Badger 100IL: Mid 70's workhorse


Mac-Valve Maestro!

As mentioned in this other thread: Badger GFX , a while ago I received a pair of vintage airbrushes but did not have a chance to work on them until recently. It was a pair consisting of a Badger GFX and a Badger 100IL. This is the second one of that pair.

Brief History:
The Badger airbrush company was established in 1963-'64 and their first model was the 100XF, along with models 100 IL (illustrator) and 150 IL Poster. Today, 6 decades later, those models have evolved and are still in production! You all know my opinion about the Badger 150 been the best airbrush ever made.
The original 100XF and 100IL were what we know today as fine and medium setups of the same side feed body.

My specimen:
I got a pair of vintage airbrushes months ago but did not have the chance to work on them until recently. The pair consisted of a 100 IL and a GFX. Any trace of history is vanished when you get something from eBay. However, it seems these 2 have always been together. They both look very period similar, both have "aged" very similarly and it would make sense to have a medium and a fine airbrush set that would behave very similarly and share spare parts.

Determining a time frame: The non-washer air cap, the plastic handles and the serial number sticker on the 100IL all suggest early to mid-70's.

Anyways, it seems these airbrushes have been dormant for decades. Well taken care of, just stored away for years, maybe decades.



Surprisingly, it was well taken care of. Before doing anything I tested it, and it worked fairly fine.
Took it apart (minus air valve which is perfectly fine) and I was pleased to see it in good condition. Only "aged" for lack of use probably in a very long time. The needle and the nozzle had some traces of paint, but nothing major.

Since the serial number is a sticker, I need to be very careful with it. I carefully and slowly worked it manually with cotton swabs instead of a power buffer just to be safe.
Pleasantly surprised with the results!

Cup from my collection.

Balanced? without the cup it can stand on its own only supported by the air valve.






Quick test

As you can see it works fine. The trigger is not the smoothest. Not a big deal, but I see it rubs against the body and there are some scratches on the trigger. I flipped it backwards but that made no difference. I put a little dab of lithium grease in the needle tube as well as around the trigger and it improved a bit, but still some minor rubbing. The solution is to carefully file and polish the trigger and/or the body slot to prevent the rubbing. But keep in mind this is me been nitpicking.
Except for the trigger smoothness, this can keep up with my daily driver 150. Not surprised as the 150 is actually the siphon feed version of this exact airbrush.

It seems these two have always been together. I intend to keep it that way.

As usual, I hope you like and approve.
As always, your comments and questions are appreciated.

Ismael "the Badger fan"
This was my second airbrush ever (a mid-1980's version, anyway). My first airbrush was a Paasche V, which I used with Dr.Martens watercolor for one afternoon. The next day I tried using it again, and I could not get it to work. I called Paasche, and they told me "it must be dirty". Frustrated, I ran back to the art supply store and purchased a Badger 100Il. Mine had the blue anodized aluminum handle of the same shape as your plastic one. Shortly there after I purchased the available nickel plated brass handle (heavy option). Working for a large commercial art based company, I can not tell you how many hundreds of illustrations I used this brush on. Those were some FUN times! The brush is a true workhorse.

Gonna admit, though - even in those early days, I had been afflicted with "airbrush acquisition disorder" - as within maybe three months I had at least 6 more which included an Olympos MP200B Micron, Badger 100A, 100B, 100C, Iwata HP-SB, Iwata HP-B, HP-C ;)

Nice job on cleaning that one up, and bringing back into the light.
Cleaned up very well.
Good job, bro.
Your going to have a Badger museum if you keep this up.