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bouke

Can anyone recommend an airbrush for a newb?

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thinking about getting one (would serve other purposes than just miniature painting) and man, it's a huge topic to wrap my mind around.  Does anyone have recommendations?  realizing I'd be new at it and top of the line isn't necessarily what I'm going for unless it's something that crap brands will just be more of a headache than a good thing.  Since it will be used for other things, I want to make sure first it can do miniature painting.  And as for a spray booth, I do wood working so I have that covered.

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I have the Badger Patriot 105 and really like it. It's affordable, easily maintained, high-quality, American made, parts/needles are available from Amazon, doesn't struggle with acrylic paints (even metallics)... the list of benefits goes on and on.

 

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1 hour ago, andy said:

I have the Badger Patriot 105 and really like it. It's affordable, easily maintained, high-quality, American made, parts/needles are available from Amazon, doesn't struggle with acrylic paints (even metallics)... the list of benefits goes on and on.

 

That's the one. @evil_bryan recommended that for a work horse brush. Solid, good, and general enough. Also at a good price on sales.

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@bouke Don't forget a compressor. I use the tankless Master airbrush compressor from Amazon. With a six-foot hose I have no problem with pulsing, so don't miss the tank. I do have two water-traps though (winter is pretty damp in the PNW, and nothing infuriates like spraying out a <splat> of water from condensation)... one at the compressor and one on the brush. EDIT: Just noticed you said you do woodworking, so you probably have the compressor covered ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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I have a Badger Patriot 105 and an Iwata eclipse

Honestly not a huge difference with the eclipse being a little nicer, and its easier to find parts for an Iwata at a local arts store. I find the Iwata a little bit easier for disassembly which is important because you will be cleaning it constantly. Of all the advantages to airbrushing, the cleaning is a huge pain in the rear. 

For a compressor, I burned through one of those Master airbrush compressors after about 2 years. They are basically all the same construction, just with different labels slapped on them. I moved way up to a California Air Tools tanked compressor:

https://www.aircompressorsdirect.com/California-Air-Tools-CAT-2050A-Air-Compressor/p70257.html

I really wanted the tank as to not wear on the motor as much. I also wanted a tank so that I could use this for other applications, such as pneumatic tools. It is "portable" in the sense that it has a handle and can be lifted without blowing out your back. It is probably lough enough that you could not get away with it in an apartment, but quiet enough that it wont wake any but the lightest of sleepers if you are in a separate room. I waited till this was on sale for around $120 when I got it. Certainly overkill for airbrushing, but hopefully it's the last one I need to buy. I think I can get 3-4 minutes of constant air flow before it refills the tank, which takes about 15 seconds.

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I just started airbrushing a few months ago. Everyone also recommended Iwata or Badger to me. I watched tons of videos and I found that the Iwata and Badgers were about the same, entry level to mid level, with the Iwata maybe getting a little better quality. Badger 105 is the go-to, and Badger has a newer Krome model. It is the same price, comes with 2 nozzles for future proofing. Built in the USA with factory tour videos sold me on the Badger. Got it on Amazon. So far the Krome is spraying great. A little bit of the Badger Lube on all the parts and it is pretty smooth and works well. No regrets so far.

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The reason I recommend the 105 over others (of which I have 6-7) is due to how much abuse it will take and continue to function.

I baby many of my other brushes, but just beat that 105 to death. It is more tolerant to heavy use, poor cleaning, and paint variety than anything else I have used.

Just make sure if you buy the 105, you do NOT get the 105 Extreme. Although the extreme has a nicer trigger (which you can buy separately and install in your 105), the MAC valve at the bottom of that brush sucks! It is loose, it leaks, and it is prone to falling out...and the airbrush will not operate without it.

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