Beginner airbrush


New Member
Jan 25, 2012
I'm a young modeler on a budget and i'm looking to acquire and airbrush. What are some good options for beginner airbrushes,compressors, paints etc. Thanks -Fadugle


cut. glue. paint. repeat.
May 24, 2009
Take a look at the Iwata Neo

I'm just starting to get familiar with the Badger air brushes, but they make a some great brushes - so I'm not sure which is their entry level product. I know a number of the members here use Badgers (I own one also), maybe some one else can comment.

Another good starter air brush is the Paasche H. That was my first airbrush. It's single action (easier to learn initially I think), easy to clean and maintain.

For me the major cost was not the airbrush, the cost canned air can add up quick, and I spent more on my compressor than any one of my air brushes.



New Member
Apr 4, 2011
I am young as well, and have found the Badger 175 quite easy to use, it is a dual action side feed brush and will set you back $75-$100 for the brush. As for compressors, I use a Bosch one, but that was $175 and is quite bulky. Check eBay for some smaller cheaper ones suitable for beginners.


New Member
Jun 30, 2011
I bought on ebay for 130 bucks.. a compressor and 2 dual action gravity feed airbrushes.. a 2cc and a 7cc cup..

generic china made stuff.. but before I spent more than 100 bucks just for a brush I wanted to get something cheap to try out while I decide which name brand brush I want to get

there are a couple of companies that offer that type of deal on ebay..

I decided to go this route after seeing MMT comment on someones airbrushing tutorial vid on YT
so far they have been good.. they work well and when I make the jump to a name brand ill already have a good compressor


Jun 2, 2010
For scale model work: Dual Action, Gravity Feed, PERIOD. :)

I myself am not a fan of the buy-a-cheap-knockoff-to-start mentality. A good airbrush is not "wasted" on a beginner, and in fact will make learning the craft less frustrating and more productive. You cannot go wrong with anything from Badger, Harder & Steenbeck, or Iwata to name a few. All have great guns for under $100. Which you go with is more a question of which company you want to buy into in terms of spares availability/customer service, and less the actual airbrush itself.

You will need an air source. Don't be tempted by the spare tire. A $60 hardware store compressor will work, it will just be insanely loud. You can get a reasonably quiet brand name airbrush compressor for as little as $100 without tank, or about $200 with if you try hard enough. Tank trumps tankless any day of the week (trust me I've had both). There is such a thing as truly silent compressors but they are so expensive as to be of interest only to studio artists. There is also CO2 tanks but thats a whoooole other shebang.

For paint I recommend you start with Vallejo ModelAir. Its ready to airbrush right out of the bottle so there's no thinning alchemy to get frustrated with when you are learning the craft, and its relatively safe (wear an appropriate mask so you don't breath the paint dust is a must, but there is no solvent for you to worry about).


New Member
Apr 24, 2011
Thats a big generalisation, really it's all relative.
I started with a mini compressor and twin AB package from ebay, under £100 delivered, ($200ish).
Tankless compressor, (tank is better speaking as someone with a garage compressor and automotive spray tools)
2 brushes, one a gravity feed, used constantly and one a syphone feed, barely touched the syphone, a PITA to clean the jars.
The gravity is your typical cheap chinese Iwata clone, BUT, it has teflon seals, and works incredibly well, I use this one for detail work and lacquer work exclusivley at the moment because it retains it's 0.3mm needle nozzle set, I have a spraymaster with interchangeable cups, also very good for a cheap brush, this is set with the 0.5 needle and is my general use brush now.
The cheap one i used solidly and regularly for a year and use quite regularly now with lacquer, acrylic and enamel, it cleans easily and sprays spot on everytime I take it out the case.
The compressor has now been on the go for about 2 years, i've had some very prolonged sessions and aside from moisture build up in the lines after a long long session spraying have had no problems whatsoever, i now use an additional water trap under the airbrush, problem solved.
I've just now ordered my first Iwata and will be comparing it as soon as I get it but to be frank, if someone had said to me, no, the cheap opes are no good, get an Iwata / Badger / H&S etc and a decent brand compressor at over £100, it wouldn't have happened, plain and simple, I'd still be stuck with brush and my ancient badger single action and air propellant can.
I think oftentimes it helps to start cheap as then when you're able to upgrade you won't begrudge the cost layout knowing the brush should be much better.
Incidentally, once I get my Iwata, I may possibly be selling the Spraymaster but i'll certainly be keeping hold of my cheap chinese gravity AB and i'll still use it.


New Member
Dec 23, 2011
I bought an Iwata HP-C and a Badger 150 used off of eBay, along with an Iwata SmartJet. I like the HP better, I think, but the Badger works very well. In fact, since the nozzle on the HP broke, the Badger is the only one I have.

I second the recommendation of Vallejo Model Air products. They are very easy to use. The Vallejo Model Color need thinning and I never seem to get it right. I am trying adding retarder because the paint dries and clogs my needle. The Iwata is easier to clear than the Badger.


New Member
Jun 24, 2009
Nothing to add here... the Badger Garage sale LINK is OUT OF THIS WORLD.... like 1/3 of the price...

and those Deals at Harbor Freight... WOW ! Nutts.... a compressor and AB. for under 100 US $ that's a really Good deal !

Thanks for those links guys !!! that will help anyone looking for an Affordable AB or accessories...

Later !