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Airbrush brand opinions

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Jan George, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. I have been using a double action paasche since my Iwata died. I really liked the Iwata, but Bear Air doesn't carry them any more. I didn't know if Iwata was phasing out (that's usually my luck, I find something I LOVE and then it's discontinued). Does anyone have any suggestions or opinions on good airbrushes? And don't suggest Aztek - those things look and perform like they came out of a bubble gum machine. I saw a new brand in Bear Air's catalogue called Richpen. Kinda salty but looked like good quality. Has anyone used one of these?
  2. RobinK

    RobinK New Member

    try dixie art supply i belieave they have iwata air brushes

  3. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Well my opinion doesn't really help, but after using many types of airbrush I still find myself happy with the simple Paashe H 99.999999% of the time.

    I never used the Iwata and have heard good things but I get it done with a H and Paashe brushes and parts are available at Pat Catan's for CHEAP.

    I cannot imagine needing a better brush than a VL.

    HOLMES Active Member

    Iwata doubles all the way.
  5. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Iwata's are still made. The person I spoke to at Bear Air told me that their brand was the same as Iwata and something about Iwata would not let them sell Iwatas anymore (sounded to me like they copied Iwata). Was also told that the parts to their airbrush were interchangeable with Iwata. I can not remember their brand, I want to say Precision, but don't think that's right, I would look it up but I don't know where my catalog went.
    I have an Iwata HP-BC plus. WASCO sells it and I believe Matuska and Van Dyke's carry it also. I also have an Iwata HP-BCS. I loved my Aztec 'til I tried out a friend's HP-BC. I have three or 4 Paasches and I never could work them worth a damn.
  6. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Yes indeed, Iwata is still in business. I think you might be thinking of "Peak" airbrushes from bear air. I use one and love it. the Richpens are nice as well, although I have only a single action in that type.
  7. Pat M

    Pat M New Member

    Vega 2000! The long needle travel allows for good versatility. Meaning you can spray detail with low pressure and low viscosity or cover broad areas faster with high pressure and high viscosity. A good all around gun that does not break the bank, and parts are easily available.
  8. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Dennis, I believe you are correct about it being Peak. I knew Presicion wasn't right, but at least it did start with a "p", LOL.
  9. Thanks for the input guys!
  10. Terry

    Terry De-lighted to be living in Alaska!

    I'm with Jim on the Paasche H....

    I totally agree with you, Jan, on the Aztecs (yes I have owned one). I have an Iwata I bought new on eBay and I am just getting the chance to play with it over the last few fish. It's nice and I think I will grow to like it as I learn its nuances. Oh, by the way... I'm a big eBay fan and I found the Iwata I purchased brand new at one third the listed price on websites that sell it. Perhaps that's an option for you.

    The Paasche H is hard to beat- IMHO. It does an incredible job and I personally love its simplicity.

    Just my two cents. :)
  11. den007

    den007 Active Member

    Tried a Vega 2000 and I did not like its "fast" response. While it does have a long range of travel in the needle, it seemed as touchy as a hair trigger pistol. I much prefer a slow, smooth, incremental response. The brush is still sitting on my bench. I may try it again someday, then again, maybe not.
  12. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I gotta tell you that I used a Paashe H single action for years. A few months back there was some discussion here about the Iwata HP-B's being on sale on eBay. I purchased one, and I love it. Double action brushes that will perform like you want them to are great, and the Iwata does just this. Plus, I am left-handed, and the Iwata's are an ambidextrous airbrush. Wish I had done this years ago. I use all lacquer based paints. I put a few drops of retarder in the cup before adding paint. Then I add the paint and stir in the bowl with a piece of wire. No clogging or tip drying. I can spray dots for a long while before having to open it up, then go at it again for another while. The double action Paache's continually gave me trouble on detail. I would stick with the Iwata!!!
  13. EX-NTA

    EX-NTA New Member


    I don't airbrush very much, but when I do, I need all the help I can get. I had an Aztec first, you're right, I recently gave it away. I upgraded to a Badger Crescendo 175, and had all kinds of problems with clogging and spitting. I purchased an Iwata HP-C at the World Show a few months ago and fell in love again. Trust me, if I can use it and make things look good, anyone can. I'm mixing 50/50 paint and retarder and it works extremely well. In fact, I like it so much that I decided to learn fish, instead of the birds and mammals I've always done in the past. Several taxidermy suppliers sell them, sounds like ebay may be a good place, too. The Iwata is a little more expensive, but worth every penny. I'm sure I'll make up for it in clean-up time alone.

    Good luck!
  14. kes

    kes New Member

    I have a Richpen that has been modified by Mike Learn called the Mojo. It is basically a modified Phoenix 213C with a 0.2mm tip and needle. In my opinion it is the finest airbrush for the money. Richpens are manufactured in Japan by Fuso Seiki. I also have a 033 bottom feed for color washes. Bearair's Peak airbrushes are the best bang for the buck in my opinion. They feature teflon seals and the handle adjustment. I can answer specific questions about them if you want. Iwatas are good but for the money I like Richpens. You could not go wrong with either. I think Dixieart has the best prices on Iwatas.
  15. Thanks all, it looks like i will be doing some shopping at the show next week. I'm going to get my list of suppliers out and see if any of the above mentioned are going to be there.
  16. Carol

    Carol Insubordinate and proud of it!

    I'm the one Ex-NTA gave the Aztec to. Actually I like it very well. I hated the Paasche, tried the Vega 2000 and liked it but it is very finicky - sometimes it works good, sometimes it drives me crazy. I'm finding the Aztec to be more reliable and easier to use.
    If you are used to an Iwata, though, you should probably stick with that. From everything I've heard, they are the best. I will be getting an Iwata - someday when I'm rich! :)
  17. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    You can get an hp-sbs at Pat Catan's for $109. An unbeatable price.
    Here is link from the Iwata site:
  18. crittercraft

    crittercraft A venti caffe' mocha vodka valium latte to go plz

    Hobby Lobby carries Iwata, and that 40% off coupon they have every other week makes it a good deal as well.
  19. I didn't know Hobby Lobby had Iwatas. I'll have to call and see what their prices are and calculate the 40% off. I'm still going to be shopping for one at the NTA show, but that Hobby Lobby deal sounds awful good.
  20. Becky P

    Becky P One must believe the glass is half full.

    Our Hobby Lobby quit carrying any airbrushes. The only place we get a 40% coupon is Michael's and they don't carry Iwatas, only Badger. They used to carry Aztec and that's how I got one of those (but it's not an Iwata, LOL). I bought my Iwata through Van Dykes at a show so I got the show discount.