Thanks for the tips guys. I think its an issue of me having the regulator set too high, which is draining the tank too quickly and when the compressor turns on I get the pulsing. What the main issue seems to be, after some more testing, is that I'm not thinning out the paint enough. The paint is too thick, causing me to run a higher pressure to get the paint to spray.
I did some youtube searches and got some good suggestions on paint consistency. It seemed to make an improvement and I was using a much lower PSI, but the paint I put out barely stuck and the air just blew it off the model. Experiments will continue until I can find a good middle ground.
I'm using a double-action gravity feed airbrush that came with the compressor. I have a Badger syphon feed air brush as well, but I need to buy some adaptors to make it fit. The compressor is an AS-186 which seems to be pretty standard out there in the hobby world. It's a 1/6 HP single cylinder piston compressor with a 3.0 L tank.
What tips do you have on paint thinning and what PSI do you normally run? I'm trying to use base paints at the moment, as I want to get base coating down pat before I get into layering.