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airbrushes

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by ruderogo, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. ruderogo New Member

    im pretty new to the hobby of figure painting and modeling, two years. i started with a badger 350 and couldnt stand it(i was using it for armor models) it was about as usefull as a can of spray, i would always have to mask of areas constantly. i recenty(two months) decided to move up to a middle class airbrush and got an iwata hp-cr. i was wondering if anyone here uses the same brush? if not what do you use? its good enough to let me spray fleshtones and base colors for camo on 1/35 figs and much much more on larger 120mm figs. its pretty much a workhorse, from painting faces and shadows right over to painting the camo on a tiger 1.
  2. DangerAtom New Member

    Matthew, what you've got there is a good, nice, solid airbrush. You've made a good choice for your first "real" airbrush. It's a real step up from the old master blaster of the Badger 350, which is good for what it does. It's much better than using a spray can because it atomizes the paint better and works with a tighter pattern, so you don't have to spray from 2 feet away. And with a lot of practice and using hand stencils and masking, you can do simple camo jobs with the 350. But now you've moved up. Now that you've gone to an internal mix airbrush, you'll never go back. You'll just keep moving up from here.
    Most people go from the 350 to the 200. But you've jumped over that. You've gone straight to the double action airbrushes. Soon, you'll be wanting to step up to the big boys like the Custom Micron series or the Sotar 20/20. But don't get over anxious. You really need a lot of practice time and get real good with what you now have before you move into the world of the super fine line machines.
    My current inventory of airbrushes includes 2 Badger 350's, one of the very first Aztec/ Testor airbrushes ever made (that still works), a Badger Anthem 155, a Badger 150, an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS, a Sotar 20/20, and an Iwata Custom Micron SB. I never use the 350's anymore, like I said, once you go use and intrnal mix airbrush, you'll never go back to an external mix. I never use my Aztec anymore either simply because the nozzles wore out to fast and got too expensive to buy all the time. But it worked real well when I did use it. I use my Anthem 155 strictly for doing clear coats, in Future, over aircraft and armor. It has a fatter needle in it for doing the heavier medium that Future is. I use the Badger 150 and Eclipse HP-CS for doing most of the grunt work like overall paint coats and shooting flat coats and they're also real good for doing freehand camo jobs, but it requires a lot of practice to be comfortable doing this. Your airbrush is pretty comparative to the Eclipse HP-CS. I think you'll like it. I use my Sotar 20/20 only for emergency work anymore. It does everything it advertises in fine line work, and I never had trouble getting it to do what I wanted it to. I just never got comfortable useing it. It never felt good in my hand, the color cup lays back too much, allowing paint to spill out to easily, and the tip of the needle is totally exposed. The needle is super thin, and will bend or break easily if it comes in contact with anything solid. The Custom Micron SB gets used all the time. I love that airbrush. With properly thinned paint, you can spray a hair line with it. It's very solid and it feels great in the hand. I never realized how rough the paint jobs were on the models I painted with other airbrushes until I used the Micron to paint the overall color coats on my recent F-8 Crusaider. I was even able to spray weathering coats over the exhaust areas, right up to panel lines, without getting any overspray on the colored paints. All freehand, without any masking. I was amazed. And it got me a gold medal at The Tulsa Show. I don't think I would have gotten gold if I had used any of my other airbrushes. The finish was beyond any other I had ever achieved.
    But the drawback with the Micron, it's expensive. And the parts for it are expensive and hard to find, even by mail order. I think the parts are just too expensive for most places to keep in stock all the time. One evening, I was cleaning it up after a paint session, and I droped the nozzle head assembly. Well, it totally crushed the the nozzle tip. I ordered a new one that night. It took close to a month for it to get to me and cost me $45. For something not much bigger than the head of a pin. And I bought it from Dixie Art, who, in my opinion, has the best prices and the quickest service of anyone out there. So there are drawbacks. It's a good thing I still had my Sotar 20/20 on hand.
    I guess I should point out though, I don't use my airbrushes to paint figures (other than primer coats or something like a base coat for a shirt on a big bust). To me, figure painting is an art that I would rather approach in the more traditional ways, using paint brushes. That's just me though. I know I'm good with an airbrush, and I could probably do some nice figures with it. But for me, I don't think I would be as satisfied doing a great figure with an airbrush as I would doing a so-so figure with traditional brushes. I prefer to learn figure painting the same way the masters in this hobby did. To me, figure painting and model building are two different hobbies that just happen to go well together.
    A couple of tips, get a crown head nozzle tip for your airbrush. It really helps in reducing paint spatter. And if you remove the nozzle head tip while doing tight work, it really helps. Turn down the pressure a lot and you can get the needle really close to the work. You get it just right and it's like drawing with a pencil. Just be careful not to flood the piece with paint or let the needle touch the surface.
    I really hope you enjoy your airbrush. Get lots of practice with it. I can't stress this enough. Doing good work with an airbrush is 10% airbrush and 90% user. There are so many tricks you will learn on your own. And after 5 or 10 years, when you've taken it as far as you can go, then think about stepping up to something like the Micron series. That will open up a whole new world. And for God's sake, keep it clean. Learn how to take it apart and put it back together with your eyes closed, so that is like a natural reflex and you won't dread cleaning it out. It doesn't matter how good a painter you are, that all goes away when your tools don't function like they're suppose to. The more you break it down and clean it, the better you'll be at diagnosing problems when they occur. Good luck and have fun.
  3. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I use Paasches as I have been using them for over thirty years as an illustrator. They are well made, inexpensive and come in a variety of styles. If I was to get a new AB it would probably be an Iwata Micron but they are not cheap.
  4. ruderogo New Member

    thanks for the reply kevin and bob, and yeah im real happy with my hp-cr, i was having a hard time deciding between the hp-C and the hp-cr, even though the C is supposedly much better then my revolution, i decided to save some $ and develop my skills some more before i spend 150+ on a new airbrush
  5. ruderogo New Member

    so two people on the whole site use airbrushes? surprising
  6. Figure Mad Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Matthew

    Sorry I have just got hold of this thread, the others are right with what they have said. I too started on the early badger airbrushes but very quickly moved on, as I was training as an art student some 23 years ago, access to good quality airbrushes was very good, and since then I have used only one style of airbrush, it’s a dual action, gravity fed, very fine line, Deville Bis Aerograph Super 63. Its an old airbrush now, but serves me as well as it did, when I bought it, I got it second hand 20years ago, it was a good 15years old then, parts are still available and its my most valued tool.

    I tried Paasche, but found them a little heavy in the hand at the time, they may be a lot better these days. I think the best advice that can be given is; For Airbrushes and Compressors buy the best you can afford at the time and practice, practice, practice.... :)

    Happy Airbrushing

    Dave
  7. Uruk-Hai PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Sweden
    I use Evolution from Harder & Steinbeck.
    Great airbrush!
    [IMG]

    Also check this thread out.
    Click me gentle

    Cheers
  8. PJ Deluhery Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I am a relative newcomer to airbrushes for final finishes. I use the Aztec and the Badger 100 and 200 series with fine and medium nozzles. Sometimes I like the control a single action provides, especially for fine finishing. These three brushes have worked well for me, and any one is a good place to start. Equally important is a good compressor that is reasonably QUIET. Early this year, I replaced my old clunker with a new Scorpion TT, and am very happy with it.

    I think after while each person develops his or her own criteria for a good brush, and after that, a more expensive brush may be a good idea. On the other hand, if you wish to follow the old maxim: "There is no tool a Man does not need" and purchase several high-end brushes because they look cool on the work bench, who am I to disagree? :lol:
  9. Stephan PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Germany
    I used an aztek A 470 an also an revell professionell 150.
    But only for big things.
  10. Brad S Member

    I got my iwata hp-b about 2 years ago. Love it. As others has said, once you go from an external mix to internal mix and to a gravity feed, there is no going back. I can dial that air pressure down to about 5-7 psi and get some super fine lines (when I dont shake, of course). Dont use it much on my 54's though.

    Brad Spelts

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