Brushes are personal like many of the tools we use.  My oldest brushes ; ones that have stood the test of time are the Series 7 , Da Vinci, and Escoda.  No matter how much I beat them up, they seem to return to their former after a little cleaning with Masters Brush Cleaner.

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brush – Round #1

Price: $12.53

4.2 out of 5 stars (298 customer reviews)

74 used & new available from $12.38

Escoda Optimo 2410 Oil & Acrylic Kolinsky Sable Paint Brush Round Pointed; Size 1

Price: $16.45

4.8 out of 5 stars (5 customer reviews)

2 used & new available from $10.42


Here’s my brush cleaning process utilizing Masters Brush Cleaner.

General Pencil Company The Masters Brush Cleaner & Preserver 2.5 0z.

Price: $8.49

4.7 out of 5 stars (266 customer reviews)

18 used & new available from $3.35



My current setup for airbrushing utilizes all Patriot 105 airbrushes all setup differently.  One with a fine conversion for detail and another left with stock parts for general duty such as varnishing and priming. I like this setup because the weight and tactile feel doesn’t change. Only the spray pattern.

Badger Air-Brush Co 105 Patriot Fine Gravity Airbrush

Price: $76.66

4.2 out of 5 stars (176 customer reviews)

20 used & new available from $76.66

Badger Air-Brush Company Fine Conversion for Model 105, 155, 200NH, 360 and 3155

Price: $10.82

4.1 out of 5 stars (25 customer reviews)

9 used & new available from $6.34



Badger’s Xtreme Patriot 105 comes with the Fine Conversion installed and has a fine tune air adjustment screw added to the front for precise control of air at the tip.  I personally never use that feature.  The Xtreme 105 also comes with a High Roller trigger which gives you more control.  A cool feature is the Accuracote dark ice finish which seems to resist paint and makes cleanup a lot easier.

Badger BAD105XTR Xtreme Patriot 105 Airbrush

Price: $113.30

4.7 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)

9 used & new available from $111.04


Speaking of airbrushing…..  there are a couple things I forgot to buy when I got my first setup.


Airbrush Holder

There’s nothing like sitting down and hooking up the airbrush, loading it with paint, and spraying…. until you have a half full cup and have to leave the desk and realize, “where do I put this thing without making a mess?”

Darice Airbrush Holder

Price: $10.29

4.6 out of 5 stars (107 customer reviews)

6 used & new available from $9.40


Ultrasonic Cleaner

An Ultrasonic Cleaner is not essential, but if you spend a lot of time polishing and detailing your airbrush after use, this should be part of your kit.  After you think your airbrush is clean, put it in one of these with a mix of water and Simple Green and it will loosen and break up the stuff you couldn’t see.  Ultrasonic cleaning is a must have for those of us with OCD about cleaning our tools.





I started airbrushing with a hobby grade Paashe Compressor that cost about $100.  It lasted a year of heavy abuse.  When it died, I decided to grab a more professional compressor.  I liked this one specifically because of the 2 regulators.  I typically airbrush at 25psi and 15psi.  With this I can set the 2 hoses to different settings and simply switch depending on what I’m doing.  The 2 liter tank also helps to keep the moisture down by allowing the compressed air to cool a bit.


Safety when airbrushing

If you start airbrushing you will need some things to protect yourself, family and pets that could be exposed.  I work mostly with water based mediums but inhaling anything besides air is a no-no.


Airbrush booth

If you prime a bunch of models with airbrush and later find out you have boogers the same color (eww!), you need to protect yourself.  If you are airbrushing inside you need to invest in a spray booth to help catch all those particles.  For water based spraying the booth can vent into the same room.  For solvent based you will want to vent it outside through a window or something.

In room vent


Outside vent



If you work alone and just want something to protect yourself a respirator is another option.  Or you can have a booth and respirator for double protection.  For water based you will only need dust filters.  For solvents you will need organic filters to protect you from fumes.

Organic Respirator (solvent based spraying)

3M 6001PB1-1 Organic Vapor Replacement Cartridge, 1-Pair

Price: $8.99

4.7 out of 5 stars (421 customer reviews)

97 used & new available from $6.99

3M 5P71PB1 6000 Series Particulate Filter P95, 10-Pack

Price: $18.23

4.7 out of 5 stars (358 customer reviews)

45 used & new available from $12.23


Particulate Respirator (water based spraying)