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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:07 am 
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Location: Ayr, Scotland
Does anyone have any views/experience of the Lidl Parkside airbrush/compressor at £39.99?


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:43 am 
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This one?

Attachment:
UK_73868_01_b.jpg


What I'd say is that you will quickly reach the limitations of the kit. Starting with the compressor, it does not have a tank, so what that means is that it will be running all the time, which is quite noisy. Additionally, without a tank to smooth the flow of air, that type of compressor can occasionally pulse the air rather than it being a smooth flow. Finally, it doesn't appear to have either a water trap or pressure gauge/valve.

Onto the airbrush, and it is the simplest single action brush money can buy, in appearance the same as the old Revell brushes. Nothing wrong with that, but it is the simplest of the simple so results can be tricky to maintain. The very real danger is that you won;t get the results you desire and lose enthusiasm.

There are better options available for not much more outlay that will serve you better should you continue with airbrushing. A quick search on eBay gives the following;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Airbrush-Kit- ... 2ec1f816a7

(no tank on compressor but better brushes)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AIRBRUSH-COMP ... 3a6f2b7192

(bit more expensive, but two brushes and lots of bottles)

I've described my setup and procedures in the following Guide;

Guide 025 - An Exercise in Airbrushing

so that may give you some further ideas.


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:00 am 
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Thanks, Kelvin. That was a very prompt and helpful response.


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 Post Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:34 am 
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I got the brush set and use my own big compressor which i also use for big automotive airtools. It is the same set as seen on the pictures. I bought it in Indonesia for the pricey sum of.................20 euro. Look at KRISBOW or ACE hardware store. I might be tempted to bring along some extra sets when i go there again.


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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Kelvin, is there any serious drawback in having one of these compressors without a tank? Is a twin compressors with a tank any more effective than a single compressor with a tank?


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 Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:39 pm 
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The main drawbacks, for me, are that the compressor is running continuously and also the chance of the airflow pulsing. With the tank, the compressor fills the tank and then turns itself off. You use the air in the tank and when it gets down to a certain pressure, the compressor starts up again and fills the tank, repeat ad infinitum. What I found when I started out with my original compressor;

Image

was that I was still getting the compressor to run all the time as I was using so much air as I was doing so much spraying. That compressor still sits under my bench though, looking a little sad! I upgraded to a 25 litre tank compressor (from Aldi, funnily enough), which is still piston fed, and will be updating again soon to a belt driven compressor to cut down on the noise a bit more, as I still jump when it kicks in!

The other issue, pulsing, is more evident when you are doing fine work, which I have to say is not really the type of work you will do when spraying diecast models, it's more block colour spraying. The tank smooths out the airflow, so you're not reliant on the compressor providing the direct air. If you think about how the compressor works, the piston going back and forward will stop twice every revolution, which means a very very very small moment when there is no air being pushed out. In normal every day work you may not notice it, but it will be there.

It does all depend on whether you see yourself enjoying airbrushing and continuing to persevere with it. The trouble is that if you buy the Lidl kit, and struggle to get good results with it, you may be experiencing poor kit rather than poor technique, but still get annoyed and feel like giving up. That would be a shame as airbrushing opens up a whole new world of opportunities and quality of work. My advice would be to spend a bit more, get an AB or AS series airbrush and compressor with tank (and water trap and pressure valve) and really go for it. If you don't get on with it or have troubles, I am always willing to give advice as best I can, but if you really don't jell with airbrushing, then I am sure that you can resell the kit on far easier and lose less than the outlay for the Lidl kit. I'd probably even give you an offer for the airbrush myself.

It really is a case of you get what you pay for, in this case. Yes, there is a case to say "I'll use it to see how I get on and then get something better" but as I say above, you will easily sell a better kit for not much less than you paid for it and if you do enjoy the airbrushing experience then you will quickly get to the limits of the Lidl kit and want to upgrade, meaning your £40 outlay will sit there doing nothing.

However, I'm so sure that you'll enjoy airbrushing and I am always keen to promote people learning new skills, so I will throw an offer at you. As I say, I still have the compressor I started with in my workshop, and I still actually have the box in the loft. You are welcome to that compressor (just pay the postage), along with an airline and an airbrush (I have to check on that bit tonight) and if you get on with it, then we can sort out a price to buy. If you don't get on with it, just send it back to me. My advice is free! How does that sound?

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 Post Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:16 pm 
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Kelvin, you are very kind and a font of knowledge in modelling matters. You are also very patient and take a lot of time and trouble to answer queries. Thank you for your kind offer and attention.

I do, in fact, have an AS18-2 mini compressor, similar to your photograph but no tank, with two airbrushes, clean pot and extra jars, all purchased last December as a package and still in their boxes and wrappings. I have been too apprehensive about using them. I thought that I could use the Lidl compressor to practice. I did buy one, but I have ascertained that I can take it back. It is still in its box.

However, from what you tell me, I would be better starting with the compressor that I have and that the absence of a tank is not going to be a serious detriment to me with the little painting I am likely to do. The Lidl compressor will go back.

I guess I just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. It is all that goes with airbrushing that frightens me. What paint, consistency, cleaning, nozzle size, pressure, technique, etc., etc. I know the answer, some day soon I have to get on with it.

Thank you again for all your help.


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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:20 am 
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Not a problem at all, it's what we're here for.

You're in exactly the same position as I was when I was about to start airbrushing, the paint mixing and the cleaning put me off, so rattle cans always seemed the better option. One day I just went for it and haven't looked back. The big game changer for me that made it easy to fully switch over (I say fully but I still rattle can primer for convenience) was finding and using airbrush ready paints, specifically Zero paints from Hiroboy. These really are simply shake, stir, pour and spray with me only needing to add a bit of thinner if the paint is a bit old. The other added benefit is that Hiroboy also do airbrush cleaner, thinner and clear coat (as the paint is base coat so is matt-ish).

I now find it very very hard to paint anything with a rattle can, the airbrush is just so much more useful. Once you are into a system, the cleaning is not an issue. I tend to lightly clean (spray through some cleaner, remove needle) for the most part and then once a month the brush(es) get stripped down and spend some time in the ultrasonic bath.

Give it a go. If you get the Hiroboy paints and cleaner, you'll still be paying less that the Lidl kit (and if you don't get on with it, I'd probably buy the paint and cleaner off you) and it will open a whole world of new possibilities. You can read and read and read what other people do, but until you try it yourself, you never really know. Other airbrush ready paints are available, I should say, but I have not experienced them, so can't give you an honest review of them. One thing that might be handy, so that you can see what the brush does, it to set it all up, fill the brush bowl with normal water, and just start spraying. If you spray onto some paper or cardboard, you can get an idea of what different pressures, distances, angles and strokes look like and there is no need to waste paint or worry about cleaning up correctly.

Go on, you know you want to!

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Red Firecracker
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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:59 am 
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Thanks Kelvin, you are a great support and inspiration. I will, I will, I will and I will keep you posted.


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 Post Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:59 pm 
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OK, I've had a go and this is where I become a pest. Got everything set up and started with the two airbrushes that came with the kit. Taking a tip from Kelvin, I started by using water to spray onto a sheet of paper.

First airbrush was the BD-134. All hooked up, air coming out but no water, either from the bowl or the jar. Is there something I need to adjust or is the brush faulty?

Second brush BD-128P. All hooked up and both air and water operating. It looks as if this brush is OK and I can practise with it. This brush has push-fit system for the bowl and jar, I wonder if that will always remain tight.

Perhaps these brushes are just rubbish anyway. I wouldn't know.


Last edited by ngtman on Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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