This article is to give you an idea on the differences
in airbrushes and how they work. The first time I got
ready to do some airbrushing, I knew absolutely
nothing about it.

First off the airbrush. There is a single action, and a
double action type. The single action works by setting
the amount of spray by turning the needle in or out
from the back of the brush. In other words you preset
the amount of paint that will come out when you push
the button down you test this by spraying some
circles on a piece of paper till you get the amount you
think is right. It is set at that amount till you change
it. You then simply push the button down to spray.
This is a good brush for the beginner. I still use my
Badger single action for different applications. Many
modelers only use a single action brush, nothing
wrong with them.

The double action brush works differently. You don't
preset the needle for the amount of paint. This is
controlled at the spray button. You push the button
down for air and pull it back to control the amount of
paint. You have more control as you do not have to
stop and reset the needle. The more you pull back,
the more paint that comes out. I use an IWATA
ECLIPSE double action. I love this airbrush.

There three different size nozzles and needles. Fine
for very small lines for delicate work, medium which is
pretty much all I use to do model cars and figurines.
This is what you will use most if not all the time. If
you are going to do fingernails, or maybe small line
flames, etc, you would use a fine needle and nozzle.
any size nozzle and needle will interchange in the
airbrush. Just get the one for the brush you are using.
Large is used for large applications, such as sign
painting block letters.

There is bottom feed brushes, and top feed brushes. A
bottom feed brush, you screw a 1 or 2 ounce bottle of
paint to the bottom and it draws it up a tube. For
scale model cars and figurines, this is all I use. A top
feed or gravity brush has a small cup on top that
holds a small amount of paint. This type is used when
you are changing colors often, and only need a small
amount of each color. Although some modelers use
these for all their work.

The air supply. You can use an inner tube,
compressed air in a can, a regular air compressor, or
one for an airbrush. If you are serious about
airbrushing, get a compressor for an airbrush. There
are different kinds. One type is a small piston
compressor that run constantly as you airbrush.
These tend to run hot and wear out after awhile, if
you use them on a regular basis. Spend a little more
and get a twin cylinder compressor with a reserve
tank. It runs, fills with air and shuts off. It will only
turn on to recover when the pressure drops below a
certain level. The twin cylinders recover the air fast,
and you may want to run more than one brush
sometime down the road. The less this runs the
better. I have used the same one for years without a
breakdown. Also the less they run the less moisture
that builds up in the tank. Use a moisture trap on the
compressor. I cannot stress this enough! There is no
quicker way to ruin a paint job than water.

So this should get you started. There are many brands
and types of brushes. I have hit on a couple that I
like. There are many places to purchase them also, so
shop around.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. On
the buttons at the top of the page, click on THE
BUILDERS CORNER to see my little setup for model
cars and figurines.