Copic airbrush system & Bill Bryan's custom marker airbrush

Hi all,

First time posting, very excited by the content and enthusiasm of the SWSCA community. I watched Mr. Bryan's very informative and entertaining course, "Plastic Bag Puppet Monster", as well as "Plastic Bag Technology", and I'm gearing up to make some test effects for a short movie.

Copic's marker airbrushes require you to purchase their pressurized air canisters, which are a staggering $20 a pop. Mr. Bryan mentioned in one of the courses that he had the shop whip him up a custom marker airbrush which presumably allows him to avoid purchasing Copic's products and just use regular markers.

I'd like to try the same customization. Has anyone implemented a workaround like this (and if so, would you be willing to share instructional steps?). Or perhaps there is a way I can relay this question to Mr. Bryan?

Not looking to undermine Copic, but rather, just looking for an alternate solution that doesn't involve repeatedly buying canisters. I have a rather basic gravity feed airbrush, "Master Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush, 1/5HP Single Piston", in case that offers any additional insight (link below), but I'd rather upgrade to a nicer unit than spend the same money on canisters. 

Thanks for your time!


  • The Copic airbrush blows air over the tip of the pen. From what I  could gather from Bill Bryan's course, he had someone fabb up a holder that attached to the airbrush and would fit a marker, positioning  the tip just in front of the airstream (it works just like a siphon feed airbrush)
    In another course, he uses the Copic airbrush with a small airbrush compressor. I think you can buy an adapter that sits between the compressor and the airbrush:
  • Thanks Cyril, that adapter looks like it might do the trick!

    Given the choice I would prefer to use Copic's airbrush (using the adapter Cyril found) since the way it passes air over the markers is probably pretty dialed in.  But I'm sure you could design3D print your own adapter (possibly including its own nozzle) that could attach to an existing airbrush.

  • If you purchase the refills for the individual Copic markers, you can avoid the Copic spraying system altogether, AND use whatever airbrush you please! Ironically, it won't cost much more than the regular Copic markers, either. (The SWSCA videos on painting faux-metals also use these!)
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