patriot if you like gravity feed guns

    My personal favorite is Iwata

    Their Eclipse line is excellent, and though it's toward the uper end of your budget, IMHO it's worth the few extra bucks. There is the HP-BCS for a siphon feed gun, and the HP-CS if you want gravity feed. They use stainless steel in their nozzles and spring steel for their needles, so parts are a little more expensive, but you won't buy parts much. I have a 3 year old HP-CS that still has all the original parts.

    http://www.tcpglobal.com/airbrushdep...e.aspx#IWA4200

    All are excellent guns and will last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance.

    The Badger 250 is not so much an airbrush as a spray gun. It is for large areas with medium to heavy viscosity paints. It will not atomize paint as well as a true airbrush will. I started out with one to learn on, and quickly outgrew it. For finer detail work, you'll want something more capable.

    If you search the archives here you'll find several good discussions in airbrushing.

    Hope this helps.
    Alan

    Modeling Espee on the Coast and in steam

  4. Default

    I have not gotten an air brush but have thought of doing so many times.

    The price of just the air brush isn't what has stopped me. Its the total cost of everything needed. That includes a convenient compressed air supply, regulator, drier and a spray booth with a filtered exhaust to the outside.

    I did borrow one of the Badger 250's once to see if I really wanted to buy an air brush. It worked well but it was the other items that keep me from buying my own.

    Just bringing this up so the OP can think and ask about and budget for full setup.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by waltr View Post
    I have not gotten an air brush but have thought of doing so many times.

    The price of just the air brush isn't what has stopped me. Its the total cost of everything needed. That includes a convenient compressed air supply, regulator, drier and a spray booth with a filtered exhaust to the outside.

    I did borrow one of the Badger 250's once to see if I really wanted to buy an air brush. It worked well but it was the other items that keep me from buying my own.

    Just bringing this up so the OP can think and ask about and budget for full setup.
    Waltr, no offense really, but I always have to chuckle when I see a post like yours. If you check out the links I provided, you'll see that you can get a complete kit with everything you need to start painting for around $250-260.00. Now that isn't cheap, but it's not expensive either. In fact, it's real darn close to the price of an MTH/Athearn Genesis/BLI/whatever brand locomotive with Sound & DCC. Most of us have at least one of those, so might you really be saying "there's other things I'd rather spend my money on" instead of "too expensive"? It all comes down to how important painting is to the individual modeler.
    Alan

    Modeling Espee on the Coast and in steam

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    True, very true and no offense taken.
    I did think someone might get a chuckle.

    However $250 is twice the OP's budget and is why I wrote what I did.

    Cheers

  7. #7

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    True, but $250.00 includes a compressor, and he just asked about an airbrush. He may have an air source already. Lots of us have a compressor we use for other things as well.
    Alan

    Modeling Espee on the Coast and in steam

  8. Default Paasche H

    I have several airbrushes, Badger, Iwata, Paasche. My preference for model railroading is the Paasche H. It is a single action, siphon feed airbrush, reasonably priced. I bought the kit. Extra needle and such.

    I use it for backgrounds, modeling, and scenery.

    Whatever you buy, be sure to maintain/clean after each use and you'll be fine.

    My views:

    Gravity Feed: I get into working on something and eventually tilt the airbrush spilling the paint or I run out of paint. Just me. My Iwata (gravity feed) is awesome for tight detailed work.

    Dual Action: I'm not that coordinated. Controlling paint flow with the PH is easy for me.

  9. Default

    Thanks for all your responses!!!

    I will take a good look at every suggestion, and see what I like best.

    Btw, I have another question. Since my paint scheme is only one color (everything else is decals), I am not needing any fancy spraying rig. Is using spray paint or old school brush paint good options for painting locomotives?

    Thanks for all your help!

    -Ace
    Conrail-Gone But Not Forgotten

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NWP Dave View Post
    Gravity Feed: I get into working on something and eventually tilt the airbrush spilling the paint or I run out of paint. Just me. My Iwata (gravity feed) is awesome for tight detailed work.
    Dude, put the cap on the bowl! I can paint a 40 ft boxcar body with my HP-CS!


    Quote Originally Posted by NWP Dave View Post
    Dual Action: I'm not that coordinated. Controlling paint flow with the PH is easy for me.
    I tell people it's like learning stick after driving an automatic. You'll have a few "oops" moments, but before long you'll be doing it without thinking about it. It all comes down to practice!
    Alan

    Modeling Espee on the Coast and in steam

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