You will find different airbrush brands on the market with each brand featuring unique functions. Nonetheless, you need to identify the airbrush that meets your needs. As such, the airbrush has to have a well-combined needle and nozzle system, the right feed capacity etc.
We have taken the pleasure of researching and picking out only the best airbrush for models and miniatures. We considered the usability of the airbrushes, their price range, and the functions they offer. Besides the list of airbrushes, this article will also help you learn about the important features that you need to look out for in airbrushes!
Best Airbrush for Plastic Scale Models And Miniatures 2018
|Iwata Eclipse HP-CS (Editors Choice)||Gravity||0.35 mm||Dual|
|NEO for Iwata CN (Best for Beginners)||Gravity||0.35 mm||Dual|
|Harder & Steenbeck Infinity Solo||Gravity||0.15 mm||Dual|
|Badger 150 (M)||Siphon||0.5 mm||Dual|
|Iwata Revolution HP-CR||Gravity||0.5 mm||Dual|
|Paasche H-SET (Budget-Friendly)||Siphon||0.45 mm, 0.65 mm, 1.05 mm||Single|
|Iwata High Performance HP-C Plus||Gravity||0.3 mm||Dual|
|Harder & Steenbeck Ultra X||Siphon||0.4 mm||Dual|
|Iwata Eclipse HP-BCS||Siphon||0.5 mm||Dual|
|Hansa 381 Chrome||Gravity||0.3 mm||Dual|
Iwata Eclipse HP-CS – Best Multipurpose Airbrush
It is designed with a 0.35mm needle alongside a drop-in self-centered nozzle for efficiency. This is complemented by the 1/3 oz. gravity feed cup whose capacity is pretty reliable. This makes it an internal mix airbrush.
The gravity feed cup is made with a new funnel style that ensured the flow of paint is at its optimum level. This shape also allows you to clean the cup with ease after use.
NEO for Iwata CN – Best for a First Time User
This airbrush has a 0.35mm needle whose ability is enhanced by a uniquely designed nozzle. This is further complemented by the medium-sized spray pattern that will ensure the spraying process is well detailed.
This gravity feed airbrush is designed to work efficiently under minimal air pressure. This gives your spraying great detail for quality results. You, therefore, can use it between 5 and 35 psi. The manufacturer recommends that you use small air compressors whose maximum pressure is 20 psi.
Harder & Steenbeck Infinity – Best for Professional Use
This is a high-tech airbrush that allows you to meet excellent design standards since it features multiple intelligent functions. It is made by Harder and Steenbeck, a top Germany airbrush manufacturer that is well known for its quality standards.
The airbrush will come with a gravity feed cup of a capacity of 0.068 oz. This allows you to fix your spray design quickly without having to make refills often. It has a 0.15mm nozzle that works efficiently at low pressure to produce detailed spray results.
Badger 150 (M) – Best Broad-Range Application Airbrush
This versatile dual action airbrush is the perfect option for you if you are looking for a classic tool. It has an internal mix and the sprayed paint is fed into the cup by siphoning. The needle has a medium nozzle whose diameter is 0.5 mm, implying that it will efficiently and effectively spray a pattern of within 1/32 inch and 1/2 inch.
It will perfectly spray the acrylics that have been well reduced, acrylic enamel, lacquer, ink, fabric color, watercolors, dyes, gouache, and various airbrush-ready paints.
Iwata Revolution HP-CR – Best Dual Action Airbrush
This airbrush has an internal mix and a dual action that gives out excellent spray designs. It is a top-feed tool that has an ergonomic handle design so you can use it to spray easily. Revolution HP-CR comes with a gravity feed cup of a 1/3 oz. capacity.
It is designed with a large nozzle that works hand-in-hand with the 0.5 mm needle for efficiency. This combination makes it possible for you to use the airbrush with thick or heavy paints. This enhances its usability and efficacy.
Paasche H-SET Airbrush Set – Best for Quick Spraying
Paasche single action airbrush is made with a chrome plated body that gives it a sleek look and guarantees its durability. It is easy to use, which makes it perfect for a beginner. You can also rely on this H airbrush if you want to spray quickly.
It is easy for cleaning, you only need to spray the paint cleaner into the airbrush.
Iwata-Medea High Performance HP-C Plus – Best Total Control Airbrush
It is made with larger threads around the nozzle so that it can fit the airbrush securely. Moreover, the nozzle will be well centered so you can focus on your design better.
Users love the single-piece auxiliary lever that works alongside the needle-chucking guide for ease of tool assembly.
You can use this airbrush with pretty much any type of paint like automotive paint, stencil etc. However, you need to ensure that they mix well in the gravity cup for the best results.
Harder & Steenbeck ULTRA X – The Best Bottom Feed Starter Airbrush
For some users, getting an airbrush that has a gravity feed cup can be too much of a challenge for them. As such, they opt for the alternative, which is a siphon feed. The siphon feed allows for ease of paint refills as well as cleaning.
The airbrush has a chrome-plated finish that enhances its sleekness as well as longevity.
The feed comes with a cap that is easy to undo as well as tighten for safety. It has a dual action mechanism but is pretty simple to operate and clean.
Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP-BCS – Best Bottle Feed Airbrush
What’s more, you can spray paint in a round pattern from the hairline to about 2 inches. The bottom feed bottle holds a capacity of 2 oz.
These features make the airbrush ideal for pre-mixed as well as heavier types of paint. It is a perfect choice for painting activities that require precision while spraying. You, therefore, can rely on it if you are spraying moderate to large amounts of paint.
Hansa 381 Chrome – Best Airbrush for Thin Paint
This airbrush features a superior design that comprises of a controlled double action such that when the lever is pulled in one direction, the paint is mixed with air automatically so that spraying can begin.
Hansa 318 is made with a 0.3 mm nozzle size that can easily be adjusted to other nozzles like 0.2 and 0.4 mm (sold separately). It has a gravity feed cup with a capacity of 5ml. It also has a lid for safe storage of paint.
You can use this airbrush with a mixed paint since the nozzle is small enough for thin paint.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Right Airbrush
As you embark on your shopping spree for an airbrush for models and miniatures, you need to look out for specific essential features.
Type of trigger: single or double action
The double action means that the lever is pushed in one direction and the airbrush system will allow the paint and air to mix automatically. Air will come out after the first push and paint the second lever push. However, it may cause complexity in learning how to use it. A dual action airbrush, therefore, is only ideal for professional artists and design experts.
A single action trigger, on the other hand, requires only a single push for the paint to flow out.
Size of the needle
So, what type of paint will you be using to spray your models and miniatures? Is it heavy, medium-thick, premixed, thin, or other types? Remember, the bigger the size of the needle, the more consistent it will be at releasing heavy paint. However, you want a smaller needle if you are looking to create a finely detailed design. Furthermore, it is impractical to get a large needle for small models and miniatures. If you don’t know what size to choose, take 0.35 mm.
There are three basic types of feeds commonly featured in airbrushes: gravity, side, and siphon feed. Gravity feed relies on gravity to allow paint flow in the airbrush. Siphon uses air pressure while side uses partly gravity and swiveling mechanism.
Gravity feed airbrushes are easier to find and more efficient for miniatures and small models.
The brand you choose will also determine the quality of your design. After a thorough research, we can confidently say that Paasche, Iwata, Badger, and Harder & Steinbeck are the leading brands. We, however, cannot dictate on which of the brands you should choose. It is up to you to read the customer reviews for each brand and make your decision.
Needle adjustment screw
Although not every airbrush has this, it is essential if you want precise and consistent spraying action. Adjustment screw allows you to pull the trigger up to where you want accurately.
If you want to hold the airbrush comfortably before and after pulling the trigger, then you must go for one with a pistol grip. The pistol grip, however, does not affect the performance of the airbrush whatsoever.
Although most airbrushes are not sold with a compressor, you need one to operate it. As such, you have to choose between a tanked or tankless compressor. For better performance and consistency, the tanked compressors are best. However, they go for a much higher price; you must be willing to go deeper into your pockets to acquire one.
How easy is it to clean the airbrush?
Some airbrushes are sold with a cleaning brush that you can use to thoroughly remove the paint inside. The best airbrush should be easy to clean and maintain.
An airbrush is not only a good tool for artists and other design experts who play around with paint; it is worth noting that it is a big investment. You, therefore, should consider the factors and features that define airbrush quality so you can get the best one as per your needs.