Airbrush recommendation

The Iwata CS line has a .35mm needle and can be found at Hobby Lobby as well as online.

Iwata Custom Micron B, go buy the Samurai katana of airbrushes to match the Paasche VL wakizashi for the full daisho

Yes, it cost too much but ultimately for photo retouch grade effects its the best I’ve seen.

Harder and Steenbeck makes some nice less expensive airbrushes that many love. Iwata liked them well enough to buy the company so they are doing something right :white_check_mark: :wink:

Honestly, I’m less than impressed with HS, and end up using the old Paasche VL #1 tip or for the fine stuff going straight to the Iwata Custom Micron B with the 0.18 mm needle & tip.

I just got a Badger Patriot. It’s also my first upgrade from an ancient Badger 350 single action siphon feed. For me it seemed the best break between cost and quality.

I’m still getting the hang of it, but I’ve already noticed a massive improvement in spray quality and I lay down some reasonably fine lines, especially if I’m good about thinning my paints and keeping pressure low. It’s still a 0.5 needle though, but they make a 0.35 kit for it.

I think @Panzer_modeler and a couple others bought a Master set of Amazon a while ago that had 3 needle sizes. I know Ezra was happy with it. I chickened out because of some poor reviews on the needle quality and lack of replacement parts availability.

thanks everyone, lots to think about!

Anyone heard of/ used the badger sotar? It seems to have positive reviews and has needles down to .2mm


$444.00 Yikes!

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I say go with the Master and replace when needed.

Hmm, for $40 they might be worth a try. Have you tried the smallest needle?

I don’t think I have as I needed the larger needle to help me with spraying primer as the .3 wasn’t working for me and I haven’t needed the super detail as of yet.

Sprays pretty smoothly with the larger needles though? The option for a .2 mm is very attractive

I thought so for my purposes. Not a master airbrusher so some of the finer options on my Iwata’s are lost on me.

There is a few different Master types but same general cost that make it an easy tool to try and not out much if it doesn’t work for you.

Yeah that’s good point, little risk. I’m by no means an airbrush expert either but I have kits in my stash that require mottling and this type of scheme:

And I think a finer airbrush will help. Im able to spray these but the larger needle causes unsightly overspray

So I am not sold on needing the smaller needle. I saw something similar earlier but these shows a technique that should help with what your trying to do.

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I use the Iwata HP-CS; had a Paasche when I got back into modeling but switched when Hobby Lobby still allowed the 40% off coupon on them.

I do only German armor so I have several of those thin-line schemes to pull off as well, but you’ll find that small needle size is only part of it. If you thin the paint down and lower your pressure you can build up then lines like that even with a bigger needle and avoid too much overspray, but it does take more time and effort to do so.

Do you find the .35 needle sufficient for most of your work? The HP-CS looks nice just want to make sure I don’t need a .20.

I’ve done thin lines with my Paasche but as you say it’s a pain

First, as said above getting closer to the subject and using the correct combination of pressure and dilution, you can do pretty thin lines with a 0.5 airbrush. In fact, it is just half a milimetre when it leaves the nozzle!

And second, what paint are you using? Personally, I do not like acrylics below 0,3mm because it clogs too much.
If you are using Tamiya or Real Color it should be fine with smaller ones.

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I mostly spray Tamiya or AK real colors. Maybe I need to be using a little thinner paint

@Mead93, do you strain the paint through a strainer before using?

FWIW - The old VL is rated to do a 1/32 of an inch line with fine tip & needle. The VL will do 1/64 of an inch lines if one fiddles with air pressure & thinning ratio with a hand polished needle etc.

The Iwata Custom Micron B can literally go fine as a human hair.

If I was to ever buy that model I think I might teach my wife to use it…

…as she can see the back of my head better than I.


Give Tamiya’s airbrushed a look.I have 1 for more detail painting,very close to Iwata but much cheaper and they are manufactured in the same factory.

I have a Badger Sotar. I like it, but I still purchased an Iwata HP-CH. I have used an Iwata for a long time and am used to the way it feels in the hand and know how to take it apart and clean it already. I do think you should see what you can do with the airbrush you have. On AdTube, there are lots of airbrush videos from folks who aren’t model makers who show how to thin paint and hold the brush to get a very fine line. You may end up with a smaller needle brush eventually, but it might be worth seeing what you can do with what you’ve got, which might be more than you think?

FWIW, my finest lines are with thinned down Tamiya paint. I can’t get results as good with Mr Hobby Mr Color paints - not sure why. AK real colors work better for me than Mr Hobby but not as well as Tamiya.