Testors Aztec Vs. Iwata or Badger?


Sixx
01-03-2008, 01:44 PM
I've read alot about the different brushes available but I really don't know the advantages over one or the other.

I've been using a Testors Aztec for the last year or so because I like the idea of only having to clean the tip between paints.

Though I recently noticed some hissing coming from the brush, similar to an air leak of some kind. The brush is still giving me nice smooth paint jobs though.

I'm shooting MCW basecoats and clearing with a urethane clear. I'm wondering if

1* the stronger paints are hard on the Testors brush or if they would be hard on every brush particularly an Iwata or Badger

2* are there any real advantages of using an Iwata or Badger as opposed to using a Testors

3* would I be able to "see" a difference is the paint job, like possibly it shoots the paints thinner etc?

freakray
01-03-2008, 02:13 PM
Iwata and Badger have metal bodies, the Azcrap has a plastic body, the stronger paints are hard on plastic, they have no effect on the metal bodied airbrushes.

The Iwata and Badger airbrushes are far superior quality over Testors, you can't actually ever completely clean the Testors as you can't disassemble the needle/nozzle without risking damage.

The difference in the paint job is from the user and correctly thinning the paint. Even the worst user could get a crap paint job from the best airbrush. The thickness of paint it lays down comes down to technique, not the make of airbrush. You can get great results with the Azcrap when it's new, but as it gets older the paint jobs suffer - the ultimate spend has to do with the quality of the airbrush and its longevity, not the quality of user using it.

Sixx
01-03-2008, 03:46 PM
good info! I noticed the brush actually making a hissing sound as if the paints are tearin' up the inside of the brush. I'm gonna check into either the Iwata or Badger! Maybe I can find a good brush on eBay for a decent dime!
thanks man!

CFarias
01-03-2008, 06:11 PM
I've been using the same Aztec airbrush since they were introduced into the Testors ModelMaster line well over a decade ago and have had no problems at all with it. However I have experienced hissing when the tip is not screwed all the way. If this is not the problem also try some putting some beeswax on the threads to double check this is not the problem either.

Like you the I bought the Aztec for its ease of maintainability. The Aztecs are not made of plastic per se. They are made of a resin that is impervious to solvents. However, like other airbrushes, seals within the parts can become damaged as solvents "dry" them out. This may be the source of your hissing if you tend to keep the body in a bath of thinner for storage.

I too use the MCW line for my cars. They are good paints and I've seen no damage to my airbrush.

All this being said if you are convinced that buying another brand is your next move, then you should not be sorry by buying either the Badger or Iwata. I've used all the major brands, both single and dual, both external and internal, and, in my opinion, all will do an excellent job on models.

matador88
01-03-2008, 06:12 PM
i cant imagine airbrush without teflon seal. and badger and also iwata have it

freakray
01-03-2008, 06:37 PM
I've been using the same Aztec airbrush since they were introduced into the Testors ModelMaster line well over a decade ago and have had no problems at all with it. However I have experienced hissing when the tip is not screwed all the way. If this is not the problem also try some putting some beeswax on the threads to double check this is not the problem either.

Like you the I bought the Aztec for its ease of maintainability. The Aztecs are not made of plastic per se. They are made of a resin that is impervious to solvents. However, like other airbrushes, seals within the parts can become damaged as solvents "dry" them out. This may be the source of your hissing if you tend to keep the body in a bath of thinner for storage.

I too use the MCW line for my cars. They are good paints and I've seen no damage to my airbrush.

All this being said if you are convinced that buying another brand is your next move, then you should not be sorry by buying either the Badger or Iwata. I've used all the major brands, both single and dual, both external and internal, and, in my opinion, all will do an excellent job on models.

You either work for Testors or have lucked out.

I started out with Azcrap, the damn thing near fell to pieces once I switched to using the hotter paints like automotive and MCW lacquers.

Sixx
01-03-2008, 06:53 PM
However I have experienced hissing when the tip is not screwed all the way. If this is not the problem also try some putting some beeswax on the threads to double check this is not the problem either.


I am going to try that to see if that's the problem, though I have to agree with the other guys as far as the hot paints possibly destroying the interior of the brush.
Have you heard any reviews or possibly own the Badger Sotar?

CFarias
01-03-2008, 07:53 PM
I am going to try that to see if that's the problem, though I have to agree with the other guys as far as the hot paints possibly destroying the interior of the brush.
Have you heard any reviews or possibly own the Badger Sotar?

I've seen many hit or miss opinions on these airbrushes. As I said before you should have fine luck with any Badger, or Iwata, or Paasche for that matter.

Freakray does make the point that if the Aztek's body is damaged it can not be fixed as it is permanently sealed. This is a significant advantage for the other brands. However, if you do buy the other brands, be sure that there is a dealer in your area that has the accessories and parts to support you. If this is not the case find a good dealer on the internet. And, no, I don't work for Testors :smile:, but I did sell airbrushes for a number of years.

Sorry, I don't have any opinion on the Sotar, but if you follow this link you can find opinions on that and other airbrushes.

http://modelingmadness.com/others/features/airbrushsurvey.htm

Of note, check out the two opinions on the Aztek A470, you'll see what I mean about the hit or miss attitude towards them.

I have not had much use for the dual action feature when I do my car models and occasionally when I do my aircraft models. The Sotar is a dual action, internal mix, which is the top of the line system for airbrushing. However, if a single action airbrush is all you need consider the Badger 200-20. It's great for models (It was my first and I never had problems), parts tend to be cheaper, and is up to 3 times less cost than the Sotar.

freakray
01-03-2008, 08:04 PM
Unfortunately for Aztek/Modelmaster/Testors my attitude towards their airbrushes is derived from actually owning (2) A470's and having both fall apart on me over the course of a year.

Sixx
01-03-2008, 08:47 PM
Unfortunately for Aztek/Modelmaster/Testors my attitude towards their airbrushes is derived from actually owning (2) A470's and having both fall apart on me over the course of a year.

I'm hoping that is not the case here, though it seems to be! That Sucks!

935k3
01-03-2008, 09:45 PM
I have 5 airbrushes. 3 Paasche(H,VL,VLST-PRO), 1 Badger(175) and 1 Iwata(Eclipse). They are all quality airbrushes and I use them for different stuff but my workhorse is the Badger 175 Crescendo. It has a very wide trigger range and stays very clean with just running thinner through it. I rarely take it apart. The Aztecs are toylike compared to these. Some of the Paasche have been the same design for 50 years because they are quality. Badger has a lifetime guarantee on the teflon seal and will replace it for free. Iwatas are considered some of the best by professionals. If search on Google you can find some reviews from users on diiferent airbrushes.

CFarias
01-03-2008, 11:52 PM
Unfortunately for Aztek/Modelmaster/Testors my attitude towards their airbrushes is derived from actually owning (2) A470's and having both fall apart on me over the course of a year.

My A470 works fine, but I'm sorry to hear how bad they've been for you.

924_CarreraGTS
01-04-2008, 12:54 AM
I have some model of Aztec which I honestly can't identify because 1) all paperwork for it has vanished, 2) I got it years ago, 3) it has no case and 4) I can't find it online. It looks like an A320 but is double action. Whatever it is, it has worked fine spraying enamels and acrylics and lacquer thinner. However, since it is plastic and I'm sure will wear out soon, I am looking at a Badger 155...any thoughts on that model?

Alex

proosen
01-04-2008, 12:56 AM
My advice to anyone that's going to buy an AB is to stay away from the Aztek.
Loved mine as long as it worked but over time it started to fill the body with paint and eventually it jammed causing it to break.
Got tired of sending it in for replacement as it kind of halted my building pace.

Took it apart myself and made a quick fix and replaced the broken part with a new one made from piano wire.

This is how it looks inside after some sessions, not to mention that it also colours my right hand as the paint leaks backwards into it and down my paw.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v332/proosen/Misc/470_02.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v332/proosen/Misc/470_01.jpg


So my next one will be an Evolution silverline as I beleive it over time can be kept running much easier.



Niclas

klutz_100
01-04-2008, 02:29 AM
I have to say that if you can afford it, get an Iwata. Not that the others are bad but simply the Iwatas are better IMO.

I have had/still have Iwatas, Badgers, Paasches, Azteks and Chinese pseudo-Iwatas. They all work, will all spray paint and as already mentioned - with practice and correct thinning - will deliver a good paint job.

However, when it comes to pleasure of use (the "feel in your hand" factor), ease of cleaning and quality of build, the Iwata range is in a class of its own.

I suppose the price difference between an Iwata and Badger is something in the 30$-50$ range? That's nothing at all when put in the context of your total spend on a modeling budget and considering how many years the airbrush will last you.

BTW I still have the Aztek and have stopped using it ONLY because my 2 Iwatas now completely cover all my airbrushing needs. When I was using it I liked it but found it a little temperamental at times. It is definitely hard wearing in terms of the plastics used but it ABSOLUTELY HATES BACKFLUSHING. Backflushing is the major cause of problems with this brush - it forces paint back into the body (as per Niclas' post) and if thinners gets into the body, it can melt the plastic tubing which is NOT made of the same kind of resistant materials as the rest of the body. The needles themselves are easily dismantled for cleaning and can be left soaking in thinners for years.

Any airbrush can deliver a good paint job but if youcan go to 100$ or so, get an Iwata (or two ;) ).

lotus123
01-04-2008, 04:24 AM
Just for interest, looking at Niclas' lower picture (very useful post Niclas!) the problem areas are as follows:
1. The "blue tube" can have a small crack along its length - this will cause your hissing noise. Mine did this, but I fixed it by tightly wrapping electrical tape around it to seal the crack. It probably won't last, but I'm hoping to get a replacement tube from the importer before it fails again. And don't hesitate to "crack" the casing open if you don't have luck with the 'lifetime" warranty on the unit.
2. The clear tube goes into a black rubber tube which is "pinched" by the trigger mechanism, to control airflow. The pinch mechanism caused my rubber tube to split (also caused hissing noise), and a replacement part was needed (luckily free on warranty). The tube also tends to stay permanently pinched after a while, and taking it out and resiting it 90 degrees to original axis usually frees airflow again.
3. The mechanism that Niclas inventively fixed breaks because the unit gets glued up with dried paint (especially lacquers), and the extra bit of force on the yoke (that's the bit he fixed) causes it to break off. The only way to prevent that from happening is to break the unit down (that includes splitting the casing) when it gets a bit tight, and soak it in Testor's Dried Paint Solvent overnight to clean it thoroughly.
4. The Aztek needle/nozzle units are fairly easy to clean but I noticed that poor spraying was caused by the opening having become very much bigger over time. I noticed that when comparing it to a new unit I recently bought.

Overall, I would not buy an Aztek again. The results it gives, when everything works fine, are good. But there's just too much to fix and fettle all the time, and next time I'll go with something that's bullet-proof.

Someone made a comment in this thread that single-action is fine for car modelling, and I'm intrigued by that point. Does anyone know of a good reason for double-action if painting cars only?

Graham

Veyron
01-04-2008, 08:51 AM
I have 5 airbrushes. 3 Paasche(H,VL,VLST-PRO), 1 Badger(175) and 1 Iwata(Eclipse). They are all quality airbrushes and I use them for different stuff but my workhorse is the Badger 175 Crescendo. It has a very wide trigger range and stays very clean with just running thinner through it. I rarely take it apart. The Aztecs are toylike compared to these. Some of the Paasche have been the same design for 50 years because they are quality. Badger has a lifetime guarantee on the teflon seal and will replace it for free. Iwatas are considered some of the best by professionals. If search on Google you can find some reviews from users on diiferent airbrushes.

I have only the Crescendo and I keep the large tip in it. It doesn't have to be disassembled to clean, just put it nose down in some thinner a few minutes then spray thinner through it. Handiest airbrush I've ever had. I do want to try an Iwata some day.

pawlie
01-04-2008, 09:18 AM
I've been using a Paasche H single action for 10 years now, they're really cheap (about $50) and easy to clean. It does everything I need.

Just my 2 cents:)


I would like to try an Iwata, just to see what a $500 airbrush is like!

Porsnatic
01-04-2008, 09:41 AM
As some of you guys have said here, my workhorse is the Crescendo 175, but, my first one was the Testor's professional model(1997), which I think evoluted as the Aztec series. This one, even some of you guys don't like it, I feel has more control for retouching or some small area airbrushing work than the Badger 175, at least for me.

Now, I'm thinking of buy a Gunze Sangyo Procon Boy Platinum 270. Does anyone here has tried it?

Sixx
01-05-2008, 11:49 AM
my workhorse is the Crescendo 175

I seems that this one does a great job for a number of you! I appreciate all the great information in this thread, I have a better understanding of how no individual area matters more than the other. They all have a role, the type of brush, the pressure you're shooting at, the type of paint and its thickness!

I'm especially appreciative of the awesome shots by proosen, I had no idea that's what the inside of that brush looked like!

stevenoble
01-05-2008, 12:10 PM
I never tried the Testors/Aztek airbrushes so I can't comment on them.I started out with a Badger 200 series and this was generally good but the teflon washer inside needed replacing too often.Same story with the Badger 150 I progressed to later.I now use the Tamiya Spraywork HG Single action for all my basic painting needs and the Tamiya HG Wide Trigger Type Double Action for all my heavier body painting.Both excellent brushes.Easy to use and clean and very robust.They are I believe made for Tamiya by the same company that produces the Iwata brushes.They're certainly worth a look.

Sixx
01-05-2008, 10:33 PM
After some exhuastive reasearch into both the Badger and Iwata airbrushes, I am leaning more toward the Iwata.

What is the difference between the single action and double action?

freakray
01-05-2008, 10:38 PM
Double action means the trigger controls both the paint flow and air. Single action means the trigger only controls the air flow.

You have 100% more control with a double action airbrush as you can control the volume of paint you spray as well as the spray width.
With single action, it's either spraying or it's not. (to put it in simple terms)

rod_k2
01-05-2008, 11:33 PM
Buddy here never gave me a single problem! ;)
http://www.tamiya.com/english/products/74520basic_comp/basic_comp3.jpg
I love it. Gotta try some hotter paints with it...But no problems at all! Someone even told me it had some iwata parts on it...Comes with a compressor. I plan changing it in a not so near future,but...What the heck! :naughty:
Cleaning it is simple,just put some thinner and spray it hard...and then cleab the nozzle tip. After the paint "marathon" I clean it completely (wich is sorta hassle) and store the metal parts in thinner...Actually,the only plastic thing that has contact with paint is the paint jar. The rest,all metal/brass.

Sixx
01-06-2008, 02:04 AM
After tonight, I'm convinced that that Testors is Azcrap. Cause that's about what it did.

I'm looking at an Iwata HP-Cplus model. It has a .3mm nozzle. will that give me a wide spray to lay the paint down nice on my builds?

I'm not quite sure what that means.

klutz_100
01-06-2008, 03:30 AM
Based on personal experience I would say you are better off with the CR with a 0,5 needle - it is somewhat more flexible in terms of the paints you can spray and easier to work with on larger areas. You will also be able to still do pretty fine painting with it (especially with masking)

I bought a HP Cplus first and painted bodies with it but soon felt that the wider coverage of the CR would be better for painting and clearing bodies. The good thing with the HP C+ is that you can detail paint without masking quite often.

I now have both of them and can do anything :) but if you can only afford one for now, I would (with the benefit of hindsight) say go for the CR.

Check out this thread (http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=879183)also

924_CarreraGTS
01-06-2008, 04:34 AM
How is the Iwata Revolution BCR? I've been doing research and this seems like the best bet from Iwata in the lower price range. I think I will get it, unless it turns out to be grossly unsuited for models (but I don't think ANY quality airbrush can be)

Alex

CeeElle
01-06-2008, 01:08 PM
i've been very happy with my Tamiya "Spraywork HG" airbrush. it's made by Iwata. all metal construction, easy to disassemble for cleaning and no trouble whatsoever. i picked it up on eBay.

Sixx
01-06-2008, 01:40 PM
Based on personal experience I would say you are better off with the CR with a 0,5 needle - it is somewhat more flexible in terms of the paints you can spray and easier to work with on larger areas.

Well, did it! I bought the Iwata HP-CR! I'm very excited to get it! I got it for 69 bucks for the brush and a 10' hose. Delivered all 86 bucks!

thanks to everyone for the great advice! Also, I did some research on an airbrushing forum and they really liked this model as well as Scale auto mag!
Thanks klutz for convincing me and learning from your hindsight!
take it easy

Sixx
01-06-2008, 01:41 PM
Will this brush be able to handle hot paints like automotive basecoats/clearcoats?

klutz_100
01-06-2008, 01:44 PM
Will this brush be able to handle hot paints like automotive basecoats/clearcoats?
Absolutley not.



Just kiddn' :D
Yes it will handle all paints just fine. Don't soak the body in thinners though!

Hope you enjoy your Iwata experience. If not, blame someone else ;) :lol:

Sixx
01-06-2008, 01:53 PM
thanks for making my heart stop! :runaround: for a minute!

yeah, yeah, I know where to find ya! ha ha

Thanks again Klutz and good luck in the contest! Great build
Great inspiration!
Derrick

CFarias
01-06-2008, 02:34 PM
Well, did it! I bought the Iwata HP-CR! I'm very excited to get it! I got it for 69 bucks for the brush and a 10' hose. Delivered all 86 bucks!

thanks to everyone for the great advice! Also, I did some research on an airbrushing forum and they really liked this model as well as Scale auto mag!
Thanks klutz for convincing me and learning from your hindsight!
take it easy

The scariest thing about spending a lot of money on a product is the thought that it will not work to your expectations and you've made a poor investment. So, we spend a lot of time just hesitating to make purchases that can significantly improve your skills, such as an airbrush.

But, knowledge is power, as the saying goes. The members of this forum and the consumer knowledge they bring ensure that all purchases can be made with confidence. It's one of the best things about being a member. I hate to sound like I'm just gushing about this forum, but I guess I am.

Thanks to everyone.

andyoda
02-21-2011, 08:15 AM
I've had many airbrushes over the years which have consisted of Badger, Paasche, Sparmax & Gunze and I'm currently using the Testors Aztek. This is a great airbrush for those wanting to take up airbrushing as it's very user friendly. The downside is that the plastic tips tend to wear causing the paint to spit when pressing the dual action trigger :banghead: This has nearly ruined a few of my works but luckily enough I use Tamiya acrylics which can easily be rectified :licka: I also recommend that you only run acrylic paint through it as some solvents can actually damage the internals if the brush is back flushed. I'm now upgrading to an Iwata as all that I know that have used them cannot fault them! The Iwata I'm wanting to buy after doing some homework is the Hi-Line HP-CH. I pretty much do work from antique toy restorations, model building to life size scale movie props. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on this airbrush.

Some_Kid
02-21-2011, 08:26 AM
I have 2 Iwata Airbushes. The CR and the Kustom Eclispse CS. I have to say that if you are someone that has been just trying to get by with cheap airbrushes that you should go ahead and purchase an Iwata product. They are durable and so easy to clean . Your airbrush is an investment. Badger is ok. I owned a badger 150 but Iwata still blows them out of the water in my opinion.

The only thing I would do with a testors airbrush is spray acrylics. Otherwise the plastic will wear down eventually and you'll need to get a new one.

andyoda
02-21-2011, 08:37 AM
Thanks mate! I paid nearly $300 AUD for the Aztek which I think was overpriced and perhaps should have put that money and more to buy a good Iwata. I do very fine work and need a good airbrush and will take a look at the higher end ones.

Some_Kid
02-21-2011, 03:33 PM
Thanks mate! I paid nearly $300 AUD for the Aztek which I think was overpriced and perhaps should have put that money and more to buy a good Iwata. I do very fine work and need a good airbrush and will take a look at the higher end ones.

You may want to look at the Iwata CR. I would describe it as the general use airbrush capable of most jobs. If you're looking to do really fine sprays then you might want to consider an eclipse or higher end model. I'm not exactly sure which models are better for what so you might want to look into that.

Now that I think I about it I've never really used the Kustom Eclipse. I used it once just to test it. The reason why is because the CR is the work horse. As long as you keep it tidy and thin your paint it will do a great job. Right now I just plan on using the Kustom Eclipse for metallics and aclad paints. So that way you don't have to worry about paints mixing with metallic paints, and vice versa.

The aztec is a neat airbrush. I think it operates in an interesting way however like you said the internals are made of plastic and plastic is basically no good when it comes to airbrushing, especially in this hobby. Iwata brushes can handle any paint, just make sure you clean them well and use an airbrush lubricant. I still use the superlube my CS came with.

davidfield
02-22-2011, 03:40 AM
I have had a VL paasche for over 10 years and would recommend them with no hesitation. You can completely pull them apart and reassemble with no dramas at all. The only gripe I have is that I wish the jars had stainless steel lids.

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