After spending more than a year in Iraq I have completely forgotten most of
my modelling experience.
I'm looking for a good airbrush to paint even the smallest lines, even if I
am only using it infrequently. I've got a Paasche H and VL for general
stuff, and an AB that sometimes works ok, but still would like to find out
if there is anything better or easier to use.
If you could please give me some of your advice I would greatly appreciate
I've been a user of a Badger Crescendo for the past couple years and
really like it. That said, I used an Iwata in an airbrushing seminar at
the Region 1 Convention in Buffalo a couple years back - it was sweet...
With properly thinned and regulated paint and air, the Crescendo
provides very satisfactory results for me....
You'll get myriad opinions on this so think them over well but I don't
think you can go too wrong with any quality brand...
It has more to do with your own comfort level, than anything else.
The Paasche H is excellent for general work; and the VL gives
great "fine line" results for many people. The Paasche bodies
are a bit "clunkier" than others, but I find that a positive,
personally. So...if you are comfortable working with your Paasches,
keep on using them. With a little practice, your skills should quickly
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You have an AB!
As far as I know, that thing will produce the finest lines you could
ever need. Anything else will be a disappointment in terms of precision.
You might find a gravity-fed brush like the Paasche VJR or Badger 100
easier to use, and still capable of fine lines. But, as with all
airbrushing, and indeed brush-painting too, getting the paint to the
right consistency is the most important factor.
I have a Badger SA brush and a Testors/Aztek DA brush. I have given up
on the Aztek and back to the Badger SA while I shop for a Badger DA.
The Aztek has good performance while it is working. However, if you get
a clogged nozzle there is no good way to disassemble it to clean it.
The Badgers can be completely disassembled for cleaning, and have all
metal parts. While the Aztek works well, I am tired of buying new nozzles.
I have a never-been-used Badger 100-LGM package (ie dual-action,
large cup, medium tip/needle in the black plastic box) and some extra
parts (fine head assembly, fine needle, spare cup cap) that I've been
meaning to put up on ebay.
If you're interested, I'd be willing to part with them for less than
it cost to buy them from dixieart ...
I should mention that I've been meaning to put it up on ebay because
I have a Badger Crescendo and a Badger 200G that I'm extremely happy
with and I don't really need a 3rd airbrush.
All foods should be removed to reply
I beg to differ. The Aztek nozzle can be disassembled, it all just clips
together. Aztek et al say it shouldn't be done, but as long as you don't mix
up the paint caps (the inner cylinder) and needles, it's all good. And make
sure that you're gentle with the needle and spring assembly - it needs to be
pushed gently back in all the way when you reassemble the nozzle. And no, I
didn't pull it to pieces until I'd had it for a while. Like you, I found
that the nozzles were difficult to clean, so I had nothing to lose after one
blocked up - the little jiggers are NOT cheap here.
Pull 'em to pieces, soak 'em in laquer or high grade thinners for as long as
you think required, then get into cleaning. I use an old cut-down paint
brush for most of it, a pipe cleaner (gently!) inside the paint cap and a
toothpick (even more gently!! I can't stress this enough - remember it's all
plastic and will deform) in the tip of the paint cap. And don't bend the
needle tip - they're pretty rugged, but take care. As for the body, a Q-tip
(I've got some with a hollow plastic shaft so it fits around the little pin
inside) soaked in thinners will clean out the muck inside, and the pipe
cleaner works for the paint cup holes. Just make sure you hold the body tip
down to keep thinners out of the insides. I don't need to do this 'major
service' very often - just when things stop working well.
I use laquer thinners as a final flush (remember to backflush it too) after
spraying acrylics and enamels before putting it away after use - it gets rid
of the paint very well, and as there's no O rings or seals in there to
damage, it doesn't harm the paint path components. Just be careful about
thinners inside the body and up the air path - that will stuff it up fairly
I haven't used my Aztek much recently - like you have said, when it works
it's good, when it doesn't... BUT... I recently bought a semi-commercial
sized compressor - 2hp motor, 122 l/min, 24l tank. The Aztek seems to work
a lot better with a steady airflow then it ever did with the little
diaphragm Paasche compressor I used to use. So does my Iwata, especially at
low flow rates. Might be worth a look for all those who have Aztek troubles.
Hope this helps.
Actually, the Aztec system has a huge advantage over "traditional"
airbrushes: the nozzle is made of nylon and paint will not dry in the
tip while spraying, particularly with some of the faster-drying
Any double action airbrush (and most single action ones, btw) with a
.2mm tip will let you paint down to a hairline. It's a matter of correct
thinnig, right air pressure, spraying distance and some practice.
Iwata HP-C with a Teflon O ring is what I use, around $125. It does have
a learning curve to it. I also own the Paasche H kit too. I used Coast
Airbrush out of CA. Connected with Craig Frazier, he is a top graphics
detailer with tons of Iwata experience.
Visit my site at http://members.tripod.com/danrutman/Web/Index.html
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