Sunday, April 9, 2017

Badger Renegade Krome Airbrush - Unboxing

I bought my first airbrush set way back in 2012 - the Tamiya Sprayworks Basic kit. It was a single-action, trigger type airbrush that came with a compressor. While it was a great introduction to airbrushing, the plastic construction of the components meant it would not last very long - particularly in the hands of a noob, which was unfortunate because it seemed it was deliberately aimed at newbies. Long story short, the compressor kicked the bucket much sooner than I thought it would, which is not what I expected from a Tamiya product - and it kind of left a bad impression on me. I had a better experience with budget Chinese airbrushes, which for the price did a pretty decent job, were easier to maintain, and parts, while not very durable, were inexpensive and easy to source.

Fast forward 5 years, I've gained enough experience to know what I wanted in an airbrush, and I was in the market for a high quality, branded kit. Naturally the Tamiya HG line was in my list of stuff to consider. The HG III in particular has some rave reviews, and I figured it was time I gave Tamiya a 2nd chance. I was about to pull the trigger (is it too early for puns?), when I happened upon a local ad for a Badger Renegade Krome. I looked it up online and found a ton of good reviews on the kit. A week later I found myself in possession of a brand new Badger airbrush, and I have zero regrets. Jump in if you'd like to see the unboxing, and there's a little video at the bottom too.

Click on the Read More link for the rest of this post...

The package arrived safely cocooned in thick bubble wrap, which I gently peeled of layer by lay...ok it was more like I ripped the damn packaging off with my teeth like a savage beast. Inside the unassuming cardboard box was a beautiful aluminum trimmed case that just screamed "classy object inside, handle with pinky finger protruding outward." from all angles. The case alone could have been worth a 5th of the total price (verified on amazon, they sell the case separately for $26 lol). Badger USA has been around forever, and it looks like they know a thing or two about product presentation.

Undoing the metal latch and opening the lid was like loosing my airbrushing virginity all over again. I must admit I spent a good ten minutes just staring at it in the case: the polished chrome finish contrasting against the velvet black foam; the words "RENEGADE Krome" stamped and laser etched on the shell; down to the tiny numbers and graduations engraved on the needle limiter.

The Krome is Badger's top offering from the well-received Renegade line, and is kind of like a pimped out version of the Velocity. This set comes with a .21 extra fine needle and nozzle pre-installed, with a .33 needle and nozzle combo for switching to a broader spray pattern. A Badger to 1/8 adapter also comes in the box, so you can use your standard airbrush hose.

Taking it out of the case, it felt solid and comfortable in the hand. It feels well balanced, and thanks to the ergonomic hand rest it doesn't feel overly slim to grip. The entire body is brightly polished chrome silver, except for the trigger which is a dull gunmetal color. It's because of the special coating they used to make trigger pull smoother. Pressing down and pulling back is indeed very smooth, and the spring tension is also adjustable if it feels too stiff.

The cup holds about 11cc, comes with a lid, and allows easy cleaning with no hard to reach spaces inside. There's a quarter inch of space between the trigger and the cup, which sits at a steeper, almost perpendicular angle to the airbrush body - leaving more room for your trigger finger.

Towards the back you'll find the cut-out for access to the needle chuck, and at the rear end is a numbered dial that sets how far back the needle can move. There's some resistance when twisting the knob, so the user can make very precise adjustments.

The front end uses an exposed needle design, with only two prongs protecting it on either side. This lets the painter get close to the subject and still see exactly where the needle is aimed, and also allows for quick wiping of the needle when tip-dry occurs. A rubber cap is provided to protect the front end when not in use. Because of this open tip design, I would not recommend this airbrush for the 1st-timer, despite it's sturdy construction and simple assembly.

While most of these features can also be found in other airbrushes in it's price range, what really drew me to the Renegade Krome was the thread-less, self-centering nozzle that helps avoid any misalignment or thread-stripping issues, and the Teflon seals that is said to be more resistant to lacquer based thinner and paints than regular rubber seals. These features are found in far more expensive airbrushes, such as high-end Harder & Steenbeck models. Take a look at the comprehensive review posted on Don's airbrush tips, he does a full tear-down of the airbrush and points out it's pros and cons.

There's a manual hidden under the foam insert that details the part numbers and has some nice info. It will come in handy if I ever need to get replacement parts, which I'm hoping will not be very often. Badger offers a lifetime service labor warranty, and parts are easy to order online. It feels a lot more solid than the Chinese airbrushes I've owned, so I'm confident I won't break it from regular use, I just need to be extra careful with the exposed front end.

The Krome will relieve my Master G233 of base coating and shading duty, but I'm not even going to attempt to prime or clear coat with it. I'll be converting the G233 to the 0.5 setup for those purposes, at least until I get my hands on a Patriot 105 ;)

Here's a short YouTube video:

I'll share a proper review on performance and cleaning once I've painted a model or two with the Krome. It will take some time to master the thinning ratio required by the extra fine setup, but I'm excited to try it. The DevilArts Providence seems like a good candidate, should be fun pre-shading all those panel lines :)

If you want to purchase the Badger Krome, click on the Amazon ad link below. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks!

Until next time, keep building plamo!


  1. Mind sharing where you purchased it? Is it the one from lazada by panda construction inc?

    1. Yes, I got it from Panda Construction Supply, you can inquire on their website here:

    2. Nice. I actually went to one of their shops around Binondo thinking that they are selling it cheaper since they dont have to pay for shipping. But i was wrong. That is the first time I encounter a shop selling goods at higher cost than online.Their price is still cheaper actually than other shops here nonetheless - in addition to being an authorised dealer by badger. But i still find it weird.

  2. I just accidentally snapped my Chinese airbrush (just like you mentioned in another post. XD) and am now looking into the market for a replacement. Im a newbie (started airbrushing 2 months ago) and torn between this and the Patriot 105. I'm leaning towards the 105 as it is relatively cheaper. Im concerned as well for the spare parts availability (Which makes me reconsider those chinese brushes due to ease of finding parts). Any thoughts?

    1. If you're in the US, Badger parts are easy enough to order via Amazon. The renegade seems pretty solid, so unless you drop it I don't see how you can damage it with regular use. There are no nozzle threads to strip, no nozzle o ring to crush or melt, so I'd say it's much easier to maintain than an entry level Iwata. I'm trying to acquire a Patriot as well, and will post a review on it as soon as I get to test it out. The only advantage I see the Patriot has over the Renegade line is the larger nozzle, which means it's easier to clean and it won't disappear into a black hole if it rolls off your desk. The nozzle on the Renegade is TINY, even smaller than those on Chinese ABs, so while it offers finer nozzle options (.21 and .33, compared to the Patriot's minimum .5), you have to be more careful when cleaning. For complete beginners though the Patriot seems like a better choice just because the nozzle is not as easy to loose or damage, and the .5 option means it's not as sensitive to thinning ratio. I think you'll be happy with either!

    2. I actually have both a Renegade and a Patriot (as well as an Iwata HP-CR with .3 nozzle, and I have used an hp-ch too), and unless you plan on using the Renegade exclusively as a detail brush at all times (i.e. use only the .21 nozzle/needle), then there's almost no reason to own a Renegade over a Patriot. The reason for this is that the Patriot's default setup and the Renegade's """""".33"""""" setup are the exact same size, so the performance from both is the same. The only advantages you'll get from the Renegade at that point are a preset handle and a head setup that kind of protects the needle, where as the Patriot needle is basically exposed. And even on the detail front, PH should eventually see the Super Detail conversion make it's way over, and while it'd not as fine as the Renegade's .21, as a proper .3 setup it'll provide most detail that most modelers will want while still being an effective general purpose setup. I'll also add that the .21 Renegade set is a finer spraying setup than my .3 hp-cr or hp-ch that I've used, but it does clog a bit easier which is unsurprising given the tip size.

    3. I see your point Aigo, thanks for sharing! Didn't know the Patriot also has a .3 configuration until recently. Looks like it is a better allrounder than the Krome, unless one finds the .21 tip necessary, has the skill to maximize it's potential, or enjoys the needle limiter feature.

  3. How much did you purchase this for, here in Manila, if you don't mind us asking?

    1. I think it was around Php6500 at the time from Panda Construction Supply, price fluctuates though so don't quote me on that :)