So now you have an understanding of the types of airbrushes from the last post, its time to think about how you are going to get it to work.
Usually, an airbrush is operated with a compressor that helps to give a more stable output. Special airbrush compressors are available for this purpose, which are equipped with an air pressure regulator, pressure gauge, moisture trap, and sometimes also with an air tank. The great thing about the air tank is that it helps stabilise the airflow, and once full can reduce the run time of the compressor as you work.
Some model builders use a compressed air bottle to operate their airbrush guns. This is possible, but also less economical, as these bottles are quite expensive and empty quickly. The cost of buying a compressor is often recovered within a few models you have worked on.
How does it work?
A stream of air passes through the paint inside the gun, and the atomized paint then passes through the nozzle to the outside. The brushes differ in the placement of the paint cup and the possibilities of regulating the air and paint volume.
In both double action and single action, the airflow is regulated by a lever, operated with the finger. The lever in the Double Action version has a two-fold function (hence Double Action): Pressing the lever adjusts the air volume and pulling it adjusts the amount of paint.
I use a compressor with a tank as I have a couple of brushes always connected and setup on quick release units, as this helps me change brushes as I work. The main reason for having a couple of brushes attached is that I use one brush for hot paints such as enamels, and a cold brush for acrylics (water based paints). I will go into paints in more detail in another post.
So at the end of the day you need to think about how much you plan to use your airbrush, and will it fit within your budget? I would say you get what you pay for, so if you can afford it try to go for a good quality airbrush and compressor, it will save you time, and last for years with a little care on a regular basis.