Don's Airbrush Tips

A collection of airbrush tips and reviews.

Hi, welcome to my web site. My name is Don Wheeler. I'm a retired manufacturing engineer who likes to tinker with things.

I titled my site Don's Airbrush Tips, but maybe I should have called it Don's Airbrush Adventure. A few years ago I started building plastic kits as a hobby, and it wasn't long before I decided that I needed an airbrush. After some research, I settled on either a Badger 150 or 155 Anthem. I wanted an internal mix, double action brush with good parts availability and not too expensive. Fortunately, I live just a few miles from Coast Airbrush. They have good prices and they're really nice to deal with. It was almost a toss up, but after handling both, I chose the 155. I liked the way it felt, and the idea that it can put out a lot of paint when needed, but still do fine work without changing the needle. I'm really happy with it.

I'm not an expert airbrusher, and I'm certainly not an artist. And, as you can see, I'm not much of a website designer either.

But, I have learned a few things about my Anthem and airbrushing during this time, and I'd like to pass them along. This is not meant to be a complete tutorial on airbrushing. However, I hope that you will find something of value here. When I started this site, the 155 was my only airbrush. Since then, I've added a few more. Each time I got a new one, I added a page to review it. I've tried to give as much information as I could so that anyone considering one of these brushes will have a good idea of what they would be getting.

Many of my examples will be of the Badger Anthem. But, most airbrushes are pretty similar and much will apply to other brands and models too. External mix airbrushes are covered in the Badger 250, 350 and Paasche H pages.

I use only enamel paints; ModelMaster and Floquil so far. I may try acrylics eventually, but right now this keeps things simple, plus they are readily available in lots of colors. I also use Testors DullCote clear lacquer. I have been thinning both about 50/50 with lacquer thinner. I spray next to an open door, and always wear an organic vapors mask and nitrile gloves while doing it.

Please note: My reviews are based on the sample I have. Manufacturers can and do change things whenever they feel like it. And, my sample may not be typical. I may have been lucky or unlucky. I cannot guaranty that you would have the same experience.

Most of the output samples I show are done with ink or food colors on paper towels. This is the ideal condition for making fine lines, and shows what an airbrush is capable of. As I stated above, I am not an expert with an airbrush. If I were to use model paint on plastic, the results would not be nearly as good. But, it would be due to my lack of skill rather than the airbrush. I've taken a little flak over this. Some people feel a sample isn't valid unless it is done with paint on plastic. However, I really believe that reducing the skill factor allows a better comparison of airbrushes.

I have added an update log page for the convenience of returning readers. Click here to check it out. Also, if you are a returning reader, you may notice that the site looks different. Google made me do it. I hope you still find it useful.

If you have comments, I would enjoy hearing from you here.