Review - Badger RK-1 Renegade Krome Precision Airbrush

Product Review: Badger Renegade Krome Precision Airbrush; retail pruce
Advantages: precision control of paint flow is guaranteed by unique
combination of features from single action/double action brushes;
comes with two different needle/jet assemblies
Disadvantages: few noted, but basically for detailing, not area
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all serious modelers wishing to upgrade their
detail painting
Most of us who now airbrush nearly every model we build started off
with simple devices we could easily control. In my case, it was a
Badger Model 350 spray gun with the =93Propel=94 can in 1968. I used that
through 1973 when I was introduced to =93real=94 airbrushing by a chap
named Pete Lange in California. I bought a Binks Wren and compressor
and it was off to the races.
Some years later I decided to upgrade from a single action internal
mix airbrush to a double action one =96 one where the trigger control
both air and paint flow. I started with a Paasche VL and then a Badger
150, but had only spotty success with them (which I found out to my
chagrin was mostly due to not using a water trap!)
Later on I moved up to a Badger 350 for area spraying (base coats)
and a Badger 200 for fine detailing. This worked well, but in 2002 my
wife got me (well, let me buy) a Badger Model 155 Anthem which was my
first really good airbrush. Precise, easy to adjust, and able to hold
a fine line, the Anthem was my =93go to=94 brush for nearly nine years
when I also got a Badger Model 105 Patriot for detailing. The Patriot
was very much like the Anthem with the exception of a fixed color
I had never used on as I didn=92t like the open paint, but after trying
it found I liked the fact it could be used for touch-ups or detailing
as well as spraying weathering powders in a carrier medium.
This year at AMPS 2012 Ken Schlotfeldt of Badger was present with his
full line of brushes, and I saw the new Renegade Krome series brush.
This was an even more precise airbrush than either the Anthem or
Patriot, and in a day and age where more and more of a model=92s
appearance is based on its finish it seemed to be just the ticket.
The Renegade Krome (apparently RK-1 to its friends) comes in a very
handsome box with aluminum reinforced edges and thick foam padding
inside. The packing holds the brush and a compressor hose converter
(it will allow the brush to mate with hoses from either Harder &
Steenbergen or Grex compressors). Also packed in with the brush are a
second tip jet assembly and needle.
The two needles are for a .21 mm needle and jet (installed) and the
spare one is a .33 mm assembly. The reason is that the .33 is provided
is for use with thicker media such as enamels or acrylics and the
other is recommended for ink (the smaller jet is more susceptible to
paint buildup and clogging). Having had that happen a few times with
regular airbrushes and improperly thinned or mixed paint, I=92ll take
Badger=92s word for it. (Note many times at shows airbrushes are
demonstrated with thinned India Ink and NOT paint for that reason.)
The brush is a bit different from previous ones. It is about an inch
longer and better balanced, and in the case of the =93Krome=94 model is
chromium plated, not nickel plated. It has several new features, such
as a close-fitting metal cap vice a plastic one on the fixed paint
cup. It comes with an ambidextrous thumb rest under the trigger for
more comfort and better control, and it feels much better for that
reason in my (right) hand. The trigger button is larger as well. The
brush also has a =93crown=94 cap over the jet rather than the more common
cup-shaped protector; this is reportedly to prevent backblast when
painting at close range and to permit air to spill to the side rather
than blast paint back into the jet.
The biggest difference is the fact that this brush combines the
action of a double action brush (press down for air, back for paint
flow) with media flow control like a single action brush. Called
=93Stopset=94 by the company, a knob at the rear of the brush - with a 0
to 10 numerical readout =96 controls how far back the trigger can be
pulled when the brush is in action. This ensures that the same amount
of paint will be provided every time and that the user cannot
accidently pull it too far to the rear for that unpleasant =93SPLAT=94
Most of the brush can be =93field stripped=94 for cleaning, but unlike
earlier models the jet holder on the front of the front shell has been
factory installed and is not to be removed (as cand be done with the
Anthem or Patriot).
Overall this is a very nice brush and is just what is needed for all
around painting of today=92s armor models, down to very fine lines.
Cookie Sewell
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FYI. I was also leary of the open cup but picked up a T&C. Frankly it rocks. A lot of times I just measure out the paint into the cup and go to town. With smaller models a couple of cups does it and clean up is a snap. Ear buds, pipe cleaners and a small bucket to dunk it in.
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