As the title says a friend of mine asked me this not to long ago and it got me thinking. Is it really better? With all the time and money I put into it was it worth it?
Was it worth it I find depends on what I am doing and what I want to achieve. With priming and base coating I have found it to be useful. But these days you can get cans of primer and such. But personally I always had hit and miss results with the cans, never mind the cost. The main difference for me comes to the type of model.
For the 28mm infantry I don't see that much of a difference. Same with all the 6mm infantry and tanks. So if this is what you primarily paint I wouldn't suggest the jump. Unless of course you are about speed and already have access to a set up. I found you can get a much better consistency when it comes to priming and painting and it is nice and smooth once you get could at it. The big difference comes in with other models.
Tanks, space ships and boats are were I have seen the biggest difference. The boats that I painted all by hand and those that I painted about half with airbrush and half with brush show more of a difference. The ones I painted by hair the paint for the halls and such isn't as smooth. Where the hulls and such painted with the airbrush have a nice smooth paint job on the hulls that look much better. The same can be said with the differences between my rhinos/razorbacks and my devil fish. Even though the devil fish only have primer and base coat they look much nicer than the rhinos that were all painted by hand.
Now as a note I am not amazing with the airbrush I only do larger areas and shading. I am partially unwilling to try these details due to the time in masking everything needed to airbrush them. I found when I tried to do it that it was taking me longer and getting mixed results compared to painting it by hand. So I am sticking with doing all the smaller details by hand for now.
So here is my question for you. Which do you prefer and what little things have you learned?