Airbrush Questions

My wife and I are planning on purchasing an air brush gun and compressor. Any advice on what to look for or any recommendations ? I’m new to this but I feel it will enhance my overall gunpla abilities with practice.

I would recommend Iwata for the airbrush. I have a Badger Patriot and an Iwata HP-CR. The Iwata is for sure the better of the two that I own.

For the compressor, I’ve been using one from Harbor Freight for years and it has held up very well.


I have a airbrush set that my dad got for me as a present that is from Harbor Freight. Haven’t used it yet, still need to get a paint booth. I’ll keep in mind the Iwata airbrush if the one from my kit doesn’t work out well.

Appreciate the input. I will look into Iwata. There was almost information overload when I initially began researching. It helps to know what other gunpla builders are using.

Iwata and Harder Steenbeck airbrushes are some of the best one’s to buy. I mostly use an Iwata HP-CS now all of my cheaper airbrushes I gave away. Its Iwata’s intermediate airbrush. It’s a good around double action airbrush. I also have a Harder Steenbeck Genius which has 0.15 nozzle that I plan on using solely for panel lines and other fine details. My next purchase will be an Iwata hi-line CH which I plan on using for colors and I plan on using my old HP-CS for priming only.

As for compressors that a whole different story. If you plan on doing a lot of painting buy a compressor with a tank otherwise you’ll burn up the compressor from over heating and the constant noise will drive you nuts. I have and Aztek compressor with a tank, but I want to upgrade that to a larger one. The benefits to using a compressor with a tank is it provides a more consistent airflow and the compressor isn’t running as much. I know a guy who uses 1.5 gallon Craftsmans air compressor. You can really use any compressor when it comes down to it.

I do recommend buying a inline filter and a quick disconnect for the airbrush as well.

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My first compressor was one of these

Lasted over 10yrs and would of lasted longer if I would of been better about making sure there was no water build up in tank.

For the brush, I started with a cheaper one that only had a single button on it. It was a pain in the ass because the consistency of the paint had to be perfect for it to work properly. I swapped to a dual action gravity fed brush. It was more expensive, but its worth it. I can put in smaller amounts of paint ( Gundam doesn’t usually take much), it isn’t so sensitive to the viscosity, and I can control the flow to do preshading.

Thank you everyone for the responses and advice. This forum has been such an incredibly useful resource for this newbie. Thanks!

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Late reply but you can keep it very simple. no need to spend a lot of money on the brand name stuff.

I started with a simple tanked compressor like this:

And a set of cheap airbrush:

And a small spray booth:

I went with that setup for more than a year before I got a brand name airbrush for fine detail work. You can see some of my work using this setup here: