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 Air Compressor Advice
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Author Previous Topic: Juneco 75 foot deck Bridge Topic Next Topic: SierraWest - Main Street Warehouse #206 Upscaled  


Posted - 02/20/2021 :  6:06:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Y'all,

UHHH! Seems my Jurassic-era Craftsman compressor has done gone and bit the dust, plus it's leakin' oil like a rusty flivver. So I'd be obliged for Y'all's advice on a replacement.

Now, I don't do that much airbrushing anymore, just the occasional rolling stock, structure, etc., so I don't need a big, fancy unit. 'Sides, Ah jes' cain't be a luggin' around a 40 lb. behemoth anymore.

So, basically, I'd like something that's: a. small & compact (for my small and compact train room), b. reasonably quiet (so I don't P.O. the Missus), c. lightweight (so's I don't kill my back), d. adjustable pressure, e. oil less, and, hopefully, e. under $200. Oh yeah, and it should be suitable for today's hobby paints.

I've been searching all of the usual online sources and I keep coming back to the Micro Mark Whisper Air Compressor. https://www.micromark.com/Whisper-Air-Compressor It certainly seems to meet the criteria, but I can't find any reviews. If Y'all have any experience with or info on the Whisper unit, or another model that meets the criteria, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

Catch, Y'all later.


Country: USA | Posts: 2455


Premium Member

Posted - 02/20/2021 :  7:45:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a Scorpion II. It's reliable and quiet. This is a bit more than your $200 price point: https://www.artistsupplysource.com/product/39118/silentaire-scorpion-ii-w-ultra-quiet-airbrush-compressor-portable-air-compressor/


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8831 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 02/20/2021 :  9:00:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I use an Iwata Ninja compressor. It does well for my light airbrush use. https://www.iwata-airbrush.com/ninja-jet-mini-compressor.html Saved a bunch at Hobby Lobby using their 40% off coupon. It is relatively quiet.

Harbor Freight just advertised a pair of small compressors just this last few days that may work as well. https://www.harborfreight.com/3-gallon-13-hp-110-psi-oil-free-hotdog-air-compressor-57572.html?_br_psugg_q=air+compressor

I have a similar one I bought from Menards that I used but it was noisy-ish.

An inline water trap is essential for most any compressor-airbrush setup.

Mega Dittos

Karl Scribner
Manistique, Michigan

Edited by - k9wrangler on 02/20/2021 9:11:25 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 11893 Go to Top of Page

Glen Haasdyk

Posted - 02/20/2021 :  10:16:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I picked up a 1/5hp compressor a few years ago from a ebay dealer for 65$. Unfortunately I can't seem to find the unit anymore but others are similar. Just make sure you have the correct hose fitting adapter. I ended up having to order one after I got the compressor and that put projects on hold for an extra couple of weeks.

Country: Canada | Posts: 2513 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/21/2021 :  08:59:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Additional thought: I have probably 8 or 9 airbrushes in my drawer, from cheap to expensive. I think it's best to spend the $ on a good compressor, because problems with the compressor will make any airbrush perform poorly. And a loud compressor just wears on you over time.

I have 2 water traps. One is the main-line combination of water trap and pressure gauge/adjustment (I got that at Lowes.) The second one is attached to the airbrush.


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8831 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 02/21/2021 :  10:39:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I bought a regulator and an adapter fitting for my Paasche airbrush 25 years ago, to use with commercial nitrogen cylinders from the welding supply store. Quiet as can be and no moisture at all. Still works fine, though the cost of a refill is up to $40.

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Premium Member

Posted - 02/21/2021 :  10:51:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've used one of these for years, a little more powerful than the Iwata's which a friend of mine has, and we used the Paasche in lieu of on his layout. This looks like Horizon Hobbies is the actual seller.



Looks like the "New Version" at twice the power and better regulator would be worth the extra 11 bucks.


Take the red pill

Edited by - BurleyJim on 02/21/2021 10:33:10 PM

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