Badger 150: The legend


Mac-Valve Maestro!

Brief history:

The classic Badger 150 is one of the most recognizable and popular airbrushes in history. For many, me included, it was the first airbrush we ever touched. It made me fall in love with airbrushing. That's why I semi-joke about it been the best airbrush ever made. Actually, the best airbrush is the one you have in your hands, full of paint and with compressed air ready to be released by the trigger.
Badger started making their own airbrushes in 1964. Before that, they were a supplier, Walter Precision Company, sub-contractor machine shop for other airbrush manufacturers like Paasche and Thayer & Chandler. Their first airbrush was the 100XF; a side feed dual action internal mix airbrush with roots in the Thayer and Chandler's Model A. I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly when, (**EDIT** See update below) but the 150 followed soon as a siphon feed design based on the 100. I know the 200 and 250 were released around 1966. Trying to find out if the 150 was released before or after that. At some point there was a "Poster" Version of the 150 with screw lid intake instead of the common siphon tube. Not sure if that was the first version. I'll keep you updated if I find out. If anybody knows, please let me know.
Still in production, the classic Badger 150 is part of the "Legends" series. It has evolved over the decades and is one of the most affordable, versatile and popular hobbyist airbrushes ever. I consider it the closest to a Do-It-All airbrush. From the get go it was designed to be able to spray anything you can throw at it. From inks to heavy automotive paints and everything in between. If it is liquid paint, it can withstand spraying it. The medium size nozzle setup (about 0.5) is the most common, but it also has available Fine (0.22) and Heavy (0.76) needle/head combos so it can be easily transformed from a detail brush to a fire hose. Parts are easily available and most are interchangeable with the 100 and 200 series families. Its reliability is legendary and many old units are still on the road. I mean in working order. I can't recommend anything else as a first airbrush, especially for scale modelers. It has also been the design template for countless knockoffs like my very own CP1500, which has been with me for 30 years and counting.

My specimen:
I recently acquired this Badger 150-4PK kit. It is a kit containing the 150, Medium and Heavy setups, braided hose, jars, color cup etc. in a nice wooden box.


This brush shows little signs of use. It seems it was stored slightly dirty, or at least not deeply clean. Some old stubborn paint residue but nothing major. I've seen far worst.

As usual everything was cleaned and polished. The Medium size needle was polished with the usual 2400, 3200, 4000, 6000, 8000 and 12,000 polishing pads followed by metal polish cream.

Some very minor pitting on the body where it was in contact with the foam, apparently for years. The literature has a print date of 1991, so I assume it is from around that early 90's timeframe.



This is the old style regulator.

Ready for my next scale model :)
I have ordered a Fine needle/head combo, but will most likely be used in the 100SG.
The wooden box can use some TLC on the top. I'll try to work on that eventually.

Hope you like it!
Let me know what you think and if there is any error or correction.

Ismael "the Badger historian wannabe"
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My very fist airbrush was a Badger 200 , I bought it off the MAC tools truck in the early 80's . It was a Badger rebranded said Mac on the sides . It came with the IL or fine tip had IL stamped on the head. If I recall it came in a blister pack with the 2 jars , wrench , hanger and blue plastic hose . It had the blue aluminum handle and the chrome band at the adjuster end . Shortly after I bough a Badger 150 . looked exactly like yours. It came in a black plastic hinged box with foam insert and 2 jars and a cup and braided hose . It had the medium tip and later I bought the heavy tip and needle . All the tips were the same style as yours.

I could transfer the complete head to either brush but the needle was longer on the 200.

I foolishly sold both long ago on Ebay . Wish I hadn't . But I do have a Badger Anthem 155 which is close just a different type needle and head so it's not easy to do fine lines like the 150 because you had the choice of 3 setups. I really don't do fine lines and never learned how to use a dual action brush very well. I never needed to.
Beginning to crack the mystery


Continuing my research I found important information to help with the history of the Badger 150 (Best airbrush ever :) ).
I found online this Badger parts price list, effective May 1st, 1964. Look at those prices!
There were 3 models: 100XF (which I understand was the very first), Badger 100 Illustration and the Badger 150 Poster.

This tells me the poster was the first version of the 150 and was released either at the same time or very close to the 100XF. It had a screw jar system instead of the later (and more common) siphon tube.

Interestingly: I've never seen one in the flesh. Keeping my eyes open for one...

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Nice kit that you have there Ismael. My first brush was a Badger 200 that my dad bought me in 1978 a few months later I received the 150 as a birthday gift from my parents. I still have them and there still in working order. Thanks to my dad who taught me to always keep my tools in good condition. It is a walk down memory lane when I pull them out and use them. Then clean and put them back till the next time. I hope you enjoy your brush.
It looks as though you took a tool used in one of your main hobbies and turned it into a hobby of it's own. Awesome.

The fun you have restoring airbrushes, researching history, combining it with excellent photography ( another of your hobbies) and presenting it all here with a well written engaging style is much appreciated.

It really does not matter what ones favorite airbrush is, favored manufacturer, most used, or just the workhorse of ones art is, the important thing is they all stand on the shoulders of the ones before them.

And as you said so succinctly:

"Actually, the best airbrush is the one you have in your hands, full of paint and with compressed air ready to be released by the trigger."


My scale modeling friends (led by one in particular), my photography buddies (a few of the gang) and my full size car restoration project have all issued respectively formal protests claiming that airbrush tinkering have sidetracked and delayed other projects that were in process and are past due on completion.
Part of my defense strategy is offering complimentary airbrush and camera cleanup vouchers. Some restrictions apply.


I received a Badger 150 as a Christmas present for my father back in 1988. It came in the wood case like yours, and it’s still going strong. I’ve used it on many occasions, as I originally did, for painting feathered edge camouflage patterns on models. I keep her nice and squeaky, clean and ready for use. In the era of cheapo blister card packs, I appreciate the traditional wood case that Badger used to make for its products. I wish I had obtained a Badger 100 in the wood case as well.