Airbrush! Taking first steps

I’m thinking about getting an Airbrush.

Does anyone here have experience with it?
What would you recommend?
What do you use it for?

Thanks in advance!

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good plan,

for miniature painting Dual Action Gravity feed is the way to go. They operate at lower pressure so you can get in closer.
Priming, varnishing, and painting terrain go with single action siphon feed, easier to use and clean you can blow through in no time.

Depending where you are in the world there are different answers, I didn’t start with my airbrush which is a pricey bastard, but worth it.
Instead look for a compressor with cheap airbrush and it will do the job and the compressor is generally worth the price by itself.

In the UK or Ireland something like Airbrush Compressor Kit AC02 BARTSHARP Airbrush Kits - BartSharp Airbrush is spot on. You’ll find a lot of companies doing them even on fleabay and amazon. I like Bart as they have replacement parts for their airbrushes and will swap things around for you in a lot of cases.

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I‘ve got a Harder & Steenbeck starter set for a few years now. The only thing I would change is that I would take the Evolution instead of the Ultra. Otherwise I am pretty happy with it.

I started with priming. Just Zenithal or in color.
Now I try to airbrush as much detail as possible.
Just don‘t expect a plug and play experience :grin:

Some example where I used it for the skin. All the yellow on the spider as well



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I’m aiming at the H&S Evolution 2in1 Starter Set. I intend to use it exactly as you discribed. Priming first, to get a feel for it. Later maybe bigger models, especially Deadzone scenery or vehicles. A giant maybe to get a feel for detailing with an airbrush. If I get anywhere near your results, I’ll be more than happy. Especially the spider looks ace!

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when I got the infinity I was able to get a set with a 0.4 mm nozzle for priming, terrain, and varnishing, and a 0.2mm nozzle for detail. If you can get the same go for it.

Also the best advice I ever received was, “if you think your paint is thin enough, thin it again”

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That set contains a .4 and a .2 needle/nozzle. Seems to be the way to go according to this forum and half of YouTube.
Thanks everyone!

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How do you airbrush users find the fumes?

I’ve almost pulled the trigger on a set a few times but pulled back due to talk of fume vents and extraction systems and heavy duty masks and suddenly it started looking like work. Or I wouldn’t bother and get poisoned painting toy soldiers.

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After 20 months of wearing masks, that doesn’t seem much of a problem to me😉
But good question. How do you protect yourself, if at all?

always wear a mask when you’re spraying. I have a portable extraction booth thing. but if I’m just doing a quick spray I don’t always use that. You will get a fine layer of dust over the surface you’re spraying on so if you don’t have a dedicated room you should probably invest in something like that

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So, I got this ‘light version’ of an airbrush, because I will mostly use it for priming, bigger models with flat surfaces, terrain and some special effects.
The main reason to get this thing


was be to be able to use it on the balcony/in the garden without building a proper airbrush setup in my flat. My wife really appreciates this approach, double win😆

Today I primed a Nemesis Intruder with a black spray can and then applied Greenstuffworld’s Colorshift Borealis Green with the airbrush. It’s really hard to capture the effect on a picture. Just think of a really shiny, disgusting, fat fly.



It worked really good and I’m excited to try it with more standard paints.

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Keno can you link to a product page for that airbrush? Or even better a link from where you bought it.

I bought on Amazon (auto correct suggested ‘Mazon’ :laughing:). I ordered one from the US, since it is sometimes unclear how much PSI (pressure) the countless cheap chinese airbrushes provide and descriptions tend to be badly translated. So I took the one from the guy in the video. Here is the link:

It arrived in less than a week here in Germany.
So far, I’m still happy with it. The compressor is fully compatible with better airbrush pistols, btw.

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Super information. Thanks.

Now the next question. Fumes - how did you setup for that?

I’m close to buying here if only for priming and varnishing.

I used the airbrush on the balcony. No additional ventilation was needed. The compressor is a perfect stand, so you do not need much else. It’s really like a ‘travel airbrush’.

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First time doing more than just priming. A two colour paint scheme (basically priming with two colours, really).


It’s really good for this purpose. I’ll try using with normal paints (thinned down) next week.

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Getting an airbrush totally changed the way I paint. Everything is primed with it, but I now use it for almost every base coat and a lot of the shading and highlighting. I use a zenithal highlight from above, which really helps with getting realistic lighting on your models. I also started with a cheap and nasty airbrush, although I did notice a marked improvement when I switched to an Iwata Eclipse CR.

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but compressors can be very noisy… my first one vibrated through the whole house and required a lot of padding to dampen the sound. Regarding fumes… acrylic paint, although non toxic, is not something you really want to be breathing in, and filling your lungs with. A quick spray, and I won’t bother putting on a mask, but anything longer than that I use a respirator. A well ventilated room will probably do the trick in summer though, if you’re near a window.

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I bought this from Ebay:


I haven’t had the time to test it yet. It fits on my mini-compressor, but only with the hose attached.
I got to say though, the overall quality, material and ‘cleanability’ is way better than the cheap one I got with my compressor. Probably going to test it later today.

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I used the 0,4mm needle and nozzle to shade the whole model with nuln oil. It took a while to figure it out, but in the end it was incredibly fast.
Shades are not perfect for airbrushes, but I’m quite pleased with the outcome. Next up, highlighting the blue.
The H&S Evolution is MUCH better than the cheap noname one. The mini-compressor still is awesome for my purposes.

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it’s a brave new world

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