Air Dragon

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Airbrush and Equipment Reviews

 

Learning to airbrush is easy but you need a good airbrush. This review will guide you in choosing the right airbrush that will insure your success. If you are on a budget, there are cheap airbrushes that are very good quality that will last for years!

 

You will pay about the same price for an airbrush that is guaranteed to work 100% of the time out of the box as a Chinese knock off! So don't do it.

 

These reviews are limited to the two most popular airbrushes brands on the market today. I recommend that you buy either a Badger or Iwata airbrush because both companies test every airbrush and stand behind their products.

 

To insure your success you need a good double action airbrush where the paint and air are both controlled by the trigger. As a beginner, you are going to spray a lot of paint in the learning process so buy either a siphon feed that uses 2 or 3 ounce bottles or a gravity feed that has at least a 1/3 oz. cup.

 

All you need to get started is a good airbrush, airbrush hose, compressor and paint but you should buy a set of cleaning brush's and if your budget permits an air (moisture) filter and extra paint bottles. If you can not afford an air filter at this time than drain your compressor tank frequently!!

 

Airbrush Reviews:

 

Badger Airbrush:

 

If you are on a budget or do not want to spend a lot of money to get started then Badger makes some really great cheap airbrushes. They are American made airbrushes with a guarantee and each is tested even the cheap airbrushes.

 

Thayer and Chandler Vega 2000:

 

If you are on a budget than I recommend you buy this siphon feed airbrush  with a medium tip for around $40. This airbrush uses 3 tip sizes for different spray patterns and for a bit more money you can buy a kit with all 3 sizes and a hose.

 

Thayer and Chandler Omni 3000:

 

My next recommendation is this siphon feed airbrush. If this airbrush fits your budget than take the step up and take advantage of it's single needle design so you do not need different needles and nozzles. It is about $45 on Amazon.

 

Both the Vega 2000 and Omni 3000 airbrushes are used by 100's of T-shirt and automotive artists so you will not go wrong with either airbrush.

 

Thayer and Chandler Omni 4000:

 

Gravity feed airbrushes can spray finer lines at lower air pressures because they do not have to suck up the paint like the siphon feed airbrushes. If you have a light duty compressor than this may be the choice for your set-up but it costs a bit more.

 

Badger 155 Anthem:

 

Another good airbrush for the beginner which is a general purpose airbrush with a slightly larger nozzle size (0.75mm). It has the one needle/nozzle design and will not spray as fine a line as the Omni 3000 but has wider spray pattern for coverage of larger areas such as background. Still a great beginner airbrush.

 

Iwata-Medea Eclipse Series:

 

 Iwata is pricier than the Badger airbrush but it is an excellent airbrush. It comes in siphon feed, gravity and side feed models. Both the gravity and side feed come with the finer 0.35mm tip. Iwata now has a cheap airbrush called the Neo Iwata but I don't recommend it for beginners because the screw on tip which makes it a bugger to clean.

 

Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP BCS is the siphon feed model with the 0.5mm tip.

 

Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP-CS is the gravity feed model with the 0.35mm tip.

 

Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP SBS is the side feed model with the 0.35mm tip.

 

Iwata makes a very high quality airbrush and is probably the best selling airbrush in the USA today because of the quality and aggressive advertising. Any of the Eclipse airbrushes will be a great choice for a beginner though the side feed has a very small cup size.

 

Be sure to buy an extra tip and needle in case you split a nozle or bend a tip!

 

Next you need a hose to connect your airbrush to your air supply. Get a good 10 foot braided hose. Also, buy a quick disconnect fitting for your particular brand of airbrush. That way if you need to stop and clean the airbrush you will not have to bleed the air off the compressor etc.

 

Also, purchase a set of mini nylon cleaning brushes, and some airbrush restorer both are a great help in cleaning the airbrush and keeping in in top shape. Air gun lube helps too.

 

Now you have a number of good choices so go the the Airbrush Store and find the one that fits your style. I have limited the choices to the airbrushes that I know are the best for beginning airbrush students and will not disappoint you so pick one and get started!

 

Paints:

 

There are an infinite number of paints that you can use airbrushing. However, it is best to start with a good textile paint. Once you get your basic strokes mastered you should progress to airbrushing T-shirts because they are an inexpensive and a forgiving surface. Plus you can wear them and give them as gifts. After you have gotten very good at mastering the airbrush you are ready to paint hard surfaces such as canvas and metal.

 

Badger makes Air-Tex and Spectra-Tex for airbrushing textiles.

 

Createx

 

Createx paint is the most popular airbrush paint and they also make a paint called Wicked Colors which can be used for textile or automotive if clear coated.

 

Iwata

 

Iwata makes the Medea Textile paint by Jurek which is also a very versatile paint.

 

Compressors:

 

A compressor is the heart of your airbrush so buy as much compressor as you can afford. Stay away from the silent airbrush compressors unless you have lots of money. You will pay a premium for a silent airbrush compressor with a tiny motor and limited capability.

 

 

 So if the noise bothers you, than put your compressor in an adjoining room or build an insulated box with a fan to cool it. That will save you$100’ss of dollars and you will end up with a better compressor for your needs.

 

Buy a compressor with as big a motor and reserve tank as your budget can afford. A larger reserve tank means your compressor will work less to supply air and less work means less condensation in your reserve tank. If you buy a small compressor with a small tank you will need to drain the tank frequently.

 

Most compressors come with a regulator to adjust the air pressure but you will most likely need to buy an air filter to collect the moisture. Compressors generate a lot of heat when working and this in turn generates a lot of moisture which you do not want getting into your airbrush.

That is all you need to get started!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airbrush and Equipment Review Video

 

Here is a video Introduction to

 

Airbrush Equipment

 

(I hope it helps you decide which airbrush and equipment that you need to get started.

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