Monday, January 21, 2019

New video: Is it time to upgrade your beginner airbrush? Cheap v intermediate examined.

I've been using the same cheap airbrush for the last ten years. The generic Sparmax DH-103 airbrush and compressor cost me $100 Australian back in 2007, and it has never given me a moment's trouble in all that time. Everything you've seen me produce has been painted with that rig. But I recently decided that it was time for me to upgrade, to lift my game and get a better airbrush.

Don't get me wrong - you can get by for a long time with a cheap beginner airbrush (hell, I did). If you're considering your first foray into airbrushing scale models, I would most definitely recommend you pick up a cheap one to learn on. I promise you, once you try airbrushing you will never go back to only using paintbrushes - I guarantee it.

But there are compromises involved in a cheap airbrush, and eventually you will want to get a better brush. It took me ten years, your results may vary (or you might be less of a tightwad than I am!).

So I got a new, higher-spec airbrush from - it's a 0.2mm Mr Hobby Procon Boy FWA Double Action Platinum. It is a bit of an eye opener to me. I can't put it any other way - it is just a lot better than my current cheap airbrush.

If you're interested in picking up one for yourself, here is a link (I get no commission, BTW!) - and even better, if you are a member of The MOD Squad you get a 10% discount. Win / win!

time to upgrade from your beginner airbrush

The full details are in the video below, but the main difference is the control of how precise you spray. For fine work, like say freehand airbrushing 1/72 scale camouflage, it makes a huge difference. Watch the video, you'll see what I mean.

Now I need to think about if I ever want to pull the trigger and buy one of the really expensive airbrushes, like a Badger or Paasche. Those are in the US$200+ range, and I've been told that the results you see in a jump to an expert airbrush is the same as the jump from a beginner's to an intermediate. I'm not ready for that expense yet, but it would be interesting to see. Maybe a future video, who knows?

Video is embedded below, but in case that doesn't work here is the link:
Is it time to upgrade your beginner airbrush?




  1. The compressor is a Sparmax as well, Dave. I've got the exact same one.

    1. It's solid, isn't it? Mine has been giving me trouble-free performance for 15 years now.