Airbrush

10 Best airbrush comparative testing

10 Best airbrush comparative testing

Best airbrush comparative testing

Although it is known that the spray painting technique dates back to the first cave paintings, the first design that works on the same principle as today’s modern guns was invented by Charles Burdick, and the first patent for the system used was received by Thayer & Chandler company in 1893. The design principle is that the paint is sprayed onto the surface with the help of a pen-like structure with a pressurized system.

The use of a spray gun in modeling is preferred because it brings the model closer to reality as paint, and it also achieves results that cannot be achieved in painting with a brush. Everyone who has just started model-making will cross their path with a spray gun one day. At this point, the choice to be made within the ratio of cost and purpose determines the difficulties that the person will face while taking the next steps.

The most common question we get in forums comes from modelers at this selection stage; which paints gun (- airbrush; this word of applied fine art origin is used both for paint gun and for ruler for drawing curved lines) (-airbrush: it is the English name of the tool and is generally used by us) should I buy?

To answer this question as best we could, we decided to collect and compare the pistols we have with Arkut (copilot_clumsy) on equal terms, and we would like to thank our dear Kaan Kurdoğlu (Lonewolf) who gave us the VJR, which is not in our pistol arsenal, for testing. In order for the comparison to be healthy, we put 10 pistols through three tests, two of which were under equal conditions. For some of the airbrushes used, the target audience was graphic designers rather than modelers. Although their high cost and availability pose some problems, we did not skip them during the testing phase as they set a precedent.

Airbrush models used for testing

  • Devilbiss Sprite

  • Paasche VJR

  • Sotar 2020

  • Aerograph Super 93

  • Aztec 470

  • Iwata Custom Micron B

  • Badger 100G

  • Iwata HPBH

  • EFBE A

  • Olympos SPB

The test consists of three stages:

1. Acrylic paint test: Pressure was kept the same for all guns, diluted paint was used in the same bottle
Color: Dark green
Paint: Gunze Sangyo
Thinner: Food ethyl alcohol
Pressure: 0.85 Bar
Consistency: Milk consistency

2. Enamel paint test: Pressure was kept the same for all guns, and diluted paint was used in the same bottle
Color: Flanker blue
Paint: Testors Modelmaster II
Thinner: Lacquer thinner
Pressure: 0,80 Bar
Consistency: Milk consistency

3. Limit test: The maximum performance test they can give in model paints by adjusting the pressure and consistency according to the airbrush; For speckled, mottled camouflage, aging-derived attractions rather than direct large-area camouflage and monochrome large-area painting. (The reason why it is stated as model paint, is we have seen that some airbrush, which gives its real performance with ink, cannot achieve satisfactory results no matter how thin you make the model paint)
Color: Red
Paint: Gunze Sangyo
Thinner: Food ethyl alcohol
Pressure: Variable
Consistency: In most of them, it is almost transparent that the bottom of the chamber can be seen.

The ground used is a millimeter (drawn squares are 1 millimeter by 1 millimeter) paper prepared with the logic of paper.

Devilbiss Sprite

The first time I met him was in 1990, if I’m not mistaken, he was instrumental in winning my first award. I wasted two of them for various reasons, due to the ignorance of the first airbrush, the lack of people around, and the lack of internet.

There are some problems with the trigger in use, this is due to the stiffness of the spring mechanism of the trigger reflecting the stiffness of the trigger. In addition, the short and blunt needle tip can cause difficulties in adjusting the width of the discarded paint unless you are used to it. On the other hand, thanks to the trigger lock, it can be used as a single action when desired.
Plastic parts require attention during cleaning. In cellulosic use, the breast may melt in the long term (this handicap is more or less valid for all pistols in the test).
It throws the paint homogeneously, since the paint is denser in the air paint mixture, one-time coverage is quite good (it prevents crossing the same line multiple times). When using enamel, it oversprays (tiny involuntary dots around the target point) in point pulses. In the use of acrylic, this overspray is noticeably reduced. Suitable for throwing camouflage at a 1/48 scale. Since the needle guard is detachable, you can get as close to the surface as you want (depending on how much risk you like to take).
Note: don’t drop it with the lid on the bowl, the bowl cracks, it’s not nice

Paasche VJR

We had the opportunity to test it with Arkut for the first time, it gave a performance far above our expectations, in Arkut’s words an “unknown celebrity”.

The trigger path is long and very soft, and the needle is long so that the thickness can be adjusted precisely. It can be used as a single action as it has a trigger lock. It is easy to clean as there is no gasket on the nozzle on the head. It oversprays in thin strokes in enamel paint, it compensates for this in acrylic use. Although I cannot visually warm the red plastic back, the lightness it provides returns as balance in the hand-fitting part.
The only handicap of the VJR is the small size of the chamber, making the filling process very repetitive in large-surface painting; but in the VSR90, which is similar in structure, this problem has been solved with replaceable chambers.
The air/paint ratio is satisfactory, the concealer throws the paint. An interesting note; There is a point that we both noticed, it is very difficult to describe it in words, you feel as if the paint is “flowing” (not in the sense of spilling) when you throw the paint, my horse is very soft, it has a different feeling.

Sotar 2020

Badger company’s gift to graphic designers. They have solved all the handicaps in the standard series in this model (unlike other Badger models, such as the long needle tip and the detachable needle guard).

Its ergonomics are incredible, its type is like a spaceship, but its performance with model paint is deplorable (it’s above the standard, but it doesn’t even come close to the performance it gives with ink). It oversprays both enamel and acrylic. We were only able to witness some of its real performance in the limit test. It is necessary for every home, but it is definitely not suitable for standard modeling.

Aerograph Super 93

The version of Devilbiss Super 63 is produced by the Aerograph company as Super 93. The main differences between the two models are the difference in the material used in the needle and head.

The gun in the test was the Super 93E model (0.17 head), but the trigger and spring mechanism were swapped out from the Super 93S (0.12 head) for more comfortable use. It has all the positive points of Devilbiss Sprite even more advanced. Although the needle is blunt, it is quite efficient, and the overspray effect is almost negligible (no overspray at around 250 euros anyway). Concealer does not spit when spraying paint. Lack of trigger lock is a handicap. The fact that the back is not metal allows it to sit in the hand in a balanced way. It requires attention during cleaning.

Aztec 470

In the test, the earth-colored thin head that came out of the box was used. It has to be right, it has the most elegant box, but unfortunately, this is the only positive side. It did not show compatibility with the paint of normal consistency.

The gun, which gives the worst reaction to dirt in terms of its structure, directly damages the system when the residues that may remain in the body after temporary cleaning escape from the trigger part, and this damage is not possible to be eliminated by the user. Likewise, the dirt left in the nozzle can also be a big problem, it is quite tiring because there is a gap in the trigger.

Iwata Custom Micron B

It is the only pistol that defies the Super 93 in the test (it is natural when the price is around 350 euro).

The hardness of the trigger can be adjusted. It is easy to clean, there is almost no overspray in the removal of lines and spots, It sits comfortably in the hand. The only negative that can be said about it is the use of o-rings as a head gasket and needle gasket, unfortunately, it is not as durable as Teflon.

Badger 100G

The trigger is soft, and the new models have a short needle, which creates a problem for bald horses. If we do not count the top-class airbrush in the test, the performance of enamel paint is good compared to other airbrushes, but it oversprays in acrylic use.

Thanks to its metal structure, it removes abuse, but the same does not apply to the gasket set and nozzle, it must be replaced after a long period of use. (As a general system, the same considerations apply to the 100 and 150 series, as a nozzle set, especially for the 100 and 150 series, which is due to the back and forth movement of the trigger). As the needle guard cannot be removed, the surface cannot be approached satisfactorily. Since the needle is on the airside in the air-paint mixture ratio, it is not a concealer in single passes, so it seems like a disadvantage that the painting takes a long time, but in some cases, it can help to correct the error that will occur in the painting pattern early. The aluminum backs are ergonomically quite good, but the new generation metal ones negatively affect the balance of the pistol.

Iwata HPBH

It is incompatible with the paint of normal consistency, it has a lot of overspray in both enamel and acrylic use.

The trigger is soft and smooth. Cleaning the nozzle is difficult as the nozzle is mounted on the body. Its advantages are that it can be finely adjusted from the bottom and that it contains a Teflon gasket.

EFBE A

Again, a pistol was produced for graphic designers. Its needle is very blunt, therefore it is not very suitable for cellulosic use, it gives a more successful performance in acrylic.

The grip ergonomics are sufficient, but the needle cannot be brought close to the ground due to the head structure. It beats the paint smoothly without interruption (it feels beyond the Paasche experience). Since the nozzle is 0.15, even the smallest deposits are hostile to the tool. It cannot be said that it is suitable for general modeling. Regardless of the consistency of the paint, it is important to note that the thickness of the lines drawn is very close to each other.

Olympos SP-B

The nozzle is thin, so it cannot give a full performance in thin lines in thinned paints normally in milk consistency.

Since the nozzle is mounted on the body, the same cleaning problems are present in this gun. There is a trigger hardness setting. Although the needle seal is an O-ring, it is compatible with the Teflon seal of Iwata HPBH.

Limit test results:

Devilbiss Sprite: Lines, spots, and camouflage lines can be cleared as it throws the paint intensely, provided that the pressure is not kept too low.

Paasche VJR: It does not come to low pressure, but it is not as compatible as Sprite at high pressure, so it may cause problems in 1/72 painting, but it is suitable for shading, and discoloration, dirty, oily, etc. derivative effects.

Sotar 2020: It requires very thin paint at normal pressure. It is ideal for very fine spots and aging on a 1/48 scale, but it requires extra attention since the needle is directly exposed.

Aerograph Super 93: It is possible to get incredible results in the model with the appropriate pressure and thinning ratio. It requires care and experience.

Aztek 470: Although it fell behind in the test, it is not possible to say the results are bad, it is possible to get good results with good training.

Iwata Custom Micron B: According to Sprites, although the compressor pressure output is constant, lower pressure comes out of the head. Its advantage is that it can remove the paint intensely, and the gasket problem is its disadvantage. As a result, it is possible to mention all the praises for Super 93 in the CMB.

Badger 100G: There is a problem with not getting the paint intensely in terms of paint closure time. It oversprays less in spots and a lot in lines. There is a problem with not getting closer to the needle due to the head structure.

Iwata HPBH: It wants low pressure. In terms of the best quality, it’s between Sprite and Badger.

EFBE A: A complete disappointment with the model paint, due to its incompatibility with paints other than ink

Olympos SP-B: Beautiful (One-word interpretation of Arkut)

Overall Result :

It is possible to make three main rankings within this test: The first two are the rankings in which we include all pistols, and the third is the ranking that includes four pistols on the same price scale in Turkey.

1. To Paint a Model

  • Aerograph Super 93
  • Iwata Custom Micron B
  • Olympos SP-B
  • Devilbiss sprites
  • Paasche VJR
  • Badger 100g
  • Iwata HPBH
  • Aztec 470
  • Sotar 2020
  • EFBE A

2. To Custom Paint

  • Iwata Custom Micron B
  • Aerograph Super 93
  • EFBE A
  • Olympos SP-B
  • Sotar 2020
  • Devilbiss sprites
  • Iwata HPBH
  • Paasche VJR
  • Badger 100g
  • Aztec 470

3. In terms of cost, service, ease of use, and ease of supply

  1.  Paasche VJR
  2.  Devilbiss Sprite
  3.  Badger 100G (150)
  4.  Aztec 470

The 4 Best Airbrushes in our opinion

Although Sprite is our first choice in the list of four pistols above, considering that it may cause spare parts problems in the long run, we put it in the second place. A tool that lasts a long time with careful use. Price $351.00

Paasche VJR took the first place thanks to its ease of use and results, and it will be possible to reach the entire product scale in a very short time. Price (VJR) $116.00

Badger 100 series gives better results in enamel compared to the first two, however, the quality of the material used in recent years has decreased (needles have changed from long and pointed to blunt and short; Delrin has started to be used instead of Teflon, so spare parts are needed at the same frequency infrequent uses, use of brass instead of aluminum in the handle), peeling off its coating in the medium term) has placed it in third place in the ranking. The price of the 100-150 series is between $69.00 and $145.00 depending on the set type.

Aztek 470, on the other hand, cannot provide the comfort of use for the first three, and it does not allow much intervention other than its own kit in terms of maintenance. Price $153.54 Full set.

In normal use, these four pistols perform close to each other at constant values, so it is necessary for the modeler to gain experience in order to understand the difference between them. In short, it is the user of the pistol who has the last word. We recommend that you evaluate the test according to your wishes without skipping this detail. There are, of course, some points worth noting. For example, for normal dyeing, you can achieve the desired result with a small change in pressure, adjusting the consistencies with the experience that will be formed, but with little effort but very difficult.

Arkut Y. Yüksel is in testing phase…

Arkut Yuksel

Tests and experiences: Arkut Y. Yüksel
Photos and compilation: H.Ufuk Aydıner
Authors note:
These tests reflect our personal opinions and comments. Concepts such as price and availability are taken into account in the tests and may change according to the conditions of the day. No commercial purpose was used in the tests. The results are open to comments from “modelsitesi” residents.

It is a quote.

Thanks;
Arkut Yusuf Yuksel – H.Ufuk Aydiner
http://www.modelsitesi.com/makaleler/testdrive01/index.htm

  • Devilbiss Sprite
  • Paasche VJR
  • Sotar 2020
  • Aerograph Super 93
  • Aztec 470
  • Iwata Custom Micron B
  • Badger 100G
  • Iwata HPBH
  • EFBE A
  • Olympos SPB
  • Iwata Eclipse HP-CS
  • Paasche Talon TG-3F
  • Iwata Media Revolution CR
  • Badger Air-Brush Co 105 Patriot
  • Iwata Eclipse HP CS with Compressor Kit
  • Devilbiss Sprite
  • Paasche VJR
  • Sotar 2020
  • Aerograph Super 93
  • Aztec 470
  • Iwata Custom Micron B
  • Badger 100G
  • Iwata HPBH
  • EFBE A
  • Olympos SPB

About Hulk

I'm Haluk, everyone calls me Hulk. Skydiver, Scale modeler, and Front and Developer. Hobbyzero.com CEO and author.

Back to list

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *