Do you need an airbrush?

Some of you will have noticed the marked absence of information about airbrushes so far.  I know you've seen websites picturing models where the builder said things like "I laid on the paint with a double action, 14 psi Badger with triple action needle and three speed overdrive".  There's a darn good paint job pictured, and you despair of ever getting that kind of result without sinking lots of money into one of these contraptions.

Well, for certain applications it's true you just can't beat a good airbrush setup.  In particular, folks who build hardware like cars, planes, and military instruments of destruction need one in order to lay on thin, smooth layers of paint in subtle shades.  I know as a kid, I never could get a perfect gloss paint job on one of my cars using a regular old spray can.  What you don't know is, getting the results you see from master modelers on the web who regularly win prizes at model shows takes a whole lot of practice using one of these things.  Also, you get what you pay for.  I have one of those cheap kits with the canned air myself, but almost never use it.  The time you save doing something like spraying on a coat of primer instead of using a brush is lost when you have to clean and fuss with the thing.

So the answer is: no you don't need an airbrush.

For the type of figure models I build, knowing how to sling a brush will give you a great paint job that will stand up to anything done with spray. The only model on my site that had an airbrush used in the assembly was the motorcycle for the Toy Biz Ghost Rider, and even then I was just being lazy. Even if you just can't resist getting one, it's no substitute for knowing how to use a brush.  Once you've learned the basics, then it can be an added weapon in your arsenal.  If I ever find a website that gives beginners information about the whole area, I'll include it here.  Until then, you're on your own.

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