I finally broke down and purchased a new airbrush compressor. I bought a 1/2 HP Pro Silent Air Compressor with integrated 2 liter tank.
This is a silent tank compressor, which should greatly improve airbrushing vs. the tankless old compressor I have currently. Besides it being pretty much as the name suggests, silent, once the tank is brought up to pressure which is a vast improvement over the noise of the constantly running compressor I currently have. But more importantly it will also allow a much greater control and even amount of airflow since the 2 liter tank keeps the air pressure at a much more even and consistent level.
This was the compressor that Frank Artale talks about, whose YouTube channel is extremely helpful in getting some honest appraisal and advice about various airbrushes on the market. His videos are a great resource for those looking at various airbrushes.
I actually spoke with him by phone this afternoon for 45 mins. on some advice about finally upgrading from my current Olympos HP-18B single-action airbrush to a dual-action airbrush. I was looking at the Olympos Micron airbrush he compares favorably to most of the Iwata and Harder & Steenbeck airbrushes.
He has a great price on the Micron airbrush from Olympos, but given the type of airbrushing I am doing, he recommend I might be happier going with the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS airbrush, which is more accommodating to pigment sizes and types, and can lay down a wider and more even spray than the Micron does, since I would not be doing much (if any) freehand fine line-work with the airbrush since 99.9% is all put down after masking with tape, friskets, etc.
While Frank doesn’t sell the Iwata, his recommending it vs. the Olympos Micron which he does sell, only underscores his coming across as an honest broker who wants people to have the right tools for their needs. That that he is not in it to cash in so much as to help other airbrush artists.
The down side is the Iwata Eclipse is a bit more pricey than the great price Frank was offering the Olympos Micron at. Though only about $45 more from multiple sellers on eBay than the fantastic price Frank has the Micron going for privately. While it may be a bit of money, I may get both.
This would, along with my existing single-action Olympos, give me a good range of utility. I can still use my single-action airbrush to applying even dull-coats and top-coats, etc. And having both the Micron and the Eclipse would not only allow having two colors loaded up (one in each brush) which can be help in applying some of pearlescent shimmer layers in the 5-color aztec patterns on the Enterprise build, but in some of the other areas as well.
With all the possible new airbrush equipment, I am also looking to get a few of the quick release air hose couplers for the airbrushes, to allow super-easy and quick swap out of brushes and connecting them to the air hose.
I am also looking to pick up an airbrush stand to allow these gravity-feed brushes to be set down without spilling. There are some good stands, some complete with mount to attach to a regulator holder and some with swivel mounts for $15 on eBay.
So when all is said and done, I should be squared away for airbrush equipment for life.