What seems like a very long time ago now, 35 years in fact, I was given my very first airbrush which was a Badger 200, a single action airbrush. 35 years on the Badger 200 is still going strong despite me needing to repair it when the tube that the paint jar connects to broke off and is now being held in place with a lump of Milliput. Some 20 years ago I bought a Badger 150 dual action airbrush as a reward when I got married, which is also still going strong despite the abuse I have inflicted on it over the years. Both of these airbrushes are suction feed which does mean that higher air pressures are needed during operation, and this factor means that these brushes take a lot of skill to use for fine work, a skill I have never been able to master.
9 months ago I was offered the chance to review the Neo from Iwata which is a good entry level airbrush, and with the Neo being a gravity fed dual action airbrush it is much easier to use for finer work mainly due to the lower air pressures at which it will operate. The Neo very quickly relegated my suction fed Badger airbrushes to mass coverage use only. I have now been offered the chance to review the Badger Renegade Krome which is also a gravity fed double action airbrush, nothing unusual there you are thinking… or is there?
I was sent the airbrush loose along with a quick release airline for the Badger line of airbrushes, because of this I am not going to do a contents list as I don’t know exactly what you get when you purchase this airbrush. The Badger Renegade Krome has very positive first impressions for me as it looks good and is well made from what I can ascertain. The airbrush has a fair weight to it which is noticeable compared to my other airbrushes, but is not so heavy that usage will become a problem I believe.
Unlike all my other airbrushes the Krome does not have a crown as such, but there are two arms on the head assembly to help prevent damage to the needle of the airbrush. The head assembly, when not in use, is protected by a rubber cap, I will add that this is the only weakness to this airbrush in my opinion. I consider this cap a weakness as I suspect that it will distort and perish with time knowing how long Badger airbrushes last, and secondly I cannot understand why Badger has not used a chrome metal cap as they have on my other two Badger airbrushes if for no other reason than the overall look.
Moving past the first impressions I took it to task to see how it works. I used the Krome with the Badger paints that were also sent with the airbrush for me to review, I used these paints direct from the pot as I believed that were already perfectly thinned for use. Starting with the trigger action; the pad on the top of the trigger has a larger surface area than my other airbrushes on which to plant your finger on than I am use to, however it does provide a solid surface that is comfortable and makes movement and flow easy to control. The triggers movement is very smooth with no jerkiness or sudden change in flow that I could detect and this makes it easier to control the flow of paint through the airbrush.
Needle adjustment is another area that can cause issues for the user and in this case Badger has made life easy with a sequential ring around the rear adjuster with a clearly defined point of reference on the main body of the airbrush. In use I found this airbrush a joy to use and felt immediately at home with it, sure I have plenty of room for self-improvement but this is one occasion when you cannot blame the tool as it will be entirely the users fault if you are unhappy with the result.
One point worth making is that I found the best pressures to operate this airbrush at is around 5 – 10 PSI which is very low from my previous experience of airbrushes. I found this pressure range ideal with the Badger paint as at higher pressures it very quickly caused pooling to occur and the paint to be blown across the surface. As I understand it this airbrush is supplied with more than one needle and head and I do not know which needle and head are supplied with this review sample (Editors note: most likely the .21mm).
Cleaning the Krome is a breeze as access to the bottom of the cup is good and with no crown the face stays clean almost of its own accord, which is a first for me. As the paint I had been spraying is acrylic based I first ran good old water through the brush followed by Medea Airbrush Cleaner and finally water again. During the first lot of water through the brush I used a cotton bud to clean the bottom of the paint cup. After this regime the airbrush looked clean to me and with an occasional strip down clean this brush should give you many years of trouble free service.
I had started to drift away from Badger for airbrushes as I had walked into a large art store in the UK which is a part of a chain and asked about Badger spares only to be asked “Who are Badger and what do they make” I was thinking it’s time for a brand loyalty change, but having used this airbrush I will just switch my purchasing power to the Airbrush Company in the UK who do know what Badger produce and has a good selection. I can only very highly recommend the Badger Renegade Krome as it would seem to me that it is more than capable of doing anything we as modellers would want it to do, and then some.
Is it perfect you may ask…and all I can say is that in my opinion it is pretty damn close, I say that as it is the first time I have picked up an airbrush and instantly felt comfortable with it and its use. The only downside of this airbrush for me is that I would still prefer a chromed metal protector for the airbrush when not in use but as long as you are careful it should not be a problem.
Highs: The ease with which I found control of this airbrush impressed the hell out of me, and cleaning is a breeze as well.Lows: I would prefer a metal cover for the tip when not in use as I suspect the rubber protector supplied will alter shape and perish over time.Verdict: If you want an airbrush for anything from fine to medium coverage the Badger Renegade Krome is worthy of your consideration and I have no other option than to very highly recommend this airbrush to you.
About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...