Are you a beginner in the airbrush world or are you an advanced artist just looking to add an all-rounder to your chest of airbrush tools? If you are looking to find an airbrush that is an all-rounder with both reliability and durability then tune in!
Over the next few minutes I will be doing a Badger 150 Airbrush review.
In this review I will look at….
- The differences between a dual action and single action airbrush.
- Explain the difference between a suction feed and gravity feed airbrush.
- How easy it is to change between colors and how quickly it can be done.
- Important internal parts such as the Teflon needle bearing and Teflon Head washer.
- Line widths and coverage
- Parts Availability.
- The Badger 150-7 Kit and what’s included.
Be sure to do your research on the quality of the airbrush brand. Check out product reviews as well artwork that has been produced with the model of airbrush. As a beginner make sure the airbrush that you do decide on is versatile enough to handle fine detail work as well as large scale artworks. The ability to change between colors quickly with minimal wash out in between is also a must.
There are a lot of cheap airbrushes in the market that may look like the top brands but will never be able to perform as well.
Dual Action vs Single Action Airbrushing
When you are deciding on which airbrush to buy it is important to know your purpose first, what are you going to be painting? Are you going to be painting models for example cars, little action figures or are you looking to create fine artworks with great detail. The type of airbrush you purchase will need to be specific to your intended application. Whether you are painting models or fine detail artwork you are going to be looking for the ability to control paint and air. There are two types of trigger action and knowing the difference will help with selecting the right airbrush for your intended purpose.
A single action airbrush is an airbrush that has only one trigger action, press the trigger down you will get paint and air mixing at the same time. This works a similar way to a spray can thus not allowing for small amounts of paint and air to pass gradually through the airbrush, it’s either on or off. This is OK if you are just wanting to lay down a quick coat of paint on models, pottery etc with less need for detail work.
The dual action airbrush has two actions. The first action of this airbrush is when you push the trigger down you will feel the air flow at the front of the airbrush and the second action is to pull back on the trigger which will allow the paint to start mixing with the air. This works sort of like a clutch on a car, the more you pull back on the trigger the more paint will flow. This will allow you to do fine line work as well as spraying large areas quickly. Definitely a must for an airbrush artist, beginner or advanced.
Mastering control of a dual action airbrush will take a lot of practice but the results that can be achieved are amazing. The best way to practice your fine line work is to use a large sheet of paper and do horizontal lines from both directions (thick and thin lines )and vertical lines up and down( thick and thin lines). This is some of the most basic and most effective dual action airbrush training that I have learned. Muscles have memory to, so doing repetitive training with your airbrush creates muscle memory and turns hard applications into easy tasks. Just like riding a bike, once you have memory how to, it will come naturally.
Suction Fed vs Gravity Fed Airbrushes
The Badger 150 Airbrush is a suction fed airbrush. The paint is held in a small jar below the airbrush. As you press down and pull back on the trigger the paint will be sucked through the airbrush and mixed with air atomizing the paint. The benefits of a suction fed airbrush is the ability to change jars quickly with other paint colors with only a quick wash out in between paints.
If your are using inks or acrylic paints just a little water in between colors should be enough to clear the previous color. If you are using solvent based paints or enamels. Using a bit of gun wash will clear the previous color. Suction fed airbrushes are able to spray slightly heavier paint consistencies than gravity fed airbrushes. A suction fed airbrush has the ability to do very fine line work as well as large scale paint coverage such as murals.
The gravity fed airbrush has a small cup mounted on top of the airbrush. When using a gravity fed airbrush it is necessary for the paint or ink medium to be thinned out enough for it to flow easily through the airbrush. Gravity fed airbrushes are generally able to do finer detail artwork but lack the ability to cover large areas quickly due to the small paint volume that is able to be held in the reservoir.
The Importance of Teflon Seals In An Airbrush
The Airbrush is a precise painting instrument. For best results in your art work, having an understanding of the inside of the airbrush is an important step to making an informed decision when purchasing.
Over time rubber or neoprene bearings can degrade if you are constantly using solvent based paints if you do not properly clean all remaining paint out. Whether using solvent based paints or inks and acrylics I always clean my airbrush out with gun wash first and then water.
These bearings keep the airbrush running properly, if they aren’t forming a proper seal lines will become dotted and the airbrush may spit paint unexpectedly. Rubber bearings can become slimy or sticky due to the break down caused by solvent & oil based paints. The Teflon bearings are a little more expensive to replace but will last longer.
I do recommend keeping multiple spare parts for the airbrush at all times. I do use rubber o-rings as replacements sometimes and they do work fine in the short term, (until you can replace your Teflon head bearing).
Line Widths and Coverage
The badger 150 can be bought as a complete kit, this comes with a fine, medium and heavy head assembly and corresponding needles to fit, fine, medium and heavy. Using the fine head assembly and fine needle set up allows you as the artist to achieve lines thinner than 1 mm. Practice, Practice, practice as it will take some time to achieve these sorts of line widths. My head assembly of choice is the fine head set up, not only can I do fine hair lines but I can cover an A3 sheet in about a minute. Changing the head assemblies will allow you to cover bigger areas and run thicker paints such as t-shirt paints, but you will sacrifice the fine lines and the detail.
Value For Money In This Airbrush Kit
There are a number of kits available but the one I recommend is the Badger 150-7 Airbrush Kit. This kit is great value for money as it comes with three different head assemblies and matching needles, fine, medium and heavy. Each head assembly also comes with it’s’s own Teflon head bearing. The kit also includes a 1/4 ounce paint cup, a 3/4 ounce jar and adapter and a 2 ounce jar with a screw on cap. Other inclusions are a small wrench, a protective cap to protect the head of the airbrush when not in use and an 8-foot braided air hose with a 1/4 inch adapter to connect to your compressor.
Are Parts Easy to Buy For The Badger 150 Airbrush?
These days the parts for the badger 150 airbrushes are a lot easier to purchase. When I first started using the airbrush they were a little hard to get in Australia ( where I live) so I had to buy them from the USA and have them shipped to me. There were only a few sites that the parts were available from so had to try to find the best price as well as the best shipping cost to make it worthwhile buying the part. Parts now can be sourced locally and easily across the globe, it doesn’t matter where you live.
Badger 150 Airbrush Art Work
All the pictures in the section of the review have been completed using the Badger 150 Airbrush fitted with a fine head assembly. As you can see the pictures are quite large and packed with a lot of fine detail.
A Reliable Easy to Use Airbrush
What airbrush do I purchase as a beginner and what airbrush can I use that will do everything?
This is a great question to think about before purchasing your first airbrush or if you are looking to add to your artistry kit. The Badger 150 Airbrush is what I believe to be the best all round airbrush. The airbrush is capable of doing really fine line work with great control as it is a dual action airbrush with two trigger movements allowing better paint and air control.
Suction feed gives you the ability to change colors quickly when painting artworks. This means that you can premix your colors for your work in the small jars and then quickly change during the artwork. This allows you to layer your work with opaque paints, then come back in over the top quickly with transparent paints. The ability to change colors quickly with premix paint really does save a lot of time on art works.
Teflon head and needle bearings add to the overall durability of this airbrush, with them being solvent resistant is a big plus as you know that the bearings aren’t going to let you down while using the airbrush. I mentioned before solvents can slowly eat away rubber bearings over time.
Last of all be sure to check out parts availability as you don’t won’t to get caught half-way through an artwork and not able to finish until the parts arrive in the post. At least now parts are only days away not weeks like when I started .
To say that I only own Badger 150 airbrush would be a lie, I also own a Badger 155 Anthem and an Iwata HP-C Plus high performance airbrush. As you develop your airbrush skills the need for other specialized spray guns will develop and you to will develop a need for specialist airbrushes.
I have been airbrushing professionally for 12 years and purchased the Iwata as a present to myself because of its ability to do 0.2 mm lines. I am yet to use the Iwata, not because I am a Badger enthusiast, but just haven’t needed to as the 150 allows me to do so much. I use my 155 anthem for temporary tattooing or T-shirt painting at markets because it is a lot tougher around people. (if your airbrush gets knocked or dropped to the ground, breakages don’t happen as much. It’s even tougher than the 150, but limited to heavy work and not fine line detail).
I hope this review helps you make an informed decision on your upcoming airbrush purchase. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below.