I currently live in a 12th floor 2 bedroom apartment. I don’t do a lot of airbrush work, but when I do, my paintbooth is our balcony, 12 stories up in the air. This poses a lot of problems, climate control and dust to name a couple. Another, is noise, or more apropriately, making noise and not doing things to make it and disturb your neighbours unecessarily, at least this is something I believe in.
Not the prettiest paint booth in the world, but it gets the job done of allowing me to quickly setup and tear down on or 12th floor balcony for airbrushing and spray painting.
For years it has been part of the reason I have never bought an airbrush compressor. The airbrush I have, a Badger Universal 360 can be used with canned air sold by Badger. This has, until now been readily available at Michael’s Arts and Craft Stores, with the added bonus that they almost always have a 40 ot 50% off one item coupon happening. As of this week, I’ve been told that the Badger Propel is discontinued, whether by the Manufacturer or the store was unclear from the very helpful clerk who looked into the matter for me.
Badger Propel cans. Perfect for airbrushing a few small projects, and super quiet on the balcony (image courtesy Badger Air Brush).
I don’t for a second believe that I own the best airbrush out there, but what I do believe in is knowing your tools. I have had this airbrush since around 2009, and I know its quirks and tendancies, and like to think i’m half way decent painting with it. I also know, that I can go out on the balcony at 7am on a weekend and beat the worst sun and humidity using the canned air and not make noise and disturb my neighbours. This can be a godsend in extending the spring and fall seasons in Toronto where it isn’t too humid all the time to try and paint outside. It also makes packing up and going to my winter paint shop easier than lugging a compressor.
Where am I going with this? That I am in the middle of several projects, all of which need airbrusing to complete, and my can of Propel is running down, nowhere near enough to finish one, never mind several projects. As it now seems I cannot get the Propel, I am in a bit of a hurry to finally get a compressor so I can learn how to airbrush with a more constant air supply. The problem is, while over the years I could easily have bought a top end compressor with the couple of hundred dollars I’ve spent on propel, spreading out the cost is a lot less painfull, now I find myself needing to make a decent sized outlay to get back to work on projects.
My inital thought for a starter compressor is one that my brother-in-law recommended. He uses is to make custom fishing lures that he sells by the pile. I’ve seen it in action, and its not crazy noisy. It also hits my cheapness price point for a rush purchase at around $100 on Amazon. Much like my airbrush, I don’t think its going to be the best out there, but at the moment, it looks to be the immediate solution to a problem to let me get back at painting.
Airbrush Compressor on Amazon, has all the key pieces at least with a presure regulator and moisture trap (Image from Amazon listing).
It’s yet another lesson in the bizzare cheapness of people in this hobby (as I know I’m not the only one whose lamented this). We’ll happily spend hundreds of dollars on a locomotive or something else, but won’t spend money on the tools to let us do a project right. Sigh, back to trying to figure out if there are any other options for an emergency supply of Propel in the Greater Toronto Area, before I inevitably order a compressor tonight so that I can hopefully be back up and painting by next week.