Monday, February 01, 2021

Mini Airbrush With Compact Compressor test


 I saw it advertised on Facebook. Decided it could be useful and not too expensive, but am I happy?


  1. And there was me imagining that you were about to use it for doing the livery on some brass import loco ... .

    Joking aside, does paint usually form a thick sludge on airbrush "needles"? I'm wondering if the use of addition of a different thinner (like an alcohol) would cause the paint to behave differently.

    Meanwhile, I also wonder about the finish inside the paint cup - how smooth is it - are there any loose particles or rough edges inside

    Also, is paint going through the cup and brush dislodging anything?

    By now, I suspect you can tell I've never used an airbrush. To be honest, I'm not in any rush - with potential pitfalls like those shown in your footage - also talk in some places about having to get distances right - correctly set pressure, perhaps also valves controlling how much paint is allowed through (is that what the control at the back of the "splatter brush" is supposed to be for?) - all manner of stuff like that.

    I'm afraid I'm taking the line that, in my mid 50s, I'm probably too old to learn all that stuff.

    I might be better off going for easier stuff - like rocket science*, for instance?

    (*Other notoriously difficult disciplines are also available - chances are I won't pursue any of them!)

  2. The acrylic paint didn't thin as well as I'd hope - some cheap car windscreen wash would have been better I suspect. However, the enamel was thin, so I'd expect better results with that.

    And rocket science is easy. It's rocket engineering that's difficult!

  3. Phil, thanks, interesting idea, I had not heard of this. I wonder, is the problem with the airbrush or the compressor? (I think you've ruled out the paint.) Can you try the airbrush with a proper compressor, e.g., something that causes pain and damage if you drop it on your foot? I suspect the USB-charged compressor is too tiny to handle model paint, even if it is well-thinned. Also, the air output could be very pulsed rather than smooth due to its small size. Maybe the setup would work best with inks or food colouring? (Dyes rather than pigmented liquids.)

    I was going to mention rocket surgery...

  4. You might have a point there - "to every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction" - or something like that, from a vaguely remembered school physics lesson ... errm ... about 40 years ago.

  5. Good point about trying it with a proper compressor. I'll see what I can do.

    According to the box, the pressure is 1.2kg/cm squared or 17psi.

  6. On reflection, rocket science might not have been the best comparison I could have used - after all, with an airbrush you've got a fluid, plus a pressurised gas, which push against the sides of the "brush" and get released through a narrow nozzle when you open a valve - sounds familiar.

    As you say, this aspect of the theory is relatively straightforward.

    However, I still doubt if I'd manage to get the "knack" of using an airbrush.

    Obviously, it's possible (if highly unlikely) that some supplier could see this as a marketing challenge: "Show how easy their brushes are to use, by teaching somebody like me to use one at a future model railway show." Presumably, they might then get their "useful idiot" to try using it for themselves, via some magazine / forum site project.

    Such a scenario strikes me as unlikely - but I'd hardly complain if it were ever to happen.

    It would probably be in a similar vein to somebody like me using a similar venue to teach someone with no known technical aptitude how to do electronics soldering.

    We both know that electronics soldering is actually straightforward - but it helps if you've got a "third hand", or if you're used to using chopsticks (positioning a couple of things at the same time, with the same hand).

  7. Possibly designed for the spray tan market? Anyway, for your intended use the money might have been better spent on a longer hose...

    As for the quality, what did you expect?

  8. I didn't have high hopes, but better than this. Never mind, it was an interesting experiment.

  9. Just out of curiosity, have you tried the compressor with a different airbrush?

  10. Not yet, but when I get the time, a re-visit is in order.