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Which airbrush would you recommend

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by LordLordyLordy, Feb 28, 2019.


  1. LordLordyLordy

    LordLordyLordy Young Tutorling

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    So I've narrowed it down to a few different AB that I like and I think would fit what I will use them for. I am going at this purchase a lil differently than I normally would which would be to just purchase the top end AB and use it. As much as I would like to do that, I don't have all the funds right now and I see in the future that I could use an AB for priming.

    I will be using the AB mostly for painting plastic or resin Warhammer figures or something similar ( that is what my oldest son is in to right now) I also have another son who just started college and he is very good at the comic strip style art so I may end up doing some larger artwork pieces on paper but would still have the smaller detail in them. I am looking at gravity feed AB.

    The AB that I have narrowed it down to are the H&S Ultra, Badger Xtreme Patriot and the H&S Infinity. The Infinity being the one that I end up with later on after I have used one of the others for a while.

    I know a lot of this has to do with opinion and on every AB there are 8-9 great reviews and 1-2 good but not great. My brother has an Iwata HP-C+ and it's nice. I'm not set on or against Iwata.

    I have larger hands (XL or size 11 glove in US). I'm looking at buying new or a used one in very good condition. There aren't many local hobby shops in my area so I will have to order one online. I am familiar with Spraygunner.com.

    I like the Ultra being the same brand as the Infinity and parts being interchangeable and the fit and finish. On the Badger Patriot Xtreme I like the coating and style of the brush with the added features over the Ultra and ease of needle access. Having not held any of the AB I have listed and some of the differences I've listed may not be relevant between the two and/or the differences in time (or call it convenience) of not having to do one or the other will actually be what makes the decision, if that makes sense.

    For those that have used each of these brushes or at least the Ultra and Badger Xtreme can you please tell me the pros and cons of each compared to each other? So I can make an educated decision and get one.
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    Either will make a good brush but on the Ultra/Infinity do not waste money getting the .15 nozzle,Needle set up unless you are only shooting Ink, With any paint I have used in the .15 even running it through a filter the nozzle cracks and fast.
    Badger makes a good airbrush. As far as big hand yours aren't that big being I were a xxl Glove and I perfer the weight and feel of the Eclispe and Micron over the Infinity and the Badgers mainly due to the weight. Yes I own a few airbrushes I have a problem it is call AAD lol
  3. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    AAD is NOT a problem, it’s just an itch that we have to scratch :p
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  4. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Hmm, you really kinda picked two very different brushes to compare.

    The H&S is a better built brush. Quality of fit and finish are not even comparable between the two. With that being said, the Badger may be the easier of the two to use. I think the Badger covers a broader range of versatility without changing parts than the H&S. I also find that the Badgers tend to eat anything you feed them without being quite as temperamental about reduction, and such... not always, but enough that I sometimes turn to them when I just want to paint, and not worry about it.

    Not without some issues, is the Badger. If you are on Facebook, here is a bit of a write up I did on my first one (1st Xtreme, not Badger) - https://www.facebook.com/1063587837080137/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1274780619294190

    That PAC screw is the silliest thing I have seen on a brush, and such a cheap way to achieve the goal. You can also consider purchasing a regular Patriot, and adding the fine detail kit to it it, to get the same needle/nozzle combo as the Xtreme, and then add a MAC valve to your hose. Not a fan of the press in needle packing either, and my sample started leaking within the first few uses. I have had a broad range of success or lack there of on this sort of packing... A big plus is that replacement parts are dirt cheap compared to almost any other brand, and the company has a fantastic customer service record.

    The H&S is a very nice unit. As mentioned, the fit and finish are superb. I do prefer the more adjustable Infinity - especially in the trigger department. The new v2 needles available for the entire H&S line are a very nice upgrade to an already well performing series of brushes. You need to change needle and nozzle to get the same range of performance as the Badger may offer in stock trim, but it is an easy task to accomplish, taking just a few minutes (moments, really) without the use of tools.

    I will add one more brush you may consider here - and that would be the Iwata Eclipse HP-CS. The brush is built like a tank, and offers the performance to cover everything the other two can. They may take a little time to master, but are an extremely capable brush.

    Whatever you decide, do keep us posted on your progress!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2019
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  5. LordLordyLordy

    LordLordyLordy Young Tutorling

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    Thank you for the responses. I read about this in a review and won't go smaller than the .20 nozzle if I end up with the Infinity.

    I have looked a this AB and it was one that I had on my list. I then found the others I listed which are a lil cheaper and I plan on getting something better than what the Eclipse will offer once I am able to expand my skill set and my AB arsenal.

    I've tried to set myself some boundaries and be educated on my next purchase. I am trying to avoid that "impulse buy" or "that impulse itch" as mentioned above that so many talk about :). My thought process was if I was going to spend $150 + on another first AB I'd be better off spending the extra $100 and get into something similar to the Infinity. Staying around the $100 +/- level makes it easier for me to stay within a set of AB. When I start to look at the more expensive ones I usually keep going and I'm right back at the Infinity levelo_O
  6. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I hear ya, but will add that the potential performance level that the Eclipse can offer can make it the only brush you will ever need... not that that it would be, because Airbrush Acquisition Disorder (AAD, as it is called around here) is already knocking at the door - but, it could be :) You may pause for a few minutes to look at it some more...
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  7. m3ntalo

    m3ntalo Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    H&s are good, but don't take the ultra. It lacks a lot of advantages you have on the other Modells. (you can't take the aircap of to expose the needle, you cannot change the color cups later, because it's just plugged in not screwed like on evo and infinity).

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  8. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    Never used any of the ones on your list before. But I will also recommend reconsidering the Eclipse.
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  9. LordLordyLordy

    LordLordyLordy Young Tutorling

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    I won't be getting the Ultra. It looks like I needed to check the to the sales section and maybe put a WTB ad (if they are allowed there) for an HP-CS or I'd even consider the SBS if someone wanted to dust one off and part ways with it. Thank you for the responses
  10. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    There are a couple economical ways to buy an Eclipse. Coast airbrush sells gently used "classroom" brushes for I think $99. Also, if you use a 40% off coupon at hobby lobby you can get a new one for just over $100.
  11. LordLordyLordy

    LordLordyLordy Young Tutorling

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    I've checked my local Hobby Lobby and they won't let me use the 40% off on the AB. I'll check into Coast. Thanks for the information.
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  12. LordLordyLordy

    LordLordyLordy Young Tutorling

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    Round two I guess. I've done more reading and looking around and watching reviews.

    I know the one isn't one I started with at the beginning of this thread. I have eliminated the Ultra and am looking at these. I thought I had narrowed it down before but I picked up some good advise in this thread so I am open if there is another AB that someone wants to suggest that is of the same style and quality and within the same price range, I'll take a look at it. Pros and cons on each and any new AB suggested?

    HS Infinity
    Iwata HP-CS
    Iwata HP-SBS

    A little more information that may help.

    For now I am mostly painting small resin figures. I would like to paint helmets, motorcycle tanks and that type of art. I mentioned that I have used my brothers Iwata Hi Line HP-CH but not enough to determine if that AB is the one or not. It's not in my price range right now anyway. I started years ago with an Aztec so a side feed isn't that big. A lot of what I have read on gravity feed seems better other than the preference of not having the cup on top.

    9 times out of 10 I've gone with quality over quantity and purchased the better quality because they usually perform better and last longer. As I've mentioned my budget isn't $500 or I would get something in that range and I will probably end up getting another airbrush at some point to fill a void in what I need. I didn't mention earlier but I use an older Badger Silent II oil recip compressor which I have had for years and it's still running strong.

    I'm not a pro by any means and I know there isn't one brush that can do it all. I want a good quality AB that can evolve with me and will last.

    I guess I am trying to find out is which AB has the higher percentage of doing more than one of the others, knowing that different paint and solvents may come into play later on?


    Again thanks for all of the input.
  13. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I have all three of those... I will mention that I previously had the Infinity CR, and could never come to terms with it. The brush had a mushy feeling through the trigger. For me, paint initiation was very ambiguous. I tried everything, but never did get to feeling comfortable with the brush, and eventually traded it off. I did not feel right not having one in my collection ( I have, well, I have lot of brushes) so, I just recently purchased another one. Night and day different feeling than the first, although technically they are the same. I can't explain it, just reporting my experience. The trigger feel is nice and crisp, with very good response in paint flow, and initiation.

    On the Eclipses - I use my SBS more often, mostly because I am not a huge fan of the larger gravity feed cups. I use a lot of "B", and even "A" cup brushes the most often. Performance wise, the SBS and the CS cover the same ground. You will go through a full cup of paint faster on the SBS simply because it is smaller then the CS's cup. For me, I would call the Eclipses easier to use more frequently than the Infinity - once you get a feel for them. They are less sensitive to precise paint reduction, or pigment size than the Infinity. That can be a rub, though, as they will move some paint with a quickness, and it may feel a little easier to control the smaller nozzled Infinity...

    All very good brushes here, so not really a bad choice to be had.
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  14. RebelAir

    RebelAir Air-Valve Autobot!

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    All decent options. If you plan to paint small, get a good detail brush, plan to paint big, get a good Badger Anthem, LOL or a brush that can throw some paint. Often airbrushes are confined to one area of ability, specialized for want of a better term, few brushes can do everything well and in that case if you want something that can change with you, get a brush that has multiple head and needle options or else you go back into that specialized aspect. Best to look at multiple options so you always have the best gun for the job, but if staring out, or budget is tight, I always try to suggest a gun that can suit the need at the time, Badger 150's if they still sell em are a good kit too :). Have fun :)
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  15. LordLordyLordy

    LordLordyLordy Young Tutorling

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    I bought a nice used Iwata HP-SBS online for $99. Thanks for all the replies. I'll get going with it when it arrives and post some other threads on progress. I still need to get quick release, hoses, regulator and filter. Is the plastic filter I've seen attached between the AB and hose to much to have on it? It looks like it could get heavy and make it difficult to maneuver. I have usually put the filter on between the compressor and hose. Any recommended brands on the quick release, braided hose, regulator and filter?

    Another question I have is my son who paints the Warhammer figures wants to continue painting them with his brushes but he wants to get an AB to use for primer on the figures or spraying his homemade landscaping. Resin figures and foam and/or cardboard landscapes.

    I am guessing that he will probably want a bottom feed with the jars and a .5 nozzle? He doesn't have anything right now and will need everything from the AB to compressor.

    What is going to be the best cheaper end setup for him to get? It can be no name or a copy cat. We have a local Harbor Freight. There are the others that are listed online that are cheaper from overseas. Being it will be spraying a high volume of paint are the cheaper compressors going to even work for what he wants to do with it?

    Thanks in advance.
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  16. J000seph

    J000seph Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    You will have to let us know how you like the Eclipse!
  17. crewchief227

    crewchief227 Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

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    Congrats on the eclipse, good choice cause it's easy to maintain, parts are cheap (for iwata), and people can't say enough good for a starter.
  18. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    Congrats, and no, I dont notice any adverse effects to having a filter attached, it gives you a little extra to hang on to :)

    If you think its not going to be a 5 minute thing (we all know what kids are like) then I'd probably forget about the generic brush, go with the Eclipse siphon, it will go the distance and cause less frustration.
    if he's doing larger landscapes then I'd suggest a workshop compressor if noise isnt an issue. It will cope a lot better with the larger volume of air required for the priming/basecoating.

    If noise IS going to be an issue then I'd look at some of the California air 'silent' compressors...... not actually silent but a lot less ear bleeding than the normal workshop compressors.
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