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So, I need a new airbrush but... ?

Discussion in 'Airbrushes' started by st.bede, May 23, 2019.


  1. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    ... none the less, you were able to, at the very least, capture the power that was there, but I am going to assume, that some of your spirit/vision/ approach steeped in. Without seeing the paintings in person, I can not fully know. However, man that Koi is killer.

    I love Koi paintings (and also real Koi) a lot. The shapes/forms end up in my stuff all the time. Sometimes I think I am obsessed with them (that and also spirals). I only mentioned that because, I have watched and looked at tons of Koi and paintings of them.
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  2. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    I do have a question: what is the difference between a Sotar and an equivalent Iwata?
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  3. Sali

    Sali Double Actioner

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    I do not know about others but I had very bad experience with Badger Krome, the flagship of the Badger airbrushes. IMHO it would be absurd to compare Badger with Iwata. Maybe you can compare Badger with Sparmax or Pashe. I understand all about ‘it is not the airbrush but one’s skills” but still, I have found it easier to learn and accomplish on quality airbrushes compared to subpar airbrushes.
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  4. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    There is a whole gob of stuff that no matter how well it gets covered, will wind up coming down to personal preference - so, it is a bit subjective.

    The Sotar is probably my favorite Badger. I purchased my first Sotar mid 90's, and was really impressed with the brush then. I have owned several of them, but find that I actually like the original one the best. Fortunately, I was able to pick up an as new original a few months back. The angle of the color cup, as well as several other details have changed over the year - the original is a wonderfully machined piece of craftsmanship - the revisions not quite the same quality (there is something like 23 or 24 identifiable differences in machining). The most recent generation seems to be showing a return to a higher standard in machining quality, but I still prefer the original. It has better balance, and a smoother over all feel. The head assembly is where the business takes place, and the Sotar pieces do work well (I have maybe a few other Badger configurations, like model 100's, that I also have Sotar heads on). In comparison to a Japanese brush, I find that the spray pattern remains a bit more grainy, and I usually have to work at a higher pressure with the Sotar. There are times the Sotar will produce some silly fine lines, but it will tend to frustrate me when I really WANT it to. The trigger and needle action also seem almost gritty and stiff compared to a Japanese alternative.

    There is not really a brush that is a direct comparison to the Sotar, but I will compare it to an Iwata HP-B. Right off the bat, the Iwata is about twice as expensive as the Badger. For me, there is no comparison in quality, with the machine work, fit and finish all going to the Japanese brush. I find the Iwata to simply be more consistent than the Badger. I can get it to operate at a lower air pressure, which will usually allow me to have more control. The action feels butter smooth on the Iwata, and once familiar with it, will allow some further fine tuning which turns them into gems to use. use my Badgers, but when the money is one line, I will reach for one of my HP-B's 90% of the time - the other 10% will get divided up between several Microns, and some German brushes I also enjoy using.

    Both are capable and competent brushes. This is also just my take - the next guy in line may prefer the Sotar over any Iwata, or perhaps an H&S. The small little differences that feed into personal preferences are really what make the difference between a good brush, and a great brush. Unfortunately, that can be very different between any two given individuals.
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  5. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    Thank you and everyone...

    I think I have one last question: if I went the Iwata HP B route, how useful is the mac valve on the HP BH?

    I just adjust my pressure on my compressor, typically once I find the right pressure for the paint, I do not re-adjust. Even if the pressure is a little high, sometimes I just adjust my pull on the trigger and my distance. (Of course that is when I am not afraid of making a mistake). I figure it is good practice to get the feel of things.

    A guess another question is what is the differences between the Hi-line and High Performance? Also does the Micron make those brushes less useful?

    Thank you all very much for your help.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  6. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    I use a MAC valve with QC on the end of my air hose - so that every brush I connect to the hose has use of a MAC valve.
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  7. Justin Sane

    Justin Sane Double Actioner

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    If you want a good micron, Mr.Hobby .18 Platinum works great at half the price.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
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  8. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    I think I am going to get a Iwata HP-BH.

    After all my thoughts, questions, and rumination: I just think it is the right one. Granted I do not have any experience with airbrushes other then the one I use, but my instinct tells me that is the direction to go in.

    Thank you all and especially DaveG.
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  9. LadyCharlie

    LadyCharlie Elite Member! Elite Member!

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    Dave......Love that Koi!
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  10. Sali

    Sali Double Actioner

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    HP-BH is a great airbrush, I have bought one just few weeks ago. I have small hand so it fits perfectly in my hand and feels great. That being said, I have noticed that I can pull thinner lines using my PS-270, though in my hand it is not as comfortable as BH perhaps because it is slightly longer and with large cup. My suggestion will be to look into PS-270 too, for it is at least $100 cheaper and APPEARS to have better atomization compared to BH. For $200-210, you can also buy PS-770, a micron -like airbrush. Not too long ago Dave had reviewed it and praised it for it’s capabilities. Dave can shed more light on this.
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  11. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I'd personally save some money and get the High Performance B+ the only difference is the lack of MAC valve built in.
    Get a good external MAC valve to put on your air hose and instantly all of your brushes get the benefit of a MAC valve without the cost.

    where do you call home ? we may be able to find you some good deals locally
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  12. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    Home is Fresno California.

    Thank you all for your input. I will look at the other suggestions also.
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  13. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    My thought about the MAC on the hose versus it being on the brush, is that if it is on the brush, right next to my hand, I will experiment a lot more. This is just an intuitive feeling. I could be wrong but sometimes it is good to go with intuitiveness... other times it is not...

    ... so, another question is: does anyone find that they feel more comfortable with the MAC on the brush?
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  14. Sali

    Sali Double Actioner

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    I find it easier to control the air velocity from the hose MAC valve than the one on the airbrush itself, but maybe because I acquired the in-line MAC valve before the airbrushes with MAC valve and I am more use to of that setup.
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  15. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    in past discussions many said they found the on brush one got knocked more often, the hose one is at your wrist, once you start using it you'll be surprised how frequently you use it to 'tweak' the paint/air flow.
    get one that is a combination quick connect and mac valve.

    this may help, courtesy of @AndreZA

    https://avwairbrushworks.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/shoot-out-mac-valves/

    and here is the Grex one (different models for different brand of brush)
    http://www.grexusa.com/grexairbrush/G-MAC.php5

    I have both the H&S and the Grex one..... my preference it for the Grex

    if you get the hose mac valve then you'll only need the male connectors for your airbrushes.
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  16. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    I also think that the external mac is more convenient than one on the ab. I found that the mac on the airbrush didn't have as much adjustment compared to the external. It is of course a personal choice so whatever you choose you will be ok.

    Lee
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  17. st.bede

    st.bede Double Actioner

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    Ok... I have done a reassessment... I am going with the Iwata Hp B+ and a grex Mac. I am getting these from Cost Airbrush.

    Two questions:

    One: I have an Iwata air hose. Do I need anything to help connect the Grex MAC to the hose or brush?

    Two: Should I get the taller trigger?
  18. DaveG

    DaveG Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    The Grex MAC valve attaches directly to any hose that has a 1/8"bsp end on it. The Iwata hose has this sort of end. There are not really many aftermarket options for triggers, and most are actually lower.
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  19. Sali

    Sali Double Actioner

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    Iwata MAC valves are pretty decent too.
  20. JackEb

    JackEb The Dragon Hunter Staff Member Admin

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    I bought 3 and compared to the Grex they are :poo:
    Their full on or all off in less than 1/4 of a turn. The Grex is almost a full rotation, so you have more control
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