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get a compresor, don't waste your time with aerosol cans. no need to blow a bunch of cash on an airbrush at first. I got an aztek brush from testors. it works really well but I think I could have gone with something cheaper for no more than what I use it for. I prefer a HVLP automotive paint gun for most everything because I'm lazy and I want it painted NOW!:D
 

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I also have a Testors Aztek airbrush. Mine came with a little min-compressor, but if you can get your hands on a big compressor, that's the way to go. The output from the little one is a little less than consistent, which takes some getting used to.

Now, the art of using the airbrush, that's something that totally escapes me. I used it once so far, to add some "dirt" and "aging" to my cemetery entrance columns. I had no idea what I was doing. :p
 

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airbrush

i use a pasche airbrush gun single action. i also bought an air compressor from harbor freight that has a regulator and filter to help against water intake that is normal for airbrushing with a compreesor. its on 30lbs psi. thats all you really need. there are many style of guns. mine i can adjust the amount of pressure on the trigger for finer lines. but then again the type of airbrushing i do i need finer lines.you can also use the gun handle for paint cans and with practice you can age anything. but the best way i found was using distance. hope this helps. Allen
i have photos somewhere if you would like them but i think i would have to email them tho
 

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Well...
As someone who has been using an airbrush since the early 1970's, I will tell you that like any project, you need to go at your purchases by looking ahead and thinking in reverse.
Decide what kind of work you want to do, what kind of paint or finish you would like to use, then see what airbrush or spray gun will do best for you and your needs. Then look to see what that airbrush or gun require in air or gas pressure and volume to spray the paint you want. Now that you know what kind of sprayer and specs you need to satisfy your spraying needs, you can go looking for a compressor or source for compressed gas, don't forget to consider whether you need or want to be very mobile, or stationary in your painting habits, also think about noise levels, power source, maintainance and physical dimensions. Will you need a compressor to do other work? If so, then you need to take those specs into consideration as well.
Keep in mind that there is no such thing as having the air to clean or too dry.
Zombie has it right, the bigger you can go with the compressor the better. You can always use less pressure or volume than what a compressor is capable of, but not the other way around. Most people grossly underestimate their needs or actual usage when purchasing an air compressor. Always think in worst case scenerio, using the biggest consumer of air, air pressure, longest time of continious spraying or working with air tools, etc.

Figure out what you want to do first. then come back with a list of those needs, then we can figure out what is best for you.

I will warn you though, once you start down the path of airbrushing, it is VERY addictive, and you will find that it is extremely useful for all kinds of stuff, everything from props, makeup, costumes, refinishing, home repair, auto paint touch-up, cake decorating, fingernails, etc.

Zombie, I teach airbrush classes, I don't know where you are unliving, but if you are interested, let me know.
 

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Krough you are getting a airbush? You spoiled brat. Mom always liked you best. Now I need an airbrush just so that I can spray stuff. LOL.
 

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Krough I just bought the Paasche VL set that was 89.99 with the 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby and I just started with it Tue night. Its really cool what you can do with it like a spray can on steroids with all the control you have for sure. I wish I had done this last year!. All they have here for airbrush paint is the Createx which is made more for Tshirts but it will paint stuff. I bought some createx cleaner and some extra small bottles. I have a small 3GAL Craftsman Compressor with a 1.5HP motor which was my first compressor and I put a $15.00 air filter on it from Harbor Freight which was the "best one" they carry.
 

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Krough, I have been looking for the Craig Fraser Skullmaster stencils locally and discovered some interesting info. One of my customers is an Autobodyshop and I was talking with one of their painters and asked a lot of questions and he directed me to our Local Sherwin Williams rep that supplies all their paint for 3 shops and many other local auto repair shops. Well they sell all this airbrush stuff as well and he has some great deals so let me know what you want and I will see what his cost is. Also 6oz of auto paint is $6.00 which is a deal based on the avg $3.00 per ounce at the hobby shops. He can get stencils from beyond6.com the same day and his price on ordering in the skull master stencils are 25.00 each which is not to bad compared to on-line places and e-bay.
 

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For stencils, check out BearAir.com and Coast Airbrush, both sell all the Frazer skull stencils. AutoBodyDepot sells the Beyond6 stuff. I would do a lot of looking before I did any shopping, and keep an eye on the shipping costs. Some retailers give very low selling prices, but burn you on the shipping costs.

For making your own stencils, you might look at your local Target, Walmart, scrapbook stores, etc., for a cutter made by Fiskars. This cutter is a swivel cutter, that you can set the depth on, it cuts however you move your hand. and because of the way it was designed, you can easily see any lines you need to follow. These cutters are cheap, and work great on paper, mylar, light cardboard, and the like.

An airbrush gives you the ability to shoot granite and other textures without paying through the nose for a rattle can, and the fact that you can control the texture, shading, colors, highlights and shading, gives you a major edge over any spray can. You can buy a whole lot of paint for your airbrush for the cost you had been spending on Flexstone or the like, and with the airbrush, you know you aren't going to run out of propellant before you run out of paint.

If any of you are or will be in the Boston area on 08/12/06, there will be a big airbrush bash/party sponsered by BearAir, there will be a lot of manufacturers reps showing their stuff, and giving you a chance to take the equipment out for a spin. The admission is free, there will be food, drink, and paint.
It looks to be a blast, I know I will be there, and if you contact me, I will give you a quick set of lessons at the party itself.
 

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Krough, I'll add my "ditto" to the folks above. Go with a compressor, as it's a one-time investment. The one I have I bought in about 1980... it is still going strong! So, WELL worth it. As for the airbrush, Halloween is a dark holiday, so you can probably do without an airbrush that could paint eyeballs on a scale model of a bumble-bee. Something that detailed won't be seen in the dark. If the brush can do a decent 1/4 inch line that's probably all you'll need for scenery, masks or whatnot. If you plan to ever do airbrush makeup though, you might want to go with a real detail airbrush. Have fun... you really can get effects with the airbrush that you can't get any other way.
 

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Stupid question: Don't most everyone into pneumatics have a compressor already? Couldn't you use your compressor for airbrushing, then to fill your air tanks on the big night?
 

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Krough, just two cents worth from a novice, for years I had a really nice Blue-Point airbrush with all the bells and whistles lying around in a box (it was an old Christmas gift). I figured I wouldn't have a clue how to use it, so I just brushed and rattle-canned all my stuff. I finally got brave and picked up a decent used air-compressor on Ebay ($10), and gave it a try. Do yourself a really big favor, get a compressor, get an air brush, with your talent, you are going to have a blast! I build stuff now just so I can use the damn thing!
 

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Torgen - you're right on the money...whether the question was rhetorical or not. The compressor's probably going to be the expensive part.

As FontGeek pointed out, add a filter (or two)...even the smallest of particles can jam an airbrush, and moisture in the line can screw up some paints...

(Captain Obvious turns and strides, pridefully, from the room...)
 

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Anything with the word "Airbrush" is getting my attention these days. I've been doing a lot of reading and research on airbrush makeup as this is the way our haunt is planning on going this season. I've joined a yahoo group on airbrushing/body tatoos and I'm learning a lot. I've even met a man who I will call my mentor.
After much studying, I've decided that the Vega 2000 is the airbrush for me. It's economical and gives me the features I need. This is what my Mentor uses and he feels it would work great for me.
I was gonna buy one of the cheap ones at Walmart or Harbor Frieght to practice on, but figured that would be rather silly. Start off with what you're planning on purchasing soon anyway.
I'm now looking for a makeup to practice with. I've settled on using either Graftobian or Michael Davy's makeup for our haunt, but do not want to pay that price for makeup to practice with.

I'm really looking forward to haunting with airbrush makeup!
 

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Empress - make sure you check wth Ralis Khan about his airbrush makeup as well (he's lurkin around somewhere). Check RalisFX.com

As for airbrushes and compressors - that is a direction I'm very interested in going but am intimidated by both for some silly reason.

Would the compressors @ HF be worth the time? What should I be looking for - both in capacity and airflow (assuming I'll be using bigger airtools in addition to firing props and airbrushing). What about the airbrush? I have seen the ones carried at Hobby Lobby - they're like $90 (roughly) but are names I've heard mentioned on the boards and lists before. Should I just go ahead and get the Pasche brush?
 

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roadkill said:
Empress - make sure you check wth Ralis Khan about his airbrush makeup as well (he's lurkin around somewhere). Check RalisFX.com
Oh, my gosh!
You have pointed me completely in the right direction, roadkill! If they had an kiss emotioncon on this list, it would be put here_____. LOL!
Thank you so very much! I've heard about Ralis, but didn't know he sold makeup or a video. THIS is going to be a part of our kit. KUDOS!
 

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Empress and the rest of the people interested in airbrushing.
When you go looking for an airbrush, make sure it will do what you need it to do, also make sure it feels comfortable in your hands, if it doesn't, it doesn't matter how nice it is, or who makes it, you will end up either giving up or buying something else.
Make sure that whatever airbrush you buy, that you can get parts and service for it, and that it can take the use of the kind of paint or makeup you plan on using.
Keep in mind that siphon feed airbrushes require more airpressure to work than gravity feed airbrushes do, and that airbrush makeup uses from 5-12psi to spray, so when you go looking at airbrushes for doing makeup, that you realize that trying to balance the needs of the makeup with the needs of the airbrush to spray it. If you are buying an airbrush for makeup, you may wish to stick with a gravity feed airbrush, this lets gravity keep the paint flowing into the path of the air, and requires less airpressure to do it, this also means better control, and less overspray.

As for learning, use a water based acrylic paint to learn with. It is much cheaper than trying to learn with makeup, and a lot less tempormental. The basics for airbrushing are the same, regardless of the type of paint or makeup you will use in the end, and having to fight your paint while you are trying to master the airbrush is an extra layer of frustration you don't need.

As for the specs for the compressor, look at whatever the biggest tool or consumer of air and air pressure are, the airbrush it self doesn't require that much air pressure, at the most, about 65PSI per airbrush, and maybe 1.5CFM. These are for continious use, not peak ratings. If you want to use more than one airbrush at a time, then you need to factor that in. When in doubt, go with the biggest compressor you can get, with the greatest capacity, volume, automatic shutoff, lowest noise, one that is serviceable, and can fit in your garage, shed, etc..

There are a whole lot of companies out there that produce or sell makeup for use with the airbrush, the quality levels are all over the place, and the consistancy and prices can vary greatly. Do a lot of asking before you do any buying. It is so easy to get sucked into a sales pitch for stuff.
 

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An airbrush that might be of interest for a lot of people here is the Grex Genesis XT. This is a gravity feed airbrush, it uses a side mounted cup or reservoir, with optional reservoir sizes up to 50cc. The XT uses a gun style trigger rather than a top mounted lever/button. It has teflon seals, so you can spray anytype of paint or finish through it without having the seals disintagrate. and it can do a line finer than the Iwata HP-C+ as well as a much wider spray.
The side mounted cup means that you don't have to try to look around the cup or reservoir to see what you are painting, yet it gives you the same kind of capacity or larger than airbrushes like the Paasche VL or the Vega 2000.
Something to consider, airbrushes don't use much paint or makeup, the coats of paint or makeup go on light and smooth, they are more flexable, and can easily be used for shading or adding textures. With that being said, getting an airbrush that has a huge capacity for holding paint is wasted on most people.
If you are going to use the airbrush for bigger stuff; tombstones, faux walls, airbrushing T shirts, body paint, etc., then having the larger capacity may be more helpful. The benefits of airbrushes like the Paasche VL and it's copies, like the Vega 2000, were that you could spray a lot of paint, without having to have a large container of paint blocking your view of the object you were trying to paint, and they were fairly inexpensive to purchase, but with the advent of the sidemounted reservoir, and the extended competition in airbrush manufacturing, the choices have been expanded a great deal.
Something to think about.
 

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fontgeek said:
If you are buying an airbrush for makeup, you may wish to stick with a gravity feed airbrush, this lets gravity keep the paint flowing into the path of the air, and requires less airpressure to do it, this also means better control, and less overspray.
Fontgeek,

it was my understanding that using gravity feed for haunted house makeup is a no - no for one reason only. It slows you down. With siphon, all you have to do is change the bottle when you need to change colors. And that's really important when you're trying to get 30 actors painted and out in one hour. You have to go through more changes with a gravity feed which slows you down.
 
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