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Sherroy Sarchie
Posts: 192


I'm thinking about buying an airbrush but i'm not too sure if I should buy a proper air brush kir, with compressor or buying the copic attachment?

The copic attachment do the pens last long or will I always be replacing them?

I'm not too worried about costs at this stage but I would find it a real inconvenience if I was  forever having to buy new markers or new compressor cans.



Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479

How often do you think you'll use an airbrush?

If you only want to try one just to see how it works then go cheap.  You can buy something better later on.  But, if you think you'll want to add airbrushing to your repertoire, even if it's only occasional, it would be better to spend some money and buy good equipment.

You can buy the Copic kit for a very modest amount of money.  The starter kits are only about $30.00

However, you're going to end up buying new markers to put in them.  You know how those kits work.  Right?  You put a marker in the handle and the air blows the ink off the marker onto the canvas or whatever object you're painting.

So, first, you might end up going through markers like crazy.
Second, if the device is designed to hold only Copic markers, you'll be stuck buying their brand at their prices.

If all you want to do is experiment and you don't think you'll take it up seriously, it's probably a good deal.  If it's going to be long term, you might be better off using a "real" airbrush.

Canned air is all right to use but you can buy a compressor.  Again, ask yourself how often you'll use it.

Most airbrushes can be used with either canned air or with compressor.  That way you can buy canned air to start and, if you decide you want to keep doing it, you can get a compressor.

I have an airbrush that I inherited from my father.  I have dabbled with it but have never really taken up the hobby.  I do use it for small projects from time to time.  So, I use canned air when I want to do airbrushing.  However, if it was something I was going to do every day I'd buy a compressor.

If you want to see some really nice airbrushes take a look at a Paashce Airbrush.  They are top of the line.

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,553

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Sherroy, there is a topic in the library called "Airbrushing/Painting/Shading" that will give you lots of info.

teeeej Brisbane
Posts: 623

I have both a copic and a Paasche airbrush. The starter kit is a good cheap option for starting out with airbrushing, and heaps of the bear stores here in Australia stock them. If your worried about using a lot of pens try buying the refills. Copic markers come in heaps of colours. I tend to use this system more often then not simply for the fact its easier and faster to use, and I have a tonne of the pens lying around in a variety of colours.

I still love my Paasche airbrush though. Much better control on the flow of paint. In both cases I use a small compressor that I bought from a hobby store. Compressors are expensive, so unless you intend to do a lot of airbrushing the cans work just fine.

Densteds Densteds
Posts: 2,056

Sherroy, I've heard bad reports about  the copic air brush system, and I decided that for the amount of shading I do, it's easier and cheaper just to use the can purchase  Prisma markers from the online art supplies stores, they are a much more reasonable option at $4.40 each from The Art Shop, which is very cheap compared to many bearmaking suppliers.. Personally, I think Copic markers are overpriced.

Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479

Oh, by the way...

If you want to see the airbrush I have, check out this link:

I have one just like the picture all the way at the bottom of the page.  The 1940's vintage Model AB.  Mine looks just like that.
The thing is great!  It only handles watercolor or non-solvent based ink.  It will not spray alcohol/solvent based paints or lacquer.  (Not if you ever want it to work again!  bear_happy )

It's a real bear to learn how to use.  But it is very cool!  bear_cool  It's not your ordinary type of airbrush.  This is a professional tool.

It sounds like a dentist's drill when you run it because it's mechanical.  It's got a mini turbine inside it.  Consequently, it uses a lot of air.  Be prepared to buy a compressor or use a lot of canned air.

You can still buy the Paasche Model AB but it will cost you about $300.  Expensive if you are just dabbling unless you inherited it like I did.  But, if you have the money and if you are willing to take the time to learn how to use it correctly, it's probably the best thing money can buy.

If you want a single action Paasche airbrush it will cost you about $50.  A double action model will cost you about $80.

A single action airbrush just sprays when you press the button.  You set the air jet to control the width of your spray and press the button.  You can move the brush closer or farther away to vary the pattern you spray but, if you want to change the pattern you have to stop spraying and adjust the tool.

A double action brush allows you to change the spray pattern while you are working.  Press the button and move it back and forth while you work.  It will spray a fine line or a wide, blended pattern, depending on what you want.  It's more expensive but it's more versatile.

For Bears...  I don't know...
If all you are doing is shading the facial features and things, maybe a single action brush is all you need.

I guess it all depends on what you want to use it for.

For Bears only, I'd say start cheap and work your way up if you decide you like it.

If you are going to do other kinds of artwork, too, then get something good.

However, as much as I like being frugal, I wouldn't recommend buying the cheapest thing.  If you want to do good work, you're going to have to spend some money to buy good equipment.

Little Bear Guy Little Bear Guy
Waterloo, Ontario
Posts: 1,395

I use the Copic system with a compressor. It is true that you can't get super fine detail but it is good for doing shading around the yes and on the ears. I have managed to get very good control out of it and done the paw pads as well. Depending on the amount of shading you do, the markers can last a fairly long time. I still prefer the shading I get using it than just using the maker on it's on. I also have the entire set of prisma markers which I have used from time to time. A pen will last me a fairly long time, it's not going to run out after a couple of uses. I have several different colours in them as well. It is a good starter air brush, just play around with it on some paper, I found discovered by accident that if I put the marker in one way I get a wider spray and if I put in the other way I get a finer spray, not sure if it was designed that way or not.

Good luck.

Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479

If it's a wedge tipped marker you'll see that.
I've dabbled with other marker-based airbrush kits before but not the Copic.

There's an air jet that blows across the marker tip.  If the air blows across the very tip of the marker you'll get a fine line.  If the air blows across a broad cross section of the marker, it will produce a wider pattern.  So, sliding the marker back and forth in its holder might also produce different results.

Also, holding the airbrush closer or farther away from the workpiece can allow you to adjust your pattern and the amount of paint that lands on the workpiece.

You guys are making me want to get my airbrush out again and play with it some more!  bear_laugh

jenny Three O'clock Bears
warwickshire uk
Posts: 4,413

I used the Copic system and have to say I didn't much like it though I am no expert. I found the ink sticky and  the whole thing hard to control. I bought another airbrush system which I have completely wasted and not used to date as I tend to do it all by hand. I went on a course a couple of years ago and have intended to do some airbrushing but never got round to it. You can get refills for the  Copic pens and that works out cheaper but if you really need to airbrush I would go for a system where you can mix your own colours and choose the inks..some are soft on the fabrics and feel fine..I found the Copic  ink quite 'crispy' but, like I said, I am no expert and I was probably doing it wrong anyway!!

Karon Posts: 751

One thing of note with Copic airbrush system.

You have to direct the pen either slightly higher (perhaps it was lower) then you would anticipate other wise you misdirect the paint.  I shade using pens and pencils.

Sherroy Sarchie
Posts: 192

Thank you all. I think I will invest in getting a good one becuase I would also like to do some air brushing projects. I like anything and everything creative. I would tattoo if I thought I was good enough lol.  bear_smile

I think a compressor might be the best option. I don't even know where I could get some compressed air anyway lol.

I have noticed that the copic markers leave a icky residue on the fur aswell and I hope that other paints don't do that.

With the Paasche is dilutted accrylics best?

Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479

Different models of Paasche airbrush (or any brand of airbrush, for that matter) can spray different materials.  Several of them can spray acrylic paint.

BTW:  You can do tattoos with an airbrush.  That's now most of those temporary tattoos that you see people wearing are done.  bear_grin

Sherroy Sarchie
Posts: 192

BTW:  You can do tattoos with an airbrush

Too true lol. Maybe I should invest and try it out. I don't think my boyfriend or my friends will mind being guinea pigs *mwaaa ha ha ha* (that was my evil laugh) bear_ermm

Us Bears Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,479

I don't know a whole lot about the dyes or inks used to make temporary tattoos but I bet you can spray both tattoo dye and acrylic paint from the same airbrush as long as you make sure it gets cleaned really well between uses.

From there, I imagine it's all about the stencils and how well you can paint freehand.

What the heck!  It comes off by itself in a few days or, if you really don't like it, scrubbing with hot water and soap will take it off immediately.

Halloween's coming up soon.  Practice up and, maybe you might be able to cover part of your cost of equipment by charging people to airbrush on their goblin makeup for their Halloween costume!  :D

If you only charge $10.00 a head, it would only take 5 or 6 people to pay for the cost of a mid-priced airbrush.  Even if it doesn't pay the whole cost, those few coins you put in your pocket might allow you to buy the next model up.

amber Honey Valley Bears
Posts: 210

I find the pens leave a sticky feel too.  But if you let them dry between applications (only takes a few minutes) and really brush the area out, the sticky goes away.  I used to do a lot of airbrushing when I was in school, as a graphic designer and illustrator, personally I prefer the pens and just do it all by hand. I like the control that it gives me.  But if you aren't a complete control freak like I am about things go for the airbrush.  I also find that watered down paint and a brush work really well too, again need to let dry and brush between coats.

teeeej Brisbane
Posts: 623

Yes I have also found that letting the copic marker stuff dry between layers and brushing helps prevent that icky feel. Also do not put too much on at a time - it will tend to make the ickyness worse!

Portland, Oregon
Posts: 4

I've been airbrushing teddies since 1989 and the best approach is to buy the best. A small iwata dual action airbrush is the best.  A small illustration air compressor will run you a few hundred but with it.  They are silent and very portable.   It's all in the mixture and the how you hold your airbrush.  Good luck!


Sherroy Sarchie
Posts: 192

Thank you for your input Ravenia bear_original

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