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Badger Renegade Series Velocity airbrush

Item: No. R1V
Manufacturer: Badger Airbrush Co., 847-678-3104,
Price: $154
Comments: Natural-metal finish, .21mm paint tip, adapter for Iwata hoses, .33-oz. color cup, hairline to 1" coverage
Pros: Nicely balanced, smooth adjustments, hard case
Cons: Occasional needle clogs; very fine needle requires caution to keep straight
Issue Published: October 2008
Badger has released a series of high-performance, dual-action airbrushes under the Renegade Series banner. The family includes the bottom-feed R3R Rage with a .33mm tip; the side-feed R2S Spirit; and the gravity-feed R1V Velocity. The latter two have .21mm tips. All come in a hard case with foam cushioning.

Pre-production photos showed chromeplated airbrushes, but the Velocity sample arrived with an attractive gunmetal finish. A vinyl cap protects the business end of the brush, while the paint cup is covered with a tight-fitting plastic cap.

The first thing I noticed is how the brush felt in my hand. It has heft and is a bit longer than airbrushes I've used previously, which is nice for someone with larger hands (like me). A few pulls of the trigger got me used to the "Tensionsense" control, and after a once-over to make sure everything was tight I took the Velocity to the paint booth.

ICM's 1/48 scale SdKfz 222 made a perfect test subject for the airbrush. The first coat of Tamiya acrylic flat black went on smoothly and gave me a chance to test the "Stopset" trigger setting. The knob on the rear of the brush turns like butter, allowing fine control over the volume of paint coming out of the brush.

After allowing the base coat to dry, I applied Model Master Panzer schwarzgrau with the same thinner. Again, coverage was even with very little overspray. As a last test, I added a couple of drops of Model Master flat flesh to the Panzer Schwarzgrau and thinned it with isopropyl alcohol to spray the center of the vehicle's panels to break up the monochromatic dip-job grayness. The combination produced some tip clogging; I suspect this had more to do with the paint-thinner combination than the brush. Nonetheless, the Velocity was able to spray tight lines and put the paint where I wanted it.

The Velocity is a good all-around airbrush for models up to 1/48 scale, and an excellent detail tool for larger models. If you need more paint coverage, I'd opt for the R3R Rage. The only caution I would offer is to avoid bending the very fine needle. The brush comes with a two-prong spray regulator that protects the needle, as well as an alternative cap that leaves the tip unprotected.

Badger's latest offering provides a lot of value and capability for the money. It's a well-built, well-balanced product that should provide years of use.


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