What airbrush do you use for 1/48 aircraft?

My Badger Patriot airbrush doesn’t have a wide enough spray pattern to paint 1/48 models. What do you use?

Can you get a larger size nozzle and needle to fit your Badger? that way you convert the spray width from narrow to wide. I don’t know which size you currently have.

I use an Iwata Eclipse with a 0.35mm nozzle. That works just fine on 1/48 aircraft, for fine and large area detail.

How come you need such a wide spray?

You can change nozzle sizes on most decent airbrushes if you want to, but really, you shouldn’t need to. I wouldn’t go any bigger than 0.5 mm personally.

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I use a harder&steenbeck infinity with two nozzles (0.15 and 0.4).

In practice i stick most often to the 0.15 nozzle.

Before that I had a badger with a 0.35 nozzle and that worked as well but the H&S is much better and precise.

The best size of the nozzle seems to depend a lot on the used paint and pressure.

Same here,my Iwata works fine for me.

I just bought the 1/48 Academy F-22 and it is very large. My Badger airbrush doesn’t have the spray pattern I want.

If you want an airbrush that is inexpensive and extremely easy to clean, and can give you a wide spray pattern, you could use what I use most, the venerable Paasche H series single action. I have, I think, 8 other airbrushes, all of which can be used for very fine work (e.g. Harder and Steenbeck Evolution and Infinity, an Iwata HP-C Plus, several different GSI Creos / Procon Boy brushes, etc.) but I use my Paasche for almost EVERYTHING. I use one of my GSI PS-270 airbrushes (I have 3 of them) for the finer stuff, and that’s literally it. Why I have some many airbrushes I don’t use, I have no idea. I’m just a fool. But you can easily use a Paasche H and one finer work airbrush for aircraft. Then again, one of my good friends actually uses his Paasch H for everything, including small detail work. It can be done!

Badger makes the single action internal mix series 200G. One of those is a gravity feed. You can swop out the needle etc for broader or finer coverage. Available for under $70.

Change the tip and needle size and be sure the air pressure is not turned up too high.

You may find that you need to reduce the paint (i.e. “thin it down”) some to get good flow and aerosolization at a lower pressure, but you’ll get the most out of the wider spray pattern without loosing so much paint to over-spray. You may have to watch your surface speed and slow down a bit (as long as you’re not creating pooling, puddling or runs). This will improve coverage immensely. With the thinner paint, several layers, allowing for each to flash-off before starting the next, may be necessary.

Be sure you’re also not spraying from too great a distance from the surface. You may find that you’re too far away resulting in too much overspray, wasted paint and poor coverage. Could be what you really need to do is slow down and move closer (with or without a larger needle and tip, thinner paint, and lower air pressure).

You may also need to watch your technique to be sure that you’re starting and ending each spray pass off the model. Also, be sure your trigger control technique is proper - start: down for air then back for paint; finish: forward to cut paint flow then up to stop the air. Both of these are very important to eliminate / mitigate any potential spattering anytime, but with thinner paint, the potential for spattering at the start of each pass is increased if paint is not started and stopped while the air is already going.

Large surface areas are more demanding of proper technique and methods.

I’m using a Iwata with 0.2 and one Richpen with 0.3. It’s enough for me. I made the F-15E (is quite big) and now the A-10C (bigger wingspan than the F-15) and both work fine.

you see, as many opinions as there are modellers.

I can only recommend not to go for the cheapest one… buy a model less (stash is usually already big enough) and get a decent airbrush (i am very happy with my H&S). Not doing that could lead you on an endless search and buying several different airbrushes, which is more expensive after all.

And above all, when you have a new airbrush… spend a lot of time with your preferred paint on anything but a model (plastic spoons are very useful) and invent exercises to learn how to handle your airbrush.

and stick to a single paint brand because also the paint itself has a big influence .

I bought my first airbrush when I decided that there must be a better way than using a brush.
The choice was between airbrush and spray cans. Besides the long term cost of spray cans I
didn’t like the “carpet bombing” approach with spray cans.
With a minimum of practice I got nice even coats on large surfaces (tanks in 1/35th scale also
have large surfaces) despite painting with a quarter inch spray pattern. I started with a cheap compressor without air-tank which produced a put-put-put airflow (and sound) which resulted in a dot-dot-dot spray pattern when I tried fine lines …
If there are camouflage patterns the large surfaces of a tank or aircraft effectively consists of a
mosaic of small surfaces and there is no need for a wide spray patterna.
Painting a 1:1 scale wall in a room is another thing though …

Iwata Eclipse HP-CS 0.35mm nozzle is a workhorse for me, very robust airbrush, easy to clean and capable of fine detail. I have also H&S Infinity CR Plus 0.15mm, but I use it less than the Eclipse.