Airbrush testing?

dubster72

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There's often a lot of questions asked about which airbrush is the best & considerably more options & opinions in reply!


So I had a thought - and yes. I've trapped it for future perusal!


Wouldn't it be good to be able to ' test-drive ' an airbrush before committing to buying it?


I was thinking that John could have a few of them, ranging from the cheap one's to the expensive types that forum members could buy on sale or return. They'd try it out for a week or two & if it didn't suit their needs, return in it.


That way the only cost incurred is the postage.


There would need to be a few points clearly stated :


1) The airbrush IS a demonstration item & therefore would have been used before.


2) After the trial period, the airbrush must be returned cleaned & undamaged.


If the buyer likes the airbrush, they return the tester for a brand-new one.


The test airbrushes are ultrasonically cleaned after each trial to ensure the next user gets it as close to unused as possible.


Personally I use a cheap AB & am happy with it. However, I'd like to see what a £200+ one is like, but baulk at the thought of spending that much only to find hardly any difference.


So any thoughts people?


Cheers


Patrick
 

dougie

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not such a bad idea, provided that the user actually buys the brush from John and doesn't just get it somewhere else to save a few quid. A refundable deposit on the brus against the new one would work.
 

John

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The only problem from my end is that I could have many hundreds of pounds worth of stock that I could never sell, someone could want to try a £400 airbrush and decide it doesn't work any better than what they have, send it back and I'm then stuck with it.


I do stock 3 cheap airbrushes and I have one of each that I don't show in stock as they are for my testing, I would be happy for someone to try them on a sale or return basis
 

dubster72

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John, it's true that a certain amount of investment would be required at your end ; say 4 airbrushes at a selection of price points - £30, £100, £200, £300 for example.


However each of these 4 are demo items & would be returned after each trial to be trialed out again. Plus they are tax deductible! Alternatively, have just one £200 airbrush as a starter.


I'm thinking that the margin on such an item is probably higher than a £30 one & also there's probably a lot of people loath to step up to that higher price point, so the potential market is big.


From my research, no-one offers this service. Only at shows can one have a very brief trial of a different airbrush.


But as I said, it was just an idea. When I've got £200 burning a hole in my pocket, I always think " hmm new expensive airbrush? ", but I don't take the plunge for fear that it wouldn't be sufficiently better than my current cheap one. With this kind of option, I'd definitely go for the trial.


And all surveys say that the proportion of customers who return demo items is tiny compared to those who keep them ;)
 
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Yes a way to let folks try them out would be nice. About the cheap airbrush thing, I started with a cheap point zero and had the same concerns, why buy a more expensive one when the cheap one works fine for me. Well I finally made the leap a couple of years ago and got an Iwata hp cs and couldn't be happier with the choice. Well worth the money and the old one is a spare that I used again once after using the iwata for a while and then I really saw the difference in the two. I haven't touched the old one since, I should probably just give it away because the difference is like driving a care without power steering, then driving one with power steering. Worth every penny.
 

John Race

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Jim I started with a mid price H&S , didn't like it so went for the next one up. Ok easy to clean, but having problems with needles and tip getting mixed up before they stated banding them I went for a cheaper Iwata. What a difference, love it.Of course also changed paint from Vallejo and tip drying to Ak3RD gen sprays like a dream.
Yes a way to let folks try them out would be nice. About the cheap airbrush thing, I started with a cheap point zero and had the same concerns, why buy a more expensive one when the cheap one works fine for me. Well I finally made the leap a couple of years ago and got an Iwata hp cs and couldn't be happier with the choice. Well worth the money and the old one is a spare that I used again once after using the iwata for a while and then I really saw the difference in the two. I haven't touched the old one since, I should probably just give it away because the difference is like driving a care without power steering, then driving one with power steering. Worth every penny.
 

BarryW

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I have to say that there is a point at which the benefit does not reflect the cost. If you were an artist producing high end art or a professional photographer touching up photos then a £200 plus airbrush might be justified.

For modelling, from all I have read, you get diminishing returns the more you spend over £150. While I am well known for spending the dosh I certainly would not spend more than £150 on an airbrush. There are plenty of great high quality airbrushes below that from Harder & Steinbeck, Iwata, Gunze, and Topnotch that will provide everything we modellers need.
 
D

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At one time at the Model Making fairs some one actually set up a booth so that you could try out brushes.

Problem. If you are buying a car you are taken out for test drives. And you can test drive as many as you want.

Problem is to find the brush you really like you would have to go through the same testing procedure. Which is
obviously not possible.

Plus first airbrush you really have not a clue, I did not, what you want it for & what you would use it for. So it is
going to be a lottery. Best is to read about as many experiences from others.

Laurie
 

John Race

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I can't see any business doing as has been suggested, and certainly not John. It's all very well saying you can off set it against tax, ok you can but you have to have earn that first. Investing that amount of money on several ABs some high end and then sending them out for people to test ! Not like and then send back. More pw to return them , then the next person saying it wasn't clean , just a night mare waiting to happen. Shouldn't think the profit margin is worth the time .
 

Dave Ward

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. I started with the cheapest airbrushes. Practice, practice & more practice, then I moved up to a slightly more expensive a/b ( but I still use the el-cheapos to lay down primer coats & basecoats ). I'm a hobby modeller, not a professional, any money I spend on tools, means less to spend on models. Yes, I would like a 'better' airbrush, - easier to clean, smoother trigger, nicer balance, but it's only a tool, used for a comparatively short time during a model build. I'm prepared to put up with a few shortcomings, but I don't think 'test running' a few airbrushes against each other would prove anything, other than personal preferences
To hope that a retailer would do a 'sale or return' on expensive gear is a little naive - profit margins must be tight enough without doing this. One of those ideas that seemed good at first, but thinking it through was a non-starter
Dave
 

Murfie

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Having only started using an airbrush in the last couple of years, I recently went through the process of trying to work out where to start. There are literally tens of YouTube videos that review A/B performance and features, some that include how to strip and clean. The only thing that I couldn't get from watching these was the balance/feel in the hand but the reviewer(s) usually made comment about that also which was helpful. I only bought one A/B without reference to a video review and I sold that one on.

The quality of YouTube videos does vary but there are some really professional reviews among them that aren't too hard to discover and, to me, were quite invaluable.
 

Isitme

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Not a bad idea in pricipal, but everyone is different, some swear by H&S as the ultimate, personally mine went in the bin (ebay). Iwata are considered to be the best - others have binned them (ebay).
It all comes down to what you are comfortable with and like using, some people like driving a Rolls, others a Mini, in my collection I have 6 airbrushes from different manufacturers and yes I do have a go to one that fits comfortably in my hand and gives me very little trouble - it is not the airbrush but the person using it.
 
D

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An idea is for a register (with area) of those who would be prepared to
give an hour t0 a person new to airbrushing.

In Jersey any one who wants an hour is very welcome.

Makes friends as well cannot be bad.

Join a club. Sure the club or some one in the club would help. Be
an excellent subject for a club meeting.

Love to have a club in Jersey. But from "past experience" you only have
to volunteer & it is a job for life.

Laurie
 

John Race

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When I was looking for an AB I relied on reviews and Y Tube.

Most if not all of my problems came from the paint, mixing , additives the whole lot. Then I had the mix up of unmarked needles and nozzles. Tried new parts and still not happy, in the end I went for a cheap Iwata and changed paint. Now apart from the very small nozzel making it hard for me to see when cleaning its ok.
 
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