People keep asking us the same questions about what airbrush to pick for RC applications so I thought we should make a sticky. Please do not reply to this post unless you have an Airbrush to add to the list and why .
Let's keep it as clear as possible for beginners out there ( or pro who need something adapted to lexan painting)
New to Airbrushing ?? Skip if you aren't
Here are some basic info on how an airbrush is working. Single and double action, gravity or siphon fed, internal or external mix and all the basic airbrush types and lingo explained. I believe It s important to understand what s going on in your gun, it will help you cleaning it, storing it and using it right. It will increase the life of your airbrushes too. Poor cleaning and poor maintnance = poor paint jobs and waste of money, short lived guns...
Click here for an overview of Aibrushes and Air Sources
OK now you should have a general idea of what the options are. Lucky us, we do not need the most expensive airbrushes for RC applications but we do need a compressor capable of reaching 35 to 70 PSI to spray thicker paint and metallic / pearl ( Createx/ autoair/ Faskolor etc )
I personally strongly recommend Gravity fed double action as a main gun, it s a lot easier to move around inside of a body, easier to clean and i like how the balance feels in my hand a lot better too.
Here are the ones I consider the best quality vs price :
Master Single Action .8mm
10 USD. Must have in my opinion. It s a great 1st Airbrush for simple jobs, consider it as an advanced Rattle can if you wish. You d always use it to do larger surfaces and backing up your paint jobs.
40 USD If you are on a buget, that s the best I found ( and use ) in that price range. Get the pack with the 3 needles and if every buck count, get the G22 with an extra .5mm needle and nozzle. It s a fine lil gun for the money.
: 89 US and comes with 3 nozzles that are just waht you need for RC .35mm, .50mm and .80mm. 3 cups too . I bought it as a back up to my Iwata and I end up using it a lot as main gun. Really amazing quality VS price product. You can see a limiter at the tip of the rear end that will limit how far the trigger goes and therefore limit the paint flow. That is very handy to keep consitant width.
Iwata Eclipse HP CS :
: 120 US, quickly became one of the references in automotive, RC and many other applications. Iwata is one of the best brand out there for us. They are extremly sturdy and very clever designs + high quality components make them both accurate and reliable.
They have a great flow even in .35 mm nozzle.
That s the 3 steps to me 40 80 120. Keep in mind that even when you will upgrade from a Master to an Iwata, you d still use the cheaper gun as a back up or to do quick color changes, dedicate one to chrome for exemple etc so it s not money wasted. a G33 will take you a long way. If you re on a budget spend more on the Air source than on the gun, the best brush with an unreliable air source will spit and cough like a 2 dollar one.
If you go air compressor route, don t go under this TC 20 T
is a great reliable and affordable solution. Never spray without a filter / regulator, water in your air hose will not only ruin your paintjob but also samage your hose and gun internal vital parts quicker than you think.
If you have space and noise isn t a problem, any larger compressor will do as long as you have a decent Regulator with a water trap
I would love to set up some CO2 tanks whenever I can expand my lil workshop a bit, they are inexpensive and totally quiet.
Cheap but good solution until you can afford an air source is to use a tire tube. If you have a quick change
on your house it will last long enough for a full paint job and you can always roll it down the street to fill it up when needed
You can go crazy on accessories but the basics are :
Allowing you to chnage airbrush quickly, to clean your gun in between paint keeping the pressure in your compressor or not wasting air from your tanks. Must have for 5 bucks ... Time safer ...
Decent cleaning station
(bottom of the page ) and a holder will prevent a lot of spilling and bended needles when airbrushes fall and hit the table or ground.
I am not affiliated to TCP Global, I just got tons of stuff from them and always got the best prices and service. Browse their site to get some ideas about spraybooth and make your own if you have a lil time and glue it s really easy to do .
Hope that helps everyone out there and please post any models / ideas you may have, once again I don t make money on these (sadly !) just sharing my experience with them. I think they are amongst the best you can get for your money