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So, as I continue my downward spiral into madness (both from my degree and my 30k smack addiction), I'm thinking I'm getting to be quite good at this painting malarkey.

Well, decent.

Well, adequate.

The point is that, whilst I am sure that there are still a great many conventional painting techniques I can learn/perfect, something I keep seeing cropping up alongside stunning miniatures is the use of an airbrush. Now, in principle I've never really liked the idea of an airbrush for two reasons:

1) I'm totally ignorant as to how they work and thus irrationally scared of them

2) I worry that a lack of physical feedback in the way of friction will make it hard to use, or at least use well.

That and I suppose there's the extra additional worry that if I start with a new painting tool I'll co back to square 1 and my models will look like absolute shite like they did when I first started and things will stay that way for several months/years.

So this is a sort of open forum for those airbrush owners, and those who possibly opted not to. What is so great about airbrushing? Is it easy to use/get the hang of. It is a staple tool you use all the time, or a situational one you only break out occasionally?

Any feedback on your experiences, both yay and nay, are appreciated for someone who is currently on the fence about whether to invest in one in the future.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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I don't own an airbrush, your fear that it will undo your previous learning is spurious. An airbrush doesn't replace all processes with a brush, only ones on larger areas.
 

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0i use my airbrush on a daily basis,here a a few of my thoughts for you..
1. airbrushs are easy to use once you get the hang of them..it takes time to get used to thinning the paint right and how to use different spray patterns..after that they are major time savers.
2.when theyr good they great..when bad...FTW!! ill have days where everything runs fine then days where no matter how many times you clean it..it just wont work..
3.i doubt that if your brought an airbrush that you painting work look bad it should look better as you will have a more even base coat.
you cant do eveything with and airbrush and will still need to use your brush.

i have the iwata neo and have sold many of them in my store..they are a great cheap airbrush..you dont need to spend alot..if you are able find somebody that already has one and ask them to let you have a go.
 

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I fully appreciate your fears, I had the same when I first got one but the thought of having easy OSL pushed me into buying one and I'm so happy I did. The best way to get the hang of using an airbrush is just by base coating miniatures as its faster than using a normal brush to do it and you really cannot go wrong as its all one colour and your aren't going to ruin any previous paint work done.

As I said I mainly use my airbrush for OSL work and the occassional paint job on special miniatures on which I want a nice blended affect. There are so many paint guides out there to tell you the best colours to use for it as well as guides to how to where to even start with airbrushing. But to start with I will always say basecoat and work up from there. WIth a basecoat you can play around with the correct consistency of paint, you can play around with the features of the airbrush and how big or small an area you can cover at once and you can play around with trying to only hit certain parts of the model, as afterwards you are going over the whole model again anyway and you get such an even coat with an airbrush you won't see you have ever had a mess around with the final product.

I highly recommend airbrushes. But that also doesn't mean you never use your brush again. Your brush is the main tool, the airbrush supplements that tool to make things a bit easier. is till paint the large proportion of my miniatures by hand but I use my airbrush for basecoating, OSL, power weapons, large fabrics etc. to supplement what I have done with the brush. There are some people that only ever use airbrushes but I personally don't like that hazy blurry looking style of model but thats just me.

Quite simply its easy to pick up the technique and can save a lot of time with a lot of tasks so I would certainly say that its worth it.
 

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To not airbrush: It can be expensive. You can always buy a cheap compressor and a cheap brush and to that effect, there are a ton of deals on places like Amazon where it'll be a $100 or less for the whole setup. However, I would highly, highly suggest getting a good compressor even if you want to get a beginners brush. In the long run, no matter what you do (resale, in my experience, on a compressor is very good), it will pay off to have a good compressor.
There is a learning curve. Taking a cardboard box (and some cheap paint to practice with) and just go to town on it. What I did is take a Sharpee and draw lines all over the box and then followed those lines with the airbrush. Was great practice and helped me with the learning curve.
To airbrush: Will add a different dimension to your painting. OSL is easier (IMO), priming is a breeze (and I think does a better job than can primers). Right now I'm working on gradients and blending with mine and the early results of testing look so much better than when I started trying those with just a brush.
IMO, I would get one. I love mine and can't believe I went so long without one. Using it now is so simple and my results exceed my expectations.
 
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