Gravity Feed, Siphon Feed or Side Feed Airbrush?
Which one is right for you, Pro's and Con's Compared
Gravity Feedan Airbrush with a color cup on top of the body to feed in the paint using gravity.
1: Requires Less Air Pressure.
2: Uses Less paint.
3. Atomizes the paint better.
4. Can do finer detail work
5: Less wasted paint. Con's:
1: Doesn't Hold Much Paint.
2: Color Cup Blocks View.
3: Longer to change Colors My Opinion::
Gravity feed airbrushes are the most common and are the go to style for most people doing serious airbrushing. Remember Gravity Feed means less pressure, which means less overspray and equals finer detail work. I Recommend:
The Badger Patriot 105 is a great gravity feed airbrush that does great for general coverage. It is easy to use and would be a great beginners airbrush for those just learning.
The Badger Krome is a great airbrush or the more advanced user, for general coverage and you can do quite a bit of detail work.
Siphon Feedan Airbrush that uses a siphon to pull paint from the bottle using suction.
1: Quick Color Changes.
2: Less Expensive.
3: No Top Color Cup.
4: Uses Paint Bottles
1: Requires More Paint
2: More Cleaning needed.
3: Higher Air Pressures My Opinion:
Siphon feed airbrushes main advantage is to use paint bottles to hold large amounts of paint for spraying large areas and to be able to do quick color changes for art work. Two things not really needed all that much in scale modeling. I Recommend:
The Badger Anthem 155 is a great general coverage airbrush that is easy to use and maintain. A very good airbrush for Model building. Same basic design as the Patriot 105.
The Badger Renegade Rage is a newer design, and is an excellent airbrush for general coverage and some detail work.
Side Feedan Airbrush that tries to have the advantages of both Gravity and Siphon feed
1: Used as Gravity or Siphon
2: Lots of Color Cup Choices.
3: Cups Cleaned Separate
4: Can Spray Upside Down
1: Color Cups cost Cash
2: More Cleaning needed
3: Higher Learning Curve My Opinion:
Not recommended for beginners, and I have no real personal opinion about them. I tried the Aztek brand when I was trying to learn and really didn't like them, and so I have not used any since.
The Grex Genesis Xsi as I have heard some nice things about this airbrush. I haven't used one yet, but it on the to do list. This is considered a good airbrush for building scale Models.
An Alternative is the Badger 360 Universal, a unique brush that has a small color cup that rotates to become a siphon feed.
I've been building Models for 16 years now and airbrushing for about 15, Everything mentioned here is a result of research and personal experience. Over the years my airbrush collection has grown to 16 airbrushes, mostly Badgers as I like them but I do use some others.
I am mostly self taught using practical experience and Internet research. I am to the point where I am comfortable to pick up any of my airbrushes and use them without fear of screwing up to badly. When I first started every time I painted something I was very tense. Now I just jump in and have fun with it.
My Goto most used Airbrushing tools are the Badger Patriot 105, the Badger Krome, and lately the Paasche Talon. As you will note my favorites are all Gravity Feeds, I do use my Siphon Feed Badger Anthem 155 for clear coats but thats about all I use a siphon feed for, except when I decide to airbrush a T-shirt or Two.
I wrote this Airbrush Style Pro's and Con's page to help others decide what they want to start out with, and now I will give my personal recommendation based on my own learning experiences.
For the beginning Model builder who wants an airbrush that will help them learn, easy to clean and maintain, and will give them years of use I will recommend giving the Badger Patriot 105 Gravity feed a real go. For a more advanced user who wants to do more detail work whill still having a good general use airbrush, I will recommend the Badger Krome.