What is the best airbrush for miniatures & models?
If you want to create your own miniatures for tabletop gaming or display, having an airbrush kit can be extremely useful for adding details and making your models really come to life.
However, if you’ve never bought airbrush kits before, it can be tricky to know where to begin. Fortunately, we’ve got all the details on the best kits and brushes you can buy today.
The Best Airbrush For Miniatures & Models
These airbrush kits have been chosen based on their overall performance, user reviews, and specializations, so you can be sure you’re getting the best airbrushes on the market today.
Here’s our list of the 10 best airbrushes for miniatures & models:
10. NEO CN Gravity Airbrush
The NEO CN Gravity Airbrush is the best choice for painting miniatures and models on a budget, and despite its low price, it doesn’t sacrifice quality.
This budget airbrush kit is perfect for both beginners and those familiar with using an airbrush.
It has a unique 0.35mm needle/nozzle that gives users the ability to switch between fine and medium spray patterns so you can easily add details when painting miniatures of the most popular video game characters of all time without changing brushes.
This airbrush is easy to clean and designed to work well at lower pressures when combined with a small air compressor with a max PSI of 20.
There is also a five-year warranty for this versatile airbrush, so if anything breaks down within that time, you can send it back for replacement.
One of the biggest reasons people hesitate to invest in an airbrush if they have never used one before is the fear that it will be complicated or that they will break it, causing them to waste their money.
However, with an affordable airbrush kit like the NEO CN, these fears can be alleviated, allowing even inexperienced miniature painters to dip their toes into airbrushing without worry.
- Easy to clean
- Great small and medium spray pattern
- Works perfectly with small compressors
- Must buy a compressor separately
- High sensitivity that takes practice to get used to
The Neo CN gravity feed airbrush is the best bang for your buck overall, and it is a great starting point for beginners.
While it doesn’t come with a compressor, it is designed to be used with small compressors, making it a decent tradeoff.
We will advise that you practice before attempting small details with this brush. It has a high sensitivity that can make it easy to apply too much paint to your miniatures and models accidentally.
However, practice is always a good idea when you get a new airbrush, even if you’re a veteran user who has been painting miniatures for decades.
9. Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Airbrushing System Kit
The Master Airbrush Cool Runner II is the best complete kit you can find on the market today.
This Airbrush kit comes with three different airbrushes, a cleaning kit, a 6ft air hose, a paint set, a compressor, color charts, and a quick start guide.
The three airbrushes it comes with have different tips, including 0.3mm, 0.2mm, and 0.8mm, so you have a wide range for detailed painting.
Each brush also comes with a gravity-feed paint cup to ensure a steady flow of consistent and even flowing paint.
The set comes with acrylic paints in six colors to help you get started, and there is a double-sided color wheel to make mixing the right shades easier.
For beginners who may be hesitant to buy a massive kit like this, you should keep in mind that there is also a one-year satisfaction guarantee that allows you to refund or replace the set if you’re unsatisfied. A five-year warranty also covers the compressor on its own.
This makes investing in this set less risky, and we recommend it for anyone who wants an all-in-one airbrush kit that can work right out of the box.
- Affordable price
- Includes everything you need to get started
- It comes with a comprehensive warranty
- Brushes clog more than some others on our list
- The compressor can overheat if used for too long
The Master Airbrush Cool Runner II is the best complete kit you can find today, and it is perfect for anyone just starting who wants to grab everything they need at once.
While the brushes can clog more than other, more expensive airbrushes, this isn’t a huge problem if you’re vigilant.
However, if you’re planning on painting miniatures for an extended period, you will want to watch the compressor, as it can overheat with prolonged use.
8. Master Airbrush Airbrushing System Kit
This Master Airbrush airbrushing system kit isn’t as comprehensive as the one above, but it does come with many great features that make it worth considering.
This gravity-feed airbrush comes with a mini-air compressor that is extremely lightweight and portable.
The compressor has a max PSI of 25 and produces 15 PSI air pressure on demand, automatically shutting off when not in use.
The airbrush has three different nozzle sizes, which give you a significant amount of control over details, with the ability to create lines up to 1-1 1/2″.
These different nozzle sizes make it easy to paint various miniatures and models, and because it is so small and portable, you can use it to paint almost anywhere.
For beginners, it also comes with a how-to-airbrush guide so you can learn how to get the best results, even if you have no prior experience using an airbrush.
- Small size
- Good for beginners
- Portable compressor
- The compressor doesn’t have a PSI indicator
- It doesn’t come with cleaning instructions
Whether you’re painting models of the best anime dragon girls to put on your shelf or painting miniatures for your next D&D game, the Master Airbrush airbrushing system kit can get the job done with astonishing precision.
Although it doesn’t have cleaning instructions, it is really easy to clean by soaking it in alcohol and using a Q-tip to clean the inside of the nozzle.
Additionally, despite not having a PSI indicator, it’s easy to gauge the pressure with practice since it only goes up to 25 PSI.
7. Badger Patriot 105
The Badger Patriot 105 is our choice as the best beginner airbrush for many reasons.
When it comes to painting miniatures, from either the best sci-fi anime movies and series or your latest RPG campaign, the Badger airbrush is both durable and affordable, with an easy-to-use design.
Cleaning is often something that many beginners struggle with, since it’s easy to accidentally break or damage parts if you’re not careful with what you’re doing. Still, with the durability of this airbrush, cleaning is safer and easier than ever.
This gravity-feed airbrush comes with a single 0.5mm nozzle that is compatible with acrylics, lacquers, glazes, and latex paints.
While its size does mean that you won’t be able to do incredibly fine detail, for just starting out, it should be more than sufficient for continuous paint coverage on all your projects.
One downside is that this brush only comes by itself, so you must get a compressor separately.
However, this airbrush can work well with air pressure between 10 to 30 PSI, so you don’t have to worry about investing in an incredibly powerful compressor if that’s not something you want.
- Affordable price
- Easy to use
- Durable design
- Easy to clean
- Requires a separate compressor
- 0.5mm nozzle to large for ultra-fine details
If you are a beginner and want to get started airbrushing miniatures, the Badger Patriot 105 is a great way to familiarize yourself with the process.
Not only is this airbrush designed to be easy to use, but its durability makes it perfect for those learning how to take care of their equipment before investing in something more expensive and more delicate.
6. Iwata-Medea Revolution CR
The Iwata-Medea Revolution is a dual-action airbrush, which means that pulling the trigger back gives you control of how much paint flows out while pushing the trigger down controls the airflow.
This brush has a fantastic ergonomic design that makes it comfortable to use for long periods of time, and it is designed to be able to handle both thicker paints and thin ones.
However, we love this airbrush because the needle is solvent-proof, so it won’t break down or dissolve while working with solvent-based paints.
With this brush, you have the option of using either water-based or solvent-based paints, without worrying about damaging your equipment.
That said, this Iwata airbrush only comes by itself, meaning you will need to purchase a compressor, hose, and paints separately.
If you’re someone who is used to using an airbrush and already has this equipment, this may not be a big deal, though if you’re just starting out, it is something to keep in mind.
- Ergonomic design
- Solvent safe
- Dual-action use
- Easy to assemble
- Smaller needles are sold separately
- It does not work with acetone-based thinners
The Iwata-Medea Revolution is a fantastic dual-action airbrush that is both easy to use and versatile.
While smaller needles are sold separately, if you do opt to invest in them, they can give you the tools needed to paint everything from tiny RPG miniatures all the way to full-scale cosplay pieces of the best Fallout 4 armor sets with excellent precision.
5. Paasche TG-3AS Gravity Feed Airbrush
We chose the Paasche TG-3AS as the best value for painters due to everything that it comes with, which makes it one of the most versatile for painting miniatures and models.
This airbrush comes with three nozzle sizes, .25mm, .38mm, and .66mm, so that you can tackle both base coating and fine detail effortlessly.
The main downside of this airbrush is that it doesn’t have a standard connection size and doesn’t come with a compressor.
However, it does have an adapter so that it can be used with most standard compressors with a PSI between 20 to 75.
Aside from that, this airbrush is stunning to look at with its anodized aluminum handle and stainless steel body.
Although we wouldn’t recommend this airbrush for beginners who have never used an airbrush before, for longtime painters, this can be a great tool to add to your collection.
- Comes with versatile nozzle sizes
- Stylish design
- Uniform paint distribution
- Large gravity feed bowl
- Requires an airbrush compressor adaptor
- All Paasche fittings are unique and cannot be substituted with other brands
The Paasche TG-3AS Gravity Feed airbrush is an overall great value for the three nozzles and adaptor that it comes with, especially for experienced painters.
While we don’t recommend it as a beginner airbrush, it is still easy to use, though none of its parts can be swapped out with other brands because they are unique to Paasche.
4. Badger Sotar 20/20
The Badger Sotar 20/20 is something that we would expect to find in any experienced painter’s arsenal, and it is by far one of the best for achieving a professional paint job.
When it comes to airbrushing miniatures, this airbrush can handle both large base coats and pencil-thin details that other airbrush models can struggle with.
It comes with a 1/12 ounce paint cup that is designed to work with watercolors, inks, dyes, diluted paints, and low viscosity acrylic paint.
There is even a micrometer setting that lets users set their desired spray patterns and three nozzles ranging from .19mm to .31mm.
For artists worried about it breaking, you worry less with this airbrush’s one-year warranty covering all manufacturing defects and its lifetime warranty covering factory repair.
One thing you will have to be careful with is the exposed needle, which can make damage more likely if you’re not careful.
Overall, this is a high-quality airbrush that is definitely worthy of a commercial artist.
- Versatile nozzle sizes
- Good price
- Compatible with many types of paint
- Ergonomic design
- Exposed needle
- Geared toward experienced users
If you have a lot of airbrush painting experience, the Badger Sotar 20/20 is an airbrush gun worth looking into.
While not recommended for beginners, this airbrush is one of the best for achieving a truly professional finish, and its warranty gives you extra peace of mind.
3. Badger RK-1 Krome
The Badger RK-1 Krome gives artists a lot of control due to its softer level of trigger tension, and micrometer trigger stop setting that allows for much more precision than many other fine detail airbrushes.
With this airbrush, you can regulate spray patterns to within 1/1000 of an inch for exceedingly fine details, and its 3/8 ounce color cup is large enough to ensure that you don’t have to refill it often.
There is also an additional fine needle, fine spray pattern regulator, and a fine tip that comes with this airbrush,
In terms of design, the trigger is effortless to use, and there is even an underbody finger rest to help make using this airbrush comfortable even for long periods.
It even comes in a great storage case that you can use to store your airbrush when not in use safely.
This helps prolong its life and keep it in the best condition possible so that you can continue using it for years to come.
- Fantastic control
- Precision painting of fine details
- Multiple tips
- Solid storage case
- Small tips can be easy to lose
- The plated finish can start to fade after a lot of use
If you want an amazing airbrush that gives you the most control possible, the Badger RK-1 Krome is worth considering.
While the tips can be easy to lose if you’re careless with them, and the finish can fade over time, overall, it is a solid airbrush that makes it easy to paint miniatures and models to look as good, if not better, than some of the best Pokémon toys of all time so that you’ll be proud to show them off.
2. Iwata Eclipse HP-CS
Iwata airbrushes are a favorite of many artists, and the Eclipse HP-CS is one of the best for airbrushing miniatures that require a lot of fine details.
In miniature painting, the devil is in the details, but these details can be difficult or impossible to achieve without a precision airbrush.
Fortunately, the Iwata Eclipse comes with a .35 needle/nozzle combination, making even the smallest details easy to paint.
This airbrush model works well with acrylics, and it has a cut-away handle that allows easy access to the needle for cleaning.
Speaking of the needle, it is made from high-quality spring steel, making it one of the most durable airbrushes on the market.
Users can also benefit from the high-end airbrush hose that comes with this paint gun, and it can easily connect to any airbrush compressor you currently have.
It isn’t unusual for those who love miniature painting to own multiple Iwata airbrushes, and the Eclipse is one of their best for fine detailing.
- Precision tip for fine details
- Easy to clean
- Uniform paint distribution
- Durable design
- More expensive than other airbrushes
- Replacement parts are more expensive but long-lasting
The Iwata Eclipse HP-CS can paint anything from miniatures of the best dog Pokémon of all time to incredibly detailed Knight Warden models from Warhammer 40k.
Although it is one of the most expensive airbrushes on the market, it is definitely a worthwhile investment for any serious craftsman who wants to take their miniature painting to a whole new level.
1. Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR Plus
The Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR Plus is the best of the best when it comes to airbrushes, and it is one that you’ll undoubtedly find many professionals using.
This airbrush has two self-centering nozzles in .15mm and .4mm, plus two gravity-feed cups in 2ml and 5ml sizes.
It has an open-needle design, making it much easier to control the spray pattern and clean out the nozzle to prevent clogs.
There is also a cut-out at the back of the airbrush, which allows you to adjust the trigger and needle without disassembling the entire barrel.
While this airbrush is the most expensive on our list, it combines a lot of what makes the others great and rolls it into one easy-to-use package.
- Adjustable trigger action for expert control
- Precision tips to fine lines
- Easy to clean
- Two separate paint cups
- More expensive than other options
- Requires technical upkeep
The Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR Plus is a titan in the miniature painting community, but it can be a lot to handle if you’re just starting out.
We recommend getting really familiar with how to maintain an airbrush before making the jump to this model, and practicing with a more beginner-friendly option like the Badger Patriot 105 can help teach you the ins and outs.
That said, if you are experienced with using an airbrush for miniatures, this is one investment that can definitely improve your craft.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best airbrush for miniatures and models!
Painting miniatures and models is an incredibly rewarding hobby, whether you’re doing it for your next D&D game or just want to add them to your collection.
With these airbrushes, you can take your painting game to the next level, no matter if you’re just starting out or are a highly experienced artist!
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best airbrushes for miniatures & models:
- Harder & Steenbeck Infinity CR Plus
- Iwata Eclipse HP-CS
- Badger RK-1 Krome
- Badger Sotar 20/20
- Paasche TG-3AS Gravity Feed Airbrush
- Iwata-Medea Revolution CR
- Badger Patriot 105
- Master Airbrush Airbrushing System Kit
- Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Airbrushing System Kit
- NEO CN Gravity Airbrush
What’s the best airbrush for miniatures & models, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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