Today we’re looking at airbrushes. That is going to be the best daily driver for you are the one that’s going to accomplish the majority of the tasks you need in one single package.
Best Airbrush For Models in 2019 – Comparison Table
Now there are a lot of air brushes on the market and in the interest of not totally emptying my bank account, I picked the ones that you hear about the most in regards to miniature painting.
The benefit of siphoned fees that oftentimes you have a much larger chamber for your paint so you can paint for much longer and you can paint much larger things. But when we were painting miniature mentioned often very small, hence the name miniature. So we are often good enough with the capacity of the paint pot of a gravity fed, airbrush gravity fed airbrushes are also much easier to change the color and clean out the pot because they’re not in some little chamber that needs to be opened and closed repeatedly and oftentimes as manager painters, we are changing the color quite frequently. So this is a very convenient feature. Dual action refers to the fact that the trigger has two functions when you push it down that modulates the air pressure and when you pull it back, that modulates how much paint is coming out. Now, in my experience, most airbrushes are pretty much either blowing or they’re not blowing. They’re early isn’t much modulation in that pushing down, but that pulling back every single airbrush ever used has that functionality and that’s super helpful when you’re trying to apply a very small amount of pain and do a nice blend of two colors. All right, that’s it for the review. Let’s get into the comparison in. The first thing we are going to do is we’re going to break down each airbrush and talk about key differences design.
The first one we’ll look at is one of my first airbrushes, the Badger Patriot 105 at the time of this video is airbrush is priced at $67 and 88 cents on Amazon. It comes standard with a one third fluid ounce cup and a 0.5 millimeter needle, but can be topped out for a 0.35 if you need the precision. For me, this is what an airbrush looks like. The key differences that make this special is the needle that is accessible in the back. You can untight in the needle Chuck and get it right out when you need to, which is something that I use very often. Mine did not come with a crown to protect the needle, and this is nice because it makes cleaning dry tip quick and painless, but it also means that you may be accidentally bending the tip if you are absent minded.
Finally, the airbrush hose connector is suddenly more proprietary than the other brands we’re looking at today. Next we’ll talk about these. So tar 2020 pretty much everything that was true about the 105 is true about the so tar in a sexier black pattern that has more control once you go black, you never go back coming in at $89 on Amazon. This Airbus is fitted by default with a one-twelfth fluid ounce cup and a 0.2 millimeter needle but can be swapped out for two other and deal sizes should you need the variety and previous versions. The nozzle head screwed into the main body, but I have a newer version which is soldiered onto the body. One less link in the chain to leak as Afrin mentioned, like the 105 that does an easily removable needle and also has a depth gauge in case you want to limit how far back you pull the trigger.
This admittedly is not something that I ever use but could be handy for practicing should you need it. Next up is the Iwata, H P C S a similar designed to the previous brush with some differences. This brush comes in at $150 on Amazon and features they one third fluid ounce cup and a 0.35 and millimeter needle. Some special features about this airbrush are that it has a little pivoting cylinder on a trigger that makes installing it really easy. We needed to put it back together after a full cleaning. The crown on it is fully circular, making them blow back, mixing it really easy. All you have to do is put your finger over it, no messing around with pinching needle. Finally we have the cult of paint edition of the harder and Steenbeck evolution with a 0.4 millimeter needle and a one sixth fluid ounce cup coming in at $146 on Amazon.
The difference between this model and the normal evolution is the new trigger design and also the new needle profile, which will be a needle profile coming soon to all harder and Steenbeck airbrushes. So this review is a little future-proof. The brush comes with two types of crowns that slip off and on with a pressure of fit and the whole front element comes off without any tools which makes cleaning really simple. The trigger like the Iwata installs really nicely. It makes it easy to put together. This is also the only airbrush that we’re looking at today. They can swap out the paper for a smaller one. Next, let’s look at the beam angle of each airbrush and we’re going to take all of our contestants, put water in the pot and then fully pull back on the trigger to see what kind of spray pattern we’re getting.
The wider the spray pattern, the more this airbrush can cover in a short amount of time. The tighter the spray pattern, the more accurate it can be. If you look with the naked eye, you can tell the 105 has the widest angle, which makes sense because it has the widest diameter needle. This means when it’s fully pulled back, there’s the largest hole. Which material can come out of. This means that an expediency is your aim. The 105 is your go to. It can cover the largest area of the quickest. Now the difference between the 0.2 millimeter needle that’s so tar, the 0.35 of the HP CS and the 0.4 of the evolution start to become a little less obvious, which is kind of a surprise to me. You’d expect it to follow a pretty clear order based on the needle size, but maybe bottoming out the trigger kind of skews the results.
Also for fun, I tried to make the smallest beam as well just so you can get an idea of how narrow a beam all these bunches are capable of. Okay. That was mildly interesting. Now onto the clog test and we’re using the most prolific Clogger and that is white primer or we’re going to do is we’re going to fill each airbrush up with 2.5 milliliters of white primer and we’re going to empty that pot in a pattern of two seconds on a trigger, two seconds off the trigger. Kind of like what you’d be doing if you are priming a large amount of stuff. In the end we’re going to compare the buildup on each needle to see what happens when looking at the buildup on each detail. We can see that the smaller the needle, the smaller the blob, which kind of makes sense because less primer is coming out, meaning less materials building up less surface area for the primer to cling to.
But conversely the smaller the needle, the longer it takes to get rid of all of the primer and also the easier it is to clot because the hole is smaller. Patriot blew through the primer in 40 seconds whereas the evolution took 58 seconds. The HP CS took one minute and 47 seconds and the so tar took over three minutes and I didn’t even get through all the primer. I kind of expected to see a larger amount of buildup on the airbrushes that had a smaller diameter needles like the so tar and the Iwata, H P C S but that’s not what I saw and I guess that kinda makes sense because the smaller the needle, the less surface area there is for primer to cling to. So okay. Another mildly interesting test. Now, let’s look at how far the trigger depresses when you push it down.
Earlier, I made the joke that despite airbrush is being called dual action, none of them that can actually modulate the pressure to that. Well, because when you push it, it’s either on or it’s off, but if a trigger had more travel, it would be easier to modulate that air pressure. So let’s see which one has the most distance. All the airbrushes have a traveled around two to three millimeter, whereas the evolution has to travel of five millimeters. Maybe the evolution actually does allow for controlling the pressure. Next, let’s look at how well each airbrush atomizes paint or how small the particles are that are coming out of the airbrush. Ideally, we want these smallest particles possible because that makes the most seamless blends. In this test, I have a little guide that ensures that I’m always staying the same distance away from the test board.
In this case, about 12 millimeter, a fairly normal, accurate working distance. I also use the black ink across all tests, unfinished shooting at around approximately 18 PSI. Taking a look at this chart. The HP CS takes the cake for the tightest spread and the least particles evident. The Patriot really struggled with this test until I turned to the PSI a little bit and then it tightened up. The evolution, let’s look at comes in a second with the so tar and third. Now for the final least scientific and also most important tests in my opinion, I’m going to take each of these brushes and paint a single space Marine with them to kind of get an idea of what it’s like to take a project from beginning to end or at least close to it to get an idea for how these guys function. I space Marine was picked because they’re largely one color and they have lots of interesting volumes when it comes to shading and highly they went to really stretch the legs of the air brushes.
I’m going to paint all of the space in with the same color. How good this space Marine looks shouldn’t inform you about how good the airbrush is. Likely. I just got better toward the end of the trial, but I did pick up some things I liked and didn’t like about each breast. Let’s go over that now. When I was using the Patriot 105 I was getting some leaking coming out of the threads in the front, so I resolve that with some pipe dope on the threads, but you can also fix that leaking issue with bees wax or Teflon tape or any other kind of plumbing sealant. Also with the 105 I was struggling with atomization, trying to hide my blends with the airbrush. There were speckles on the Marine and also I was struggling with accuracy and that makes sense because there’s a 0.5 millimeter needle, but that’s also kind of the strength of the Badger Patriot 105 I really do like this massive needle.
It feels like it’s almost indestructable as not like I’m going to sneeze on it. It’s going to shatter into a million pieces and that can be really helpful. A beginner and kind of not starting out with the most dainty have needles. The, so tar 2020 has far more control than the 105 and also produces much less speckles. Then the 105 at the cost of having to deal with one of the skinniest needles I’ve ever seen on the face of this earth. It feels like the thing is going to break in my hands whenever I have to take it out. As previously mentioned, both Badger brushes have a proprietary connector for the air hose. My Iwata and also my harder and steam back connected just fine with my somewhat generic master brand quick hose adapter, but the bedroom one needed some adapting so when you’re buying a non Badger compressor with these airbrushes, you want to make sure that you actually can fit it on or you have an adapter for it in some way.
I also want to address the fact that this is a 0.2 millimeter needle. All online resources will tell you that the smaller the diameter of the airbrush needle, the more prone it is to clogging. Now I’ve used a so tar for probably the last two years I’ve done things for that like priming. I’ll be at one minute. Sure. And also base coding and all the other tasks you might do with the, so tar and I’ve personally never had any clogging issues. I’m not sure if I’m just getting really lucky or I’m doing something right or there’s something wrong with my airbrush, but I love to know, have you guys have had that similar experience? There’s a small diameter needle actually caused more clogging or is that just something that I hear online all the time? The Iwata HP CS has great accuracy and also atomizes paint really well.
This makes getting blends slightly easier on this brush compared to the other brushes that we are testing. Also, that circular crown allows for backflow mixing without any kind of fuss. But one thing I noticed when I was using the Iwata HP CS that it seemed like the air pressure was always higher than on the other brushes. Even when I turned it down way low. So that kind of gave me an idea for a test. I took each airbrush, I took their needle guards off and I blew full pressure into a microphone at the same distance and whatever one is louder is passing more air pressure and it looks like the two badgers are pretty much the same amount of air pressure at about minus 15 DB. And both the evolution and the Iwata HP CS are tied at around minus 21 DB. So those two are blowing more air pressure at the same PSI with different airbrushes.
So this isn’t necessarily a problem, but it means that you’ll need to turn down the pressure even more when you’re moving in closer for those nice accurate strokes. Additionally, the Iwata does have that little cutaway section to remove the needle, but you can’t remove the needle, wants you all to take the back cap off. And this is kind of annoying, but a lot of water users will oftentimes airbrush with that back off entirely to make getting the needle really easy. But that’s kind of awkward to hold. So it’s kind of a demerit on the airbrush. Finally the evolution, it turns out that you can actually in fact control the air pressure with the depressing of the button, which is pretty fricking sweet if not for the fact that also so much paint comes out with the slightest pull of the trigger far more than the other three.
It is really, really sensitive if this airbrush had a depth stop to kind of control that like the so tar has and also like more expensive, harder and steamed back airbrushes have at actually probably use it because there were so many times when I applied way too much paint to the space. Maybe because I was just pulling it back just a little bit too far. Also because its airbrush has an interchangeable cup, it has this long sloping neck to it which makes painting and also mixing paint in the cup a little bit harder because the majority of the paint deposits into that little narrow canal at the bottom. It also doesn’t have an accessible needle like the Badger airbrush, but this isn’t that big of a deal because the front element comes off so easily which allows for cleaning of the needle. But if I’m being honest, I’d prefer to take the needle out and clean that versus taking the front element out and having to deal with lots of small little tiny bits.
I feel like I’m more prone to lose that than I am to lose a long needle. Lastly, I want to address the special trigger on here from cult of paints with the one six the fluid ounce pot on this airbrush and the angle of it. I feel like my finger is a little bit too close to the paint pot. Often found myself kind of clawing at the trigger as opposed to putting my finger on top of the pad of the trigger and that just made this issue even worse. Also, it seems like with the orientation of the trigger, their intention was that your finger would come straight down the barrel of the airbrush and rest on the trigger in that nice little curve. Whereas in reality your finger is coming from the side of the airbrush, so it seems like you would have made a little more sense to rotate the trigger about 10 or 15 degrees to accommodate for that fact.
Make it a little bit more ergonomic, but your mileage may vary. So which of these airbrushes is the best airbrush? Well, I’ll start by saying two things. One, I had problems with every single one of these airbrushes and none of them are perfect and two, you can get phenomenal results with all of these airbrushes. It’s not like one is going to make you a better airbrush rather than the other [inaudible] Scott get to the results. Yeah, you nerd. That being said, if you were to pick one airbrush that had the best results out of all of the four I would say was probably the Iwata H P CS. It has the best atomization of paint. The needle size allows for good coverage. Also really nice accuracy I’ll be at at kind of an expensive price at less than half the price. You can buy a Badger Patriot 105 and if you don’t have an airbrush and you’re looking to kind of dip your toes into the airbrush world, I wouldn’t hesitate a second to recommend this airbrush and who knows?
You can get the 0.35 millimeter conversion had for the Patriot. Maybe it acts similar to the Iwata HP CS. If you already own a Patria and you’re looking for kind of a cheaper entry into the world of more accurate airbrushes the, so tar is a phenomenal airbrush and I’ve used it for the last two years and it’s, it’s great. I would recommend that one to you. Now I want to recommend the evolution to people who want the ultimate control, but there’s that sticking issue of if I pull a trigger back slightly, so much paint comes out and I kind of talked to other evolution owners to kind of see if they also experienced the same thing and they confirmed my issue. But it is fricking sweet that you can actually control the air pressure with the trigger. You don’t have to keep going back to your compressor to turn it up and turn down.