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I have been looking into getting an airbrush system, mostly due to your posts. It will probably happen after the craziness of the Holiday season. Is there any equipment you would recommend? So far, it seems that Iwata is the got to producer.

Thought I would break this response out into its own forum thread so it's not buried on page 7 of the miniatures painting feed.  :)

I can tell you how I set up my airbrushing, but the big horrible disclaimer is that this is just how I did it and there are many many opinions out there from folks with far more experience than me.  However, just googling "beginner airbrushing" yields overwhelming results.

Background:  My goals setting out were simply to get away from rattle can priming.  I had some disastrous results with AP White rattle can on some fairly expensive and hard to get Shadows of Brimstone resins that actually put me off of mini painting for 6+ months.  But, I had Kingdom Death inbound from KS and had to figure out how I was going to get the game painted up.

So, reluctantly, I turned to airbrushing.  I wanted to do this fairly cheaply (I wasn't convinced I'd stay with it) and due to the overwhelming/conflicting information out there wanted something fairly turnkey.  I also knew that I was going to be doing low-volume work (compared to a pro painter doing several dozen or hundreds of commissions a year) and did NOT need a lot of fine detail.


  • Master Airbrush Kit (Amazon, $80) - Comes with most everything needed - compressor, airhose, brush. The compressor isn't horribly loud, but the regulator on it really has no discernible PSI adjustment.  The airbrush that comes in the kit is fairly clunky; I haven't used it yet but may dedicate it to varnish or other things that are hard to clean
  • Iwata-Medea Airbrush Cleaner (16 Oz.)
  • 4 SET Airbrush Spray Gun Wash Cleaning Tools Needle Nozzle Brush Glass Cleaning Pot Holder (Amazon)
    • These 3 items are the "Frequently bought together" on Amazon and are the bare-bones basics to get you started.
  • Badger 105 airbrush - Impulse buy that I don't regret.  I had several brushes in my Amazon cart for weeks - H&S, Iwata, etc.  My opinion is that with a good name brand you really can't go wrong, but the thought of shelling out $250+ for an airbrush seemed a bit harsh.  I bought the Badger 105 simply because it was far cheaper, and it was the one featured in Miniature Monthly's videos (I could watch my exact airbrush be disassembled and cleaned).  See also below.
  • Spare braided hose - Badger, via Amazon
  • Separate water separator/filter in between the two hoses (also required an $8 adapter set sourced from Amazon).
  • Quick Disconnect
  • Squeeze bottle to put cleaner in
  • Misc stuff:  Paper towels, disposable brushes (to mix thinned paint), 1 oz disposable jello shot cups to mix paint in, and some latex gloves that I said I'd wear but never do
  • Airbrush Booth:  If you're going to airbrush indoors, a good well lit and filtered booth is going to be nice.  The airbrush will leave "dust" behind even if you spray into a cardboard box.  I tried this cheap one from Amazon (sensing a trend?) and like it.  There are youtube videos for homemade versions, though.  Warning:  This same model of booth is currently on Amazon under various "brands" - they are identical but the price varies. This one seems to be the cheapest version of the same item.

Again, this is how I did it.  It's working for me.  I have a fair amount of $$ wrapped up in this, but far less than going "super premium" straight out of the gate.  

Lastly, there are a LOT of youtube videos out there for free, but I very much recommend backing Miniature Monthly on Patreon.  Aaron is the factory painter for Shadows of Brimstone, and Elizabeth Beckley does commissions for Ninja Division and (since GenCon2017) Kingdom Death.  Much of their painting techniques are FAR (far, far, FAR) beyond anything I intend to tackle, but their beginners guides for Airbrushing and Cleaning Airbrushes as well as the recent videos on how to prep models have really really helped me.  At $10/mo, it's a good investment for me.

I'll close out with a few pictures.  The KDM ones are repeats, but the Shadows of Brimstone Autocannons are new.





Edited by Zoxe
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Video resources.  

I don't watch a lot of streaming content.  I don't work in an office where I can listen to podcasts, and streaming around the house is generally done in spurts. Even the Miniature Monthly posts (which I pay good money for) are sometimes deferred for a good time to watch.

So when I say that I check the Tabletop Minions feed on youtube each and every week, please understand the context.  I don't always agree with Uncle Atom, and the content is very GW/Warhammer centric (which I have little interest in), but I still go check to see what's new every Friday.

The Airbrushing series is what got me hooked.  Here's the first video in that series.


Edited by Zoxe

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@Zoxe Wow, great info. Thanks so much. Give me a few months and, hopefully, I will post my Brand New Airbrush Setup here as well.

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Here's a quick update on a quiet Sunday with a few things I've learned since December.

Back in March, Mrs. Zoxe and I attended a Miniature Monthly boot camp in Chicago with Aaron and Liz from MM.  This was a super-small class format (6 students including us) over 2 full days.  We started at 9am and wrapped up around 5pm both days.  Day 1 was all hand brushing, but on Day 2 the airbrushes came out.  Not only did I get to work on models with my own Patriot 105, I was also handed a couple of Aaron's airbrushes for specific steps.

The Patriot 105 is good "quick coverage" brush with high volume flow that's good for priming and basecoating.  

When Aaron handed me his Sotar 2020, I realized that using the 105 for fine details was like using a 4lb sledgehammer to drive finishing nails.  The volume of paint coming out of the Sotar was so much less, that I really had to work to build up a discernible amount of paint on the model - we were using it to build highlights so this was perfect.  I also used his Badger Krome, which looks a lot like the 105 but is set up for finer details ala the Sotar.  I can't imagine trying to prime or basecoat with either brush.

So that's lesson #1 - different airbrushes offer a great deal of variety of "flow" so pick the right brush for the right purpose.

Lesson #2 is that the squeeze bottle I linked above is really a huge timesaver and mess-avoider.  I stumbled into the idea after watching a random youtube video and have had mine from almost the start, so didn't think much of it.  At the boot camp, I was watching the other students fuss with their bottles of cleaner and I could just squirt and go.  They also noticed the difference and I'm reasonably sure they're upgrading. :)

Lesson #3 is that for Badger stuff, a preferred source is https://usaairbrushsupply.com/ .. I had been buying all my stuff from Amazon but could have saved some time and money here.  

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This is an awesome thread, thanks so much for starting it. I want an airbrush badly! 

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