Marilyn knows how to present the dullest topic in an interesting and easy-to-read way. When she’s not teaching English Literature at a local school or writing for our site, Marylin loves to knit and bake for her two grandchildren.
Julie owns a shop specializing in sewing equipment and accessories. No wonder she knows everything when it comes to technical specifications of practically anything we review. In her free time, Julie loves quilting and scrapbooking.
Last updated: August 18, 2021
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Airbrushing is an art that requires excellent precision, talent, and patience. Having the right airbrush will help you achieve better painting results and speed up the process. They also make it easy to do over an area a couple of times without leaving brush strokes on your work. Like any other product, there is a wide range of airbrushes for models available in the market today, and picking the best one can be challenging. This is because some of the top-rated airbrushes do not perform as per their descriptions.
That is why we have established a list of the best airbrush for models and a detailed buying guide. We considered features such as feed type, pressure, nozzle, and pressure of the airbrushes. Whether you are practicing airbrushing as a hobby or profession, this guide contains all you need to know about the best airbrush for models.
Badger is an American company known for producing high-quality airbrushes with a weighted feel. Most ambushers prefer heavier airbrushes over lighter models since they offer better stability.
The Badger Air-Brush Co. 105 Patriot has a gravity feed and double-action trigger that ensures an efficient painting by preventing any pain from being wasted. Moreover, the dual-action design also gives you better spray control and enhances the results.
Another impressive thing is that the airbrush has a metal construction, so you don’t need to worry about it breaking or bending. However, the paint cup and tip have a plastic covering. Speaking of paint cups, this one is permanently attached to the airbrush and can hold up to 1/3 ounce of paint. So, all you need to do is load the cup and start using your tool.
This kit is quite versatile, so you can use it to perform several activities. With this airbrush, you can create bit patterns of up to three inches and thin patterns. As such, it is ideal for use in larger areas or small details. Also, the user-friendly design makes this one of the best airbrushes for beginners.
You can use any color and even switch between colors while airbrushing.
What are its best features? The Badger Air-Brush Co. 105 Patriot is a worthy investment for professional and art enthusiasts. It is easy to maintain, versatile and has a durable and practical design.
What could be improved? The airbrush cup could have been a bit smaller to prevent it from blocking your view while working in smaller areas.
Iwata is known for developing high-quality airbrushes, and the Eclipse HP-CS is no different. The model is ideal for large and small projects thanks to the unique paint flow design that delivers heavy paint and thick spray.
This will be an excellent option if you are looking for precision and versatility using a wide variety of paints. In terms of construction, this airbrush for miniatures and models is made from stainless steel to prevent damage. There is also the chrome finish that makes cleaning it a breeze.
The nozzle is 0.35 mm, so you use it for creating the most intricate designs. Moreover, the 1/3 oz cup has an excellent shape that is easy to clean and allows the paint to flow steadily into the nozzle. No matter the type of liquid you use, this device is designed to deliver a consistent flow.
The dual-action trigger can be tricky for beginners, but once you master, it will offer better control and excellent results. The feed cup features a lid that prevents the paint from spilling out of the cup while airbrushing from different angles.
Why did it make our list? The Eclipse HP-CS is a perfect option for those looking for consistent and quality spraying results from their airbrush. It is versatile, durable, and creates a wide range of patterns.
What is not ideal about it? It would have been better if the chrome didn’t fade after a while.
If you are looking for the best airbrush for manicures for beginners, consider picking the Paasche Airbrush Talon. This USA made airbrush is not only ideal for creating those fine details but is also a perfect gift for art lovers.
The main appeal of this device is its beauty and elegance, but it performs just as good. You can use it for several purposes, such as model painting, graphic arts, fingernails, tattoos, and even cake decoration. Another great thing about this unit is the chrome-plated body and aluminum handle, making it a durable option.
The chrome plating also ensures it looks as good as new even after using it for a long period. Moreover, the PTFE packing helps this machine to handle any solvent or water-based paint without clogging. It can achieve patterns and lines from a 3 inches hairline, making it perfect for painting models. Besides that, it uses a gravity feed making it an excellent option for beginners.
That said, you need to get an air compressor with a pressure of 20 to 30 PSI for the airbrush to work effectively.
Cleaning the Paasche TG is just as easy as spraying through the tools and wiping the needle.
What do we love it for? The Paasche Airbrush Talon is an excellent pick for beginners due to its easy-to-use design. Although simple, this machine can be used for multiple purposes, and cleaning it is also an easy task.
What were we disappointed with? The storage box could have been more protective.
Iwata-Medea Revolution CR is a high-quality and all-around airbrush for models since it provides the perfect balance of value, quality, and performance. Fitted with a 0.5 mm needle and large nozzle, this model is an ideal option for tackling different types of lines.
The solvent-resistant packing helps you to switch between water-based and solvent paint easily. If you are a painter who constantly needs to switch between temporary and permanent paint, we highly recommend this device.
This one is among the best airbrush for painting miniatures and models due to the fantastic performance and the superb structure. We love that the handle has an ergonomic design making it comfortable to use.
Another amazing feature is the vast nozzle that makes it easy to work with a need while spraying thick and heavy paint. Assembling this airbrush is super easy due to the enormous needle-chucking nut and redesigned trigger system.
The Iwata-Medea Revolution features different settings of pressure and variations, making a versatile option making it ideal for both wide and dine lines. You can use it for various tasks such as spray painting, makeup, and even Gundam modeling.
What makes it stand out? Overall, the Iwata-Medea Revolution CR is a great airbrush for beginners as it is easy to use but still powerful. With this model, you can work for longer and easily control even the smallest detail.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? The nozzle could have been a bit stronger.
From the beautiful luminous green color to superb performance, the Grex Tritium TG3 is an excellent airbrush ideal for beginners and experts. The first notable feature is the dual-action trigger.
All you need to do is pull it slightly and engage the needle to control paint and airflow. The dual-action trigger makes it easy to control the airflow. This model also includes 14 ml, 7 ml, and 2 ml paint cups that can be easily swapped out. Meaning, you can select the most suitable size for your project.
When it comes to the nozzle, it features a stainless-steel construction that increases its durability. Apart from being incredibly attractive, this model also has a lightweight construction making it easy to use and carry around.
We must also talk about the ergonomic handle that reduces hand cramping, making it ideal for those with such problems. Another nice touch is that the cup is positioned at the gun to provide a consistent and great paint flow from different angles. So, instead of collecting in the cup, the paint flows downwards. This provides better and more balanced handling.
Why did it make our list? The Grex Tritium.TG3 feels comfortable in your hands and easy to use, making it one the best airbrushes for models for beginners and experts.
What is not ideal about it? Removing clogs could have been a bit easier for a fast cleaning process.
If you are looking for a design in an airbrush for miniature and models, you will probably like the Paasche Airbrush HG-08 HVLP. The device is well-designed, and it performs just as well.
This airbrush is a perfect example of precision, style, and is made by the best professional in the airbrush industry. It covers multiple uses and is mostly used by artists who want to cover large sized areas.
Apart from that, the airbrush features an adjustable spray nozzle that delivers all types of patterns. As a result, the airbrush is ideal for multiple projects such as cake decoration, tattoos, ceramics, and model painting. Lastly, the HG-08 HVLP also helps you to achieve fine line details.
You can use this airbrush for both decorating and painting tasks without compromising on quality. The versatility of this device saves you money.
Why did it make our list? The Paasche Airbrush HG-08 HVLP is the most affordable airbrush for models on this list. It is easy to use, compatible with both solvent and water-based paints, and comes with a one-year warranty.
What is not ideal about it? Cleaning would have been easier if you didn’t have to disassemble the entire device during the process.
Tamiya products are produced in the same factory as the well-known Iwata airbrushes. This gives you a preview of what you expect from this model. The Tamiya 74545 Spray-Work HG Airbrush III is an excellent machine that delivers fine detail results.
It is equipped with a 0.2 mm nozzle that provides precision and smoother operation in a simple yet effective way. It might not be the best option for large scale tasks such as priming modern jets. Although it can be done, it will take quite some time.
It also features an adjustable needle stop that makes it easy to control the flow of paint from the airbrush. Another amazing thing about this machine is the all-metal construction that makes it sturdy and durable. Also, it is lightweight, making it easy to use and carry around.
You can easily remove the 7-cc paint cup and replace it with a smaller or larger paint cup if necessary. Despite its high-quality construction and excellent performance, the Tamiya 74545 airbrush comes at a pocket-friendly price.
Why are we impressed? From the durable build quality to the easy-to-use design, the Tamiya 74545 Spray-Work HG Airbrush III is a high-quality airbrush that is perfect for painting fine lines.
What negatives must you be aware of? The paint cup could have been a bit bigger.
If you are a beginner and want to achieve some fine details to your miniature and models, the NEO CN is an excellent airbrush to pick. The best gravity feed airbrushes function best at a lower PSI to help deliver fine and unique details.
This model is ideal for that purpose since it functions between 5 and 35 PSI and has a 0.35 needle.
Moreover, the machine comes with two color cups, a medium 1/16 oz, and a large one 1/3 oz, which are easy to assemble. Apart from that, you can easily interchange the cups depending on the type of job you are handling and the amount of space you need.
Both cups have a lid, which is an essential addition as it makes the airbrush ideal for working on 3d pieces or any other project that requires you to turn your hand. With this model, you don’t need to worry about spoiling your work or even spilling paint.
You might also appreciate that this beginner-friendly airbrush uses a dual-action trigger. Meaning the trigger controls the airflow and paint volume. Pull back the trigger for paint and push it down for airflow. The shape of the NEO CN makes it easy to clean and allows a more consistent and efficient flow of paint.
What do we love it for? The NEO CN is one of the best airbrushes for painting miniatures and models. It is easy to use, versatile, and comes with a five-year warranty.
What were we disappointed with? It would have been better if this device was easy to get clogged up with paint after using it for long.
If you are looking for a well-designed airbrush for models, you will not go wrong with the Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit. This versatile model is quite impressive as you can use it for model painting, nail painting, cake decoration, and more.
Its versatility is a great advantage since you won’t need to spend money on multiple airbrushes. Also, the machine is lightweight, making it portable and easy to use in different settings. This airbrush is fitted with a protective pump that acts as an air compressor.
The pump features a screwdriver and action brush, and so you will not need to have an air hose to use this machine. As a result, you will not experience too much noise. It’s worth noting that working with an airbrush that produces no or very little noise is more comfortable.
Everyone requires an airbrush that is easy to use for convenience. Another impressive feature is the air pump and modern circuit, which both have upgraded systems to help you achieve fine details. As such, this set is an ideal option as it has a simple design making it suitable for both beginners and experts.
Why is it special? The Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit is an excellent pick since it is easy to use and comes with a rechargeable cable, and has a portable design so you can use it anywhere you want.
What are the flaws? We wish the kit came in a better carrying case.
You can use the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit for model painting, automobile graphics, nail art, fine art, tattoos, cake decoration, and many more. You can use this airbrush for both decorating and painting tasks without compromising on quality. The versatility of this device saves you money.
We also like that this airbrush is easy to understand and use. This makes it a great option for beginners who are learning more about airbrushes. Also, the automatic shut off/on features produces a maximum pressure of 25 PSI provides convenience by shutting off air automatically when the airbrush is not in use. Then there is the knob that controls the airflow.
The dual-action airbrush provides great performance, so you can expect excellent results while using this kit. Included in the machine are a nozzle, a needle, and a fluid cup. With a measurement of 0.3mm, the nozzle is not only more efficient but also fast.
The needle and nozzle combination makes it possible to spray 1 inch from the hairline. This allows you to cover a large distance and complete your work after a short time. It’s worth noting that spraying a large space at one saves you energy and time.
What do we love it for? The Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit is lightweight, versatile, and delivers a consistent flow rate. It has a simple yet powerful design that makes it an excellent choice for beginners.
What were we disappointed with? The instructions could be more precise.
ROADTEC Upgraded Airbrush Kit is versatile and lightweight. The set comes with an easy-to-follow guide. The guide provides clear instructions that guide you on how to handle the machine and its contents.
When it comes to versatility, you can use this kit for different tasks and in several settings. You can use it for various tasks such as model coloring, makeup, cake decoration, and art craft, among others. The lightweight nature of the airbrush makes it easy to use and carry around.
It is equipped with a trigger that immediately starts or stops the airbrush. The airflow can go up to 8L while the pressure goes up to 20 PSI. Moreover, the airbrush is equipped with a protective pump that acts as the air compressor. With the protective pump, you will stay safe no matter the project you are performing. The pump also ensures the airbrush works efficiently.
You don’t have to worry about annoying noise while using this device since it produces little noise. The cordless airbrush for models comes with a high-quality built-in battery that runs up to one hour when fully charged. With the replaceable and removable sprinkler, cleaning this machine should be easy.
Why is it special? The ROADTEC Upgraded Airbrush Kit is easy to use, lightweight for portability, and has a versatile design. The model also comes with easy-to-follow and clear instructions.
What are the flaws? Small paint cup delivers some inconvenience
If you are looking for a portable airbrush for models that you comfortably use and carry around, then the COSSCCI Upgraded Airbrush Kit will be an excellent pick. Due to the airbrush’s lightweight and compact design, you can pack it in your pocket or backpack.
The lightweight construction also makes it comfortable for long hours, while the ergonomic handle provides a comfortable grip. The charging feature of the airbrush means you can use it anytime and anywhere you like.
A USB cable and a portable case have been included in the package so you can charge it with your power back, phone charger, or computer. With a simple press of a button, you can start using this machine.
The airflow is constant, but you can stop airflow by connecting it to the dual-action connector included in the package. In addition, you can use this machine without any air hose for convenience. Like most of the products on this list, this airbrush is also versatile.
You can use it for a wide range of activities such as art painting, cake decorating, handicrafts, model spraying, to name a few.
Why did it make our list? The COSSCCI Upgraded is a USB powered Airbrush Kit with a safer and modern circuit. It’s lightweight and chargeable design allows you to use the machine anywhere you want.
What is not ideal about it? An inclusion of a user’s guide would have been better to make it easy to put together.
Things to Consider
To get amazing results, you need a high-quality airbrush that will help you make those fine details. However, picking the best airbrush for models can be a bit challenging. This section of the article gives you important information to help you pick the right machine.
What you can color with an airbrush for models
You can use airbrushes for coloring a wide range of surfaces. Let’s look at some of the most common areas:
Makeup and body art
Although it’s not permanent, you can use airbrushes for models for coloring the body in different situations. Since airbrushes do not contact the skin, they can provide a detailed design and uniform coat. You can also use airbrushes for applying makeup.
Making nails look smart and healthy at adding a unique design to fingernails, airbrushes for models have a great texture and shape that leaves your customers with cute fingers and toenails.
Most illustrations on children and comic books are created with airbrushes. Such books show the ability of airbrushes to form subtle and rich colors that are difficult to achieve with a brush or a pen.
How to use an airbrush for miniatures?
The first thing you need to do is load your paint into the airbrush. Knowing how much spray will be released starts by spraying on a paper instead of the actual area. Even the most experienced painters will first spray on a flat area to understand the machine’s consistency.
Keep the airbrush some inches away from the working area for great results. Experiment how well the paint will flow with different pressures, distances from paper, different types of paints, and varying motions and angles.
It’s worth noting that different needles will deliver different results. The next thing you need to do is take the material or surface you need to paint and sketch your design or pattern. Remember to create your pictures from the top and use one color at a time.
Once you finish painting, seal your work with a light spray and ass in horizontal strokes while standing five feet away from the painting.
Cleaning tips for airbrush users
Disassemble the entire equipment once in a while for cleaning.
Unscrew the needle cap and be careful while doing it to prevent it from hitting the floor. Then use a small wrench or needle-nosed plier to detach the nozzle cap.
If you want to clean the needle, you can drag it across a clean cloth. Also, use a clean cloth to get rid of any build up. Remember that a clogged airbrush can block the airflow.
You also need to check the nozzle up for any buildup. In case there is debris buildup, use a wire brush or small wire to remove it.
Always hang the airbrush for models in an upright position to prevent the cup cap from clogging. In case it is already clogged, use a sharp cleaning tool or toothpick to push out the buildups.
Finally, reassemble the airbrush. Be careful while assembling it to avoid losing some pieces.
You want to get an airbrush that is manufactured by a popular company. If you are not keen, you can end up investing your money into a cheaply made product. Let’s look at the most reputable companies for making high-quality airbrushes.
Badger is a well-known airbrush company that focuses on great customer service, quality products, and great value. All the products from Badger are carefully put together and tested for quality performance.
Iwata is another popular company among most art enthusiasts. They make all their airbrushes with five main aspects: full finish, maximum control, easy coverage, total precision, and versatility. If you want to spray a wide area, the Iwata-Medea Revolution CR will be a great choice.
With 100 years of experience, Paasche is yet another leading company in the airbrush industry. They develop innovative and high-quality airbrushes and educate customers on how to get the most out of those products. Paasche also ensures that all their products are well-tested before releasing them.
Features to consider while buying the best airbrush for models
There are a lot of things that determine the performance and effectiveness of an airbrush for models. Without the right knowledge, you may end up buying the wrong device. To avoid this, we have come up with the key things you need to consider before choosing an airbrush.
Airbrush nozzles mostly affect the spray pattern. In general, short nozzles provide a wider pattern than longer ones. They also cover more areas making them ideal for big projects. On the other hand, long nozzles deliver a narrow spray line. Most nozzles are included in the package and come with a compatible needle.
Single or dual action?
A dual-action or single-action determines the amount of control you have while spraying models and miniatures. A dual-action gives you more control over both airflow and paint flow. A good example is the Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit, which is most suitable for experts.
A single-action model is best for beginners as it provides less control. With such a model, you can only control the airflow. It is easy to use, as it doesn’t require many movements.
An airbrush can either use gravity or siphon-feed. A siphon feed is perfect for painting large spaces since they provide excellent visibility. However, if you want more detail in your work, it’s best to use a gravity feed. It is easy to play around with, and it performs well at low pressure.
Needles help you to create patterns and paint mixing. It’s worth noting that needles are fragile and can get damaged or even break when they fall. Needles come in different sizes to provide different results.
So, you can select the right size depending on the pattern and design you hope to achieve. The Iwata-Medea Revolution CR has a 0.5mm needle that makes it possible to create different patterns and lines.
Another thing you need to consider when looking for the best airbrush is the grip. A comfortable grip will allow you to work for a long time without feeling fatigued and helps you get better results.
Airbrushes can be classified as either external or internal mix airbrushes. External mix airbrushes have a paint nozzle below the airbrush, hence the control you have over the machine.
On the other hand, internal mix airbrushes allow paint from the bottle or cup to flow into the airbrush. They deliver a better spray pattern and more control over the airbrush. Most of the products on this list use an internal mix system.
Buying an airbrush for models that comes with a guarantee is important because should the product get damaged within a particular time, you will get a replacement or repair from the manufacturer.
A compressor is one of the essential equipment of an airbrush. Although most models do not include a compressor in the package, you need to have a compatible one for your airbrush to function.
Tanked compressors are the best since they provide better consistency and performance. However, you might need to dig deeper into your pocket to have one.
Having the necessary accessories will definitely enhance your airbrushing experience. Some models like the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit include multiple accessories in the package, while others require you to buy the accessories separately.
Most airbrush painters begin with a dual-action and gravity feed airbrush. They are ideal for beginners since they are easy to use, ideal for a wide range of applications, and simple to clean. From our list, the most popular airbrush for beginners is the Paasche Airbrush Talon.
The optimum working pressure of your airbrush depends on the type of paint you are using. A thicker spray material needs a higher working pressure than a thin spray material. We recommend setting the PSI at 25 and testing the spying on a paper before working on the actual surface.
Yes, wearing a dust mask while airbrushing is essential. The chemical released during airbrushing can cause lung cancer. However, if you are using a solvent-based paint, a mask is not enough. In such a case, you need to have gloves and a respirator.
You can use any type of airbrush for miniatures. It all depends on your level of skills. Most of the products listed above are ideal for both miniatures and models. They are designed to provide excellent results.
Some models include a cleaning brush in the package that makes it easy to get rid of any clogging inside the machine. Most high-quality airbrushes for models and miniatures are easy to clean and maintain.
Having the right airbrush for models can make all the difference when it comes to the quality and accuracy you achieve when airbrushing. While all the products reviewed on this list will provide outstanding performance, three options stood out from the rest.
Our first pick for the best airbrush for models is The Badger Air-Brush Co. 105 Patriot, which is an easy-to-use airbrush. It features a dual-action design for efficiency and metal construction, making it one of the most durable airbrushes for models.
Our second pick is the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS, which provides a consistent paint flow. With the stainless-steel construction, this model will provide durability and a high level of accuracy. Then there is the great shape that makes cleaning the HP-CS a breeze.
Our third pick is the Paasche Airbrush HG-08 HVLP, as it is among the most stylish airbrushes on this list. However, there is more to it than a cool design; this model also allows you to create any line or pattern you like. Its versatile design means you can use it for multiple purposes.