Beginners Cheap Airbrush Set-Up

Juststu82

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Joined
Aug 7, 2012
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26
I have noticed one area where there is controversy of tools and that is the airbrush. I will probably be told off for this but I thought I would show what I have acquired as a FIRST airbrush set-up. That is a set-up I can try out and see if a) I can airbrush b) if I like airbrushing over brush painting and the important one c) I don't annoy my wife spending our food budget on expensive equipment.

My set-up was acquired entirely on ebay and I used research and online advice from various places such as here,, armorama and various youtube users.
The compressor is a 1/6hp with a 3 litre tank, this was chosen as nearly all advice said get a tank if possible. This is the compressor I got.
AS188-(13195)-Air-Brush-Compressor1.jpg


In addition I have bought a separate air regulator and water trap. Pictured below. This is done for two reasons. Firstly, the compressor I got has no water trap, which is odd as the model below it does. Secondly, a reviewer (the only person to write about this model), said that he attached a similar set up as the regulator on the model ,is a bit finicky. I believe this is because it records the pressure to the tank and not to the air brush itself. Once this was fitted the reviewer said the compressor was complete and very effective. this will be attached virtually inline from the tank outlet to the air hose and will control psi straight to the airbush.
514728600_o.jpg

Together this complete compressor build was AU$90 delivered to my door. I did win the compressor in a great auction as the buy it now price is around $120 delivered usually but a quick check of the completed listings shows that the price is around what I paid so DO NOT BUY IT NOW and you will save money.

I now needed an airbrush and air hose to complete my new toy and be able to start learning. Again, I stress that this is to save money and if I enjoy it and find I do ok with it then I will invest in a brand model....if I need to. I got lazy and actually searched for a brush that came with a hose so I wouldn't need to buy one separate and lucked out, I think, on the model shown below. This is a duel action, as recommended by EVERYONE, and has a side loading fitting for both a suction jar and gravity cup. It is also fitted with a 0.3mm needle/tip and comes with a 0.2mm and 0.5mm needle/cap and a 1.8m hose which is compatible with the compressor fittings. This one was less than $50 delivered and is fully capable of disassembly for cleaning.
Dynamic-Power-Dual-Action-Suction-Feed-Gravity-Air-Brush-Gun-Kit.jpg


A final note prior to the criticism I assume will follow as it does seem a controversial topic. These are all cheaper Chinese non-brands however I previously was part of the hobby of saltwater aquariums and I found that cheap Chinese electronics and engineered products do not lack the brands by much and in some cases are rivals in that hobby. I expect that this will be no different but time will tell and I will update as a review once I have used it for a while.

Last time I will say this, as a beginner the prospect of spending hundreds on a set-up that I may not like or even be good at using meant that I may have never attempted to airbrush. These cheaper alternatives and a little ingenuity mean that this becomes accessible for a lot of people on a smaller budget. Looking at the builds page I see people coming up with genius ways to keep costs down when building and I think a topic like this helps open the hobby up. I was disappointed that no one had written up something like this anywhere on the net that I could find so I thought I would. I also noted at the beginning that there is controversy over which brush to use and how much to spend and I even came across one guy who uses what he refers to as "throw away" ebay airbrushes that cost US$10 (I never found a ten dollar brush) and he was using them for a t-shirt business so I think rather than saying no, I would offer a positive note for at least trying your hands at a cheaper option. If you hate it then you haven't spent hundreds of dollars. If you love it and wish to upgrade then you spent very little to learn this and maybe you can pass on the cheap set-up to a younger sibling, nephew, niece, etc. I plan on letting my eleven year old daughter play with this and hopefully getting her into a new hobby as well. I'm not sure I would feel as comfortable letting her play with a $500+ set up.
 

Juststu82

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Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
26
I may have scared people off from commenting on this which I don't want. If you think this is terrible then say so and if you have a setup that is cheap but you think would be better then offer it up.
 

eightfooticeman

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Aug 9, 2012
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35
I like it and airbrushing is way better than using a brush in my opinion. So the compressor was 120 dollars? And is that airbrush a Master brand? I'm using a cheap compressor and Master brand airbrush right now, I only paid 70.00 for both including a water separator. The compressor has no tank which sucks but it does maintain a constant 20 psi which is really all you need. The Master airbrush works great but plan on buying the Badger Renegade Krome in September. I do have a regular compressor with some serious water regulation but its loud as hell.
 

Juststu82

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Aug 7, 2012
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26
eightfooticeman said:
So the compressor was 120 dollars?

I paid $80 delivered for the compressor and then an additional $20 for the regulator/water trap which has fittings with it. I'm waiting for the regulator to arrive but I have played with the compressor sans hose attached and it is quiet until you open it up then you just hear the air. The buy it now price for the compressor is $120 so I recommend having patience and waiting out the auction to save even more.

eightfooticeman said:
And is that airbrush a Master brand?

Both compressor and airbrush come under the brand of dynamic power. It is a chinese produced brand but I used cheaper chinese components in my salt water hobby and never found them to be tragically different. I am taking a risk in assuming the same in this hobby but at the very least I can use it to find out how I like it. It also came with the twin option of suction and gravity which I liked. I plan on using it for modelling but also for painting some shirts for the kids and I plan on stencilling then detailing a giraffe onto a height chart I am making for my son so even if it is terrible I will still get good use from it.
 

Holden

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Jun 16, 2012
Messages
107
The moisture trap /regulator is a good idea I got one on my set up to. It will give you a lot better control with the air pressure and as you get better with your AB you will have more control over the paint. The compressor looks pretty nice, if its a quiet one you got a good buy.
That being said do yourself a favor, save your money up and buy a good quality airbrush. I know a guy has to pay the bills and feed the kids, I'm one of these guys too but the cheap Chinese airbrushes can't hold a candle to a well made Badger, Iwata or H&S. I started with a cheap airbrush myself but a few months ago I bought an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS and was glad to up grade. This is probably the reason I don't have a big stash of kits, the money I would have spent on kits in the modeling budget was saved up for a few months for the new airbrush.
 

Juststu82

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Aug 7, 2012
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26
Thanks for this. I saw the addition of the guage on the only review of this compressor and he said it made all the difference. I'm unsure why the model below it has one but this one doesn't. It is super quiet though.

Once I work out how to airbrush and have a go then I will look into upgrading the airbrush.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
108
I recently bought a pancake 3gal air compressor from harbor freight on sale with a coupon. And an water trap with regulator. And a air compressor fittings starter kit. All for about $60 us dollars.. i aleady had the airbrush and hose. I watched the sales flyers for months and grabbed it when the price was low enough.
 

artistscorner74

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Jun 11, 2013
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Hi , i have just purchased the exact same set up , i noticed the regulator on the compressor is a bit finiky so im keen to get a regulator / water trap assembly , where did you get the one you got for your machine , how much was it ?
 

model maker jnr

ANOTHER TANK BITES THE DUST
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
250
Great setup. I recently got a new compressor its loud when it collects air but itsunami got a big tank
 

rookie

This is not a toy
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
937
I'd recommend an inline water trap the screws in between the AB and hose, my compressor has a water trap but I was still getting moisture . You can pick them up for under $5 on eBay.

My first setup was similar, compressor and AB with three needles and nozzles for under $200. I've since upgraded the AB but the compressor is a beauty, very quiet and still going strong.

I think if you want to be serious about this hobby an AB is a must. You can get good results with brushing, but there is so much more you can do with an AB.

Keep practising and you won't look back ! :)
 

bdr65

" Ouch, Cut me finger again "
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
Messages
320
I done the same. Brought a cheap setup on ebay. Haven't used it yet :'(
 

arohk

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Oct 5, 2012
Messages
510
the first airbrush set up I got was a Christmas present a airbrush compressor kit from walmart it works pretty good now I am using a modified Canadian tire 3-Gallon air compressor as my air source. it's a cheap compressor price wise and when On sale there even cheaper it just requires some modifications to run a smaller hose for the airbrush.
 

maximus92

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Jun 16, 2013
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4
Hey all FNG here. I just recently did the same as you OP. I'm a spray can guy myself, but, for the same reasons as you, I wanted to buy a cheap setup. I found a three airbrush setup with a compressor for $80 at Amazon. It has two gravity feed dual actions and one siphon feed single action. It got good reviews. Good luck on your search. I'll edit this post with a link later.
 
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