I think I am finally fed up with my Azteks. I hated the paasche and thought the Aztek was great, until I started having troubles with them. LOL Now I know they have their "lifetime" guarantee but I have sent them in twice now. I have 3 of them. One has never had to be sent in but the other 2 are really crappy. I have been having trouble with the thumb wheel. It gets locked up on 2 of them and won't spin. The other night I finally lost it and took the visegrips to the one and still couldn't turn the dang thing. I know they won cover that and I don't blame them. Heck I really don't even want to send them in again to be honest. I believe I am going to check out the Iwata finally, now I just have to make up my mind on which one. I know I read about every model they make in the archives so now I just have to pick one. Anyone with Iwata's email me with anything you dislike about them other than how light they are. I want to hear bad things like needle problems or how they are crap if you drop them. Maybe even if they have clogging issues. Email me. Ready to buy one now. Will be using mostly water based paints. Thanks, Dan Hudzik
Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu
Dan,I really don't think you can go wrong with an Iwata HP-B Only drawback is the tips and needles are too expensive. I've had mine for years and not replaced either. Get a crown cap it allows for close up work.
Dan not being a smart a$$ here but the reason your wheel is sticking so much and I'm sure they even told you about it is that your getting paint in your brush and that can happen when you clean it. I still have two of them and use them till this day. You have to make sure your brush is cleaned.
Now I also have three Iwatta and if you don't clean them as well you will have problems with them. The trigger will stick and won't move on you. If you take the cap off for fine detail work and drop it or touch the needle will bend and it'll cost you over $11.00 to buy a new one. All air brushes have problems it's how you take care of them that makes them last long.
Iwatas have simply no comparison. I will get out of taxidermy if I am forced to give up my Micron. Frank use a lil drop of lube oil on the plunger and also along the needle shaft and your problems with a sticky trigger are gone.
Dan, look into the Iwata HP-SB, they are a very nice model. I bought a custom micron back in Nov. in the SB model and just painted a brown with it last week. All I can say is WOW, and why the heck did I wait so long for taking it out of the box. The only time you need worry about needle damage, contrary to what others posted, is when doing the stippling effects. The needle and nozzle are both exposed when doing this. The crown caps are great for needle protection when doing ultra fine detail. I don't like the crown caps that come with the HP series, but the ones that come with the CM series are great, they are more petite than the others. I have had a HP-SB since 99 and have replaced nothing at all on the airbrush. I have only disassembled it one time for a real good cleaning. I just really flush it out well after each color and have never had a problem. I use only the Wildlife Colors in that brush. I have several other Iwata's as well, and they have been trouble free with laquer used in them. Any taxidermist that says he can do all needed painting with a paasche or other lesser airbrush is selling themself short and their customers as well. If you have any questions feel freee to call 616 677 3844, I will be happy to help.
I'll add a photo to my website of a portion of thaty brown I painted so you can judge for yourself. It isn't the best quality photo but you can see , if you look closely, how the stipple effect adds to the painting. Look under taxidermy work link at
I've never seen your work. You can paint! Your work is right up there with the best of them. The Brookies hanging on the post - I'm still not sure if those are taxi'd or REAL fish! Awesome work!
Set up the Aztec for the broader areas only. (Use only the blue high flow nozzle. When problems start, throw out and replace with new $5 nozzle. Buy nozzles with coupons from craft stores like A.C.Moore.) Then invest in the Iwata Custom Micron CM for your finer detail work. (Keep paint well strained and thinned. You will have to clean the needle cavity as needed and take care not to damage the parts.) This took away all the stress for me.
trying to be a smart $$$, and I appreciate what you say but what I don't understand is I clean my brushes the same every time and the one that is the oldest and never been sent in is the one that works the best. Thats why I don't think it is a cleaning problem. Heck thats why I bought it to begin with, it was the easiest airbrush that I had ever used and was really easy to clean. I think there is just something in it that keeps binding up on these 2. I seldom hardly do fish and I only do a duck or goose maybe once or twice a year much like the fish. However, I do a @#$% load of mammals, mostly W/T and coyotes. Thanks everyone. Dan Hudzik
Dan- I've only had one Aztec and I've had aexactly the same problem that you describe with the wheel not turning. I had the brush only one season and have scrapped it. I took out my old paache double action that I've used for 20 years -cleaned it good and will never go back to an aztec.
try one youll love them, and wonder what you were doing without one all this time