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Any experiences with a cordless battery-powered airbrush?

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Any experiences with a cordless battery-powered airbrush?
Posted by Nevin Wilson on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:29 AM

I've recently discovered that the cordless battery-powered airbrush is a thing now.  That would really come in handy for me.  I notice that while readily available they are not being sold by hobby dealers like Micromark and I can't find reviews by modelers.  Has anyone tried one yet and what did you think.  Any recommendations or suggestions about which ones to avoid?  Thanks.  

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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:45 AM

 QUick search finds a whole bunch on Amazon. They all look like they are the same, despite a dozen different seller names.

Not being an airbrush expert, the issues I can see would be a) battery dying just as you are about to finish and/or clean the brush and b) the weight of the battery/motor making it awkward to hold compared to a basic airbrush. ALso possibly c) just how much pressure can these things develop with such a tiny motor, enough to spray acrylics? 

                                    --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Deane Johnson on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:52 AM

I was all set to poo-poo this concept, but in taking a look at the demo videos I Googled before posting, it's looks sort of interesting as a supplemental air brush.  I can't comment on it's use since I've never touched one, but I'm thinking I wouldn't want to use it as anything more than a temporary unit when it's not convenient to use my compressor.

I'm thinking about times I want to touch up some track rust, scenery, or something and hate to move my compressor etc to the layout room to do it.  If this unit works correctly, it might be handy for touch up type use.

I'll be anxious to read any comments from someone who has used one.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:33 AM

That handle hanging down looks like it would be in the way.  Looking at the specs some put out 17.5 psi some 25 max. 

Looks like a triumph of technology over common sense to me.  I'm sticking with my 5 gal pancake compressor.

Okay, I looked at a couple videos and learned that I could use it to airbrush my beard.  I knew Groucho Marx painted his eyebrows, but I didn't know airbrushing beards was a thing. The users claimed it was ergonomic for them.  The barber said clogging was an issue because of the low pressure.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by mbinsewi on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:40 AM

No thanks, I don't have a beard anyway.

Mike.

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Posted by NVSRR on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:51 AM

I would think running at 25 psi will drain the battery faster.     I could see it for touchup. But not much else.      we have canned air for airbrushes.  I would rather use that to dontouch on the layout and such.  If it runs out of air, i can connect the brush to the compressor.  Also can do that too so it can be cleaned and not use the canned air.   

i dont see it as a replacement for the compressor powered equipment.  

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:54 AM

The problem I see is this.  If my cordless screwdriver gives out while I am using it, no real harm done.  I just grab the replacement battery, or grab an "analog" screwdriver, and finish the job

If my cordless drill gives out, same thing.  I can finish the job in other ways, or just call it a night and start in again tomorrow.

The thing is, I know this because it has actually happened and will likely happen again.

If I had a cordless airbrush I'd want it with some sort of early warning feature like "hey pal I can only do this for 30 more seconds."  Otherwise you could really create a problem and even botch a model.  Or a beard.  Huh?

 

Maybe that is paranoia on my part.  But it is also one of the reasons why I have doubts about totally electric cars.  

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Deane Johnson on Friday, February 7, 2020 11:55 AM

I suspect one would have to use some pretty drastically thinned paint to get anything done with them.  I doubt this thing is for model railroaders, just too light in capability, even if you do get past that bulky motor assembly.

I'd love the portability for back up use on the layout, but I suspect this thing is a waste of money for model railroad use.

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Posted by Nevin Wilson on Friday, February 7, 2020 2:59 PM
Some of you have picked up on what would be of interest to me about these. My paint shop is out in a non-heated shed about 50 yards from the house. My layout is in a finished attic room. It would be really handy to be able to weather something in the railroad room without lugging the compressor and brush out of the shed. Weathering track for example and touch up weathering on equipment would be really nice. Worst case scenario, if the battery ran out, I'd just head out of the house to the barn and clean it out there. I have a beard, but airbrushing anything into it seems insane. I'd love to hear if anyone has actually tried one of these, or am I going to be the pioneer.
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Posted by rrinker on Friday, February 7, 2020 10:51 PM

 I can only imagine the splatters if the battery died while you were in the middle of a paint pass on a model.

                             --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 8, 2020 6:56 AM

Nevin Wilson
I have a beard, but airbrushing anything into it seems insane.

Laugh  I agree, even if I had a beard.

Nevin Wilson
I'd love to hear if anyone has actually tried one of these, or am I going to be the pioneer. Add Quote to your Post

Well, until someone who has actually used, or owns one of these, you are going to be the pioneer.

In the mean time, I'll stick with my old Badger 350 and a compressor.  That can be enough of a challange for me, at times.

Let us know how it works.

Mike.

 

 

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Saturday, February 8, 2020 10:17 AM

Based of google search, and an amazon search, these appear to not be intended for our hobby, considering the fact that many of them are labeled “makeup” airbrush! I’m a bit suspicious of these things capabilities, considering they cost only $60ish while a good regular airbrush is $100 usually as far as I’m aware! The compressor thing below does look awkward!

I think a regular airbrush would still make more sense, as it is more optimised for trains and the cord looks less awkward than the built in compressor.

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, February 8, 2020 10:51 AM

Nevin Wilson
Some of you have picked up on what would be of interest to me about these. My paint shop is out in a non-heated shed about 50 yards from the house. My layout is in a finished attic room. It would be really handy to be able to weather something in the railroad room without lugging the compressor and brush out of the shed. Weathering track for example and touch up weathering on equipment would be really nice.  

Many years ago on these Forums a guy posted that he liked to airbrush late into the night, but that his wife and kids were also somewhat fond of sleeping, so he invested in an air compressor from Sears (hey I said it was an old thread! Mischief ) that had a built in air tank, so he could power it up after dinner, build up pressure in the tank, and then quietly airbrush all night with plenty of pressure to spare at the end of the evening - the whole thing was on wheels if I recall rightly.  I think he also said it was not all that expensive, all things considered  

There would be some lugging to the shed but it if is on wheels it might be easy lugging.

I will say your point about painting the sides of rail could be a positive feature to this cordless airbrush thingy that would be easy in a way hard to replicate with ANY form of normal compressor based airbrushing.  I have taken to using the weathering sticks that Floquil/Testors sold and Testors may still offer.  Yes it slops onto the tie plates and molded on spikes and even a little onto ties and slightly onto the ballast, but as  show in my track clinic that I give, the rust from spikes and tie plates also does that on the prototype.

Dave Nelson 

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Posted by davidmurray on Saturday, February 8, 2020 11:13 AM

You can buy a small "pancake style" air tank.  Tradesmen who plan on shooting a few brads or driving a couple of dozen screws often use them.  

Should be more than adequate, and can be filled with compresser in main paint setup.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
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Posted by maxman on Saturday, February 8, 2020 11:42 AM

Nevin Wilson
It would be really handy to be able to weather something in the railroad room without lugging the compressor and brush out of the shed.

Portable air supply?  How about a Trick Tank:

https://www.tricktank.com/tanks-accessories/aluminum-air-tanks.html

 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, February 8, 2020 1:25 PM

I use the portable air tanks when I go out to service a tractor, although it's no where near as fancy looking as the "trick tanks".

The tank I use is in every hardware store, and 5 gallon tank usually sells for around $35.

I use a 10 gallon, I find them at yard and garage sales.  Usually $20 or less.

A lot easier to haul around than an air compressor.

Mike.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, February 8, 2020 3:36 PM

Nevin Wilson
....My paint shop is out in a non-heated shed about 50 yards from the house....

My paint shop was originally in the basement, where the layout is also located.  However, because the house was new and built to better standards, it was difficult to get make-up air for the spray booth's ventilation system, especially in winter.  The other issue was compressor noise, as I often paint at night, when electricity is cheaper in this area.

I built a small (about 4'x8') paint shop in my garage, about 100' behind the house.  It was formerly a house and is about 150 years old.  I ran an electrical service to it, and when I wish to paint, in the winter anyways, I plug in a portable electric heater.  It not only warms the room, but also warms the compressor, a rotary-type which uses two screws in an oil bath to to compress the air.  Without the heat, the oil would be too thick, causing the 3/4HP motor to kick-out.

Since your compressor is also in a separate outdoor structure, if you have power to run it, you should also have power to heat it when necessary.

Painting rolling stock, locomotives and structures is usually done in a spray booth, and weathering track is easily done with a brush. 
When the battery dies, chances are that it won't be just after you finish painting, and it likely won't be while you're only weathering track either. 

I think that it would be wiser and more useful to put your money into a portable electric heater.  Even if it's twenty-below outside, I can paint in comfort for 3 or 4 hours, without having the noise bother anyone.

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 8, 2020 5:59 PM

dknelson
Many years ago on these Forums a guy posted that he liked to airbrush late into the night, but that his wife and kids were also somewhat fond of sleeping, so he invested in an air compressor from Sears (hey I said it was an old thread! ) that had a built in air tank, so he could power it up after dinner, build up pressure in the tank, and then quietly airbrush all night

.

When I was in field service, my truck had an Ingersoll Rand gasoline compressor with a thirty gallon tank.

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I could run it in the daytime up too 145 PSI, and airbrush all night long perfectly quiet.

.

It works well. My current compressor has a 5 gallon tank and I have the regulator set at 90 PSI run and 120 PSI stop. I can paint for 30 minutes on a cycle.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, February 8, 2020 9:22 PM

My compressor doesn't use a tank, as the output is continuous, with no pulsing like a piston- or diaphagm-type.  It's perfect for airbrushing, and that's all I need from it. 

After I built the paint shop in the garage, I'd carry it from the basement out to the garage, then back to the basement when I had finished, but lugging its 85lbs. around got to be a nuisance, so it stays in the garage year-round.

I have a larger, wheeled compressor for yard and automotive use, but the compressor cycling on and off drives me nuts - actually, only a short walk would be needed. 
If I were to use it for airbrushing, I'd jump every time it came on, to the detriment of whatever I was painting.

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 8, 2020 9:34 PM

Wayne, I could not be happier with my compressor. If you ever need to replace yours, I would strongly suggest this one.

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The label says "ultra'quiet", and it is! It is no louder than the blower motor. My wife cannot hear it in the house when it is running.

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It is not suitable for air tools, but for putting air in a tire, or airbrushing, it is perfect.

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The price 3 years ago.

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-Kevin

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Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, February 9, 2020 2:33 AM

Mine was free, and it's been well-used in the 25 years that I've had it, and in the years before that, when my father owned. 
He actually built it, but while I've done some research on it, I can't really find anything on how it works and why it never needs oil and never puts oil or moisture into the in-line trap.  There is a tank on it, but it's definitely not for air - looks like two welded-together compressor housings, like those used on old refrigerators.  It has a drain cock, but nothing ever comes out of it, not air, or water, or oil.

The compressor itself was made by Wagner, but they've been taken over by several other companies over the years, and when I contacted them, no one there could tell me anything about it.

Wayne

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