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Buying an Airbrush - Advice Please!


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10 replies to this topic

#1
Xenaur

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Hi All,

 

Now that we all seem to be facing the the prospect of staying at home for quite some time (well in the UK at least!), I thought now might be a good time to invest some more money into the hobby.....

 

After a few years of good service I'm looking to upgrade my Iwata Neo, it seems to be getting blocked increasingly frequently as I use it more and it was only meant to be a cheap introduction to airbrushing anyway. I've been looking at some of the offerings on Amazon and the two standouts to me seem to be:

 

Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR Plus 2 in 1

 

https://www.amazon.c...5895D786EF14112

 

Harder & Steenbeck Evo D

 

https://www.amazon.c...1_t1_B004ORDGO2

 

Obviously I expect there to be a quality and longevity difference in the two brushes based on their price but I wondered if anyone had any hands on experience with either or could recommend another airbrush in the £100-£200 bracket?

 

I was also quite keen to upgrade my spray booth situation. does anyone have any experience with this number?

 

https://www.amazon.c...,aps,289&sr=8-2

 

It seems to be quite common on amazon.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice! Even if it's that I'm looking in totally the wrong place,

 

Xenaur


 


#2
The Observer

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I've had the Infinity CR Plus 2 in 1 for around 7-8 years now and if you keep it clean, all you need to replace every once in a while is needle/noozle and the gasket rings (Had to do the former about 3 times, the latter only once and fairly recently in this whole timespan). I can fully vouche for the thing, it's sturdy, elegant, lies nicely in the hand, the regulator in the back is a fantastic and seriously underappreciated feature (Makes even small scale shading easy), haven't had one technical hickup with it and basically anything that I have painted in the last 6 years had its surfaces and gradients done with the airbrush. I use it regularly, be it to paint minis, prime small canvases, do weathering for LARP kits and more - we're talking at least on a weekly basis here. I am so fond of the thing, I will genuinely throw down with anyone who talks smack about it.teehee.gif

 

The only thing that bothers me about it is the very high price of replacement parts, so make sure that you take very good care of the thing! :)


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#3
Firedrake Cordova

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Happy owner of a a H&S Evolution CR Plus here (I bought the 2-in-1, then added the quick-fix handle, so it worked out nearly as expensive as the Infinity blush.png).

 

Main thing to consider is ease of cleaning and price/availability of parts.

 

This may help: http://www.bolterand...-kit/?p=5451336

 

++EDIT: If you look at the H&S airbrushes, the non-CR Plus airbrushes have a nickel coating and rubber seals (so no using aggressive solvents).  The CR Plus airbrushes all have teflon/PTFE seals (so you can use aggressive solvents) and a chrome-plated surface (which lasts longer).  In terms of quality/longevity, the Infinity and Evolution CR Plus are equivalent (a lot of the parts are shared).  The only real advantages of the Infinity over the Evolution CR Plus are the paint limiter handle (you can get a quick-fix handle for the Evolution as an optional extra, but the "dial" isn't numbered), adjustable trigger tension, and cut-away handle for clearing clogs quickly (no equivalent available).


Edited by Firedrake Cordova, 24 March 2020 - 05:03 PM.


#4
Bung

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@ Xenaur

 

I have both and use both frequently. 

First i had the Evolutiuoion and then upgraded to the Infinity.

My setup is the 0.4 needle for the Evo mostly for priming / varnishing and bigger stuff like terrain where top precision is not that necessary.

The 0.2 needle goes with the Infinity cause im mostly use it for Infantry models, and other precision stuff.

 

I upgraded the Evo with a quick fix as mentioned above and got the fine line nozzle set for the Evo, cause this:

Fine-Line-Duesensatz-0-15mm-Evolution-un

 

is much easier to clean inbetween than the standard of the Evolution.

 

Personly if i would buy another airbrush again it would be the Evolution Al plus, as its made of Aluminum which is iven easier to clean than the Cr plus stuff.

(it wasnt available when i bought my Evo).



#5
PJ1933

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My go to is the Iwata Eclipse it's got a broad enough range to go from detail to primer but that said I have a revolution CR that's my primer workhorse.

I'm used to Iwata so have stuck with them after starting with a CR several years ago as the strip down procedure is pretty much the same for all of them. Parts are easy to find and not crazy expensive and my original CR is still going after replacing a the needle packing seal and the rubber o ring behind the trigger. The expensive part is the cost of the more specialist tools for the Iwata range but you can probably manage most of it with a cheap jewellers screwdriver set.

#6
Xenaur

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Hi guys,

 

Thanks for all the advice, I went for the Infinity CR plus 2 in 1 in the end. Seemed like most quality item on offer and given the lifespans you guys quoted I felt like spending that bit extra was justified. I also picked up the spray booth whilst I was at it to complete my setup. I have yet to use either since I'm finishing off some lernean terminators but when I do I'll post up some results in a WIP thread!

 

Thanks,

 

Xenaur


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#7
Firedrake Cordova

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Congratulations on the New Shiny™ - I'm sure it'll give you years of faithful service. smile.png  Did your 2-in-1 kit have the 0.15mm or the 0.2mm (as well as the 0.4mm)? (just curious)


Edited by Firedrake Cordova, 12 April 2020 - 04:25 PM.


#8
Captain Smashy Pants

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I’ve not bought an airbrush yet, but plan doing so soon. The one piece of advice I was given, which seems contrary to what most people say is to get something cheap and expendable for your first airbrush. I plan on following this advice because many years ago I bought my first car after receiving quite a large, yet still quit modest, inheritance. More money than I’ll likely see at once ever again in my life but quit paltry compared to how the high end of town live. Anyway, I wanted to buy this you beaut V8 muscle car, which would have seen me spend most of the money in one go, but my father convinced me to get something worth a quarter of what the muscle car would have cost, $2500 Aud instead of $10k Aud so I could learn how to properly take of it, not wreck it and maintain it properly. I end up trashing it through negligence and carelessness and sold it to a guy who stripped for parts for a couple of hundred. Anyway if I’d have bought the V8 I’d have wasted more money than what I ended up doing. Now if I ever buy another car, TBH I prefer getting cabs and taking buses, but if I ever get another car I’ll have learnt some valuable lessons. Figure same applies to an airbrush. So to the OP, take whatever, if anything, from what I’ve said, or not. All the best guys.
gallery_62972_14467_3390.jpggallery_62972_14467_13489.jpggallery_62972_14467_3390.jpg

I do find it hilarious that some people were saying the size of newer marine stuff looks great next to regular humans like Cadians, and then GW upsized the humans so they are the same height as marines again :lol: :lol: :lol:


#9
Bung

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@Captain Smashy Pants

I wouldnt compare an airbrush to a car.

You cant wreck an airbrush that easily and if its a brand airbrush its easy to repair. Most brands have a good customer service and ovver replacement parts for life.

 

All people i know had to replace parts at the start, nozzles and needles are some sort of consumables especially if you got brass nozzles like H&S does.

I wrecked one nozzle while cleaning it and others wear down over time, but they are normaly easy and cheap to replace. You can even save a bend needle with some tricks.

 

The problem with the cheap pistols is, tehy are either hit or miss. They work fine or you throw them in the bin and buy the next.

 

In my experience a brand airbrush will rather save you money in the long run than buying new cheap ones.

 

Maybe look for something like the H&S Ultra or Iwata Neo if you want to start.


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#10
Imren

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A typical mode of wear/damage to nozzle is splitting and/or rupturing the nozzle edge, this happens due to pressing the the needle too hard against nozzle when inserting it into the airbrush after cleaning/disassembly, the nozzle edge is so thin and weak that it can't take much pressure against its edge (especially nozzles for 0.15 - 0.4 mm needles).

 

So you will save yourself a lot of nozzle replacements if you just keep in mind to slide the needle gently and not press it against the nozzle. it doesn't need to be pressed against the nozzle at all, it just needs to touch it when making up the clamp screw to prevent paint coming out between needle and nozzle edge when airbrush is in idle mode (trigger pressed and only air coming out around nozzle).

 

 

A good practice is to lubricate the needle after each cleaning session, this will save the edges of the seals (between paint compartment and trigger mechanism) and also make the needle slide smoother through those seals (and reduce wear on the seals).


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#11
Firedrake Cordova

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The one piece of advice I was given, which seems contrary to what most people say is to get something cheap and expendable for your first airbrush.

Whilst I understand your analogy (and for some things it's sensible), it's actually quite hard to "kill" an airbrush.  As far as I can think of, the "best" way of irreparably breaking an airbrush is to cause internal scoring by cleaning the air channel with a metallic implement (this would include the little brushes you can buy, as they have a metal wire holding them together).  Otherwise, common issues that can't be resolved by further cleaning are:

  • bent needle - likely from dropping or incautious cleaning
  • damaged nozzle - likely from dropping the airbrush, or pushing the needle in too hard
  • blown seal - likely from using a harsh solvent if not PTFE seals, or just eventual wear
  • stripped nozzle threads on designs with a threaded nozzle (the majority of Iwata designs and their cheap clones) - from trying to remove the nozzle for cleaning

The first three items on that list are consumable items, and none cost more than £15 (3 pots of Contrast paint) for Harder & Steenbeck parts.  The last item generally requires replacing the airbrush, as it's not a replaceable part.

 

Airbrushes are relatively simple things, and it is unnecessarily to pay a lot for them, but it is worth paying a bit more for one you can easily (and affordably!) get parts for, have good QC, and is easy to clean.  As an example, you can get every part of a Harder & Steenbeck airbrush as a spare part (including the body).

 

(not wishing to sound like a H&S fanboy - I just know about them as I own one :))






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