When it comes to purchasing an airbrush there are a ton of choices. The major options are going with a standard airbrush configuration or purchasing a multi-color changer or buying some new device. In our years of experience, we have always recommended and relied on the conventional airbrush setup. Granted there's not a lot of sex appeal and excitement to this type of setup but it has a lot of advantages. Before we go any further, let's explain some of the different options.
The conventional airbrush setup consists of a handful of airbrushes all connected to a central manifold that delivers air from the compressor to each individual airbrush. Each airbrush is setup with a single color of ink or paint. When you need a particular color, you simply pick up the airbrush with the color you want attached and go to work. You can save on airbrushes and space by loading your most popular colors in individual airbrushes and saving one or two to switch out to colors that you only need occasionally.
The multi-color changers are interesting because you can load up a handful of colors and they all feed to a single airbrush. When you need another color you simply change the dial at the airbrush and the next color comes out. These units are sold as Spectrum 2000, Power Palette, and a few other names. Cleanup of these units can be somewhat intense.
New devices come to the market from time to time but they are generally just a rehashing of an old idea. The latest gadgets to hit the market are the quick change airbrushes. Some are pretty simple looking and some are sexy and very expensive. These units are actually just a redo of the standard single action airbrush. They are called Quick Change Airbrush Kits by a number of different companies. There is also a newer device called a Zero-G. This unit is simply a single action airbrush with a top feed and very expensive. The biggest issue with all of these units is they can't do detail work and have a tendency to waste ink when spraying.
The number one reason that you should avoid multi-change units or rehashed single action systems is the simple fact that you are totally dependent on a single system. You essentially have a single point of failure with your setup and this is never a good idea. If you run out of a particular color of ink you can substitute but if your single airbrush system fails and that's all you have, you are done for the day. If you have four or five conventional airbrushes and one of them decides to stop working, you can simply set it aside and keep working. This is also a good point to remember for compressors. Always keep a spare and avoid another single point of failure.