Jump to content

Airbrush purchase


Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

I wonder how often people buy expensive items because they have 'all the features I may need' then discover that they only paid extra for features which they never end up using, or for 'better' components which provide no advantage.

 

In the main I agree with you, but the other extreme of "cheap" could be just as bad. A good value item is often the better item for most folk

 

However I was put on to Vallorbe files, slightly more expensive than value brands but so much better

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I find two problems with the cheaper airbrushes. First, the manufacturers do their best but they can't afford much QC at the price, so the chance of getting a bust one is significant. Second, the metal used is inferior, relatively soft, and of uncertain temper. The critical parts wear out quickly, especially when the brush is stripped down for cleaning. If the brush works on arrival but has to be discarded after six months, then it's not so cheap overall. If it were possible to get spare parts very cheaply, then they'd be a better option.

  • Agree 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an Iwata HP-C plus and a Custom Micron plus a graphic artist compressor that I can use indoors with out shaking the house down. Did that lot cost me a bit of money? Of course it did. I use both air brushes regularly and have never had any sort of problem. When you enjoy using a tool because it does everything you hope for (and more) you soon forget about the price.

 

Craig W

  • Like 2
  • Agree 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Having now read Phil's follow up post I'm encouraged that the compressor will be a useful tool even if the brush turns out to be a dud. I have a decent compressor but it's a heavy beast that normally lives in another room.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Cheap" is an interesting term. Modellers are terrible for assuming that something costing a fiver is the same as a similar item costing £20. I'd argue the term should be inexpensive, because something costing little money doesn't automatically make it a bargain.

 

To take a real world example - if you bought a cheap car and 2nd and 3rd gears didn't work, would that be a bargain? More to the point, would it be the ideal vehicle for a learner? No, it wouldn't. As a seasoned driver, I could probably get around in it, but a learner needs something that works properly so they can concentrate on picking up the technique.

 

It's the same with kitbuilding locos. I've seen people argue that horrible old kits should be kept available for beginners to learn on. Truth is, tackling boilers that don't line up and components that don't fit without some serious work won't help them. They need something that goes together to enjoy the satisfaction of making something without the frustration of fighting the kit. However, that well thought out beginners kit will cost more than the old rubbish - but I would argue a model that goes together is cheaper, no matter what it costs, than one that gets lobbed into a drawer and forgotten about.

 

Which brings me back to airbrushes. If you are lucky, a cheap airbrush will be good enough to learn with, but that "cheap" one I bought was hopeless and would just put a beginner off. I know the problem isn't me, it's the tool. A beginner wouldn't. They would probably have to put up with smug gits saying "a bad workman always blames his tools" too, and feel even more inadequate. Maybe it can be fettled to work properly, but again, a beginner won't know how to do this any more then a learner driver can strip and rebuild a gearbox.

 

Airbrushes are a tool that pays back a little investment. You don't need to top end, but if the only criteria is cost, then you'll probably spend money on something that won't get used. And that isn't cheap.

  • Like 3
  • Agree 5
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 I’ve used cheap airbrushes on expensive models or models that I’ve spent many hours working on and regretted it. I’d rather spend a bit more money on a better quality airbrush that will last me out rather than spoil another model. 
 

  • Agree 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve used a Badger 155 airbrush for as many years as I care to remember.

It certainly wasn’t cheap when purchased. (Maybe into 3 figures!)

BUT

it’s been used to some degree in every model I’ve produced since then.

so the ‘pence per model’ ratio is very low, and it works faultlessly every time I use it.

that, to me, makes it worth every penny of the purchase price, and therefore a great ‘value’ product.

 

cheers,

Phil.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a great believer in getting the right tool for the job and buying the best quality I can afford. If I cannot afford quality then I don’t do the job and either get someone to do it for me or find another way. I have worked my way up the airbrush ladder starting with a fairly useless Humbrol brush with air cans. I now swear by Iwata and use a quality compressor. This setup makes airbrushing quick and easy with great results every time. Messing about with inadequate tools is a waste of time, money and materials. If you are going to do the job do it right. 

  • Like 3
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Phil Parker said:

"Cheap" is an interesting term. Modellers are terrible for assuming that something costing a fiver is the same as a similar item costing £20. I'd argue the term should be inexpensive, because something costing little money doesn't automatically make it a bargain.

 

To take a real world example - if you bought a cheap car and 2nd and 3rd gears didn't work, would that be a bargain? More to the point, would it be the ideal vehicle for a learner? No, it wouldn't. As a seasoned driver, I could probably get around in it, but a learner needs something that works properly so they can concentrate on picking up the technique.

 

It's the same with kitbuilding locos. I've seen people argue that horrible old kits should be kept available for beginners to learn on. Truth is, tackling boilers that don't line up and components that don't fit without some serious work won't help them. They need something that goes together to enjoy the satisfaction of making something without the frustration of fighting the kit. However, that well thought out beginners kit will cost more than the old rubbish - but I would argue a model that goes together is cheaper, no matter what it costs, than one that gets lobbed into a drawer and forgotten about.

 

Which brings me back to airbrushes. If you are lucky, a cheap airbrush will be good enough to learn with, but that "cheap" one I bought was hopeless and would just put a beginner off. I know the problem isn't me, it's the tool. A beginner wouldn't. They would probably have to put up with smug gits saying "a bad workman always blames his tools" too, and feel even more inadequate. Maybe it can be fettled to work properly, but again, a beginner won't know how to do this any more then a learner driver can strip and rebuild a gearbox.

 

Airbrushes are a tool that pays back a little investment. You don't need to top end, but if the only criteria is cost, then you'll probably spend money on something that won't get used. And that isn't cheap.

 

 

Seems we are speaking from the same page what I call good value, you call inexpensive is much the same. If you are lucky now and then something which is cheap is not nasty and if it is something that will be rarely used may be of use. However many cheap and nasty items will usually prove to be the expensive option in the long term. For me and others learning using an expensive airbrush might have been a costly error, I learned how to use an airbrush on an inexpensive package, which as it happens was recommended by many on here, eventually the airbrush failed ( probably from the way I looked after it, but the compressor still works, I now have a much better airbrush which will be looked after better, for me an inexpensive learning curve. 

 

Loco kits is a complete minefield for those not familiar with kit built locos. Totally agree that some of the older kits were poorly designed and manufactured, many of which are totally unsuitable for those with little or no experience, but also are some of the excellent but more difficult to build kits. I have just picked up a complete including wheels and motor Southeastern Finecast LNER W1. Its a kit from one of the better kit manufacturers, certainly not cheap. But one for the more experienced modellers. I guess the analogy for airbrushes, is to start off with a good quality one from one of the "good value" ranges

  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops....

Thought I  would do a demo by spraying a spare body. It went pears have when I tested it on a bit of card.  I gave it a real thorough clean and tried again.  Success... I went over with a very weak successive runs. Paint was very thin.

Summary.  I though I was cleaning the brush thoroughly but obviously I  was not.  I put some neat isopropyl through the brush...which remove previous colours. I think the first coat is not bad for a cheapo brush really. 

Ta john

20210424_140012.jpg

20210424_122127.jpg

20210424_141823.jpg

20210424_135852.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Interesting/Thought-provoking 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ordinary card may not be the best thing to test spray onto.  Plasticard would be better as it is not absorbent like cardboard and is a similar surface to what you will be spraying.

  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, JohnRedpath1953 said:

Oops....

Thought I  would do a demo by spraying a spare body. It went pears have when I tested it on a bit of card.  I gave it a real thorough clean and tried again.  Success... I went over with a very weak successive runs. Paint was very thin.

Summary.  I though I was cleaning the brush thoroughly but obviously I  was not.  I put some neat isopropyl through the brush...which remove previous colours. I think the first coat is not bad for a cheapo brush really. 

Ta john

20210424_140012.jpg

20210424_122127.jpg

20210424_141823.jpg

20210424_135852.jpg

Looks pretty good but  you can still see “ 4472 “ , is it staying as that or may have to sand these numbers a tad ?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't bother prepping the body properly.  I just wanted to show the result of a first light coat. I would put another possibly 3 light coats if I was doing it properly.  I wanted to show that the resulting  spray was really fine with no spatters.

I will prepare the body properly . I want to make a very weathered A3 with German deflectors as I saw as a kid in the 60s.

  I have had a go at making deflectors from brass which I'm quite happy with.

May have a go at making some head and tail lamps.

Ta again john.

20210415_225832.jpg

  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold
5 hours ago, dpgibbons said:

For railway modelling, what would a premium Iwata airbrush give me compared to my Neo?

 

If your Neo works for you, nothing.

  • Agree 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, dpgibbons said:

For railway modelling, what would a premium Iwata airbrush give me compared to my Neo?


In simple terms, what Mick has said above.

 

Diving a little deeper, the answer is it depends what you’re doing. If you’re just putting primer, and base coats down, you’re unlikely to get much extra out of something more premium. Equally for general weathering of track and stock the Neo will do just fine.

 

I’ve had a Neo in the past, and I now own a Badger Patriot 105 and an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS. The things I do with these that are better than the Neo include finer, crisper small intricate work, and more precise paint flow allowing for more subtle weathering, zenithal highlighting, and thinner layering of colour when required to preserve very intricate detail. The 105 has a larger needle fitted than the .5 in the Iwatta so are used for different tasks, but other than that they’re much of a muchness. They get used for painting and detailing tabletop wargaming miniatures as well as model railway uses.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

For me, the biggest disadvantage of this self contained brush is the inability to adjust the air pressure, and most people who have used it are saying that it is fine for priming and other blunt work. It does not appear capable of anything finer, like weathering. I don't want to appear to be a snob, but all the examples I see above would not do for me, and would require a great deal of sanding, as the speckling effect makes them look like small model rather than being able to fool people that it could be a photo of a full sized loco. I feel a good analogy would be, that an Iwata air-brush with a separate tanked compressor, is like a spray booth for a car, while this little brush is like a spray can from Halfords.  Both work, but one of them can look a bit obvious. 

BUT, bottom line is it is a hobby, and your hobby does not need to meet with mine or anyone else's approval, so if this is working for you, have at it.

Edited by Esmedune
Typo
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I've always lived by the maxim my granny gave me when I was very young: "Always buy the best you can afford". It has never failed me. To that end I bought a Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CRPlus airbrush.

Haven't regretted it for a second.

Edited by Swissrail
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Swissrail said:

I've always lived by the maxim my granny gave me when I was very young: "Always buy the best you can afford". It has never failed me. To that end I bought a Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CRPlus airbrush.

Haven't regretted it for a second.

 

In one way you are very right, especially if you are going to use it regularly

 

Two exceptions, my first car which I learnt to drive in was very cheap, but lasted 6 months and took an awful lot of abuse, I spent a lot more on my second car and had I bought it first it would have not have lasted as long as it did

 

Secondly, if you are not going to use it much is it worth buying an expensive item if a good value (not a cheap and nasty) item will do the job. I bought an own brand SDS drill at half price, I had a brick built outhouse to remove plus a concrete floor and garden patio/paths to break up. My rational was that if it broke it had a 12 months guarantee, well 5 years later its still good as new and my neighbour used it to break up his patio and well as drilling holes in concrete a few weeks back.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 23/04/2021 at 11:23, hayfield said:

 

In the main I agree with you, but the other extreme of "cheap" could be just as bad. A good value item is often the better item for most folk

 

However I was put on to Vallorbe files, slightly more expensive than value brands but so much better

I just ordered a set of Vallorbe 140-2 files ;-)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
On 13/05/2021 at 12:43, hayfield said:

Secondly, if you are not going to use it much is it worth buying an expensive item if a good value (not a cheap and nasty) item will do the job.

I understand what you mean but in my view I don't just want it to do the job, I want it to do a great job. I'm an obsessive perfectionist so buying a lesser tool would simply not give me the results I crave and it would end in my being hacked off at myself for not spending more in the first place. To use the car analogy, a cheaper car like a Daihatsu will do the job of getting you from A to B, but an Audi A6 will do a better job of it.

Edited by Swissrail
Link to post
Share on other sites

My previous Audi done a very good job of getting from A - B, when B was the local dealership I bought it from, and A was the back of a recovery vehicle.

 

Back on topic, I’ve been very tempted to grab a H&S infinity to add to my collection, a lot of good reviews from people I listen to.

  • Like 1
  • Funny 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...