When I first started learning about painting 3D prints and miniatures, it took me a while to become aware of the best options around for finishing models.
Apart from using spray paints and acrylics, I found out that you can also use an airbrush to finish 3D prints with great detail and top-notch color blending.
This is easier said than done because not all airbrushes or paints available for purchase can offer you high quality on a reliable basis.
Therefore, I decided to put together a guide of the best airbrushes and paints for 3D prints and miniatures to help you get started with airbrush painting and make your models look flat-out amazing.
Best Airbrush for 3D Prints & Miniatures
The Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual is a complete airbrush kit that you can get from Amazon which sets you up with everything you need to start painting your 3D prints and models with precision and quality.
The following items are included in this kit:
- Master TC-320 Compressor
- Master Airbrush Model MAS G22
- Master Airbrush Model MAS G25
- Master Airbrush Model MAS E91
- Airbrush Cleaning Brush Set
- Compressor Mounted Airbrush Holder
- Airbrush Color Chart (How-To Guide)
- 6 Feet Air Hose
- 6-Bottle Primary Opaque Color Set (1oz Each)
As you can see, this kit has everything you need to get started with painting 3D prints and models. This is a reason why the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual is called the best beginner airbrush kit for miniatures, which is priced around $150.
For someone who has no experience with airbrushes and compressors, this kit is fairly easy to put together with the help of clear instructions in the included how-to guide.
At the time of writing, the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual has been received well on Amazon with a 4.7/5.0 overall rating where 79% of the customers have left a 5-star review.
One person says that he has tried out multiple high-end airbrush brands in their 3D printing experience, so they were quite doubtful about the quality of the included airbrushes in this kit.
To their surprise, the Master Airbrush Model MAS G22, G25, and the E91 are all high-quality airbrushes that are user-friendly and simply on par with the products of premium manufacturers like Badger and Iwata.
The Master TC-320 Compressor also boasts sufficient quality and has a low-decibel operation. This means that it can be used when other people are sleeping in the house as well.
One user recommends using nothing else than the included cleaning brushes to clean the nozzle of the airbrush. They tried using something else and broke the brass threads inside.
Another experienced customer said that they were able to get into painting their 3D prints very quickly and easily with this setup. It’s definitely a worthy package if you’re looking for a whole airbrush kit that includes many items such as three high-quality airbrushes.
This specific airbrush kit is also featured in the following video by The 3D Print General, so do give it a watch if you want to see it in action.
Get yourself the Master Airbrush Cool Runner II Dual directly on Amazon today.
Another high-quality product that gets the job done nicely is the Iwata-Medea Revolution CR Dual Action Airbrush. It costs about $100 and packs great value for money as hundreds of customers have said in their reviews.
The Iwata-Medea Dual Action airbrush is considered one of the best airbrushes for miniatures because of its ergonomic handle design and smooth trigger mechanism.
It comes from a well-established brand that’s popular in the 3D printing community for its wide variety of high-performance airbrushes and airbrush compressor kits, so you’re definitely making the right choice with this product.
At the time of writing, the Iwata-Medea Dual Action airbrush enjoys a great reputation on Amazon with a 4.8/5.0 overall rating. Moreover, 87% of the people who bought it have left a 5-star review.
One experienced airbrush user says that many airbrushes in this price range come with inconsistent airflow and uncontrollable thick sprays of paint, but the Iwata-Medea Dual Action airbrush is nothing like those.
The customer says that they received the product fast with good packaging and they were quickly able to start painting their 3D printed objects because of the ease of use of this airbrush.
Another person says that you can use different thicknesses and air pressures, depending on your requirements, and spray paint your miniatures however you like. Rest assured as the quality will be just fantastic with this airbrush.
One user who had tried other airbrushes unsuccessfully read up on reviews about this particular model and was astonished by the difference in quality.
The Iwata-Medea Dual Action airbrush can also be used for painting your model railroad objects, as a reviewer has mentioned.
The price of this product is fairly reasonable. It’s easy to clean and even easier to work with and is a highly recommended option for 3D prints and miniatures.
Check out the Iwata-Medea Revolution CR Dual Action on Amazon for airbrushing your 3D prints today.
The Master Airbrush Model G79 is a competitively priced product that comes with multiple features to help you achieve high-quality paints on a consistent basis. It costs about $70, so fairly budget-friendly for what it’s worth.
This airbrush features unique self-centering drop-in nozzles and three screw-on gravity fluid cups: 1/16, 1/6 & 1/2oz. Therefore, it is very versatile that can be used for 3D prints, miniatures, crafts, nail arts, and even temporary tattoos.
Since you get three different tip sizes with the product, you can switch between fine detail, general detail, and wide spray patterns easily. This makes the airbrush fairly all-purpose.
At the time of writing, the Master Airbrush Model G79 boasts a 4.5/5.0 overall rating on Amazon. In addition, 72% of the customers who bought it have left a 5-star review.
One user writes that the ergonomic trigger action of this airbrush is smooth and reliable and that the 0.5mm fluid tip works great for miniatures.
In addition, the paint travels nicely as well, so you won’t get big blobs of paint coming out of the tip. You can comfortably use this airbrush on low, medium, and high viscosity materials and not just 3D printed objects.
Another customer says that they’ve been able to finish several projects quickly with this airbrush as compared to their previous devices. The Master Airbrush G79 is easy to clean and works just as intended.
A user of this airbrush who also owns the Iwata-Medea Dual Action airbrush says that this one performs better with acrylic paints and you get the added benefit of spraying in wide patterns, which is more suitable for large 3D prints.
For the price, this product is one of the best airbrushes for 3D printed models. It gives you features that many other higher-priced airbrushes do not, so you should definitely opt for it if you’re on a budget but still want high-quality paints.
You can find the Master Airbrush Model G79 directly from Amazon today as a cheaper airbrush option to paint your models.
Best Airbrush Paints for 3D Prints & Miniatures
The TIMBERTECH Professional Airbrush Paint is the product of choice for thousands of 3D printer users around the world. It is a set of 12 water-based acrylic paint bottles that are each 30ml in quantity.
The whole paint bottle set costs about $25, so it’s very nicely priced for consumers and 3D printing enthusiasts who are looking to paint their models with great finishing.
The following colors are included:
- Lemon (Yellow)
- Scarlet Red (Red)
- Lime (Green)
- Ultra-Marine Blue (Blue)
- Burnt Umber (Brown)
- Titanium White (White)
- Mars Black (Black)
- Neutral Gray
- Middle Green
Therefore, you get a lot of variety with this set of acrylic bottles. The colors look sharp, punchy, full of life, and are also gluten-free, so you can buy these paints with full confidence if you have a little one at home.
At the time of writing this article, the TIMBERTECH Professional Airbrush Paint has a 4.5/5.0 overall rating with 70% of the customers leaving a 5-star review lauded with praise.
One customer admires that you can use these paints with any airbrush. Another user says that they regularly use this product to paint their 3D printed miniatures and figures, and the results are just awesome.
Many people who use these paints say that the colors are easy to clean and that the pigment clarity is remarkable. One user recommends applying two coatings of paint when using this product to get the best results.
Apart from 3D prints and miniatures, you can also use these paints on paper, canvas, wood, fabric, leather, plastics, metallic, and ceramic surfaces and give them a professional look.
Several people worry about the durability of acrylic paints, but a customer who put this product to the test by painting a mechanical 3D print says that the TIMBERTECH Professional Airbrush Paint is fairly tough and resistant.
Get yourself the TIMBERTECH Professional Airbrush Paint Set directly from Amazon today.
The Vallejo Acrylic 16 Airbrush Paint Set is a premium option for you to go with. It is a bit expensive but is still picked up frequently and all of its customers regard it as an excellent choice of paints.
Make sure that you get the “Model Air” series of Vallejo’s acrylic paints as several customers have confused the listing and ended up with something that isn’t made for airbrushes.
Unlike the TIMBERTECH Professional Airbrush Paint, the Vallejo Acrylic 16 Airbrush Paint Set comes in 4 more colors which are mahogany, light blue, middle stone, and mud brown.
At the time of writing, this product has a terrific 4.7/5.0 overall rating on Amazon, and a cool 82% of the people who bought it have left a 5-star review. It costs around $55 to get yourself the set.
One expert 3D printer user says that these paints are easy to spray and there’s no need to thin them down after applying either. The dropper bottles are comfortable to handle and the paint dries very fast, making the whole paint job convenient and hassle-free.
Another customer recommends that you might need to use a sealer after applying the Vallejo paints for the best results. That can be done with a clear coat or something like epoxy resin easily, so your paint won’t chip off.
However, this is more recommended for large-format cases like painting the body of a car. For 3D printed models and miniatures, you’ll do just fine with regular coats as many people have remarked.
One user says that they had tried many other cheaper paints with their Iwata Airbrush but all of them clogged. Then they stumbled upon the Vallejo Acrylic Paint Set and they were surprised to see the smooth flow and consistent, high-quality spray.
The coverage of these paints is great and they really get you that terrific finishing on your miniatures and other 3D prints. Plenty of 3D printer users are enjoying their experience with these paints, and you should definitely try these out as well.
Check out the Vallejo Acrylic 16 Airbrush Paint Set on Amazon today for premium paints.
The Arteza Acrylic Paint Set is a pack of 20 acrylic, water-based colors that can be used efficiently with airbrushes to paint 3D prints and miniatures. It is extremely popular and has more than 5,200 ratings on Amazon.
One of the biggest benefits of buying these acrylics is their cost-effectiveness and value for money. This pack contains 20 bottles that are each about 2oz or 59ml in quantity, and cost just about $24 in total.
Unlike Vallejo, the Arteza Acrylic Paint Set is definitely more affordable. It also provides a matte finish to your model which is considered as optimal coverage as compared to the Vallejo Acrylic 16 Airbrush Paint Set’s flat finish.
At the time of writing, this product has gathered quite the reputation on Amazon with a 4.8/5.0 overall rating. Furthermore, 87% of the customers have left a 5-star review that speaks volumes about this paint’s quality.
One user loves the fact that despite being many in number, each bottle is individually sealed with a foil. This prevents any potential leakage during transit and helps you store the bottles securely as well.
Another customer said that this is, by far, the best paint for 3D printed resins that they have come across. It works on multiple surfaces, including wood, rocks, glass, fabrics, ceramics, and paper, so you’re not limited to plastics only.
The Arteza Acrylic Paint Set uses a fast-drying formula so you can apply additional coats right away without waiting. The colors are high-quality, and they blend with the model effortlessly as well, as thousands of customers have said.
One person ran into a shipping problem with the manufacturer, but Arteza’s customer support service was fast to reply and very supportive to help them out. This makes this company stand out among other options.
Get yourself the Arteza Acrylic Paint Set directly on Amazon today.
Best Air Brush Compressor for Miniature Painting & 3D Prints
The TIMBERTECH Upgraded Single-Piston Compressor is a high-quality product that costs about $100 on Amazon right now. It’s compact, quiet, and exceedingly portable at 11.55 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about carrying it.
The best air compressors out there use either a water trap or tank to prevent water from condensing in the air hose. This TIMBERTECH Compressor has a 3-liter receiver tank that ensures a consistent flow of air.
Furthermore, it also has a pressure regulator with a gauge, a quality water trap mechanism, an air filter, and a pressure-relief safety valve, so the compressor is basically loaded with features.
At the time of writing this article, the TIMBERTECH Upgraded Single-Piston Compressor has a great status on Amazon with a 4.7/5.0 overall rating. Moreover, 82% of the customers who bought it have left a 5-star review.
One experienced user writes that they’ve tried out multiple types of air compressors for their airbrushes—both expensive and cheap—but this one turned out to be the best surprisingly.
The build quality scores the highest numbers here as it consists of a steel pipe and relevant fittings, and not low-cost copper or aluminum. The regulator holds the pressure nicely without any leaks at 0 psi.
Another customer writes that they expected the unit to be much louder but it’s very quiet, and they simply love that. They don’t have to worry about disturbing someone when working with it because it uses a low-decibel operation.
One person pointed out that the compressor does not come with a hose. If you don’t have a standard sized hose at home, consider buying the premium Fengda Airbrush Hose from Amazon that’s cheap and is made out of Nylon.
People love the fact that the unit is well-designed and that the head and the discharge pipes stay cool despite constant usage. This compressor is built much better than most of its competitors in the sub $100 price range.
Check out the TIMBERTECH Upgraded Single-Piston Compressor directly from Amazon today.
The California Air Tools Compressor is another top-quality option that you can buy for your airbrush and get to painting 3D prints and miniatures smoothly.
California Air Tools is a well-respected brand that’s known for its high-quality array of powerful and reliable compressors, and this CAT-1P1060S compressor model is no different.
It costs about $120 and is a bit pricier than the TIMBERTECH Upgraded Single-Piston Compressor. However, the extra cost is justified due to the large and spacious 1 gallon steel tank of the California Air Tools product.
At the time of writing this article, this product has a terrific 4.7/5.0 overall rating on Amazon and 82% of the people who bought it have left a 5-star review.
It’s also fairly lightweight at 29 pounds, and many people dropping their reviews of this unit have said that they can easily move the compressor around without having to ask for help.
In addition to that, a customer has remarked that this compressor is amazingly quiet and keeps the noise level to somewhere around 56dB. Just make sure to put the muffler air filter on the compressor for an even quieter operation.
The California Air Tools Compressor is best used when paired with the aforementioned Iwata-Medea Revolution CR Dual Action Airbrush (Amazon), as many people have commented.
The combination works great for 3D prints, and lets you enjoy a terrific painting experience. One person has even said that the California Air Tools Compressor is the best airbrush compressor for miniature painting.
Another benefit of buying this compressor is that it uses an oil-free single piston pump design that pushes its life cycle beyond 3,000 hours.
Therefore, you’ll be set for a long time and won’t have to find another compressor anytime soon. That said, do bear in mind that this unit does not come with a hose, but it does fit all the standard sizes if you already have one at home.
One user said that he comfortably uses this FYPower 1/4 Inch Recoil Poly Air Hose Kit with the California Air Tools compressor and gets nothing but the best results, so it’s definitely worth looking into that air hose kit if you’re looking to get one for yourself.
Get yourself the California Air Tools Compressor directly from Amazon today.