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Take pity on a poor plodding modeler but I have been content with my Paasche H for many years and just never felt the need to upgrade. I think maybe the time is now. I cleaned up for Christmas with gift certificates at my favorite LHS. (it was all I asked for) I think it's time to go double action and I'm wondering what's out there. My natural inclination is to grab a paasche VLS and stay with what I know, so to speak. I have a couple hundred dollars to spend so I'm guessing that limits it some but should give me some choice. Anyway, I would appreciate any advice any of you might have to offer.

 

Happy New Year and Happy modeling!

Mike

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Well Happy New Year Mike! I'll leave "brand" recommendation up to others. What I will recommend is that whichever double action brush you get, get one that's "gravity fed"; with a built-in color cup on top of the brush. It works better than siphon feeds, and it'll also encourage you to use less paint, which is a big step towards better "scale" paint jobs.

 

I have the Paasche Talon double action brush and have found it to work well for me. However, this was NOT my first double action brush. Your idea of starting with a familiar product may work well for you. Have fun hunting down your new toy! And remember, the best way to learn how to use it is PRACTICE!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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Mike, I'll have to admit I'm a Badger fan...I have the 155 Anthem, the 100G (fine), the 200NH...and now the 105 Patriot. I love all of them, but the Anthem is my workhorse, and the VLS would be very similar. The Patriot is a pretty much a "gravity-fed Anthem" with a fine tip/needle setup. Many of the parts interchange between the 105, 200NH, 155, and the 360 (I haven't tried the medium tip/needle combination in the Patriot, but it would work). Here is my review of the Patriot...which was actually written for a trade magazine for hobby shops and not for scale modelers.

http://www.badgerairbrush.com/PDF/FocusTools.pdf

 

I also have a Peak C-5 from bearair.com...very nice detail airbrush. Peak's C-3 is equivalent to the Iwata HP-C Plus in general shape and use. Peak airbrushes can use Iwata parts, as they all fit (I bought an Iwata airhose to use with my C-5).

 

Of course, from all that I've heard, Iwata IS the Cadillac...

 

You might want to do a google search for airbrush reviews, specifically for models that interest you...there are plenty out there.

Edited by Keith Pruitt
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Myself, I like the Badger line (100G and Sotar 20/20) and started using a Grex pistol grip after this years Nats.

 

I'll also suggest a gravity feeder over a bottom feed. The Grex I bought has interchangible cups...something I wish others did. You'll find you get smoother flow and can get closer with a gravity feeder

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I don't have near the experience as most of you with airbrushes, but I've also just started using a Grex trigger grip brush (Grex Tritium.TG2). It's the only double action brush that I've ever been able to use comfortably but it is a bit pricey. My old workhorse is a Badger 200G single action which I still use and will always use. For the money I think it's still one of the best brushes around. I've tried a number of other brushes over the years but these are the only two I've kept, although now that I think about I may have a Badger 200NH hidden away somewhere.

 

I also agree that gravity fed is the way to go. Less paint, lower pressures and better finishes IMO.

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I'm also a Badger fan. I have two Model 200s, one gravity feed and one bottle feed. They do everything I want them to do. You just have to play with the air flow and paint consistancy to get the size line you wish.

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I started with a Paache double action, but don't use it at all these days. For years now I have been using Badger - both the 175 and the 150. I admit they haven't gotten as much use as they should have over the past few years, but both do what I want them to, and both are dual action. They are not the porsche of airbrushes, but I stick with them because they are affordable, I can get parts for them easily, and I know what their limits are.

 

IF I were going to start over, I would take a look at some of the "top of the line" names that are out there. I have heard good things about both Iwata, and another brand (cannot recall what it was, but they were at the Nationals in VB a few years back). Both are rather expensive (in my mind) but those I know who have them seem to think they are work the cash.

 

I'll stick with my Badger brushes.

Best of luck!

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I have four Paasche airbrushes and i use three of them. I have dble action siphon feed model that i use for priming and base color. I use my Dble action garvity feed for cameoflage. I used it once to paint the cameoflage on a 10mm Sdkfz 234 Puma just to see if I could do it. I have used it to paint hundreds of 15mm armored vehicles for other people for gaming purposes. I use my H model single action to applly Future. I use it for that alone as a couple of times useing one of the dble action airbrushes for Futute I had problems shich I believe was due contamination of the Future from residual paint and or thinner in the brush. The Paasche model H was my first airbrush and I used that for a number of years. I have been airbrushing models now for 30 some years and have always been happy with Pasche.icon6.gificon12.gif

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  • 2 months later...

I have a Badger 200 and 150 and swear by both. I used to have an older Paasche VL but I gave it to a friend many years ago. I got another VL a few years back from a friend who thought about getting into modeling but decided against it. He bought a few models and the VL and a compressor. So, the VL I have now is a back-up for my Badgers. And, if you read my post about Badger's customer service it just may sway you to go with their product.

 

Later,

 

Lee

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I use an Iwata Eclispe for the delicate work and a 30 year old Passche H-5 for everything else.

Both work very well, and I just love the Iwata....that baby can put down a line as fine as a sharpened pencil.

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I have a Paasche H,

072-103.jpg

 

…a Paasche VL,

25010-0300-3ww-l.jpg

 

…an Iwata HP-BC,

HP-BC.jpg

 

…and an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS.

hpcs_hardware.jpg

 

On both Iwata airbrushes I added the preset handle, which for a klutz like me is a lifesaver.

iwa-1551-l.jpg

 

First off, like lots of people, I'd guess, I figured a double action airbrush must be twice as good as a single action. It turns out that's not necessarily the case. It does take twice as much practice to become facile with a double action, but it will give you twice the control.

 

On a single action, you adjust the paint flow, push down the trigger, and get air and paint flow together. On a double action, you push down the trigger to get air flow, and pull back on the trigger to control the paint flow. It takes some extra learning and practice, but I suppose if I can do it, anyone can.

 

Of the four, the Paasche VL is my least favorite.

 

The Paasche H is an excellent all-around airbrush. I still use it for applying primers or spraying large areas.

 

The Paasche VL is a high quality airbrush, but I don't consider it a good fit for me. The main drawback for me is that the only adjustment on the brush—a knurled knob at the front of the trigger opening (assembly 10 below), presets the minimum paint flow, which has two effects. First, it essentially turns the VL into a single-action brush, and second, there is nothing to prevent you from accidentally pulling the trigger back too far and shooting great globs of paint onto your work. For me it adjusts the wrong end of the paint flow range. There is a sort-of workaround, but it's not all that satisfactory.

vlparts.jpg

 

Both the Iwatas spray finer patterns than either Paasche. The HP-BC is a siphon-feed unit, and the HP-CS is a large cup gravity feed. The preset handles allow you to set the maximum amount of paint flow, using the knurled knob at the end, which protects you from the kind of accidents that are waiting to happen with the VL.

 

Other little goodies include a crown cap for the Iwatas, which according to the instructions protects the needle while enabling you to spray extremely fine lines.

crowncap_1.jpg

 

I also added quick release adapters on all the brushes so they can be interchanged with the same hose at any time. I also got the airbrush cleaning station, which doubles as a holder when I'm loading them up with paint.

g5170.jpg

Overall, cleanup is about the same for all of them, so that's a wash (you'll forgive the expression).

 

If I ever have to part with one of these beauties, though, it's the VL that will go first.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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Mike,

 

The guys might be right about going with what you know to first learn the double-action side. After that, you can tweak the style of brush.

 

I started with a double-action, so I learned the hard way. But I was a dedicated Badger fan for many years. I have smaller hands (not like the guy in the Burger King ads, but...) so the Paasche brushes just don't seem to fit well. So, I stuck with the Badger brushes because they fit right and were reasonably economical. Then I got an Iwata HP-C and fell in love. So I bought another, an HP-BCS, for more general work. At Virginia Beach, Jim Clark, bless his pointy little head, directed me to the Harder & Steenbeck booth. That time, I fell in lust. That brush, the Infinity with changable paint cups and the .4mm and .15mm (yes, .15mm) needles and heads, is fantastic. But, it's pricey.

 

So, I'd suggest staying with what you're familiar with if you're comfortable with the Paasche. If not, try one of the Badger or Iwata Eclipse brushes. Both are good brushes for general use and for detailing with the right heads and needles.

 

Steve

 

 

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Nce info on the VL, Bruce...your reasons are also why it's simply a back-up for me and my pair of Badgers.

 

Later,

 

Lee

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Dammitol Bruce, I was going to suggest the VL because you can turn it into a single action, but your mentioning the issues of the min/max limiting makes me wonder, but I'm still a bit unclear. In the words of one Ricky Ricardo, "Ju gonna ha' ta 'splain dat one to me Lucy, cauz I don' unnastan'". I've never claimed to be the brightest light in the drawer, so.... As I see it, and as I've used it, the knob in front of the trigger does set the max because wherever you set it is as far back as the trigger will pull, thus limiting paint flow. It's the first double-action I bought (12 yrs ago), and I still havent gotten the hang of it, so thats why I invariably use it as a single action. It may sound like a strange analogy, but using a double-action is too much like trying to learn to play a slide trombone.

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Ok, after I posted my message I sat here and thought.... then I grabbed my VL and tried it. Now I get it. You're absolutely right, the adjustmment does indeed set the minimum. I'd forgotten (or hadn't ever really noticed), but after I set the knob I actually push against the trigger, and that holds it against the stop, so the effect (at least for me) is that it limits the max spray. I guess I've learned something, and I may have to investigate the Iwata HP-CS. Thanks!

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Thank you Bruce. I had not been aware that Iwata now offers the preset handle. I too have the two Paasches and then I bought an Iwata HP-SB to handle some really fine work. I liked the fine control but my ham-handedness gave me fits. I was used to being able to set the stop on the VL or even a simple Testors brush that I had. At the Chicago Nats, I purchased a Sotar 20-20 just to get the fineness along with a positive stop feature. I have used the Sotar ever since for everything (except for Future which I only spray through the Testors brush).

 

As an aside, my Sotar is not as fine as it was. I need a new nozzle but with the high price of parts, I may just add the preset handle to my Iwata and use both as needed.

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Ok, after I posted my message I sat here and thought.... then I grabbed my VL and tried it. Now I get it. You're absolutely right, the adjustmment does indeed set the minimum. I'd forgotten (or hadn't ever really noticed), but after I set the knob I actually push against the trigger, and that holds it against the stop, so the effect (at least for me) is that it limits the max spray. I guess I've learned something, and I may have to investigate the Iwata HP-CS. Thanks!

 

Michael,

 

As you've found out, pushing the trigger forward against the stop effectively makes the VL a single-action brush, but with the maximum desired paint flow set as the minimum And it has the added feature that nothing prevents you from accidentally jerking back on the trigger in mid-spray and covering your model with a big glob of running paint.

 

Being a ham-fist myself, I could never understand why Paasche limited the minimum rather than the maximum paint flow. Spraying too much paint seems more of a potential disaster than spraying too little. I realize a good modeler never blames the tool, but I'm willing to go for any advantage I can get in view of my own clumsiness.

 

If you want to limit the maximum amount of spray on the VL, there's a trick:

  • Remove the handle (part 27)
  • Loosen the lock nut (part 26) that holds the needle.
  • While holding the needle firmly against its forward stop, pull back on the trigger about half way.
  • Tighten the lock nut while still holding the trigger back.
This limits the excursion of the trigger so that when it hits the rear stop the needle has only moved half its normal distance, and thereby limits the paint flow. Paasche makes a replacement cut-out handle so you can make this adjustment without removing the handle. The part I didn't find satisfactory about that was the trigger now kinda flops around the front half of its excursion and doesn't move the needle until it's half way back. I suppose the limit knob would help with that issue, but the Iwata had already won my heart before I thought of that.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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Thank you Bruce. I had not been aware that Iwata now offers the preset handle. I too have the two Paasches and then I bought an Iwata HP-SB to handle some really fine work. I liked the fine control but my ham-handedness gave me fits. I was used to being able to set the stop on the VL or even a simple Testors brush that I had. At the Chicago Nats, I purchased a Sotar 20-20 just to get the fineness along with a positive stop feature. I have used the Sotar ever since for everything (except for Future which I only spray through the Testors brush).

 

As an aside, my Sotar is not as fine as it was. I need a new nozzle but with the high price of parts, I may just add the preset handle to my Iwata and use both as needed.

'

 

Clare,

 

Be careful not to confuse the preset handle with the Triple Action handle, which I found to be unsatisfactory for my purposes. The three actions of the "triple-action handle" are

  1. You can pull back on the needle chucking knob, which pulls back the needle and lets you flush the airbrush quickly
  2. It has a preset adjustment, but it presets the minimum just like the VL
  3. It has a needle cap holder built into the back of the handle.
I bought two of them, and after I installed one on my new HP-C and tested it once, I took it off and ordered the preset handle to match the one I already had on the HP-BC. I waited too long to get a refund from the retailer for the triple-action handles, and I wouldn't sell them to anyone whose friendship I valued, so they're sitting in a box somewhere, in place of the kit or two I could have bought for the same money.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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I've got a Grex, purchased during the Vir.Beach convention, that has a knob that can set the max paint flow. That is one reason I bought it. It is an excellent tool, comfortable to use, and cleans easily.

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  • 8 months later...

I have a Badger 100XF that is over 30 years old and still a good airbrush.

Also a DeVilbiss Sprite that has had little use.

The Iwatas seem to be forging themselves a really good reputation worldwide

so I may well be looking at one of their Eclipse Air Brushes.

I have seen mention of Grex in this column.

Not a name that I have heard of in the U.K. before.

Is it an American product? Could someone enlighten me about this brand?

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I started having some issues with my Grex brushes (had to replace the fluid nozzles on two of them twice after they broke off) and ended up selling all three of them. I'm not sure if the problems with the nozzles were with the product or me, but I've never had this particular problem with any other airbrush. I now own an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS, a High Performance HP-B Plus and a Revolution BR and I'm quite happy with all three, with the HP-B Plus being my go-to brush.

 

Iwata HP-B Plus

 

David

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