Questions about possible airbrush buy!

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2003
Reaction score
Hoping I can get some good input about this.
I have a chance to buy an A430 Aztech airbrush set.Its in a wooden box with I think 3 nozzles and a couple other parts.Never been used,in the original cardboard box,price tag says 99.95.
Along with it,a Badger Whirlwind ll model 80-2 compressor.same thing,original box,never used,price says 129.95
Guys looking for what I have heard around 150.00 for both
Whatta think?good deal,bad deal?Is there better for that price,I don't know.
I'm heading over there now to take a look,I'm gonna try to get a couple pics and post later.
Tell me what you guys think!
The price for the airbrush is kind of high. I've ordered an Aztek 4709 set from Great Lakes for 74.99, should arrive sometime this week. I've heard mixed opinions about Aztek airbrushes, most were a result of what people started with being a different style. I decided on one due to the ease of changing nozzles, cleaning, and the body has a life time warranty on it. They can also be used as single or double action. Plus, the only place local that carries airbrush stuff, Hobby Lobby, stocks more parts for the Aztek brushes.

I don't know much about the compressor, but what research I've done tells me you will want one with a tank, so the brush will not pulse. I decided on one I found at the local Wal Mart for 72.99. A 1/3 hp, 2 gallon compressor that comes with hose and attachments. It's not very big at all, but should handle an airbrush, and any car, mower, or bicycle tires I need to air up. But, 150 dollars for both doesn't sound too bad.
Thats a very good deal! I have an Aztek A7778 that I just love for detail work, along with my Sotar 20/20. Once you learn to control the tool you will be very happy with your results. I can tell you you will have a learning curve and the only way to improve your skill is to practice, practice practice. Use old newspaper and water color or thinned india ink to practice air and media control..
the Aztek is a fine tool. The compressor is ok for hobby use.
What kind of paints would be best to use? I know from other threads, I don't want to use any oil based paints. Will regular enamel model paints work if thinned down enough? I'm looking forward to receiving my Aztek, hopefully sometime this week, and can't wait to get started. And, as you said, and all of the research I've found, practice, practice, practice.

A7778, isn't that the nice metal one?
yes the 7778 is the all metal body model, It is VERY nice:)

I'm a Signman (Commerical Artist/ hand lettering type)...One of the old time Sign painters. I use about a dozen vaious air brushes on an almost daily basis. most det up with different needle/ nozzle combinations for different spray pattens. Others with different size cups and media bottles depending of the size of the job.
One of the very nice things about the airbrush is just about any media than can be thinned can be airbrushed.

Just so you know, acrylic enamels, and regular hobby enamels are oil based. Keep in mind any media that thins with any product orther then water is considered an "Oil based" media.
Some waterbased acrylics contain a material called "Smoothie" (a fisheye preventative) that will react with straight water based paints making a sort of gel.... not a good thing.

You should not be afraid of oik based materials, they just require a little more clean-up than water based paints. Simply keep in mind once you have used an airbrush with oil based paints, it will need to remain a oil or acrylic based airbrush. Do not attempt to cleans it for used with water based media. If you do your finsih will have an oil blemish called a Fisheye. At home I have two airbrush set ups one for oils the other for waterbased. It's easy to keep the two seperate by painting the handles a specific color and/or wraping tape or other identifing marks on the water brushes. As a matter of fact my Aztak is used only for oil based media.
I'm not sure how many here would be familiar with "one shot" sign lettering enamels but they are a constant use item for me.
One-Shot has some really great colors and pearlescent colors that look great on Mod-Rocs. They also contain lead so caution is required in its use.
Pactra, testors, True scale and just about any of the hobby model paints and dopes can be used. I also use a good be of Richart watercolors and loads of tempra dry pigments to make my own colors. I've even melted some prisma color pencils to get a specific rust color I was looking for... In a word.. you can use any thing that you like. just keep the water and oil seperated:D:D
hope this helps
One trick that can reduce the clean-up time for waterbased airbrushing, is to keep the airbrush submerged in a water or thinner bath between cleanings. This is not ment to say you can leave the brush uncleaned for and indifinent amount of time, but it you are in the middle of a project and need a day or two to get back to a specific color or spray pattern just keep the brush settings as they are and temporarally soak the brush in what ever thinner is used with that media.
You may want to add a second Passche or Badger airbrush set up to your modeling tools to keep all your options open.
Hope this helps
Thanks for the advice,very helpful.
If I go ahead and buy the Aztek,do you know anything about the Testors Cleaning Station.I guess you put cleaner in the jar,insert the nozzle and spray,sounds easy enough!
I think I'll probably need a moisture trap also,correct?
No I don't know anything about the cleaning station.. Sounds
like what we do as a quick clear between colors, or when we don't want to do a complete tear down cleaning...
Load a cup or 1oz bottle with clear thinner and spray it though the brush into an empty gallon pail until the cleaner comes out clear and clean... If the Testors station is enclosed it will likely be a good investment, the open gal can contains the trash liquid atomized thinner but allows the thinner smell to waft where it wishes:D

A moisture trap is a great addition to your compressor. I would also recomment the addtion of a pressure tank, the tank can be one of these auto tire inflation things that hold something like 100psi of air. this would be placed between your compressor and the airbursh.. it acts as a capacitor smoothing out the high and low pressure cycles of the compressor pump. This isn't as important with a #5 needle but for doing delicate work with a fine #1 needle or very tiny details it is almost a necessity.
Have fun and Practice with the different needle combinations to get the most out of your brushes.
Thanks for the fantastic info!! I will probably be using oil paints more than water based after reading your post. The thought of getting a couple of other brushes had also come to mind. I've looked at some of the "clones" on eBay, plus, there's a good supply of Paashe on there also. Like I said, I chose the Aztek, as it looked more newbie friendly, and a little more forgiving :)

I just got a confirmation email from Great Lakes today, letting me know my order had shipped, and it should be here on the 28th according to UPS tracking data. I can't wait to try it out!!
John, a couple of questions if you don't mind. I finally got the airbrush, and compressor, and a filter/water trap. I went to the local Hobby Lobby and purchased some Createx airbrush paints (water based for those beginners oops). I'm having trouble getting the brush to spray a fine line. I've experimented with different pressure settings/ paint settings, and can get a fine line. But, it caused the brush to blot at either the beginning, or end of the line, and sometimes has splashes on the edges of the line. Most of my trouble has been with the black paint. I've tried the red and yellow, and they work much better. Are there any web sites that could give lots of beginners tips and such? For what it's worth, I've been practicing with regular printer paper.

I'm not giving up!! Like you said, patience, and practice :)
Haven't tried the Aztec myself. But one of the cheapest places for an airbrush on the net is Dixie Art ( ). Got a grate deal on a Pasche airbrush there.

I see the folks at Harbor Frieght have an airbrush compressor in there last sale folder for $49.95.

Sorry it's taken a while for me to get back to this thread. Your Blot sound like a cutoff dot. As you approach the end of your intended line, lift the air bursh as you are releasing the airflow button, this should eliminate that extra split second of color hitting the same area just painted. This is a finesse touch you'll have to develope over time. it could also be you've may have your medium slighly thinner than needed.
As for side splatter, I'd have to see exactly what you are taliking about but it sounds like the "normal" outflow of the atomized spray pattern. There is nothing wrong with the brush or your technique if your line has a slightly feathered edge. Most of us try to make this edge occur on one side or the other by positioning the nozzle tilting slightly in one direction or the other. then reverse the process on the other side if another pass is required. If attemping to form a perfectly even fine line you will always have a little fuzz to each side. One of the ticks is to use a cardboard straight edge or outline template as one side of the line, seperation point, etc. while tilting the brush toward the card to create a sharp line.
If you have a magnifing glass look at the lines you shot in red and yellow, you should be able to see the same "fuzz" as the Black. black simply shows up better on white or light backgrounds, yellow or white will do the same on black or dark backgrounds.
hope this helps a little, keep practicing and experimenting.
Check out Dixie Art Supplies on the net at I bought a new Paasche VL Pro for $49.99 and shipping is free. Compressors also available. Best prices around unless you just have to have the Aztec.

Da Dog
Whoops!! Thanks for the correction. I had it bookmarked and didn't check closely enough.

Da Dog