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Small & Quiet Compressor

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For several years I've been air-brushing using a rather large compressor I bought in the sales at B&Q.

It's great and does the job well but it's rather large (about 20l air tank) and also noisy (90+dB according to the label).


I'm looking for something smaller and quieter and less than £150; I use a Neo to Iwata CN spraying at 15-25psi and use a seperate moisture-trap/regulator. 


So far the AS186 is favourite but I've seen some negative reviews based on the build quality (mainly leaking air). The slightly larger AS196 is another option but it's louder and I'm not sure of the advantage of twin pistons.



Are there any others I should be looking at?


Happy modelling.


Steven B.

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  • 2 months later...


A good few of us on here have the AS18-2, search for any threads asking about compressors and they'll come up. I've got one and have been very happy with it and it's pretty quiet, certainly nothing to annoy you. I've never seen any bad reports or reviews of them from other users. So, yes, they are reliable, work well and are pretty quiet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Steven / All,

I took the plunge and bought the AS18-2 off ebay.


My background is that I'm a professional artist - used to be airbrush was my main thing - so I am well qualified to comment.


The AS18-2 is very good for modelling applications. If you want it for artwork, I'd suggest the version that comes with a tank. But, for modelling, the AS18-2 works well.


You will get some 'pulsing' from the piston (that's why professional artists use the air tank version), but I don't see this as a problem in modelling. In fact, I like to have some variation in my paint dusting, such as dust and grime on the bottom of railway carriages. 


The only issue I've had is condensation build up in the moisture trap. Apparently, this moisture trap can be unscrewed, then dried on a radiator, but mine is very tight and I've not got it off yet.


My supplier was, supreme_2007 (aka the 'supreme midlands' shop, on ebay), and they've given me excellent post-sales support.


I'd strongly recommend you buy one of these mini airbrush compressors. It means you're not worrying about how much air (expensive canister gas) you're expending, when setting up your airbrush settings, testing, or cleaning your airbrush. It really is a 'must have' and will save you money.


I am incredibly impressed with the AS18-2 compressor. And I have no financial interest in its sales.



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