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Gravity fed or Siphon fed airbrush?

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Post by Mary Gonzalez on Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:18 am

I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong section  silent 


So now for the question...for any airbrush painters out there, what kind do you prefer? Gravity fed or siphon fed? We're starting airbrush projects in my stage makeup class (full body) and I have no idea which airbrush to use (although I really should have done this waaaay sooner).

I bought the Badger Patriot 105 airbrush because I thought it was the right one...then I noticed my professor had a siphon fed. She said the gravity fed would be fine, but I would be having to constantly refill it.

As far as your personal preference, which is better? Because I'm thinking about returning it and getting the Badger Anthem 155  Neutral 
Mary Gonzalez
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Post by fesspenter on Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:47 am

Dear Mary Gonzalez:
Before you invest in another airbrush, try your instructor's siphon feed first. Painting and airbrushing are deeply personal, and what may work for me, may not work for others. Everyone will give you a different answer.
I use a top-mount gravity-feed, double action Iwata Eclipse. I felt the weight of the bottom-mount siphon feed was too much. I do not find the cup too small to do a whole body, as I can easily tip more body paint into the cup quickly.

Happy Painting!
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Post by TheGildedCat on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:51 pm

If it's in your budget, I recommend one of each. Each have pros and cons. I like the top feed feel and it's easier to keep from clogging, but like how easy it is to swap colors with the bottom feed without having to pour out or use up all the paint in the cup first.
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Post by Mary Gonzalez on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:11 pm

So I went to Michaels to trade the Patriot 105 for the Anthem (siphon) and I was very disappointed. When I checked the airbrush at home it wasn't even the right one (looks like someone returned the box with a different airbrush and the workers didn't check it) and the needle was broken and dirty. Traded it back for the Patriot, but I passed by a hardware store. I found an AMAZING deal of a compressor and siphon fed airbrush (the same one that was in the Anthem box. Hmm mm fishy?) for $107 Smile

Thanks ladies! Smile
Mary Gonzalez
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Post by Forest-Fairy on Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:24 am

ohh ohh! I got this!

When I went to makeup school I got to try out all kinds of air brushes. The one that came with our kit (while generous of the school to give us) kind sucked. It was an Iwatta Neo... which isn't really an iwatta, it's like a branch of series... Anway! it was gravity fed, had so many parts, had to refill all the time, hard to clean so you couldn't switch colors easily, and fragile. Also I like to move my arms a lot when I paint and god help me if I forget to put the cap back on the top after refilling. More then once I have had paint dripping down my arm. Other gravity few brushes were all pretty much the same story. Also they tended to clog.... a lot. When you are at home painting biker helmets, or other art projects, a clog is an inconvenience, but when you are trying to body paint, it's a TIME VAMPIRE.

I had a body painting show coming up and I knew I needed something that could paint FASTER, and better. So my research began.

After countless reviews and articles, I finally found one I liked - well two actually. One for FAST base coverage and the other for controlled detail.

I got them from the same company I got my airbrush compressor from. www.chicagoairbrushsupply.com

My partner and I got this puppy back when it was new but still on sale for about $600, we wanted something that could run 2 brushes since there were two of us. Also it's like pet luggage, and completely self contained with storage too! and WAY quieter then other compressors I have seen, with obviously a much higher capacity. Yes this thing is the Rolls Royce of compressors and we LOVE it to bits. Iwatta compressors are generally the best imo.

The only thing that still sucked was our school issued airbrushes - and I wish I replaced them sooner.

BEHOLD! After all my research looking for the best airbrushes for body painting I found these.

My Base and large surface area Coverage Airbrush

My Detail Brush

Well actually no, that's a lie. I called up the 800 number for the company to ask about their Badger brand airbrushes and spoke with a rep who really knew his stuff, who showed me the Paache brand. This guy really new his stuff, and even though the Badger were more expensive he suggested for my line of fast paced work to go with Paache. After getting the real goods on the features I went for the Paache brand and got the packages/box sets so I also got new hoses and the proper fitting for the our compressor. Also on sale, this website LOVES it's sales. ^.^

And the result....

WORKS LIKE A DREAM!!! My god how did i live without these?

~ They are super simple to assemble and disassemble
~ Cleaning is SO easy and no longer a chore, unlike with gravity fed
~ The single action for doing the base gets mega coverage and SO fast and easy (and easiest to clean)
~ We have never had a clog with them... it's been near a year using them.
~ TOO easy to switch colors unlike with gravity fed.
~ doesn't spill into my lap when moving around
~ comes with a quick refill siphon cup

The list of pros just goes on and on really. I never want to use gravity fed again after using a good quality siphon brush.

Verdict (IMO): Go with Siphon fed.
Forest-Fairy
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Post by Forest-Fairy on Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:34 am

P.S. Deals and sales are great, but the hardware store brushes are not the greatest and are usually clunky single action. You don't have to spend a lot but if you want something you can take in public and not have your compressor over power an events sound system, and an airbrush you can work fast with, you don't want to cheap out. :/
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Post by Amy M on Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:02 pm

I love to use my airbrush and have both types. For me it depends on the job I am doing to pick the right airbrush. Sometimes the siphon feed feels to heavy when doing small detailed work on the face so I use gravity feed. On larger body work usually use the the siphon. If possible I say both are a great investment. Also, chicago airbrush supply is the best I have found on pricing, great sales and super fast shipping!!
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Post by artyfacesbyluz on Mon May 05, 2014 8:39 pm

Forest-Fairy wrote:P.S. Deals and sales are great, but the hardware store brushes are not the greatest and are usually clunky single action. You don't have to spend a lot but if you want something you can take in public and not have your compressor over power an events sound system, and an airbrush you can work fast with, you don't want to cheap out. :/

Thank you for the advice, I just got them today, I will play with them tomorrow.
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Post by SewDarnHot on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:17 am

ok - I know this is an old post but I was wondering about the gravity feed. My husband found me a kit from someone at his work that got a kit with her beauty college and then she didnt go. so she has a full kit, new in box. I think he is paying $100 for it.
I plan on using it for face paint stencils and temp tattoos only - not a full body artist. so... If it has the gravity feed then how much paint should i put in so i do not waste much if i want to switch out colors - or should I get the siphon type for switching colors.?
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Post by Forest-Fairy on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:30 am

I have tried both, i still prefer siphon feed.
-Easier to clean
-easier to switch colors
-less spill risk
-don't have to constantly refill

also you can get a full Paasche brush kit on for like $69.99 here

I can't recommend this brush more.

Don't over spend for some crummy shop brush, get the good stuff, and for less too!
Forest-Fairy
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Post by Forest-Fairy on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:33 am

P.S. I bet my first born that the brush that beauty student has in an iwata. They are decent brushes but have MANY little parts, and are a pain to clean.

The Paasche 's I have are WAY easier to take apart to clean.
Forest-Fairy
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Post by SewDarnHot on Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:47 am

Thank you so much! I explained things (a bit) to hubby and he said he will see what it look like tomorrow.
I feel bad because he was all excited and was like wow - what a coincidence and all. I was thinking since I will be doing more small usage the changes are easier with the siphon and then a small compressor like the portable rechargable ones with a backup battery. That way I don't need to worry about being in the middle of a park with no electric.
Gonna check out the link now!
SewDarnHot
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Post by Sweet Loretta on Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:51 pm

Siphon/bottom feed.

You're here which means you want to do face and body art perhaps among other makeup techniques. The siphon brush will do more and take you further. A gravity/top feed brush is great and you may want one or more in your kit. You may gravitate towards those brushes ..who knows. To start go bottom feed for verasitility.
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Post by Greybeard on Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:02 pm

Ok, I'm new to the forum, I have been lurking in the background for weeks. I have 3 airbrushes 2 gravity feed and 1 siphon feed. Do you have a problem with Clogging using alcohol based paints using gravity feed brushes?
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Post by fesspenter on Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:15 am

Dear Greybeard:
Welcome to the Forum!
Come on over and introduce yourself in the "Introductions" thread!

I have only had a problem with acrylic paint in art college.  and Wolfe airline caused a huge snotty clot inside my airbrush gun.. I use a hybrid, now, and I love ProAiir.  I was suspicious of them because they used too many "iii"s.  I was wrong.  ProAiir is excellent.

Happy Painting!
fesspenter
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Post by Greybeard on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:20 am

I was applying the ProAiir Hybrid to my granddaughter for Halloween. It seamed after a couple of color changes I had to break the gravity feed Airbrush down to clean (clogged). I will probably be purchasing the Paasche set mentioned above. I tried the Siphon Feed airbrush but made a mess when trying to change colors (wasting too much of the expensive paint) I don't use that much ink doing tattoos. and the Ink costs about the same.
First attempt at face painting:http://lane-photography.smugmug.com/photos/i-9HVH9sP/0/M/i-9HVH9sP-M.jpg
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Post by Greybeard on Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:34 am

For those people who Use the multiple siphon feed set up, how many Brushes do you set up? and if only a few what are your most used colors? Thank You in advance. I'm trying to figure out how many brushes I need to do this right (Shush don't tell my wife I need to spend more money LOL) scratch
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