If you have ever painted miniatures, then you will know that this can be a very fiddly job. Miniatures are small, and trying to manage their small size in your hand, while also handling an unruly paintbrush can be very hard.
When things go wrong it can be incredibly frustrating, and it can also be very straining on both your hands and eyes. And even when you put your brush down, and the paint dries, you will often find that a miniature painted with a brush never has a perfect finish.
That’s why a handy tool known as an airbrush can be incredibly useful. Due to their small size, painting a miniature will never be completely effortless, but an airbrush makes it as close to this as possible. But finding the perfect airbrush for the job can be a chore.
There’s no need to worry, however, because we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled this shortlist of the best airbrush for miniatures on the market. So if you want to buy an airbrush to make painting your miniatures easier, then check out this guide to find the one that is right for you.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick airbrush for miniatures is the ZENY Professional Dual-Action Airbrush Set. This airbrush is excellent for so many reasons, one of which being its lightweight design.
This airbrush is designed to be compact and lightweight so that you can use it while painting your miniatures without any unnecessary strain occurring to your hands or arms in the process.
It also makes storing this airbrush away when not in use an easy task. Despite its compact size, this device is extremely precise as it comes with a water filter and a gauge regulator which allows for accurate adjustments and a better finish on your miniature.
With all of this, plus the fact that it comes in a complete airbrush kit, combined, it is clear that this is one of the best airbrushes for miniatures on the market.
- Lightweight Design - compact design also weighs a very small amount which means that using this device will not strain your hands or arms
- Extremely Precise - includes a gauge regulator and water filter which provides precise adjustment so that you can get a perfect finish
- Complete Kit - comes with everything you need to start airbrushing, including a 6ft hose, making it perfect for both beginners and professionals
- No notable drawbacks
We also love the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose Airbrushing Kit. If you search for an airbrush, Master is a company that will pop up again and again, and this is because they are a leading brand in this field.
This specific product by Master is great for miniatures because it is designed with a gravity feed airbrush.
This style of airbrush is the best for fine lines and precise painting, making it the perfect option for painting miniatures.
It also comes with air on demand technology, meaning that this airbrush will automatically switch itself off when not in use, or switch itself back on if you need to increase air pressure.
If this wasn’t enough, it also comes with a built-in holder which allows you to keep your workspace neat and tidy, making this easily one of the best options available.
- Air on Demand - automatically shuts on/off when not in use, allowing you to get between 15-25 PSI on demand
- Gravity Feed Airbrush - enables this device to achieve perfect finish and thin lines, unlike any other airbrush
- Built-in Holder - makes using this device convenient and stress-free, simply put the airbrush in the built-in holder when you are not using it
- No notable drawbacks
Another great option is the Gocheer Dual-Action mini airbrush kit. Just like the last few devices we have looked at, this airbrush is also dual action which makes using it a breeze.
Some types of airbrushes require you to stop to make adjustments to the paint and airflow, but double action airbrushes allow you to do this in real-time.
So with this technology you will be able to get your miniatures painted quicker.
It is also incredibly user-friendly as it has clear and specific instructions for how to control and use this device, making it great for beginners and professionals alike.
If this isn’t good enough, it also comes with all of the equipment that you need to regularly clean your airbrush and keep up the maintenance, so you should definitely consider this option.
- Double Action Design - easily control both air and color with the triggers meaning that you can use this airbrush without needing to stop to make adjustments
- User-Friendly - comes with clear user instructions so that you will master using this device in no time, even if you are a beginner
- Additional Accessories - comes with lots of additional components that will allow you to keep up the maintenance of your airbrush, so it continues to work like new
- Sometimes Clogs - when used with acrylic paint, so make sure you clean it thoroughly between uses
You should also think about the YLINGSU Portable Cordless Airbrush Gun.
This airbrush is great for painting miniatures due to its compact shape as this means you can easily maneuver around the miniature without a bulky airbrush gun getting in the way.
This is made even easier by the fact that this airbrush is cordless, so all you need to do is charge it up before you use it, and you won’t need to worry about cables getting in the way while you paint.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, this airbrush is also insanely comfortable to use due to its ergonomic design. So you should definitely consider this option when buying an airbrush for painting miniatures.
- Compact Shape - makes using this device to paint miniatures easy, no longer will you have to worry about a bulky airbrush getting in the way
- Rechargeable - also means that you don’t need to worry about cables getting in the way that you are painting, simply charge this device up before use
- Comfortable - ergonomic design makes holding this airbrush comfortable and ensures you can use it for long periods without straining
- No instruction manual - can make figuring out how to work this device tricky, especially if you are new to airbrushing
Finally, you should consider the Magdisc Upgraded Cordless Airbrush Kit. This device is very similar to the last model that we looked at due to its cordless design.
But it differs as this airbrush is actually a dual action model which allows you to effortlessly alter paint and air flow in real time.
But the best thing about this specific model is that it has a long operating time, one of the longest out of all the cordless models available.
On a single charge, this airbrush will run for between 1-2 hours which gives you plenty of time to paint your miniatures before you need to recharge it.
So if you need an airbrush to paint miniatures, you should definitely consider this device.
- Long Operating Time - from a single charge, this airbrush can run continuously for 1-2 hours making it great for painting miniatures
- Dual Action Control - allows you to alter paint and air flow without having to stop which makes painting your miniatures less stressful
- Cordless - ensures that you never have to worry about cables getting in the way or touching your miniature before the paint dries
- Quality Equivalent to Price - this is a budget airbrush, so you shouldn’t expect insane results from this device
Best Airbrush for Miniatures Buying Guide
The airbrushes that we have looked at above are some of the best options for painting miniatures, but if you are still unsure, we’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help.
So if you want to find out more about what makes an airbrush good for miniatures before you buy then keep on reading.
Internal vs External Airbrush
First, let’s take a look at the difference between an internal and an external airbrush. If you are new to airbrushing then you may not be certain what these terms mean, so let’s have a look.
Internal vs External airbrushing refers to where the paint is atomized (mixed with air) and it has an impact on the finish of the paint and the final product of your miniature.
Where the paint is mixed with air will also have an impact on the preparation and clean up required for airbrushing, so it is important that you consider this before buying.
In an internal mix airbrush the paint enters the chamber of the airbrush and this is where it is mixed with air. This means that the paint that then comes out of your airbrush is fully atomized, allowing for a more perfect finish which is preferable when painting miniatures. However, as this all happens inside the airbrush it does mean that the cleanup process is a little more fiddly.
Whereas in an external mix airbrush the paint never enters the airbrush, instead it travels down a nozzle and is mixed with air when the air stream exits the nozzle of the airbrush. It is easier to clean up, but the finish of an internal mix airbrush is incomparable with that of an external mix airbrush, especially when painting miniatures.
Types of Airbrush
Next, let’s take a quick look at some different types of airbrush that money can buy. These different types of airbrush can completely alter the experience that you have of painting your miniatures as they are all very different from one another.
This is because different types of airbrush will feed the paint out differently, atomize differently and offer different levels of control. So let’s have a look at some main types of airbrush that you might encounter.
Single Action Airbrush
This is one of the most basic types of airbrush as it allows the paint flow to only be controlled using a trigger, there is no real-time adjustment.
This type of airbrush requires you to stop painting to make any adjustments which can be annoying when you are experienced in airbrushing, but makes it the perfect choice for beginners.
Dual Action Airbrush
This is an airbrush better suited for those with experience as it allows you to adjust both the air and paint flow in real-time.
It can be tricky to master this device, but once you have, it gives you a painting experience unlike any other.
Siphon Feed Airbrush
This type of airbrush is perfect for those who are painting large things, but not so much for painting miniatures.
This is because this style of airbrush can hold a large amount of paint below the mixing chamber, providing endless amounts of paint for large jobs, but making small jobs difficult.
Gravity Feed Airbrush
When painting miniatures, you are much more likely to use a gravity feed airbrush as they are designed for painting details and fine lines.
These airbrushes provide less air pressure but are excellent for working with small and fiddly objects, like miniatures.
Accessories and Parts
Finally, let’s take a brief look at the different accessories and parts that often come with an airbrush. No matter how much you pay for an airbrush, unless it comes with the correct accessories and parts the airbrush is worthless, so it is important that you consider these when buying.
So let’s have a look at the main things you need to bear in mind when buying.
This component affects the spray pattern of your airbrush and the finished effect. The shorter the nozzle, generally the wider the pattern will be (and the more area it will cover).
Whereas longer nozzles tend to produce thinner and more narrow paint lines. Both nozzles will come in handy, but depending on the type of job you are working on, one might be better suited than the other.
This component is also closely linked to the nozzles that you use with your airbrush and because of this they both have a similar effect on how your airbrush operates.
Airbrush needles have a huge effect on how fine or how wide the lines produced by the airbrush will be, so choosing the right one for the job is vital.
Both wide and narrow needles have their benefits, but generally it is a good idea to have both types in your airbrushing kit so that you can complete a wide variety of paint jobs.
Finally, there are some other components that you need to consider when buying an airbrush. If you buy an airbrush kit, rather than an independent airbrush, then you will generally get most of these in the kit.
These accessories include airbrush cleaner brushes, an airbrush cleaner, moisture traps, hoses, connectors and fittings, and other pieces of equipment that can be used to repair minor damage to your airbrush.
All of these parts are essential for the maintenance and upkeep of your airbrush, so it is a good idea to buy them if they have not come as part of your kit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an airbrush worth it for miniature painting?
Yes, an airbrush is definitely worth it when it comes to painting miniatures. You can use a paint brush to paint your miniatures, but this can be a very fiddly job, and you will often find that the paint finish isn’t that great.
It is generally quicker to use an airbrush, and it will also allow you to get a more even finish across the surface of your miniature than you would when using a paint brush. So if you want to reduce the time it takes to paint your miniatures, then an airbrush is definitely worth it.
Can you use any air compressor for airbrushing?
Generally speaking, yes, you can use any air compressor for airbrushing. Air compressors come in a wide range of sizes, and depending on the type of job that you are doing, and the airbrush that you are using, different types might be better suited.
But on a basic level, any air compressor can be used with an airbrush as long as it is able to provide enough power to allow the airbrush to run. So yes, you can use any air compressor when airbrushing, but it is best to try and find one that is compatible with your airbrush.
What PSI should I use for airbrushing?
For the best results with your airbrush, you should aim to use the lowest pressure possible without it impacting the smoothness of your paint flow. Generally, this will be between 10-25 PSI depending on the type of air compressor and airbrush that you are using.
This way you will be able to get a steady, solid flow of paint flowing through the airbrush without it coming out too fast, or not having enough time to atomize properly. So ideally, aim for a PSI between 10-25 when you are using your airbrush to paint miniatures, the lower, the better.