View Full Version : Problems with Badger Anthem 155

Maryl Lehman
09-14-2004, 11:33 PM
Well, as much as I loved my Anthem when I got it several weeks ago, up till last nite, I could have pitched it today! It started giving me problems last nite, and continued today. When I do hair strokes (back and forth, starting and stopping) it leaves a dot at each end of the stroke! (._._._._._.) Get the picture---but vertically, and side by side? I think someone else wrote in about this not too long ago, but can't say for sure. Anyway, after changing the needle, changing the tip, cleaning everything, etc., and not solving the problem, I decided to call the company. The guy I talked to was super-nice, and had so much patience! But he couldn't tell me why it was doing that or what to do about it. Said he'd never come across that problem before! I have had the same thing happen to several of my Paasche's, and had to end up sending them in to be fixed. They never seemed to come back totally fixed though. Anyway, I guess I will be sending the airbrush back to them----unless someone here can tell me how to fix it. :( Any suggestions?

Oh, I took the airbrush completely apart while I was on the phone with the guy---then I couldn't get the thing back together! I couldn't get the metal piece behind the trigger to stay in place, and I couldn't get the shaft behind that to go in w/o binding the trigger and piece behind it. He had to "walk" me through the whole process. Like I said, he was a super-nice guy with lots of patience! :clap:

09-15-2004, 01:42 PM
Oh Maryl, I 'm sorry your having problems!

I have some questions. Ok, this happens, the dot, when you make the dagger strokes for the hairs, right?

A dagger stroke is tapered, fat on one end, skinny on the other.

Which end does your dot appear, the fat or skinny end?

Look at the arrow in the photo below:
What does this little thing on the end here do? It looks like a little knob so that you can grab the needle assembly and pull it back for cleaning.


Maryl Lehman
09-16-2004, 12:25 AM
Actually, Sam, the strokes I make for hair are pretty much the same at both ends. (I guess they're not really dagger strokes.) I just go back and forth, over and over again, for hair. The dot is appearing at both ends of the "hairs"---- every time I let up on the trigger! Sometimes I've had it do it on only one end of the stroke---when that happens, I do the stroke in one direction only, to eliminate that. But this time it's doing it on both ends, every time I let up on the trigger. :confused:

Yes, the knob on the end of the needle is to pull it back for cleaning. (And, the needle is pushed forward all the way.) :( Why do these things always happen when I'm trying to get ready for a show!?! :mad: (I think "someone" is trying to teach me patience!---I'm not learning it very well!) I think I will just pack up the nice little airbrush and send it back to the nice little guy! ;)

Okay Sam, now what does DFN stand for?? :wink2:

09-16-2004, 09:31 AM
Maryl I know you don't want to hear this but it is dirty. I have this happen, especially when I use the air on and off alot.

Are you air caps tight? if so.. There may be paint in the little tip.

Usually when you start and stop air and paint at the same time it does not allow the air to blow any small amount of paint to blow off the tip of the airbrush. Then when you press for air and paint again you blast that remaining paint out. Also it causes the paint to dry in the tip which prevents a good seal between the needle and the tip. (tip the little cone thingy that the needle goes in under the aircaps, don't know the right tech. name for it)

The only other thing I can think of besides dirty is that you may have a bent tip on your needle? Is the cone cracked? A good clean seal is ultra important. OOPs, just thought of another thing.. is the air hole in your bottle clear? Seem to remember that I had some spotting problems when that clogged.

Hope this helps..
As to why does this always happen when you have a show?.. LOL
Because that is when you are under the deadlines and your stress is up. Sometimes this causes us to over look some silly little thing that if we were calmer we could find in an instant.

09-16-2004, 12:37 PM
Cherri is right, if the needle isn't seated correctly you will incure this problem BUT and here is the Biggest Butt of all (yeah, I know how I spelled that), since you are accustomed to urathanes this problem CAN NOT be in your technique because if it was, then you would have been painting nothing but spiders for years now. So, the problem is not you, it's the airbrush.

PS, I've never really heard many good words about the Badgers.

09-16-2004, 12:51 PM
Sam and I were talking about something totally unrelated when I commented on what happens if the airbrush is not TOTALLY cleaned after using acrylics and then using urathanes. Is this by chance the case? If there is anything in your nozzle what-so-ever your needle will never seat correctly. There should be some tension/pressure when you push the needle in, if not you will get blow by that will cause this. urathanes and acrylics are a bad mix, even laquer thinner will not remove acrylic but oddly enough soapy hot water will. It is possible you have cross contamination preventing your needle from seating. Also, createx does not clean out as easily as urathanes and it is possible if you are following your typical cleaning proceedure that you did not clean your airbrush out completely.

Maryl Lehman
09-16-2004, 12:57 PM
Thank you, Penny! (for saying the problem is not me, it's the airbrush!) Believe me, I have torn it apart, cleaned everything, etc. It was barely even dirty! I have tried a new needle, then a new tip. The guy at the airbrush store didn't even know what to tell me, except to send it in and he would look at it. So, off to the store it will go! Just thought someone might know a reason for it doing this... and thanks everyone for trying! I switched back to my Paasche VL-3-----works like a charm! I just didn't want to use my "urethane" airbrushes for water-based paints----the acrylics are soooooo much more messy than the urethanes! Probably because they are so thick.
Thanks Cherri, for your suggestions! :)

09-16-2004, 01:01 PM
Hey Maryl,
Before I add my two cents, I have another question!

How are you operating the airbrush when you paint these strokes?

Here would be my answer..........I depress the trigger creating airflow, then as I sweep with the airbrush, I pull back on the trigger to add paint to the airflow. At the end of the sweep I allow the trigger to move back to the full "paint off" position. But, I never stop the airflow or let up on the depressed trigger. I would hold the trigger down until I had finished all of my strokes for that area!

Air on...............trigger back/paint on................trigger forward/paint off....................air.

I ask these silly questions because it helps me to eliminate possibilities so that we can get to the problem! (Too much CSI on TV LOL!!)

DFN (done for now)

09-16-2004, 01:20 PM
the acrylics are soooooo much more messy than the urethanes! Probably because they are so thick.
Thanks Cherri, for your suggestions! :)

speak for yourself! I have blue toes at the moment, had I been painting acrylics it would come off in the shower but as it is, my nails are ruined (common, I look at it as advertising) but MY TOES!!! I guess I shouldn't get into painting so much but hey, I needed an extra hand and my feet were free.

Maryl Lehman
09-17-2004, 03:32 AM
Sam, I'd have to go paint again to see what I actually do! I do it so fast, I probably don't totally let off on the air.

I thought maybe DFN meant "dumb for now"! :D hahahahahaha


09-17-2004, 12:02 PM
I have had the same thing happen to several of my Paasche's, and had to end up sending them in to be fixed.
This statement combined with your current problem may imply, as Sherri suggested, you may not be holding the trigger down after you cut off the paint flow. This would cause paint to stay on the tip of the airbrush and to be deposited the very next time you depress the trigger for air flow only!

I have no reason to doubt you when you say that you are getting the AB clean! Take a close look at how you are performing the "stroke"! If you are doing that correctly...............then I'm stumped!

Note: Please try the following experiment for yourselves!

Just for my sake I took the scientific approach and I tried to recreate the problem in one of my brushes. (I could not do this one with my left hand, too many years of practice! I had to use my right hand! No jokes anyone!) Using the improper "dagger stroke" technique by releasing the trigger completely at the end of each stroke, I left dots mostly at the beginning of the stroke! This is due to excess paint left on the tip of the needle.

Then I tried the improperly seated needle and it worked exactly like a single action airbrush and I actually made perfect hair strokes right or left handed! When the needle is not seated properly it allows the paint to flow as soon as you depress the trigger! Just like an Aztek AB (for those of you who have one) I could even create a nice taper! I found that lifting the AB at the end of the stroke left a perfect dagger stroke! I managed to create some ugly strokes but no dots! The only way I could create dots was by intentional and deliberate means. If I started still and then moved the AB, I had a spider with a long tapered tail!

Any "dot" suggests only a small amount of paint escaped and then the paint flow was stopped! If the needle is not seated correctly, the paint flow would continue until the airflow was stopped! Any movement of the AB left a trail!

With the needle improperly seated, I then tried a thick mixture of paint that I knew would clog. This only caused hissing, spitting and inconsistent lines with big blobs of paint on occasion. I had to clean the tip often to accommodate paint flow! This situation did however stop and start the paint flow with regularity! I think that you would recognize this problem and thin your paints!

I'm at a loss here! If the airbrush's are clean and your technique is fine, the only thing I could say is that your Airbrush's are possessed! Call a priest and have them exorcised immediately! LOL!!!!

When you sent your Paasche's out to be repaired for this problem, what did they say was wrong with them???????


09-17-2004, 12:58 PM
Sam, are you saying if I back my needle out a tiny amount I will have effortless daggers strokes every time?

Maryl Lehman
09-17-2004, 01:40 PM
Penny, I didn't even use urethanes in the Anthem---only acrylics! Now, unlike what you're saying that lacquer thinner doesn't take acrylics off, I have used my urethane thinner and it works better than soap and water. So, if I can't get it off with soap & water I refrain to the thinner. But I haven't run urethane paint thru the airbrush yet.

The two Paasche's that I sent in were the V's. One came back fixed and the other, not totally. They never told me what they did to fix them.

I don't have time to mess with the Anthem anymore till after my show tomorrow. Thanks for all your help! I must get downstairs and paint some birds for the show (with my Paasche's and urethanes, mind you!). Then I have to get all my stuff together. :rolleyes: That's the worst part about being in shows! No, I take that back---the worst part is putting everything away after a show!!! :(

09-18-2004, 11:04 AM
Sam, are you saying if I back my needle out a tiny amount I will have effortless daggers strokes every time?
Nope! I am saying that it worked well for me during my experiments! I absolutely suggest that you try it for yourself! I still would rather do them the way I always have!

I may not have proven a single thing with my tinkering to anyone but myself! All I'm saying is that I do not believe that a poorly seated needle, for any reason, that causes "blow-by", would cause the effect of "dotting" as Maryl has described! Or, I should state, that I could not re-create a situation where "blow-by" was consistently and predictably intermittent enough to generate the effect of dotting while making hair/dagger strokes!! This absolutely does not mean that I am in any way correct!!!!!!

I am not trying to aggravate anyone, I'm just trying to help and understand Maryl's problem!
I challenge anyone else to test the "poorly seated needle" concept, and post their results! Because if you can recreate Maryl's problem, I will gladly eat crow!
Next, I will experiment with the head assembly!

I also think that if an O-ring is too tight it may restrict the needle momentarily and the air flow somehow frees it up! This could be a inherent design flaw! I would try removing the needle, lubricating it with the wax and trying it again too see if the problem persists!


09-18-2004, 01:45 PM
I'm grasping, your grasping. An improperly assembled nozzle will cause paint flow problems, etc etc etc but it's never caused this (in my experience) If the difference isn't in Maryl's technique then the difference is in the brushes we use compared to Passche and Badger. My trying to re-create will result in similiar results as we use similiar brushes, I would like to hear from Paasche and Badger users. I started with a Badger, bought an Iwata and never looked back. I've tried the VL and I couldn't get past the feel of the airbrush so I don't have experience there either. I think we are all grasping at straws.

Maryl Lehman
09-19-2004, 03:14 AM
I also think that if an O-ring is too tight it may restrict the needle momentarily and the air flow somehow frees it up! This could be a inherent design flaw! I would try removing the needle, lubricating it with the wax and trying it again too see if the problem persists!

Sam, is the O-ring you're talking about, in the bottom of the airbrush where the hose goes on? And if so, how can that be too tight? :confused: And, how do you lubricate a needle with wax? Never heard of that. Do you just run the needle over a chunk of wax, or what?

Gotta get to bed. I'll check back tomorrow (actually, later today! ;) )

P.S. I won't ask what the letters stand for above your name! :wink2:


09-19-2004, 09:37 AM
I wished I could be of help. I think Sam is closer to fixing the problem. I am stuck on the Paasche AB. If the AB gets stopped up, it is right there in front of you and you can see it. The needle is exposed and so is the cup. But... I can remember things happening to me like that with the Thayer & Chandler. As Penny says, when your under the "Gun" to meet a deadline, that is when the problems seem to occur, right? I hope you can fix it after a good night of sleep.

Mikey B.
09-19-2004, 12:15 PM
Maryl ,It aint da brush, I struggle it when I don't do lettering a lot .Its you darlin,Airflow, cause it its your trigger finger, The only way to remedy it is PRACTICE< I find after some loosnin up drills it seems for me to go BYE,Bye and as Martha would say,"Thats a Good thing" God bless ya this beautiful fall day ,God Has Given!!! Mikey

09-19-2004, 10:29 PM
Hi, I believe this is my first post at this forum. It looks like most everyone hear likes Iwata's so I have to say right up front that I don't have a favorite make of airbrush. I own several from different companies but I do have a few Badger airbrushes the 155 amoung them and use them all the time with Laquers and water based acrylics with no problems. I don't think your problem is the airbrush unless your tip or needle is messed up. Your problem sounds like what someone all ready posted- that the trigger isn't being pushed all the way forward before stopping the air allowing paint to stay in the nozzle resulting in the dot at the beginning and end of you lines.

09-19-2004, 11:01 PM
Welcome to WetCanvas and our forum. :cat:

09-20-2004, 12:00 AM

Um, excuse me for being grouchy, but for those who say it's Maryl's technique... obviously you didn't care much for Maryl's statement that her other airbrush worked like a charm, not to mention the fact that she's BEEN using this one w/o this problem until recently. If it was her technique, then wouldn't you think it'd be happening no matter WHAT airbrush she used? Wouldn't it have happened when she FIRST used this airbrush? Think, people, think!


Although you could argue that the brush suddenly "changed" making her technique cause the dots (yeah).

Maryl, I have experienced the exact problem (it isn't spitting from not keeping the lever down for air) it is a surge of paint that occurs only after the needle is pulled back some and it causes what seems to be a dot that happens at the ends of those veeery small dagger strokes. Cherri gave some good suggestions and I say it is one of those. Paint inside the nozzle tip is the most probable IMO but maybe it is a cracked nozzle and paint is drying in the crack causing it to be sticky enough to not open instantly and cleanly then... plop.

I'd try replacing the nozzle and needle with brand new ones and see what happens.

Anyway, it ain't you, Maryl! :wave:

SAM = Silly Acronym Man ( :eek: hehehehehehehhehe)


Maryl Lehman
09-20-2004, 02:28 AM
THANK YOU Tim!!! I don't think it's me either. I've been airbrushing for 26 years, and from past experience, when they start doing this, you may as well get a new airbrush. I can never figure it out. By the way, I've been using my Paasche VL-3 (since the Anthem doesn't want to cooperate!), and it's working like a charm-----using the same technique! :eek: But, I had already replaced the needle and the tip on the Anthem, so that wasn't the problem. What gets me is that I've only had the Anthem a few weeks. Doesn't make sense. :confused:

Thanks Dave, Mikey, and John, for trying to help me figure this out! And welcome to the forum John! Hope you like it here as much as we all do! :)

09-20-2004, 10:26 AM
OK, Mr. Grouchy! As a general rule an airbrush should function properly until it malfunctions! Herein lies your point! At this stage one tries to find the source of the problem! It is a process of elimination! If at the end of this "elimination" process you have not found a viable reason for the malfunction. One can eliminate the airbrush as the possible cause!
According to Maryl, (in her words) she has sent these malfunctioning airbrushes off to be repaired without success or minimal at best! She has replaced parts with no success! It would be easy and understandable that most of us may suspect that it could be Maryls technique!

I agree with you, Grouchy boy, that if she has used a brush successfully on her hair stroke technique and then it suddenly begins to create dots, that it is probably not her technique! However, I will admit that there are many Airbrush techniques that I have grown weary of over time and those same techniques I used to be so patient with have now become a source of constant irritation due to fact that I get impatient and make severe mistakes! It's a matter of self discovery! So, the idea that Maryls technique is "lacking" is one that I'm not yet ready to dismiss! This is a reasonable conclusion based on the fact that Maryl is human and subject to fallibility! I have not yet excused the Anthem as being the problem! I would like for Maryl to try my next solution! If it fails, I would love it if she would send me the airbrush so I can dissect that sucker! Also, if it's malfunctioning for her it should also malfunction for me!

Look at the exploded view below! Part number 50-046 is called, by Badger, a "teflon needle bearing"!!!!! In Iwata airbrushes this part is an O-ring, sorry for the confusion! This bearing could be causing the needle to momentarily "stick" allowing paint to flow! Just remove the needle only and apply a nice thin layer of wax and give it a try to see if it is still making the dots!!

The wax I speak of is the wax from a toilet bowel ring! No kidding LOL!! You can buy them cheap and they are great for lubrication and they will last forever! (thanks to Kirk Lyebecker for this idea) I lubricate all threads and the needles of all of my airbrushes with the wax! I have never had to struggle with "stuck" parts since! You can also use any quality made airbrush lubricant if you have one!


Maryl Lehman
09-20-2004, 02:05 PM
So, Sam, is this "wax" a liquid? Never heard of such a thing! Where do you get it? I've always used Castor Oil----believe it or not! :p Castor Oil has solved many problems---for a while at least. Sometimes I wonder if the Castor Oil gets "gummy" inside the airbrush after a while, and causes other problems---??? But I haven't used it on the Anthem yet. Using Castor Oil is an old trick that a guy who owned a body shop that I used to paint for, used. He claimed it doesn't cause "fish eyes", like some other oils, when you're painting on cars, etc. I know that's true, because I've used it for many years---when I used to paint a lot of vehicles. Do you think I should try the Castor Oil on my Anthem? Or, should I get some wax? Hmmmmm.....
Thanks for all your help! If I don't get this thing fixed, I may send it to you along with your t-shirt! :) (No, I didn't paint it yet!)

09-20-2004, 03:22 PM
Maryl, a toilet bowl ring (it's used to install a toilet) is made of soft purified bees wax, they cost anywhere from $.99 - $2.99 and may be purchased at any hardware store and I think they sell them at walmart too. Since you are not using it to install an actual toilet you can buy the cheapest one they have.

I warn against using any oil in an airbrush but Caster Oil should be water soluable. As far as the wax, Don't put it on all the way down to the tip of the needle, just on the body of the needle. I use the wax to assembly purposes only, I'm not too sure how it would act with automotive paints. I use majiclube or the "other" airbrush lube product, just can't remember the name of the other one at the moment.


PS, it's not a bad idea to send you brush out to Sam. It might prove enlighting to all of us, if not, it certainly can't confuse us anymore.

09-20-2004, 04:47 PM
Maryl, I hope Penny explained the wax toilet ring well!
As she said (which I forgot to say) just rub your finger on the wax ring and then apply it, between your thumb and forefinger, to the needle! Do not go all the way to the tip though! You only want to apply the wax to the needle up to the point that the needle would go into the teflon bearing!

I have never had the wax react with acrylic paint before! But I can't comment on any other paints. The wax will almost always stay just on the needle and will need to be cleaned off now and then. As for a total cleaning, I use Penny's idea of hot water and Oxyclean! This process will melt away any residual wax. Nothing of the wax lubricant is left in the airbrush!

I think you should try the Mineral oil if you have had success with it in the past! Either way, it should relieve the sticking problem, if that is our problem!

I don't suggest using oil at all on an airbrush. I don't know about mineral oil, is it water soluble? Most oils require a detergent and mechanical cleaning in order to remove it!

The votes are still out on some home-style remedies on airbrush lubrication! LOL!!!


09-20-2004, 05:04 PM
Tim, the Grouch, approves of the content of this message.


Yes, it sounds as if it is something happening in the airbrush and maybe a sticking needle would cause it since it wouldn't close completely, leaving the tiniest bit of paint on it. I started using the SuperLube by Medea and it seems to work really well. It's a small tube but I'll be 60 before I use it all.

I really didn't mean to single anyone out but several posts seemed to imply that Maryl needed to practice her technique which just sounded so way off and yes, it COULD be a shifting in her technique but her problem is one I've had and it had nothing to do with technique. You could pull the needle back via the lever and at first no paint, then a small surge of it. It ruins all attempts at any dagger stroke. But just what causes it, I am not sure. The lube is a good idea, I think. In fact, that may be what fixed mine. I just haven't had the problem in a long time.

Tim (Grouch-Boy) Simmons :envy:

Maryl Lehman
09-21-2004, 01:15 AM
Thanks Tim, Sam, and Penny! I haven't tried the wax or the oil yet on my Anthem, but I will! I'm trying to get 50 note cards made for a couple of customers, so haven't had time to paint. Then I have other obligations till probably Thursday---if I can wait that long!! Sam, is Mineral Oil the same thing as Castor Oil? Just wondering because you kept mentioning Mineral Oil---what I use is Castor Oil. Just don't want to totally confuse anyone! :wink2:

09-21-2004, 11:07 AM
Sorry Maryl, your right, I did mean castor oil! In surgery we only use mineral oil..............it's an honest mistake!

To answer your question though, no, mineral and castor oil are very different! Mineral oil is a petroleum based product and castor is a plant based product!

The main difference is its viscosity, castor is very thick!

In my model airplane engines we/I use castor oil as a fuel additive/lubricant. It has an extremely high flash point and lubricates better than most synthetics! The problem with castor, is that it is very messy and is almost impossible to clean!

The thought of lubricating my airbrush with either of these oils makes me shiver in my socks! LOL!!! But...............who am I to say anything if it has worked for you in the past!

I hope you get your cards done on time! Good luck!


09-21-2004, 12:25 PM
You never want to lubricate with a synthetic or petrolium based product. I can see where a plant based oil would be better but I wouldn't recommend it. Like I said before, if it works for you, who am I to say differently.

Maryl Lehman
09-21-2004, 02:24 PM
Like I said, it works great for a while. Seems like I always end up buying a new airbrush down the road. Maybe that's why------it gets gummed up inside the airbrush and causes other problems---??? I do know that castor oil doesn't cause fish eyes on vehicles though! Maybe I'll try the wax...................... :wink2:

Maryl Lehman
09-27-2004, 01:58 AM
Well, I painted my last two shirts with basically no major problems! :wink2: Cat e-mailed me and told me she has had the same problem with her airbrush. A trick of hers is to thoroughly clean the airbrush (she uses a Paasche VL) and then spray it with WD-40 (!!) So, I did that, and also bought some toilet bowl wax and waxed the needle. It's working like a charm (so far!! ;) ) It does leave a few dots when I use the straight white (not diluted), so that could be that the paint is drying in the tip or something, because it is so thick. Who knows! But my airbrush is working again and that's all that matters! :p I've got another show this Friday and Saturday, so I'm crammin'! Just not enough hours in the day! I painted my first jean jacket the other day----I'll have to have my son post it tonite, if he has time. :)

09-27-2004, 07:01 AM
I'm glad it worked Maryl. I guess the answer was the brush wasn't cleaned well enough or the O-rings were sticking. BUT....

WD-40 is about the WORST thing you could have ever put through your airbrush. It contains silicates and you better be painting a whole lot of shirts with the airbrush before you ever use it on a smooth surface or with urathanes. Autobody garages won't even allow a can to be in their shops because of the damage it does to paints. Invest in an airbrush lubricant. They are designed to do the same thing but they won't interfere with paints.

09-27-2004, 12:21 PM
I have to second this!

If you spray WD40 in the same house/shop/studio where you will be painting, you will ruin a paint job! WD40 will linger in the air for hours! Even the smallest amount will cause an adverse reaction in most paints, including acrylics, and that's just by air born particles landing on a newly painted surface! I can't imagine what might happen if it's sprayed directly on the airbrush itself! As Penny stated, I may never use a brush that was once sprayed with WD40 to paint with Urethanes!

I spent several weeks working, via email and phone, with a prominent artist who's work sold for six figures! He was having fish eye problems! We eliminated every possible problem until one afternoon I just briefly mentioned the problems with WD40 and that I assumed he probably knew about! He said that he used WD40 in his shop to lubricate some tools that he used to cut the metal he worked on! He did not think it would cause problems because he thoroughly cleaned the metal before painting! I suggested an experiment! He was shocked that he could not clean off the WD40 from the metal with any product! After discontinuing the use of WD40 altogether, he has not had any problems since!

The characteristics that make WD40 an awesome long lasting effective lubricant are the same that can cause extreme problems with the painting process!

My 2 cents!


Maryl Lehman
09-27-2004, 01:11 PM
WOW!!! I'm sure glad I didn't spray it on my Paasche's----I use them with my urethanes and on vehicles!! I'll get rid of the WD-40 right away! Hope it didn't cause any major problems with my Anthem! Here, I thought WD-40 was the answer to all my problems! Sure seems the wax could cause problems, too though----- :confused: Hmmmmm.......

09-27-2004, 01:39 PM
Maryl, the wax could cause problems!

It's the lesser of the evils! I use the wax mostly on the threads of the head assembly and it's more like a sealer than a lubricant! Due to the characteristics of bee's wax, I'm not bothered by the fear of having problems when I use it on the needle, BUT, I can't say for sure it won't cause problems in the paint!

I would buy some lubricant that was specially made just for airbrushes! This would be the best bet and would eliminate most concerns about contamination!

In a perfect situation, the airbrush should never need lubrication at all! Proper cleaning should eliminate the need for lubrication! I never lubricate mine with the exceptions of the wax on the threads of all my airbrushes, and on the needle of just one of my airbrushes! I have thought of another way to stop the sticking of the needle in my HP-C without any lubrication, but I will have to try it first before I sound off!


Rage of Reason
10-17-2004, 02:05 PM
There is a shipload of information in the comments to your question, but the problem seems to persist. I am not sure if this is going to be of any help, but I suspect it can be two things, provided adjustments of the airbrush haven't been altered (too much - within limits you're familiar with):

1. there is still a paint residue inside the nozzle
2. there is a damage in the needle and / or nozzle
3. your paint has gone bad

I'd start with testing the latter. If you have some aquarel dye laying about, try to see how that handles in the brush. If this easy handling fluid gives the same unwanted result, it is probably not a mechanical defect or improper adjustment.

I'm not familiar with Badger's Anthem gun, but I know a tiny fraise (roatary cultivator) is available to clean the nozzles inside. Mind you, every brand uses different angles, so don't try such a tool of a different brand on the Badger unless you're absolutely sure needle- and nozzle angles match. I used a soft wood toothpick to clean the nozzle inside of my Paasche V1 after matching the toothpick's tip with a surgical knife with the needle tip angle.

If you have a magnifier (I use a Lumagny with internal lighting that magnifies upto 30 times) than you should check the nozzle and needle tip to see if there are damages. Also look straight from the front (illuminating the airbrush' tip well) to see if the needle and nozzle are in line. Most damages can be repaired - I will write an article on this some time. Soap works well to clean the brush but shaving cream works even better. The best way to clean a brush however, is to put it in a ultrasound cleaner for a few hours - this will remove ALL the contamination from your airbrush (including lubricants required for operating some brands of airbrushes).

I'm not sure if you're using it, but I read in one of the comments that Createx paint is difficult to clean, which is true. One of my students had trouble spraying an assignment once after using paint from a new bottle; nomatter to what level the paint was diluted, it continued to behave badly. I am not a fan of Createx when working at art that requires very fine lines (which I saw you do in your web site). Schmincke Acrylics and Illu-Color Acrylics are infinitely much easier to process (especially the latter).

I hope this was of any use to you. Take care,


Maryl Lehman
10-17-2004, 07:52 PM
Thanks, Rage! I sent my airbrush back to Badger for repair. Of course it didn't act up for them! But I guess it did do it a little bit because they were baffled also. (Seems they should have run into this problem before, but oh, well.) He replaced the needle (which I'd already done) and also the needle bearing (??---not sure what that is and can't find a parts list), and he also replaced the tip (which I had done also). I got it back the other day. It still does it somewhat. I painted several sweat shirts with it but haven't done an animal tee where I use the hair strokes----that's where I have the problem. So, so far it's fine. The true test will come when I paint an animal! He seemed to think that it happens because I am completely stopping the air and starting again, with each stroke (which is what I think Sam said). But I've painted like this for YEARS with basically no problem! Maybe I'll just have to try changing my technique---which will probably be virtually impossible for me, after 26 years of airbrushing!

I use very little Createx paint. Mostly Aqua Flow's and Golden's. I don't have an ultrasonic cleaner---always wanted one though. I don't have any Aquarel Dye either. Maybe if I try some urethanes in it---I have them really thinned. I don't think my paint has gone bad either----it works fine through my Paasche VL-3.

Thanks for all your suggestions! And welcome to WetCanvas! How long have you been airbrushing, and what do you like to paint?

Rage of Reason
10-18-2004, 04:01 AM
Hi Maryl,

Ultrasonic cleaners are sold here:
http://www.awesomegems.com/jewelry-cleaners.html Prices are from $29.95 and up. And here: http://www.jewelrysupply.com/noframes/cleaners.htm Prices are from $49.95 and up.

Mini Microscopes are sold here:
http://www.viewitmagnifiers.com/100xmicro.htm The price is $29.95 and the device has illumination and magnifies upto 100 times.

What I find strange is that the Anthem seemed to do what you expected it to do without trouble and suddenly started to act differently. Changing the needle and the tip (which you already did yourself) leaves the nozzle for a suspect for the cause of trouble. I suspect this type of airbrush has a separate nozzle and aircap. You'd be sure to see any defects through a mini microscope. Or any misaligning with the needle and / or aircap for that matter.

Diluting paint is one thing I always do. When starting to set up a painting I use 1:20 = paint : water drops and gradually use less diluted mix ratios. With air pressures from 7 psi and lower. For spraying portraits these settings are inevitable to my way of working. The paints I referred to in earlier comments are really top of the bill, but unfortunately Illu-Color (from Lukas) is difficult to come by; I live in The Netherlands (Holland) and had to order them in Switserland. The granulation of the color particles in this paint is finer than in any other paint which allows you to work with small nozzle / needle combinations and ultra low pressures.

I've been spraying since the early 80's of the previous century but due to circumstances stopped in 1992. Now after 12 years I've started a few months ago again and am really enjoying it. I've a virtual gallery (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/gman/artist.php?cmd=collection_view&collection_id=1470) here in WC where you can see my works, all of which are 'old' except the portrait of Andre Hazes (which is not finished yet). I recently discovered WetCanvas and I am glad I did. Take care,


Maryl Lehman
10-18-2004, 02:37 PM
Thanks for the info on the airbrush cleaners and magnifier! Wow---I am impressed with your talent after just visiting your galleries! I am also impressed that you use a Paasche turbo and V1-----you are the only other person on here (that I know of) who uses a V1, besides me! I love mine---I only use it with urethanes, which of course, I thin down drastically. I only use the Anthem for painting t-shirts (and my Paasche VL3), which of course, I have to use the acrylic fabric airbrush paints for. It's a whole new ball game for me, painting these t-shirts! A totally different way of painting, than painting on hard surfaces! I'm finally getting the hang of it though! Have you ever done any airbrushing on tees? You have to have the psi up to 60-80 to force the thick paint through! Nothing like painting with my urethanes on a hard surface where I generally paint with about 30-40 psi, and sometimes less.

Okay, I must go and get to my boys' soccer game! Talk to you later! :wave:

Rage of Reason
10-18-2004, 05:35 PM
I love working on t-shirts! It is the most forgiving surface available that allows you to fool around in an almost unlimited way. When spraying T's it is possible to just concentrate on the image without worrying about the paint skidding (wich also means that you can put the tip of your nozzle almost on the surface while airbrushing. The 'Unknown Chief' in my virtual gallery was sprayed on a t-shirt. Most of the time I use this surface while doing demonstrations. I use very low pressures and Illu-Color paint with a textile-additive. My youngest daughter is also a soccer player. She is injured at this time, but if not she is a very fanatical central defense player! :cool: Take care,


Maryl Lehman
10-19-2004, 01:29 AM
Hi Rage! I suppose you could turn the pressure down to paint tees, but then the white wouldn't be thick enough to show up, I don't think---especially on dark colors. A good friend of mine was trying to learn how to airbrush, using Createx on a hard surface. She kept telling me she was using it straight from the bottle and was having soooooo many problems with the airbrush spitting and such. When she showed me the paint, I said it was no wonder she couldn't paint with that thick paint! :eek: She insisted that it said on the bottle that it is "ready to spray"! I had no clue at that time that this paint is basically used for textiles, and that you have to crank the pressure way up! She then talked to an airbrush painter at a local airbrush shop in the mall, and he told her that he uses 80 psi!! I gasped! I had never heard of such a thing! (And, of course, to spray this thick paint you need to change the nozzle/head to a #3 instead of a #1, which I also didn't know! :wink2: )

That's interesting that your daughter is a soccer player----in high school I presume? My boys lost their tournament game tonite (0-3) so they are finished for the year. It was my oldest son's last game---he's a senior. (sigh) What a game though! It was freezing cold (46 degrees F.) and raining! They were soaked to the bone. We'll be lucky if they don't all get sick from it. Then to beat that, they didn't have any heat on the bus ride home. :( What a way to end the season----make a memory, anyway! ;)