Product Review - GREX Tritium TS3 Airbrush

Product Review: GREX Airbrush Model Tritium TS3; retail price US
$209.00; also G-MAC.B air controller/quick disconnect, retail price US
$25.00 (website
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Advantages: single-pull double action trigger with the ability to fix
the settings outstanding; optional accessories enhance use
Disadvantages: none noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all modelers wanting ease of use and fine control
I am not a sucker for trendy items, and in the 40 years I have used
airbrushes I rarely if ever jump onto the next bandwagon of =93must
have=94 items. Like many, I started with the Badger 250
=93airbrush=94 ( basically an inexpensive external mix spray gun) and went
up the ladder to Binks, Badger and Paasche brushes over the years. But
they were a combination of conventional single action internal mix
(set the needle size by dialing and press the control for air) or
conventional double action internal mix (press down for air, pull back
for paint flow).
There were two competing companies showing their products at the 2009
AMPS International Show and both had very different products. One was
a German manufacturer whose brushes were conventional in design but of
extreme high quality and precision (I DID say they were German!) The
other was GREX, who is a company from China =96 but ROC China (Taiwan)
and not PRC China.
Their salespeople showed a complete gamut of brushes and I was taken
by their top-of-the-line brush, the Tritium series. They come in two
models =96 TG with a build-in gravity feed cup (which is replaceable and
can handle different size cups) and TS with an optional choice side-
feed gravity or side-mounted suction feed cup. The paint flow can be
preset at the rear of the brush with a dial (like most of the Badgers)
but the trick to me was the operating method.
The GREX uses a dual-action trigger; pull halfway back to get the air
flow and all the way back for paint flow. It has an electric (Kermit
the Frog) green pistol grip to go with the trigger, and is much more
natural to hold as compared to the normal pen-grip brushes I have been
used to in the past. This is the first brush I have literally been
able to =93sign checks=94 with due to the controls, and I was quite
impressed with the demo model I was permitted to try out.
Upon checking with the salespeople I found that while they would like
you to buy a complete set (airbrush, accessories, hose and compressor)
the company realizes that not everybody has one airbrush nor wants to
buy all new items. They therefore sell a number of converter pieces to
fit their brushes to either Badger or Paasche air hoses and other
brands of compressors.
I also bought an air controller, Model G-MAC.B, which permits quick
attachment to Badger air hoses. It is also a precision air flow
controller for the brush. 1080 degrees (three full turns) goes from
100% to 0% of air flow. While it doesn=92t have a gauge attached, most
modelers with some experience know when the air flow is =93right=94 for
the medium they are using so not a problem.
Maintenance is not a major problem as the entire brush can be
disassembled (but the company does not recommend going beyond what the
Army calls =93field stripping=94) for thorough cleaning. It is recommended
for use with inks, dyes, acryllic and enamel paints, but the
directions warn against cleaning with ammonia as it destroys the
seals. The brush has a six-year limited warranty.
Other accessories provided include 7 ml and 15 ml gravity feed cups
with covers (which may be mounted on the left or right side of the
brush, based on the modeler=92s choice) and a 30 ml (one ounce) siphon
jar with right-angle feed. It also has a solid or cutaway (=93crown=94)
needle cap tip protector, both held on by magnets and interchangeable
(one stores at the back of the brush while the other is in use). A
fitted plastic case and a nozzle wrench are included; factory options
include a 0.2mm or 0.5mm needle and nozzle assembly to change the flow
rate (the =933" in this model denotes a 0.3mm nozzle).
The company also offers a number of other models starting at $109 for
a basic dual-action brush and continuing up to the TS. There is a
cheaper version with a center-mounted gravity cup, the Tritium TG,
which is $159 but has the rest of the features of this brush. .
I am looking forward to long-term use of this brush, as I really like
its feel and handling.
Cookie Sewell
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