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Badger V Iwata

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by Rincewind, Feb 10, 2017.


  1. Rincewind

    Rincewind Double Actioner

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    Being a novice to Airbrushing I`m wondering about the question of whether to carry on indefinitely using the two Badger Airbrushes I use ,which are the Badger Xtreme Patriot 105 ,and the Badger Renegade Krome, or eventually switch to try the Iwata custom micron ?
    You see ,I really like using these two and I`ve never try`d anything else mainly because of the short time I`ve been Airbrushing and the other is the cost involved . But because the Iwata custom is a revered brush as far as I can see as the Holy grail of airbrushes (unless I`m totally wrong) , Its that O`l nagging voice in the back of your mind making me wonder about a Custom Micron .
    No one I know does paintbrushing in my vicinity ,so I can`t even try out an Iwata custom ,so thats out .
    I do realize I`ve still got a long way to go yet in Airbrushing and I know people will rightly say ," wait till you have much more experience before even thinking about that ". But you can`t help thinking about it , so I just thought I`d ask , " is eventually the Iwata Custom Micron worth me selling my two Badgers and buying the Custom Micron or might I just as well keep my two "boys" I `ve got now because I wouldn`t be much better off If I did change ? Is the Custom Micron really that much better to warrant changing to or is there not going to be much difference gained in what I would find after the change ? I find it hard to see I`d get a much better brush than the Xtreme patriot 105 , but again I havn`t tried any other makes so I don`t know.
    I throw it open to your opinions guys ?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  2. JackEb

    JackEb Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I'll start by saying I don't possess any badger brushes, but I do know their reputation.
    I'd say keep them, love them and treat them well.
    When you feel ready the by all means get an iwata Micron. It certainly won't hold you back in your airbrush journey and it may help speed you up a little.
    A few things to consider though. When starting out we can all do horrendous things to airbrushed, just through inexperience- flare /crack nozzles, bend needles, drop them and damage the whole business end.
    On a non Micron brush it can painful to the wallet.... on a Micron it can be financially impossible.
    Like all high end equipment it has high cost repair bills, so just be aware of that.
    I was lucky enough to buy a used Micron from a member here. I cleaned it, and put it away until I felt comfortable enough mentally that I wasn't going to cause damage.
    Once you use it you won't regret your purchase. But keep your badgers. They still have a place in your toolbox - right tool for the job, you wouldnt do large background areas with a Micron !
  3. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Needle-chuck Ninja

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    I love my badgers, that's all I have. The two you have are great units, just keep them clean and take care of them. Use them, master them. Down the road once you feel you can't squeeze any more outta them, then think about a micron. I've seen what can be done with them, they are solid brushes. Use that money for paint, and paper or other supplies and or tools you might want to get. Just my two cents....have fun.
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  4. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    I'm an Iwata fan, and my dream was a micron. It took me a couple of years to get one, and it didn't disappoint, and I was able to move on to the next level with my airbrushing. However......

    Airbrushes are such a personal thing - the weight, the balance, trigger position, trigger action etc, etc different things suit different people, and also what you paint is a factor. The micron is an all out detail brush. I often paint in small areas and want the really fine detail I can get from my brush, but I still use my original eclipse with its .35 nozzle for most of my work. So if you don't need that kind of detail, then its a lot of money for something you might not need or use that much - although if you just want one for the sake of it then join the AAD club (airbrush aquisition disorder).

    If you like the feel and performance of your badgers, you may find a badger upgrade a more natural progression. However for now if you are happy with your badgers, maybe focus on pushing the brushs you have to their limit, find out what they can do, and how to really get the best out of them. In the meantime if you get the opportunity to visit a store, or show or workshop etc (I am in the same position of not knowing any ABers in real life, or having suppliers you can visit nearby, so I know its difficult. But some bike shows have ABers, or there may be a class near you) you could try some different brushes then, even if its just to hold them to see how they feel.

    With more experience, and knowing what your brushes are capable of, you will have a really good basis for comparison, and have more of an idea of what you need from a brush before spending a lot of money.

    Badger have a great rep, and good service, and the grass may not be greener if they give you what you need.

    I am trying to be unbiased, but having said that - I love my micron, I actually love it lol. It is worth every one of its very many pennies to me. I love how it fits in my hand, it feels natural to use, and I believe the atomisation is second to none. Do I recommend it? - Hell yes. Does that mean its going to be a love affair for you - only you can know.

    But there's no rush, you'll find out along the way what's right for you. Unless you have money burning a hole in your pocket - then the AAD is always looking for new members lol.
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  5. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    I have the two Badgers you mention. I also have a few Iwata Microns. Well, and about 30 others, to boot. The brush I am using most often? My most go to brush is an Iwata HP-B+. It is the one brush that just does it all for me. The trigger is in just the right spot, and has just the right feel to it, to be about my favorite. The balance, weight, feel in hand - it is the one brush that becomes more a part of me than any other.

    My point - everyone is different. The one brush that is "the one" will be different for everyone.

    I have known more than one person that started with a Badger, and then tried a Micron, and could just never get comfortable with it... The Iawta is a wonderful piece of machinery, very well made - but, in the end, it is just another tool. It's value will largely be decided by the one that works the trigger, and their own ability to take advantage of it.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
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  6. Rincewind

    Rincewind Double Actioner

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    Very interesting info Dave and it made me pause for thought on you saying you`ve known people use Badger brushes and then go over to the Micron just to find they could not adjust to it . I`m really appreciating this helpful feedback I`m getting from you people who are more experienced . Its really great info which I do take on board as there`s nothing better than experience guiding you along .
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  7. MarcosD

    MarcosD Needle-chuck Ninja

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    I recently bought an CM-SB, it's a beauty and it feels really great in my hand, but I don´t know if it is that I'm more used to my Evolution but I really like it more, but like it or not, the CM make it easiest and better. If I had been able to try the micron before buying it, I think I wouldn’t buy it. At least, not at my current level of airbrushing expertise.
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  8. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    My go-to detail brush is my side-feed SOTAR. A Micron would undoubtedly spray better and be easier to clean, but the thing I really love about the SF SOTAR is the pen-like form factor. The SOTAR is about the same diameter as an ordinary pen, not much heavier, and the side feed version has a super, super short trigger-to-tip distance that makes it about as close to drawing with a pen or pencil as you can possibly get with an airbrush. Nice as it is, the CMs are larger and have a longer front end. Plus there's the air channel "swoosh" between the valve stem and the body all higher-tier Iwatas have, which I'm not keen on. The SOTAR (and the Krome) have a removable plastic piece which simulates this, and my experience with that has taught me that it gets in the way of my grip and I don't care for it.

    I'd really love to try out a Micron to see if it's worth it, but I feel like I'd be trading away too much of my preferred ergonomics to shell out so much money for one blind.

    That said, I seem to be very much in the minority in wanting pen-like handling. Most seem to go completely the opposite way, and try emulate the ergonomics of full-sized spray-guns instead.
  9. MeeshellMP

    MeeshellMP Goddess Queen of carts Mod

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    Welp...I started as a Badger gal. (Actually paasche was very first). So...with that being said, I own 3 Kromes...and each one
    has a mind of its own. When I was down to one ab (and in the middle of my busiest season), a friend of mine sent me a Iwata HP-B plus...and I loved it! Then a buddy of mine makes Iwata HP-CS Hot Rod Series airbrushes, and I bought one of those...love it! Also have a Paasche Vision (hate it!) Soon I will be trying out the new Badger Patriot Extreme (exited about that
    one). All of them feel different, fit in my hand different, but the weights are all good (vision is heavy). I love all of them, and use all of them to airbrush with. Each one of them plays a different part in what
    Im working on. So, if you wanna try a different ab, then do so :) you will find they all play a part, one with ultimate details, one for backgrounds, minor details..and such ;)
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  10. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    hehehe, all the things you point out as preferences are the exact opposite of the way I see it - No right or wrong, so please don't take it that way! It just goes to show how much personal preference plays into these things.

    I have a few Sotars, and do like them. A side-feed Sotar is not a factory option, so going to third party can be a limiting factor for some. I am making mine out of a 100 body. I like the 100, and am not 100% sure I will prefer it with the Sotar head on it.

    Now to the nitty gritty - The body diameter on the Micron body is the same as the Sotar. When held side by side, the Sotar is a bit longer, but when heads are lined up, less of the Sotar protrudes forward, more over the back of the hand. On the older Sotar, which has a thinner walled color cup, it balanced well - the new ones have a fatter cup, and do not balance as well... to me.

    It is funny that you reference "pen-like handling", because this is the exact reason I prefer the Micron over the Sotar :). A pen has a barrel that tapers down to the point, so does a pencil for that matter... a paint brush does the same. All drawing implements that we commonly use to create detail taper to a point. The Sotar head just drops off, pretty flat. When I look down the barrel of the Sotar, I feel like I am looking down a tree branch in comparison to the nicely tapered head of the Micron. Spray patters are spray patterns, and when you are talking about a line that is - say, pencil thin, no matter the implement creating it, they will all pretty much need to be approximately the same distance from the surface to create a line the same width. For me, with the stubby Sotar head, and forward hand position that goes with it, this places my hand closer to the work surface with a Sotar This actually obstructs much of my view of the very area I am trying to detail. A Micron has a smaller diameter head that points right into the detail, allowing for a more unobstructed view...

    Please do not start second guessing yourself :) - as I really am just pointing out how each and everyone's personal preference(s) will steer them to the brush they prefer the most. There is no one answer that fits everyone.;)
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  11. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    One thing I can tell you... not just with airbrushing, but really with any new skill - people will get to a point where they think that they can learn or do more, if they have the next new tool up the perceived food chain to work with. Truth be told, we learn more about good technique and build skill faster if we stick with what we have, and practice, practice, practice. Despite a very common misconception, there is no magic in the airbrush we do not have (yet) :).

    I have a good many of them ;), and I find myself these days to be working with some very inexpensive brushes that just do what they are supposed to do, and I am enjoying the results...
  12. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    As DaveG said nothing can replace good old practice , The airbrushes you have work. If you feel they fit your style and like using them then why switch .
    Me I do prefer the Iwata over everything else just because they feel heavier in my hand and I do not feel like I will break them grabbing them to tight.
    I do own some Badgers and H&S but use my IWATA most of the time.
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  13. Nessus

    Nessus Gravity Guru

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    Actually it is available as a factory option, it's just under an exclusive vendor contract so there's only one place you can get it (Casey Love Designs). Before I bought one I called Badger to confirm that it was something they manufacture, and not a third-party modded model. Apart from the SOTAR coating and lettering on the body, it has ambidextrous color cup holes (unlike the 100), and the head is soldered/brazed to the body instead of a separate piece. I actually like this, as it's one less join to keep clean and maintain a seal on.

    No offence taken on my part (or intended in my own posts). All this stuff is "horses for courses". Every artist has their own particular accumulation of habits and preferences that inform their techniques, and thus their tools. A different preference can't be "wrong" if it works just as well well for the artist who uses it.

    I do a lot of pen/pencil drawing, and I've always held my pens/pencils pretty much right behind the taper. The side-feed SOTAR gets me the closest to this with an AB. With the side-feed SOTAR I can draw one-handed using my palm heel or extended ring finger for stability. Not entirely the same way as with a pen, but similar enough and with more relaxed easy control than with the two-handed hovering grip required by longer-fronted brushes. Never had a visibility problem either with pens or the SOTAR. Some of that may also be due to the angle between one's head and the pen/pencil/brush as well.

    I've seen some pen/pencil artists that prefer to hold their tools closer to the halfway point than the front, and I've gotten the impression that this is maybe the preference that a lot of AB designs take for granted. Or more likely (now that I really think about it), it probably has to do with conventional "hairy" brush painting, where longer tool grips are mandatory to prevent touching the work surface with one's hands.

    Mostly I see a lot of long fronted (for my taste) airbrush models, being used with huge pistol-grip approximating fitting chains on the air stem, and two-handed grip steadying which to me suggests people are maybe coming from a full paint spraying background rather than a drawing/sketching background, and are naturally organizing their techniques to be closer to what they're already familiar/comfortable with (as am I). That's just guesswork on my part though. To my eye it looks like a very awkward way to draw, but there are plenty who do well with it, so obviously it's just a matter of familiarity.

    It's very encouraging to hear that the Micron has the same diameter as the SOTAR. I was under the impression it was maybe only a little slimmer than the Eclipses. I still prefer the front to be as short as possible, and don't like the air channel swedge under the body. If it were to perform a lot better than the SOTAR in both spraying and maintenance/cleaning, then it'd be worth it, but for me I think it'd have to be a significant improvement rather than an incremental one to make up for what for me would be an ergonomic downgrade.
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  14. Rincewind

    Rincewind Double Actioner

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    Quote DaveG,......."as I really am just pointing out how each and everyone's personal preference(s) will steer them to the brush they prefer the most. There is no one answer that fits everyone.".

    Yes Dave ,I can see where your coming from on that statement. The only reason I singled out the Iwata Custom Micron, is that a lot of the top Airbrushers use one regular it appears.
    In particular I`m talking about Cory Saint Clair who I`m tending to use as a mentor because his portrait work ,suits my style a lot ,so I do watch a fair amount of his style of teaching. I also watch a lot of Javier Soto `s portraits illustrations and he also uses a Micron with .23 needle . So it appears the Custom Micron is the preferred weapon of choice by some of the Top Airbrushers,and this is why I used the Iwata Micron as a versus.
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  15. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Young Tutorling

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    "by some" is a large understatement. It is used by almost all the top talent that do airbrushing as a living. There are a few that are sponsored by Iwata, but I doubt that would change their endorsement of the product. The Micron is the SR-71 Blackbird. Designed early on and still to this day is un-equaled.
  16. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Well, there is a reason that the Micron is the choice of so many top Illustrators and Artists - all the way back to the original Olympos Micron - they are simply the best brush made to date (in my opinion). There is more to skill in using a brush than pointing it and going. There is very fine motor skills in the finger, and hand. There has to be an understanding of your paint, and how it works - reduction, and viscosity. How the paint changes based on weather and atmospheric conditions, air pressures, etc. They are all pieces that come together with experience. Not everyone develops the skill and technique to work effectively with a Micron. As much as they will produce for you, they require as much in return. They can be temperamental if you try to short cut their demands... Not everyone comes to terms with a Micron.

    Now, I do not think that means that someone can not produce the same quality work with whatever brush they are using - a master is a master, no matter the tool in hand. To me, a Badger is a crude and unrefined instrument in comparison to an Iwata, especially a Micron. Yet, they produce quality work, day in and day out. There are people producing mind blowing works with Badger airbrushes, just like there are people doing the same with Iwata's. If I could not get satisfactory results out of a Badger, I would not own so many ;).
  17. Rincewind

    Rincewind Double Actioner

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    Quote Leakyvalve quoting me ,..." So it appears the Custom Micron is the preferred weapon of choice by some of the Top Airbrushers" .
    Quote leakyvalve,.... "by some" is a large understatement."

    I had to be understating leakyvalve because I m not in anyway sure of all out there in this wide world who actually uses what, so If you`ll forgive my underestimate that`s why I put " some " rather than overstating possibly ,and getting slated for me being presumptuous :)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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  18. CALz AyrWKz

    CALz AyrWKz Moderator Mod

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    Hi Rincewind, having read all of the above, I'll give you my two cents of opinion. LOL I have had the opportunity to compare the Badger Patriot to the Iwata Eclipse brushes and, to me, the Iwata is a much more solid brush. That's not to say that the Iwata Eclipse brush performs better, of that I cannot remark. What I can tell you is that when I first started out, I struggled getting that fine line I wanted with the Eclipse. So I did buy an Iwata CMC+ brush and, instantly I was able to get the fine line I wanted to achieve. But, the catch is this.. after several years of experience, I can get a very fine line with my Eclipse brushes and they are my go to brushes for most of my regular work. But, when I want to get that really fine detail, I turn to my Micron!

    So, in my opinion, I would suggest you stick with the brushes you have and really master them. You WILL achieve some nice work with them and when you are ready, then get yourself a nice Micron. You won't be disappointed.
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  19. Rincewind

    Rincewind Double Actioner

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    Thanks CALzAyrWKz , that makes good reading sense as I`m in no rush . I`m a bit of a plodder alonger :)
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