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Hobby Advice: Airbrush for Beginners – What You Need to Start

Hobby Advice: Airbrush for Beginners – What You Need to Start

Alright, so you decided to start with an airbrush. You’ve made some reconnaissance, picked an airbrush and compressor and the only question that stands between you and a lifetime of successful airbrushing is “what else do I need to start?”. This very question was asked to me a lot since I myself started airbrushing. It might be about time to turn the answer into a short article, in hope to support all the beginner hobbyists out there…

Necessities:

Assuming you’ve already picked an airbrush and a compressor, there’s still a list of items you should get before you’ll be able to start airbrushing. Let’s dive head on into the list of necessary items…

Air Hose

Air hose is used to link the airbrush with compressor. When picking an air hose it is important to check which models of airbrush / compressors it’s fitting is compatible with. The easiest way is to simply contact a store and ask them to recommend an air hose compatible with types of fitting of your airbrush / compressor.


Adapter / Multi Way Valve Assembly

In case your airbrush has different type of fitting than the compressor, you will also require an Adapter, or a Multi Way Valve Assembly with a proper type of connection. Take a look at E-Bay to see how many different types of fitting there are…


Spray Out Airbrush Pot & Airbrush holder

A filter equipped spray out airbrush pot and an airbrush holder (preferably 2 in 1 like below) are also necessary. Thanks to these you will have an option to rest the airbrush on a holder in-between different activities (like mixing paints, or even resting for a bit). Spray out airbrush pot will also keep the majority of paint waste contained in an easy to clean glass pot.


Cleaning Brushes

You will use these too clean up the insides of your airbrush.


Nozzle Cleaning Tool

You will use this tool to clean up the nozzle. When picking one, make sure it is recommended for the type of nozzle of your airbrush. Too large tool may damage the nozzle from the inside.

Example: ALDER tool (top) damages H&S nozzles! H&S tool (bottom) is perfect for H&S nozzles


Water Bowl & Nozzled Plastic Bottle

You will use this duo to remove the excess paint from your airbrush without the need to spray it all out.


Airbrush Cleaner, Airbrush Thinner, Airbrush Flow Improver

Airbrush Cleaner, Airbrush Thinner and Airbrush Flow Improver – these three liquids are a must have.


Other stuff:

Below are some additional items that while not necessary, will come in handy once you start airbrushing your way to hobby glory.


Mask

Unless you’re ok with lung damage, wearing a proper mask while airbrushing, is in order. With this one it is recommended to aim high, pick a high quality tool with strong filters – better safe than sorry. 


Latex Gloves

Protective latex gloves, while not essential, will help you keep your skin clean and healthy. Extensive airbrushing might lead to skin getting dry and irritated.


Spare Needle

Airbrush needle is very delicate. A vast majority of beginners damage the needle during first few days of airbrush adventure. I advise you to get a spare needle outright, just in case.


Medium Round Brush

Long hair, medium size, round brush to remove excess paint from the tip of the needle without the need to dismantle entire airbrush.


Mixing Tool & Mixing Cups

You might use these to mix paints before pouring them into the cup on top of an airbrush to avoid clods of paint to get inside.


Masking Tape

Not really an essential, but a very useful tool to help you with avoiding overlapping paint on some areas.


Painting Holder

This can be anything between an original painting holder and a sole small cup with a ball of Blu Tack mounted on the underside. Such tool will let you airbrush without fear of messing up the paint job with your fingers. Plus it is just a very comfortable way of painting miniatures.


Paints…

Obviously you will require paints. It is not necessary to get any type of special airbrush paints. Thanks to Flow Improver and Thinner regular paints will do, but that’s a story for another article. Personally I wholeheartedly recommend Vallejo Air series as I find them ready to use straight out of bottle.  

 

Thanks for reading. If you think I skipped a necessary or useful item that a beginner airbrush users should get, let me know in the comments section or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional miniatures painting service, be sure to contact me with this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.

Scarhandpainting
Scarhandpainting

4 Comments so far

Tawny DonellPosted on  3:23 pm - Aug 7, 2021

What about paper-tape stuff?

ScarhandpaintingPosted on  11:54 am - Aug 8, 2021

Thanks for the advice. Updated the article adding masking tape.

Rob BrownPosted on  9:28 am - Mar 26, 2022

Really good advice thank you

Christy MyersPosted on  8:31 pm - May 23, 2022

Great info! I loved this! It was direct to the point, honest, and just random things and advice that you have learned and have passed on that info. Thanks

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