1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.


Discussion in 'Beginners' started by George, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    First of all, I'm simply going to give the fishheads on here cardiac arrests by what I'm about to type. Still, here's MY OPINION on all this fancy schmancy airbrush crap. In the past few weeks, several of you have contacted me and asked me what I'd suggest and I've told you just what I'm about to type here.

    In my 57+ years of doing this, I've seen airbrushes go from the simpl blowpipe styles up to these double action, gnats' ass painting wonders being hawked by some of these guys. I owned a total of 7 Badger brushes and after having 5 of them sent back awaiting replacement of that "internal o-ring" I put the whole bunch in a yard sale for $5 each. I ended up taking $4 each. That was about 30 years ago. Then I bought a Paasche H series brush. I understand I ain't Frank Kotula or Rick Krane, but I painted everything from punkin seed sunfish up to 14 foot blue marlin with that Paashe. I painted animals from a house mouse up to a hippo and a rhinocerous without ever having an issue with it. I had two of them but never broke the seal on the second box.

    About 10 years back, I got "convinced" that it was time to step up and join the "big time" with a double action brush. I won a Polytranspar award for a bass at our state show and used it for a big chunk of buying an Iwata. Old dogs can learn new tricks, but it sometimes takes a bit longer. It took me about a year to get used to walking and chewing gum at the same time. It had a lot of qualities I liked, so I bought a second one.

    A couple years later, a friend convinced me to give the Badger another try. I bought a Badger Spirit. It was a good brush but seemed to be a bit more finnicky that my Iwatas so it got relegated to just hanging on the paint station.

    As the Iwata's aged, they too became finnicky. The lacquer paint builds up on the pin, the air valve sometimes sticks and sometimes finding the release point on the trigger fluctuates.

    So here's my advice to you beginners. If you want a dependable, quality airbrush that will work all the time, any time, is extremely easy to clean and maintain, and that has READILY AVAILABLE REPLACEMENT PARTS, you'd be wise to buy the "cheap" old Paasche H series brush. It doesn't have all those fancy bells and whistles the fishheads like, but if you're painting the fading lateral spot lines on a largemouth, trust me, that Paasche will be your friend. Each dot will be the same size as the preceeding one and you won't have to worry about a needle valve gumming up or a trigger depressing differently.

    I think Jean Lavalee still uses the Paasche as well. Maybe it's just us old farts, but when you find something that works FOR YOU, stick with it.
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I second that George and I'm not as much of an old fart as you claim to be. I have the first Paacshe brush that I bought when I started my business many moons ago and it is the only one I use.

  3. I totally agree with you George. The H3 is the only airbrush that I have ever used. I now use two cleaning bottles during the painting process. The first bottle has windex in it followed by plain water. The windex does a better job of cutting water base paint. After I start to get some paint build up on the paint parts I soak them in the windex overnight which does a nice job of cutting the dryed paint. This process seems to keep the airbrush working much better.
  4. BrianHendricks

    BrianHendricks Member

    I'm with you guys ! My 1st was an "H" many years ago. Sometime before I became gray I upgraded to a double action and am still using it. I think mostly it's getting used to and figuring out a cleaning routine that keeps it working smooth. Mine sets for long periods between use so I always put a shot of gun oil through it after cleaning.
  5. Rick Krane

    Rick Krane Fish Taxidermist/ Judge/ Sculptor/ Instructor

    This is a great posting, which stirs thought about not just how we do what we do but why more importantly. The feedback is right on and the dialogue is honest!
    My bottom line is whatever airbrush will accomplish the job is the right one! Basically, I have been airbrushing a little over 38 years and what I have learned from the many mentors in my career is that the airbrush is merely a tool that has a parameters of performance based on what the specifications are of that particular airbrush. So in other words there is no best or perfect airbrush!

    Think of an airbrush like a screwdriver, not every screwdriver can work of ever screw as it is for airbrushes as well when it comes to performance. For example, if you look at a single action over a double action you would think one maybe better then the other but not the case just different functions and benefits. My first airbrush was an old Wahl double action it kind of looked and old ray gun of sorts. I bought my Pashce in the late 70’s I had a hard time with it as it didn’t do what the Wahl would do, however it would create spots much better regarding consistency and with better detail.

    I realized it all comes down to 2 things how simply does it clean/ breakdown and second what are the parameters of the cone and needle performance. If your airbrush cleans fast and efficient like for example my Badger Krome compared to my Iwata Micron or my Harden Steinbeck the is a plus in the day to choice of brushes. Look when I say choice this isn’t one is better then the other as far as splitting hairs the other brushes mentioned I can make them paint as well as any of the others mentioned but when it comes to cleaning it is my choice.

    The second very importance decision is what will the performance deliver! Nearly (and I only say nearly as there are some Asian knock offs that are not, well lets say truthful!) Every airbrush worth its salt that is lets say a .18 mm needle set up will do exactly what it is designed to do as far as performance. A .002 mm needle is a extra detail brush for sure but a .28 will never complete the same task as it is not designed to and visa versa. Choice what you want it to do as non of them will do it all!

    I typically have 2 airbrushes at the ready one is my Badger Krome (I only use this as an example as this is what I personally use but there are many that will do just fine for you too) the Krome has a performance that will let me detail and spray out to a good 5/8 of an inch coverage as well the other is my old reliable Pasche # 5 set up as it will let me spray a greater are of coverage for larger projects that require me to spray a lot. This being said I will often use both in the case of a shark or a marlin for example.

    Most importantly “PRACTICE” get 100 white paper plates and practice your skills and drills! I hope this helps in regards to cleaning and practicing but here is a link you can use to watch some of the good stuff you can learn about with an airbrush.

    Thanks George, and the many who brought great and important light to this posting! I enjoy the dialogue of this useful posting!

    My Best

    Rick Krane
  6. Non-Typical_IL

    Non-Typical_IL Member

    Thanks for posting this. I have been encountering issues lately with mine and have been meaning to ask for suggestions or if I was just the only with the issue.

    Am having a trouble in keeping the Ink well on. Even when adjusting the allen nut. I'll be doing something and bump the darn thing, only to end up wearing more paint than the mount I am working with!

    I am using the basic Paasche.

    Am open to suggestions!!!
  7. It is called maintenance. Along with that different airbrushes are made for different materials. I have a book somewhere with all the current models and what they should be used for. Very interesting to see some are for inks, some are for water colors, some are for semi-urethane's..

    The seals are made from nylon, rubber of different sorts. Pull out the old Paschee VL and expose it to laqcuer thinner and the neoprene rubber around the needle packing will swell causing it to stick. Same for other brands and so on.

    I used a Vl for a lot of years with great effectiveness, but its not the detail some of the others will do and yet some of the others will not even spray a metallic.

    Has anyone ever centered the cone and head on a VL? I have have you polished the needle tip? I have and I do mean polish, 12,000 grit polish, yes there is 12,000 girt sand paper. I use it to polish glass. Not the course 1200 grit you are confusing it with..

    Non typical so your color cup is fall ing off, that is a super easy fix, Go to the taxidermy isle at walmart and get a bees wax cake for sewing, and a bit of beeswax will do just what you need a bit around the nip where it goes into the air brush and it will stick fine, bees wax will also work perfectly on the threads to the air cap for centering it on the airbrush,
  8. If anyone who uses airbrushes wants LESS problems using their guns they need to ( read the books ) that come with the airbrushes & LEARN to take them apart & replace the parts , lol You can litterly rebuild most badger airbrushes quite easy without sending it in to the factory & even replace one by buying a new one IS NOT costly for what they provide to us in return !

    Not to be a smart ass here but the ( " O " rings ) in badger airbrushes are very cheap & easy to replace, as are most of the other small parts in the guns. the parts are available from the mfg & as Rick Krane said the owner is from a USA mfg. & very available if you have questions or his mfg. reps are .

    BUY USA made products when ever possible please ?
  9. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Larry, itsca generational thing. Though your comments are true TODAY, I assure you that in 1980, that was NOT the case. I took it apart as far as I could. I contacted Badger and was told the inner "o" ring could only be removed by the manufacturer with special tools. The replacement was free but shipping was a PITA. Once bitten, twice shy. And Paasche H series have only 1 o-ring and that one is external.
  10. taxidermyfreak

    taxidermyfreak ***RIP DAD & JONNY***

    I completely agree with George I have only been at it for 13 years and have owned 3 different kinds and I like to us the same brand as him bye far...
    Great post George!!!!!!!
  11. lol & ya know what................generation difference George HOW TRUE my friend ! Years ago, nothing was FREE but today it all seems to be out there almost all for FREE if one looks closely & asks where to find something . Many mfg. years ago would repair but not sell all the parts or would just sell you another airbrush .

    Oftin even today it is cheaper & easier to just buy a new one anyways !

    I likely would agree with you & others that useing & or getting used to ( single action brushes........................) lol is a good idea !

    KEEP it simple as you can ...................I know these single action brushes have Less parts & are easier to use than double action ones............

    I have used the single action ones only a few times & I guess I just liked the double actions bc of their adjustabilities in being able to ( get only air ) at times & to be able to adjust the amount of paint one wants with each & every paint application without adjustments otherwise ?

    keep it simple as possible, indeed....................................I really think you have me wanting to buy a few singles again & have them for all my students to use so they can decide what ones they might want to buy for their shop
  12. I agree with you as well George. JoAnne Waddell was my teacher and she has been doing taxidermy for over 46 years, or close to that, and she uses the H- Series Paasche as well. I have been using mine I bought in school since 2008, and I bought my wife one to use during her fish classes as well. Only problem I have had with it was my fault; knocking them out of the holder and bending the tips. So I just keep a few of those tips around that I buy at Hobbie Lobby. Aside from that they are phenomenal, easy to use, easy to clean, and a great gun for both beginners and experienced taxidermists. Just have to clean them once in a while and keep your air compressor purged of water. As Rick stated, find what works and is comfortable for you to use. Great post George.
  13. Thanks everyone & George has some of us oldies ThINKING again on what to Train our students ON !....I guess I will Now be buying a few more ( H ) series Paasche airbrushes ! I want to train my students with everything I can so THEY can decide for themselves What is best for them !

    TIMBUCK Active Member

    The best fish guy that I know, down here in Texas, told me that all he has ever used is a single action Paasche.
  15. Rick Carter

    Rick Carter Administrator

    Rick Krane hit the nail. Do what works. I got my first airbrush when I was 12. That was 46 years ago. I didn't have a compressor so I got an inner tube and rode my bike to the gas station to put air in it. I sat or stood on the tube if I needed more pressure. I have used about every airbrush imaginable since that time. When I was at WASCO I handled tons of complaints about every brand of airbrush. When all advice failed I just told them to send the unit back. When the airbrush came back the first thing I did was clean it, even when the customer absolutely insisted that it had been thoroughly cleaned.About 90% of the time the airbrush worked like a charm the instant it was cleaned. The "fixed" airbrush went to the jawset painters and worked fine until it was dropped or broken. I accumulated a spare parts box that had enough goodies to make 5 or 6 working airbrushes, even with mixed parts. my favorite for the last 25 years has been the Iwata HP BC. I also use conventional paint brushes, pencils, colored pens, finger paints, steel wool, sponges, and whatever it takes to achieve the look I want. Ultimately the problem is with the user and not the equipment.
  16. RichMO

    RichMO Well-Known Member

    Rick K. and Rick C. are both correct in all they say in this instance. I have also purchased different brands over the last 30 years and have now settled on the Iwata HP model. If you want to paint a dot and a super fine line you have to have the correct nozzle and needle size to start with. Then depending on the media you are using thin it down even if they say, "air brush ready", use retarder, keep it clean (take it all apart down to the last piece) and practice practice practice on paper plates.
  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I've always been a keep it simple stupid guy and have eight single action Paashe brushes. That's after 30 years! So easy to take apart and clean! So easy to replace parts! And I can do whatever detail I want by going to a number 1 tip and adding retarder.

    Great minds think a like George!

    Had a big name in fsh taxidermy brag he could scale tip rainbow trout scales with his fancy air brush. Needless to say I understand he is no longer in the business.