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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:13 pm 
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Location: Northern Arizona
The Harbor Freight Deluxe Airbrush is, according to many, a copy of a low end Badger airbrush. It receives mixed reviews. Considering the $22 price (with a ubiquitous HF 20% coupon), I decided to see for myself if it was adequate for a beginner to use for learning airbrush technique. Since there's no review of this budget airbrush here, I thought I'd post what I learned:
1. I couldn’t find a comfortable grip position with the paint cup below and to the left of the body of the airbrush; i.e., the siphon feed style.
2. Though the airbrush body is chrome and nicely finished aluminum, the paint cup is coarsely made; the pick-up is about ¼” off the bottom leaving a lot of paint in the cup, the cup’s interior finish is rough, and I didn’t fully trust it’s metal-to-metal push-on fit with the airbrush body.
3. The paint cup seems angled for work on an easel or perhaps near eye level. Using this airbrush a with a down angle on work that’s on a table top makes it awkward to keep the paint feeding the siphon tube. I also had worries about spilling paint.
4. I found the double-action trigger to be too light for good feedback.
5. Functionally, I couldn’t start a paint line without some droplet spatter around the start point. Not a big mess, but enough to prevent a light, uniform application of paint. I tried pressures from 10 to 30 PSI with no improvement. This was really unsatisfactory. I believe sloppy fit of the needle in the nozzle is the culprit, and it’s the luck of the production line draw whether another unit might have a better seated needle that would start and stop the paint smartly.
6. When I tried to check the needle tip, the tip cover wouldn’t unscrew, even with pliers. I didn’t want to risk stripping the knurling on the tip so I decided to return the airbrush to HF.

Perhaps someone familiar with airbrush maintenance and function could give this HF airbrush a tuneup and get more value from the low price, but I want to learn basic technique and not spend my time fiddling with the hardware. Back it went.

PS (Edit) - The HF 1/4" airbrush hose is inexpensive, but its end fitting attachments rely only the inner rubber hose and are quite fragile in service. I'd buy it again, but would reinforce the end fittings with tape extending well down onto the braided cover.

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On the ways: USS Oregon 1/225 by Glencoe


Last edited by DWPC on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:17 pm 
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Your review is much welcomed but is also not the first I've read. This is a very puzzling piece of merchandise because of the very fact it receives so many mixed reviews. I think the general consensus agrees that the manufacturing quality is pretty much hit and miss with those who rated it highly being in possession of a satisfactory example and vice versa.

I wonder if there are other low cost alternatives within the same price point but more, shall we say, successful?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:03 pm 
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Location: Northern Arizona
Harquebus wrote:
I wonder if there are other low cost alternatives within the same price point but more, shall we say, successful?

If you're in the US, you can print a 40%-off coupon for the Hobby Lobby chain from their website. It brings the price of the $80 Neo/Iwata (gravity feed) to under $50. Its parts are made in Taiwan and assembled in China so the QC is likely better. I've bought one but have yet to try it out, though it seems very well made and its reviews are consistently very good. I'll be posting a review soon.

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On the ways: USS Oregon 1/225 by Glencoe


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 12:56 pm 
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I know Horror Fright has one or more compressors tailored for airbrush use. Figuring it is much more difficult to screw up a simple compressor, I was wondering if anyone owns and/or can review or provide feedback on an HF airbrush compressor. Anyone?

I am certainly taking your advice seriously on the Iwata airbrush. :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 6:08 am 
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Location: S.C.
Harquebus wrote:
I know Horror Fright has one or more compressors tailored for airbrush use. Figuring it is much more difficult to screw up a simple compressor, I was wondering if anyone owns and/or can review or provide feedback on an HF airbrush compressor. Anyone?

I am certainly taking your advice seriously on the Iwata airbrush. :thumbs_up_1:


I bought this one almost 2 years ago......very pleased with it http://www.harborfreight.com/16-hp-58-p ... 60329.html

Bought it as a kit..compressor works great and it's quiet...pitch the AB..it's junk.
I did add an additional moisture trap and a Y fitting for dual AB purposes. I have had good luck with this...HF can be hit and miss at times so get the warranty for the compressor .


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 8:16 pm 
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Location: Texas
gott_cha wrote:
Harquebus wrote:
I know Horror Fright has one or more compressors tailored for airbrush use. Figuring it is much more difficult to screw up a simple compressor, I was wondering if anyone owns and/or can review or provide feedback on an HF airbrush compressor. Anyone?

I am certainly taking your advice seriously on the Iwata airbrush. :thumbs_up_1:


I bought this one almost 2 years ago......very pleased with it http://www.harborfreight.com/16-hp-58-p ... 60329.html

Bought it as a kit..compressor works great and it's quiet...pitch the AB..it's junk.
I did add an additional moisture trap and a Y fitting for dual AB purposes. I have had good luck with this...HF can be hit and miss at times so get the warranty for the compressor .


Bought the same as Mark...airbrush/compressor set...works great!
Randy

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 7:00 am 
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Thanks Randy.
The only issue of any sort i've had is that it seems to run a little bit on the warm side. I make sure there is nothing sat around the comp that would restrict airflow and I also blow out the motor and intake vent area each time I use it.
It's not really a requirement but I feel a little bit of "preventive" TLC goes along way to keeping equipment in tip top shape.

Again, I am well pleased


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:16 pm 
For Mark and Randy,

I'm looking for a compressor. The Harbor Freight compressor has an 1/8 inch adapter which fits the HF airbrush. How do you get it too fit a 1/4 airbrush hose?

Thanks,
Ed


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:07 am 
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Hi Ed...

Thinking simple, drag the ends in to Home Depot and see what they can come up with in terms of connectors to bridge the gap.

Worth a shot for a hopefully cheap solution.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:58 pm 
Thanks!


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