Choice 1 – get a decent compressor
This is undoubtedly my advice for your first choice.
The really good news is that the choice available, cost and technology has moved on so much in recent years that investing in a decent compressor is well within the budget of many modellers. The cost as I say has dropped dramatically too. About 20 years ago I bought a good compressor from Revell where you could control the air pressure, it had a moisture trap to take out unwanted water from the process and was even very quiet. It cost me around £300.00 (GBP). The same equivalent 20 years later that even better is around £250.00 – not many things go down that much after 20 years!
There are some great places you can go to try out a compressor like: www.airbrushes.com they even run courses and offer fantastic value for money and a great range of compressors to suit all budgets.
Don’t forget to ask around at your model club – I can think of at least three transfers between members of my own model club where people have moved on, exchanged or bought a new compressor and then given or traded their old models with one another.
Q “Why else should I get a compressor?”
Ok, you need more convincing… well, just look at the results, apart from exceptional circumstances and the occasional highly skilled modeller can achieve with a paintbrush the results are:
- So much quicker, so you can do more modelling in the time that you have available
- You get great coverage for far less paint, so it can be cheaper
- You get much greater control over the amount of paint that comes out of the airbrush, so you can attempt far more varied and challenging paint schemes – you can move away from that ‘default’ one-colour, non-silver scheme!
- You can spray Alclad2 lacquers (multi-tone) ‘silver’ paints, bringing in a huge range of realistic-looking possibilities to your model projects
- You can achieve fine feathered edges to camouflage patters more easily with a compressor where you control the airflow
- A compressor is a one-off investment, so it will repay you time and again over a lifetime of use
- You can use your compressor to do all sorts of other tasks like spraying just air to ‘clean’ your model prior painting and cleaning your keyboards on your PC and laptops – it’s great for that
- You could have a go and practice at your local model club – ask the organiser or club Secretary if someone is willing to do a demo and let people have a go – try before you buy approach. Or, maybe go round to a friendly modeller’s house who would be willing to show you their set up, maybe more than one guy and have a go before approaching a helpful company like The Airbrush Company who can guide you through the process.