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Gabihime

Airbrush suggestions

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Gabihime

 

I’m going to be getting my first airbrush soon, and I wondered what experienced doll customizers are using.  I’ve never had an airbrush before, but I come from a fine arts background, and I’m a very experienced digital artist (20+ years).  I want to use it to paint dolls, toys, and customized figures.  Eventually I’d also like to paint sneakers, but I might actually need a different brush for that, since it’s flood filling instead of fine detail work.

At the moment I am wholly focused on dolls, so I want a brush to be able to do faceups and body blushing.  What airbrushes would you suggest?  I also need to get a compressor, since I don’t currently have one.

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BeyondTime

I use an Iwata Custom Micron, and I have used a basic Paasche airbrush. I don’t do doll customization though. 

I figured it might be useful to mention some things about the two airbrushes.

The Iwata can make a very fine line, but this airbrush requires experience at straining and thinning paints. You also need a compressor that allows you to control the air pressure in order to keep it under 18 psi. It’s a very good airbrush, but requires more experience to own and operate. It might not be the best for a beginner airbrush artist. It’s also a very expensive brush.

Iwata is in general a well respected brand, but they’re on the pricier side. They do have a large variety of airbrushes to choose from. 

My Paasche is great for blowing paint onto models in large quantity, but not so good at fine detailing. They sell complete starter kits with all the bits you need to get going, and they are a decent tool for someone new to airbrushing. You can get a basic kit for around $75 bucks. As you are an experienced artist, even as a beginner to airbrushes, you might find you outgrow it quickly. 

The best thing in my opinion would be to find a good hobby store, or an art supply store, and talk to their airbrush expert. There are a lot of options on the market, and someone who knows those options may steer you to a better fit than the two options I’ve mentioned.

Volks makes airbrushes too, and while their product quality is pretty good, their airbrush selection is small. I have zero experience with their airbrushes.

No matter which brush you buy you will want acrylic paints made for airbrushing, and paint thinners made for airbrushing. Createx is good quality, but their hobby colors seem to be more focused on miniature war gaming, so finding colors appropriate for a doll may be a bit harder with their selection. Conversely, they have a lot of options for thinning, priming, and fixing paints, as well as an airbrush cleaning solution. Volks makes good quality paint too, and they sell paint colors focused on dolls. 

For hobby work like toys and dolls I’d also recommend getting a spray booth of some sort.

A couple of cautions:

Read the manual on your air compressor. The Paasche compressor has a valve that must be opened while it’s running or you will burn out the motor. 

The airbrush needles can have very fine points, and it’s easy to bend them while cleaning them. Check YouTube for videos on cleaning an airbrush. 

 

 


The difference between Dollfie Dreams and Heroin? Heroin is illegal, Dollfie Dreams probably should be.

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Gabihime

I ended up buying an Iwata Eclipse as my first airbrush.  I got an Iwata compressor to begin with, and considering getting a second one in time for more variable pressure for higher density paints (I really want to paint sneakers too!). I’m actually buying some more high flow paints now, so I can get to work!

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