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Old 02-26-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default Air brush advice

I have always wanted an air brush. I saw that Beate used one to create a neat effect on her Tent Topper card. I would like to build a knowledge base about them before I make a purchase. Anyone want to comment on your favoirite air brush? I just want to use it on paper. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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I purchased mine at Habor Freight - its not a brand name or anything and cost about $70 and came with the correct attachement for my copic air brush system. Of course, days after I purchased it I found a 20% off coupon for Harbor Freight in one of my dh's car magazine.
It has a max pressure of about 53psi and is a desktop model.
I have a video on air compressors and copics here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/nkirk100.../0/1xq478qeV4Q
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Old 02-27-2010, 03:22 AM   #3
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I think Stampinfeat is asking about the airbrush itself rather than the compressor issue.

I think most paper crafters are using the Copic system rather than the kind of airbrush that has a reservoir you fill with ink or paint. If you have Copic markers then it's a very neat and clean solution - no cleaning out of bottles and pipes (and therefore no wastage either). At the heart of the system is the pen holder and at the most basic level you can just screw that on to the lowest capacity air can offered by Copic. You can go up from there by getting the converter that allows you to attach it to the larger capacity cans or to a small air compressor of the type that Nancy and Gale referred to.

If you don't have Copics then I guess you could look at a regular airbrush but I'm afraid I know very little about those. You would need to have inks or paints that were suitable for airbrushing. Here in the UK, "Badger" is a respected brand for airbrushes but I don't know whether that holds true internationally.

HTH a little!
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:23 AM   #4
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Thank you everyone for so much excellent information.You really helped me a great deal. Presently, I am looking at the Copic system with canned air. Again, I know nothing here. But I am thinking it would be a good system for what I will use it for; small areas on cards and paper crafts. The can lasts for 45 minutes and looks like it hooks onto the markers. I think this would be all I would need. The compressors are expensive and could not be carried around easily, though they are very cool. Let me know if I am off track here, but I think for my purposes, the Copic sytem with canned air is the way to go. Again, I am so grateful for your taking time to help me out here!
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:42 AM   #5
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Default airbrush

I bought the Copic airbrush and the can.....the can lasted for one project and it went empty.......I ended up buying the compressor mentioned above (got it as a gift for Mother's Day) and it works beautifully-and it connects directly to the airbrush- no adapter needed. Best of luck!

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Old 02-27-2010, 11:57 AM   #6
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stampinfeatView Post
Thank you everyone for so much excellent information.You really helped me a great deal. Presently, I am looking at the Copic system with canned air. Again, I know nothing here. But I am thinking it would be a good system for what I will use it for; small areas on cards and paper crafts. The can lasts for 45 minutes and looks like it hooks onto the markers. I think this would be all I would need. The compressors are expensive and could not be carried around easily, though they are very cool. Let me know if I am off track here, but I think for my purposes, the Copic sytem with canned air is the way to go. Again, I am so grateful for your taking time to help me out here!
I can understand not wanting the up front expense of an air compressor, but I think you will find over time it is less costly. The cans of air do not really last as long as they say they do, and if you are just starting out you will want to practice alot - and you will use up alot of air.

Just something to consider!!!!
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:50 AM   #7
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The Copic D60 air can is the only one you can connect directly to the Air Grip (the thing that holds the marker). The D60 can claims to give 7-8 minutes of air. The D180 can might give you as much as 40 minutes but you need the Air Adapter and hose in order to be able to use that size can.

I used one D60 can to convince myself that I liked the way things worked and then bought the Air Adapter and a compressor. As Nancy says, over the long term it probably works out cheaper and I hated the thought of tossing the cans!
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:00 AM   #8
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Thank you for your honest assessments. Now I am back to thinking that I will want the air adapter and compressor. Angelnorth and Nancy, would you guide me? Which air compressor did you finally buy? I don't want to put you on the spot, but I would much rather make an informed purchase then run amuck with so many choices. Also, I know nothing about air brushes or how they work. All I know is I have to have one. Heh, heh.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:08 PM   #9
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Not sure I'll be much use to you as I'm in the UK but mine is a SimAir AC100. I got it for about 25% of its retail price by being patient and hanging out on eBay! I paid 40 including the shipping (converting would make it about $60 I guess but most things tend to work for $ here so something that costs $10 in the US would cost 10 here). If you're willing to go down that route, it's worth checking out cosmetics/beauty as well as crafts since a lot of people buy them to do spray tanning and acrylic nail work.

For the Copic system, you ideally want something you can set to 40-60psi although I think the ones people have been getting from Harbor Freight may be slightly lower pressure than that and they're getting decent results. My SimAir and the Sparmax that I think Copic actually recommend are both "on demand" compressors. That basically means that the motor is not running all the time, it will fire up when you first start to use the compressor and then it will switch out and only cut back in when the pressure starts to drop below where you need it.

There are several threads on the forum already with information about air compressors - a quick search will probably turn you up more opinion and experience from people on your side of the Pond in terms of what they bought, how much they paid and what the performance is like.

HTH!
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
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Thanks for your valuable input! The Copic compressor on Amazon is $199.00. I think that does not include the part that you attach the marker to. That is a little pricey, but if it is a good product and works well, I guess it is worth it. I was surprised to see yours was $60.00.I like that price a whole lot better! I am still looking and am not in a hurry to make a purchase. I am not opposed to spending more if I am getting quality equipment, but don't want to waste money either. Again, I so appreciate your input.
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:34 PM   #11
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The retail price of mine is more like 160 (something like $240) - somebody selling on equipment from a little business that didn't work out or a hobby they moved on from I would think. It came in its original box and had minimal use if any. I know eBay is not to everybody's taste but there are definitely bargains to be had if you have some patience and are prepared to do a little homework. Buying from a store obviously has the advantage that you can easily return it if anything's wrong, I guess.

Good luck finding something to suit!
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:50 PM   #12
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Okay, I will continue to research and have patience. Thanks for taking time to respond to my posts.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:31 AM   #13
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Quote:

Originally Posted by stampinfeatView Post
Thank you for your honest assessments. Now I am back to thinking that I will want the air adapter and compressor. Angelnorth and Nancy, would you guide me? Which air compressor did you finally buy? I don't want to put you on the spot, but I would much rather make an informed purchase then run amuck with so many choices. Also, I know nothing about air brushes or how they work. All I know is I have to have one. Heh, heh.
I don't think mine has any brand name (will look a little later and see if there is a model # and post an update). Mine had the correct size attachment for the copic air brush system. A friend of mine bought an air compressor at a pawn shop for $5 but did not have the correct attachement and she was never able to find one. Later on this morning I will get more details for you!!
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Old 03-02-2010, 08:47 AM   #14
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I looked closer at my air compressor (and I actually kept the original box!). It is a "Central Pneumatic 1/8HP oilless airbrush compressor with regulator". It is model #93657 and the box says it is distributed exclusively by Harbor Frieght.
It has an adjustable pressure regulator, just in case you don't need the full 50lbs of pressure, a universal 1/8" air outlet (which is what you need for copics) and a 10ft coiled air line. It is small enough to fit on my desk, but I keep it on the floor under my desk.
I've seen and used the more expensive a/c's in classes and I can tell you the biggest difference between those and the one I have is the noise level. The one I have is noisier, but you can talk over it. (In the video link I provided in an earlier post I turn the machine on so you can hear how loud it is - you can still hear me in the video over the noise). The very expensive ones are much more quieter but (imho) not worth 3 times the price. I noticed no difference in the actual use of my machine over the more expensive ones - they both worked well with the copic airbrush system.
Hope this helps!
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:14 AM   #15
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UNFORTUNATELY, when I printed out the coupon I read it and it states that ONLY the original from the magazine can be used - no copies or computer print outs.... sigh....just my luck
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:46 AM   #16
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NancyK, thanks so much for this information. I have been researching air compressors as well, and this sounds like just what I was looking for! And Gale, thanks for the coupon!!
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:11 PM   #17
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Quote:

Originally Posted by NancyK.View Post
I looked closer at my air compressor (and I actually kept the original box!). It is a "Central Pneumatic 1/8HP oilless airbrush compressor with regulator". It is model #93657 and the box says it is distributed exclusively by Harbor Frieght.
It has an adjustable pressure regulator, just in case you don't need the full 50lbs of pressure, a universal 1/8" air outlet (which is what you need for copics) and a 10ft coiled air line. It is small enough to fit on my desk, but I keep it on the floor under my desk.
I've seen and used the more expensive a/c's in classes and I can tell you the biggest difference between those and the one I have is the noise level. The one I have is noisier, but you can talk over it. (In the video link I provided in an earlier post I turn the machine on so you can hear how loud it is - you can still hear me in the video over the noise). The very expensive ones are much more quieter but (imho) not worth 3 times the price. I noticed no difference in the actual use of my machine over the more expensive ones - they both worked well with the copic airbrush system.
Hope this helps!
So Nancy, are you saying if you buy this one, you don't have to buy any of the adaptors for the COPIC to airbrush? It has everything you need to get started?

AND those of you that do airbrush a lot, does it really eat up the ink that fast where you better have refills for the COPICS on hand?

I've been thinking of getting one but waiting for info and find out what people like the best. This is something DH actually asked about getting me for Christmas but I told him not yet. My BD is coming up!
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:48 PM   #18
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Quote:

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So Nancy, are you saying if you buy this one, you don't have to buy any of the adaptors for the COPIC to airbrush? It has everything you need to get started?

AND those of you that do airbrush a lot, does it really eat up the ink that fast where you better have refills for the COPICS on hand?

I've been thinking of getting one but waiting for info and find out what people like the best. This is something DH actually asked about getting me for Christmas but I told him not yet. My BD is coming up!
I so sorry if I mislead anyone!!! Please let me clarify....

If you want to do airbrushing with copics - with a can or with a compressor - you will still need the "airgrip" - which is the gun like thingy that the copic goes into.
If you are using it with the air compressor, you need to get the copic ABS - 3 kit which has the airgrip and air adapter that connects to the airhose on your compressor.
If you just want to use the cans, you will need to get the ABS 1 or 2 kits.

Here is the copic link that explains and shows photos of the kits:
http://copicmarker.com/products/airbrush/abs-1-2-3/

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:15 AM   #19
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It might help to think of it as only being able to connect the airgrip directly to the lowest capacity aircan (the D60). If you want to connect it to anything else, you need the thing that Copic calls the air adapter. If you already have the airgrip, it is possible to buy the air adapter separately, you don't have to buy a kit in order to get hold of it. I think what Nancy was saying was that the connector with her compressor was then the right size to connect to the Copic system without the need for anything to adapt to different valve sizes.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:17 AM   #20
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Quote:

Originally Posted by AngelnorthView Post
It might help to think of it as only being able to connect the airgrip directly to the lowest capacity aircan (the D60). If you want to connect it to anything else, you need the thing that Copic calls the air adapter. If you already have the airgrip, it is possible to buy the air adapter separately, you don't have to buy a kit in order to get hold of it. I think what Nancy was saying was that the connector with her compressor was then the right size to connect to the Copic system without the need for anything to adapt to different valve sizes.
Thanks Joanne for clarifying!!

Also - regarding the question about using alot of ink and having to refill the markers.......i read somewhere that airbrushing actually uses less ink than regular coloring. I've not had to refill any of my markers yet.
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