by: Gremlin56 [ ]
In June of 2010 I first saw an advertisement for Badger’s Renegade Velocity, a top fill dual-action airbrush that came with a 0.21mm nozzle and needle. At that moment in time my Iwata had died, (the nozzle thread having ripped of while fitting it after cleaning), and my other airbrushes were not delivering the results I wanted, (a Gabbert Triplex, a couple of Chinese clones and a Harder & Steenbeck Ultra). I decided to order the Badger offering to see if this could be the answer to a lot of my airbrush woes. To say that the Velocity surpassed my wildest expectations would be putting things mildly. For the next two years I nearly loved it to death, hardly even looking at other airbrushes and doing the full range of airbrush painting with it, (everything from coating to shading). Sturdily packed, easily cleaned and low on maintenance it is indestructible and just keeps on going.
Naturally when I heard that Badger had used a lot of user feed-back to make an improved Velocity I couldn’t wait for the airbrush to become available. It wasn’t as easy as I had expected to get hold of one here in Europe; several stores in the UK were not stocking Badger and due to some adventures concerning horrendous import taxes with the Dutch tax people after ordering tools in from the USA I didn’t want to order it on-line. Eventually I got hold of my example in July 2012 via Airbrush services in Almere near Amsterdam for € 169,-
The Krome arrived in the obligatory musical instrument travel-case style box just like the Velocity I bought earlier. This style of packaging protects the airbrush in a superb fashion
On opening the box I found my Krome, fitted with a 0.21mm needle and nozzle and a two pronged spray regulator. The needle and tip of the airbrush is protected by a rubber cap and the paint reservoir is sealed with a metal lid, (the Velocity had a plastic lid). Also in the box I found a 0.33 mm needle and nozzle, a spray regulator without prongs, instruction sheet and a parts diagram. Airbrush services Almere had also included a speed connector for the Badger hose fitted to my compressor. All parts are neatly bedded down in a foam bed and the smaller parts are in plastic containers that fit in the foam bed. It reeks of quality when you open the box.
If you put the Velocity next to the Krome the family resemblance becomes obvious. The Krome though has a finger rest attached around the air-hose connection, features what Badger calls a “glydecoat” finish on the trigger, (action is as smooth as silk), and the tail part has been opened up to allow a quick pull on the needle to end blockages without having to unscrew the tail. The tail also features the needle limiter. The needle limiter has a reference line and numbered dial so that you can easily reset a favourite dosage of paint.
(Photos 3, 6 and 7.)
The balance of the Velocity was good but is surpassed by the Krome. The Krome feels like an extension of your hand the moment you pick it up. You don’t just want to use it, you simply need to use it. It feels weighty like a well constructed professional tool should without being too heavy.The trigger and needle limiter combine to give an amazing range of control to your airbrushing that has to be experienced to be believed.
The strength of the Velocity airbrushes lies in the construction. The nozzle drops into the paint feed tube and is centred by the hold down ring with the air-feed holes. No thread on the nozzle to damage by using a miniature wrench to screw the part back in like on Iwatas.
The construction makes cleaning very easy too, a quick flush with Glassex, (Dutch equivalent of Windex), followed by a spray through of Vallejo or Revell airbrush cleaner.
I have an ultrasonic cleaner in which I give all my airbrushes a monthly bath to get rid of any paint build up on nozzle, needle or housing. The only other maintenance I perform on my airbrushes is to put a small lick of liquid gasket on threads and a drop of “Regdub” lube on the needles. That’s all it takes to keep things up and running smoothly.
So how do the results of using the Krome look? I did a review of the Neo by Iwata last year and included a couple of photos of the thin, squiggly lines you can draw with an airbrush. Needless to say you can draw really thin lines with Krome, but so you should be able to with a 0.21mm needle and a dual-action airbrush. It is also not very relevant to give a list of pressures I used at any given time; I use different brands of paint and thin them “by eye” instead of measuring cup so I tend to vary the pressure a lot when painting using the compressor and the airbrush trigger. What impressed me most during use of the Krome was the way it lays down a smooth coat of paint, and this goes for just about any paint: Vallejo acrylics, Citadel acrylics, unthinned Life-Colour acrylic paint, but also Alclad and Humbrol enamels. They all give great results:
Photo 8, 9 and 10
These three aircraft have all been painted using the Krome as main airbrush. The 1/48 Airfix Buccaneer received an “Operation Granby” pink colour. The shading was also done using the Krome.
The 1/48 Su-25UB camouflage was done free hand, (no masking here), using the Krome with the needle limiter dialled down and pressure reduced. Filling in the colours was done at a higher pressure and with no limit on the needle and controlling the pressure with the trigger.
The Revell 1/32 Arado 196 is my latest aircraft build and all major paintwork was done using the Krome.
So how does the Krome compare to what else is in the stores? In my opinion it knocks the socks off a lot of the higher priced airbrushes available. I have tried Iwatas, Gabberts, Harder & Steenbecks and several Chinese clones over the years and the Krome beats them all, (even some higher priced Iwatas I have been able to use). This combined with a very reasonable price for a dual action airbrush that comes as standard with two needle/nozzle sets makes it extremely competitive. The rugged construction and ease of maintenance also make it a winner and an airbrush that I can recommend to anyone wanting to do some trouble free paintjobs on their models.