I borrowed one of these crappy airbrush kits from a friend to try it out, see what airbrushing felt like in general. I can immediately see why siphon feed sucks. The connection between the bottle and the gun was terrible. I dropped it once, leaving a line of black dots on my carpet. If my wife cared about this carpet, I'd be in deep :P But I liked the results I got using this starter product.
I can't really go for a full $300-$500 product right away. I was considering grabbing the $80 gravity feed version of the same kit and then upgrade pieces over the next year. I'm hoping someone can describe what I'd get out of upgrading each piece so I know what to swap out first.
My impressions of the cheap kit I'm borrowing now:
The gun- Its all-metal, has dual action. When I pull the trigger back, I can find gaps where for some reason no paint comes through. Mostly I have the feeling that even though its supposed to be an analog control of how much paint is coming through, it really ends up being all or nothing and I can pretty frequently get a sudden burst of paint. Im not sure how much of that is caused by the gun and how much is because of the compressor. So I'm getting fine results applying primer and base coating, even some basic blending is going ok. I had pretty good control painting a base without getting much on the model itself, just a bit on the boots. Its encouraging that I didnt have to mask a whole model. Thats decent results for $80 but I want more control and consistency.
The compressor- I think it's tankless so I think some of the unevenness in the paint-shooting could be due to that. There's a water trap attached to the pressure gauge assembly but I have still gotten spurts of water while I paint. That's got to stop. It's fairly quiet but still louder than I'd like. I'd like to not bother my wife as much while I paint.
So what are your thoughts? I could get the best all-in one kit $200 can buy and upgrade the gun and compressor later. Should I do this, or sit on the $200 and go whole hog on a $500 kit later?
Random extra questions:
1 -What is a quick disconnect decoupler useful for?
2 -Is Iwata's long coiled cord a better condensation management system than a water trap?