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Grumpy Cave Bear

Airbrush is broken -- Advice on repairs or new purchase?

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Open call for opinions!

 

My trusty Badger Crescendo 175 airbrush of many, many years failed this weekend.  It stopped spraying and started blowing paint back through the trigger.  A complete disassembly revealed the problem -- the nylon bushing for the needle had somehow come loose and slipped forward into the paint mixing chamber. Further, I can't for the life of me get that darned bushing back out of what is an essentially sealed pocket.

 

I checked the Badger website, and the bushing is a manufacturer-serviceable part only.  So shipping to there, and $12 return shipping enclosed, plus the cost of any replacement parts.  I'm seriously considering just getting an new airbrush instead.

 

So, anyone have experience w/Badger service/repair?

 

Failing that, what recommendations do you have for a replacement airbrush?  Go with the same again, or switch?

 

So you know, I've also used a Paasche VL airbrush for a while before and found it -- fiddly at best and a frustration at worst, compared to the Badger.  It's in pieces in my airbrush supplies box, and also in need of a new needle bushing (at $10 apiece).  I prefer double-action airbrushes, and I'm considering a switch to a gravity-feed, rather than a siphon-feed.

 

And... Begin!

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Open call for opinions!

 

My trusty Badger Crescendo 175 airbrush of many, many years failed this weekend.  It stopped spraying and started blowing paint back through the trigger.  A complete disassembly revealed the problem -- the nylon bushing for the needle had somehow come loose and slipped forward into the paint mixing chamber. Further, I can't for the life of me get that darned bushing back out of what is an essentially sealed pocket.

 

I checked the Badger website, and the bushing is a manufacturer-serviceable part only.  So shipping to there, and $12 return shipping enclosed, plus the cost of any replacement parts.  I'm seriously considering just getting an new airbrush instead.

 

So, anyone have experience w/Badger service/repair?

 

Failing that, what recommendations do you have for a replacement airbrush?  Go with the same again, or switch?

 

So you know, I've also used a Paasche VL airbrush for a while before and found it -- fiddly at best and a frustration at worst, compared to the Badger.  It's in pieces in my airbrush supplies box, and also in need of a new needle bushing (at $10 apiece).  I prefer double-action airbrushes, and I'm considering a switch to a gravity-feed, rather than a siphon-feed.

 

And... Begin!

 

Badger's customer service is nothing short of legendary in the eyes of the industry.  If you send the brush in for repairs, it'll be in very good hands.

 

If you decide to buy a new brush, I'll recommend the Badger 155 Anthem - which I currently use alongside my old workhorse Badger 200.  If I was looking to buy something new, I'd probably look into something from their Renegade series.

 

The Egg 

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Heard nothing but good things about Badger C/S. My Thayer Chandler (Badger subcompany) Omni 4000 has been good to me, despite the neglect and abuse I heap upon it spraying things that really ought not to be sprayed out of an airbrush.

 

If you do decide to switch, I'd recommend a gravity feed with somewhere around a 1/4 - 1/2 oz color cup. Enough capacity for basecoating, small enough it doesn't get in the way.

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Well, it's decided, then. I'm going to try sending my Badger in for servicing, based on your recommendations. Hopefully they can get the bushing out and replaced.

 

I'm going this way for two reasons. First, the domestic financial manager has indicated that the cost of servicing is "quite reasonable" compared to the cost of a new airbrush, and she's willing to risk it. I tend to agree, as I have an amount of "sunk cost" in the Badger brush in the form of replacement needles and nozzles, thanks to a clearance sale.

 

Second, I pulled out the old Paasche VL and gave it a thorough going over. I went over the damaged needle bushing on that airbrush. It didn't look as bad as I remembered, so I took an old, chewed-up screwdriver and filed it down to fit the slot on the bushing screw and removed it. Then I remembered why I had problems with the Paasche airbrush -- I never had a screwdriver of the right size to properly tighten the bushing. Well, I do now! The screw was pretty chewed up from my attempts of days long past, so I filed it smooth and cleaned up its screwdriver slot and replaced it. The screwdriver went into the airbrush servicing box for its newly dedicated purpose.

 

I lightly oiled the adjustable parts and the needle where it contacted the bushing with some plastic compatible oil -- something else I didn't have before -- and it went together perfectly. I'll have to try it this weekend, when I get the chance.

 

So I'm sending my airbrush in for servicing, and it looks like I might now have a backup too. As for a new airbrush, that will have to wait a bit, until I can make my hobby support itself. I do like the look and price point of the Badger Patriot, when the time comes.

 

I'll post here again with my experiences with Badger customer service.

Edited by Grumpy Cave Bear
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When /if you ever need to look again...

 

GREX Genesis XS is my airbrush of choice.

 

Works wonders for me at a reasonable price.

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I do like the look and price point of the Badger Patriot, when the time comes.

 

I bought a Patriot a couple of years ago, and it's become pretty much the only airbrush I use any more. When I have to spray large quantities (for terrain work, for example) I use a cheap(ish) single-action external-feed Paasche.

 

I have a bunch of airbrushes, including a Paasche Talon, which I found something of a disappointment compared with older Paasche brushes I'd used in the past. The trigger action is quite clunky, and the general engineering of the brush is quite inferior to their old standard.

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The Paasche VL is one I purchased in the early 90's. It appears to be made from before any decline in Paasche quality; it has a metal needle cover instead of a plastic one.

 

I just tested my repairs on it. There was a moment of panic when I realized I could not find the air hose for it, and feared that I had thrown it out with an Binks airbrush I owned -- a horrible thing, which I wouldn't paint a chair with, much less a miniature. Fortunately, I found it in the garage, in an outgoing junk box.

 

Either I overestimated the problems with the Paasche brush, or I've grown in skill. Perhaps it's that I'm using paint with finer-ground pigments, or that I'm using water-based paints now. But this airbrush is working just fine, and painting if not pencil-thin lines, then marker-thin lines.

 

So I have a backup airbrush until the Badger is serviced, and hopefully two of good quality when it returns.

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I have sent 3 airbrush in for service got them back and they sprayed fine.

 

There is a form for it somewhere on their website so you fill in the form send with the check and your done.

 

Last time my needle tube was fubar and they didn't replace it.and while the airbrush works I thought They would have replaced it.

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Did you ever get your 'brush back? and how is it working?

Actually, I haven't sent the Badger in for servicing yet. I was so pleased to find my older Paasche was in good working order that I just switched over to using that one for now. I'd better get on it.

 

I have sent 3 airbrush in for service got them back and they sprayed fine.

There is a form for it somewhere on their website so you fill in the form send with the check and your done.

Last time my needle tube was fubar and they didn't replace it.and while the airbrush works I thought They would have replaced it.

I had a question about servicing... When you sent your airbrushes in, did you send them complete and assembled, or did you send only the parts that needed servicing? I'm not sure if I should include the needle and spray nozzle with the airbrush.

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I've sent them assembled with an accurate a description of the problem as I understand it. Aproxximately two weeks later they return it. I've sent 2 airbrushes at once as well.

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