Monday, January 21, 2013

A Look at Cheap Airbrushes

In this video I grab a couple of cheap airbrushes and took a quick look at them and how feasible they are to start with or to use as a long term solution.  This blog post goes a little more in depth about some more of my thoughts about them.

Here's the video where I took a couple of cheap airbrushes and talk a bit about using them and buying them:

Let's talk a little more about this as there are some things I didn't cover in the video.  I tried to keep all the important points in the video to keep it from going too long and becoming a video full of babble.

Quality in the Cheapies, Not All Are Created Equal
The "Taiwan" airbrushes are cheap but also keep in mind that not all of them are made equal.  If you do go up to about the $30 brush range, it will be a little better but let's face it, at $30, just go to TCP Global and buy their Master series.  They are in essence PROBABLY better quality "Taiwan" airbrushes.  I can't really say as I don't work or are in contact with TCP Global about this but at least they back the product and make it easy for you to buy accessories for it.

But let's not keep from buying something as cheap as $15 airbrush and have access to buy parts for.  If you can handle using something that cheap and make it work for you and is within your budget, then do it.

The Cheap Airbrush Chatter
I look around the internet and there's many, many thoughts about this subject.  What I find funny is that some people would by two or three of these cheap airbrushes in case they bend the needle or lose a part of something breaks.

So you're buying x3 $30 airbrush instead of buying 1 great quality made airbrush which after a while you gotta buy more once the three is used up.  That kind of logic doesn't compute for me but then again, that's me. This type of thing might make more sense to other people.  Quantity over quality. Some people might take such good care with their stuff that it can last years so at least that makes more sense.

I ran across someones website where they talked about getting a cheap airbrush which I found really interesting until I got to the part where he ranted about how all the name brand companies are in essence the devil and their products are actual "Taiwan" airbrushes and that people shouldn't be cheated and fall for their evil marketing ways... ad nauseam.

The whole thing just made it sound like some loon that didn't get his way with a brand name company and now on a quest to devalue all name brand companies.  He just lost credibility to me.  I'm not going to bother posting a link here to that.

I've been to the Badger factory many times. I've seen them make the airbrushes.  I talked to people who's been over to the H&S factory and seen them make their brushes there.  At least I can say I know these name brands make their airbrushes in house.

For me, my chatter is to get a name brand and the best that you can in your budget to start with.  If you wish, go cheap or got multi-cheat disposable.  As long as you are getting into using one, I find most people end up with a name brand after a bit of time and will never go back. 

My Stance on Getting a Name Brand
I used to preach that cheap airbrushes is a good way to start but recently, if you noticed, I've been advocating more going towards getting the best airbrush you can from a name brand company.

There's  reason for this.  Since making my airbrushing videos a couple of years ago, I've been interacting with tons of other airbrushers or would be airbrushers.  I can get up to 20 mails on a very busy day about airbrushing and I love to answer all of them, if not right away but a day or two later.

I learn a lot this way and it helps me know what future videos to do.  One of the things I get a lot is that when people go buy a cheap airbrush, I end up sitting in mail with them trying to figure out a problem they are having with it.

The most common problem is that there is no support for the cheap stuff that people are grabbing off a Chinese production line to see cheap and make decent money off of it.  Most of these companies don't even know what an airbrush is so their solution is to just say, "Send it back and we'll send you a new one".  Seriously?

So the easy way it to just say get a name brand.  As least the company will back their product.  Or at least get a cheapie that has some kind of company backing it like TCP Global.

I am sponsored by Badger but it wasn't always so.  About 11 or 12 years ago, I picked up scale modeling again for a period of time.  I pulled out my 200NH and the Teflon seal inside the brush was pretty dinged up.  I emailed Badger.  A day later I got a response and this was from Ken, the president of Badger about how to get it fixed.

They still supported my airbrush after 10 years (I got the 200NH when I was in high school) and I got the president answering a support question!

You can't beat that kind of customer support or a company that backs their products like that anymore. He still fields support questions when he can.  I still joke about it that I've talked to him like years ago in email. Of course he doesn't remember but hey, I can't remember what I ate last night.

A cheap airbrush can be a great way to start getting into it.  I can't run the exact numbers but I would say that 90% of the people I talked to over the years who started with a cheap airbrush ended up getting a name brand and most of them that still stay in contact says the same thing, "There is such a huge difference!".  There are however, a few people that says there is no difference as well.

The most important thing here is that I'm making these videos and helping people with airbrushing so they can enjoy this great tool. I give out advice based on all the interaction over the years I have with the people who are using one or wanting to get into using one.

The most important thing here is that you have fun with it and to do that, I make videos and try to be here for those help them prevent those mistakes or processes that would frustrate any beginners or advanced user.  One of those things is to buy something that works well running out of the gate.

1 comment:

  1. Chang,

    Are you going to do a review Badger's new acrylic paint line??