Starting Airbrushing: The Setup

Within the last few weeks I’ve started to get into airbrushing. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and with so many Space Marine bikes to paint I thought now would be a great time to do so as I can save myself a lot of time when it comes to my basecoating. In this blog post I’m going to share with you guys which airbrush I went for and my first few experiences using it.

After doing a lot of research online and watching several Youtube videos on starting airbrushing for beginners on a budget the KMS Airbrush Kit AS186 kept coming up. At less than £80 for a complete airbrush kit with compressor and two airbrushes seemed like a bargain and I must say after using it a few times it really is! Sure it might not be the best compressor on the market and I may purchase a different gravity fed airbrush in the future but for it’s price and as a beginner I highly recommend it.


I’m still learning to get the paint consistency to the correct level. Sometimes I’ve thinned it too much which has resulted in the airbrush pushing paint around the model. You certainly need the paint to be milky rather than watery. Citadel paints really are a pain to work with. If you’re not using paints in dropper bottles then you’re going to find it a chore to mix in the airbrush cup. It’s not a major issue but Citadel paints require more thinning and dropper bottle paints such as those in the Vallejo range are much easier to work with. For my basecoating I switched to using a Vallejo grey paint. I’ve since ordered Badger’s Minitaire range so I’m really looking forward to using those. Below are a couple of images from bikes and riders that I’ve basecoated grey. I recommend practicing to get a feel for airbrush on some card before going straight to your miniatures.

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I’ve also basecoated some of my Pre Heresy Imperial Fists although I found the Citadel Base paint quite a challenge to work with and a few coats were required which defeated the object of using that particular paint due to the requirement to thin it so much but the results are still pretty good. I also basecoated a land raider which I was really happy with compared to a brush. I’ll certainly be using the airbrush to basecoat all my vehicles in the future.

Now that I feel more comfortable with using the airbrush I have tried to do some more advanced techniques. So far I’ve only tried a couple of power swords. They may not look amazing but the speed in which I achieved this effect with the airbrush compared to what it would have taken with a brush was very impressive.

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In the next post of this series I will look into some of the accessories I’ve bought such as cleaners and thinners.

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