|Badger Airbrush Company|
|Renegade Series R1V Velocity Airbrush|
|Reviewed By Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653|
Web Site: www.badgerairbrush.com
First and foremost, I have a thing for airbrushes. I love using them and have a nice selection I use regularly. So when Badger announced a completely new series, the Renegade series, I immediately took notice. I have been a long time fan of their Sotar 2020 airbrushes (and have two of them). Badger's Renegade Airbrush Series consist of three feature loaded airbrushes -the Velocity, the Spirit, and the Rage, for use in extremely tight-detail oriented custom applications (like figure painting or spraying camouflage on an airplane. Talking to Ken Schlotfeldt, the President of Badger, he stated The Renegade Series features three different airbrushes (gravity feed, side feed, siphon feed) to satisfy the usage preference of all automobile graphic artists- regardless of their airbrush style. These innovative airbrushes feature new "tension sense" trigger action, "stop set" trigger setting system, exact taper micro-precise paint tips, "point perfect "carbide polished needles, "smart center" nozzle assemblies, the most precise paint tips and linear airflow needle angles and many other features never before available in a Badger or any other airbrush. Sounds very impressive and that means time for a test drive!
When you open the box, the first thing that hits you is the case that the airbrush comes in- sturdy aluminum with excellent padding to insure no issues on receipt. The business end of the airbrush has a nice plastic cap and underneath, the cap has two prongs that protect the needle also. The cup also has a cover that prevents anything from getting into the works. The entire airbrush is stout metal including the body and trigger, The cup is molded onto the body and is much larger than a Sotar which for people doing automotive applications is a blessing not to have to refill the cup. At the back of the airbrush, there is a very finely threaded adjustment screw which regulates the travel of the needle and allows a fine repeatable line to be done. This part is very sensitive and is similar to the dial on the back of the Sotar 2020. Examining the front of the airbrush, the ultra fine tip is a 0.21mm (0.008 inches) and the needle is sharply pointed to provide excellent control. The trigger is like butter- I have never felt anything as sensitive and have tried all the major players. Both back and forth (for paint flow) and up and down (for air flow) are smooth as glass! The finish on the airbrush is a kind of burnt metal color and it wear well. I did notice a couple differences. First, the tip holder which holds the 0.21mm tip is fixed to the body of the airbrush- it can't be removed unless you want to void the warranty. This allows the airbrush to center the needle every time. It also means that it takes a different method to clean vs. complete disassembly.
Excellent out of the box - lets shoot some paint and see what we get. My trials consisted of four types of paint powered by my trusty Badger 180-11 compressor. The trial was:
· ModelMaster Enamels thinned with ModelMaster thinner
· Gunze Acrylics thinned with lacquer thinner
· Floquil Enamels
· Lifetone Acrylics
The last comes pre-thinned. My testing involved testing how thin I could get a line from each and also general coverage, plugging the airbrush and ease of use. I grabbed a good size piece of plasticard and set it up for spraying. I wanted to spray these trials back to back to see how easy cleaning was between the different chemistries.
I am very excited to report that everything worked great. Each paint performed somewhat differently not surprisingly. The Gunze was easy to spray thinned about 60/40 lacquer thinner and with 15-20PSI pressure. Very fine lines were simple and clean up a snap. The Floquil took a little adjustment and required thinning more like 50/50 but an excellent fine line was achieved. ModelMaster is probably my least favorite paint amongst the group due to its very thick consistency. It had to be thinned 35/65 but still sprayed very well. I also practiced spots such as used in blotchy camouflage and it also did very well. The Lifetone was last. For those unfamiliar with these paints, they are acrylics designed specifically for airbrush use and sold through Kitbuilders Magazine - really nice stuff. These took the most tinkering as they were the least opaque (which is how they are designed to be) but after lowering the pressure, excellent lines were obtained. I shot some pictures of the tests. Cleaning between was done tests with lacquer thinner and took very little time. I timed myself and disassembled the entire airbrush the degree shown in the picture above.
In the end this is a simple review. I have tried all types of airbrushes- if you are looking for double action, buy this one. Period. The price is VERY reasonable at around $100 compared to my two Sotar 2020 at almost $300 and gives equal performance in spraying and cleaning. The trigger feel is the best ever! My thanks to Ken Schlotfeldt and Badger airbrush for setting a new standard in performance and value.
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