Alamo recently contacted me on Tale of Painters enquiring about airbrushes. I thought I’d write up a review on the kit I use.
This kit pictured above can be bought from the link below:
The first thing you will notice is the price, it’s cheap, real cheap. Don’t be fooled by the price, this is top quality stuff. RDG tools cut out distributors and middle men prices and buy direct from the factories passing on the savings to their customers. The compressor is identical to one I saw in a hobby craft store that cost 4x as much. I don’t think these are imitations either, I think they come out of the same factories and are just unbadged. My £35 dual action airbrush from RDG tools is exactly the same as my friends £150 Iwata airbrush, and we both get similar results.
So the price is right, but what about the details? Well the compressor is a piston based one, with a water trap and air gauge. The bottom of the water trap has an adjuster to control air pressure. Sadly my set up doesn’t have an air tank, but for a little bit more money you can get a compressor with an air tank from RDG tools. I would recommend this as it would enable consistent air pressure for your airbrush, not that I have had any problems without it.
The airbrushes that come with it are a bottom feed and a top feed airbrush. Either one is fine for beginners. I upgraded to a better top feed dual action (dual action is push down and pull back, one controls air, the other amount of paint).
I know a lot of people on http://swchq.co.uk/swcforum who have bought this set up and all have enjoyed pleasing results. Some, including myself suffered from clogged airbrushes. My issue was because of my inexperience with it. I now know how to strip and clean my airbrush. A couple of pointers for this don’t over tighten the parts, hand tight is perfect. You can do a quick clean by filling with water and covering the end of the airbrush. This will blow air back through the brush. Generally though you need to strip it out. Maybe one day I’ll do a photo guide on stripping an airbrush and cleaning.
Hope you found this informative.
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If someone is thinking about buying one of those compressors, buy it with tank.
You will note the difference.
By the way, I just found something more about airbrushes on google:
I personally preffer the Gravity fed ones.
wow… i just got the almost-exact-same-compressor from Iwata, and he was around 250$…
Very good article, I'm looking into buying an Airbrush, too, for quite some time – inspired by your Dark Eldar army!
I got the exact same compressor with my order from Amazon, except that kit came with a dual action gravity feed Master model G22. Not high end, but I'm been happy with its performance.
Like I said, I've been extremely happy with this setup (~$80 USD), and agree that a tank would be a nice addition. I've got a full set of "unboxing" shots and I even took some spray testing shots. I guess it's time to write up that review!
Speaking of – thanks for the review.
Holy cow, that's cheap. I bought my airbrush setup from a specialized airbrush store after two weeks of research and whatnot and paid extra for that while the components are essentially the same. I got the standard double-action top-fed gun, exactly the same water trap. I got a tank as well though and got some extras (no second gun though). Still, that is a very, very good price. I paid about three times that (sans the tank).
What's especially nice about this set is the textile tube for the gun. These things are way more comfortable than the twirly plastic ones. One thing I suggest getting though it a holder for the guns though. If you have to put the gun away for a second you really appreciate those things.
- Cadian 127th
DAmn that's cheap. My FLGS has an offer on which I thought was pretty good, but that undercuts it by £20. Bye bye to my next wage's.
Thanks Garfy. Mine is already on order 😉
very cheap indeed and tempting too. My only concern is how easily can you find replacements for any broken parts you might end up having after some months of painting.
Also does the compressor come with a moisture tap? From the description it seems like there is none but the picture shows something that looks like one…
Again I am really tempted with this. I just worry about the availability of spare parts and replacement nozzles.
I recently purchased one of these RDG kits (2 dual action airbrushes + compressor with tank). So far I'm pretty satisfied with it; having never used an airbrush, it doesn't feel that difficult to use or to clean, and my new Blood Angels army are turning up pretty nicely.
The only real problem was was getting the right consistency in the paints. While I'm learning, the Vallejo Air lines has sorted that out for now!
- David H
Hi Garfy, thanks for this great review. I'm planning on buying that compressor but would like to know which "35£ airbrush" you got from RDGtools. I can't really decide between BD-186 and BD-180. I'm going to use the airbrush to paint my space marines – especially the vehicles – and also some large terrain pieces. Is it possible to change needle size in airbrushes, or are they designed for only one specific size?
Also, do you think that nozzle sizes of 0.25 and 0.3 mm are to small to effectivly paint terrain? Should I buy another airbrush with larger nozzle/needle and maybe suction feed to ease the painting of the large terrain pieces?
Hi Dave H.
I have the BD-180. It has a 0.25mm needle/nozzle. I've used it for large pieces (Thunderhawk).
I did buy a bigger needle, but I couldn't get it to work with my BD-180. I'm not sure If I was doing something wrong or if it wasn't compatible. It all fit together, just nothing came out. I didn't look into it any further then that. If you find out, let me know please.
Maybe a cheap single action airbrush would be good for base coating large amounts of terrain. Alternatively, aerosol cans might be faster as they have a very wide spray.
Thanks for the review, it was an interesting read.
I know I'm asking on a somewhat older article, but I hope my question can be answered anyway.
I've been wanting to get into miniature painting for awhile, but I always lose interest in the priming/base coating stage. I love trying to paint details and highlighting/washing but getting to that stage is just annoying for me. Would an airbrush make those stages easier/faster/more fun?
This Airbrush/Compressor seems like an easy to afford way to get into painting, but if it's better for a newbie painter to just stick with brushing on primer/base coats then I don't want to waste the money.
This would be primarily for single models and the occasional vehicle, not for terrain or anything huge.)
I probably should say that I also hate using the GW spray primer, I feel like I have no control over the amount and I'm always worried I'll lose details when trying to prime smaller models.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.
This set up is perfect for what you want. It's affordable and with practice and care will produce great results. I used these airbrushes for a few years before moving onto a better one. They were great for base coating batches of models or vehicles.
For primer invest in this stuff, it lasts forever and works great with an airbrush.
If you get yourself an extractor fan you can undercoat indoors.
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Bought the exact same set up! 100% pleased with it so far