Thread: Time for a second airbrush

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  1. Time for a second airbrush 
    Hey guys, need some people to weigh in.

    I've currently got a siphon feed double action Paasche VL-ST. It's a good brush, but I'm having difficulty with thicker paints, so I'm looking to get a good gravity feed brush.

    So to start with, one thing I'm not wild about with my current brush: The plastic handle. Doesn't really affect the action, but I feel like my VL could be better balanced with a metal handle. The VL has a metal body, relatively easy to clean, good control, and sprays lacquer based paints well when thinned properly.

    So with that in mind, I'm looking for a gravity feed brush that will handle unthinned waterbased paints with good patterns such as faskolor, autoair, etc.

    I've looked at every gravity feed brush I can find, and the ones that have caught my eye are the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS, and the DeVilbiss DAGR.

    I know there's a lot of HP-C fans here, but has anyone dealt with the DeVilbiss before?

    Are there any gravity feed brushes I should look at closer? I want full metal construction with a cutout handle for blowback cleaning and double action, beyond that I'm open to suggestions. Also, a cap for the paint cup is a huge plus.

    Cost isn't a primary concern, I'd rather buy the best upfront than to search for something better suited to what I want later.

    Also, paints I use on a regular basis are waterbased, enamel, lacquer. I don't use latex or oil paints at all in my airbrush, if that makes any impact on suggestions for me.

    I guess I've rambled enough, thanks upfront.

    If your having difficulty with thicker paints your first priority should be thinning your paints a bit more so they flow better thru the brush. I'm going to assume your using a .3 or .5 nozzel in your current brush if your having problems with a .5 you really need to thin your paints more, same if your having issues with the .3 needle (#3 on the VL) then you really need to thin your paint more a gravity feed isn't going to help with the thicker paints as both brushes you mention I belive both use a .35 or .3 needle and thinning is a must to get most water based paints to flow properly.
    I currently use an Iwata HP-CS and find that all water base paints with very few exceptions need to be thinned before they will spray properly at anything other then at wide open and pearls and metalics just clog the nozelle regardless.

    Like I said I have the HP-CS and find it to be a great brush I also have the VL and it also works fine but it has become my basecoat and large area brush.
    the DAGR I've heard a lot of good things about them but have yet to use one my self.

    Join Date
    Naperville, IL
    Iwata Revolution CR is a good RC painter using waterbased, like Faskolor or AutoAir.

    I own the HP-CS and use it with Faskolor, AutoAir, Alclad, Pactra, SpazStiz...all with the stock .35 tip setup. Thick Faskolor just needs reducer, but thin paints flow at as low as 5-10 PSI for me.

    Join Date
    Suckfish Team Painter
    i just bought a cheapo Harbor Freights dual action airbrush for $10.00 i got tired of the VL. I now use this for spraying larger areas with single solid colors or flakes. I but in Iwata i trust

    I use the Iwata Revolution CR. Good all around brush. I usually spray at 15-25 psi for all paints. Fascolor needs to be reduced for sure. Some of their colors seem thicker than others, particularly Fasred.

    Thanks for the input guys.

    With waterbased paints and my VL, I've found that if I thin the paint enough to flow well, I lose fine detail control, it's way too watery. This is still fine for large area coverage, but is very frustrating trying to add shadows or any kind of freehand work. If I leave the paint as it comes straight from the bottle, I can regain some fine detail control, but I have to get the paint to flow by going to full flow and then backing it down and do whatever details I want before the paint flow stops again and do it all over. This doesn't matter if I'm using a #3 or #5 setup. I've tried reducing my waterbased paints by 10,20,30,40,50% using alcohol, windex, or water, they all get too runny after a 70/30 paint/reducer mix, which is the same point they start flowing well for me.

    With my lacquer paints, I thin every color I have 50/50, and have zero problems no matter what I want to do, with candies, opaques, metallics, pearls, even using my #1 setup isn't an issue. Maybe I'm expecting too much from waterbased paints?

    That's the main reason I'm looking to get a gravity feed, because once the waterbased paint makes it to the airbrush, it sprays alright, it's just too thick to feed as smoothly as my lacquer paints without being runny.

    A little more about my setup, I have a 35gallon 6HP compressor that also pulls duty for my airbrushing, dual water traps, with regulator, and I've tried spraying waterbased paints from 10psi up to 70psi, with best results with unthinned paint around 50psi, whereas my lacquer paints perform best at 35psi. For waterbased paints, I have a selection of Faskolor and Createx airbrush colors. For lacquer paints, I primarily use Pactra, but I also have some HoK, and a few SpazStix colors. I was having zero issues with my VL until I started trying out waterbased paints, so now I'm trying to figure out what I need to do to use them the way I want, with the same control as my lacquers.

    Last edited by 1stGenCRXer; 04-30-2008 at 01:49 AM. Reason: more info

    Join Date
    Naperville, IL
    waterbase will rarely perform (fine control)as well as lacquers, especially transparents like some of the Spaz line. Just the nature of the products.

    Hmm... Looking at other people's work with AutoAir and such, I find that hard to believe, but I guess I'll have to take your word on it.

    I have other reasons/applications for wanting to get a gravity feed brush as well, so I'm still looking for input. Looks like I can't really go wrong with an HP-CS.

    Out of curiosity, what is everyone using for reducer on waterbased paints, and what are the apparent pros/cons of each? Personally, I like the quicker drying alcohol gives, but I just haven't brought myself to spend the money to try the specific thinners available, especially if something more available to me works just as well.

    After having fits with my VL and water base paints I switched over to the Iwata HP-CS and found I had much more control over not just the water base paints but the lacquer as well since I was spraying at a much lower PSI then with the VL. Normally I spray my water base paints at around 35PSI on average and the solvent base apints as low as 5PSI up to 20PSI generally don't need much more then that.

    as for reducer for water base paints I use a 50/50 mix of water and Windex, I also use fantastic heavy duty one spray for approx. 1/4 once of paint seems to work really well for most applications. these give you a faster drying time as well as improving the atomisation of the paint and improving the flow of the paint overall, they will not dry as quickly as a straight alcohol mix but will have less issues with paint drying on the tip of the needle or in the nozzle.

    I've tried alcohol a few times and found that when it didn't curdle the paint in the cup it caused so much tip dry that it caused me more problems then if I had just left well enough alone.

    Join Date
    Naperville, IL
    Quote Originally Posted by 1stGenCRXer View Post
    Hmm... Looking at other people's work with AutoAir and such, I find that hard to believe, but I guess I'll have to take your word on it.
    Pictures on the internet can hide a lot. Up close, lacquers shoot soooo much finer than faskolors or AA, can get WB paints to spray fine, but there are easier ways to get the same results.

    I can take macro level pic's if you like, but decide for yourself.

    Nice thing about WB paint is painting indoors without all the solvents/fumes.
    Cleanup is easier and less toxic.

    Macro level pics would be great.

    I don't really have to worry about fumes so much since I paint in my garage and have a pretty decent ventilation system. If lacquers spray better 95% of the time, then I'll stick with 'em.

    Join Date
    Gorsse Pointe Farms Michigan
    i like my parma f1 because it does water based paints really well

    Well, I found an Iwata dealer local to me that is also a Paasche dealer, so in about a week, when I get home from work [live in Virginia, work in the Gulf of Mexico], I should have a shiney new HP-CS to play with, as well as all the software I need to completely rebuild my VL.

    I'm sure my wife is going to go nuts if I end up painting as much as I want to when I get home, haha.

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