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The Best Airbrush for Miniatures: TOP-10

Airbrushes are a necessity for any miniature painter. They help produce fine lines and smooth surfaces that give the model a professional look. But, which airbrush is best?

In this article, we will review the Best airbrushes for miniatures, based on my and other artists’ opinion of them. We will discuss the features of each brush and how to choose a good airbrush.

Table of Content:

Best Airbrush for Miniatures

How to choose the best airbrush for miniatures?

best beginner airbrush for miniatures
Photo by Ivy Aralia Nizar on Unsplash

When it comes to choosing the best Best airbrush, it depends on what kind of job you need it to do.

Let’s see what factors we should consider before buying an airbrush for models and miniatures.

  • Type of the paint&air mixing: external or internal. Today, almost all airbrushes have an internal mix, which means paint and air are mixed before they go through a nozzle. External mix means air and paint come out from different nozzles and are mixed at the moment of spraying. I recommend internal mix airbrush (it is also easy to buy, as I said, modern airbrushes have it).
  • Nozzle size and type. For the finest detailed work, you will need 0.15mm to 0.25mm nozzles. But, in general, common nozzles 0.3mm to 0.5mm can cover all your miniatures painting needs. If you are a beginner, choose general use sizes (0.3 – 0.5mm). These are also typically nozzles that an airbrush kit will include. Regarding the type of nozzles, I recommend a self-centering (cone) nozzle for beginners and general use.
  • Connection size. A universal connection size today is a 1/8” threaded connection, if you see a different size, it means you will need an adapter to connect a standard 1/8” air hose/compressor.
  • Feed type – how the airbrush gets the paint. There are 3 main feed types: gravity, siphon feed, and side feed. For miniatures, I recommend gravity feed as it gives more control and this fee type is better, in general. But if you will need to paint only flat surfaces, you can buy a side-fed airbrush. But note, please, that side feed is harder to clean. If you work with murals or fabric, and you need to adjust a bottle with paint to your airbrush, the siphon-feed is your call.
  • Cup size. For miniatures we normally don’t need a lot of paint, but if you are planning to cover larger areas, you may need a larger cup or even a siphon-feed airbrush where you can adjust a bottle with fluid paint. It will all make sense: smaller nozzle, smaller cup, as for detailed work you don’t need a lot of paint.
  • Control type – how you control the flow. The best choice for beginners and professional model artists is to buy a double-action airbrush. Do not choose a single-action airbrush if you don’t want to have stencils, or have issues with regulating the flow.
  • Pressure. The level of the air pressure is measured in PSI (Pressure per square inch). For painting miniatures you need a good pressure around 15-35 PSI. Better do 20 PSI at least, as the measurement will almost never be exact in action (±5 PSI).
  • Compressor. You must have a compressor to work with an airbrush. Some brands sell airbrush kits, including both an airbrush and a compressor, but some don’t. Keep that in mind and check the budget and the kit you’re getting.

To sum up, the best airbrush for a beginner will have:

  • a compressor in the kit or you have additional budget for a good compressor
  • gravity feed type
  • nozzles 0.3mm to 0.5mm
  • 1/8 threaded connection type
  • 20 PSI
  • smallto medium cup
  • double action control type
  • internal mix
  • price tag around $90-100

Best airbrush for miniatures

It is hard to pick the best airbrush for miniatures or models that will fit everyone.

Some of them have heavier triggers, some are lighter, some include a compressor and some only provide you with one airbrush and one nozzle. Handles are also different, as well as material for the airbrush body.

The more you practice, the more you’ll understand what is better for you.

>>> All 10 airbrushes in one table before we jump into reviews.

Master Airbrush Kit Badger Air Brush Patriot Iwata Eclipse Hp Cs Paasche Airbrush TG-3ASMaster Airbrush G233 Pro SetMaster Airbrush PortableHarder & Steenbeck GSI Creos Mr. Airbrush Procon Boy Sparmax Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit
Paint & Air mixingInternal ExternalInternalInternalInternalInternalInternalInternalInternalInternalInternal
Nozzle size and type0.3mm, 0.2mm, 0.8mm.0.5 mm 0.35 mm.25mm, .38mm, .66mm0.2, 0.3, 0.5mm0.3 mm0.15 mm, 0.4 mm0.3 mm0.3 mm0.2, 0.3, 0.5 mm
Feed typegravity feed + siphon-feed.gravitygravitygravitygravitygravitygravitygravitygravitygravity
Cup size1/3 oz, 1/16oz, 3/4 oz bottle1/3 oz1/3 oz0.4 oz1/3 oz1/3 oz2 ml, 5 ml10 ml2 ml7 ml
Control type2 dual-action and one single-action.DualDualDualDualDualDualDualDualDual
Compressor includedYESNONONONOYES, miniNONONOYES, mini
PSI20-50 PSI10-30 PSI0-98 PSI20-75 PSI20-35 PSI0-25 PSIn/a10-40 PSI15-40 PSI0-25 PSI
Score on Amazon4.

Master Airbrush Professional Airbrushing System Kit – The best airbrush for beginners for miniatures

Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual Fan Air Compressor Professional Airbrushing System Kit with 3 Airbrushes, Gravity and Siphon Feed - 6 Primary Opaque Colors Acrylic Paint Artist Set - How to Guide

Master Airbrush Airbrushing System Kit is an affordable all-in-one airbrushing kit from a well-trusted manufacturer.

It does not only include a compressor, which I saw in some Kenny Boucher tutorials but 3 types of airbrushes with different nozzle sizes and feed types.

Master Aibrushing kit also provides you with 6 basic acrylic paint, airbrushing quick guides, color chart, color wheel, and airbrush cleaning tools.

This is all you need to start painting your miniatures or models. Perfect gift or purchase for beginners!

All 3 airbrushes have ergonomic triggers, 3-piece precision head system: needle cap, nozzle cap, and fluid nozzle.

The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty for airbrushes and a 5-year warranty for the compressor.

What people dislike: However, around 1% of all Amazon reviews will state the poor quality or defective compressor.

I need to say that this is a beginner kit, and some compressors purchased individually may cost up to $400 without any airbrushes included!

This kit by Master Airbrush is a really great way to start airbrushing and later figure out what different sizes, power, and feed type you need.

Paint & Air mixingInternal for gravity feed airbrushes and External for siphon-feed.
Nozzle size and type3 airbrushes included: 0.3mm, 0.2mm, and 0.8mm.
Feed type3 Types of Master Airbrushes: 2 with gravity feed and 1 with siphon-feed.
Cup size1/3 oz and 1/16 oz for 2 gravity feed airbrushes. For siphon – 3/4 oz bottle
Control type2 airbrushes with dual-action and one single-action.
Compressor includedYES
PSI20-50 PSI
Score on Amazon4.7/5 (3,900 reviews)

Badger Air-Brush Co. Model 105 Patriot

Badger Air-Brush Co. Model 105 Patriot Fine Gravity Airbrush, Stainless Steel

Badger Air Brush Patriot is a well-known dual-action gravity feed airbrush for model and miniature painting designed in the US.

It will work great if you are planning non-detail work as the nozzle is 0.5 mm.

Badger also doesn’t include compressors, so it may be less beginner-friendly, especially if you don’t know what compressor to get.

In general, Badger Patriot is a great value-for-money airbrush with an amazing finish, easy-to-use and clean, and durable. Some artists use it for up to 20 years!

Extreme detail applications, soft color gradations, and intricate fine line work are all possible with this airbrush. Lower pressures (8-10 psi) allow for better control in detailed applications.

This airbrush was designed for comfortable and balanced use. Badger patented their handle design as it produces the fastest needle release on the market of the airbrushes today.

The manufacturer is so confident in the quality, that they offer a 1-year craftsmanship warranty and a lifetime labor warranty on factory service or repair.

What users dislike: sometimes too tight connections, cheaper materials today (before the cup was made with high-quality metal), and the exposed needle.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and typeSelf-centering, 0.5 mm nozzle.
Feed typeGravity feed
Cup 1/3 oz permanently mounted cup
Control typeDual-action
Connection sizeNot standard. May need an adapter.
Compressor includedNO
PSI10-30 PSI
Score on Amazon4.5 / 5
PRICE$58 special price

Iwata Eclipse Hp-Cs – The best airbrush for miniatures for advanced painters

Iwata-Medea Eclipse HP CS Dual Action Airbrush Gun / Gravity Feed
  • Features a 0.35mm needle and drop-in self-centering nozzle combination comes with a large 1/3 oz gravity-feed cup
  • Generous 1/3 oz sized cup is designed with a new funnel shape, which makes for easy clean up and more efficient paint flow
  • The Eclipse CS sprays heavier acrylics and Medea Textile Colors, while maintaining high-detail spray characteristics
  • Single cut-away handle
  • Spray pattern – hairline to 2″ (50-mm) round

Iwata Eclipse Hp Cs is one of the best and most recommended airbrushes for miniatures painting.

It was featured in some airbrushing tutorials on Youtube and has a lot of positive reviews.

Iwata Medea is a Japanese brand with high-quality standards.

Iwata Ecplise Hp-Cs airbrush is perfect for fine details, as it has a 0.35mm nozzle. This model is good with properly thinned heavier paint, can work for versatile projects, and assure high paint flow.

Iwata Eclipse airbrush has a cut-away handle which means it has a small hole in a handle to create access to the needle. It means you don’t have to remove the whole handle to pull the needle.

It is not a necessity for airbrushes, but just a nice bonus in some professional models.

Compared to the Master Airbrush all-in-one kit, this airbrush costs as a whole kit. But the quality speaks for itself – many airbrush artists will have three or five Iwata airbrushes just because they are great!

Although, if you’re a beginner and you are not planning any detailed work, you may want a 0.5 nozzle instead.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and typeSelf-centering, 0.35 mm
Feed typeGravity feed
Cup1/3 oz cup with a funnel shape
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedNO
PSIlimit is 98 PSI (not recommended to reach it!)
Score on Amazon4.8/5

Paasche Airbrush Double Action Gravity Feed Airbrush

Paasche Airbrush TG-3AS Airbrush Set, 1 Count

Paasche Airbrush TG is a very stylish, dual-action airbrush for versatile fine projects.

The model TG-3AS includes 3 different nozzles, while the model TG-1AS includes only one – .38 mm nozzle and is slightly cheaper.

Paasche is great for detailing models and miniatures, as the TG-3AS model has 3 nozzle sizes for fine work from 0.25 mm to 0.66 mm.

The eventual disadvantage with Paasche is that they don’t have a standard connection size and no compressor is included in the kits. But this model has a 1/8″BSP Adapter included!

The look is not only stylish, actually – it is chrome plated and the handle is anodized aluminum for durability. Needles are from stainless steel.

Paasche also has a cutaway handle as Iwata does to make cleaning needles easier.

I saw some artists and beginners say the paint is clogging with Paasche. In fact, it can really happen with any finely detailed airbrushes – they are more difficult to work with, you need expertise and properly thinned high-quality paint.

I would not recommend it as the first airbrush for a beginner, but as a new toy for a pro collection. This model may be also quite pricey for a beginner.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type.25mm, .38mm, .66mm 
Feed typeGravity feed
Cup0.4 oz
Control typeDual
Connection sizeNot standard! We Will need an adapter
Compressor includedNO
PSI20-75 PSI
Rating on Amazon4.4/5

Side note: this is a quite rare case when on Amazon this airbrush is cheaper than on the official website (the difference is quite impressive).

Master Airbrush Master Performance G233 Pro Set 

Master Airbrush G233 Pro Set with 3 Nozzle Sets - Dual-Action Gravity Feed Airbrush with Cutaway Handle and How-To Guide

Master Airbrush Master Performance G233 Pro Set is one of the cheapest airbrush sets for beginners. It doesn’t include a compressor as an all-in-one set I mentioned above.

This G233 Pro Set from Master Airbrush includes only 3 different nozzles: 0.2 mm. 0.3 mm, and 0.5 mm, which makes it a universal tool for those who start airbrushing.

The manufacturer provides a 1-year satisfaction warranty.

As it comes at a very low price, professional artists won’t be satisfied. I would buy this G233 Pro Set only if you’re very tight on a budget right now but still would like to try airbrushing.

Even being a budget airbrush, the Master Performance G233 Pro set has a cut-away handle, an ergonomic trigger, and can work with low to high viscosity.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type0.2, 0.3, 0.5mm
Feed typeGravity feed
Cup1/3 oz
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedNO
PSI20-35, potential 40, but not recommended.
Reviews4.3/5 (4,600 reviews)
PRICEunder $40

Master Airbrushing System Kit with Portable Mini Air Compressor

Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit with Portable Mini Air Compressor - Gravity Feed Dual-Action Airbrush, Hose, How-To-Airbrush Guide Booklet - Hobby, Craft, Cake Decorating, Tattoo

Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit with Portable Mini Air Compressor – another affordable option for beginners with a compressor included.

But I need to mention that this set includes a MINI compressor. In a long run, you will need a real compressor.

Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing System Kit may be good for airbrush face painting or temporary tattoos.

Among negative reviews, the most common issue is a very short lifespan, which means this set may not be great for regular use and for someone who is looking forward to jumping into airbrushing.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type0.3mm
Feed typeGravity
Cup1/3 oz.
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedYES, mini compressor
PSImax is 25
Rating4.3/5 (1100 reviews)

Harder & Steenbeck Infinity Airbrush

Harder and Steenbeck Infinity 2in1 Two in one Airbrush 126543 + Bonus by SprayGunner

Harder & Steenbeck is another pillar brand for gravity airbrushes. It is expensive for beginners, but experienced users, especially those who tried different brands, call it just “fantastic”!

This airbrush also looks beautiful.

This 2-in-1 airbrush is designed and made in Germany and includes 2 nozzles: 0.15 and 0.4mm, which is great both for general use and fine work. The set also has a cleaning tool.

A cutaway handle is a bonus for easier maintenance.

Be aware as Harder & Steenbeck sets don’t go with a compressor.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type0.15 and 0.4mm
Feed typeGravity feed
Cup2ml and 5ml
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedNO

GSI Creos Mr. Airbrush Procon Boy 0.3 mm

GSI Creos Mr. Procon Boy WA Platinum Airbrush with Air Up System, 0.3mm

I saw GSI Creos Mr. Airbrush Procon Boy 0.3 mm in one of the Airbrushing tutorials by Kenny Boucher – a well-known YouTuber and airbrush artist. This airbrush is great for detailed painting due to its small nozzle – 0.3 mm.

It is a high-quality airbrush made in Japan (and it is very popular there), that can also work for priming and topcoats.

Again, it is a pro airbrush and the set only includes an airbrush, there is no compressor or different nozzles.

This airbrush performs very well at low PSI.

You may feel like the trigger is a bit heavy for this model, and it doesn’t perform 100% perfectly with the finest areas.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type0.3 mm
Feed typeGravity
Cup10 ml
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedNO

Sparmax Airbrushes

Sparmax SP35 Airbrush

Sparmax makes reliable and durable airbrushes for miniatures. SP35 is a simple, dual-action gravity airbrush for fine work. Also has a cutaway handle to assist your access to the needle.

For a beginner, it may be expensive to pay for one nozzle and an airbrush around $130, but if you can afford it, you won’t regret it: good flow, consistency, and lightweight.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type0.3 mm
Feed typeGravity
Cup2 ml
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedNO
PSI15-40 PSI

Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit

Gocheer 30PSI Airbrush Kit with Compressor Dual Action Mini Air Brush Kit Airbrush Gun Set with 0.2/0.3/0.5mm Nozzle Multi-Function Airbrush Gun Set for Painting Makeup Arts Nails Cake Decor Craft

Gocheer Mini Airbrush Kit is a budget multifunctional airbrush set, including 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5 nozzles, mini compressor, and cleaning tools. It is an easy-to-use and clean airbrush for beginners.

Some rare issues you may face: nozzles can break, or no paint flows after cleaning. Be careful with nozzles!

Can be a great choice to have fun with face painting, temporary tattoos, nail art or cake decoration.

Paint & Air mixingInternal
Nozzle size and type0.2 mm, 0.3 mm, 0.5 mm
Feed typeGravity
Cup7 ml
Control typeDual
Connection sizeStandard
Compressor includedmini

Best Airbrush for miniatures FAQ

best airbrush for beginners
Photo by Matias Luge on Unsplash

Should I get an airbrush for miniatures?

I don’t really think that an airbrush is a must for painting miniatures however for pros an airbrush is a necessity. The Best brushes are, in my opinion, fine detail brushes and cheap brushes.

They work just as well as an airbrush in producing smooth surfaces and can be used to create finer lines than any other type of brush.

However, Airbrushes are Best if you want a smooth finish or fine detailed work. An airbrush is also better than a brush because it only takes about 10 minutes to clean up and get back into working order whereas paintbrushes might ruin quicker when sprayed with too much paint.

You can’t make delicate strokes with an average brush, so it’s better to use an airbrush in this situation.

Lastly, since most airbrushes have different nozzle sizes and spray patterns, it makes painting faster and easier. The finish looks more even than if you’re painting with a regular paintbrush.

What type of airbrush should I get for miniatures?

A basic airbrush can be used for most purposes, but there are also models designed specifically for miniatures painting.

What is the best airbrush for modeling?

Iwata Eclipse Hp Cs, Master Airbrush Professional Airbrushing System Kit, and GSI Creos Mr. Airbrush Procon Boy 0.3 mm are one of the best airbrushes for modeling.

What airbrush does Kenny Boucher use?

Kenny Boucher is a model and miniature artist. I have seen him recommend Masters Compressor and airbrushes: GSI Creos Mr. Airbrush Procon Boy 0.3 mm and Iwata HP-CS

What is the best brand of airbrush?

I have looked into a few Best brands of airbrushes for miniatures and come up with this list:

  • Master Airbrush
  • Badger Airbrush
  • Paasche
  • Iwata
  • Harder & Steenbeck
  • Sparmax

Spray gun and airbrush are the same?

Spray gun and airbrush are not the same. Spray guns are used to paint large projects and are bulky, while airbrushes are meant for detailed work like face painting or models.

How does airbrush work?

An airbrush gun is a finely controlled air-assisted paint delivery tool. It works by passing a pressurized stream of paint in a thin, rapid succession of droplets from the nozzle to the surface being painted.

This is accomplished with an air compressor that compresses air and delivers it to an airbrush.

The mechanism for supplying a liquid paint mixture to the brush consists of either a container or tube attached to the side of the gun, or supplied from an external source – usually an artist’s palette.

Do I need an air compressor for the airbrush?

Yes. You need an air compressor to work with your airbrush.

But, an air compressor can be a large expense and you also need to have a place to store it. This is why many people purchase portable compressors. Or they buy an airbrush kit: an airbrush + compressor at once.

One of the best compressors is Sparmax Inspire TC620X, but it is also very expensive (around $400).

If you need a cheaper option, look at Masters Compressor.

Last update on 2024-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API