Airbrushing is a great way to give your miniatures and models that extra personality and style.
Whether you’re working with your D&D or other miniatures, a scale model airplane or tank, or any other item, airbrushing is an efficient and excellent method to give a look that will bring an extra bit of pizazz to your collectibles.
How much does airbrushing cost? The cost of an entry-level airbrush kit is around $60-$90. A mid-range airbrush will run about $80, but you’ll also need a compressor, which may cost about $100. For high-end quality, prepare to spend about $250 for the airbrush itself and an additional $275 for a compressor.
When it comes to money, the numbers can get scary. Remember that you don’t have to start out with the best equipment.
Take some time and find out if you enjoy it. Start small and work your way up. With that being said, let’s break it down even more.
- Airbrush Equipment: Average Pricing
- Airbrushing Costs
- Accessories To Consider
- Related Questions:
- Ready, Set, Airbrush!
Airbrush Equipment: Average Pricing
|Airbrush Cleaning Kit||$20|
Now that we’ve covered the basics, I’m going to break down each equipment type and their costs.
There are a lot of different supplies and accessories involved with airbrushing, and I’m going to outline the costs for all so you can make the best decisions for you!
The airbrush is going to be the most crucial tool for you in your airbrushing adventures.
After all, it is the tool that’s going to allow you to paint your miniatures and scale models to your exact specifications.
It all depends on what you’re going to be doing and what kind of product you’re looking to show off.
Average Cost: $111
Just keep in mind that as with a lot of things in life, a lower price does mean some sacrifices in the quality of the finished product.
The compressor is the next part of the process to get that paint flowing through the brush. I’m not going to recommend a low-end price model.
They just don’t give the airflow or length of use that would be required to complete projects.
There are two models I’ll mention here. The mid-level X-DOVET Dual Pressure Compressor System Kit for about $80.
I recommend the IWATA-Medea Studio Series Sprint Jet Air Compressor for around $200.
Average Cost: $117
Adaptors are what connects the hose to the compressor. The compressor usually has a ⅛ or ¼ connector so it may be beneficial to buy the set.
The 15-piece set does include a quick disconnect, which we will touch on later.
Average Cost: $12
Now for my personal favorite, the paint! So many colors to choose and even more combinations! Most paints come in sets, so it’s a great way to start!
For the big spenders, there is always The Army Painter – Warpaints Airbrush Complete Set for around $375.
Average Cost: $198
There are additional items, think of them as ingredients, to create a successful airbrushed product. We are going to talk about a few here.
Paint thinner is necessary to get your paint liquified enough to transfer through the airbrush onto the miniature, model, canvas, or whatever you’re painting.
The Vallejo Airbrush Thinner costs $15-$20 and is the one I absolutely recommend.
Average Cost: $15
Varnish is another product worth considering to protect all your hard work! It acts as a layer of protection over the paint.
Keep in mind this does depend on the look you want your finished product to have.
Average Cost: $16
One more item to consider is the flow improver. This reduces clogs and keeps the paint from drying on the needle.
Average Cost: $15
With airbrushing, you’ll want to set aside a space that is dedicated to the activity. There are some items that would be beneficial to have.
Your spray booth is crucial to your project. It can add some light, and most have a fan to help filter out the paint overspray and fumes that come from the air brush.
You can purchase a Portable Paint Tent for around $30, but it’s not going to do much other than block out light and keep paint from going all over the place.
The Master Airbrush Spray Booth will cost you somewhere around $165. It included lights and the fan to filter out leftover paint dust, and it is portable!
If you’re looking for a booth that will allow two projects to be worked on at once, the Master Airbrush Brand Dual Unit Spray Booth can be yours for approximately $300.
Average Cost: $165
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A desk or work table would be nice to place your spray booth and materials for the product. The CubiCubi study desk could be a great starting point.
It runs at multiple sizes. The smallest and cheapest 32-inch will cost around $70, and the mid-range 47-inch and the 63-inch cost approximately $90 and $140 respectively.
Average Cost: $100
Next up, shelves! You need some space to store your products while they dry where they won’t be disturbed.
One other component that could add to your airbrushing would be a lamp. This will add more light to your project space and increase accuracy.
The Neatfi XL will cost you $110 approximately.
Average Cost: $75
So you’re finishing up with your most recent scale model? Well, now is the time to start cleaning up.
You’ll want to clean the airbrush and make sure it’s empty of paint so nothing clogs or gets dried.
What do you clean it with? There are a few items.
First you’ll need the airbrush cleaner. The Evo Dyne Airbrush Cleaner is the least expensive at around $12.
Average Cost: $14
The next item is pipe brushes to really get in there and get your tool nice and clean. Here are two options.
Average Cost: $11
One more thing you’ll need for cleaning is a cleaning pot. These are useful for all the cleaning spray. Instead of it going everywhere, simply place it in the cleaning pot to collect the spray.
Average Cost: $22
Accessories To Consider
As with any hobby, there are some other accessories worth considering. Some of them may not be something you’re looking for right away, but they are worth knowing about for the future
- Master Airbrush Hose Splitter (around $8) – a low cost option for a two way splitter.
- ABEST Airbrush 3-way Splitter (around $13) – this is a 3-way splitter for those looking to do more.
Average Cost: $11
A quick disconnect allows for the hose to be disconnected and also shut off the air supply.
Average Cost: $14
Cleaning Kit With Holder
These are great because they come with both the cleaning pot and the pipe cleaners.
Average Cost: $17
The airbrushing process leaves fumes and excess paint in the air, so you definitely want to protect yourself!
Average Cost: $30
Can You Make Money Airbrushing?
Yes! There are tons of ways to make money from airbrushing. You can sell your creations in online stores and take on commission orders.
With all the box games and others that include miniatures, there is a huge market.
How Much Do Airbrush Artists Make?
This is a hard question to answer. As you’ll be naming your price when you start your business, you’ll have to come up with a proper fee.
Charging for materials, assembly time, AND the time you spent painting is a great way to cover all bases and make sure you are getting paid the proper amount for all your hard work.
Ready, Set, Airbrush!
There you have it. We covered quite a bit in a short amount of time, but now you have all the necessary information to get started in your airbrushing adventure.
Airbrushing is an immensely rewarding venture, whether you are starting a business or painting for yourself.
You have all the tools available. Take advantage of them and get going!