Hey all, today I thought I’d do something a little different and write a series about the airbrushes that I use for the next six posts. In no particular order I will start with the Badger Patriot 105.
First off airbrushes are a wonderful tool. Yes conventional hair brushes are great, but if you just want to cover a large area quickly or put base colours down as a sketch airbrushes are your tool. Countless times I have walked into my local GW store to see people trying to paint a basecoat on a model such a Landraider and it’s quite painful to see as I know with a airbrush I could get a much smoother result in a matter of minutes rather than hours.
When it comes to airbrushes I’m not really a snob. It really comes down to what you want to do with it. When I first started I used a knock off Chinese kit and I had good results. I used my Chinese airbrush for about a year and even then it was in good shape. It was only when I started watching a lot of Youtube tutorials from painters such as Les Bursley from AwesomePaintJob and all that I got the itch to branch out and take the plunge and invest in a more expensive airbrush.
The first airbrush I purchased was a 2 in 1 Harder and Steenbeck and I fell in love with what it could do. Compared to my Chinese brush I was suddenly able to airbrush thin lines as that of a eyelash. From that over the years I purchased many more airbrushes. Some I love, some I disliked. But in all it’s all a personal thing. Some of you guy’s may love a airbrush that I can’t stand.
First up I want to mention The Badger Patriot 105. This airbrush is a good started model as you are able to spray large areas and also able to do a certain amount of fine detail if your psi is very low on your compressor. I use this airbrush mainly for basecoating large amounts of models at once. I like this brush because it is rather sturdy and has quite a robust needle. In all you would really have to mistreet this brush to mess it up. Also this airbrush is not very prone to clogging as say compared to the Iwata CM-C Plus that I use for the majority of my work and my personal faviourite brush.
So overall I highly suggest the Badger Patriot 105 as a everyday painting tool that will not mess you around and the price is pretty good too. I believe you can pick one up in the UK for about £80 and it’s even cheaper in the US due to being a US company. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Cheap knocks off tend to have much lower quality control even if certain budget versions of iwata brushes get made in the same factory… (veda brushes are made in the same place as the iwata neo) but a good strip down and tweaking makes wonders happen, to the point where other than the difference in texture on the trigger button i cant tell the difference between my veda and my badger in terms of action. Ultimately my badger will last and last due to higher quality engineering, but my veda cost 20% of what the badger did so i can afford to replace it whole sale if anything terminal sets into it (like the plating coming off for example) whilst the seals are easily available.
Low PSI really is a combination of things, compressor and regulator, quality of airline and couplings, quality of paint (airbrush formulated paint really helps here due to the extra milling the pigment receives, as you dont have the extra pressure to force clogs and larger particles through the nozzle) cleanliness of airbrush and condition of needle all have dramatic effects of the quality of the paintjob at low PSI. In general though a good quality regulator and a receiver (air tank) on the compressor are the most important aspects as that maintains a steady pressure to work with, whilst (air)brush care is just part of the basic operating procedure for blowing paint. (its never clean enough and just looking at the needle wrong way writes it off, both painful lessons i learnt when starting airbrushing ;))
Hi Tallifer, I think Nakchak pretty much summed everything up. Overall I think a Badger brush should last longer than a Chinese knock off. But as I remember the Chinese one lasted me quite some time. It never broke and I really did put it through a lot stress due to not knowing anything about airbrushing at the time. I know both Garfy and Stahly both use the Chinese versions and they say good things also.
Thanks to both of you. I've often wondered about low psi as I've had less than stellar results when I've tried to lower it. Given that my compressor and brush are both budget end, I will call them the culprits rather than my ability…
Cheers for doing this and looking forward to reading about the other ones. Greg
That's my weapon of choice. There are fine ones out there but it's a tough brush and easy to service or repair and get parts for which is the main reason i rock it. I have a renegade velocity for super fine work and and iawata eclipse, but this one is my main got to AB!
Zab what psi do you use for the Badger by the way? Im curious.
I run typically between 20-30 psi for base coating and a i go a lot lower for detail like 10-15 psi sometimes even less if i am using my velocity with inks or very very very thin paint. The tip dry on the velocity is a bitch though o_O
Excellent, your a hero for doing this as I know you are quite into airbrushing. Good stuff sir.
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Thanks for this, I'm looking forward to more of your thoughts on these. What do you find is the difference between your Chinese knock off (what I'm using) and this Badger? Particularly since the cheap one is WAY cheaper than the Badger.
Also, if it's not going to be too much trouble, could you at some point give a little rundown of how you get a good result with a really low PSI – does that have a lot to do with the airbrush, or is it a mix of everything (paint consistency, airbrush, compressor)? Thanks!